I just started going out with a guy whom I’ve known for 5 years. We decided together and things have been going very well. Last weekend we spent together, he gave me a single red rose and it was wonderful, just getting to know each other on a different level. We both decided that we were not going to have sex until we are absolutely sure. I sent him my usual daily email to say hi and how you’re doing and also called to say hello before I went to bed since I go to bed at 6:30pm and he gets off work later. For 2 days I did my usual and did not hear anything. I was a bit frustrated after a bad day at work and I sent him several text messages about how I felt concerning his lack of communication. The next morning I received a text that stated “morning, I apologize for the lack of communication but after a long day at work, the last thing I needed was your frustration”. I responded by saying I accepted his apology but reminded him that although my days were not as long as his, they were just as busy if not busier. I also asked or suggested that we talk about it later that night. I have not heard anything from him since then, it has been five days. What do I do, do I wait until he contacts me or should I call or send an email letting him know that I was concerned about how he was doing?
While we love the idea of being 100% fully authentic and self-expressed, sometimes this behavior scares the crap out of the new person you’re dating.
I once wrote an important post about how text messaging is the devil, and your email only underscores it.
Except, in this instance, text messaging wasn’t really the problem. Sorry to say, it was you.
Now, to be crystal clear, your guy was probably never going to be your future husband, so it’s not like you’ve lost someone too important. But what he represents is a lesson to learn forever.
Actually, there are two lessons.
First is that while we love the idea of being 100% fully authentic and self-expressed, sometimes this behavior scares the crap out of the new person you’re dating. Believe me, no one enjoys taking the side of “hold a little bit back, bite your tongue, play it cool”, but, in the early phases of dating, it’s the best course of action.
In short, you emailed him to say hi, you followed up with a phone call, and then sent several frustrated text messages. To a new guy that you were seeing. Without knowing what you wrote/said, I would just ask how you’d react if your new guy started emailing, calling and texting you in rapid succession.
“Needy”, “desperate” and “stalker” are three of the first words that come to mind to describe that guy.
So please, for your own sake, stop trying to talk about important things via email or text.
He’s just being real with you – he’s excited about you and can’t wait to see you again. You can hardly blame him. Except you do blame him. You can’t help yourself. We automatically devalue someone who comes on too strong to us – especially if we haven’t sorted out our own feelings yet.
But hey, it’s just one guy. It’s a common mistake. You live, you learn, you move on.
The bigger lesson I get from your story is one I was actually discussing with a client yesterday on the phone. She was reading me emails that she wrote to her boyfriend about how she was upset that she hasn’t yet met his kids.
The emails were articulate, heartfelt…and utterly the worst possible way to communicate such an important relationship issue.
So please, for your own sake, stop trying to talk about important things via email or text. Way too many things can go wrong, from the absence of voice, tone, and nuance, to the simple fact that a person can ignore you for days at a time after you gave your deep, emotional confession.
I’m not sure if we communicate this way because we’re cowardly and afraid of confrontation, or if we’re trying hard to get our words just right by writing and rewriting, or if we actually think that texting “why r u ignoring me” is an effective way to change a relationship for the positive.
All I know is that without having the opportunity to listen to a human voice, process the information, and explain oneself patiently, it is next to impossible to have a productive discussion via email.
I mean, don’t things ALWAYS turn bad when you’re typing? Isn’t something always misconstrued when you can’t hear the speaker’s voice – when he/she doesn’t have a chance to respond to your reaction?
(And if you doubt me, just read the comments on this blog!)
Suffice it to say, Roberta, there’s no fixing what’s already been broken.
The next time around just keep in mind my cardinal rule for women, Don’t Do Anything.
If you really want to know where you stand with a guy, you don’t have to text him. Just pay attention to the last time he called to make plans. There’s nothing else you need to know.