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Evan,

Over the past couple of weeks I’d been e-mailing a woman who initiated contact with me. It was pretty apparent from the timing of the mails that she didn’t always have access to the web which I, being in IT, do.

We had our first conversation on this past Tuesday night and it went well. We have a date scheduled for Saturday evening to get drinks. During the call she gave me her regular e-mail so we wouldn’t have to work through Match. The next day I sent her a very short e-mail mostly to answer a question she had that I didn’t have the answer to Tuesday night. I also said I enjoyed talking with her. She responded that she enjoyed the conversation and was looking forward to Saturday.

Now, I thought it would be appropriate to speak one more time before Saturday. So yesterday (Thursday) I sent an e-mail asking if it would be better to call that night or Friday. That’s all the mail said. I didn’t get a response yesterday so I didn’t know if she got the mail or not. I posted this information on a forum I use – and while a couple of women said I should go ahead and call, several others said that I was appearing needy, that I shouldn’t have asked when a good time to call would be. Some even said that I shouldn’t have had any more contact until Saturday at all.

Now, I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about the guys that call several times a day but I don’t think I was approaching that territory. As far as I was concerned, I was being considerate in asking when a better time to call would be. Did I show weakness? Neediness? Expose my throat?

Has it really come to this, that it’s not just “don’t be a stalker” but that any sign of showing you want to talk to the person is a sign of weakness and grounds for elimination? If so, why do we have the audacity to wonder why so many of us are still single?

Thanks,

Markus

Dear Markus,

Thanks for the note. Since you’re a regular reader and commenter, I wanted to get back to you as quickly as I could.

Anyone who’s been here before knows that I never ever EVER validate the person asking me a question.

  • If a woman says that her boyfriend is a jerk, I’ll ask why she’s dating a jerk.
  • If a man says that women are fickle and judgmental, I’ll ask if he’s fickle and judgmental.

I think there’s nothing to learn from pointing fingers at the world’s injustices. The real power comes from seeing the world clearly, assessing your role in why things happen, and deciding if there’s anything within your power to alter the future outcome….

Which is why I’m as surprised as anyone, Markus, that I don’t have any constructive criticism for you. If I were your dating coach and you told me that story, I’d tell you to do the exact same thing again. And if all you got back from this woman was stony silence, at least you know you acted with class and integrity.

This reminds me of a friend who’d had a great first date shortly before he was to leave town for a business trip. Instead of telling the woman he’d call her upon his return, he decided to make an effort while he was gone. Great move. Making an effort shows a guy’s serious, a quality that 99% of women say they’re looking for in a man.

So my buddy calls her on Sunday and leaves a message. Four days later, he checks in again to see if he can reach her. Leaves a message. He returns home, and hears through the grapevine that she thought he was a good guy but was a little too “needy.”

This drives me fucking nuts.

Ladies who are reading this — I am pleading with you to find some consistency. I do not advocate that you date some wussy-stalker who has no mind of his own, except when it comes to texting you 42 times a day to show you he cares. I do advocate, however, a more commonsense policy — one that is better aligned with your stated goals.

You’ve told me in no uncertain terms that you’re sick of men who are players. Men who charm you and don’t follow up. Men who sleep with you and don’t call. Men who text at midnight on a Friday to see if you’re around. Men who take you out for months and never commit. We’re all in agreement that these guys are the ones who ruin dating, because you never know where you stand with them.

Then why the HELL can’t a good guy make an effort towards you without being labeled needy? Isn’t this exactly what you WANT? A guy who does what he says and says what he means? A guy who calls when he says he’ll call?

Why the HELL can’t a good guy make an effort towards you without being labeled needy?

Listen, I’m not saying that this woman has to like Markus. For all I know, he left a really creepy message that lasted for four minutes before cutting off due to a full mailbox. But presuming he did nothing wrong, what is he to take from this latest online dating endeavor?

So what are you looking for, ladies? The badboy who keeps you guessing? Or the good guy who makes a normal and sustained effort without overdoing it?

Go on, we’re dying to hear…

(Oh, and since this is not a piece attacking women, please don’t counter with all the things that men do wrong. It’s irrelevant, since two wrongs don’t make a right. Just let the guys here know: you DO want them to make an effort when they like you, right?)