Do Men Fall in Love with Women After One Date?

Do Men Fall in Love with Women After One Date?

Evan,

I have been a fan of yours for years and have purchased many of your programs/books. I also am an avid reader of your blog and have enjoyed reading about your growth over time. Congrats on the soon to be new addition to your family! Thanks to you I do reasonably well in my dating life but recently was shocked over a conversation I had…

I met a man online and we had a nice date. He is an alpha male who seemed to still be emotionally involved with his ex so there were many red flags that had popped up for me. After talking for a few weeks after the date, he said he was concentrating on growing his business and while I was a charming woman he would like to get to know more, he didn’t feel he had time for a relationship right now. I was fine with that considering the warning bells that were going off. We remained friends and would text occasionally over the next couple of months.

We had lunch a few times. I had been looking at this as a friendship and then, yes you guessed it, he informed me I was invited over any time to have dinner and fornication. I told him I do not make a habit out of sleeping with my friends and politely declined.

A week or so later he told me he had met someone and that it felt “obvious.” I congratulated him and didn’t talk to him for 3 or so weeks. Turns out she was totally unavailable and things did not work out as he had planned. His response is what has me puzzled. He said, “Life is odd and hard to explain sometimes, but you get different vibes with different people. A small few I get a friend vibe with. A much much, much, much smaller group I get the I also trust them and would love to have sex with them! (your group, currently 1 member). Then there is the ‘I want to seriously date or partner up’ vibe. I think I felt that only twice while single, only once really strong – and that was the recent debacle that now has me jaded!”

This conversation took place a month ago and I am still pondering it in my mind. I have no desire to take things any further with him than friendship – that isn’t the problem. I have never immediately gotten an “I want to seriously date or partner up” vibe in my life! Not even with my ex-husband! Is it really that simple for men? Is their decision made after one date? I always agreed with you on the “men look for sex and find love” theory. I have almost decided this guy just trying to get me to have sex with him until someone he feels is better comes along. What do you think? –Cheryl

Cheryl,

While you (or he) might feel “in love”, these are merely feelings – feelings that correlate with a flooding of hormones in your brain – dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, testosterone, etc.

Most people are unreliable reporters of reality.

We know what we feel – and then when life smacks us in the face because our feelings don’t square with reality – we experience confusion and cognitive dissonance.

A perfect example comes from Lori Gottlieb’s excellent book, “Marry Him”. When she first met my fiancé, Lori writes, “His fiancé was cute but not gorgeous. She was 39 years old and looked her age. She wasn’t impressively accomplished. She didn’t disarm people with a rapier wit. She wouldn’t stand out in any way at a dinner party. She was, objectively, rather average. And Evan was madly in love.”

Lori thought I was supposed to be with a 29-year-old, thin, Jewish, liberal, intellectual property attorney who also wrote for the Huffington Post. Someone like Lori herself – only 10 years younger. How I could have chosen my wife was a source of consternation to this bright and talented author.

“What am I missing here? Why would a guy like that choose her?”

Your guy is experiencing his own cognitive dissonance right now.

But instead of looking for answers or talking to a coach, he’s going to just accept the fact that things didn’t add up – and go on his merry way. The definition of insanity, you know.

It’s the same thing we see on this blog all the time.

People put partners into different categories based on their feelings/passion from the first few weeks of dating, instead of considering the factors that will determine long-term success: how they spend money, where they want to live, how to raise children, how to live in the same space, how to quickly get over disagreements, how to do all the little things to make a partner happy, how to accept a partners’ flaws…

These are not things you can tell from an online dating profile. These are not things you can tell on a first date. These are not things you can tell in a month. These are not things you can tell in six months.

So while you (or he) might feel “in love”, these are merely feelings – feelings that correlate with a flooding of hormones in your brain – dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, testosterone, etc.

I know this isn’t the answer your question, Cheryl, but it’s more important than the answer to your question.

Being “in love” has little correlation to whether a couple lasts for the rest of their lives.

It’s about understanding how people operate and finding some measure of objectivity, instead of taking it personally.

Fact is, men do fall in love faster than women.

But who cares? There are way too many variables beyond being “in love” which are far better determining factors of longevity. Which is why I think this tangent is more universal and educational than the question you originally posed to me:

I have never immediately gotten an “I want to seriously date or partner up” vibe in my life! Not even with my ex-husband! Is it really that simple for men? Is their decision made after one date? I always agreed with you on the “men look for sex and find love” theory. I have almost decided this guy was just trying to get me to have sex with him until someone he feels is better comes along. What do you think?

Well, to your first question about falling in love at first sight, yes, it’s often really that simple. It doesn’t mean that love at first sight is wise; but it is that simple – a shot to the brain of love drugs and suddenly you can’t see things all that clearly.

And as far as the guy who wants to have sex with you until someone better comes along? Yeah, that’s about right, too.

If he were wiser, he may look closer to see if he can be himself with you, if you make him feel good when he’s with you, if you’re a fundamentally kind, selfless, easygoing person, if you share a vision of life that can be built together. But I’m guessing that he’s just like the vast majority of the population – driven by chemistry and wondering why things never seem to work out for him.

Let him go – and learn to understand and accept that this is the way many people operate in dating and relationships.

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Comments:

  1. 31
    Fusee

    @ Liz #29 and @Heather #31:
     
    Same here! In the past, I briefly dated a couple of men who were very interested in me but either ended up “having to deal with some things first” (aka “not the right timing”), or who did not meet my standards to keep pursuing a relationship and I had to end the brief relationship… Only for them to contact me months/years later to ask for another round! Genuinely thinking I would be available and interested in giving them another chance : ) One of them still emails me once in a while despite having clearly explained my position and since then not replying… five years later! FIVE years later!!
     
    These men came back a few months/years later with “better clothes” (thinking they did not qualify because of old shoes : ), “more spiritual discourse” (thinking I needed to hear some pop pyscho from the Oprah website : ), or another one with “more wordly experience” (thinking I would be impressed by some international work gig : )
     
    Like you, Heather, I do the “one shot deal”. One chance per person per lifetime. You gotta choose your priorities.

  2. 32
    Liz

    @ Heather I know its horrible, but if your calling me everyday and/or texting me, making a point to see me and then vanish, was there any real attraction or chemistry? It is the dreaded he just wasn’t that into you, or personally had stuff going on where the planets couldn’t align.  

    I take to heart a lot of what the various dating coaches out there give us. It is basic logic, take care of yourself, build yourself up, and don’t become clingy on someone you may be interested in. However, the allow him 8 weeks to think about the relationship and re-engage him…don’t see the logic in all that. A week, okay I could probably deal with that, two weeks, not so much. 

  3. 33
    nathan

    Plenty of women operate on “needing” the thunderbolt to continue dating a man as well. If I had dollar for every time I read or heard a variation of the sentence “I just didn’t feel enough chemistry with him” (during the first date), I’d be rich. Or the women who say they decide within 5 five minutes or less whether they’d be willing to sleep with a guy or not, and then check out of any date where the answer is “not.”
     
    It’s lust people! That’s what the thunderbolt is. Although I agree with Kathleen that there are case of actual “love at first sight,” those are pretty rare and really not something to base your dating practices on.
     
    Seems to that it’s smarter to focus on “long term chemistry.” Which is much more complicated and nuanced than this instant stuff that probably everyone here has experienced at least once in their lives. LTC includes shared values, compatibility, flexibility, etc.
     
    Fusee’s point about timing is interesting. Again, I think it’s something true for both men and women. I have dated multiple women who basically “weren’t ready.” That’s what it boiled down to. It didn’t matter how committed I was; they just weren’t able to offer it back. That’s just how it goes sometimes.

  4. 34
    Karmic Equation

    @SalsaQ 17
    What Mia said that struck a chord with me was that the key to a successful relationship is
    this person and I get along, we have a connection because we can talk about a lot of things and be ourselves, we’re attracted enough to want to have sex, and the person treats me well –
     
    I absolutely with your truncated sentence…but I was actually responding to the FIRST part of her statement:
     
    But it would be nice to meet more men who think the way I and many women think, which is, Hey, this person and I get along, we have a connection because we can talk about a lot of things and be ourselves, we’re attracted enough to want to have sex, and the person treats me well – what more is there to ask for or expect?



    I’m reading Steve Harvey’s book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. I don’t agree with most of what he writes, but he wrote something that I had to confirm with a guy-friend, who agreed absolutely. Harvey writes that men are simple and show their love simply. He calls them the 3P’s – Profess, Protect, and Provide. That’s it. That’s the sum of a man’s way of loving. While a woman’s love is much more complex, nuanced, rich, deep, and beautiful. You really have to read that part. As I read it, I was thinking YEAH, I want my man to love me EXACTLY like that…and then he comes in with NOPE, Men don’t love like that…I had to laugh.
     
    Profess = giving the woman a label (wife, girlfriend) not just “friend”
     
    Protect = protect her from bad things happening, take care of her physical well being
     
    Provide = bring home the bacon, keep the roof over her head. And a good man will work at a job he hates just so he can provide for you if he loves you.
     
     

  5. 35
    Heather

    @ Fusee:

    Yep!  It is a one-time only offer.  No rainchecks.  If you didn’t want me then, chances are you probably won’t want me now either, so let’s just cut losses and keep rolling!  I just don’t have time anymore to sit around and go duh gee, does he like me?  Will he call me?  If he doesn’t, then hey, onward and upward!  So what if he didn’t like me?  Like I read once in a book about dating: “Their rejection, is the universe’s protection.”

    @ Liz:

    I can’t even do a week anymore.  I once was emailing with a guy on a dating site, he didn’t respond.  OK, fair enough, move on.  He text messaged me three weeks later (and I’d forgotten about it so I was confused as to whom it was that text messaged me) to say, “Well I didn’t respond because I met a girl.  But we didn’t work out.  So how about we give it a go?”  I was like oooooh no.  Oh hell no.  I am not plan B, nor am I a consolation prize.  (Now I did not say that to him, actually I lied and I said that I had met someone else and was going off the site.  The going off the site part WAS true.)

    If a guy is going to tell me that he didn’t feel that “instant chemistry” then I’d really rather not bother with him, because it shows a lack of patience and really when it comes down to it, true interest.  If the guy is looking for fireworks, he may want to look for a state that does allow them to be sold.  Otherwise, well that’s probably not going to happen.

  6. 36
    SalsaQ

    @Heather 36
     
    “I didn’t respond because I met a girl.  But we didn’t work out.oooooh no.  Oh hell no.  I am not plan B, nor am I a consolation prize.
     
    You weren’t  plan anything.  You weren’t on the radar.  You were likely passed up  because he already had a date scheduled with someone else when you started. That makes you feel like a consolation prize?  Because he happened to have communicated with someone else first?  Keep working on your thicker skin.
     

  7. 37
    Liz

    @Heather Indeed. I get around 10 contacts per day on Match. Most of them fall outside of what I am looking for or are a wee bit crazy (there is a reason for the report a concern option). I have only gone out on about 10 dates in the last month and a half. Two made it to the elusive 4th date. Yeah practice makes perfect! Online dating is not for the faint of heart–but just emailing doesn’t bother me, its the dating 4-8 times and not progressing that baffles me. 

    One of the four plus dates guys… has pulled away, just as intimacy was on the horizon (that happen to the last one before the last too..hmmm). No phone call since last Monday, just some random texts, and no push to see me this weekend or really communicate. So sadly, I erased his number last night (got to cut your losses and avoid those horrific drunk texts that nothing good can come from). I really DO think it is the most humane thing to do, when you are a guy and not ready for a Long Term thing. Maybe they are chasing chemistry, maybe they want to date for fun, maybe its me, who knows. It could be 100 things, you just try to keep yourself going, be the best you can be, and the best will find you. 

    The other one, literally, I find quite engaging–Almost want to contact Evan about him. Very much my Senior, which I would never have guessed I would fancy. We jokingly commented that we are the 1 percent, looking for the attractive one percent, who are sane, in our proximity, which means our dating pool is .025 of the population. Mind you we are both extremely liberal, registered Democrats, well educated, and do alright for ourselves-so it was partly in jest. But for fun, on Match I looked up my age demographic, then anyone with a Masters or above, and I was sort of taken aback. If this one follows what he married, Harvard Law, and his prior girlfriends, his pickings will be slim. Literally I am one of 17 women between 30-50 with PHD or above, within a 40 mile radius of his home. And believe me my options were equally as limited, within my age range, but above my age range, much more fast and appealing. Maybe it is just not the women chasing Alpha males, but what if an Alpha male wants at least an 8, with a higher degree of education, who is well adjusted, and well rounded, I think his options are equally limiting. 

  8. 38
    Leo

    @Mia

    “But it would be nice to meet more men who think the way I and many women think, which is, Hey, this person and I get along, we have a connection because we can talk about a lot of things and be ourselves, we’re attracted enough to want to have sex, and the person treats me well – what more is there to ask for or expect?”

    I’ve interviewed tons of men lately and asked them why they married their partner.

    The common theme?

    Because she cares. That’s it.

    The hurdle that many single women have to jump through to find a good man isn’t as high as it appears.

  9. 39
    Mia

    Leo, that’s comforting to hear, but the man has to be mature enough and in the right emotional place for a relationship to seek out and appreciate that quality in a partner. Some men have those qualities, some never will, and many won’t develop them for awhile, until they experience enough frustration and disappointment with how things have worked out for them so far. I know it certainly took me a lot of mistakes and disappointments to become a person who, very recently, commited to having much different boundaries than I had in the past, so there must be other men out there who are finally choosing to do things differently after years of unfortunate experiences.

  10. 40
    Ruby

    Leo #39
     
    Plenty of women (and men) have cared greatly for another person and gotten dumped. I don’t think it’s quite that simple.

  11. 41
    LANY

    @LC – 6 and @Liz – 7: Liz, I completely agree with you; you can’t blame men for acting like men, and if someone cant get beyond the desire for ALMOST ANY straight man to sleep with as many women as possible, good luck not being bitter and alone.
    Additionally, what is wrong with “thinking about their own needs” at the earliest points in a relationship?  Do you not focus on *your* own needs when you meet men?  Do you not think “does this guy meet MY needs?” first and foremost?  EVERYONE should only be with someone who meets their needs – and if they don’t meet a potential partners needs is it that other persons responsibility to move on.
    Evan, on another note, my boyfriend and I were at a mutual friend’s housewarming with you and your wife a couple years ago.  He very specifically referred to your wife as “that hot chick over there.”

  12. 42
    Leo

    Mia, I agree. He has to be emotionally ready to be able to embrace what’s coming his way.

    I was only concern about where you were coming from when you said that

    Many men seem to have to experience an instant thunderbolt, with no regard to whether the woman is kind, has her life together, they can be themselves around each other, they have the same values, etc.”

    Most of the men I’ve talked to, don’t fall in this category. They’re not looking for that instant thunderbolt. 

    —-

    Ruby, I’m not saying that if you care for your man, it’s 100% bulletproof and that he’ll never leave you.

    I wish relationships were that easy.

    What I am saying is that if you show that you care and you put him first, he’s way more likely to think that you ARE the prize and that he can’t let you go.

    Is that going to require a leap of faith from you?

    You bet.

     

  13. 43
    Fusee

    @Mia #40: “…so there must be other men out there who are finally choosing to do things differently after years of unfortunate experiences.”
     
    Yes there are. Everyone has a rock bottom! And hitting rock bottom is the condition for evaluation, education, and redirection.
     
    Although it might be more common for women to explore their relationship failures and seek improvement, some men are certainly wiling and able of growth in this area as well. For example, before me my boyfriend had never really been able to move past instant chemistry followed by the inevitable crash shortly after. Then he met me and he was going to follow his usual pattern, but thanks to my gentle way of slowing down the physical progression and therefore the intensity, and my focus on building an emotional connection, he unexpectedly found himself in a trusting and caring relationship before he even went to second base with me. He was shocked, and litterally thanked me for my approach. He validated it BEFORE we even had moved to that second base.
     
    Therefore, although we “do not change men” (and we should not even try), our attitudes, boundaries, and opinions can influence them positively. They can learn quick if they care enough. My boyfriend certainly did, and he still does. And that’s what makes me love him even more.

  14. 44
    Heather

    @ SalsaQ:

    You “might” want to re-read what I wrote, because apparently, you didn’t read it thoroughly enough.  The guy met someone, was DATING her, and didn’t work out.

    So are you saying I should go out with someone who A) saw me as a backup plan and B) was dumb enough to tell me what he did?  I can tell you right now, that I don’t put up with either of the above.  If the girl didn’t work out, fine, but guess what, I DO NOT need to hear that.  That IMO, is rude.  I’d never even consider saying that to a guy.  Great way to bust a guy’s ego and possibly piss him off.

    I’m thinking I don’t need to work on thicker skin as much as you might want to consider reading more carefully before jumping to a conclusion.  Just sayin.

    1. 44.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Heather – Sorry, but SalsaQ is right. Just because a guy fell for some other woman and it didn’t work out isn’t an insult to you. There are millions of happy couples out there who were what you’d call “backups”. The difference is that they let go of their righteous indignation because they were able to put themselves in their partners’ shoes and understand. You still think it’s rude. And as long as you take things personally that aren’t personal, you will struggle in dealing with men.

  15. 45
    Liz

    @Heather, Evan is right, the emails are like little casual conversations on the street with strangers. Sometimes they last awhile, sometimes they are just blips on the screen, and puff they are gone. They have no obligations to you, and you have none to them. I actually think it was honest that he said: I started dating someone, sorry I lost touch, can I take you out now because it blew up in my face. It doesn’t make you a plan B, but it is more of a honest human reaction to the difficult world of dating. Sometimes we go astray. I wouldn’t cast these men off. Two weeks is about my patience level after there has been 4 dates, but if we were just chatting and he popped back up, I would completely go out to dinner.  

  16. 46
    nathan

    Heather, you have no idea how many times this has happened to me, and other men for that matter. Hell, I can recall times when a month or two went by and some woman I’d been writing pops up again, trying to reconnect. It’s really how it is with online dating, by design. People are usually writing more than a few others, setting up dates, going out, etc. Even those of us who tend to try and focus don’t always keep up with it all.
     
    Just because you have a few e-mail exchanges with someone, doesn’t mean they must now commit to dating you on the spot. That’s absolutely absurd. I agree that the guy shouldn’t say anything about other women he was dating, but frankly, if you’re wound up about a gap in correspondence with guys that you have never met, you’re skin is entirely too thin. The idea that you are a “backup plan” is completely faulty. The guy didn’t even know you. He hadn’t even met you. You can only become someone’s backup plan if you actually have spent time together. And I’m not talking about one date here. Otherwise, it’s all just imagined nonsense. You want to be treated special, but until someone gets to know you, all you are to them is pixels and letters on a screen.
     
    Furthermore, let’s turn this around. Do you act like some guy you’ve never met is special after a few e-mails? Do you put all your eggs in a single basket, and never go on dates with anyone else during the process? Do you worry that in going out with X, and delaying a date with Y for a week or two is going to make him think he’s a “backup plan”? Somehow, I seriously doubt it.
     

  17. 47
    Heather

    Well, all I can say is that I respectfully disagree that being told by the guy that he contacted me, because the lady he was dating blew up in his face, basically made me a plan B. 

    I am not asking for “special treatment” as one poster said.  I am asking to be treated with some decency and respect.  Would any of you guys like it if I said to you, “Well, hey, I’m going to hang out with you, because the other friend I was going to hang out with, was unavailable.”?  I’m thinking that not a one of you would appreciate that.  It’s rude.  It’s inconsiderate.

    I do not care if the guy was dating someone else; what mattered to me was that it was presented as if I were plan B, and I feel that I deserve better than to be the guy’s “leftovers.”  If he’d wanted to go out with me, all he’d have had to do was just say, “Sorry for the delay, something came up.”  I’d have been absolutely fine with that.  But because those words were said, it just made me go, yeah NO.  So now he wants to go out with me because some chick blew up in his face.  Nah, no thanks.  I deserve better than someone who’d blurt that out to me.

    And I don’t do double standards; I have never, in my life, ever said something to a guy akin to: “Well, since Mr. X was a flop, sure, I’ll go out with you!” after Guy Y had expressed interest in me as well.  That is just rude.  And my boyfriend agreed with the assessment when we traded dating stories.  He said that the guy clearly was pretty clueless about dating, if he’d go around saying that to a girl. 

    First impressions are everything, and if that’s how a guy is going to start things off, then I’d prefer to meet or talk to someone who at least tries to give the impression that I’m not just some statistic.  I think a number of posters here have stated in earlier threads, that that’s a big problem with online dating, was that they felt they were just a number or just a date in a guy’s or girl’s black book, and nothing more.

  18. 48
    amy

    And I know this has been said before but Evan, your wife is gorgeous. And classy. I don’t get that line in Lori’s book at all. Maybe it was just for literary effect.

  19. 49
    Karl R

    Heather said: (#45)
    “The guy met someone, was DATING her, and didn’t work out.”
    “I’d never even consider saying that to a guy.  Great way to bust a guy’s ego and possibly piss him off.”

    You don’t expect your dates to be honest and open. You consider that behavior to be “rude” and “dumb”.

    You expect your dates to have fragile egos and hot tempers.

    That seems backwards to me.

    Heather said: (#45)
    “It is a one-time only offer.  No rainchecks.  If you didn’t want me then, chances are you probably won’t want me now either, so let’s just cut losses and keep rolling!”

    Between the time I met my fiancée and our first date, I dated four other women, including the woman who introduced us. I may have dated more than four, but I can only remember four.

    After I got to know her better, I decided she was worth dating. And even when we began dating, neither one of us even expected it to be more than a fling.

    Fortunately, our egos are far more robust than yours.

  20. 50
    Evan Marc Katz

    Thanks to everyone who had nice things to say about my wife. Obviously, I’m a big fan. But I do understand and acknowledge Lori Gottlieb’s initial impression of her. She’s not overwhelmingly gorgeous, brilliant or impressive. What makes her special is what’s on the inside – qualities that wouldn’t be readily apparent on Match.com or on a first date. I’m very lucky I took the time to discover them and that I chose to make her my wife. I very easily could have missed the boat. This is why I’m so vocal and evangelical about dating coaching.

  21. 51
    Ruby

    The OP wwrote, “We had lunch a few times. I had been looking at this as a friendship and then, yes you guessed it, he informed me I was invited over any time to have dinner and fornication. I told him I do not make a habit out of sleeping with my friends and politely declined.”
    This man doesn’t sound like much of a friend to me. Nothing wrong with staying “friends” (and I use the term loosely) with someone you dated so casually if you like them, and don’t care, but this guy really sounds like a self-absorbed jackass. Surely Cheryl can find kinder friends than this. As for his comments, consider the source.
    @ Heather
    The acquaintance I posted about in #5 initially broke up with the woman he married to date someone else that he felt more chemistry with. But after months of dating her, he realized that she had major issues. He had stayed in very casual contact with the first woman, and decided to try again with her after a couple of years. During that period, his mindset about what he needed to be happy had changed. In that case, Plan B turned out to be the correct option.

  22. 52
    sarahrahrah!

    This is a very interesting post and discussion.

    Though I agree that the guy in question was tactless, I do think that there are some people who are very in tune with their preferences, know what they want and are able to quickly recognize in others the qualities that they highly value.  Does it work for a long-term relationship?  I have no idea, but I do think that some studies from speed dating show that people can quickly size up whom they’d be compatible with a good degree of accuracy.

    It seems to me that people talk about chemistry in terms of initial face-to-face interaction and the visual perception of attraction.  What about when two people find each other to be decently attractive, but then experience chemistry when people get close enough to kiss and smell each other?  It seems to me that this is a big part of chemistry and ongoing physical compatibility.  Do any other people put much weight into this?  Men or just women?  It feels so great when it’s “good” that it seems difficult to me to brush this aspect aside.  I’m curious as to how much stock others put into this and how it has played out for them in the long term.  

    I’ve had really great chemistry (sex) with only a few people in my life and ,in one circumstance, it felt like a transcendent experience.  Despite this, it was full of drama and wasn’t worth the price.  Since I’m still relatively new to dating, I’m curious how other passionate people have found a healthy balance between “chemistry” and a healthy relationship.  Can’t people have a passionate relationship and still be compatible in other ways?

  23. 53
    nathan

    Heather, few people make a perfect first impression, and at least some of the time, first impressions are totally useless indicators of future behavior. The guy that sweeps a woman off her feet and then suddenly vanishes. The guy who makes all the right moves, gets her in the sack, and then bails. The guy who gives you the thunderbolt, then proceeds to make your life a living drama hell. There’s a few of these kind of posts on here a month. And that’s just this blog. 
     
    I love Ruby’s example above, and it’s one that I’ve heard more than a few times. People grow up, and their priorities change. Sometimes in a matter of months or a few years.
     
    “It is a one-time only offer.  No rainchecks.  If you didn’t want me then, chances are you probably won’t want me now either, so let’s just cut losses and keep rolling!  I just don’t have time anymore to sit around and go duh gee, does he like me?  Will he call me?  If he doesn’t, then hey, onward and upward!” Statements like this make me think that the particular incident with the “plan b” guy wasn’t just about his failure to politely lie to you (that’s really what you wanted there, that he lie about why he didn’t get back to you for 3 weeks.) No, it strikes me that any man who doesn’t respond post haste is chucked from consideration. There are plenty of legitimate complaints to be made about online dating, but this idea of wanting to placed first and given full attention before you’ve even met the other person is really out of whack.

  24. 54
    Nicole

    I would think that the only thing a man knows after just one date is whether or not he wants to see you naked.  And you know the answer to that question if he calls for a 2nd…

  25. 55
    Hailey

    I can understand where Heather is coming from, it can be disheartening to hear a guy tell you that he has been mia because he met and pursued another girl he was interested in, and since that didnt work out, he would like to give you a go.  that just doesnt scream romance. but it is reality, it happens more than we know of in the crazy world of dating. of course, ignorance can be bliss instances like this, and unless pressed on why you went mia, i would suggest a guy not share that info.  however if it is shared, i would suggest a woman understand it happens, whether to her or the millions of other singles, and to not take it so personally. he may have been blinded by the other woman thinking she was something she was not, but now maybe the blinders are off and he can see you for just how special you are. regardless, honesty is refreshing, and if he is open and honest about what was going on (without you even having to ask!), he might just be of good character. im sure he didnt mean it to hurt your feelings, perhaps it was a bonehead move, but if you like him, give him a shot.

  26. 56
    Mini

    Amused by this whole plan B thread. Last year I was exchanging messages on OkCupid with a fellow who looked cute and had a reasonably appealing profile. He didn’t seem really gung-ho to meet, and I had started dating someone, so I sent him a note basically saying, I like you and I’m enjoying our conversation, but I started dating someone and I feel like I should give it a decent shot, so let’s hold off on meeting. He admitted he was in the same situation.
     
    Six weeks later, it wasn’t working out and I sent him another note suggesting we meet. We did. We hit it off. 
     
    This year we bought a house and moved in together. I feel like I’ve found the love of my life. We’re blissfully happy together and feel that it’s for keeps. 
     
    I’m glad he didn’t get huffy about being my plan B… The other guy simply got there first, and at the time I didn’t know either of them well enough to know who was right for me. I figured it out.

  27. 57
    nathan

    “I can understand where Heather is coming from, it can be disheartening to hear a guy tell you that he has been mia because he met and pursued another girl he was interested in, and since that didnt work out, he would like to give you a go.  that just doesnt scream romance.” This is one of the reasons why I advocate that people recognize online dating is NOT the same as meeting people in your personal or professional circle. I could understand feeling disheartened if you met someone through a friend, at a party, at work, etc. and had started developing a connection, and then found out they chose someone else, it didn’t work out, and now they wanted to try it out with you. It still shouldn’t be the end of the world, but it would make sense to have such a response and question what their decision means, given that you’d already met and started developing a connection. The same kind of reaction, to someone who has just e-mailed you a few times and is a complete stranger otherwise, doesn’t make any sense. I’m not saying people shouldn’t feel what they feel. I’m saying that given the facts, it’s wise to override those kind of reactions because they aren’t offering any useful information to you.
     
    Furthermore, I would argue that the whole structure and function of online dating is NOT romantic. It’s designed for people to have lots of choices, learn some basic information about each other before they ever meet, and be able to ask and set up dates with minimal risk. The process isn’t sexy. The initial “meeting” stories rarely make for a good romantic comedy. Which doesn’t mean that there isn’t any romance – there’s plenty of romance when connections are right. But it’s not usually found in the process of meeting up. The romantic pieces are often delayed because – again – you are total strangers, pixels and words on a screen. Forgive the repetition, but it’s kind of interesting how many people – women and men – still seem to act as if online dating is exactly the same as meeting people in their “regular” lives.

    1. 57.1
      Amal

      Nathan,
      Give it a rest, Heather IS entitled to how she feels!

  28. 58
    miskwa

    @Heather and others
    Yep, I have found that the best way to deal with on line guys is to stay in a state of detachment until you meet numerous times and there is a chance of something serious. I think most of the time, these dudes are merely seeking attention or an ego stroke. After one date, men (and often women) fall in lust, not love. That takes months of knowing one another. I too have fallen victim to intense chemistry but still didn’t act on it till I knew who I was dealing with. I have had to dump some very good looking guys that turned out to have major character issues (racism, unethical behavior, dishonesty) and, like a previous poster, I am one of those highly educated, highly motivated types that will never have many matches on a dating site (my age range is 55-75). Still, staying with someone who may be strongly attracted to you physically but is impossible to build a real life with isn’t worth the agony.

  29. 59
    Mia

    No offense to anyone here, but I’m getting a real kick out of hearing about people who are turning down meet up opportunities bc they just started dating someone. If I’m meeting someone online, it takes longer and more dates to decide on exclusivity than in real life. I would never cut off my options or decline to hang out with someone reasonably appealing until I was asked to be someone’s girlfriend. Disappearing acts are so rampant that it would feel laughable and presumptous to do otherwise. Anyone you’ve been seeing less than 3 months is a high flight risk. If the guy hasn’t offered me exclusivity, I am not exactly going to be sitting on my hands waiting and turning down other opportunities – though no sex with more than one at a time.  

  30. 60
    Liz

    “High flight risk if less than 3 months dating” is my new mantra! This is a great way to look at all of it. LOVE IT!   

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