the follow up

Reader S. O. writes:

I met a woman through OKCupid. Monday, we went out, and had an amazing date. Drinks, dinner, cannoli, the works. We held hands, we snuggled a little on a park bench, we even smooched. All told, five hours.

I texted the next afternoon (Tues) to say I had a great time, and she replied with the same. I called the next night (Wed) and left a message, we exchanged a couple texts the next morning. She said she would “catch [me] soon”

I had hoped to go out again Friday night, so I called Thursday evening, left a message.

Nothing has happened since. Did I scare her away? Is there a normal number of days before she might contact me? Should I text her or call her sometime soon? I’m also leaving town for a few weeks a week from Monday, so that’s on my mind.

I’m historically quite terrible at the etiquette of dating, so your words would be helpful.

Dear S. O. :

I’m going to be direct here, and it may sound cruel, but I think it needs to be said in this case:

She’s just not that into you.


I think this guy's heart hurts. Image: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As I’ve said in other posts in the past (I think), dating is a tricky game, and the best thing you can do for yourself until you’re in a serious, committed relationship with someone is steel your loins against sudden changes and apparent reversals of feelings, as in this case. Things get fuzzy fast when you like someone, and I know that when I do, I’ll do anything to get them to feel the same way. Use “she’s just not into you” as your mantra to try and keep perspective. It’s a sort of “guilty until proven innocent” method, but it can save you a lot of heartache in the end.

Yes, I know, I’m a bit of a pessimist, and I don’t know the girl or her situation. But if she hasn’t returned your calls or texts by now (it’s Monday), I think it’s safe to say she’s either moved on, changed her mind, or died in a horrible accident, and in any of those situations, there’s no way to win her back.

Of course, she may just be busy. This does happen to some people, although I believe firmly that even the busiest nutcase can return a text message rather easily, so I wouldn’t count “busy” as a valid excuse in this situation. Maybe her phone broke. Maybe she lost the use of her hands. You’ll probably never know, so I’d write her off as a goner.

For your own head: I don’t think you scared her away by being a good guy. It doesn’t sound like you were over-the-top in contacting her, and she was acting mutual up until Thursday night.  From my own experience of OKCupid, I’ve found that many of the people who use that site are people who have recently separated from a long-term relationship and are trying their best to get back on the dating wagon. She may have scared herself away by finding a great, nice, responsive guy too quickly. You’re obviously showing her the requisite “I’m interested” attention for the development of a future relationship, and that might be too much too soon for her. If this is the case, you’re just going to have to wait for her to fess up to it — which may never happen.

Or she could just be one of those crazy girls who can’t say no to cuddling and being nice with a guy, even if she’s not totally interested. I saw this on “Blind Date” once — this crazy girl just totally led this guy on, holding his hand, flirting sexually, everything, until at the end run-down, she said she wasn’t really interested in him and didn’t see a future with him. You can bet his answers were quite different from hers. I don’t think most women are that blindly malicious, but you never know.

There is not a required number of days after a date that you’re supposed to wait to contact someone. That’s a stupid rumor. If you like someone, you contact them when you feel like it, and if they like you back, they respond mutually. It seems like that’s how you two were working out, anyway. She’s apparently put a stop to that, for whatever reason.

In any case, what matters here is how you feel, because we’re never going to know what she feels. You like her, that’s clear. I think you can continue to like her, but I warn against calling her again or texting until she responds (as I’ve said before, the appearance of desperation is a major turn off). Consider this: she’s being a bit rude by not calling you back, even if it’s to tell you she’s too busy to go out, and furthermore, she’s hurting your feelings. Do you want to start a relationship with a girl who’s capable of doing those things right from the get-go?

She might still come around with some wonderful excuse, like, “I was in the hospital after a major car wreck and I just awoke from being unconscious; I’d love to have dinner on Friday.”

But I wouldn’t count on it.

Go on your trip and do your best not to think about her. If you do think about her, write it down or talk to friends about it, but don’t let her know. I’d spend what emotional change you have left over from the experience to get over her as quickly as you possibly can.

And if she calls this week, she’d better have some pretty great excuses and she’d better not slip up like this again.

The best thing about early dating is that you can drop the relationship at a minute’s notice. I mean this for you — you haven’t invested 12 years of love or a mortgage in this thing yet. If she’s messed up this soon, feel free to let her go.


2 Responses to “the follow up”

  1. 1 Richard
    July 26, 2010 at 11:13 am

    I’m mostly on board with what Kat said, except that I see a couple possible screw ups.

    On Monday S.O. had a nice date, felt a good connection, and did a bit of snuggle smooching. He should have told her right then that he liked her and would like to see her again. She already knew the answer.

    S.O. asked Thursday for a Friday date. Once again, waited too long. She could well have tired of waiting. She might have needed time to make plans or to free her schedule. Maybe one of the other OKcupid guys stepped up and stole the show. Maybe she scheduled her Friday on Tues. or Wed. while he was pondering the rules.

    On the other hand, maybe she wasn’t interested. It sure would be nice to have been moving on after a day or two than to have dithered away a whole week.

    Ahhh yessss, there’s that thing about not wanting to seem too eager. Desperation and neediness are an attitude, not a schedule.

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