Why Would a Guy Act Like He Likes Me if He Doesn’t Want to Take Me Out Again?

A guy embracing a woman

Hi Evan.

I’m 30 years old, European, attractive, tall girl. I have a strange situation. The same scenario happened to me at least 5 times in the last few months. I go on a first date and I can tell for sure that a guy is interested in me. He invites me for drinks after we had dinner and he makes plans for our future dates by saying “I should take you to this great restaurant or we should go to see this play…” And then I never hear back from him. My guy friends say that I just intimidate men or that I just meet the wrong guys and all they want is just sex. What do you think?



Thanks for the transcontinental note, Alena. Although I’ve answered this question before, it’s still a timeless one.

You have fallen victim to the most common mistake women make in dating. It’s the hardest message to hear, so please don’t shoot the messenger.

Mistake #10: Thinking That Your Great Date Actually Meant Something

Have you ever had a man say how much he likes you, how sexy you are, and how he’s serious about finding a long-term relationship? Ever have an amazing date where the chemistry was great, the conversation flowed, and you hooked up with him afterwards?

Have you ever had a man do all of these things and then NOT call?

No, you’re not crazy or delusional.

Your mistake is thinking that what a man says on a date actually means something. It doesn’t. It means he’s being in the moment. So don’t put too much weight on a great date. The only way you can tell how a man REALLY feels about you is by how quickly he follows up for another date.

I walked her to her car and we made out for ten minutes, standing on the street. I never heard from her again.  

One of the first JDates I ever went on was back in probably 1999. She was a doctor, went to Harvard, came from a similar East Coast family. We went out for drinks at a local hotel bar and stayed out until the place closed at 2. I walked her to her car and we made out for ten minutes, standing on the street.

I never heard from her again.

What does this MEAN?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing….

It means that you have no idea what’s going through the head of your date and you’re never going to have an idea what’s going through the head of your date, so stop trying to figure out what’s going through the head of your date.

Maybe he had a better date the next night.

Maybe he got slammed at work.

Maybe he started talking with his ex-girlfriend.

Maybe you were the one-night rebound girl.

Maybe he had too much alcohol and kissed you even though he wasn’t that attracted to you.

Maybe he just wanted sex.

Maybe he was intimidated.

It doesn’t matter. The end result is the same: if he wanted to see you again, he’d have seen you again. Since he didn’t, lick your wounds and move on. This is the dating process. People come and go, and they usually don’t leave hand-written letters explaining their motives. And while you can complain (and many readers have), it doesn’t make a bit of a difference.

True power DOESN’T come from saying, “Men SHOULD call after a great first date”. True power comes from saying, “Men sometimes DON’T call after great first date. How am I going to adapt to that fact?”

True power DOESN’T come from saying, “Men SHOULD call after a great first date”. True power comes from saying, “Men sometimes DON’T call after great first date. How am I going to adapt to that fact?”

And to me, the healthiest way to deal with it is to accept the concept that dating is a flawed medium fraught with emotions, baggage, luck and timing, all of which conspire to prevent two people from coming together. Instead of getting upset and placing blame, your best move is to literally expect NOTHING from ANYONE until you’re in a COMMITTED relationship. Everything before that, both parties are still feeling each other out, considering other options, making decisions, and holding back a little something. So why let down your guard and take a metaphorical kick in the stomach every time you have a good date?

Next time you have a fun date, be happy if he does call, and not terribly surprised or hurt if he doesn’t. And if you need a dating coach,  give me a buzz. This is one of the most important and impactful ways in which I help my women clients learn to date more effectively.

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  1. 1


    Don’t feel bad, it happened to me too a few months ago. I asked a woman I met in a cooking class out. We met for a coffee date on a work night. We talked for about 3 hours straight. Those 3 hours felt like 15 min and it seemed to me like she had a genuine smile of “being into it” on her face the whole time. Yet, when I called her up for a second date I got the next best thing to cold silence. Cryptic answers spoken only when spoken too, punctuated with lame excuses. A few months later we saw each other at a community event. She looked away with a look of disgust on her face and pretended not to see me.

    Maybe she thought I was cheap when I got so caught up in the conversation that I did not buy anything from the coffee shop. Maybe she got offended by giving her a hug at the end of the date. Maybe, maybe, maybe. I’ll never know. Her loss.

    As Evan wrote, you will never know and you will drive yourself crazy trying to figure it out. Your best bet is to shrug it off and encourage people by being gracious when they do give you feedback in the future.

    1. 1.1

      Nicely written. Thanks for sharing. I agree, her loss.

    2. 1.2

      Omgosh I did the exact same things –I met up with a guy and didn’t buy anything to drink, and also gave him a hug; he didn’t call or text at all! 😡

  2. 2

    When I read things like this the first thought that comes to my mind is: Uh, was alcohol involved? The great exaggerator, and releaser of inhibitions. Second is, “Uh, I wonder if they aren’t over an ex yet?” Evan addressed both these. He’s right I think on all counts, but these two things seem to be very common in why great first dates don’t seem to lead beyond. It’s not you, it’s being caught up in the moment and them coming back to their personal reality the next day–whatever that might be.

  3. 3

    Something is fishy here. If Alena is tall, attractive, and Euro, she should have ZERO problem getting dates and est. relationships with guys. There must be something wrong with her: her looks or her personality. Why is she intimidating? That needs to be explored. If she’s truly hot, then she’s the pick of the litter and can pretty much choose her next boyfriend. Women like this just don’t exist. Either they have bf’s, or don’t because they choose to. If I’m wrong, please debate…

    Anyway, to EMK’s thesis. I agree with everything there, but I have to point out women DO THE EXACT SAME THING. This is your basic flaking. She has a great time. You kiss. You never hear from her again. You have a great conversation. You get a number. You call and she never answers. You never see her again. Guys and girls flake equally. It comes with the territory of dating. Selena is correct above, as soon as you part ways, you fall out of “state,” and you just let things slide apart. This is one of my favorite subjects, so maybe I’ll blog about it…

  4. 4

    I have had dates like this where the guy showed every sign of being interested: he was super-attentive, tried to extend the date as long as possible, talked about future dates — and then didn’t follow up.

    I think what happens, with online dating at least, is you show up for that first meeting and you look better than your photos, you’re fun, (normal!), there’s lots to talk about…and you’re both so relieved and excited it creates an inflated sense of compatability/chemistry.

    In my experience, some of these guys _are_ relationship-minded but after they come down from the euphoria of the date and are thinking more clearly, they realize that even though they had a great time, they don’t see real potential for the long-term and it’s just easier to disappear rather than attempt some half-hearted follow-through.

    That’s my hypothesis, and I’m sticking to it. 🙂 It helps me move on quickly without bitterness or baggage.

    (Yeah, the disconnect between their words and actions is a little disconcerting and makes you doubt your judgment sometimes, but you just have to train yourself to manage your expectations until the verdict is in, i.e. you do or don’t hear from them.)

  5. 5

    I’ve been thinking about the 3 hour date you described and what happened. You know, if I spent 3 hours with someone in some type of restaurant, I would have become hungry. If my date didn’t suggest ordering some food, (or going somewhere else to get food if the menu at the coffee place was limited) ya know, I probably would have thought he was cheap too.

    Thing is though, I wouldn’t have been shy about it. I would have either told my date I was hungry and wanted to order off the menu, or I would have decided I needed to go home and eat something if I didn’t want anything there. Need food, make decision, simple.

    Perhaps your date was playing by some kind of “rules” that in her mind, you should have made an offer for dinner after an hour or so? Dunno, but the situation sounds like a case of expectations not being communicated to me. The fact she gave you a look of disgust when you ran into her months later speaks volumes about her, not you.

  6. 6


    It wasn’t a restaurant it was a chain coffee shop, similar to Starbucks and I think I did ask about getting something. Maybe “disgust” was too strong of a word perhaps an “on no, its him” look would be a better description.

    I could look at other clues, but I have heard Evan’s conclusions before from other people and it is fairly internalized in me now. I will never know, it could be many things, perhaps something I never thought of, she is only one person, I still had a nice weeknight evening and life goes on.

  7. 7


    I have actually printed your last observation(s)……hypothesis. It sounds so simple and direct, while making near perfect sense.

    Only glitch is when he doesn’t call, it does hurt, expecially if I mistakingly thought there was a connection. It’s a tough call being human.

    That said, have a second date with “Mr. Wonderful” on Tuesday. He has called everyday since he’s out of town on biz. Now I won’t slash my wrists if he flakes out, but will probably need a week or two to bounce back.

  8. 8

    If EITHER party has interest in the other, I say they should say so not just at the end of the date but also AFTER the date. Be it a email, text or phone call, let the other person know that you had a good time and would like to do it again. Better yet, suggest a venue and time for the next outing. It lets the other person know in no uncertain terms that you’d like to see them again.

  9. 9

    What exactly was Evan (in part) answering? I didn’t see anything in the girl’s letter about having sex with the guy on the first date. How could “he only wanted sex” apply if she didn’t? Am I missing something?

    Steve, the woman exhibited every sign of inadequacy with her subsequent behavior. What on earth did you do to her that was so horrible? Consider yourself lucky to have revealed her character so quickly.

    I have a topical story to share. Went out with this one guy, not particularly attractive (just waaaaay too skinny for my taste), but very intelligent, and that turned me on. We made plans for the next weekend, which was a 3-day holiday weekend. Anyhow, Saturday night he doesn’t show up at the specified time or call. Calls me a few hours later and says that he is in a hospital with the parents of a friend who was in car accident earlier that day and is presently in a coma. Well, okay.

    Next day (Sunday) he calls me to make plans for Monday and to reassure me that the “stand-up” had nothing to do with me (honestly, the thought didn’t even enter my mind, although I don’t think I said that aloud).

    And what do you know? Monday he never showed or called. My entire weekend was shot! I had other offers which I declined in favor of this a**hole (certainly will never allow that to happen again, regardless of how smitten with the guy).

    In his case, btw, I know for sure he was not over his ex (he was engaged and actually caught her in bed with someone else), but that’s no excuse for such inconsideration.

    What the hell was THAT?

  10. 10

    Alena, you said you “can tell for sure that a guy is interested in me,” but can the guy tell for sure that you’re interested in him? When the guy offers to take you to that great restaurant “next time,” do you act sincerely interested, or do you just say “okay” without much enthusiasm. What’s your body language like when you respond to his request to see you again? Do you smile? We guys like to know that if we do call, we’re not gonna get blown off. If your friends are telling you you’re coming off as intimidating, you may want to rethink how you act on dates.

  11. 11

    This can be the whole ‘war story’ thread.

    Simply put, many, many people of both sexes just vanish, rather than have a difficult conversation and be potentially called a ‘jerk’ or a ‘bitch’ to his/her face.

    This falls into the category of something I cannot control, so I do not worry about it. It’s going to happen. Do not be emotional about it. It is disrespectful. If you come across him/her again, treat them accordingly.

  12. 12


    I used to have the same problem about taking early rejection in dating too personally. In one of the links Evan has in his post above, there is an article he wrote for women and online dating, but it applies nicely here. He asks the reader to think about all of the people s/he looked at on a dating site and decided not to pursue. He asks the reader to think about how rational it would be for those people to feel trashed. It works both ways. There could really be no problem with you or the other person, just no fit.

  13. 13

    Juju, I’ve also dated men who weren’t over their exes. They think they want a new relationship to help them get over it, but they usually find they are still pining over their ex. I had one guy start to cry when I saw a pic of his ex wife, and told him she was beautiful. That told me everything I needed to know right there.

    Alena, I’ve met guys also where we hit it off, and then they never call. I’ve met flakes, wierdos, players, jerks, and plenty where we just weren’t interested in each other…but it really is true, when the right one comes along you know it.
    I have met the sweetest guy who brings me flowers, cards, we talk daily, we see each other every chance we get. We really seem to be meant for each other. Now if this one flakes on me, I’ll probably give up on dating. ; )

  14. 14

    Alena, I am the type of guy you describe in your thread. I’ve gone out with women, only to never call them back. Why would I do such a thing?

    A few reasons…

    Maybe I scheduled the date in the first place simply because I was bored. “Jen seemed like a nice girl…maybe I’ll go out with her again on Friday and have a good time.”

    Maybe I wasn’t that into her on the first date, but I wanted to give her a second chance because I saw some potential.

    Maybe something about her that annoyed me on the second date REALLY annoyed me on the third date and I decided I had had enough.

    Maybe I just decided this girl wasn’t worth the effort.

    Maybe I had better options.

    What NEVER happens is that I will intentionally sabotage a date just to get a message across. When I’m out with someone, I try to have the best time possible. I’m polite, and always conduct myself as if the date is being videotaped and will be sent to all my family members. (Well, maybe I don’t act that way the whole time, but you get the drift).

  15. 15

    No offense, TMan, but you don’t sound polite at all. You sound kind of hostile. I don’t see what your “trying to have the best time possible” before you decide that you are really just too good for the woman you are with has to do with Alena’s situation.

    Don’t worry, Alena — other fish in the sea! (Thank heavens for that!)

  16. 16

    Actually, I take the same approach as TMan — just because I don’t want to share my life with someone doesn’t mean I can’t try to have a good time when we’re out. So I’m sure there have been a few guys (the guy who waxed rhapsodical about his anniversary edition Rolex comes to mind) who were puzzled when I didn’t want to go out again because they interpreted my polite enthusiasm as interest.

    Michele — I have had several enlightening experiences where I met up with someone who disappeared after the first date and resurfaced a few months or a year later. I usually meet up with them, if only to satisfy my curiosity, and without exception, I’ve realized that we didn’t really have a special connection or compatibility.

    You really don’t have that much information after just one date. So now when something doesn’t work out, I just trust that it wasn’t meant to be and move on with minimum pang.

  17. 17


    I thought my post had everything to do with Alena’s situation. She’s asking why guys act like they have a great time on dates, only to never call her again. I gave some reasons. I think Alena may have to understand why the date happened in the first place. Maybe the guy was bored/lonely/between other women.

    And let’s not pretend women don’t do the same exact thing. I’ve had several girls who acted like they were completely interested (“What are you doing next weekend? I can’t believe I met someone like you!” often followed by a trip to the bedroom and her/me leaving the next morning) only to never hear from them again.

    PS: Except in well justified situations, I don’t feel like I’m “too good” for anyone. Usually I just feel like we aren’t a good match. I’ve met lots of women that were really cool and I admired, but I just wasn’t attracted to them as romantic partners. Of course, I’m often on the other end, too, and I don’t mean to imply I’m not. That’s just life. No matter who you are, someone isn’t going to be interested for whatever reason.

  18. 18

    I liked Tman’s point: “What NEVER happens is that I will intentionally sabotage a date just to get a message across.”

    Certainly being polite on a date and trying to have a good time with the person you are with, (even though you’ve concluded they’re not the one for you) is better than the alternative: being rude, sulky, behaving like an ass.

    Perhaps sometimes we just misinterpret interest as simply good manners. Maybe because we want to.

  19. 19

    This is a rare thing: every so often, I’d have what I thought was a good first date with a guy, only for him to e-mail me later saying something along the lines of “you seem like a great person, but I didn’t feel the chemistry that I was looking for”.

    I absolutely appreciated that — in my opinion, it’s MUCH more polite than just dropping off the face of the earth.

    However — I’ve discussed this with a guy friend, and his feeling was, he’d find that sort of response insulting. For him, the lack of a phone call says enough.

    So — you can’t please everyone!

  20. 20

    I’ve had this experience as well and it’s nice to know that there is something tall attractive chicks from Europe have in common with short chicks from New Jersey….:)

    Anyway, when I’ve had this happen it stings if I like the guy but I look at it this way. He just isn’t the guy for me. God has something else in store and I consider it more of an experience I’m not suppose to have to be the kind of woman I need to be. That is not to say that this person is “bad”. It’s just to say that they aren’t meant to be part of my life and have influence in it.

    I find that in today’s culture, all around people treat things more disposably. It is reflected in how we treat the things that surround us. From natural resources, the environment, cars, computers, cell phones to even people. It’s not really a good thing but I think that all around alot of people struggle with dating because of the disposable mindset that seems to be a big theme in modern culture.

    Oh and to poster Lance: I disagree with your assumption that something must be wrong with this girl if she can’t seem to acquire a man for long term dating status. Maybe she keeps picking the same type of man, I don’t know. I do know that if all the good ones were taken as you put it, then everyone in a relationship would be happy and healthy. And with the rate of divorce and break-ups, cheating and the million other issues that happen within relationships, we all know that isn’t true.

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