How Do I Stay Sane While I Wait for Him to Call?

How Do I Stay Sane While I Wait for Him to Call?

Hi Evan,

After a fantastic third date with a new guy I’m very interested in–dinner, live music, and coming back to my place where we talked until 2:45 am (did not have sex or even make out), he gave me a kiss and left without saying he’d call. Now I’m racking my brain to see if I did or said something wrong. It’s only been three days and I know I should calm down and be confident that he really likes me, as you suggest. I am continuing to make plans to meet other guys. But THIS guy is the one I’m interested in. How can I stay sane while waiting to see if he’s going to ask me out for this weekend?

Thanks a lot,



By the time you read my reply, I predict that you will barely even remember this guy.

Wait, that’s not true. You’ll remember this guy. He won’t remember you.

This is one of the things that I know to be true about dating.

It’s a big ol’ revolving door — and it’s only our unrealistic set of expectations surrounding it that cause us to get hurt so frequently.

So let’s take a step back and observe. Forgive me if I leap to a few conclusions, since I don’t know anything about you personally.

This is one of the things that I know to be true about dating. It’s a big ol’ revolving door — and it’s only our unrealistic set of expectations surrounding it that cause us to get hurt so frequently.

Let’s say you met him online. How many men have you corresponded with on your dating site? 50? 100? 200? 1000?

How many of those men turned into first dates?

How many of those first dates turned into second dates?

How many of those second dates turned into boyfriends?

How many of those boyfriends lasted more than six months?

What we see when we take the 35,000 foot overview on your love life is that it’s really, really rare for a relationship to take off.

If you’re like everybody else, it’s a trial and error. Sometimes, you get lucky. Sometimes you don’t.

I went on over 300 dates before getting married. I got second dates with most of them, but some refused to see me a second time.

It’s really not that mysterious. Every man you like doesn’t like you sufficiently in return.

As for the women who I really connected with, I “committed” to probably ten women in that time. We were exclusive for 1 to 8 months. I dumped half. Half dumped me.

This is just called dating.

It’s really not that mysterious.

Every man you like doesn’t like you sufficiently in return.

You’re very attuned to that part.

What you don’t get nearly as upset about are the many men who are very interested in you that YOU’RE not excited by.

Should these men — who ultimately don’t stand a chance with you, no matter how pleasant your first date was — get UPSET? Should they rack their brains and obsess about what they did “wrong”? Should they keep calling you over and over to see if you’re interested simply because THEY’RE interested?

This is the blind spot of single people.

Women think it’s perfectly fair to ignore an email from a guy or refuse to return a phone call so he can take a hint.

Yet a man is a player or a liar or a jerk for not being sufficiently interested in you.

This ain’t that complicated.

If he’s interested in you, he’ll follow up in a couple of days, max.

If he’s not interested in you, he won’t.

Your level of interest in him is entirely irrelevant.

And the lesson to be learned is that, if this kind of thing happens over and over (and based on your emails, it does), it would seem to be prudent to not get too excited or emotionally attached to a guy until he’s called himself your boyfriend.

How do you do this in real life?

Well, I wrote an entire book about it. It’s called “Why He Disappeared” and if you struggle with the same issues that Ashley does, it’s probably time for you to pick up a copy.

And yes, there’s a money-back guarantee.

Join our conversation (144 Comments).
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  1. 1
    Grace Pamer

    And/or he might call you any day now as he’s just been busy.   I know with my hubby when we first got together he was just lousy at calling for a while.   It wasn’t anything against me, it was just the way he was and thought nothing of it.   So don’t beat yourself up about it as he may be just as into you – 3 days after all is not a long time and life gets very hectic.
    But as Evan rightly says he may not be that into you.   So don’t wait by the phone indefinitely.   It’s a case of playing the percentages (not romantic I know but then not everyone locks eyes on their future partnet passing each other on an escalator in the Paris Metro and then bump into each other in a coffee shop hours later).   You may well break as many hearts as they break yours.   That’s why you just have to keep confident, have good friends around you and trust in yourself because one day, one way or the other, you will meet the right person and probably when you least expect it… trite I know but happens more often to my readers than I can possibly mention.
    Good luck and stay positive

  2. 2

    Great post Evan, yet again. I have to say that I’ve had this type of thing happen so many times, that I’ve become almost too good at not getting attached to any one guy. Sometimes it feels like I’m not interested in anyone anymore because I’ve trained myself to yes, be open, (and no I don’t feel jaded), but to not get vested emotionally. Sometimes I worry that a good guy who is right for me will move on because I am not able to show enough interest in him, like I’ve become a little shut-down. It’s as though I’ve turned off my ability (or willingness?) to become attached to another person. I used to feel so hurt and rejected all the time if guys didn’t follow-up after a date or two, that I was in a perpetual state of depression. I was determined to work on myself and now it seems like I can’t get interested in anyone. I guess the upside is that it will take a pretty sweet guy to break down that barrier. I wonder what other experienced women daters would say about this.

    1. 2.1

      Hi, I feel very strongly sometimes after dates. Especially when the guy has really ‘worked’ on me! You know, we had great rapport and he painted himself in such a great light instinctively selling me on all his best points : ) Stroking my back, patting my knee etc etc.
      Begin single and not being touched everyday or getting that kind of attention, it’s very affecting. I feel a bit like a console where someone has pressed every single button all at once. Rather overwhelmed and longing for him to call but at the same time wondering how I can really cope with that much ‘data’ coming in all at once.
      Anyway… so yes I do feel hurt if he then doesn’t call and confused too. They want to charm you so much and then go cold it’s tough.
      So what I’ve started doing, to try and avoid the shutting-down effect is to try and trigger a good crying session. Rather than pushing the hurt feeling down I try and bring it up. A bit like vomit really : )
      Put some time aside for myself, listen to some rousing music and imagine how lonely and sad I am. Tears. Feel like shit for a day.
      Then hey presto feel fantastic a couple of days later. Next.
      : )  

      1. 2.1.1

        Wow, that was so well put. That is exactly how I feel–like system overload or finding water after being in the desert for weeks. It’s all too much sometimes. I just had a third date where we went hiking and spent several hours together. It was really special. He took my hand to guide me; he kept touching me. He wanted to do something post hike only I had other plans. I went to hug him goodbye and he kissed me on the mouth. He seemed to really like me so why hasn’t he called in 3 days–we had been texting/calling frequently before this date. Trying to figure people out can make you crazy. I like the crying idea you suggested. Or meditation.

        1. willa

          or medication.

      2. 2.1.2

        I really like this.   I had a tendency to shut down/block feelings as a defence mechanism too.   I recently realized that pushing those feelings down did me no favours whatsoever.   The feelings come about so they can be felt.   And so, now that I’ve begun letting them happen, the icky’ness of a guy letting me down (through no fault of his) just lasts for a short time and then it’s much easier to move on.   Feel the feelings.   We’re supposed to have them.   It’s part of being human.

      3. 2.1.3

        LOVE THIS

        I feel a bit like a console where someone has pressed every single button all at once.

  3. 3

    Evans right. Its my experience an interested guy would have called by now.
    The simple answer to the question is you DONT WAIT. You go on with the things that bring you joy and passion in your life and that adds to your attractiveness

    Even if Im madly attracted to a guy these days I don’t attach to an outcome especially not from one date that I thought was great.

  4. 4

    I’m always shocked at how women get invested and excited about a man as early as dates 1, 2, 3, hell, even 5! Great early dates are meaningless! Of course, go ahead, go out and smile and be warm and friendly, but to think it means anything is insane. Even as a fairly emotional, feeling woman who wants a relationship, I can tell you it’s rare that I give a shit what happens by date 3, and that’s because I understand the fickle nature of dating.

    However, I still struggled with some of this in the past despite continuing to accept dates from other people, having a rewarding social life and pursuing other friendships, and doing exciting things that had nothing to do with dating. The biggest thing that turned it around for me was learning to have faith that if some guy I was invested in and liked wasn’t calling or stepping up, a better man would eventually, so no worries – and even if no great man ever came along, my life would be fabulous anyway. It was really hard to swallow that, and didn’t initially feel natural, but I’ve put this into practice a couple times recently and reacted inwardly and outwardly in a gracious, classy way to men who didn’t do what I wanted, and I felt so much better. Of course, part of this transformation was making sure I really did build a cool life filled with things and people I was passionate about –  a life that any man would want to be  a part of or even envy, and that would sustain me no matter what-   so if this woman doesn’t have that maybe that should be one of her priorities.

    1. 4.1

      After a long time I’m just getting there myself. Thanks for this comment.

    2. 4.2

      I wouldn’t say it is insane…….I would say it is human nature.

  5. 5

    This is two way risk as men meet just as many women who are not interested in them as vice versa. The difference is that men who are interested don’t have to sit around wondering if women are interested in them for a few days. They just make contact and those who are really keen in my experience usually can’t wait for long to   call (often within hours). Even men get excited about early dates if they are very keen on a woman.

  6. 6

    I disagree with Evan about the phone call/contact thing in general. You’ve already been on three dates – if you really like him, contact him. You don’t have to ask him out. You can simply call to say hello and give him the opportunity to ask you out again. And if you’re not comfortable doing that, then don’t and wait. Either way, if the relationship is meant to be, a single phone call or text isn’t going to make or break anything.
    With that said, here’s what I see. You’ve been on three dates. You’ve had fun, but there’s next to no physical intimacy occurring. Or it didn’t occur on the third date, in your apartment no less. So, either the guy is really conservative/reserved, or he’s not really into you. Odds are the latter because even guys that don’t move fast sexually tend to want to make out if they’re interested in a woman. I have had plenty of experiences like this. Going out for a few times, enjoying the company and having a good time. But that’s all. You can’t take it personally. As Evan points out, the vast majority of first dates don’t lead to long term relationships.
    So, although my take is somewhat different, I think Evan’s conclusion is basically right. He’s not really that into you. If he were, he probably would have made more of a move in your apartment. Don’t take it personally. It’s just how things go sometimes.

  7. 7
    Jackie Holness

    When a guy is interested, he acts like it. Period. End of discussion…Sorry…

  8. 8

    We do have such a double standard when it comes our interests vs theirs.
    I too used to get very upset when someone didn’t “feel” the same way I did.   Now I thank them for not wasting my time.
    Sometimes I ask…especially if I really did think they were interested. Sometimes I just let them disappear…especially if I wasn’t all that excited myself.

    I like what Evan says…This is DATING.

  9. 9

    Amy @ post#2, I have gotten like you are now.. I was “hurt” so many times through internet dating because I took everyting so seriously at first. My husband had died and I hadn’t dated in a long time. When I finally ran across someone I “really liked” and he expressed   interest in me I took it too seriously. I basically “chased him down when he didn’t call when he said he would”! Boy, did I learn from that experience. I got my heart broken and decided to move on.

      An old boyfriend came back into my life and  I am dating him now. Now, the one from the online dating site that I fell in love with is begging me   for a chance to get serious with me. I had totally backed off from him, and now he is chasing me!

    I too, got a little jaded from men expressing interest and then backing out somehow. So, I decided to not care as much.. and now, unfortunately I don’t. I closed off a part of my heart for this man and now I don’t know if I can get it back. Amy, yes, I do think that we care too much sometimes, close down, and then have a hard time feeling like we once did so easily..      

  10. 10

    Fiona 5,

    It’s difficult for guys too.   If I call a girl that I’m really interested in and she doesn’t call back or waits a day or two beofre sending the thanks but no thanks text, well that day or two is spent in a lot of nervous anxiety waiting for the phone to ring.   When reality sets in that she wasn’t interested, all the typical feelings of rejection set in.

    The thing that is maddening is that it always seems to be the one that you’re most interested in that doesn’t return that phone call, isn’t it?

    That said, I’ve learned to not take early dating scenarios that fizzle out personally.   I used to think that the other person had all these options and that I wasn’t interesting enough for the woman to spend amymore time on me.   I then began to realize that  most of these women were still toiling away online, weeks, months, and years later.   So everyone is struggling to find that special someone.

    If you’re dating around and getting a lot of second, third, fourth dates you’re probably doing pretty well and par for the course.   It only stands to reason that every once in a while you’ll come across one that isn’t interested in you or maybe not interested enough to spend anymore time on.   That doesn’t mean that the other options they’re exercising are that much better, it just means they’re making a choice…it may not be the right choice.   I know I’ve cut some women off who may have turned out as a better option for others that didn’t pan out.   It’s just the way it works, it’s not pleasant but it’s dating.

    If someone cuts you off in the initial stages, you really have to have a “good luck, knock yourself out finding someone better’ attitude.   Not in a malicious way but in a way that instills self-confidence because an early rejection really doesn’t mean that much at all.

    Also I agree that a lack of physical intimacy by the third date would be a bit too platonic for me and I may lose interest.   Though there’s no rhyme or reason to it because I’ve had pretty intense intimacy by date one or two that never led to date three so who knows…

  11. 11

    Hmm…I wonder if something in the apartment turned the guy off? Maybe the 12 cats  were too much for him, or maybe he picked up on the fact that she was a vegan by what was in her fridge/pantry and that’s just one of his deal-breakers. Each date gives us more information about the person we’re spending time with, and  he probably gathered enough  info  by date #3  to decide that  she was not a good match. I absolutely agree that men who are interested will show it, and since most encounters don’t turn into long-term relationships I’d say she’s lucky she found this out  early on.  Now she is free to find the guy who’s looking for a fellow vegan and shares his love for cats, because he IS out there….

    1. 11.1

      Hahaha! I love your comments!

  12. 12

    Ok, I get the “i am not into you” argument, after three days but rarely do I ever get a thank you call from the woman, though I do get texts often.   As a matter of personal taste, if the date was ok, but not great, and if the woman calls to tell me she enjoyed our time together, it would motivate me a bit more.   Of course, there a ‘personal signals’ at the end of the date and I am sych into those moments, but sometimes the goodbye (esp the first date or two), can be very modest.

    Yes, as a man I do what I want. Personally, a call back to me does indicate interest and I do like like.   I am not waiting by the phone, but from my POV your cause can be served a bit better if I know you level of interest.


  13. 13

    The OP shouldn’t feel like she’s “waiting” on him to call in the first place. This is one of the reasons I believe in dating more than one guy at a time.    Part of dating is a numbers game. No point in shutting your options down when this one guy isn’t committed to an exclusive relationship as your bf yet (and may never be). And try to find the balance of being open but not being emotionally invested in the guy you like if he hasn’t asked you to be his gf yet.

    If your life is full enough with things to do outside this one guy and you are open to other guys, you won’t even really notice so much that he’s taking awhile to call.   I mean 3 days is awhile to not call for a guy who is really interested but there are sometimes exceptions.      Either way if you open yourself   to dating others, chances are you will   end up meeting a guy who is being more consistent than this one.

      A lot of us tend to act like the guy we are really excited about is our “last chance”. I still struggle with this at times when I really like someone and it may be premature to know where it’s going.   Instead of worrying about the outcome, what I do now is remind myself if it doesn’t work I’ll be fine because I had a life before him and I will still have one if it doesn’t work.   It just means that someone even better for me is around the corner.

    1. 13.1

      I love this!

  14. 14

    A third date that ends in your apartment at 2:45am without so much as a makeout session? I agree with nathan (#6) on this one. Either he is extremely conservative/reserved or he’s not attracted to you. Either way, it doesn’t really matter why. Ask yourself if this is really a guy you want? I once went on a second date with a great guy who failed to make a move on our second date, even after driving me home from the nightclub at 2am. I assumed that he wasn’t attracted to me. I later found out that he is a very conservative Christian. Could be a great catch for someone. Not for me. Weeks later, I met my current boyfriend and I couldn’t be happier.

  15. 15

    I wouldn’t call him at this early stage. Even if there wasn’t a makeout session, I would probably expect a passionate kiss at the end of a good 3rd date. Better to weed out the less interested parties as early as possible. That’s the problem with dating; so few couples are mutually interested, but your future boyfriend is the one who is really into you, and sees you as more than a friend who’s fun/interesting to talk to.

  16. 16

    I’m in a similar situation too, yet still offers gushing compliments (my appearance, intelligence, and work skills) and obviously flirts with me like crazy at work every week.
    Just can’t tell if interested or not.   Too many mixed messages. (*sigh*)

  17. 17

    I’m in a similar situation too.   Doesn’t call, yet he still offers gushing compliments (my appearance, intelligence, and work skills) and obviously flirts with me like crazy at work every week.
    Just can’t tell if he’s interested or not.   Too many mixed messages. (*sigh*)

  18. 18

    Perhaps the guy wanted a make out session and he picked up the vibe that she wasn’t interested and then he lost interest in her.   Either way, after 3 dates fading away isn’t a cool option — a phone call or in person “I’ve had a great time getting to know you but…” explanation would be much nicer.

  19. 19

    Hi Artie, going on what you shared in your post, don’t read his words–the compliments, read his actions– the not    asking you out.   You know what helps me in those situations where a guy flirts it up so strongly,   as if he’s about   to get on his knees and propose and ,yet, doesn’t ask me out?   Instead of being so disappointed that this one guy isn’t asking me out, I take the attention from him as a compliment without putting any real meaning or expectation behind it.   Don’t think to yourself if a guy   flirts, it means he will call/ask you out.   Rather just keep in mind it happens that way sometimes but it isn’t guaranteed.  

  20. 20

    I was joking with a friend the other day that I’ve lost all ability to get excited about a great first date, and I think it’s a good thing.   Dating is SO MUCH EASIER when I just let the guy lead and I’m not constantly obsessing about every little thing.   Besides, as a woman dating online, there is ALWAYS another one around the corner.
    Also, I make every effort not to take anything personally.   You may never know why he didn’t contact you again, and unless this is a dating pattern that might indicate you are doing something to turn most guys off, you may as well assume the reason has nothing to do with you.   Maybe he realized he wasn’t ready to start dating after all, maybe he ran into an ex he wanted to get back together with, you just never know.

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