One of the most difficult things to contend with when you’re dating is trying not to get downhearted when you don’t hear back from someone who you thought you had a connection with. You know how it is – you go on a date and you seem to both hit it off. You’re laughing, joking, and there’s talk of you both meeting up and you may even share a kiss. In some instances, the person will really add fat to the fire by not only saying they’ll call, but being specific and saying ‘I’ll call you tomorrow’, or ‘Are you free this weekend?’
And then…tumbleweeds…nothing. A day goes by, then three, then a week. Maybe you called and got the ‘I’m really busy at the moment’, or you sent a text and got a short reply, or you got an email explaining how they’re so busy, but either way, things don’t progress.
“I don’t get it! He himself said he had a great time and he went to so much effort, so I don’t get what happened for him to suddenly change his mind! WTF?”
“She said that she hadn’t enjoyed herself so much in ages and that her friends were gonna love me when she introduced me, and next thing you know she’s saying I’m nice and everything but she’s not sure we’d get on in the long run and that her ex wants her back. This is the same guy that left her brokenhearted to shack up with some woman from his office.”
“He told me he’d had an amazing time and that he’d call me the following day. The next time I heard from him was three weeks later acting totally normal and expecting me to ‘hook up’ with him. Telling me some sh*t about how he’s been busy.”
Here’s the thing: Dates are tricky situations.
Guys in particular can be very focused on ‘giving you a great time’ even though they already know that they are unlikely to pursue anything with you.
They shift the focus from impressing you with a view to more dates, to showing you a good time so that you don’t think that their entertaining skills are poor or that they’re a bastard.
I know from personal experience that I haven’t wanted to appear mean, hasty, or even worse, get caught up in a situ that involves me having an uncomfortable discussion.
Let’s be real – both sexes don’t like uncomfortable moments in dating. If you said ‘No actually. I had a really good time but I just don’t think I’m that into you…’ the other person would feel rejected and may even ask ‘But why?’
I have found particularly with the in-need-of-an-ego-stroke-out-to-get-what-he-can kind of guy, that they’re averse to putting themselves in the front line of trouble where it may endanger the possibility of not getting an ego stroke/shag/shoulder to lean on and also have them looking ‘bad’.
If you’ve ever found yourself realising that the guy you thought you had an amazing chemistry with that you thought you were seeing again was actually a one night stand, this centres around much of the same thing.
But at the end of the day, I think what concerns me is how long we can end up dwelling on dates that don’t progress.
Don’t get me wrong, I know after more bad dates and assclowns than I care to dwell on, that it can become pretty tedious after a while, but at some point we have to ask ourselves why we would give weeks or even months of airtime worrying about someone that faded out after one date or a few dates?
The idea of dating is to have social interactions with another person with a potential view to moving it up a gear into a relationship. In an ideal world, people would date because they’re looking for a relationship…but…as many of you have already discovered, people date for a variety of reasons – clocking up numbers in the great ego stroke, lonely, looking for a shag, trying to get over someone by getting on someone else, having fun, and all sorts.
If you imagine you meet each other, at this point you will both form a perception of each other. The dates that follow are like a series of checks and balances on whatever you thought could potentially exist between you both when you first met.
There are all sorts of reasons why someone may choose not to pursue further dates. It’s annoying, horrible even at times, but certainly in the early stages, I have to question how emotionally invested you should be in someone you hardly know?
After all, in order for a relationship to really progress, you need to get into reality, so holding onto the illusion is really more about holding onto whatever you thought might happen to you and your life and how you might feel as a result of that person.
So here’s the deal: People don’t call back because they don’t want to pursue anything with you.
It could be for any number of reasons and it may not even be about you per se.
People don’t like what they perceive as confrontation.
I’ll be honest, there’s a few guys out there that had to take the hint from me dodging their phonecalls and not responding to their text messages. There are also guys I’ve been honest with and they’ve got even more intense.
This is what a lot of people fear and they may project a past experience and assume you’ll freak out.
People don’t want to have awkward conversations with people they don’t feel emotionally invested in.
Some people are users so if whatever they think is in it for them is going to be endangered, they’ll play the game.
They had a great time but it wasn’t that great a time.
Some people genuinely believe at the time that they are interested and at that moment have intentions to do or be whatever they’ve suggested…and then they wake up in the cold light of day.
It might be that they look for faults, analyse what happened, get a call from their ex, get nostalgic for someone else they want and compare, get a better offer, panic that you might want too much, or realise that you may accept behaviour that indicates you may have poor love habits.
It could be any reason but whatever it is, from the moment that they want out, you’d better start looking for an exit too.
If you don’t register that it hasn’t panned out and that their lack of interest and courtesy is a signal in itself, you will find yourself pursuing the attention of someone who isn’t interested and devaluing yourself in the process as you try to ‘win’ them over.
Hunting down the person and saying ‘Why didn’t you call me? I thought we had a good time together’ will send the message that you don’t recognise a lack of interest when you see it and potentially don’t value yourself enough to recognise when to opt out and focus your energies out there. The wrong type of people will take advantage of this…
This is why it’s important to go out into dating with healthy attitudes, hand baggage instead of excess emotional baggage, and to pay attention to whether you’re drawn to the illusion or the reality by having boundaries and being aware of red flags.
Some people lie. It’s not big, it’s not clever, but it happens. If you keep it real, you won’t lose your mind over people whose words don’t match their actions, opt out, and move on.
Certainly if they stop calling within the first few dates, chalk it up to experience and cut off from them – don’t pursue. Unless you genuinely believe that you had a relationship, they’ll likely rationalise that they’re not in a relationship and ‘just dating’. If you do, don’t be surprised if you find yourself being the person they keep in ice for a rainy day but that they don’t actually want.
Keep in mind ‘If they’re not interested, I’m not interested.’