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

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. 31

    Thanks, Jersey Girl, for understanding what I was saying. I wasn’t telling anyone not to “flake” or that “flaking” is rude. Who cares if you go out with someone once and it’s all fun and then nothing more happens? I was pointing out that the motivations for dating to begin with that TMan listed are not polite at all, that they are kind of user-y. In redux, basically he is saying “I’m only using you b/c I’m bored” or “I don’t like you but I’ve got nothing better to do” or “I’m only trying to have fun” so “don’t be upset that I blow you off.” I certainly wouldn’t be upset if someone like that blew me off — he’d be doing me a favor! And no, TMan, I never said that only men do this — I’ve known women who treated men like this. But in truth I don’t hang around with people (men or women) who have such a crude view of human relationships. I am perfectly happy to be by myself or with known-quantity friends than to spend time on a date with someone I am not really interested in — I have a full life and therefore only spend time with people I am truly interested in or might be interested. I value my time. 🙂

  2. 32

    Oh, and my relationships. Even if they are just at the beginning stages. 🙂

  3. 33

    Sorry Jerseygirl. I was married for 10 years. I want to be married or at least living with someone again. I’m not going to accept the wrong person but I do not want to be “dating”. This is a means to an end.

  4. 34

    In the dating world where some of us feel that there are too few victories and high points and so many disappointments, I think that a great date does mean something, and I think it means something that doesn’t need to be dismissed even if the outcome isn’t what we desire. I think a great date means that two people, at the very least, have good manners. It means that they value making people feel good and they enjoy having a good time. It may even mean that two genuinely good people have had the opportunity to meet each other. I agree that what a great date doesn’t mean is that there is a mutual connection, a mutual desire for a second date or a long term relationship. It just means that two people shared a pleasant time together. How can that ever be a bad thing? I haven’t always felt this way, but I’m now thankful for a fun date even if I never see the guy again. I just know that one day when that fun date turns into something more, I’ll be ready for it.

  5. 35


    I was married for over 20 years so I have a full decade of “bliss” over your plight. From time to time I feel the same way you do….dating can be time consuming, disappointing and not always “fun.”

    That said…..after reading your first post (yesterday) went on a literal rampage checking various “dating” sites. Your gloom actually motivated me.

    What I have decided to do is become dating proactive — figure I may as well since everything else in my life is guided by positive activism.

    What an interesting opportunity I found. 8 minute dating within a 100 mile radius of my present residential venue. Will be more than just a participant…am going to hostess an event. One never knows who might be in attendance. When employing my social skills I always have FUN.

    Don’t isolate yourself, Markus. Get back out there and keep an open mind.

  6. 36

    Good for you Michele. I’m not isolated. Just venting some frustration. Last week I had a great date Tuesday night with a new girl. We’ve been talking and exchanging mails. Thursday night she came over and one thing led to another. We had great sex but I could tell afterwards that she kind of regretted it and now I can’t undo that. It sucks because we had SO much in common. I feel like I’m in purgatory.

  7. 37

    “Love is a battlefield.” –Pat Benatar

    Have fun and don’t take anything personal, because it’s not. All your dates and encounters are worthy life experiences…how else do you learn about socialization and relationships? Reading books and blogs isn’t enough. From a pickup perspective, this is called “field time,” and it’s irreplaceable. We expect a 1000 rejections and fuckups before we really find those special, awesome connections. The more dates you go on, and hence the more people you meet, the more you realize how little you know about love/sex/relationships/people.

  8. 38

    Most single good looking women that I have met, are single because they “choose” to be. Most single good looking women “find” men, when they are good and ready.

  9. 39

    To Markus,

    Try not to “bare your soul” when dating.

  10. 40

    Sorry Lance. Just not getting it. : (

  11. 41

    It’s all good Markus, I was only teasing. I do understand that dating is not always fun. I get frustrated myself. I’d like to get married the first time. Good men are hard to find!

  12. 42

    Not sure what you mean there Hunter. I don’t know that I “bare my soul” but I am sincere and honest. I play some cards close to the chest but I’m pretty honest. It’s the only way I know how to be.

  13. 43


    Not to be flip, but you’ll probably want to carry more bandages (metaphorically speaking) for the additional wounds.

    However, kudos for being true to yourself.

  14. 44


    I think you sound like a great guy.


  15. 45

    Markus !!!

    I concur with lorelei…..you certainly seem like a great guy.

    Although this may not apply to you, a bit of self-disclosure follows. Post-divorce got into a long term relationship that ultimately didn’t work out. Reflecting I now realize that a lot more time was needed for me to heal (and all that other “stuff” that happens when one becomes single). The issues encountered challenged every single belief I ever had. But I dissected each one of them and after some struggles realized just exactly who I am.

    What I have done is learn so much about myself. I enjoy being me now. What was previously important to me, (in most cases) is not even an issue now. Am actually rather peaceful within myself however do know that I need to continue “just” being me.

    That said, some things just don’t change instantly. I have tried to keep an open/expectation free frame of reference about dating and for the most part have been pretty successful. Success meaning that I am not going to WOW every single gent I meet — nor will he WOW me.

    I sense that you are a very moral and warm person, Markus, but also allow yourself the right to be human. Often times we are our own worse critics. Go easy on yourself and remember there is an abundance of truth to taking time to smell the roses.

    I do look forward to reading your posts.

  16. 46

    Alena, please don’t worry too much about it. Sometimes people go through a run of bad luck. And, in fact, dwelling on it (though this is easier said than done!) only serves to prolong it in a peculiar way. What I mean by this is: if you think “I’ve had too much of X”, you are concentrating on X – and … more X comes along! Aaaargh: buggerit! Life sometimes seems to work like this.

    Anyway, maybe these men are a little intimidated by you? Maybe they are just flake-y. Maybe they found someone else or reverted to a previous girlf. Who knows? Frankly, who cares – you certainly shouldn’t. F*** ’em if they fail to appreciate you: its their loss.

    Take Evan’s advice – it’s invariably good – and move on. Enjoy yourself. I wish you all the very best of good fortune.

    As for Lorelei and Michele’s comments about Markus: absolutely! I agree wholeheartedly. Markus … ROCKS! Sooner or later the best possible girl for you will appear, Markus. In any event, I have put in a request for you with none other than the Flying Spaghetti Monster; so it’s only a matter of time before that ‘not inconsiderable she’ or ‘lass unparelleled’ is served up to you – con amore (as well as vongole or al sugo) – be patient. We are all rooting for you.


  17. 47

    Thanks guys. I appreciate the kind words. I just come on here to help a bit and get helped. Mostly because I like communicating about the topic. Anyway, I agree that the process has helped me become more me, which is cool. And it’s helping me learn what I really value. That said, the time, the money (which I’m tight on), the heartbreak in both directions. It’s brutal. I also have to admit that the number 40 looms heavy on my horizon.

  18. 48

    From the phrase in the question, “if he doesn’t want to take me out again,” I might surmise that he’s waiting for YOU to take HIM out for the 2nd date. On the 1st date, HE took YOU out, which would mean that YOUR dinner was on HIS dime; he might be waiting for you to return the favor. We guys want to be “special” no less than do women, & this particular guy might be testing your ability & willingness to show him the same generosity that he showed you the 1st time.

  19. 49

    That is just about the most unrealistic explanation I ever heard. I wouldn’t even be able to come up with something like that.

  20. 50

    Hello Everyone!

    I really appreciate reading all of your comments. Wow! So happy to know that I am not in this “dating scene” alone. I am learning so much from your very valuable statements.

    Thank you so much Evan for your wonderful insight into this dating universe. You have made this “dating vortex” so much more easier to understand. I have a much more positive attitude towards dating due to your insightful comments! So happy you have this wonderful Blog.

    Much happiness to you all!!

  21. 51

    Collin, I think with that attutitude, depending on how strongly you show it to women, it would be a major turn off for most women. Not because we are all here to take advantage of you with free meals. But if a guy can’t spend a few bucks on a nice dinner without feeling like he made a huge contribuation; it’s a little negative. We want to feel like you want to make a nice gesture for us, not that you are keeping score.

    I don’t think most women are going to ask a guy out on a second date because women want to be pursued, especially early on in the game. Now if he takes her out, pays; she should at some point contribute something back. Like cook him a meal or something. Maybe it’s just me and I am wrong but I have never asked a guy out for a second date or paid. I let him know if I am interested though if I am of course. If he doesn’t pursue it, he doesn’t like me enough. It’s that simple.

  22. 52

    JerseyGirl writes:
    “Maybe it’s just me and I am wrong but I have never asked a guy out for a second date or paid. I let him know if I am interested though if I am of course. If he doesn’t pursue it, he doesn’t like me enough. It’s that simple.”

    No it’s not just you JerseyGirl, I’m the same way. I have to wonder how many dates Collins’ has if this is his expectation?

  23. 53

    I have to agree with Hunter “Most single good looking women that I have met, are single because they choose to be. Most single good looking women find men, when they are good and ready.” I’d like to add that the same goes for guys. The right timing is everything.

    I think all single people on dates should just relax, enjoy the moment and not think about a potential future (even whether he/she’ll call again), you don’t have to end up together to cherish the time you had with each other. I’ve had a few absolutely great guys in my life with whom there could be no future for one reason or another but they and I know we had those precious and intimate moments that we will always remember. To me that’s satisfying.

  24. 54

    JerseyGirl: “I don’t think most women are going to ask a guy out on a second date because women want to be pursued…” And Selena: “I have to wonder how many dates Collins has if this is his expectation?”

    Excuse me, ladies, but you still want us guys always to do the pursuing? I’m sorry, but to me this reeks of acting like objects, like prizes to be chased after & won. I have no desire to treat women like objects, but by the same token I want them not to act like such. In this era of women having jobs & incomes just like the guys do, I’d like them to spend some of that money on dates in either of 2 ways:
    1. Go to a restaurant that both parties like, & split the cost.
    2. Take turns paying; i.e., on the 1st date he takes her out to where he likes to go & pays for her dinner, then on the 2nd date she treats him to dinner at wherever she likes to go.

    Unilateral pursuit is an outworn, unhealthy tradition, whereas MUTUAL PURSUIT would better fit this era of equality. This is one of the few principles on which I will stand my ground, even if I must stand alone. Better alone than with a golddigger!

  25. 55

    To victoria,

    Sounds as if you have been on some “yummy” dates. Congratulations….

  26. 56

    To hunter,

    Thank you! And a “yummy” marriage, which ended tragically, but hey, I don’t despair. I believe there are more beautiful men like my husband out there…not that I am in a hurry, because I know to live each day as tomorrow is not guaranteed.

  27. 57

    to Victoria,

    I am sorry about your husband. Whose in a hurry? I am a half a century old and never married, is that moving too fast?…

  28. 58

    to hunter,

    I’m glad you are not, but a lot of people out there are. They approach a marriage like some kind of promotion or a great job offer. It’s natural for people to want to be with someone but why does it always have to end up in a marriage?? I know I am a bit idealistic and believe we should look for love, not marriage, but it’s a fact that people are miserable in 99% marriages that are not based on love, so who wants to be miserable? By the way it’s the same with a job – people don’t mind to suffer if it pays well, I just think it’s sad, because life is too short for all this self-inflicting suffering.

  29. 59


    I don’t think you sound the least bit unreasonable. I have paid for second AND first dates in the past.

    Some guys were clearly uncomfortable with it, but the ones who had no problem with it were the cool, open-minded ones that took me for who I was and they were the type of guys I wanted to date.

    I think people (men & women) get too hung up on who pays and this just creates another unnecessary roadblock.

  30. 60

    Victoria wrote: “It’s natural for people to want to be with someone but why does it always have to end up in a marriage?”

    Some people still use marriage for religious reasons. Others do it for legal reasons (insurance coverage, joint tax returns, next of kin upon death, etc). Some women do it for the big wedding of which they’ve dreamed ever since their little-girl days when their parents read them to sleep with Cinderella, Snow White & Sleeping Beauty. Some people choose marriage for all of the above reasons.

    On the other hand, marriage has left other people cold, including Halle Berry, whose last husband cheated on her. Not long before she met her current beau, Gabriel Aubry, she said, “I want a man who comes home to me because he wants to,” not because marriage vows obligate him to. Berry & Aubry now have a baby together, & they’re just as committed to each other without a legal document as they’d be with one. Similarly, among the not-so-famous, a lady I used to work with was in an informally committed r’ship for 16 years until her guy died of a sudden illness the other year; for 12 of those years, they too raised a child together.

    Just like Berry wanted a man, I want a woman who comes home to me because she wants to, with or without that piece of paper. Paradoxically, if you give a person wings, s/he will be less inclined to fly away.

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