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 (142 Comments).
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  1. 91

    When I first met my boyfriend he was pretty aloof and acted like he didn’t think I was all that great, but he still wanted to be exclusive. I think pretty highly of myself so I was surprised by him just acting like I was okay to be with, but he seemed to be the nicest guy I met online so I continued to see him.
    One day I overheard him telling my teenage son that  you shouldn’t act like you like a girl too much because she’ll get overconfident and move on to someone else. That explained a lot. It’s been a year now and he’s totally into me and not afraid to show it.

  2. 92

    @ Connie: sounds like it worked…

  3. 94

    I think I’m at the point where I need to read this advice more often. I had a date last night and gave in to first date sex. So the waiting game is even crazier now because I’m considering what he might do and trying to hold back a little. The dopamine fix is killing me and is probably likely to give me unrealistic expectations.

  4. 95

    Great post and something women don’t think about, especially when they are waiting for that call. Still, after many dates and no word back, women are still left wondering. I suspect men wonder, too, but they handle it differently. 
    I met someone via work, we exchanged business cards and he contacted me the next day, saying he’d like to get together. A few days later, he emailed again saying he was out of town for work and would email when he got back. He did and we had a great first date (no hook up!) I left it at that. I was certainly interested in seeing him again, but didn’t contact him. He contacted me hours after the date, saying it was a pleasure spending time with me and he’d like to go out again. I said I would enjoy that.
    I didn’t hear from him for a week (I know he has a busy job). Then he contacted me apologizing for not calling me earlier. He was going away for the holidays for two weeks, but asked my “permission” to call when he got back. I said yes. That was a month ago and no word. 
    So, he could have a busy job, a wife/girlfriend or simply is not interested. Certainly he was gentleman-like all along and contacted me when he said he would. But that was that. I don’t expect to hear from him; even perfect gentlemen change their minds!
    Evan’s right; we women reject men all the time, simply by not replying to emails online or worse. It’s part of the dating game. I am sure men are hurt by it all too. But they don’t rack their brains over it!

  5. 96

    Reading this thread again as I wait for a man to contact me to confirm a date (#5)  this week, yes in just two days.  We had, what I thought, were four really great dates over the last six weeks (including a break over the holidays when he went out of town).  He only emails, he does not call and he’s in his mid 40’s.  This morning after re-reading our last email volley I am thinking that HE thinks I did not clearly confirm the date in my email response to his invitation last week (yes, 7 days ago) but I feel we DID confirm and that is on HIM to contact me again to confirm our date in two days.  At first I responded that I was not sure because the date was a bit off in the distance (he had child care duties) and thus it seemed like he was not that interested but then when I learned his schedule I said I was interested and available.  His last response to me was “let’s check in later in the week” and that was a week ago.  I have not seen him since our last date which was 2 weeks ago.
    Is this how divorced men with kids in their mid-40’s behave?  I don’t feel it should be on ME to contact him today to confirm if we are still on for this date in two nights.  I know the answer: if he was really into me and looking forward to seeing me, he would have contacted me to confirm the plan.  But here I am in limbo, wondering if we’re on or off.  We had a previous date where I felt he left things “hanging” and I emailed him the day before to confirm (because I was not going o have internet access between then and the date) and he confirmed – via email.  That was before date #4, all dates initiated by him. I thought we had a great time on date #4.  
    Yet when I re-read the emails from a week ago (which like texting, is a terrible way to make plans when dating) it seems he may have misinterpreted my email and he thinks it was on ME to confirm.  Of course, this is all conjecture.
    With any other human being or situation, I would do what normal people do.  I would contact the person to confirm the plan if there was any question in my mind.  But since this is a man I’m dating, I feel that is putting me in “pursuit” mode which in the early stages of dating is a no-no.  I suppose if I just wait and he does not contact me then I’ll have my answer but it’s disheartening and annoying to have to deal with this sort of behavior.  But I would really just prefer to KNOW today so I can make other plans and plan my week.   *sigh*  I feel like an idiot even posting this because I know what everyone will say.   “He’s not that interested.”

  6. 97

    Susan 61 
    You are too attached to the outcome The key to dating is to mirror , be warm and happy and keep the pipeline full. I feel the angst in your post I bet he feels it too.
    If a guy is very interested he will pursue you. If he doesn’t release the worry and keep going. You know when you’ll get there because it will become very fun!! 

  7. 98

    Hi Susan, two things:
    – did you say in your email to him that it looked like he might not be that interested? If so I wouldn’t advise saying things like that to him again
    – I don’t think it’s the end of the world if you casually check in to confirm, but I think it’s better if you wait and see. And like Kathleen says, I get you feel tense about this but really try hard to relax because ultimately it doesn’t matter- he is just one guy. there will be others 🙂

  8. 99

    four dates in six weeks makes him little more than a stranger. In fact, I think you,d have better odds with a stranger.   I would forget him, however much you think you like him or got physical together. Even if he did contact me now, I,d assume it was because something else fell through and I,m the back up. No thanks. I.d rather stay home.
    Go ahead and make your plans.
    ps he gets a pass if he,s on a manned space mission. 

  9. 100

    Thanks for the replies. He did email me this morning to confirm our date.  I do feel like he’s slowly pulling back and maybe even ‘friend-zoning” me is a possibiltiy – but why bother doing that? @Kathleen – I hear you, but actually I am much cooler, carefree and fun when I’m with him.  I save the angst for friends and dating advice blogs.  He has initiated every date thus far.
    @Jennifer – no, I did not say that it looked like he might not be interested.  He was asking me to get together the following week and it seemed like so far off that he wasn’t that interested.  Then he told me his schedule (yet it seems if was very interested he would have wanted to try to see me sooner…) with kids, etc.  Anyway, I’m glad I waited and he did email me today.  He is just one guy, for sure, but it’s rare for me to click with a guy and it’s been years since I’ve really dated or was this interested in someone.  And when you’re 50, it’s not like available guys are everywhere or lining up, it’s a bit harder. 
    @marymary.  We met just before Christmas and he has 50% custody of his children and also went out of town over the holidays so that is one explanation for only four dates but you are right, it could also mean he’s dating others and is not that interested in me.  I guess I’ll find out soon.

  10. 101
    Karl R

    Susan61 said: (#100)
    “he has 50% custody of his children”
    I dated a woman for over 8 months who had 50% custody. For most of that time, she was dating me (and only me). One night per week would be our date night. One night per week she ran errands. One night per week she spent with one or more girlfriends. The remaining nights were spent with her kids.
    While she wasn’t dating other men during that time, she also wasn’t interested in pursuing a long-term relationship with me. Her next boyfriend (whom she wanted a long-term relationship with) got more of her time by moving in with her. That relationship ended and she got married to a third man. (It was a long-distance relationship, so she probably spent less time with him.)
    Susan61 said: (#96)
    “He only emails, he does not call and he’s in his mid 40′s.”
    Different people prefer different forms of communication. If he expects to be interrupted frequently, emails are a lot more convenient than phone calls.
    Susan61 asked: (#100)
    “I do feel like he’s slowly pulling back and maybe even ‘friend-zoning’ me is a possibiltiy – but why bother doing that?”
    The company of an attractive member of the opposite sex can be rewarding in itself, even if there’s no long-term potential and no sexual activity.
    In my experience, my gut feeling that someone is pulling back has almost always been correct.
    Susan61 said: (#96)
    “This morning after re-reading our last email volley I am thinking that HE thinks I did not clearly confirm the date in my email response to his invitation “
    Kathleen said: (#97)
    “The key to dating is to mirror”
    Mirroring works both ways. The response you give a man should be equal to the interest he showed you. If it’s not, you’re not mirroring.
    For example, let’s assume that I invite a woman to see the play at the community theater on Friday and she gives me some version of “Maybe” as a response, then I would say that it’s up her to clarify her interest. I already indicated my interest. If she wants to mirror me, her response should be “Yes.”
    A smart male dater will be very attuned to mirroring, and mirroring extends to almost every aspect of the relationship. If I call a woman and leave a voice mail, mirroring would lead her to call me back (and leave a voice mail if she doesn’t reach me). If she doesn’t call, she’s expressing her lack of interest. If I write a two page email to a woman, I should get a 1 to 3 page email in response. If I get a hastily written 4 line email, she’s expressing her lack of interest.
    When there’s a communication breakdown (i.e. Susan61 confirmed the date but her boyfriend doesn’t necessarily realize she did), then the miscommunication fault is shared equally. I would encourage the person who recognizes it first to clarify things, since the other person may remain oblivious to the error.

  11. 102

    Susan 61 
    If it was me I would have told him that I already had made plans since you hadn’t heard from him.
    If you haven’t read any of Sherry Argovs “Bitches ” books id highly recommend them also. 
    At 54 I never took any guy too seriously no matter how much i felt we clicked and I kept my pipeline full ( I have a boyfriend now) My 55 year old best friend also has great guys lining up so your belief that you have few choices because of age may be limiting you  
    I love Evans 2 questions that help assess a guy. 
    1 Am i feeling good .Having fun?
    2. Is he making an effort ?
    Good luck 

  12. 103

    It seems to me like Susan is overanalyzing the man’s behavior. You can make this much more simple. If you don’t like how he communicates (e-mails instead of calls, goes for weeks without initiating contact, etc.), then move on to meet a man who communicates his interest in a level that is satisfactory to your needs. If he’s not making an effort to woo you now, what makes you believe he will later? I understand that a connection is rare and you may feel wonderful when you’re with him, but how is he making you feel when you’re not with him? By your posts, Susan, it seems like the answer is “not very good” or a combination between anxious, unsure, confused, etc.

    I have yet to hear a woman in a stable 30+ year marriage who describes how she met her husband to be like Susan’s posts/comments. Like Evan would say, BELIEVE that the RIGHT man will make you feel safe, secure and wanted right off the bat. Believe that when you meet the man who is RIGHT for you, you will not be e-mailing Evan or reading the Internet for answers on what you should do. With the right man, it is all very clear. Yes there are exceptions, but as always with exceptions, it’s not very wise to count on being one.

    It might be harder to date at your age, Susan, but there are a lot of men out there. Don’t make the mistake of generalizing with statements like “all divorced men in their 40’s act this way”. This is ONE man. Get back online and find the man who will make you feel safe. Good luck!

  13. 104

    Kathleen #102:  An older friend said much the same thing to me several years ago when I was in the throes and thick of online dating. She said “Ellen keep it simple: Are you having fun?” ” If not, then you have your answer.”
    Re age, I am aware, more than ever now that I’m seeing an anti-aging expert, that we do not all age the same. I am unusual ’cause I made it to 50 looking good, thanks to great genes, plastic surgery and being an athlete all my life. That said, I am sick and tired of hearing over fifty women hear bemoan the fact they are invisible or no longer wanted. Garbage! There are still quite a few (and it’s increasing) men over 45 and 50 who want your company. Sometimes it takes them a while to realize they just aren’t going to snag the 30- and 40-somethings anymore.
    And if you project that vibe that you are somehow damaged goods, guess what? you will repel imo the very category of men you are targeting. The 41 year old man I dated 9 months before my current bf of one year (and a keeper) never once questioned my age, but then I had him convinced I was born in 1961, not 1953 (I know, I know, horrible), but I only did that ’cause he was status conscious. He was the exception (most men I told at date #3). All I can think is I acted confident most of the time I was with him and that helped with the illusion.
    In the three years I dated I only once got an abusive, derogatory remark about my true age. But then I dated gentlemen for the most part, young and old.

  14. 105

    Thanks for the feedback, Karl R.  That was helpful.
    Kathleen, we did have an actual date scheduled but since it was discussed only via email and several days went by with no contact, it felt like a nebulous plan to me.  That led me to feel some “angst” and post here, as a way to just get it off my chest and get some feedback as well.  Perhaps in *his* mind it was a solid plan and lo and behold, he confirmed yesterday. 
    I have read that book “Why Men Love Bitches”, and perhaps should read it again.  And thank you for pointing out that I am harboring a limiting belief about my age.  (This man is younger than I am…)  I am working on letting go of limiting beliefs as they do not serve me!
    I had fun on our dates.  I felt we had a lot of the dreaded “chemistry”.  Ah well. I’m committed to having fun with him on this pending date, no matter what.  Letting a man decide my worthiness or attractiveness is something I no longer subscribe to.  His behavior is really about HIM and while in the past I would have taken it personally, my renewed motto is “don’t take anything personally”  (read “The Four Agreements”).  While I am definitely attracted to him, if he does only want to be “friends” it’s OK.  My ego may feel slightly stung but I will get over it quickly.  I barely know him.
    Is he making an effort?  He was.  His efforts have clearly slowed down.  I do think being transitioned into a “friend” is a distinct possibility.  It’s not the end of the world although it’s not the ideal outcome.  I do still wonder, Karl R, why he would bother yet as I recall, he did mention on our dates that he needs more “friends”.  I thought he meant male friends but hey, maybe that was a little red flag.  Yet, I am really trying to let go, live in the moment and detach from any particular outcome. 
    Onwards and upwards!

  15. 106

    Ellen 104
    I always appreciate your posts  You’d be a fun person to meet and talk with.
    You sound confident with great self esteem and that is very attractive to men regardless of age. It is communicated with body language and also giving men the sense that you have other interested suitors available to move on to.
    My current boyfriend of 46 and before him a guy of 40, could care less about my age. They’ve had their kids.
    Yes “Are you having fun with him” is the ultimate easy question and it you are feeling angst when you’re not with him, you are wasting your own precious time and happiness.

  16. 107

    Kathleen #106: Thanks Kathleen. I think we’d enjoy chatting and maybe someday will meet offline. I can be found by going to the Intrepid Travel FB page and searching on upcoming Morocco vacations in April (I left a message).
    You wrote: “It is communicated with body language and also giving men the sense that you have other interested suitors available to move on to.”- Yeah, one day, long after my bf and I had committed to each other BOTH of my male platonic friends called my house while he was there and OMG he treats me like a princess as it is, but that day he was over the top. Lmsao
    Yeah, and if your entire “package” of education, looks, personality is, say, 50 points, I really think confidence gives you a solid 10!
    PS Whilst dating younger, I honestly felt you can make a soul connection with someone even if they are 10 years or so younger. But I never really wanted anything long-term with a much younger man for practical reasons. Wouldn’t want them to watch me age at a faster rate for one thing!

  17. 108

    Yes Ellen 107
    Ive attracted more men in my 50s than 20s because of confidence. Who knew When I got divorced I thought my romantic life was over.
     Couldn’t find u on that FB page but I commented on Evans FB post re the bar scene  

  18. 109

    OK, I just want to report that my date (#5) was a smashing success.  So all that worrying and angst for nothing.  Of course, there are no guarantees of anything but wow, we had such a great, fun night and he emailed me this morning.  I’m really trying to practice present moment living and not worrying about the past or the future…it’s a challenge but it’s so much more fun.  I still think he may be dating others but that’s OK, I will do the same.  If it works, it works.  If it doesn’t, I had 5 fun dates with an attractive man.  And BTW, he is six years younger. 

  19. 110

    Susan61: Fantastic. Good luck with him and all the men you date. It took me three years, but I finally found my guy. You will too.

  20. 111

    Kathleen: There were technical difficulties on the Intrepid site, but I just left a message and it finally worked! Yeah! I’ll try to remember to go on FB and see your post as well. Everyone have a great weekend! I plan to make LOTS of fires. Me and my guy cut wood (he did actually) last weekend near his work bldgs., then we sat in chairs very very still for nearly two hrs. to try to get a glimpse of deer. Deer season ended here in SC on Jan. 1. No deer though 🙁

  21. 112

    Dating experience has shown me that if a man can’t even be bothered to call or get my number, next.
    During the day, men DO have the time to call usually – they just don’t want to if they’re not interested.
    Or, said another way, if he doesn’t have three minutes to call, then I don’t have an evening to spare either.

  22. 113

    Never worry again about THE CALL BACK
    Unless !!!!!!!!! You acted outside of your values.
    Then only worry why you did something you regret and NEVER do THAT again.

    If you have acted within your values and you did not get THE CALL BACK.
    The universe, your intuition, your higher self, are protecting you from your ego.
    He went to call, but he tripped and his cell was run over by a bus.
    He went to call, but he was hit by a bus
    He went to call, but was suddenly chased by a black bear
    He went to call, but his car caught on fire
    Believe me, universal intelligence is keeping this guy off your doorstep.
    Let him go, forget about it… why…… because the better one or the right one does not want him in the picture.

    Just smile and say to yourself “ooooooo, there’s someone better? WOW”

  23. 114

    JoJoe 113 – yes, I think you’re absolutely right. If he didn’t call back, he just was either rude or not interested. In both cases, if he said he would ring back, he is not a man of integrity or of his word.

    A total loser.

  24. 115

    JoJoe – by the way, thanks for the good laugh. Chased by a black bear? Love it.

  25. 116

    Judy, yes, I’m right. But when you say “he’s a total loser”
    You are putting emotion on it and that’s where it gets you angry.
    Anger is not the best colour on you. Find a happy colour, actually think of a colour that you like. There you will find the match in your days ahead.
    Sounds silly, maybe, but read up on the emotion of colour and colour therapy.
    I feel inclined to ask you to ponder this. Why.. I don’t know.

  26. 117

    Good luck

  27. 118

    Sometimes people can just be very busy with work etc and guys don’t tend to share the details of their diaries early on. 
    My husband of 19 years kept me waiting about 3 weeks between calls/dates initially. I was dating other guys during this time, so didn’t get fazed. When we became exclusive, he called daily. 
    Everyone is different and some times guys are just hectic at work and want to wait to call until they can arrange to spend quality time with you. Unless you’ve got a crystal ball, chilax and enjoy yourself in the meantime.

  28. 119
    Dina Strange

    Maybe, because I am from a different culture, but I get a feeling, everyone is so “desperate” to meet someone. I understand, it sucks to be alone, but….finding the “one” shouldn’t be the only goal in life.

  29. 120

    I just started dating after 8 yrs of being alone (by choice).  It has helped my self esteem quit a bit.  Knowing attractive guys were actually paying attention to me and not just undesirable people (and I say people because you will get hit on by same sex even when you’re  straight). Physical attraction is important. However,  I had been very hesitant to do it because  I  totally  agree  with  you.   It’s  a big game.  I don’t  think people  realize they play with people ‘s emotions.  For example; you meet a man you really  like.  He flirts, talk to you daily, has a huge part in you raising your expectations and poof! They disappear.  I don’t  think we should turn into these emotionless humans just because we are dating.  How about be honest and say, “I’m not interested”?  If you tell them about you or they read it in your profile, they should  know exactly who they are asking out on a date and should  know what to expect.  But to blame the person that feels hurt is rediculous.  The majority of the people will get if you just tell the truth. No one should  play with people’s feeling.  So you don’t  get a call from a guy, you wait three days and now you are clingy?  What about those daily calls and texts he made for days and days.  This is not cool at all.  It makes just want to go back to “I will to see if I ever run into my future mate by chance in the middle of the street.  The old fashion way.  I totally agree with “M” #21.  Dating is a disgusting game.

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