My Boyfriend Only Contacts Me Every Couple of Days. Am I Overreacting?

My boyfriend only contacts me every couple of days. Am I overreacting?

I started seeing this guy in November, we were acquaintances and reconnected via online dating. When we started dating late last year, everything seemed like a great fit. Similar interests, serious physical attraction, and good, balanced and honest communication got us through the first month. Since then, however, there’s just been a lot going on for both of us. Between weeks of solo travel, getting swamped with work, and going through multiple serious personal tragedies and losses, we still found time to go out on legitimate dates and dinners and eventually we became intimate.

At the end of February, we had an honest conversation and discovered that we were both still dating around. I’m still going on dates with others because I don’t want to rush into a relationship after how serious and heavy my last relationship was, and he said he hadn’t planned to be in anything serious when he met me and needs time to get there. We discussed this reasonably and I felt good about the outcome. The next day, I went out of town for a week and didn’t hear from him. The day I got back he reached out and said he missed me, but the month flew by and we barely saw each other thanks to our hectic schedules.

Now I’m itching for exclusivity. We have a lot of fun, we get along great, we support each other, and we still have serious chemistry– but I really only feel this when we’re physically in each other’s presence.

You always say believe the negatives, ignore the positives. And I feel as though my only negative, based on your guidelines for future boyfriends, is that he doesn’t contact me daily. I never feel as though he’s forgotten about me or is pulling a disappearing act. However, he only initiates texts or sends emails every couple days and has slowed down on phone calls. I’m busy enough to not be waiting by my phone, but I’m not so self-assured that it doesn’t hurt me. I rarely reach out, because I’m taking your “just say yes” advice. Since the start of our relationship, I’ve called him only 4 or 5 times. I initiate texts maybe once a week. Is it possible that I am taking your advice too far or is he disinterested and unavailable?

Simpatico or Sayonara?



I have a handful of philosophies which I trot out from time to time on this blog.

One, as you said, is to “do nothing.” By not taking the initiative — and not reminding him that you’re alive and waiting for him – you get to see whether he’s truly into you. A man who is into you calls, plans dates, keeps in touch in between, commits, and makes you feel valued as a girlfriend. A man who is not into you doesn’t do these things.

That brings me to my other philosophy, “men do what they want.” I’m surprised at how often we can forget commonsense things like that. It’s almost as if your emotion is clouding your judgment. It’s almost as if what you WANT to be true is superseding what IS true. Actually, it’s exactly like that. As a result, women stay in dead-end relationships with men who don’t call them, commit to them, or talk about a future with them.

You’ve known this guy since November and he’s still not your boyfriend. Wouldn’t that be a good indication that he doesn’t want to be your boyfriend?

So why wouldn’t a man call, commit, or talk about a future, Darlene?

Because he doesn’t WANT to.

So when you say that your only negative is that he doesn’t contact you daily, you’re whitewashing what’s patently obvious to any casual observer:

You’ve known this guy since November and he’s still not your boyfriend.

Wouldn’t that be a good indication that he doesn’t want to be your boyfriend?

I mean you can — and will — come up with excuses and justifications, some of which are partially valid. You didn’t want to get serious after your last relationship. He was looking for other women online while he was sleeping with you. Weeks can go by without seeing each other. Objectively, it would seem like this guy is not highly motivated to take you off the market and claim you for himself. Objectively, it would seem like this guy is either not emotionally available to anyone, or that he simply doesn’t like you enough to be his exclusive girlfriend.

Your next move is to tell him the truth: you’re looking for a boyfriend, not an occasional texting buddy, dinner companion, and sex partner. If he’s not gonna step it up, you’re gonna step out. (Tweet this quote!)

Sadly, I predict that’s exactly what will happen.

Oh, and by the way, don’t have that (or any other serious relationship) conversation via text. Talk to him like an adult, and maybe he’ll respond like one.

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  1. 1

    These are the crown jewels in Evan’s gems of wisdom. Take them seriously and they will save you much drama and heartache and drama.  

  2. 2

    I didn’t mean to say drama twice, but saying it twice sorta fits. 🙂

  3. 3
    Karmic Equation

    He’s NOT your boyfriend, which means “every day contact” is something you shouldn’t expect. Therefore, if you expect it you’re overreacting to a FWB relationship. You can want it, you can ask for it, but he’s under no obligation to provide it. Because he is not your bf.
    If you like the guy, and no one better is around, stay in the NSA relationship but continue to date other men. Sleep with them if you want to. If he hasn’t made you his gf by now, you can be certain that’s exactly what he’s doing.
    If you want him to be your bf, you need to have the talk as Evan suggests, but be prepared to be disappointed. Do you know how you’re going to react when he says he doesn’t want to be exclusive and likes it the way things are? If you’re not prepared to walk away, are you ready to stay in the NSA relationship? You need to know what you’re willing to do before you have the conversation. Crying is not an option. You need to be poker faced and extremely logical, but honest. He’ll respect you for that attitude. You may still walk away empty-handed so to speak, but a calm, logical demeanor when you have the talk will gain you his respect, if nothing else.

    1. 3.1
      Marsha Mullin

      Um, pretty presumptuous to dole out advice to   ‘sleep around if you want to’ because “you can be certain that’s exactly what  he’s  doing”.   No, you can’t.   If it’s that important, find out, but just because something is likely doesn’t mean you should always jump to the most extreme  conclusion about everything.   Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

  4. 4

    What I’ve learned from my previous failed relationships is that I waited for the man to commit and when he wouldn’t, I’d make excuses for his lack of commitment by giving him more time…blah!   I’m done playing the game.   I think men act the way they do a lot of times because women let them get away with it.   I don’t think women realize we have the power and lowering our standards let’s men get away with this.   If more women knew what they wanted, how they wanted to be treated, and didn’t have such flimsy boundaries, we’d all be better off…

    1. 4.1

      Totally agree!!1

    2. 4.2


  5. 5
    Star jump

    Great advice, Evan. I was in a similar situation last year, we didn’t have a conversation but I wrote him a letter and then stepped out. I felt that we wanted different things and that I needed to move on to find someone else. He wasn’t my bf, I wanted more, he didn’t because he had come out of a tough break up. The way I saw it was this: if it wasn’t what he wanted, then so be it. No point taking these things too personally. To be honest, I had already fallen for this guy but I wanted to be with someone who wanted me too. He received my letter, responded kindly, confirmed he wasn’t ready for a relationship and wished me well.

    I then broke off all contact with him because I needed to move on. To some, it may seem harsh but it ended up being the best thing. I started to date again, met a couple of nice guys that I went on some dates with. A couple of months passed by and in this time, he tried to contact me and pursue me. I didn’t respond, not because I was playing games but because I was trying to move on and didn’t want to fall back into the old pattern of casual dates. I knew what I wanted and didn’t want to accept less. Something strange happened that I didn’t expect…he changed his mind. Of his own accord. In his own time…we’ve now been together for 7 months and he’s a different man to what he was like before. It’s early days and I’m not getting carried away with chemistry like I used to. As a result, things are developing at their own pace.  

    To the writer of the letter and others like her….when a man wants you to be his gf, he will show it. Because he wants to and he can’t help how he feels. Even when you’re not interested. If he’s not feeling it, it could be down to various reasons: bad timing, lack of interest….you can’t force these things and nor should you.


    1. 5.1

      Ah StarJump, how I would like to be able to write this post in a few months.   I got as far as walking away from a relationship with a man who was decidedly not my boyfriend despite my best fantasies in that regard.   In the meantime I’m probably sabotaging possible relationships by comparing new guys to Mark, but I’ve decided to let that just be the thing that helps me walk away easily from relationships that aren’t going anywhere.   It’s still early days.

    2. 5.2

      I agree with evans golden advice.whenever i tell my spouse that i dont like the way he treats me with disregard or when i start talking seriously about how i demand for him to love me after cheating with so many women, he only says that im annoying.

      He has never (for   many years) treated me with kindness, or even complimented me in any way. So, as payback i rejected his divorce proposal. I wasn’t going to let him have an easy way out after neglecting me with kids without financial support just so he could be selfishly happy.

    3. 5.3
      Katy Lee

      wow.. yours is one of those stories whre he actually realizes what you mean to him after you’re gone… like a movie or something. very rare thing. good for you!

  6. 6

    As a guy, I just don’t agree with the philosophy about expecting the guy to initiate most of the conversation.   Darlene said that she’s only called 4-5 times in the relationship and initiates texts once a week.   If I was dating someone like that, I’d seriously wonder if she was into me.   Just saying “yes” all the time isn’t enough and it wouldn’t feel right (to me).   I want a partner who communicates and doesn’t play games waiting for me to make all the moves.   I was dating someone recently who didn’t initiate communication and I was wondering all the time what the heck she was thinking.   I hated it.   Turned out, she just wasn’t into me.   Ok…   that was consistent with her actions.
    Go ahead and text him (but don’t smother him).   Email him.   Keep the communication balanced and moving.   Don’t just wait and say “yes.”   At least not for me.   

    1. 6.1

      This.   There’s gotta be some give and take.   If Darlene is just doing all the taking (of cues) from the guy, maybe he just thinks she’s just not that into him.

      Also: Darlene didn’t say anything about quitting dating around.   If I was dating a woman who was dating around, I sure as hell would not commit to being her boyfriend.

      1. 6.1.1

        honestly, this is always how I dated.

      2. 6.1.2
        Karmic Equation

        If a guy wants more contact, he should just initiate more texts and calls. Why does a girl have to do that? If a GUY is into a girl, he should be contacting her regularly.

        If a guy is waiting around for a girl to show how “into him” SHE is before he steps up, that’s either a power play or the guy is beta.

        If a guy is beta, a girl needs to be able to suss that out and do a little more. However, if the guy doesn’t ask for more dates, it’s hard to assess that. So guys, if you ARE beta, keep asking for dates to show your interest. The worst that can happen is a girl turns you down for date #2. So what. But if a girl DOES go on date 2 with you, odds are she’s interested, at which point you just keep asking her out if you like her. And keep in contact. What’s wrong with doing that? I don’t get it.  

        1. Kyra

          I agree with Karmic Equation on this a bit. If you ask a woman out and she says “yes” or continues to say yes to your offers, there’s your answer. She’s interested.I don’t necessarily see it as game playing if she’s not initiating texts or phone calls, she’s allowing the man to take the leadership role in the relationship.

          I know I’ve been in a couple of dating situations where I sat back, didn’t initiate and responded politely and with great interest to dates, phone calls, texts, etc. The moment I decided to “show more interest” and initiate texts or phone calls or an invitation to my place for dinner was the *very* moment they disappeared.   

          I like Evan’s advice of “do nothing.” When a man is my boyfriend, then I’ll initiate and contact much, much more.  

        2. Konnect Life

          If he initiates more contact and starts pursuing more, than he risks becoming the “nice guy” and being accused of being stalkerish, needy or clingy or creepy or whatever other terms are out there.


          Obviously, as usual, what this guy is doing is working because she is chasing and thinking about and wanting him. Therefore, if he is smart, he will keep doing what is working and he has discovered that being the nice guy does not work. Just like PUA and experienced dating coaches say will happen, he acted like the bad boy and showed that he did not care when she pulled the “I’m also seeing other men” thing and he continued to also keep her as just an option… and what happened? She sure enough ended up wanting him more – to the point that she is posting questions online to figure out how she can win more of his attention and make him commit (as oppose to seeking a good guy who would naturally be all the important things she (claims to) want in a man.

          I am never surprised when I see these cases – its always the woman chasing the guy who is coming across like the player, bad boy type while dismissing the ones who will actually give them what they claim to want, then complaining about it, becoming bitter and wondering why there are no good guys out there. Men are becoming wiser…. They are learning what does and does not work for attracting women, so more and more men are learning how to become like the type of guy that most women are attracted to. I will admit that ever since I’ve done so and eliminated the lethal nice guy traits from my personality and started doing things that women complain about, my success rate with women amd dating SKYROCKETED in comparison to rhe results I had as the good guy/nice guy, and I now even have a fiance amongst other women who find me attractive and interesting.

          Things are the way they are for a reason. Men are beginning to know how to play the game as well. Obviously, when it gets to the point where a woman is online writing a short story as an attempt to seek advice on how to get a certain guy, then whatever he is doing is working and is EXACTLY what she is attracted to. After all, it’s not like women don’t have many readily available and willing to give things a shot options when it comes to men in most cases… Especially in America! If I were to meet the guy she is chasing and almost complaining about, I would tell him to keep doing precisely what he is doing because THAT is what is working. Notice that she is no longer interested enough in the other guys because she is mainly focused on the guy who isn’t giving her the amount of attention she wants.

          Why would he change up his behavior and risk slipping up and becoming “too nice” or making her say she needs space or time to think or take a break, etc.? Why would he change up his behavior and risk becoming the nice guy she thinks is probably better of as being just friends or clingy, stalkerish, needy, etc.? My motto is if you stop doing whatever attracted her in the first place, then the attraction itself stops. I would not start reaching out any more or less than he is now if I were in the same situation –   UNTIL the point that I detect that what I’m doing is no longer working towards the result I want anymore. In this case, hopefully the result he wants is to keep her attracted to him as much as he might be attracted to her. If this is the case, then – as of the time,of tge original post, they both have each other exactly where they want to be. Sucks that these games must be played, but I can guarantee you that if he was doing everything she wanted and being everything she claims to want, she would either be seeing someone else completely or keeping him as a friend.

    2. 6.2
      Karl S

      I always thought the idea was to “mirror”, so that if a guy initiates a certain amount, you initiate things back in equal degree, but no more than that. If he slacks off, you slack off (and also mentally prepare to move on).

      1. 6.2.1
        Karmic Equation

        Agreed. That’s what should happen before the guy is your bf. Once a guy is a bf, then the gf can initiate as often as she likes, but shouldn’t make a habit of “blowing up” his phone.

    3. 6.3

      Actually, isn’t that the essence of flirting?   You let each other know that there’s interest and the rest falls into place from there?   Won’t a healthy relationship “self-regulate”?   I thought it was the woman’s job to flirt and the guy, knowing that she’s interested, takes the lead from there.   If she doesn’t flirt, doesn’t send signals that she’s interested, then I presume that she’s not.
      I once had a  gf who contacted me a lot, and I loved it.   I knew what she was thinking and what she wanted and (until it ended), we were well balanced and on the same page, until she became consistently emotionally unavailable  (ouch, I loved that girl).  

      1. 6.3.1

        I think the issue here is the OP slept with the so-called “boyfriend” before the relationship was defined.   Maybe if she would have waited to see (like Evan points out) how the relationship evolved naturally she would have seen that he’s not that into her.   Now, after the fact, she’s become attached to him and his lack of enthusiasm for her is bugging her.     

        1. Lau_ra

          Pfff…so if a relationship is defined in, say, 3 months, a grown up woman is expected to stay celibate for all of that time? Seriously? That might suit some religious lady, but I wouldn’t take a man as a bf without checking if were compatible at this point.  

        2. Trey

          As per:
          “I think the issue here is the OP slept with the so-called “boyfriend” before the relationship was defined.   Maybe if she would have waited to see (like Evan points out) how the relationship evolved naturally she would have seen that he’s not that into her.   Now, after the fact, she’s become attached to him and his lack of enthusiasm for her is bugging her.”
          Dear Sunflower,

          Will the condescending fault finding ever cease?   Why do women do this to each other? Was it necessary to use the term “so-called boyfriend” just to be dismissive? Did it make you feel righteous and superior because you connected it to THEM being intimate? You, however, presented it as her sleeping with him. Apparently, he was somehow out of the room, maybe even out of town, when SHE did all this sleeping around with him. Did you sit back after writing that and feel as if your own life was somehow better than at least one other person’s?

          Self-aware adults engage in sex when they decide to. They dont use it for a bargaining chip or as some mental padding to protect against feeling any unpleasant emotions.  

          Do you know for a fact he’s not that into her? No, you don’t. This appears to be just another way to get in a dig and cite a pop culture catch phrase. What people do or don’t show each other in relationships isn’t always a reflection of their true feelings. She isn’t exposing her true feelings to him by playing it cool. Do you know with absolute certainty he isn’t doing the same? No, you don’t.

          Why wouldn’t they expose their true feelings? Could it possibly be because of being inundated with shaming attitudes about sex, the other person not being into them,, and how dreadfully foolish it would be to dare have even the slightest thought you may be more than just a convenience to someone else?

          I do not know what his true feelings are. The only way she will know is to have open communication. Someone has to step up. It’s lovely that you implied he has all the say. It’s also simply lovely it was implied a man will make it clear what his feelings are. I would gather from this that men do not fear rejection, as if that human emotion doesn’t apply to men? I have never understood how women with a jaded mentality such as this give men all the decision making power yet dehumanize them at the same time. Here’s a newsflah: a man is in a relationship with a woman, not himself. How she feels affects him. This isn’t men being weak and not knowing how to “lead”. It’s valuing her input and not assuming.

          It would be nice if   relationships were always as idyllic as the model it seems you are drawing your assumptions from.

          Was this harsh? No harsher than your message to the OP. Did I draw assumptions about you? No more than the assumptions you drew about the OP. Am i sitting back feeling righteous, superior, and as if my life is better than at least one other persons’s (read: your life)?   You betcha!



    4. 6.4

      I agree with Karmic Equation that the key here is to keep asking for dates.   If men want women to call them more, fine, but I think you’ll  find that most women will begin to open to you and start calling you more and being sweeter toward you once they see that you are consistently planning dates with them.   If you haven’t set a time to see her again, then you shouldn’t be waiting for her to call you.   If you have set a time to see her again, you probably will hear from her in the interim.

      You see how into you a woman is by how enthusiastically she responds to you.

    5. 6.5

      I agree with this with one addendum – the age of the couple. People under say, 35 are usually way more balanced and equal. If the couple are 60 the whole ‘man does a,b,c, woman does x,y,z might make more sense. As a guy in my early 30’s chasing a woman who isn’t giving back more or less equally is just something I’d ever do and none of my contemporaries (male or female) would expect it.

    6. 6.6
      Konnect Life

      Scott, I thought I was the only ine who could detect how bad the advice was! But, you also have to consider the fact that you don’t know what type of men this woman is attracted to. If she is looking for the typical type of men that women tend to seek and complain about, then the advice she received is solid and the game playing suggested is just a common, regular part of the game. If she is genuinely looking for a good guy who wants to love and treat her well, then the advice she recieved is definitely not the best.

      In many cases, it is NOT difficult for a woman to find a man who is interested. Whether she is also interested and willing to accept any of the men who try to get her attention is completely up to the female that is choosing. Typically, women ignore guys who are caring, sensitive, loving and trustworthy but make room for the type of guys who do an incredible amoint of things that women complain about and claim to dislike. Then, go as far as to make silly excuses to back up the irrational choices to justify their choices and the consequences of their choices. For example, I’ve been immediately ruled out as an option a few times based purely on the fact that I “look like a nice guy.” I am not joking or exaggerating one bit – a few woman I said hello to LITERALLY told me I look like a nice guy because I have a naturally friendly face, and immediately wasn’t interested but gave me the typical “any woman would deserve to have a guy like you and she will come along” nonsense. This was before I even had a chance to show that I do have a bad side that she may have liked – if only I was given a chance to show it. I can be the type of guy who doesn’t text back and leaves her wondering, plays games to keep her guessing and does things that she complains about (although I will never go as far as to be the abusive jerk that women “get stuck” in a relationship with… (while they somehow never have any problem walking away and escaping from the good guy)).

      However, I naturally (physically) look like the type of guy who will always call to ensure that I’m being faithful and will be caring and loving and leave her with no doubts that I want to treat her right and make her feel special, and because I look like that stereotypical type of guy, I often get immediately dismissed based purely on that, and some clearly admit that I need a “rougher look” but have trouble explaining what exactly I need to do in order to physically look more like a bad boy naturally.

      I think its pretty simple. With all the standards women have and expect, women need to learn how to be more clear, straight forward, and direct with their intentions, desires and thoughts because men don’t have much wiggle room for making mistakes at all. A guy canot text too soon, take too long, say the wrong thing or certain things at certain times, act a certain way, is accused of manipulating if they try to learn how to be like the type of guys that most women flock to (but it is ok for the bad boys to do it), etc.

      That is just a brief summary of it all.

      Its simple. Either start accepting the right type of guys who have it together and want to provide a genuine fun loving relationship and treat the woman right with BOTH partners willing to be straightforward and honest, or keep chasing the type of guys that neglect you and know that they can treat you however they wish because they have many options to choose from in the dating pool and make more unnecessary game playing a requirement for the potential relationship to continue, and then complaining about it while ignoring the good guy who is trying to be the best for her and show her something real and different.

      And another thing – this using hormones and stuff as an excuse to justify irrational and erratic behaviors that men have to sit back and accept needs to stop. After all, any guy with autism spectrum disorder or any psychological or physiological issue that affects their social skills or makes them think, act, behave, and express themselves differrnt from what majority society deems acceptable still does not get a free pass to be a certain way and be accepted, despite the fact that they were naturally programmed to be “different.” Therefore, if men are expected to be a certain way to be accepted (and not be considered creepy, weird, awkward, stalkerish, etc.) regardless of any other psychological or physiological factors, then women also need to be expected to be a certain way regardless of their hormones or pms, etc.


      Although I didn’t type everything I had to say in a well, prepared, organized and pre-thought out fashion, I am sure my overall point is still,clear.

    7. 6.7

      Thank you, Scott!

      I’m so tired of women being told to let the man do all or most of the initiating, whether it be asking out the first time or when dating. Does this not imply it’s somehow a given that women will ALWAYS have feelings and men must prove they have any feelings?

      So, let me get this straight… a woman can have genuine feelings for a man, but not initiate and responding to his invitations means she likes him, no questions asked? But, a man can’t have genuine feelings for a woman if he doesn’t do all the initiating and if he responds to her invitations that means his motives are questionable?

      If it is so very lopsided for a woman to initiate, is it not somehow lopsided for a man to do ALL the initiating?  Wouldn’t a balance, like you suggested, make more sense? I think so.

      Also, I’m beyond tired of some people throwing in the most negative scenarios with a generous dose of “he’s just not that into you” as a response and acting like they are gazing into a crystal ball. Hate to break it to all you Kreskins, but you don’t KNOW it all. You are only playing the odds. Guess what? There are more endings than happily ever afters. Just because the odds say it is more likely to not work than work, does not guarantee your negative prediction is the sure bet. Why not offer something constructive and support her with a main theme of being balanced and talking to him instead of MAYBE (if even) tossing that in as an afterthought following a bitter diatribe of him only using her and how she has devalued herself?

      Will things have the outcome she is wanting? I don’t know. Apparently,   my crystal ball is cloudy. What I do know is there is little chance of knowing if she isn’t honest about expressing her feelings to him and letting the chips fall where they may.   Maybe his crystal ball is a little cloudy too. Ever consider that?



  7. 7

    It’s not always that clear-cut though. My boyfriend took 4 months to “claim” me and take me off the market. We weren’t seeing anyone else, we’d had the exclusivity talk, but he didn’t want to make it official because he said when he gets involved seriously with someone, he wants to do it knowing it is what he wants and that it won’t end a few months down the road. That sounded good to me, but at the same time, I kept thinking of Evan’s advice, that if he wanted to be my boyfriend, then he’d be my boyfriend. I was starting to think he didn’t really want to (I told him as much) but I didn’t have the courage yet to walk. Finally, he decided to make it official because he felt I might leave. It’s not the best way to start a relationship. He felt I was giving him (almost) an ultimatum, and I felt bad because I didn’t want it to be an ultimatum… All that said, it’s 9 months later and we are still together and very happy.  

    So I don’t know. Maybe sometimes it’s OK to wait a little, give someone the benefit of the doubt? One thing’s for sure, if she is now ready for exclusivity or a relationship, she should have a talk with him.  

    1. 7.1

      It makes sense to wait if you are sure the guy is not seeing anyone else. If you know that for sure, and you really like the guy, it makes a lot of sense to wait for him to become your boyfriend when he is ready. But if he has made it clear that he is seeing other people, and his actions show that he has only lukewarm interest in you…I feel so sorry for this girl.

  8. 8

    This man is not into you.  

  9. 9

    What struck me when I was reading Darlene’s letter is how two people can look at the same set of facts, and see something totally different, depending on their emotions. She describes what is happening between them as if there *is* some sort of relationship already, as if they have feelings and obligations towards one another, as if commitment has already been offered and it’s all down to her to make a decision. I look at this and see a casual dating arrangement which, if it were happening in my life, I would barely give any thought or feeling to. Barely seeing each other in a month? She’s gone for a week and there’s no contact at all? That’s not a relationship. That’s not even something I’d take seriously at all. Sure she can initiate contact a bit more if she wants to but I don’t think it will change anything. The way I see it she has two options – withdraw her feelings and expectations completely and enjoy it for the casual dating arrangement that it is. Or have a heart to heart conversation with him that will almost certainly end in disappointment. I know what I’d do – take my focus way off him and date other guys, like Karmic Equation said.

    1. 9.1

      She already said in her letter/e-mail that she was dating other guys.   She did not indicate anywhere that she has stopped that.

      She also mentioned the “chemistry.”   Evan has pointed the chemistry blind spot   time and again–that is another failure point for her.   She mentioned only feeling the chemistry when they’re together…that is a clear indication that most of what there is between these two people is lust.

      1. 9.1.1

        Well, if she is still dating other guys then she should just continue to do that, as he hasn’t asked her to be his girlfriend. Withdrawing her feelings is the more important part. My point is I wouldn’t invest in/agonise over something like this.

    2. 9.2

      It maybe the difference between seeing what is vs. seeing what we wish to be.

  10. 10

    Great Posts!

  11. 11

    Hmmm. Pretty simple for me as a guy – a girl won’t ever be be my GF if she starts off by dating/sleeping around and not initiating at least 50% of contact. I don’t think I’m a rare in this. (And if I am, even better for me ;)).

    1. 11.1

      Lucky girls eh? Hopefully not one single girl will ever be your GF with rules like that.

  12. 12

    When I read this I got the feeling they just aren’t that into each other and are just casually dating.   She only feels ‘it’ when they are physically together or now that he is pulling back?   He can go weeks/months without much contact?   Both still dating around?   Doesn’t sound like a solid foundation for a good relationship.

    Have the talk.   Can’t hurt and maybe it will lead to something.   But I wouldn’t count on it.  

    1. 12.1

      Very true. What she will get is clarity, one way or the other. There is an element here of wanting it both ways, casual dating/sleeping with others, not initiating any contact, yet wanting constant contact plus a mutual emotional connection.  

  13. 13

    So Evan I am curious: there are a couple of men who say they want more aggressive women.   What say you to that?   Are they the exception, or have we now officially entered the days where the woman is now the initiator and the man is receptive?  

    1. 13.1

      Based on my own experience and from the countless stories from other women I’ve read, I’ve come to the conclusion that what most guys say about liking it when women initiate things, is only partially true. They may like it when a woman contacts, they may be flattered when she suggests dates or shows a lot of interest, but it won’t make them crazy about her. In fact, even in cases where the guy starts off with a really high interest level, it can quickly erode once a woman starts showing too much interest right away. People always value something more when they have to work for it. That’s true for women, too. I am always more intrigued than put off when a guy is mysterious and doesn’t show too much interest right off the bat. Too much too soon can quickly kill any attraction that is still developing. I once had a guy with whom I had only gone on two dates tell me, “Is it too soon for me to tell you I like you?”. It made me feel good in the moment, but over time, texts like that killed the attraction I initially felt (which admittedly was not sky-high to begin with). He even sent me an acronym of my name via text: “J- joyful, E- engaging, N- nature lover, N- nice all around!” All of this within a few weeks after our first and second dates. He was very sweet but I just wasn’t feeling it after that. So yes, being a challenge works for both sexes!  

      1. 13.1.1

        You make great points. We are conditioned as children that the best things in life we don’t get to have, or they are restricted in the amount we can have them, or we are made to work hard for them. It may be too expensive, or it may be like ice cream, which is bad for you when eaten in excess, or it might be good grades, or getting to go to a concert with friends that we have to work hard for.

        So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when we treat love the same way. But maybe we have it backwards? Many of our favorite stories are of men who are so smitten with a woman after the first meeting that he will go to great lengths to get her. Such as Cinderella. The Prince is so smitten he carries the glass slipper around with him having women try it on. Others will fight dragons to save the woman, or go on a quest to find her.

        Maybe the way we treat love is why we have so many divorces. Maybe the women who can get past an initial pulling away from an initially ardent paramour find themselves with a man who will stick with her through thick and thin. But then maybe we are a large part of the problem with high divorce rates because we are so fickle.

        Who knows. But I think many men have to hide how much they like a woman because we have this insane need to feel like we are getting the best we can get to the point that if a man actually truly desires us, we think he must not be the best we can get, so we go after a guy who is harder to get, and let’s all gasp in shock when he doesn’t really love us. He too was chasing after his pinnacle, which wasn’t us. Maybe our need get the best genes we can for our offspring supersedes our need to be truly loved and cherished and this drives how we act in the dating game.

        1. Clare

          I disagree. I don’t think it’s the availability of a thing per se that makes us not desire it, I think it’s the neediness, the clinginess, the sense of obligation which is what erodes our desire. At least, that is true for me. I am not put off at all by a man loving me, being interested in me… in fact I think this is wonderful, and really rather essential.
          But needy texts, phone calls and declarations of love which seem to require a *response* from me, which seem to obligate me, demand my attention and make me responsible for how he feels (such as the classic “why aren’t you responding to my messages?” or “don’t you feel the same way?”) yuck. Anything that seems to want to control how *I* respond kills my attraction stone dead.
          The reason I know it’s not about a guy being too interested in me, or loving me too much, is because I’ve had guys in my life who were very much in love with me, and I felt the same way. But they didn’t act like wet blankets about it, they were confident, masculine, exercised common sense about expressing their feelings (no 10 e-mails a day, or lame acronyms of my name) and took responsibility for their own feelings. They didn’t demand I respond in a particular way or that I felt the same, and as a result, I had the space and the safety to fall in love with them in return.
          I wish people would consider, before they do anything with the opposite sex, or express their feelings, whether they would find that some behavior being done to them attractive. I think we’d have a lot more attraction and a lot less heartbreak.

  14. 14

    Good posts here by Scott, Karl and Joe above.   As a guy, yes we should be initiating contact.   But after 3 or more months, if the girl of my affections only called me 4 or 5 times total, I’d be seriously considering whether she was into me – just as those guys mentioned.   On both sides, not much is worse than feeling like you are putting effort into a relationship with someone that you see a future with and feeling like the other is only taking.   Communication goes both ways.   After a certain period of time it gets really difficult to feel connected with someone who only says “yes” when you ask while minimally reciprocating with initiated communication.   IMO, when you get past the early dating stages, you will have a better track record with guys if you give a guy a little bit of a break and initiate communication at some pace a least near to what he does.
    Making an effort to be challenging (Jenn’s 13.1 post above) might work in the early stages, but after quite a few months, I don’t think guys respond well to that anymore.   If you are constantly a challenge, you become difficult.   Men (or at least I) don’t like difficult.
    I have no idea whether Darlene’s guy wants her to be his exclusive girlfriend.   When in doubt, ask.   Could be he doesn’t want to be.   Or it could be that he just doesn’t think you are into him.   With the minimal effort that Darlene put forth, it could be either.

    1. 14.1
      Karmic Equation

      It’s a really simple idea. If you don’t ask a girl to be your gf after three months of dating, then you’re not into HER, so WHY should she initiate?
      After three months of dating, and YOU want more initiation from her? Simple. Ask her to be your exclusive girl friend and most women would gladly start initiating. Because frankly, holding back is hard to do 🙂
      But you have to step up first and offer/ask for that exclusivity. If you’re not willing to offer exclusivity after three months a girl SHOULD chill out and start looking elsewhere for someone more into HER. Not start chasing ol’ uncommittal you.

      1. 14.1.1

        Karmic, I have always liked your straight up viewpoints, and I appreciate this one as well.   My only reply is, after I close up shop on this… if a girl wants to be someone’s gf, shouldn’t she communicate like a gf?   (Again, after an appropriate amount of time).   A guy constantly putting himself out there is doing his part communication-wise.   If I thought a girl really was not that into me because she rarely initiated communication, it wouldn’t be me being “ol’ uncommittal” by not taking the next step, it would be me being “ol’ weary” about initiating the next step with her.

        1. Karmic Equation


          ”   …if a girl wants to be someone’s gf, shouldn’t she communicate like a gf?”
          Generally speaking, absolutely not 🙂
          Most men would take that as presumptuous and chasing if he hasn’t asked her to be his gf.  
          However, if you HAVE asked her to be your gf and she accepts, then YES, she should communicate like a gf. And believe me, most women WILL do that. Happily.
          But until the status of the relationship is clear to both parties, initiating like a gf before the gf status is conferred CAN and WILL make a girl appear at best, needy, at worst, stalkerish, to the majority of men.
          Therefore, THAT expectation, for a girl who is NOT clearly your gf, to communicate like a gf, is setting her up for failure on many, many levels.  
          Men are the gatekeepers to relationships. You need to own that part of dating. If you want her as your gf, ask. The worst that can happen is she says no. Then you move on to the next girl. Don’t take it any personally. More girls want to have a bf than there are guys who want to be bfs. If a girl has agreed to multiple dates with you over the course of 3 months, you CAN safely assume, in most cases, that she does want to be your gf.
          Don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t be afraid of no. Be confident that whatever the outcome, you’ll end up fine…or ecstatic 🙂


    2. 14.2

      This ! And the fact that 1) they both agreed they wanted to date casually 2) they both admitted the wanted to continue seeing other people 3) she hadn’t escalated the relationship or tried to steer the casual relationship they had toward a different direction. Then suddenly out of the blue he has to step up or step out ??? She is trying to reap what she did not sow. It reminds me of a “former” friend of mine who never contacted me over an extended period of time, did not return my calls and then suddenly expecting me to do stuff for her wedding on the basis of our “friendship” ?
      The take-away I had from this story is this :  
      1) Be really sure what you want – whether it is casual sex/dating or a real relaionship based on mutual respect
      2) If you want casual sex/dating – make this very very clear to the other person. You reserve the right to change your mind, but if you do,
      3) You cannot expect the other person to “step up” especially after you’ve been casual for a long time.   The other person will be naturally suspicious of your motives and level of committment.
      4) If you want to be casual because you are not sure of the other person, you have to make that decision FAST. Do you keep that person casual for a long time while you make up your mind. See 3).

    3. 14.3

      You make a good point, Dave. I think after a certain amount of time it is perfectly ok, and really rather lovely, if a woman initiates contact now and then, or sends the guy the odd message to let him know she is thinking of him or what have you. I have a personal rule that if it has been a couple of months and things have been going well, and if I feel it will be well-received, I do like to let my interest shine through by initiating a bit of contact to let him know he is valued.

    4. 14.4

      Dave,   there is a huge difference between being a challenge and being difficult.   I may not lay all my cards on the table, but that doesn’t mean I’m hard to live with.   I like guys to take the lead because it makes them feel like a man.   Men feel good when they’re with me because of that.   Guys who are truly crazy about a woman are not keeping track of things like how many times she contacts him.   Tit for tat may work in many areas of life,   but in love,   that logic doesn’t work.   

  15. 15

    My favorite part of the whole post: Oh, and by the way, don’t have that (or any other serious relationship) conversation via text. Talk to him like an adult, and maybe he’ll respond like one.

  16. 16

    It’s true that guys do what they want to, as they should.   But it’s also true that women do what they want to, as they should.    Who should do something in a relationship that they don’t want to do?   Nobody.
    This whole business of letting the guy do all the initiating sounds a lot like playing hard to get.   My mother told me to do that in grade school and after thinking about it, I told her if everybody plays hard to get,   then nobody gets gotten.
    I certainly agree that somebody moving too fast is a turnoff, especially when you really aren’t into them that much.   It’s also a sign of an emotionally unhealthy person (insecure and other things).   But she’s gotta let me know that she wants me to contact her daily or I’ll feel like she’s not that much of a communicator.    How else is she going to do that without some initiation?    I’m not talking about the woman becoming aggressive and the guy becoming receptive.    I’m talking about balance and sensibility.   Isn’t the relationship we’re talking about an intimate friendship?   The friendship part includes balanced communication.

    1. 16.1
      Karmic Equation

      “But she’s gotta let me know that she wants me to contact her daily or I’ll feel like she’s not that much of a communicator.”
      That’s a fair expectation. If a woman wants daily contact from a man she’s been seeing for 3 months, she should tell him that so that he knows, particularly if he isn’t automatically doing that.
      My last bf though just did it automatically. We had hooked up a few times first and after the first night I spent at his place, he started calling me every day. I didn’t have to ask. He never asked me to be his gf “officially”, but those phone calls were to make arrangements to meet after work or to chat and say he couldn’t meet. It was nice. I liked that take charge attitude.
      In Evan’s latest book, he encourages women to just assume yes when on dates. Yes, he’s attracted to you. Yes, he wants to see you again, etc. I would encourage men who aren’t alpha to also take up that same confident attitude and assume Yes, that a woman he’s dating wants to hear from him every day.
      I’ve only had one date thus far with a hot firefighter. But even BEFORE that first date, he was initiating simple texts every day “GM Karmic” and I’d respond. We’d trade a few texts until the next day. Occasionally he’ll call as well. Then we had our first date, chemistry was great, both physical and mental. Conflicting schedules have made it difficult to get in a second date, but he nonetheless continues to text GM or Hi every day. It’s much appreciated, enough to show he’s thinking of me, but not in the least clingy. I respond in kind. No pressure on either side. Just maintaining a simple connection through every day contact.


      1. 16.1.1

        hot firefighter! This is so achetypically sexy, I am thrilled for you. What happened to the personal trainer?

        1. Karmic Equation

          Thanks, Kiki,
          I’m still dating the personal trainer whilst dating other men. The trainer and I aren’t serious and we’re both free to date other people. The epitome of circular dating 🙂 The hot firefighter is the first man I’ve dated that I connected with, and with whom I see some relationship-potential, since I started dating my p.t. And, as my best friend says to me, “Finally, someone age-appropriate!”
          I’m in no hurry. The complexity of getting to a second date would probably frustrate other women. And I’m pretty sure he’s perplexed as to why I’m so affable and not in a hurry for a second date. (He’s been working a lot of OT shifts, and his weekends are spent with his 16yo son who’s into motorcross.)
          And tomorrow, I have a date with a real-estate flipper who used to teach yoga. He’s a good looking version of Dana Carvey (who is not my typical “type”) — but he wrote me a very intersting intro, so we’ll see how that goes. I swear I find the most interesting people online!
          That’s what happens when you don’t put all your eggs in one basket. There’s no need to hurry and you just let things play out organically.

        2. Clare

          LOVE your approach, and it’s absolutely what I believe in as well.

      2. 16.1.2

        That sounds like my sister’s new bf. We haven’t meet him yet and hes texting us or calling us.   I dont feel like talking to him because i haven’t meet him yet.   He does to my 2 bros cell phone, mine and my mother’s.    Hes using my sister’s phone to text us.   No privacy at all and she allows him do that on her phone. My mom talk to her about it and said yes hes allow.   I cant have relationship my twin sister now because of him. Sad.

    2. 16.2

      I tend initiate texts, but allow him do rest and the chasing.

      One guy i meet wasnt sure if i was intrested in him .   I text him thank him fun night. Honestly he shock hear from me he wasn’t sure if i was intrested.    Now he does all text him and long messages and   calls.   I love it.   A little nudging helps.   Some Guys love that we nudge a little .   They are not sure if your that intrested in him.

      Then later he said let me call you next time. Now he knows im intrested.    So far its going great.

  17. 17

    [email protected] said   “This whole business of letting the guy do all the initiating sounds a lot like playing hard to get.”
    Actually, playing hard to get would be when the guy initiates, the girl hesitates, hems & haws, and is usually “busy”.   Playing hard to get is NEVER answering his call and always letting it go to voice mail, then taking 24 hours to return the call.  
    If   a guy asks a girl out and she says “Yes !”, how is that playing hard to get ?     If a guy calls a girl, and she picks up the phone, and says “Hello John, good to hear from you !”   How is that playing hard to get ?   If she honestly can’t get the call right away, she returns it promptly.   If a guy asks a girl out and she honestly has a prior engagement, how is saying, ” I would LOVE to go see that movie with you on Sunday afternoon, but I really have another commitment, does Monday or Tuesday night work for you ?”, how is that playing hard to get ?
    There’s a difference between being receptive and playing hard to get.   There’s also a difference between responding to a man’s initiative with warmth and enthusiasm and chasing a man.
    Of course, after a man says, “I don’t want anyone but you.   Let’s cancel our and be a couple” and the girls says “Yes”   the girl can do some initiating.   But prior to being a couple, I don’t feel comfortable, and it usually doesn’t work.   Guys complain that girls who chase are “clingy”.

    1. 17.1

      I agree with u too.   BUT we’re not clingy we care about men we like.   Just communicate with us so we know.   Guys tend not communicate.   They   think we just assume.   Truth is we dont know. Just open mouths .. and just say no or right away im not into u if hes not in to her.   Were woman we can take the hit because were freaking strong like men.

        Hate to waste his time if he doesn’t communicate.   If he opens his mouth and allows me in than ok. Hate that men assume in what they think. Truth is we dont and vis versa.One tip were strong woman and were not clingy.  

  18. 18

    Sorry Darlene but everything that Evan told you is very true. You have to accept the reality that he is not your boyfriend. Love yourself first and put yourself first always. No man deserve more love than the love that you can give to yourself- the only person who is always with you 24 hours a day.
    Once you love yourself, you will feel a shift in your energy and you automatically will be able to distinguish the good from the bad and the serious from the mediocre. Good luck   

    1. 18.1

      To be honest.    As girl dating if he doesn’t reply or text back as he use to hes probably busy, or not into you, or needs figure out what he wants.   Its good text him every two weeks just letting him know hes been in your thoughts.      Sooner or later he’ll come around.   Just live your life.

      Sooner or later he’ll   start thinking about you. Just dont drop the communication if your really into this guy.   Life so short you dont wanna kill yourself with one guy.   Its ok see other people and make new friends to.   Don’t allow him stop living your own life because he is not communicating with you.    I learn it hard way.

      Im in that phase with him right now.   The silent phase but im not allow negative feelings happen.    Ill make myself go sick over nothing .   So at this point I’m live my own life until he comes around.    When hes ready ill be ready.   I   dont want our good relationship affect me.   One time he told me only text him if only emergency.    In a way hell be my hero   if there something wrong.   So i stop text him .   I text him every 2 weeks just so he knows hes in my thoughts. We will see. Hopefully next time i write something good comes out of this. If not move on continue dating.

  19. 19
    Karina Hernandez

    What I’ve learned from my previous failed relationships is that I waited for the man to commit and when he wouldn’t, I’d make excuses for his lack of commitment by giving him more time.   I’m done playing the game.   I think men act the way they do a lot of times because women let them get away with it.   I don’t think women realize we have the power and lowering our standards let’s men get away with this.   If more women knew what they wanted, how they wanted to be treated, and didn’t have such flimsy boundaries, we’d all be better off. ☺️👌  

    1. 19.1

      Agree lol..

    2. 19.2

      I disagree   with that sorry.   No rule .. were still communicating.    Bull shit..

  20. 20

    To be honest.    As girl dating if he doesn’t reply or text back as he use to hes probably busy, or not into you, or needs figure out what he wants.   Its good text him every two weeks just letting him know hes been in your thoughts.      Sooner or later he’ll come around.   Just live your life.

    Sooner or later he’ll   start thinking about you. Just dont drop the communication if your really into this guy.   Life so short you dont wanna kill yourself with one guy.   Its ok see other people and make new friends to.   Don’t allow him stop living your own life because he is not communicating with you.    I learn it hard way.

    Im in that phase with him right now.   The silent phase but im not allow negative feelings happen.    Ill make myself go sick over nothing .   So at this point I’m live my own life until he comes around.    When hes ready ill be ready.   I   dont want our good relationship affect me.   One time he told me only text him if only emergency.    In a way hell be my hero   if there something wrong.   So i stop text him .   I text him every 2 weeks just so he knows hes in my thoughts. We will see. Hopefully next time i write something good comes out of this. If not move on continue dating.

    1. 20.1
      Karmic Equation

      “I text him every 2 weeks just so he knows hes in my thoughts.”

      Bad advice, Tara.

      If a guy doesn’t text you, don’t text him.

      Letting him know “he’s in your thoughts” is letting him know you’re in his back pocket. He has ZERO incentive to pursue you. He already has you.

      If you like a guy and he doesn’t text, don’t text him. Just let him go. You have better things to do than to “let him know he’s in your thoughts.” He’s not WORTH your thoughts if he doesn’t even want to text you.

      1. 20.1.1

        Karmic Equation – 20.1   I love that comment.   Short, pithy

      2. 20.1.2
        Lisa B

        Amen to that! I just had that conversation with a guy I was interested in, he wanted to know why I dropped contact, he kept saying he loved me yet  he rarely  ever called, responded to texts or messages.  He responded if and when he chose and for never longer  than 20mins a call,  that didn’t work for me.

        Actions speak louder than words!   Have not heard from him in 2 weeks.

        Live your life and be happy, don’t settle ladies!

      3. 20.1.3

        This is just such a cynical view of things. I know this PUA material is everywhere now and every text or coffee is a carefully determined chess move, but come on, people are allowed to just be nice to each other now and then. SENDING A TEXT message does not mean you’re in sombodys back pocket. It seems people are being advised to give up on a lot of potential happiness in life just to win some imaginary social war – come on people.

        1. Lauren

          I totally agree; “imaginary war” — that’s exactly right. It’s true of so many things, not just dating. Zillions of articles about “toxic people” to eliminate from your life. It’s so insane.

          As I was reading this thread, I thought, “Why am I reading this? Not a single person on here has the definitive answers — for anything.   This is life; it’s unpredictable and people are complicated. We almost _never_ know what people are thinking.

          So many people have these definitive rules and guidelines, but who are they? What do we know about their private lives or   relationships or even personalities? Even if someone says, “That’s what I did, and that’s how I landed my wonderful boyfriend/spouse” — so what? People break up, get divorced, stay in weird/unhealthy relationships all the time.

          So who, exactly, is the expert? (spoiler alert: no one.)

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          If you don’t think there are objectively better ways to do things, Lauren, that’s fine. 15 years at this has taught me otherwise. To each her own.

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