How Do You Respond if a Guy Disappears and Follows Up a Week Later?

I know that, if a man isn’t reaching back out within a day or so of your last date, it’s because he doesn’t care to do so. However, when the guy sends a follow-up message 5-7 days later, what’s the best way to respond?

Thanks,

Ashleigh

I wrote about this at length in this post but I’ll summarize it here.

We are all someone’s second choice.

We are all someone’s second choice.

Unless you married the first guy you swiped right on, you, like the rest of us, have gone through hundreds, if not thousands of profiles.

There are good men and bad men. Honest men and shady men. Relationship-oriented men and player men. And you know what? Sometimes men can be BOTH once.

I can only speak for myself here, but there were times that I was perfectly content hooking up without commitment and there were times I was earnestly looking for love.

Furthermore, there were women that inspired me to want to commit, and other women who were cute enough for a fling but not girlfriend material in my mind.

This is not gender-specific, by the way.

So, to be your own dating coach, flip things around.

Have you ever been talking to three guys at once, had one that was your favorite, gone all-in on him and POOF, he disappeared or turned out to be a jerk?

If so, does that mean that you were “wrong” for choosing him? No. Does that mean that you were rude to focus your attentions on him as opposed to the other two guys? No. Does that mean that you are flaky or insensitive or not looking for love because your Plan A backfired on you? No. So if you went back to the two men after a week and said, “Hey, sorry I disappeared, but I’m back now if you want to hang out this weekend,” would you be right to expect a guy to get angry at you and tell you off because he’s nobody’s second choice?

I sure hope not.

There’s no room for pride in dating. It’s a big revolving door and people come and go. The more you can embrace that instead of taking things personally, the more success you’ll have in this medium. The more you cast judgment on someone who is likely doing the same thing you’re doing, the less likely you will make a special connection.

There’s no room for pride in dating.

Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. When a guy comes back after a week, just act like nothing happened at all. Because it didn’t.

 

 

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Clare

    Again, I’ll reference Matthew Hussey here. He gives some pretty sage advice about not taking it personally when someone is flaky in the very early stages of dating. The other person doesn’t really know you yet, hasn’t discovered all of your great and special qualities yet, doesn’t know how happy you could potentially make them.

    So why take it personally if they don’t come in all raring to go right out of the gate?

    I definitely don’t stress about it if I don’t hear from a guy for a few days after a first date. In fact, even if I don’t hear from them for 2 weeks after a first date, I don’t see it as anything to worry about. If we’ve only had one or two dates, I look at the guy as more of a friend that I’ve just met where we don’t yet have any obligation to each other.

    The nice thing about the early stage where you are just dating is that you can take it slow. People reveal themselves over time, and the longer you have to observe a person, the more you can see of who they truly are. I can understand being anxious if you’ve been on 12 dates with a guy in 2 months and he shows no signs of wanting any kind of commitment, but just one or 2 dates? You’ve literally *just* met.

    1. 1.1
      Adrian

      Hi Clare,

      I don’t know… What you say sounds good in ‘confidence theory 101’ but in reality (at least for me) when you really like someone and you’re really excited by them then it’s not so easy to be so nonchalant about their apparent lack of enthusiasm to reachout to you after what you thought was a good date.

      So perhaps you are just really strong or you haven’t met a guy who really left you feeling happy and excited after the first date. I’ll admit that as an adult I haven’t felt this yet myself since I started back dating but back when I was dating in college I had serval first dates that left me feeling this way.

      Now that we are older I wonder how much of our dispassion about the results of a date is due to our being older and wiser and how much of it is actually attributed to our fears, pride, our past, and simply because we go on the date already having low expectations?

      1. 1.1.1
        Clare

        Adrian,

        “What you say sounds good in ‘confidence theory 101’ but in reality (at least for me) when you really like someone and you’re really excited by them then it’s not so easy to be so nonchalant about their apparent lack of enthusiasm to reachout to you after what you thought was a good date.”

        It’s actually really not that difficult. For me, it was a mindset shift which came from listening to people like Evan and Matthew Hussey, and also just my own experience of people.

        That sense of “hurt” and “rejection” that you describe (as evidenced by your choice of words “their apparent lack of enthusiasm”) is predicated on the assumption that their behaviour is about you in some way. It’s narcissistic at its core. (To be clear, I’m not saying you are narcissistic, or that people are in any malicious or ill-intentioned when I say “narcissistic.”) Most people are simply unaware of how self-involved they are… they think that other people must always be reacting to them, and they feel hurt as a result.

        But what if that person’s behaviour literally had NOTHING to do with you. The truth of the matter is that they hardly know you… in fact, they don’t know you. And if they have a whole lot of other important things vying for their attention in their life right now, what motivation have they got to push you to the top of the list?

        What difference does it make if someone you have just met only contacts you again after 5 days or a week? Maybe their aunt got sick in hospital. Maybe their sister moved house and needed their help. Maybe they had a huge deadline at work and needed to put in a few late hours. For a girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse, you’d make time to check in with the person and see them, but for someone you’ve just met? C’mon.

        I look at it this way – I don’t know this person. We’ve had one date. I have no idea what’s going on in their life. I don’t have my feelings invested yet, and neither do they. Now which perspective protects my ego and serves me better: 1) the idea that he or she had some stuff going on which they needed to take care of, but liked me enough to remember that we had a great time and has expressed interest made time to contact me and set up another date? or 2) The idea that he or she simply chose not to contact me for 5 whole days because they decided they didn’t like me that much but eventually got desperate and had nothing better to do.

        I have an abundance mindset, Adrian. And I do anything, and I really do mean ANYTHING, to protect my self-esteem. And I am never short of guys asking me out.

        1. Vanessa

          I definitely agree with Clare, but I’ve experienced the same mindset as Adrian. In the past once I met a great guy I would almost immediately get really excited about him and start picturing our future together, haha. I usually was left disappointed.

          After reading a lot of EMK and other dating advice, I’ve come to shift my mindset as well. You have to just live in the moment. If you have a fantastic first date, learn to absorb and enjoy the moment without worrying about when you’ll get a follow up text. If you have a great first date AND he texts you back soon after, well, even more fantastic. It’s like in the movie “He’s Just Not That Into You”(the book was also a big help for me), when the main character rips up the guy’s business card and confidently(at first) says, “If he wants to talk to me, he’ll call.”

          EMK’s advice to “do nothing” is golden. It takes SO MUCH pressure off of you to just sit back and let a guy show his interest. You had a great first date, but he’s taken his time texting you or calling you to tell you? Well, it could be for the reasons Clare mentioned, or any other number of reasons, but why waste energy trying to figure it out? Keep on living your life and if the guy wants to delay texting or making it apparent he’s interested in you, we have the very handy tool of online dating that gives you a wide variety of other potential suitors. You may just meet someone else who shares your excitement in the time the first guy takes to text you back. If you do, nobody was in the wrong, but it’s definitely his loss.

        2. ScottH

          It’s narcissistic at its core.

          I’d say its ego centric which is way different than narcissism

  2. 2
    Selena

    “When a guy comes back after a week, just act like nothing happened at all. Because it didn’t.”

    If someone waited a week to follow up after our last date, I’d think he wasn’t very interested in me. Easy enough to act as though nothing happened because nothing did, but I don’t know how enthused I’d be about going out with him again. It wouldn’t occur to me I was “second choice”, more like he was only interested in seeing me if he had nothing better to do. Adjust any expectations accordingly.

    1. 2.1
      Adrian

      Hello Selena,

      Would you reach out to the guy within that week period?

      1. 2.1.1
        Selena

        Hello Adrian,

        Would you reach out to the guy within that week period?

        It would depend on how long I knew him and how much time we had spent together. And how much communication between dates.

        I want/prefer men to take the lead in dating. I don’t start initiating contact, suggesting things, until we have spent more time together,  4-6 weeks typically. Maybe sooner depending on how well we were acquainted before we started dating.

        The letter referenced is very general.  The LW doesn’t specify the number of dates, how long she knew the man, the level of communication before the date(s), or how she met the guy.

        Without any of that info, it seems –to me-the fellow isn’t all that interested. Basically, I believe people who ARE interested show it, because they don’t want the other person to lose interest in them! Letting a week go by without any communication after a date,  reads meh…if not a bow out.

         

    2. 2.2
      sylvana

      Selena,

      I’m with you. And while I know being “good enough” or the second choice can sometimes work out, oftentimes it just means you’ll get replaced the moment someone better comes along.

      Same way I wouldn’t go back to getting in touch with one of my “other” two choices after actively pursuing the “first” choice, and lucking out. If would feel too much like game-playing to me. Like keeping the others on the backburner in case the one I actually want doesn’t work out.

      It’s either stay in contact with all three of them equally, or decide on one, and let the others go.

       

    3. 2.3
      No Name To Give

      I thought a guy who’s really into you will follow up as quickly as possible to see you again. So like Selena, if he doesn’t, I would assume, for whatever reason, he was not interested. At that point I mentally move on because I shouldn’t be emotionally involved yet. Maybe for some it’s a matter of pride. But if someone’s not interested in me, no problem, I’m not going to be liked by everyone. But I’m probably going to have a more difficult time connecting with that person too. I’m not mad at him and don’t hate him I’ve just moved on with life.

       

  3. 3
    Adrian

    Honestly the more I learn about dating the more it seems like we sabotage our own path to success with getting into a relationships, and one of the biggest culprits is pride.

    I mean if she liked the guy why not just message him first to see what is going on?

    Is this mirroring? Is this testing to see how much the guy is into her?

    Or is it just that some women are too prideful to call a man first, risk exposing how much they like him (without knowing how he feels about them first), and risk getting rejected directly?

    As Evan says it’s not a gender thing, we men sabotage our happiness because of pride also.

    1. 3.1
      Emily, the original

      Hi Adrian,

      I mean if she liked the guy why not just message him first to see what is going on?

      She can certainly shoot him a text, but wouldn’t you say, if he was really into her, that he’d be contacting her himself a lot sooner than a week later? It’s just disappointing for her if she really liked him. By him waiting a week, he’s let her know she’s on standby. Which is fine if he’s on standby for her.

    2. 3.2
      Clare

      Adrian,

      Admittedly I can’t speak for other women, but I would never do that (call a guy first after a first date if I hadn’t heard from him), and it has nothing to do with pride.

      It has to do with the fact that I have got to know the way men tick when it comes to dating and relationships quite well – through a combination of reading, listening to coaches and my own extensive experience with men and dating. And there is one absolutely irrefutable conclusion that I have come to: guys do not need this push early on in the dating process. They are not sitting at home waiting for you to call them, with their feelings hurt if you don’t, wondering why you haven’t called etc. etc. No.

      Men do what they want to do. As Evan (and others) say over and over and over again.

      A guy who wants to see you again will call or text you. You know why? Because it’s not very hard. A man who likes a woman will pick up the phone. Moreover, men prefer this. I don’t think I have ever met a man who truly liked being pursued by a woman early on in the dating stage. Some men think they would like that, but they quickly become passive, skeptical or disinterested. Men do enjoy being the initiators and it works better.

      It is also far better for the woman if the forward movement comes from the man in the beginning stages. If he is making an effort to set up and go on dates with her (without sex), this is by far the biggest assurance that she has that he is interested in a relationship.

      Again, the overwhelming weight of my experience in dating has been that a woman does not need to follow up with contact with a guy who likes her. He will do it, even if he takes a little longer than she might like. And it’s definitely worth letting him do it. I’m not saying it can never work if a woman follows up with a guy, but a guy who likes her will not be waiting for her to do that.

       

      1. 3.2.1
        shaukat

        I don’t think I have ever met a man who truly liked being pursued by a woman early on in the dating stage. Some men think they would like that, but they quickly become passive, skeptical or disinterested.

         

        Sorry Clare, but I have to disagree with your statement above (I have no problem with the rest of your comment). That assertion of yours is indeed based on a desire to protect your pride, though it might be subconscious. Women have extremely fragile egos when it comes to overt rejection I’ve found (not ‘passive’ rejection).

        No man who is actually legitimately interested in you would ever be turned off by you reaching out first via text (or email, etc). In fact, it takes the pressure off, and you don’t even have to ask him out when you contact him. If it hasn’t worked for you in the past the guys in question likely had a low interest level to begin with. Also, what’s your sample size here, 3, maybe 4 attempts? Lol. If only men gave up that quickly after rejection…no one would ever date:)

        1. Clare

          Shaukat,

          What you say is interesting, and since you’re a man, I feel I have an obligation to really consider it 🙂

          My sample size is significantly larger than 3 or 4. I’m actually someone who doesn’t fear rejection in dating, and I have tried all kinds of things with enthusiasm in the past, just for the fun of it. I’ve dated (gone on one or more dates with) maybe around 50 guys since my divorce in 2009. So certainly with some of them I’ve tried contacting them if I hadn’t heard from them.

          I’d agree with you that a man who was truly into you wouldn’t be put off if you contacted him, and this has been my experience… Men who really liked me seemed to *love* it if they got a call or text from me.

          However, what we’re talking about here in reference to the OP’s letter is the very early stages of dating: one maybe two dates. Most often, the guy doesn’t really know if he’s into you yet, and you don’t know if you’re really into him. It’s extremely low investment at this stage. At this stage, you’re really just seeing if you want to spend more time together, and people shouldn’t kid themselves that it’s anything more. So, sure, if a guy didn’t want to see me again after one or two dates I would smart a bit. But hurt my ego? Come on. Should I feel rejected by someone who doesn’t even know me yet? At this stage of the dating process I have other guys asking me out. My ego is not that fragile.

        2. sylvana

          Shaukat,

          This!

          And you’re actually a man? Learn something new every day… ha ha.

      2. 3.2.2
        Nissa

        @Adrian –

        What Clare said: Men do what they want to do. 

        100% correct. And don’t think it’s restricted to Clare – it happened to me on Friday. A nice fellow gave me his number and asked me to “text so we can chat”. I texted him my number and a time I’d be available. No call – it’s been three days. Guess what I did? That’s right – nothing. He has my number and made a choice.

        Should I be hurt? Should I text him so that he knows it’s ok if something came up? The problem with that is that it skips entirely over something important: he’s a grown man who I assume is perfectly capable of using a phone – so if he’s not doing that, it’s a choice. And who am I to decide it’s a wrong choice? Maybe he just changed his mind – that happens too. Either way, my assumption is, he knows where to find me – and if he wants to he will, if he doesn’t, he won’t. I’ll be fine either way.

        1. sylvana

          Nissa,

          yes… but you DID text him. (I hope you also included a description of who you are).

        2. Nissa

          @Sylvana – ha, you made me look. Yes, I did include my name and the name of the site on which he had messaged me. He sent me back an emoji, indicating he had gotten the text. The actions I took were a response to him, not an initiation.

      3. 3.2.3
        shaukat

        Hi Clare,

        Regarding this point:

        Men who really liked me seemed to *love* it if they got a call or text from me.

        Yes, this is all I was talking about. However, I disagree that in the early stages of dating (one or two dates) a man isn’t sure about how he feels. Obviously, neither person really knows at that stage whether you would each be compatible in the long-term, but in terms of attraction, emotional connection, and chemistry, it’s enough time for him to know he’s ‘really into you.’ To be clear, I was not suggesting that you ask him on a second date, just make contact and flirt or ask a question, etc.

        It’s true that some men might say that they are turned off by such behavior, but again, it’s not the behavior per se, they’re just using it as an excuse. One analogy that I think makes sense here is when a guy calls the day after the first date. I know many guys who don’t do this because they think it’s needy and pushy, and ‘kills attraction.’ However, as Evan has pointed out before, the phone call itself doesn’t make the difference. If a woman is really into the guy, she’s excited he called the next day , if she isn’t, she may call it needy behavior to rationalize her decision. Same principle.

        @Sylvana,

        Yes, I’m a man…did my previous posts come across as feminine?;)

        1. Emily, the original

          Shaukat,

          However, I disagree that in the early stages of dating (one or two dates) a man isn’t sure about how he feels. Obviously, neither person really knows at that stage whether you would each be compatible in the long-term, but in terms of attraction, emotional connection, and chemistry, it’s enough time for him to know he’s ‘really into you.’ 

          Totally agree. You know enough after a date or two if you’re interested and if you have first and/or second dates with several people, you are (man or woman) making a conscious decision about who you’d prefer to see again.

      4. 3.2.4
        Tron Swanson

        Clare,

        I can only speak for myself, but I’ve never enjoyed being the initiator. And I have absolutely sat at home, my feelings hurt, wondering why the woman in question hasn’t contacted me.

        1. Emily, the original

          Tron,

          I can only speak for myself, but I’ve never enjoyed being the initiator.

          But most women like a man to do most of the initiating, particularly in the beginning. It certainly evens out once you’ve been together for a bit, but a man initiating usually turns them on.

        2. Clare

          Thank you, Tron.

          You proved my point better than I could. You are exactly the type of guy I try to avoid in the dating world.

          I (and most of the women I know) am looking for a masculine man, one who is strong and confident, who values my feelings and is willing to put in the effort. This latest comment of yours is just further proof (as if any was needed) that this is not the type of man you are.

          For me, a man who would sit at home feeling hurt and wondering why a woman hasn’t contacted him when he has full use of his own thumbs and fingers is whiny and definitely not a good match for me.

        3. Tom10

          @ Tron
          “I’ve never enjoyed being the initiator. And I have absolutely sat at home, my feelings hurt, wondering why the woman in question hasn’t contacted me”.
           
          Hahaha; good man Tron.
           
          I can just imagine you waiting nervously by your phone waiting for it to ring; then being so disappointed when it’s mom calling.
           
          I used to do all the initiating when I was younger; however, I generally let women do the initiating now because, well, it’s much easier to let someone else do it isn’t it? Also why take the risk when she’s prepared to take it instead?
           
          Objectively, I don’t think this dynamic leads to great relationships (whatever that means), but if a man has enough choice that he can afford not to initiate then good for him.

        4. Tron Swanson

          Emily,

          “But most women like a man to do most of the initiating…”

          Yes, and once upon a time, most men liked women to do all sorts of things that weren’t actually good for them. And, when most women modernized and stopped doing those things, we learned to cope. I’m sure you could do the same.

          Clare,

          I’m painfully aware that most women aren’t looking for a man like me. I’ll make a prediction, though: women will try to find a guy who’s a mixture of traditional and modern, strong and sensitive…and the vast majority will fail, because guys like that are very rare. Instead, most women will have to settle for one or the other. I’m glad I’m not out there hunting for unicorns.

          Tom10,

          I don’t have a ton of choices, but I do have dignity, time, and energy, and I’d rather not waste those things chasing women that I’m likely not compatible with.

        5. Nissa

          @Tron,

          In general, she hasn’t called you because she is expecting you to call her.

        6. Emily, the original

          Tron,

          Yes, and once upon a time, most men liked women to do all sorts of things that weren’t actually good for them. And, when most women modernized and stopped doing those things, we learned to cope. I’m sure you could do the same.

          I’m not interested in “coping” when it comes to a man initiating. “I’ve got your number and I’ll call you to set up a time to hang out” is always preferred to “You have my number. Call me if you want to hang out.” A solid offer versus passive flim flam.

        7. Emily, the original

          Tron,

          I bring up the man initiating because you always write you only want casual sex. A man initiating turns most women on. The sex will be better if you initiate. (Unless, of course, you just wait for women to come after you, but you may not like the women who do. And even the women who will do most of the heavy lifting want the man to do something.)

        8. Tron Swanson

          Emily,

          Luckily for you, men were willing to cope when it came time to (mostly) give up certain traditions and cultural norms that benefited us. But I’m not surprised that you want the best of both worlds.

          Also, I like sex, but I like my time, energy, and dignity even more.

        9. Emily, the original

          Tron, 

          But I’m not surprised that you want the best of both worlds.

          Yes, Tron Swanson. Like all women, I want it all, and I want it now.

        10. shaukat

          Luckily for you, men were willing to cope when it came time to (mostly) give up certain traditions and cultural norms that benefited us. But I’m not surprised that you want the best of both worlds.

          Tron, you’ve repeatedly made this argument via this analogy about outdated traditional expectations placed on women, but I think it’s a bad analogy.

          When you talk about the relaxation of certain norms in relation to female behavior, I take it you’re referring to the cultural expectation that women stay home, remain docile, serve as housewives etc? First, many men, millions in fact, still do have that expectation, they’re just not found (for the most part) in cosmopolitan areas. But secondly, the reason such norms were relaxed is because women fought for certain reproductive legal rights, for legal access to the labor market, for equal pay, and legal equality, and as a result men had to adapt.

          However, when you refer to certain gender norms, you’re talking about cultural expectations surrounding masculinity, which many women find attractive, but which aren’t legally enforced, so it’s apples and oranges. A better analogy is this: men still have certain cultural expectations surrounding feminine behavior/traits, such as a woman being thin/fit (maintaining such figures through dieting if necessary), acting in a playful, flirtatious manner, dressing a certain way, shaving etc, would you be willing to relax those cultural expectations? Would you sleep with an overweight woman, since men in certain non-Western cultures find that attractive? I doubt it, and I’m not blaming you, but maybe stop faulting women for having certain preferences when it comes to male behavior?

          Now, if you’re talking about courting, I absolutely agree that women who work should really stop expecting that on first dates, but that’s a different issue…

        11. Shaukat

          Also Tron, are you really that risk averse that you won’t take thirty seconds writing a text to a woman, which may or may not go unanswered, especially if you’re just looking for casual sex? And if you’re really that big of a pussy, what makes you think you’re entitled to any?;)

        12. Tron Swanson

          Shaukat,

          I’m willing to compromise on certain cultural expectations for women, as I obviously don’t meet certain cultural expectations for men. I’ve never cared how women dress, or if they act stereotypically feminine or not. Outside of physical-attraction-related stuff (which, to me, is more about biology than culture), I don’t care much about expectations.

          Not texting someone isn’t (just) me being risk-averse, it’s the principle and symbolism of the thing. If you’re the one that’s forced to act, it means the other one has the power and control. I’d rather do nothing, and gain nothing, than give up power and control in order to get something.

          Finally, I don’t think I’m entitled to anything. If someone puts the effort in, and gets into an arrangement or relationship with agreed-upon terms, yes, entitlement comes into play. But that isn’t my situation.

        13. Sandra

          @Shakuat,

          I think Tron’s aversion/refusal to initiate is his way of putting the onus completely on the woman should she think it is anything more than casual.

          If the woman contacts him, he knows he probably already has it in the bag with little effort and no responsibility.  I think he knows what he is doing and prefers it stay that way.

        14. Emily, the original

          Sandra,

          If the woman contacts him, he knows he probably already has it in the bag with little effort and no responsibility.  I think he knows what he is doing and prefers it stay that way.

          Yeah, agree. But as many male posters have commented on, they don’t get hit on that much. They usually have to do the approaching. I’m guessing here, but unless you’re a rock star, women don’t line up so you can just pick the one you want for a nsa 10-minute sex session. A man (or woman, for that matter) who does nothing gets nothing.

    3. 3.3
      Lisa

      I am a type A woman and aggressive in work and I followed the same approach in dating that you suggest. If I liked a man and enjoyed myself I would follow up myself, not want for him to, but it never worked out.  The men got turned off, they want to take the lead.  It has happened to far too many of my other friends as well for there to not be something to it. I followed the mirroring idea that Evan recommends and it’s how I met my fiance.   So it works. I think many men think that they want the women to pursue but really don’t.

    4. 3.4
      Nissa

      @Adrian,

      I’ll give you an example of this not being about pride. When I met the man I ended up marrying, I considered myself modern and straightforward. I didn’t see any reason why a woman wouldn’t ask out a man she found attractive, pay her own way on dates or have any specific time frame for sexual behavior (clearly I have massively changed since then).

      When I met my husband, he was with his girlfriend at the time. I felt an immediate attraction within 5 minutes, even though I thought that objectively he was “ordinary” and not especially good looking. His girlfriend had to leave early the night I met him, but he came back and talked to me for a long time that night (no touchy feely or kissing). I found out where he worked and went to talk to him (I was clearly pursuing him). We talked a bit and he admitted that while they had been dating for 3 months, he knew she was not “the one”. I told him I was interested in him in a non friend way, gave him my number, and told him to call me when he broke up with her. A few months later, he broke up with her and called me, which led to an LTR and marriage. He paid for every date, and was patient in regard to sexual activity, so I thought that he was interested and invested. However, when it came time to buy me a ring, he told me to just pick out one I liked….by myself…and I paid for it too as he wasn’t well off. What I took to be sexual patience may well have been more a result of his general reluctance to initiate…much of anything.

      So here we have an example of immediate attraction and immediate knowing that he was “attractive enough“. That attraction grew over time and he became handsome to me based on connection. So I would argue that it’s not whether someone is initially good looking enough, or that attraction grows – both can occur.

      It’s also an example of how our first interactions shape our relationship. My ex rarely initiated exchanges, preferring to give me his number and telling me I could call. Because he did not make much money, dates were often just a shared fast food meal (as opposed to a mutual interest, like golf, biking or dancing). Basically he was willing to buy drinks or food for his company, male or female, as part of “social time”. Over time, he became less available, leaving me to try to call multiple times trying to catch him or to leave a message. He would speak about the future in general but almost never make the plans – he would tell me to “set that up”, leaving me to make all the plans, guess what he wanted, only to have him decline doing most of what I wanted to do. He would agree to what I wanted, yet never make time to do it or tell me “can’t you do that with your friends or your mom?”. I ended up having to chase him throughout the relationship, trying to get the attention of someone who held me at arm’s length. I ended up married to someone who was much less interested and invested than I was.

      As a woman, my intention in dating is to find a man who wants a relationship in which he initiates, plans, pursues and has a high level of interest. I only know that, if he DOES that. Guessing about his possible intentions gets me nowhere. If I could swallow my pride and know that, I would, but what people say is often less true than what their actions reveal. Relying on a man’s willingness to take action is the best indicator – which is why you see us insisting on it.

      1. 3.4.1
        Marika

        Hi Nissa

        Relying on a man’s willingness to take action is the best indicator – which is why you see us insisting on it.

        While I understand your general point and that the way things start out can set the general tone of the relationship….I have to disagree with the above as a blanket statement.

        My ex husband pursued me hard. Wanted to be around me all the time, was funny about my ex boyfriend, kept asking me when I was going to tell my family we were dating, told me he loved me very quickly, pushed for sex…was basically the opposite of your ex..and it all turned out very badly.

        I think having blanket rules or expectations can be dangerous. I think it’s best if both people are showing interest and doing some level of pursuing.

        1. Emily, the original

          Marika,

          My ex husband pursued me hard. 

          I can’t speak for Nissa, but I there’s of course a happy medium. I want a man to show interest. That doesn’t mean I want him to come at me like a freight train. I think men who do that are needy and need immediate reassurance you’re all in. It creeps me out. Steady interest and increasing  communication/amount of time spent together that build over time is best. But not appearing, disappearing and reappearing like he’s playing hokey pokey.

    5. 3.5
      Jane

      I do do that sometimes – I reach out, or text first – not excessively but enough to say hey I’m around and I liked you (obviously). I think I am confident enough  and so set against the head games I text whenever I want. However getting back into the dating pool now I’m doing some research and all the dating coaches seem to have one thing in common – don’t appear too eager, let the guy take the lead, let him text first Etc.. It has games written all over – at least in my mind.  I just want a guy who texts, whom I can text whenever without worrying he would get turned off as he knows of my interest and therefore loses interest. Men like a challenge. I just want something simple where I Dotn have to worry about that shit

  4. 4
    Gala

    Honestly this is exactly the problem with dating these days. Everybody is reduced to “just an option”. We are advised to not “take it personally”? How else should we take it then, and if dating is not “personal”, what on earth is anymore? At 36 I am old enough, I guess, to remember the “good old times” when guys saw ONE girl who they decided they liked, and pursued her – one at a time, not juggling 10 girls in a chat seeing which one they’d be able to hook up with faster. No, count me out. If I am “just an option” to a guy, he’s nothing at all to me.

    1. 4.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Gala

      No, count me out. If I am “just an option” to a guy, he’s nothing at all to me.

      Are women not maintaining options on dating sites?  I have had women respond to initial contact messages weeks after they were sent.  I can tell that they are active, so it is not like they were away for a length of time.

      The cold, hard truth is the both sexes are juggling lots of conversations on a dating site because everyone is looking to optimize the experience. The difference is because guys are usually the pursuer, they give up their options when they focus on one women.  A woman never gives up her options because the messages continue to flow in until she removes her profile (hiding does not stop men who previously messaged her before she hide her profile).  She may not be responding to these suitors, but she maintains her options.  That is the reality men have to accept on a dating site, so they tend to keep women in the hole.

      As mentioned above, I have had women respond weeks after I sent my initial contact message.  These women are usually first choices. What does a guy do when one a first choice woman responds after he has been on a date with a second choice woman?  He more than likely spends enough time getting to know her via messaging and/or telephone conversations to risk throwing the woman he dated over the weekend away.  As harsh as that sounds, that is reality on a dating site.  Women engage in the same behavior.  Online dating is not for the faint of heart.

      1. 4.1.1
        Gala

        Women are as guilty of this behavior and this is not a problem with men or women, rather with the medium. Online lends itself to flakiness plain and simple. I was introduced to my b/f via a distant cousin and his family, we met, we liked what we saw initially and we built a relationship and focused on each other from the start. No options, no juggling, and lots of incentives to maintain good behavior because of all these people we knew in common. I will sooner shoot myself than do online or apps again.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Gala

          Online dating is area where you will get few arguments from me. It definitely a difficult environment in which to operate is one is a date one person at a time person. Men and women are intimate with one or more maintenance partners while continuing pursue the “one.” It is enough to drive the most thick-skinned person over the edge.

        2. JB

          Special thanks goes out to the idiots @ Match that decided to let any woman ( I don’t know if they do it for men) to choose pre written stock “suggested” “about me” profiles that have all the same phrases like……”I like to look for the good in people and situations. I’m the friend that all my friends go to for encouragement when they’re going through something.” “I think I’m pretty easy to get along with. I think it’s because I like to listen just as much as I like to talk. People find it easy to communicate with me and I think that’s a big reason why.” “I’m a “tell it like it is” person. Sometimes it gets me in trouble, but most times people appreciate knowing exactly where I stand.” “Some people call me spontaneous, but I just like to keep things open. Because sometimes that’s when the truly special moments happen.” “I think I’m pretty easy to get along with. I think it’s because I like to listen just as much as I like to talk. People find it easy to communicate with me and I think that’s a big reason why.” “My family is full of big personalities – my childhood was filled with laughter. I guess that’s where I get my sense of humor from.” “I’m endlessly curious about the world we live in, so if I’m not on vacation, I’m probably planning my next one.” “Call me an optimist, but I tend to believe that things will work, no matter how bad. My positive outlook has helped me get through a lot of challenges.” “I’m endlessly curious about the world we live in, so if I’m not on vacation, I’m probably planning my next one.” “Not normally a bragger, but I’m pretty hilarious. Just kidding – I’m always cracking jokes and trying to find the humor in every situation, whether good or bad.” “Outside of work, my life isn’t overly planned. I like to stay present in the moment and see where life takes me.” “I’m constantly adding to my music collection. There’s so much out there and I like to listen to it all, regardless of genre. I bet I could recommend a few awesome bands if you asked.” “It’s probably a contradiction to call yourself humble, but that’s really how most people describe me. I don’t need to be constantly recognized to feel important and know when to take a backseat and let others lead the way.” “I’m constantly adding to my music collection. There’s so much out there and I like to listen to it all, regardless of genre. I bet I could recommend a few awesome bands if you asked.”What, do they think we men don’t notice? Whosever idea this was and who approved it should be fired. 

      2. 4.1.2
        JB

        Yep it’s always a great time when I’m on a date spending $100.00 or more on a nice dinner and she’s getting 20 more responses blowing up her phone before the entree gets there. At least before smart phones and apps took over we knew women were still getting many responses but they had to at least wait until they got home and on their computer to read them. Now it’s gotten beyond ridiculous. I had 1 women actually say to me on a Sunday night meet & greet “I’ve been on Match since Tuesday and you’re my 5th date”. Schwing!!! I got so excited I thought my jeans were going to burst! NOT!!!! Oh by the way The Match Group stock has soared to an all time high of $50.00 today so make sure you all renew your subscriptions!!! You Tinderellas too.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @JB

          Yep it’s always a great time when I’m on a date spending $100.00 or more on a nice dinner and she’s getting 20 more responses blowing up her phone before the entree gets there.

          That is another reason why dinner on the first date is a bad idea.  The primary reason being that dinner is too long of a commitment.

        2. JB

          I never said it was a first date. It was a 3rd date. 2nd after a meet & greet. I’ve been doing this 20 years, most times on a meet & greet I’ll meet for a pizza or a burger which usually lasts about an hour and comes in under $50.00. I know it’s going to shock some of you but yes people still have their profiles up after many dates.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @JB

          You definitely have my respect.  There is no way that I could deal with the dating sites for 20 years.  After a while, the dates become one big blur, and that is with 2/2/2-like screening.

    2. 4.2
      sylvana

      Gala,

      I completely agree.

      And yes, YAG. The same goes for women. Personally, I can’t wrap my head around the whole “dating more than one person at a time” deal. First of all, I’d find it impossible to even find enough guys I’m interested in. And second, I have no interest in juggling two or more at once.

      For sex, or FWBs, that’s perfectly all right. But not if I’m actually looking for a long-term relationship. I really see no reason for that many people to get to know me that well.

      Then again I have a major issue with the whole “casual” dating process. To me, it’s either casual meeting, or its a date.

      Dating used to serve the purpose of seeing if a relationship would work. And as such, something you took serious, even if it never went anywhere.

      Nowadays, dating seems to be the precursor of dating. Meeting and making out with a bunch of people casually, and weeding out the spam until you find someone you actually want to “date” in the old-fashioned sense.

       

       

  5. 5
    R hunte

    I was my boyfriend’s second choice & we are very happy together. It did affect my confidence in the beginning but I got over it. Evans 100% correct on this

  6. 6
    Noquay

    Sometimes life happens. I’ve been guilty of this with on line folk, especially when Match requires an internet connection to email someone back as I don’t have home internet. I often worked 13 hr days and had no functioning brain cells by the time I got home and still had to feed and water animals, get a fire going, get ready for tomorrow, clear the driveway of snow, clean etc. Some areas this summer, due to the fires here in the Southwest, had both cell service and internet down for days. However, Evan is right; we are all someone’s second/third/fourth choices. I think many folk get too excited about their good “matches” on OLD, read too much into a call, a first date, a text. If the dude evaporates routinely, you have a problem, otherwise, chill and quit investing so much on the outcome so early.

  7. 7
    Hayley

    I also agree with Evan. Who cares? Just because you didn’t set fireworks off in his head during first contact doesn’t mean you never will. Besides, you don’t have all the necessary information to conclude that 5-7 days of crickets = not into you and never will be.

    This actually reminds me of the early stages of dating with my now boyfriend. We are both 26. I was using Bumble at the time and came across his profile. I actually knew him from high school so I swiped right asking how he’s been since graduation day (the last time I saw him). we had these on-again off-again conversations for about a month. Sometimes he would take a long time to respond, sometimes I would take a long time. Eventually, he asked me out to our first date…and we saw each other every day for about 5 weeks after that. That was 2 years ago.

    He eventually told me what was up about that period. He had just dropped out of medical school, deciding to abandon his childhood dream of becoming a surgeon. He was back at his parents’ house, both of whom had decided they were going to get a divorce after 30 years of marriage. He basically felt like a loser and admitted he would swipe right on every girl in tinder and bumble just to feel a bit of fleeting joy and assurance he wasn’t a total loser when he would get a match. It took him a month to feel ok enough to overcome his negative feeling enough to see me in person.

    Of course I didn’t know that at the time. And ignorance was bliss because now I’m in a good relationship. I know he feels strongly for me, and I for him. But if there were fireworks or even a spark from the get-go, we would have been dating since the 9th grade, as I clearly remember we sat next to each other in English class one year. We probably exchanged a few sentences for the whole duration of the year…

    Honestly, you don’t know this person or what the day-to-day of their life is. You’re better off giving it a chance than immediately writing it off.

    Also, his parents ended up working through their issues and not divorcing. 🙂

  8. 8
    Marika

    I was dating two guys simultaneously about a year ago. Things progressed more quickly with one of them (mainly because he lived a long way away so our dates were longer and physical stuff progressed more quickly due to spending more time at his house). Once things got physical with one, I ended things with the other. Does this mean the second guy was bad/wrong/awful/ugly/should be upset forever because he wasn’t my ‘first choice’. Nope.

    As it turned out, things didn’t work out with the first guy and I actually got back in touch with the second one. We had a couple of dates, but he was very much ready for a full-blown relationship (and was pushing for sex, understandably as we had maybe 5 dates last year and then another 2/3 this year), but I just wasn’t ready. It was too soon after the last guy.

    I was quite apologetic in my initial ‘get back in touch text’, and said I completely understood if he’d moved on or was no longer interested. But he was just as interested as before, as well as nonplussed about the few months of absence. I felt much worse about it than he did. He said he just assumed I’d become busy at work or met someone else. Said with a shrug. He did his thing while we were apart, probably dated other women, and by now he’s probably moved well on. It was actually he who picked up on me not being ready.

    That’s the way to handle it, in my view. I’ve also had great dates with guys who’ve then communicated that things progressed with someone else, or they had just met someone else over the weekend from a common group/someone from the past came back into the equation or whatever. I could completely understand where they were coming from, as well as respected their honesty and morals. If any of the ones I really liked contacted me again, I’d happily give it a go.

    Oftentimes guys contact me again after an absence. The only times I’ve either blocked them or ignored them/asked them to stop contacting me is if they ghosted. Otherwise, what’s the big deal? None of us know exactly who/want we want in the early stages of dating. As long as you communicate relatively openly and honestly (I don’t need full details), I have no problem with being contacted later down the track. At least then you aren’t starting from scratch with someone new!

    1. 8.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Marika

      I have learned the hard way that it is bad form to revisit someone on whom one originally passed for another.  It rarely works because one passed on that person for a reason, and the reason is not going away.  We can kid ourselves by saying things like we were not ready because of coming out of something with the other person when it does not work with the person on whom we originally passed, but deep down inside, it is because we have lost respect for that person; hence, the “needy” feeling. Neediness, like objectification, is dependent on desire.  A person who desires to be needed does not feel neediness just like a woman who desires validation from a man to whom she is attracted does not feel objectified when he makes comments about her appearance.  The person who allows someone who passed on them for another is placing himself/herself in a position to get used because it demonstrates a lack of self-respect. As painful as it can be at times, that is why people should have “no second pass” boundaries.  Even if one settles into a relationship with the person getting a second pass, it is usually because one is settling due to failure with another, and that rarely works in the long term.

      1. 8.1.1
        Marika

        Yes, but YAG, that’s you. You care way more about these things than me. I don’t think that way. The only reason I ‘passed’ on the first guy is that I don’t sleep with more than one person at a time, and as I said, logistically, things just happened a lot faster with the other one. If he didn’t live so far away, it could have gone either way. In the early weeks of dating, nothing is really personal.

        I didn’t feel a loss of respect for the guy who welcomed me back. I didn’t feel like he lacked self-respect. It was quite the opposite. If he had reacted badly to me contacting him again, or said any of the things you’ve said above, then I would have felt like he had a chip on his shoulder. And that would be a turn-off. The way he responded was cool, calm & collected.

        I thought he was a reasonable, decent, self-assured person. And like before, I was attracted to him. I just get attached quite easily, so he was rightly picking up that it was a bit too soon.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Marika

          I think your case may be an outlier in this area, even more so if we are talking about online dating where choosing between multiple partners is the norm.  I would most definitely lose respect for a woman who I passed on for another woman who welcomed me back with open arms, and I would not blame a woman for losing respect for me if I welcomed her back with opens arms.   If it was a one-and-done date, that is one thing.  However, multiple dates before dropping someone for another person or being dropped for another person is an entirely different thing.  That says that the person who was dropped lacked something that the person who was retained possessed.  I am willing to bet that the person who now wants to revisit the person they dropped is scaling back what he/she desires in more cases than not.  It is human to want to go back to what one believed was a safer bet after a relationship with a person with whom one had stronger desire fails to pan out.  I have been on both sides of this dynamic.  It rarely works out.

        2. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          It is human to want to go back to what one believed was a safer bet after a relationship with a person with whom one had stronger desire fails to pan out.  

          I’m starting to understand this dynamic, too. When you first mentioned it on a different post, it made no sense to me. But once you’ve been really burned by someone who you really wanted, it’s just so much easier to acquiesce to the person you have mid-level interest in, who is clearly really into you. You do less work and take less risk.

      2. 8.1.2
        Emily, the original

        YAG,

        I have learned the hard way that it is bad form to revisit someone on whom one originally passed for another.  It rarely works because one passed on that person for a reason, and the reason is not going away.

        I’m going to agree with you on this, though I agree with about .0002 percent of what your write, and most of it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. But if someone passed on you it was because they weren’t interested enough (or vice versa if you passed on them). It doesn’t matter if there was a 3rd party involved or not. The bottom line is .. the interest was flim-flammy.

        1. Selena

          Emily:

          “I’m going to agree with you on this, though I agree with about .0002 percent of what your write, and most of it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.”

          Me too. But on this YAG comment… I also agree.

        2. Emily, the original

          Selena,

          I always have my airplane nausea bag next to me just in case.  🙂

      3. 8.1.3
        Gala

        For once, I wholeheartedly agree with YAG.

      4. 8.1.4
        sylvana

        YAG,

        ouch, for the third time. You have to stop saying things I agree with.

        Once again, I totally agree with you on this.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @sylvana

          You need not worry because I am certain that I will write something that infuriates someone in the near future.  I feel like the Antichrist of the relationship world, the destroyer of dreams. I have seen the darkest side of female behavior, which has left me warped beyond repair.  However, for some unknown reason, I still have a few standards. 🙂

    2. 8.2
      Emily, the original

      Marika,

      I was dating two guys simultaneously about a year ago.

      What would have happened if you preferred one over the other, but the one you liked less was the one who was pursuing you more? Do you pick option 2 because he’s made it clear he wants a relationship (and you want a relationship), only you’d prefer it with option 1? I mean, you like option 2 well enough, but nowhere near on the same level. Is that fair to option 2 to commit to him? What if option 2 is super smitten with you? There’s no right or wrong answer here. I’m just asking these questions because I wonder how other people process these things.

      1. 8.2.1
        Marika

        Well Emily, I think that you/(I) should go with the one who pursues you more and clearly wants to be in a relationship more. At least until and unless you find out you aren’t compatible.

        I don’t think logically about these things, in honesty, though so I’m a bad person to ask…

        For me it just sort of happened that things moved more quickly with one, so I had to make the call (as I can’t handle not being sexually exclusive). But in the early stages of dating, it can honestly go either way. You barely know these people (especially if you meet through online dating).

        “There’s no room for pride in dating”.

        Should be tattooed on our brains. I think about the people I passed on and very often it had nothing (or very little) to do with them and everything to do with me. I wasn’t in a good place to accept their kindness, I was hung up on some other guy, I was scared, I was busy etc etc. So if I’m like that, it’s reasonable to expect that other people may feel that way too. The more you can recognise that it’s really not personal, and a lot of things factor into people’s decision making (beyond how ‘hot’ you are), the happier you’ll be in dating.

        I don’t find it easy to not take things personally, btw, but there’s really no other choice. I care more about finding a great relationship than I do about being prideful or making up arbitrary rules (like ‘no second chance’).

        1. Emily, the original

          Hi Marika,

          Well Emily, I think that you/(I) should go with the one who pursues you more and clearly wants to be in a relationship more. At least until and unless you find out you aren’t compatible.

          That’s the practical thing to do, yes, because you’d reach your goal of a relationship, but for me,  once I knew I liked one more than the other, I’d have no interest in hanging out with the second, even if he was more interested in a relationship. It almost sounds like the one who is more interested in a relationship is winning by default. Or maybe I’m looking at it wrong, but I’m starting to entertain the idea that it’s just all about who keeps showing up. There is no other factor that matters more.

          The more you can recognise that it’s really not personal, and a lot of things factor into people’s decision making (beyond how ‘hot’ you are), the happier you’ll be in dating.

          I think that’s a good way to look at it, but if I reject someone in the very early stages (for a second date, for example), it’s because I’m not attracted enough, so it kind of is personal, no? That’s generally why I assume I get rejected .. some other woman was just more appealing to that particular man.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          I reject someone in the very early stages (for a second date, for example), it’s because I’m not attracted enough, so it kind of is personal, no? That’s generally why I assume I get rejected .. some other woman was just more appealing to that particular man.

          Women on this blog routinely claim that they are trying to protect their hearts. That is why a “no second pass” rule needs to exist.  Does a woman really want a guy to revisit her after his attempt to couple with a woman he desired more fails? Once again, I am not talking about a guy who revisits  after a one-and-done.  I am talking about a guy who dated you several times before deciding to date another woman exclusively.  This type of event should have a big red flag that screams “I am about to get used” attached to it.  Guys who revisit dropped women are usually looking for a safe harbor until they find the woman they truly desire (i.e., they are still searching for the bigger, better deal).  It is much easier to advance a previously dropped woman who demonstrated interest to sex than it is to start all over with nothing.  The same can be said for women who revisit men.  Any guy who desires more than sex from a woman who ignores that big red flag is a fool.  It is not about pride.  It is about avoiding being used.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Huge difference between dropping a boyfriend/girlfriend after five months and coming back later (No!) and going out with a guy from Match once who later tells you he’s embarking on a new relationship…and then calls you five months later to say it didn’t work out. (Yes!)

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @Evan

          Huge difference between dropping a boyfriend/girlfriend after five months and coming back later (No!) and going out with a guy from Match once who later tells you he’s embarking on a new relationship…and then calls you five months later to say it didn’t work out.

          Absolutely!  You will get no argument from me on this one. I covered that case in this part of my posting:

          Once again, I am not talking about a guy who revisits  after a one-and-done.  I am talking about a guy who dated you several times before deciding to date another woman exclusively. 

          Dating a woman several times before discarding her for a woman who invokes a higher level of desire should send up a big red flag when he shows back up in a few months when it does not work with the higher desire woman.  If a man did it once, he will more than likely do it again.  Women do the same thing to men.  How many men and women have you known that kept or keep taking a person back who only sticks around until someone who invokes a higher level of desire appears?  That is why people should have a “no second pass” rule.

        5. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          Guys who revisit dropped women are usually looking for a safe harbor until they find the woman they truly desire (i.e., they are still searching for the bigger, better deal). 

          I don’t understand this way of thinking. Why bother putting forth the energy, time and, not to mention expense of dating a woman if you are just waiting around for something better? Why don’t you just continue having as many first dates as possible until you find another woman you really want? Geez … can’t you spend 5 minutes by yourself? Is the world going to shut down if you don’t having something “secured”?

      2. 8.2.2
        Bollie

        Maybe I am old-fashioned but you either like a guy enough to start a relationship with him or you don’t. As long as there are no deeper feelings, no sparks on your side you can meet him a couple of times if he can grow on you. But you don’t kiss or be intimate with this guy because you then lead him on, and noone likes that.

  9. 9
    Clare

    It’s so crazy to look at it as being “rejected” or being someone’s “second option” when it comes to the early stages of dating, and especially online dating. Your feelings and ego should not be invested to this extent, and you need to let things roll off you a lot more easily than that.

    The guy I’m dating currently (the teacher) was “option 2” if you want to look at it this way. I had swiped right on him on Tinder and he and I had a date set up for a Saturday night. In the meantime, I went on a date with the guy who was going through a divorce, and he set up a second date very quickly thereafter and things started progressing with him. I felt that it would be better not to go on the date with the other guy but rather to be honest that I had met someone. I texted him to say that I had started seeing someone and would not feel right about going on a date with him.

    When things did not work out with the separated guy, I went back to guy #1 and asked if he would be keen on going on that date that we never got to go on. Luckily, he took the whole thing in his stride and we did go on a date and are dating at the moment. In fact, he told me that he respected me for being honest with him. He said he couldn’t hold it against me because he and I had not even met yet.

    I really think this is all a matter of perspective. You really can’t be rejected or deprioritized when a person doesn’t even know you.

    1. 9.1
      Marika

      I wrote almost the exact thing about an experience of mine, Clare! This is life. This is online dating. I don’t get being offended if someone has a life & meets other people before you or at around the same time. Any ‘rejection’ is most likely to be about timing..and little else.

      Maybe you did initially have stronger feelings for the other person…but who cares? It didn’t work out. If that’s the reasoning to not be with someone, we should all avoid everyone who’s been married or deeply in love before!

      1. 9.1.1
        Clare

        Well this is the thing, Marika.

        Much is made of the whole “he’s just not that into you” thing, and yes, that’s important, but in my experience, timing is equally as important, and in some cases, more important.

        I can’t even begin to count all the couples I know of who have married, not because their love and passion for each other was greater than what they could have had with anyone else, but simply because they met at a time in their lives when both were eager and ready to settle down, and they got on “well enough.”

        Likewise, I know of so many people who have passed on partners who would have been near perfect for them because they were simply not emotionally or circumstantially ready to be appreciate that person or be in any kind of mature relationship at all.

        People make far too much of the issue of “how much” the other person likes them, and far too little of what the person might have going on in their lives and within themselves which renders the timing a bit off. And to be clear, I am not saying that “how much a person likes you” isn’t important, because clearly it is. I’m just saying that faaaar more about relationships is out of control, far more than we are willing to admit.

      2. 9.1.2
        Gala

         I don’t get being offended if someone has a life & meets other people before you or at around the same time.

        Nobody should be offended by that. That’s just life. I don’t get offended when somebody is not attracted to me or not attracted enough.

        Any ‘rejection’ is most likely to be about timing..and little else.

        Nope, here I beg to differ. The rejection is ALWAYS about you. When a guy is sufficiently excited, or smitten by you, nothing can stop him from pursuing you. Heck, he will dump his other girls to pursue you. But, if you’re the one being dumped or faded on – guess what, you do not excite him enough to pursue you here and now. He finds some other woman more exciting. If he comes back, that means he struck out there, but you already know that the initial attraction wasn’t there. Most often, i think, guys come back like that in search of a lay. He’s thinking.. “we already gone out twice, may be if i can take her out one more time i am gonna get laid. good enough for now”. That’s it! He didn’t suddenly realize what a mistake he made. He struck out with the lady he REALLY wanted, and you’ll do – for now. Until he finds someone who he wants to chase after. Why on earth would a woman put herself in that position?

    2. 9.2
      sylvana

      Clare,

      I think the major difference in your case is that you made the decision NOT to go on the date with the teacher to begin with, since you met someone else BEFORE you two met.

      Had you actually dated the teacher and the other guy once or twice, then decided to pursue things with the other guy, I think it would be wrong to go back to the teacher afterwards once things with the other guy didn’t work out.

      To me, if he/she wasn’t exciting/interesting enough to win out the first time around, what would keep a person interested in the “second choice” whenever someone more exciting/interesting comes around later?

      It puts the second choice firmly in position of “you’ll do, UNTIL…”

  10. 10
    Zoe

    What happened to mirroring? He waits 5 to 7 days to get back to you. You wait 5 to 7 days to reply. Whenever I did that the guy invariably tried to contact me again during that 5 to 7 day waiting period.

  11. 11
    Marika

    YAG said:

    I think your case may be an outlier in this area, even more so if we are talking about online dating where choosing between multiple partners is the norm. 

    Did you read Evan’s response to the LW’s question? In it he says, among other things:

    “..would you be right to expect a guy to get angry at you and tell you off because he’s nobody’s second choice?
    I sure hope not”.
    Maybe Evan’s encouraging an ‘outlier’ attitude?

    Or maybe he’s just encouraging a healthy attitude which makes life simpler and where people are allowed to change their minds and we don’t take everything so personally?

    1. 11.1
      sylvana

      Marika,

      sure, when he changes his mind two or three years after he’s married, we’ll just tell his wife to not take things so personally.

      I mean, she didn’t make the cut the first time around. And while they might have grown on each other over the years, she certainly shouldn’t expect to stay his current first choice once he gets the opportunity to be with someone more interesting/exciting later on.

      1. 11.1.1
        Clare

        Sylvana,

        Excuse my phraseology, but this is ridiculous reasoning.

        wife, someone you have known and loved for years and pledged your life to, physically, emotionally and legally, is nowhere NEAR on par with someone you have gone out with once or twice. How can you even make the comparison?

        Why is it so difficult for some people to accept that, after one or two dates, you really don’t know the person at all, are not invested in them (or shouldn’t be), they are not a priority in your life, and you owe them absolutely nothing? This says literally zero about your long-term ability to commit. In the very early stages of dating, a person has a right to not be sure. That is why every dating coach worth his/her salt advises people not to get invested in the early stages.

        1. Jeremy

          It’s about the fear of being settled for, Clare, which is a prominent fear among many people, a cause for anxiety.  Sometimes that anxiety is baseless, sometimes not.  Because if a person reaches a stage of their life where they prioritize connection and compatibility whereas they once prioritized attraction, they may indeed choose to date someone they nexted before – may even choose to marry them – but may not choose to remain with them once their relationship goals have been irrevocably met.

           

          How important is attraction?  Answer – important insofar as enough must be present to provide a sexual meta-goal alongside of whatever relationship meta-goals may be present.  This relates not only to dating, but also to marriage – more importantly to marriage.

        2. Clare

          Jeremy,

          I respect your reasoning about relationship meta-goals, which is why I’ve never engaged you in a debate on it.

          However, your reference (and the reference of so many others on this thread) to “settling” here absolutely blows my mind. I cannot for the life of me, and for all that is good and holy in this world, understand how someone can rationalise to themselves that the other person is “settling” for them when they have spent an hour or two in each other’s presence. This person doesn’t know you… they have a mere sliver of information about you. They only know what you look like on that particular day of the one date you went on. Perhaps, for reasons best known to themselves, they did decide to date someone else briefly. Perhaps they did think this person was hotter (or perhaps not… perhaps the other person just lived closer to them… who the hell knows?) and things didn’t work out with this person, so they decide to contact you because they liked you enough to get to know you a bit better.

          On what planet, for the love of God, is this settling???

        3. Emily, the original

          Clare,

          perhaps the other person just lived closer to them

          Is that a reason you would pick one man over another (provided the distance wasn’t hours)? Wouldn’t it be because you had more chemistry with one or a better connection or enjoyed one’s company more?

        4. Jeremy

          Clare, “On what planet…is this settling?” On the planet where attraction is binary.  Or better to say, for those inhabitants of this planet for whom attraction is binary.  Think back to all the commenters who, in the past, have written that they know whether they want to sleep with a person within the first 30 seconds.  That they can’t grow in attraction based on increasing connection – they either are attracted or they aren’t and they know right away.  For THOSE people, it is logical to say that they either find a person attractive or they don’t, and that if they don’t initially find a date attractive then they are, by definition, settling to be with them.  Right from get-go.

           

          Of course, this ignores the other segment of the population of this planet who, indeed, CAN grow in attraction as they get to know a person.  For those people it makes absolutely no sense to say that how they feel after 1-2 dates is necessarily predictive of how they’ll feel over longer periods.  For them, as you wrote above, thinking of a date as settling because of how you feel after the first date is a non-sequitur, a string of nonsense.  It’s like saying, “My high school was so rough, the yearbook was shaped like a canoe.”

           

          One of the things I most enjoy about this blog is reading perspectives not my own – perspectives I’ve never thought of or didn’t realize exist.  This particular issue is seen differently by those with differing perspectives on attraction.  That was my point here.

        5. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Of course, this ignores the other segment of the population of this planet who, indeed, CAN grow in attraction as they get to know a person.  For those people it makes absolutely no sense to say that how they feel after 1-2 dates is necessarily predictive of how they’ll feel over longer periods.  

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that, for most men, attraction does not grow over time. Connection does, of course, and discovering levels of compatibility, but not attraction.

          And what is a woman supposed to do if she dates a guy a couple of times who then disappears, only to reappear 3 months later? “I’d be happy to accept this date, but I’m assuming you’re someone for whom attraction grows over time. Thus you picked some other girl to date instead of me and the attraction didn’t grow with her so now you’re testing it with me ….” (I’m not being sarcastic.)

        6. Evan Marc Katz

          From your posts, you seem very hung up on all things attraction and ego related, Emily. In the above scenario, she should go out with him and suspend judgment until after the date. She’s not committing to marriage; she’s going to dinner. That’s all. No need to be so prideful or fearful.

          In related news: Have you taken Love U by any chance? If so, what did you think of it? If not, why not?

        7. Emily, the original

          From your posts, you seem very hung up on all things attraction and ego related, Emily.

          Attraction-related, yes. But as Chance pointed out, guys end up with their 6th or so choice. Scares the hell out of me.

        8. Chance

          Hello Emily,

           

          “But as Chance pointed out, guys end up with their 6th or so choice. Scares the hell out of me.”

           

          Well, if it’s any consolation, it’s not a conscious thought process where the guy is thinking “well, this girl is my Nth choice but, what the hell, she’ll do”.  They just ask girls out and get a bunch of “no’s” in the process, and choose the best option among the ones who said “yes”.  I would imagine women aren’t that much different?  I mean, I assume that they don’t sit around lamenting the fact that the most desirable men they can think of aren’t asking them out, and that they eventually make do with the best among the pool of men who are showing interest?

        9. Emily, the original

          Chance,

           I assume that they don’t sit around lamenting the fact that the most desirable men they can think of aren’t asking them out, and that they eventually make do with the best among the pool of men who are showing interest?

          Apparently not from the responses on this post. 🙂     But I’m not sure what you mean by “the most desirable.” I don’t mean the hottest or the tallest or the richest. But I’m assuming there were women who were more appealing to you than others for a combination of reasons, and I’m assuming you’d feel less than excited about not ending up with one of them.

        10. Clare

          Emily,

          I have picked a man who was 5 minutes down the road from me over one who lived 40 minutes away actually 🙂

          I was skint financially at the time and studying and didn’t have a whole lot of free time and money, so the thought of making those long car trips a couple of times a week put me off. I’d only gone on a couple of dates with both of them and didn’t have very strong feelings for either one yet, so I chose the one who was closer.

        11. Emily, the original

          Clare, 

          I’d only gone on a couple of dates with both of them and didn’t have very strong feelings for either one yet, so I chose the one who was closer.

          I guess I’d ask: Why pick either one? And if I was in the middle of studying and didn’t have a lot of time, I might nix the dating until I got through school and could devote more energy to it. But that’s me.

  12. 12
    Chance

    Almost no man gets with his first or second choice.  If you observe random couples about in public, the odds are that she was his 6th or 7th (or 20th) choice.  I suppose that a good way to think of it is to imagine that all women are situated somewhere on a totem pole.  Men start at the top of the pole and slide down until they find a landing spot (I.e., the woman they are paired with).  The woman effectively represents a man’s landing spot on the totem pole.  

  13. 13
    Selena

    ” going out with a guy from Match once who later tells you he’s embarking on a new relationship…and then calls you five months later to say it didn’t work out. (Yes!)

     

    Because being someone’s rebound usually works out  wonderfully? (No!)

    1. 13.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Sorry, Selena. I pull rank here. And I don’t give bad advice that hasn’t been road tested. To wit: EVERYONE is someone’s rebound. The point is not to be so proud (or fearful) that you pass up on a guy with whom you had a fleeting flirtation that never came to pass. Just because he chose someone else first (and it didn’t work out) doesn’t mean it’s not right now.

  14. 14
    Selena

    Just because he chose someone else first (and it didn’t work out) doesn’t mean it’s not right now.
    After one date five months before? And he’s sniffing back around? Eh, I disagree. Perhaps he needs and ego boost and is horny?

    1. 14.1
      sylvana

      I’m with Selena.

      I’d wish him good luck with his future endeavors. I’m not that desperate to be in a relationship.

      It’s totally different if we’ve never met. But if we’ve met, and he found someone better at that time, I’d advise him to find someone else who he’s equally interested in as the person he chose.

      It’s a case of “NOW I’m good enough. And just how long will that last?” Likely until someone better comes along.

      1. 14.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        You guys are COMPLETELY discounting the couples who met in this very way. Their paths crossed, the timing wasn’t right, and then, suddenly, it was.

      2. 14.1.2
        Marika

        Okay, Sylvana & Selena, it wouldn’t work for you. You’ve made that abundantly clear. But that doesn’t mean a scenario like this can never work for anyone, or that it’s all necessarily doom & gloom.

        Why discount the experiences of people who say it worked out okay for them, or ignore that the assumptions you think people are making about why the person was a ‘second choice’ aren’t necessarily what you think they are?

      3. 14.1.3
        sylvana

        I’m not discounting the experience of anyone who claims it worked for them. And I never said it wouldn’t work for anyone, because it obviously works for quite a few couples. And I’m happy it worked for them.

        But there are a lot of things that work for other couples that would never make for a happy relationship for me. Just like there are some things that work for me which would never make for a happy relationship for others.

        I think it all boils down to how badly we want to be in a relationship, and what exactly we’re looking to get out of a relationship.

        Or as Jeremy would say: Meta-Goals.

        And – mostly – our individual believes, no matter how irrational they seem to others.

        Honestly, the biggest reason I wouldn’t give that person another chance would be because I’m no longer interested in them. That simple. We met, there obviously wasn’t enough interest on their side to keep getting to know each other (for whatever reason). Whether I know they are dating someone else, or simply haven’t heard from them in a while, they displayed a lack of interest that causes a loss of interest on my side.

        And once I lose interest, it’s darn near impossible to rekindle. We can become good friends later on, maybe even FWBs. But I’ve accepted them as not being a romantic possibility. They basically end up in the friendzone.

         

         

        1. Marika

          Thanks for explaining, sylvana. 

          I don’t feel that way, am happy to approach or be approached by someone from my past, so it’s hard to relate.

          It’s good to hear the other perspective…I’m fine if the other person says no, but I would be surprised if they got all angry and defensive. Maybe I understand a bit better now that people feel strongly against it.

        2. Selena

          I used to read a dating blog – now defunct- where commenters called dating someone one had dated previously, “recycling”.

          When I’ve backed out of dating someone it was because I felt insufficient attraction/connection to continue. That we just weren’t a match. When someone backed out of dating me, I figure they felt the same. I’ve never tried to recycle someone I dated briefly  –  there would be no point. And no one I dated briefly has tried to recycle me.

          That said, on a planet of 7.6 BILLION people, I have no reason to think recycling hasn’t worked okay for some. And I’m not discounting their experiences; if they found love the second time around, good on ’em.

           

  15. 15
    Marika

    Selena, YAG, Gala, Emily 

    Online, do you honestly believe you’re likely to be anyone’s first choice? Are you going to quiz people on who they’ve met before you and whether they like you better? Only date people who logged in for the first time that day and only contacted you? Only date people who pursue you (an almost stranger) like a stalker?

    This, in my mind, is madness. Or pure arrogance or fear.

    I know I won’t change your mind on this, but I honestly don’t get how it benefits you to walk around taking things so personally.

    If I pass on an amazing person to chase someone who turns out to be a goose, that’s on me, not them. If I can’t accept the decent attentions of a kind person because I have this idea I have to earn love, again, that’s on me. Just two of many examples of why people don’t always choose well or do what’s in their own best interest. Until experience keeps knocking them in the head. Nothing to do with the other person.

    1. 15.1
      Emily, the original

      Marika,

      Online, do you honestly believe you’re likely to be anyone’s first choice?

      I meant that you had had a couple of face-to-face dates with each of the prospects. In those instances, yes, you probably have one who is your first choice.

      1. 15.1.1
        Marika

        Emily

        This is how I see it: I’m not pretending to be the hottest person alive, but I know I’m attractive enough to attract men I’m interested in. I also know I’m a kind and giving relationship partner. Are men going to necessarily figure that out within the first x dates? Probably not. Hey, it took a dating coach until 6 months into his marriage to truly value his wife. I also know I’ve made mistakes and chosen badly, so I’m happy to give other people a break and the benefit of the doubt. Up to a point, of course.

        Selena

        Haha, no, I’m not taking it personally. That’s kinda my whole point..

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          It took a dating coach 6 months into his marriage to KNOW he made the right decision in getting married. That’s very different than “valuing” his wife. For what it’s worth.

        2. Emily, the original

          Marika,

          This is how I see it: I’m not pretending to be the hottest person alive, but I know I’m attractive enough to attract men I’m interested in. 

          Several people have posted the idea of being hot and thus being someone’s first choice. It has little to do with that. I am very well aware that there are a million types in the world and not everyone will be into me physically and “click” with my personality.

    2. 15.2
      Selena

      @Marika #14

      As I wrote before, I don’t see this as about being someone’s second choice. I see it as how someone demonstrates their interest, or lack thereof.

      Comparison and contrast. People who are interested are less likely to let a week go by without contacting the person THEY are interested in. Someone they are eh…. about, who cares?

      Certainly one can keep dating someone who’s interest is demonstrably iffy, but it’s wise to keep any expectations low if they do. Call it casual or whatever.

      Why do you see a problem with that?

      “I know I won’t change your mind on this, but I honestly don’t get how it benefits you to walk around taking things so personally.”

      Marika, it’s you I think who might be taking things so personally.

       

    3. 15.3
      Clare

      Marika,

      For the second time in a week or two I want to give you a standing ovation for your comment.

      “If I pass on an amazing person to chase someone who turns out to be a goose, that’s on me, not them. If I can’t accept the decent attentions of a kind person because I have this idea I have to earn love, again, that’s on me. Just two of many examples of why people don’t always choose well or do what’s in their own best interest.”

      I can think of several examples just in my immediate circle of people who chased partners who turned out to be complete cabbages while passing on someone who would have been great for them. Case in point: my best guy friend is still trying to get rid of a girl he broke up with 4 months ago because she turned out to be totally crazy and is still stalking and harassing him. This girl is not even a prize physically or in any other way (maybe about a 4, SMV speaking 🙂 ) Meanwhile, I met the girl who was interested in him about a year ago whom he passed on who was very pretty, down-to-earth, fun and lovely. I could tell from just spending an hour with her that she would have made him leaps and bounds happier than the other nightmare. The only thing I will say about her is she doesn’t have that immediate sex appeal which many guys seem to look for, and I think that’s why he passed on her.

      Anyway, my friend has a habit of choosing crazy girls and bitterly regretting it months later…. He will learn eventually. But at the moment, he doesn’t make great decisions, and no girl whom he decides not to date right now should take that personally.

      1. 15.3.1
        Marika

        Clare 

        Move to Australia, bat for the other team and date me….k?? 😉

        Not only for being one of the only people who seems to get that people make shitty decisions in dating ALL THE TIME..and maybe deserve a break…and for your use of the word “cabbage” 😁

        1. Clare

          Marika,

          Considering how many of my countrymen and women have moved there, I’d probably feel right at home.

          Hehe, … cabbages, turnips, sometimes you just got to, ya know?

          It’s been witnessing the bad decisions of people I know well and love dearly that has opened my eyes up.

          And I always find the hypocrisy of people who refuse to give second chances to be rather interesting… They would definitely want a broad brushstroke to be painted over their own foibles and missteps, but are unwilling to extend that same generosity to others.

    4. 15.4
      Yet Another Guy

      @Marika

      It is not an ego or pride thing. I has nothing to do with being hot or not.  It has everything to do with choice.  If a woman chooses another man over me or I choose a woman over another woman, then the person who was not chosen lacked something that the person who was chosen possessed.  That reality is not going to change if the person who was chosen turns out to be a goose, as you say.  More often than not, when a person returns to a person that he/she dated before selecting different partner, it is because doing so is more comfortable than starting anew. However, the person who wants to return owes it to the person on whom he/she passed to move on.  We all know someone who keeps taking back a partner who leaves as soon as he/she finds the next bigger, better deal. Rarely, and I do mean rarely, does taking someone back who passed on you work long term because that person passed for a reason.

       

      1. 15.4.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        You can pretty much tell the people who have a healthy, balanced understanding of relationship dynamics based on how they respond to this question. Everyone who would dismiss someone who came back to re-initiate contact (after a date or two) is convinced of the worst case scenario and discounting the very real possibility that the person, is, in fact, interested. It’s cutting off your nose to spite your face; turning down a potentially life-changing opportunity without exploring it because you ASSUME that something must have been wrong the first time.

        Maybe the only thing that was wrong was that he went on a third date with someone else who was smarter/hotter, and after a few weeks, discovered she was insecure and high-maintenance. And then he remembered your positive interactions and decided to try again. Totally plausible possibility which you seem to think could never work – even though I know instances where it has. Thus, your response to this question says more about YOU than it does about the OP.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Evan

          While what you have outlined is plausible, what I outlined is more common.  I have witnessed the behavior in my male and female friends as well as myself. I call it the “Safe Harbor Effect.”  People naturally want to return to something that is already “proofed” when they make a poor choice.  It is a significantly less risky for the returner to return to someone with whom one is familiar than it is to go through another round of people, of which, none may pan out.  Sure, the person attempting to return may see the error in his/her ways, but it is usually not a good bet for the person being revisited.  It is 90/10 bet at best in favor of the returner moving on to the next bigger, better deal.

          People do not give up one person in favor of another person unless the person being given up is lacking something the person being selected possesses. That difference does not have to be looks.  For example, I have given up women because they do not keep their home as clean I keep my own in favor of women who do keep a clean home.  If I were to attempt to go back with the woman I gave up, it would not resolve the problem, and it is something that is not negotiable with me at this point in my life.  It is best to leave the woman I gave up alone, so that she can find a more compatible man.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          You’re talking past me. I’m literally talking about two people who went on a date, he found another woman and then came back to Woman #1 a few months later to start over. I am NOT talking about couples reconciling after they’ve already broken up.

        3. Gala

          Maybe the only thing that was wrong was that he went on a third date with someone else who was smarter/hotter, and after a few weeks, discovered she was insecure and high-maintenance. And then he remembered your positive interactions….

          And this is a good thing how, exactly??? If he wants someone hotter, he will chase after that again – hoping that this time he’d be lucky and she will be hot AND easy going. While you are … well, just easy going but not hot, sorry. Personally I would not be interested in this at all. I want my man to want me because of me, not because who they really wanted turned out to be a jerk and – lucky me – I get to keep him warm until someone else hot comes around. No thanks.

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          Gala, has it occurred to you that your beliefs and attitude about dating, relationships and men is the very reason you’re not in a happy marriage? It’s like you come here to be heard, but haven’t listened or absorbed a thing. Which is fine. You’re not alone. But you’re not even on my mailing list. You’re just trolling a message board and not implementing any of the free advice being offered. I just don’t get it.

      2. 15.4.2
        sylvana

        I have to second YAG and Gala. For some people, it does work, sure. There’s no discounting that.

        But I think most people judge this situation by personal experience. My observations of the people around me (of all walks of life) and their dating/relationships over the past 20+ years have shown that the majority of  situations like this did not end well for the person giving the second chance.

        98% of the time, the person ended up being nothing more than a “bedwarmer.” In a few cases, it worked out. Others are in long-term relationships where they are fully aware of their “shortcomings”, because their partners inadvertently (often not even noticing it) make it obvious that the person they’re with is lacking something they truly want, but cannot get (at least not along with the other qualities they seek).

        People do form their believes based on their own personal experiences and what they observe around them. Maybe your experiences as a dating coach are different. Maybe you simply believe that even if they do end up as a bedwarmers, it shouldn’t matter to them.

        But pretty much 98% of the people I’ve known in my life who have “healthy, balanced understanding of relationship dynamics” as you put it got totally screwed over by said healthy, balanced understanding. Repeatedly. Which to me means that I’d rather keep my twisted outlook on the issue.

        Mostly, because it’s simply not worth it. There are way too many fish in the sea. So, to me, it’s a matter of do as you wish. If you’re all right with it, go for it. If not, don’t.

        I do wonder, though, Evan, why you are so dead-set against people saying “no, thank you” and moving on. It’s not like there’s a guarantee you’re passing on your soulmate. As you mentioned, it’s no more than a date, not a decision of whether to get married.

        And “a potentially life-changing opportunity“?

        Sure, it could be. Or it could also be the one thing that ends up ruining my chances of encountering my life-changing opportunity. This person might just end up distracting me long enough so I never end up going on that date with the person who would have ended up being my partner for life. There are countless possibilities as to the outcome of this situation.

        It’s a game of chance. No more, no less.

        While I agree that people who are willing to give second chances should absolutely do so, I don’t see why it is such an offense for people who have moved on to say no.

        You might not mean it that way, but it does come across as if we OWE the other person a second date. Or at least as if the situation is not so much a “potentially life-changing situation” (no different from any other person we do or do not meet), but rather a pretty high chance we’re turning down our soulmates.

        Personally, I care less whether the person is actually interested in me or not. I’m the one who’s no longer interested in them.

        And if it’s all right for them to pass on me to pursue a smarter/hotter women, for example, back then, then it’s all right for me to pass on them to pursue whatever I’m looking for in a person now. Shouldn’t this be a two-way street?

         

         

         

         

         

         

        1. SparklingEmerald

          Very good response.  No one “owes” anyone a second chance.  In my last re-incarnation of dating,  I lost interest pretty quickly if the momentum slowed down or was lost.  If I hadn’t heard from a guy for a week, even if we had a great one or two dates, after a week I would have lost interest, so if he ghosted for a week and then came back,  I would turn him down because I was no longer interested, not because I was “taking it personally” or some such thing.  And I wouldn’t lose sleep thinking that I was possibly passing on my soul-mate or some life altering experience.  I would be busy checking my online dating inbox for my future potential soul mate or life altering experience.

    5. 15.5
      Gab

      From one Aussie to another, I wholeheartedly agree. Actually that black and white thinking reminds me of myself in my twenties, and it was definitely fear masquerading as arrogance/self love. I recall very clearly (and still feel shame about) standing in a train with my then bf (now ex husband), trying to get him to say I was the best girl he’d been with, and him rightly so, asking me “Who do you think you are?” I was indeed the prettiest girl he’d been with by a long shot but my need to hear it from him, the very fact I thought it was important that I be his number 1, reveals how insecure, fearful, and misguided I was.

      That way of thinking wouldn’t end after finding out you were choice number 1 either. You’d need to keep checking to see if you remained choice number 1, that your partner didn’t daydream about any other more attractive, smarter, kinder, wittier, more creative, more talented, more romantic, wealthier, edgier, cooler, crazier, (insert adjective) people.

      1. 15.5.1
        Marika

        Thanks Gab, mate.. 😉

        My ex husband was like that (but had at least 10 years on you at the time). And it was exhausting!! No amount of reassurance was enough for him. He was threatened by my ex (who was completely out of my life), when and how I was planning to tell my family about him (meanwhile he hadn’t told his family or kids about me)…and on it goes.

        It was frustrating and confusing as my past was nothing compared to his, so I couldn’t understand why he was so worried or needed to even compare. I thought I made it crystal clear how into him I was.

        Anyway, his constant need for reassurance was draining on our relationship and completely unnecessary.

  16. 16
    Jeremy

    I think that the way we each approach this question depends on our beliefs about a different question, one we’ve discussed often on this blog.  Namely, does attraction grow with time and familiarity, or not?

     

     

    I recently wrote that for long-term relationships to succed, we need 3 factors: attraction, connection/friendship, and compatibility of goals/values.  But when you’ve only gone on a couple of dates, you really only know about attraction, not the other two factors.  So if the person nexts you for someone else, what you know is that you aren’t terribly high on their attraction scale – whether because of your appearance, behavior, whatever.  Now, how much does that matter?  Depends.  Depends on what you believe.  If you believe that attraction grows stronger with connection it doesn’t matter much.  But if you believe that attraction is what it is and is distinct from connection, it matters quite a bit. Because no one wants to be with a person who is settling for them in terms of attraction.  While none of us is Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie, we all want to feel desired by our partner.  Connection and compatibility are great, but like any tripod, relationships fail when one leg is missing.

     

     

    So whether or not we would consider accepting a date from someone who previously nexted us depends on our beliefs about attraction.  And the problem with whatever we believe about this is that we will be right for some people and wrong for others – because there are definitely both types of people out there.  I think we each extrapolate our beliefs based on our own views on the matter.

  17. 17
    Marika

    As usual, Jeremy, you make a good point. I’m definitely in the camp of, as long as you find each other attractive enough to start chatting, or have a date, that attraction can grow further with time. And that strong attraction in itself is not a good indicator of relationship success. I’m also okay with my boyfriend not thinking I’m the hottest woman on earth. Maybe I’m more secure than I realized ☺

    I definitely think though, that no matter how you feel about that, it’s a good practice in general to avoid taking things too personally, have the ability to see the big picture and get over yourself..

    1. 17.1
      Chance

      This.  Bam.  This is the attitude that will see you through.  I can’t imagine that I am even remotely close to any woman’s vision of an ideal man or that there aren’t literally millions of men out there who would be more desirable to her.  As long as she desires me and we’re compatible, then it works for me.  *shrug*

  18. 18
    Marika

    Sorry Evan, I wrote that a bit flippantly. I certainly didn’t mean to insult you or your wife.

    I actually find your story a good antidote to the “my man has to think I’m the hottest person alive for us to be happy” attitude, when actually I think that attitude is unreasonable & is not a good foundation for a marriage.

  19. 19
    Elly Klein

    Hmmm… I see where Evan’s coming from. And if you want to see the guy again, there’s no harm in going on a second date. But if it didn’t pick up from there, and you had to wait another 5 – 7 days to hear from him, I think the reality of the situation would be as follows: He wants company or sex or both with you while he dates/looks for someone he’s more interested in. If you’re equally as happy with something casual, fine. If you want more from him, move on.

    My partner (of 2.5 years – living together, planning to get married next year) and I didn’t totally, utterly and completely wow each other on the first date. It was about an 8/10. (I’ve had 10/10 first dates a number of times.) But he liked me enough to start contacting me every day, while he had two other women he was seeing who he was only in touch with once a week. Why? Because he wasn’t serious about them, and he was never going to be. When we became exclusive about a month later, he said (a very polite and considerate) bye-bye to them.

     

  20. 20
    MilkyMae

    I don’t think disappearing happens because someone else is in the picture. Its usually because people feel a little attraction but they are not motivated(or confident) enough to respond and/or follow through. Its kind of a cold-feet, half-ass move.  Ironically, when people disappear and then re-appear, they usually try to restart the connection in a half-ass way.  It’s usually a mealy mouthed text message or a “wink” in a dating app or a cryptic post on FB.   You immediately know history will repeat itself.

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