Did I Just Pressure Him to Go Out with Me Again Against His Will?

short haired woman using mobile phone at the park

I met Jim online a week ago. We spoke briefly on the phone on Wednesday. He emailed me on the same day and we made plans to meet up for dinner the following Wednesday.

I suppose I have two main questions about this:

a) In between the initial conversation and dinner meeting, we did not correspond at all. He is a lawyer and seems to be very busy but should I be reading anything into this? Probably not but I suppose the fact that I’m thinking about it means I am??

b) After our dinner date last night, I sent him an email thanking him for dinner and said that I had fun. He responded the next morning that he had a nice time as well and to let him know if I would like to do it again sometime.

I guess I wasn’t sure what that meant as “sometime” is a very vague time frame – wouldn’t you agree. So I placed the ball back on his court and wrote “It would be nice to do it again. But since you are the one with the busier social calendar between the two of us, how about you tell me when you’re free next?” He responded with “How about next Monday or Tuesday?”

I guess right now I might be over thinking this, but I’m not sure if I just managed to almost “pressure” Jim to go out again out of politeness?

I am not really sure what to think about this. Your input would be much appreciated.

Thanks again so much for all you do.


I’m glad you wrote this, Cathy. It gives me a chance to explain something that often gets lost when giving blanket advice about “what men do” on a widely read blog.

There’s no point in overthinking it this early in the relationship. Ultimately, he’ll reveal himself in his efforts over time.

If I could wave a magic wand and make men please women on their terms, believe me, I would tell the guy who procured a date with you in a week to check in multiple times before the date. Email. Text. Even call her on the phone to talk. Yes, guys, women want to know you’re thinking of them, that you want to get to know them better, that you miss them, and that you are willing to make an effort beyond paying for dinner and expecting sex once a week!

Unfortunately, I don’t have that power. And here in the real world, there are many men who:

    a) Didn’t get the memo that the way to a woman’s heart is by paying attention to her.
    b) Have made great efforts for women in the past and were told that it was too much, so they’ve backed away.
    c) Are genuinely caught up in their jobs and don’t have much time or bandwidth for small talk.
    d) Don’t see the need or value to connect in between dates. Their goal is simply to get the date on the books and see you then.

I can’t definitively tell you which guy you’ve got on your hands. I can tell you that there’s no point in overthinking it this early in the relationship. Ultimately, he’ll reveal himself in his efforts over time. If you don’t like a guy who puts in no energy in between dates, you can either tell him you’d love to hear from him more, or break it off with him for a guy who naturally does a better job.

But I suspect I know which guy you’ve got on your hands based on your second question:

You’re dating both a) and b).

“After our dinner date last night, I sent him an email thanking him for dinner and said that I had fun. He responded the next morning that he had a nice time as well and to let him know if I would like to do it again sometime.”

That’s not the move of a confident, experienced, alpha male. That’s the move of an insecure, inexperienced beta male. Sorry for the crude black and white terminology, but I want you to get the greater point.

The confident guy calls you the day after the date and says, “That was great. What are you doing on Saturday? I know of a great Italian restaurant that just opened a few minutes from your house.”

The insecure guy doesn’t assume you like him. He doesn’t assume you’ll say yes. He doesn’t trust his own decision-making. He just wants to lean back and see if you like him. Of course, the more a man acts insecure, the less women respond to him, but that’s another story for another day. The easiest way to understand men like this is to think of them like women. You and he are thinking the exact same thing: “I hope he/she liked me. I hope he/she makes the next move to ask me out again.” The problem is that you get caught in a passive stalemate, where each party is waiting for the other party to step up and make the effort. Thankfully, you did — and you saw how quickly he responded to agree to another date.

You just nudged a passive beta male into nailing down a plan — which is something you’d better get used to if you keep on dating him.

Finally, Cathy, one way in which men and women are decidedly different:

Women often go out with men in order to be polite.

Men never go out with women to be polite. Second dates cost us money.

Put simply: if we like you, we go out with you. If we don’t, you’ll never hear from us again.

Thus, you can rest assured that you did not “pressure” Jim into dating you. You just nudged a passive beta male into nailing down a plan — which is something you’d better get used to if you keep on dating him.

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  1. 1

    I guess I don’t really disagree with the bottom line answer to the question, but….

    it really seems to me like both sides did almost everything right here.

    No small talk before meeting in person: this seems right to me. I have found that those women with whom I have more pre-date contact are no more likely to result in a second date than those with whom I have little pre-date contact. I know Evan feels strongly about this, which is fine, (and I agree with Evan 90 percent of the time) but I disagree. I will say I think a week of no contact seems a bit much–more than I’ve ever had. But sometimes schedules don’t work out.

    After the date I really think both sides did almost everything right and Evan is coming down too hard on the guy. imagine this were a phone conversation:

    him: “I would like to see you again,” she responds with, “sounds good,” and then he immediately suggests something specific.   Is that really so beta? I’m just not seeing it. That’s exactly what happened here, just spread out over a couple next messages. And maybe that is the problem but it’s probably a separate blog post. But personally, I would prefer not to offer a specific date/time, or come up with a specific idea, until I know if the woman is interested in seeing me again. Especially over text, where it will just be hanging out there. Once I have her interest, I’ll come up with something. Usually the day first, then the activity.

    Frankly I think the LW read way too much into the “sometime” in his text. I think all she really needed to say was “sounds great!” And the guy would have responded exactly the same way.

    and no, the fact she sent a thank-you text does not eliminate this step. I’ve been out with several women over the years who will send those out even if they don’t want to see the guy again. They mean pretty much nothing.

    1. 1.1

      Rocky-one way for it not to be hanging out there (if she’d like to see you again) would be to simply cut to the chase-pick up the phone and call. All the back and forth with text and email just helps lose momentum. And I don’t think you have to necessarily have a specific thing in mind to do but I would personally be grateful if the guy knew what day. We ladies like to plan (and we can be very busy, with life in general or if we are dating online we might already have others interested). Plus it’s a BIG turn on to most us ladies if you’ve got a plan! Wouldn’t it be nice to have such an advantage?

    2. 1.2

      The problem is that he actually told HER to ask HIM on a date, IF she wants to, instead of just asking her without fear of the answer. Huge turn off. Just ask with confidence.

  2. 2
    Just Saying

    Men may not go out with you to be polite, but that going out with you does not mean he is really into you either. He may be hoping for a hook up and nothing more. Is the guy beta? Hard   say based on the info OP supplied That she has to write in means she senses his lack of enthusiasm. I noticed she didn’t say anything about how great the date went. Just that she told him she had a nice time which is par for the course when you are thanking someone.

    It would be interesting to know who contacted who first. Looks like he is playing like he can take it or leave it.

    1. 2.1

      It is also possible that she has given him the impression that she can take it or leave it, and he is trying to feel out her interest level. As you say, we are told nothing about the date at all.

      Suppose, for instance, she came across as fun, energetic and bubbly, but not particularly interested in finding out more about him. Or suppose the opposite: she was interested in finding out about him, but didn’t really engage with anything he said. Or maybe the guy thinks that any woman who is interested will somehow touch him on the date (even if just a hug at the end) and she didn’t — but the date was otherwise really fun.

      I’ve experienced all of those. I am generally willing to assume the best IF she agrees to another date. If a guy says “I want to see you again,” I don’t think it is asking much to just say “sounds great!” And see what follows before jumping to conclusions. It is quite possible that if the guy had jumped to conclusions, he never would have asked at all.

  3. 3

      You just nudged a passive beta male into nailing down a plan — which is something you’d better get used to if you keep on dating him

    AMEN  to that!!! I was married to a passive beta male for a long, long time and I NOW know I am really not attracted to that type so much AND definitely not for the long term. (hey, at least i learned a lesson)

    This goes back to the “don’t try to change” the other person…..either you like it or ya don’t.


  4. 4

    As someone brand new to dating again, are we women supposed to send a separate email the next day thanking the guy if there was thank-texting the night before (after the date)?   I had thought that additional emails were too much reaching out, especially since I made it clear the night before what a wonderful time I had after he first texted me when he got home.   Please advise, guys…

    1. 4.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      No. If you thank him on the date and kiss him good night, you’ve told him all you need to tell him.

      1. 4.1.1

        I did thank him and kiss him good night   thanks to your earlier blog post(s) about the subject.   Thanks Evan.

        1. Caroline

          Sounds like you’re doing well SMC:)

          glad you’re dating

        2. SMC

          Thank you Caroline.   It’s like standing on a high-dive and hoping I don’t do a belly flop.   🙂

  5. 5

    “You just nudged a passive beta male into nailing down a plan — which is something you’d better get used to if you keep on dating him”.

    Ahh, yes! This is one of the reasons I would never ask a guy out-I don’t want to be stuck with a passive beta type and feel unfulfilled. In OP’s case, even passive betas take SOME intiative when presented with a chance like this ( if he really wants her). My guess is he’s not  that into Cathy, but he doesn’t mind seeing her till he gets another opportunity with a woman he can’t resist…and THEN he’ll take charge.

    I also agree with “Just Saying” – he probably sees her as just a hookup.


    1. 5.1

      Can you please explain what characterizes “a chance like this,” and how a statement that he would like to see her again fails to take even SOME initiative? As soon as she said “yes,” the guy seems to have sprung into action.

      i will agree that the use of the word “sometime” was a mistake; it was unnecessary and may be causing most of his problems because it did make him sound a bit more tentative.   But I can’t agree that one word justifies some of the judgments being made here. I’m trying to understand better because I truly don’t get it.

      1. 5.1.1


        A “chance” as in there’s a woman who’s receptive to him and she’s letting him know that ( by sending an email and thanking him). He didn’t take initiative-SHE took the initiative and he simply  responded in a rather unassertive,  vague way.   This isn’t the action of a confident man who really wants to date this woman. As I said earlier, even not so confident guys would do more than that once presented with the opportunity.

        If I were in her shoes, I would “get the memo” that this guy isn’t that interested but he doesn’t mind seeing me for a little fun. There are plenty of lonely men (and woman)   who don’t mind dating til something better comes along.

      2. 5.1.2


        I agree with you. As a woman, I would’ve recognized him suggesting two specific days(not one, in case I am busy, so considerate) and appreciated it. I would definitely have thought he was interested in meeting, and I would’ve thought he was considerate and humble, not passive, not “beta”. Then, another date and of course getting to know him more before putting any labels on him.

    2. 5.2


      How would you be stuck with a passive beta type and feel unfulfilled? Do you tend to avoid difficult conversations?

      1. 5.2.1

        A conversation with a passive beta won’t change his personality…that is who he is and he needs a woman who’s happy with that. Would you go on a second date with a woman who’s overly timid, too aggressive or boring? Why waste your time with personality types you don’t find attractive when you could find someone else?

        The may change temporarily   to please you but they will revert back to their true character.

        1. Caroline

          Adriana-I believe while it may be nearly impossible to change a personality trait; one undoubtedly can change his or her behavior. I’m quite an introvert who was also shy and awkward. While I’m still an introvert; I definitely act w with much more confidence. All aspects of my life have improved. Yes, I have to push myself at times because it would be much easier to just turn myself inward; it’s much easier to behave with confidence everyday because reaping the rewrds.

        2. Caroline

          I guess what you’re saying is that even though most of us here would like to improve our dating/relationship skills we are destined to much less? Somebody who is “boring” can’t learn new things take risks and share their passions with others? Timid people can’t gain confidence? Aggressive folks can’t soften their demeanor? Guess we are all doomed and should give up?!! Geez

        3. Adreana


          You had the inner drive and self-awareness   to push yourself, which many don’t have. I agree we all need a little nudge from others, but ultimately it’s something we have to do on our own.

          Just the other day I was a at  bar and this ( gorgeous) man couldn’t stop staring. His friend came up to my table and told me that man no.1 thinks I have great “European ” style. I said “oh, really thank you” and I turned to smile at the guy across the room and wanted to wave at him , but he turned red and avoided eye contact.   I caught him staring multiple times afterward, only to turn his head quickly whenever our eyes met.

          An hour or so later, my girlfriend and I were about to leave when guy no. 1 looked at his friend and shook his head. I could the disappointment all over his face but what can I do? I smiled at them both and walked out the door.

        4. Caroline

          Adreanna-I read somewhere that the reason you don’t have a relationship is because you’re not ready for one. That was a wake up call for me. It would be very sad to think I would never have a successful relationship because I couldn’t push myself enough to treat others like I’d like to be treated. I’ve found that the more confidence I’ve gained; the more confident the men I attract are. While I assuredly see the idea one should give a guy a chance (he could be just nervous). But I’d probably have trouble with a guy putting me in the role of pursuer or who was consistently passive. But I will definitely try to be more open when and if I start dating again. I kinda think some of this proves like really attracts like.

        5. D_M


          I guess I got hung up on the word “stuck”. Tell him he is not assertive enough for you when it comes to the yin and yang of dating and simply move on. I am not comprehending how you would be stuck with someone that you did not want to be with. Your choice of words came across as someone that would rather avoid those types of conversations. I subscribe to the theory that an individual’s actions are situational until proven otherwise. We all have certain actions that are deal breakers, but overly timid, too aggressive, or being boring on a first date are not mine. First dates can be a little awkward for some people.

      2. 5.2.2

        “Somebody who is “boring” can’t learn new things take risks and share their passions with others? Timid people can’t gain confidence? Aggressive folks can’t soften their demeanor? Guess we are all doomed and should give up?!! Geez”

        They can change all they want but it has to come on their own and not because their date pushed them( which   is not enough to create real, sustainable change IMO).

        It’s not my job to teach them how to change, but only to be good company and give them a little push. Anything more than that and I’ll start viewing them as a friend or my little brother.


        1. Caroline

          Hi Adreana-I think we are talking about two different things. I wasn’t advocating to trying to change anyone (change comes mostly from within). I actually feel pretty strongly that I couldn’t get along with anyone who was lazy or passive in their interactions with others and I certainly don’t feel it’s my job to “school” a guy on being open and genuine. My point was people are evolving everyday. Life isn’t stagnant. People who want to improve don’t revert back if   they’re on their own personal journey of improvement. They may backslide or flounder but they get back up and move forward. The volume of readers on this blog proves the desire to better their lives and ultimately introspection (usually after much finger pointing at the opposite sex-lol).

      3. 5.2.3


        Personally, I would never be “stuck” with someone I didn’t want. In my original comment, I was talking about not asking guys out because it sets a dynmanic I don’t want from the beginning. The way I see it, if the guy needs me to ask him out, then he will need me to intitiate almost everything after that.

        Yeah, I agree first dates can be awkward  , but    some awkwardness doesn’t kill an overall good , first impression. But qualities like boredom, aggression, and too much timidity are absolute deal breakers for me. You are a saint for not caring. lol

  6. 6

    I am a pretty easy going chick IRL (although it doesn’t necessarily come across that way in this forum…lol) and I can tell you that if a man does not contact me in a week prior to a first date, I will most likely lose interest.   And if I was still  dating online (as Evan encourages) and speaking to multiple people, he will definitely get lost in the shuffle.

    I have yet to meet a woman who does not enjoy some form of communication after the guy gets the number and prior to the first date…doesn’t mean you have to smother, doesn’t mean you have to spend an hour on the phone etc. but c’monnnn…Oh, and a text literally takes a few seconds to send.   I would probably assume  you’re way too busy.

    But back to the letter? I don’t agree with Evan that the way the guy approached it necessarily meant he was beta.   I mean, he did get specific (he asked about Monday or Tuesday) and yes, he did ask if she wanted to do it again sometime prior to that…I see nothing wrong with this approach…he was probably feeling her out. Who knows how their date went? And, men can’t always tell how we feel and we all have limited resources (whether it’s time/money, etc.), so he has a right to do so. Again, what I would ‘fault’ him for is not communicating at all between the initial convo and the first date…

    1. 6.1
      Emily, the original


      I have yet to meet a woman who does not enjoy some form of communication after the guy gets the number and prior to the first date…doesn’t mean you have to smother,

      There was no reason for him to contact her again. They’re strangers. They met over the internet and had a brief phone conversation in which they set a date. What else is there to communicate except maybe a text the day before to confirm? They haven’t even seen each other face to face. It’s doubtful they have the slightest rapport yet. As they get to know each other, they can communicate between dates, but it seems a bit premature.

      And you haven’t met me, but I’m one of those women who doesn’t like a lot of communication prior to the first date because, in my limited experience, the men who do communicate before the first date do smother … as in texting every day several times a day.


      1. 6.1.1
        Runner Girl

        Emily, the original:
        “And you haven’t met me, but I’m one of those women who doesn’t like a lot of communication prior to the first date because, in my limited experience, the men who do communicate before the first date do smother … as in texting every day several times a day.”

        If this works for you, then I am happy that you found a strategy that you are comfortable with. Everyone has to do what makes them feel the best in the dating world. However, because it works for you does not mean that it works for everyone. In my experience, as well as that of the single women I know, we prefer to have some form of contact and communication in between dates. It helps to develop some sort of rapport prior, which will make the initial meeting feel much less like a blind date with a complete stranger, and a little more comfortable, and builds anticipation and excitement to finally meet the cute guy you have been getting to know a little bit about over the past week, and even have a few things to immediately talk about upon meeting. With a stranger in every sense of the word, you are nervous, possibly scared, and feel almost like you are going to a job interview, with no idea where to go with starting a conversation upon meeting (breaking that awkward ice), and unsure of what to expect, which generally makes the date much more intimidating and less enjoyable.

        Here is a real life example for you:

        I met guy number 1 online. He contacted me, sent me a brief 3 paragraphs sharing about himself and asking me a few things as well, and we spent the first week emailing each other once a day on the site to gauge interest, get to know each other a little, and determine some level of compatibility. Then we progressed to a couple of phone calls and a few daily emails/texts over the next 1.5 weeks, in which time he had already asked me out on a date, but due to our respective child custody schedules and demanding careers, we could not meet until then (for a total of 2.5 weeks of communication prior to our first date). Upon meeting for the first time, I felt as if we already knew each other. I even hugged him right away as we introduced ourselves. Our date was fun, relaxed, we had a lot to talk about, and it felt very nice not to be meeting a guy whom I barely communicated with and knew almost nothing about.

        I met met guy number 2 online as well. His first email barely said more than hi. After exchanging two emails, over 2 days, he asked me out, gave me his number, and we planned to meet up several days later that following Sunday afternoon for lunch. There was zero communication in between. We only texted Sunday morning that we were both on our way. Upon meeting, I knew virtually nothing about him other than his name, city he lived in, and his age. I was nervous and felt awkward. He complimented me and tried to hug me upon meeting, and I felt extremely uncomfortable being touched by pretty much a complete stranger. He bought me lunch and spent the date asking me a ton of personal questions about my divorce, my kids, etc. all things that really did not feel like first date material (the goal of a first date is to be fun, not feel like you are being interrogated, and it was all things we could have learned a little bit about each other prior to the date, to get that out of the way, in order to start getting to know each other as people on the date instead). I felt weird divulging that information to a guy I did not know. The guy was nice, but I did not feel comfortable the whole time, and therefore did not enjoy myself at all. Only after the date did he attempt to start messaging me.

        Guess who I went out with again? Guy number 1. Trying to start a rapport with me after I already felt awkward was a little too late for guy number 2. I liked building the rapport prior to meeting. I cannot tell you how excited I was to meet guy number 1 after all of prior conversation, that after our first date, we were already planning a second one (it was 2 days later). To make a long story short, I have been together with guy number 1 ever since. We are currently engaged and planning our future together. I still credit those initial messages a lot with helping us weed out someone we might not be interested in, and breaking the ice toward building a real foundation,   which as Evan told Cathy that the way to woman’s heart is through time and attention. Maybe this worked for me and may not work for everyone, but a guy’s chances of success overall are far better improved by initiating conversation in between dates, then giving the silent treatment, which to me conveys a lack of interest/excitement about each other, which is not a positive way to start into any dating/possible relationship situation.


        1. D_M

          Runner Girl,

          Congratulations on your pending nuptials. Someone can’t know what really makes us tick without being led a little bit. If a certain level of interaction is needed, initiate it and see if the prospective suitor reciprocates. If certain topics are a little too heavy for a first date, say so and artfully guide the conversation towards lighter topics. Make sure that the redirects don’t come across as avoidance, but tabled for another time.

        2. Stacy

          @Runner Girl

          Thanks for explaining further and better than I could.


        3. ScottH

          This seems like the basis for eHarmony’s guided process.   In my opinion, their process does seem to be more effective than struggling to get a conversation started.   It shouldn’t be a struggle but with so many crappy profiles, it is.   This is why Evan’s profile strategy is effective- it gives a person lots of conversation hooks (opportunities) to get a conversation going.

          Good for you!

        4. GoWiththeFlow


          I used eHarmony the last time I did OLD and I found that I had plenty of things to talk about with the men I was matched with.   Things would usually start with a few messages back and forth and then 1 to 2 phone calls before a dinner date.

          At the same time that I was online, I also was with a high end dating/matchmaking service and I was matched with much more suitable men through eHarmony that the pricey dating service.   With the dating service, someone would call and present a potential date to me.   I never saw photos of the guys although I provided photos of myself to the service.   I would then say yay or nay and then the man would call me.   Typically there would be one or two phone conversations before meeting.   Most of the time, the dates were very disappointing.   The one guy I was interested in beyond that wasn’t interested in me.

          One man never showed up to our planned meeting at a wine bar.   The next day when I discussed this with my representative at the service, after they told me what he looked like, and after I told her about the one lone man that had been there, I found out my “date” had showed up, never approached me, then left.   My rep then went off on how this guy had done this before to another woman and how he “wasn’t right in the head” since his ex recently got remarried, so he was obviously still hung up on her, and how they were going to have to have a talking to with him and he better straighten out. . . Yada, yada, yada.   Blah, blah, blah.

          Take home message:   Don’t waste money on pricey matchmaking services.   OLD works better!

        5. Emily, the original

          Runner Girl:

          However, because it works for you does not mean that it works for everyone.

          I am well aware of that. My post was in response to Stacy’s comment. “I have yet to meet a woman who does not enjoy some form of communication.” I responded that I am that woman who doesn’t like to be bombarded with communication in the first couple of weeks. I am in the minority.

          I haven’t done online dating. The dates I have gone on of late have been with co-workers or friends of friends, etc. I have already met them face-to-face and have some automatic commonality. It’s probably a bit easier than meeting a complete stranger.

          You wrote that some communication “builds anticipation and excitement to finally meet the cute guy you have been getting to know a little bit about over the past week.” But that’s all you know. What he looks like aesthetically. You don’t know   if you click as people or if there’s even any chemistry. While I think some communication before the date is fine, I think too much is, frankly, a lot of investment and can ratchet up one’s expectations. I will invest more once I know there is something to invest in.

        6. Adrian

          Hi GoWithTheFlow,

          __I once heard a loud and obnoxious guy in a restaurant sitting at the table behind me describe going to meet a blind date and then turning around and walking out without talking to her because he felt she wasn’t attractive.

          __I know the matchmaking representatives told you your guy wasn’t right in the head, but I think he was like the guy sitting behind me in the restaurant… A childish JERK!


          ScottH and GoWithTheFlow,

          __In your opinions which is better eharmony or match? I have heard eharmony has more serious people but you have no freedom to choose who you contact like match.

        7. SMC


          Even though you didn’t direct the question at me, may I still give my 2 cents on eHarmony?   It’s the only dating website I ever went on (and met my disastrous ex-husband there, but that’s not their fault, it was MINE), and I had at least one if not more potential dates block me merely because I said I liked to country dance.   It wasn’t the “country” part that bothered them, it was the “dance” part that did.   They said I didn’t fit into their (forgive me for forgetting their exact words), moral fabric, or some such nonsense.

          But I DID like the fact that you had to go through several steps before actually meeting an “intern.”

        8. GoWiththeFlow


          Totally agree he didn’t find me attractive and I’m okay with that.   I’m not every man’s cup of tea, which is to be expected.

          What the words that spewed out of the rep’s mouth said to me was that they knew they had a problem client  and still kept setting him up with women anyway.   The “contract” all clients signed had an “expected behavior” statement that prohibited standing up dates.   I had two other dates through the service that are both on my “worst dates” list.   The last time they called me with a potential date, I didn’t return the call.   Things had really taken off with a guy I met online.   I consider my time with the dating service to have been a “learning” experience.   As in I learned don’t wast your money on pricey dating services 😉

          I think that what made the difference between my success with the matchmaking service vs. eHarmony was that the service had a very shallow pool of clients whereas eHarmony was Lake Tahoe in comparison.

          As for match.com vs. eHarmony, I know several marriages and LTRs that came out of match.com. It’s certainly the biggest one out there.   I have heard that the numbers of people signing up for eHarmony is down.   Speculation is more people want easy, as in Tinder style swipe right or left, vs. going through so many questions and steps.   I will say that the guys I wound up matching with on e Harmony who contacted me, I had a lot in common with, and I really liked that “prescreening.”

          I think whether you do match, eHarmony, OKCupid, or one of the more targeted sites like JDate or ourtime, you will find some nice people, but you will also have a few weird interactions.   But back in the day when I was meeting guys at parties and nightclubs (before internet was invented) it was still a mixed bag, some really great people with a few fruit loops thrown in.

        9. Emily, the original


          My aunt joined a very pricey dating service. She is a wealthy older woman and wanted to meet someone but was concerned about being taken advantage of. I think one man they set her up with was renting a room somewhere. He was in his 60s. Another kept his deceased wife’s doll collection displayed throughout his house. Like you, she felt the quality of dates was poor and she wasted her money.

      2. 6.1.2


        FWIW, I’ve also been smothered prior to dates. Perhaps it’s because I feel that I don’t really get to know someone over the phone, it feels artificial and stilted. For me, so much of my interaction is visual and non-verbal, I feel like I’m missing the most important part of the conversation.  In person, I can moderate information flow with smiles, touches or shaking my head; over the phone I lose all of that.

        Maybe it also has to do with how much one likes phone or text conversations in general. I rarely use either, preferring face time with even family or friends.    How a person interacts with me in person seems to yield more accurate data than I get by listening to what that person tells me he’s like. I’ve gotten around this by doing OLD using singles events. That way if a guy is interested, he has a chance to meet me in person without the pressure of a one-on-one date, see what I’m about and can even message me at a later date. Once I’ve met someone in person I notice they are much more likely to make an actual date instead of phone & text.

        1. Emily, the original


          I agree that face-to-face first meetings are ideal. It just seems that it would be so easy to dismiss people in OLD whose picture you may not like or whose job you may think is not up to snuff.

          I have just made a new friend at work. On paper, we have NOTHING in common. Big age difference. She’s Southern. I’m a former Yankee. She’s family-oriented and a mother. I have no kids and never wanted any. I have two degrees. I think she’s still in community college. But, for some reason, we click as people. I think the same can happen with men you meet IRL. Men you would never give a chance in OLD can surprise you IRL.


  7. 7

    I completely agree with Evan and I think this is a good follow-up email to the previous one about playing games.

    The fact that this guy always responded so quickly reinforces my opinion that Evan is correct about him just being insecure. I would bet that if she would have contacted him sometime during that week of no contact he would have quickly texted her back regardless of his busy schedule.

    It appears that many women can’t tell the difference between a insecure beta and a uninterested man just going through the motions because he wants sex in the future.


    In one of the many battle of the titans debates between Stacy2 and McLovin (^_^);   Stacy2 gave one of the best lines of advice (though I know it wasn’t meant to be taken as advice) about being beta and courting.

    What she said was so great! It really put courting and rejection in prospective for me. Though, I also feel that GoWithTheFlow is correct when she warns that their are many men and women who have relationship issues that limit their success, yet they don’t realize that they have an issue because they can always get dates.

    I would guess that most men don’t realize that they are beta toward dating because they are alpha toward so many other things in their lives like work, family, and friends (I also got that from GoWithTheFlow… and Chris Rock).

    1. 7.1

      Hi Adrian-I was wondering about your (or maybe other’s claims?) that men may not know they act in a beta manner because they act in an alpha manner at work, with family etc. I’m thinking they don’t realize they are a bit beta in all regards. I say this from my own experience in being awkward/shy. Although I had quite a bit of success with selling my clients on my design work; I was far more successful after I worked on myself. By conquering my shyness I was actually able to relate to my clients on a more personable level (instead of just selling them)which resulted in much more referrals, invitations to parties and socializing which then helped further referrals. I also improved my relationships with my sisters. I guess my point is that I think everything is connected and flows into all parts of ones life.

      1. 7.1.1

        Hi Caroline,

        __Hmmm… interesting point. But I do believe people can be confident in one area of life and not in another. It could be that you are thinking (like I did for years) that the definition for confidence is the same as the definition for self-esteem.

        __If you are talking about self-esteem, then yes, I agree with you completely. Most people with high, medium, and low self-esteem, are “mostly” consistent in all areas of their life.

        __However, people can be very confident at one thing (SMC is good at line dancing, Karmic Equation is good playing pool, they are confident at these things because they have practiced them, yet if someone was dying, I doubt they would have the same confidence as GoWithTheFlow that they could save that person’s life) but lack confidence in another area.

        __As far as men who are not confident in dating, they could have high self-esteem and just be suffering from the scares of one rejection too many causing there confidence to be replaced by fear. Verses guys with low self-esteem, who are usually very needy because the problem is more than likely from some child-hood abandonment issues.


        This is just my hypothesis based off my observation but:

        Many people don’t realize that they lack confidence in dating because they are so successful in other areas of their lives.

        1. GoWiththeFlow


          You are exactly right.   No individual is going to be 100% confident in themselves in all areas of their life all the time.   For myself, I know how confident I am with men & dating has fluctuated with my weight.

          A few years back I had 3 foot surgeries in 21 months time and was told by my surgeon after the last procedure to only use my feet to do what I needed to do to get through life for 6 months.   Absolutely no exercise–and I used to be a runner–so that was hard.   I gained weight during those years and felt bad about how I looked.   But I never felt insecure at work, and I never felt I was less of a mom to my kids because of the extra pounds.   When I was able to exercise again, I also cleaned up my diet and lost 30 pounds over a few months time.   The difference in how people reacted to me was stunning.   Not just men, but women responded to me more positively, too.   I don’t know if it was due to the fact because I was happier with myself or more confident, but at some point I felt I had my mojo back 😉

          As for the OP, her date may very well be a lot more alpha at work (as an attorney) where he is confident in his knowledge and has a history of success, but be very beta, or less confident with women, because he hasn’t had great success with the opposite sex.   Or he could have, at one time, been the type of guy to initiate contact between dates, and to be assertive in asking for dates, but he may have been told by a woman or women, that he was being too aggressive or creepy so he changed his getting to know someone modus operandi.

          We all have mixed success with the opposite sex, so we need to keep in mind that when we meet someone, they may be behaving in a way that protects their ego and heart the most.   Or they may be trying to come across in a way that they think will be the least off-putting to the most people.

          I think the OP should cut this guy a little slack.   It’s not like he picked his nose and ate the boogers at dinner!   She can tell him that she finds contact between dates helps her to get to know guys better.   He needs a little encouragement from the coach to get up to the plate, but once he gets there, he may very well interact with her in a way that she really likes once he is confident that she does like him.

        2. Adrian

          Agent GoWithTheFlow,

          Since you got your mojo back, I guess mini-me and myself will have to try harder to steal it again AND… TAKE OVER THE WORLD!


          I am curious, what is your opinion of masculine vs feminine roles in courtship; and do you believe that these roles are nature or nurture?

        3. Caroline

          Thanks for the kind response Adrian. I looked an article up on psychology today that explained it further. It makes sense to me and I think it explains a bit of the kinda “jerk” behavior displayed by some online dates I had! I just chalked them up to bad dates. I did notice a marked difference in successful dates (didnt necessarily lead to connecting further) after I worked on my self esteem which of course helped me become more confident once I started getting better results

        4. GoWiththeFlow


          Wow, you don’t ask the easy questions 😉

          “. . . what is your opinion of masculine vs feminine roles in courtship; and do you believe that these roles are nature or nurture?”

          I’ll do the second part of that question first:   Nurture is more important but nature does play a set up role.   I’m going to use a gun analogy here because it’s the best descriptor of the relationship between nature and nurture that I’ve ever heard.   Nature decides what type of gun you have and what kind of bullets it can use.   Nurture takes the gun out of the case, cleans it, loads it, removes the safety, selects a target, aims, and then fires the gun.

          There are very good studies out of Scandinavia that show how nurture can modify nature.   There is a significant risk that a child born to a schizophrenic mother and raised by her will develop the disease (40% chance, I believe).   Now a child born to a schizophrenic mother but raised from early infancy by a non-schizophrenic mother will only have a slightly increased chance of developing the disease compared to  a child born to and raised by a non-schizophrenic mother.   That’s a pretty big deal.

          As for masculine and feminine roles in dating, I believe we just happened to be born into a time when there are revolutionary changes happening to men and women and how we organize our relationships in society.   The idea that romantic love or free individual choice should factor into who we pair up with are very new concepts that arose in the last few hundred years of human history, the previous 10,000 years of which, parents or community elders decided who would marry who.   (Stephanie Coontz is a marriage historian who has a great website that gives a run down on the history of marriage).   In addition, the last 100 years have  brought huge changes in women’s roles in society.   People are still reacting to and working their way around these changes.

          There are huge differences between the dating, sex, and marriage expectations and behaviors of Greatest Generation people compared to  today’s Millennials.   I think there are still vestiges of traditional gender roles that are clearly in practice, men planning and paying for dates, while women play the passive role.   Like Evan has said, he advises men to do this, not because it’s right, but because it is effective.

          I do believe with continuing changes in the family, workplace and economy, things will continue to evolve to more egalitarian behavior within dating and marriage. But that will be a few more generations down the road.   Hard to believe, but I am the daughter of parents who were virgins when they married in their 20s.   Divorce was a sin, married couples were expected to have babies, and moms stayed home to raise them, while dads worked.   It will be interesting to see what my great-grandkids will be doing 40 years from now!


  8. 8

    Is it just me here …???   I am game for a mid week meet.   But generally, unless it’s a fella who works weekends…which is not what I would agree to in the first place.   I would want a second dinner date on Friday or Saturday.   Otherwise, I’m on a second date with a fella that has a constant weekend date.

    I have had a couple relationships with men who worked on weekends and it doesn’t work for me.   Constantly opposing schedules. I also have a cheating ex that continued to secretly mid week date….working late.   But was always home for the weekend.

    After years of experience and years of Evan in my head, if a man wants to spend time, go the next progressive steps, etc. ….including Beta types…they get real clear.

  9. 9

    The terms “alpha” and “beta” and overused of course and mean many things to many people. But to me “beta” just means an average man. He has his moments of insecurity. Most men do. “Alpha” males are fairy rare. They are the men than women find almost universally attractive. They are almost always perfectly self confident, at least when it comes to romance. To use a term related to to “alpha” and “beta”, they hold “frame” at all times.

    But like I said alpha men they are rare, and they have many options when it comes to women so are hard to pin down. You can hold out for an “alpha” guy, but you might be waiting a while. Perhaps you could forgive regular guys their moments of insecurity and see how it goes.

  10. 10

    I myself am fine with mid-week dates at first until a rapport starts building.   I went on a first date last Thursday with someone who I’ve sort of known for the past 10 years (we worked at the same company) and who I ran into two years ago right after my ex-husband walked out.   We had a lively conversation during which time he made it clear he’d had a secret crush on me for years.   Fast forward to now and we’re about to go on our second date this coming Thursday.   (He offered Tuesday or Thursday of this week.)   He has grown kids and grandkids, I have two grown kids (no grandkids) and I realize we all have busy lives on weekends.   Maybe he’s dating other women, maybe not.   I believed him last week when he said he hadn’t dated in a year.   (My close friend who works with him has mentioned over the past year that he still asks about me and that she didn’t think he was seeing anyone.)   But even if he IS dating someone else, so what?   I plan on getting on match.com soon to start THAT process because, as Evan says, he isn’t anything until he’s your boyfriend.   So I don’t personally mind mid-week dates until such time as we both decide we want to start devoting weekend time to each other.   For me it takes a bit of the pressure off of those first few dates.

  11. 11

    Weighing in on the communication-between-dates aspect…I prefer at least a little communication.   Doesn’t have to be every day at first, but going long stretches without anything leaves me feeling a bit hung out to dry.   I try to remember Evan saying that he waited a full two weeks before contacting his wife after their first date and how cool she was with it, so I try to stay cool too because I have no idea what’s in the life of the guy with whom I’m about to go on Date 2.   We had our first date last Thursday, and other than a brief two-word text the next day, I didn’t hear from him until last night (Monday).   OK, 3.8 days isn’t a whole lot, and we DID agree to let things develop slowly (more my insistence than his) instead of pushing things along, and who knows, maybe HE had to sit on his hands so he wouldn’t text too soon, whatever.   So I tried to not get impatient.   But I’m telling you all here that I would have loved a ping or two over the weekend.   Just saying…

    1. 11.1


      This is a guy that has liked you for years, so he is probably trying to figure out how not to mess things up. Your insistence on taking things slow might be sending him mixed messages. Be crystal clear with him about what makes you tick and what you want at this point in your life. If you prefer a few “friends” at this point in your relationship journey, tell him exactly that. If he doesn’t get the motor running, let him know so that he can put his crush to bed.

      1. 11.1.1

        Hi SMC,

        ~ I agree with D_M, it could be perceived as you sending mixed signals; “insisting” on taking things slow while simultaneously wanting to do a lot of back and forth texting before the date.

        ~ As Emily the originator (^_^) mentioned, to some people, too much texting can be perceived at smothering a.k.a needy behavior. So you are telling this guy (or in your words insisting) that you move things slowly while at the same time getting on match searching for other guys???

        ~ The only reason I brought up the match.com thing is because (and again this could just be me) if I ask a women out in real life whom I have known and she knows I have asked our mutual friend if she is single; I assume that by her saying yes to a date, she isn’t talking to anyone else. But if I ask out a girl from online dating, I assume that she is talking to multiple guys.

        ~ SMC I am not saying that you are wrong, I am just pointing out that “to me”, it appears that you are all over the place. I think he can’t know what you really want until you know what you really want.


        ~ You don’t have to answer this but, are you sure you are ready to date so soon? You just got out of a long-term relationship in which you were willing to buy a new house and move for a guy.

        ~ This new guy sounds like he really likes you, so be careful. He may be your rebound and you DON’T realize it.

        1. Rebecca

          Wait, why do you assume that the woman you ask out in real life is not talking to anyone else?   Because she accepted the date?   Because your mutual friend said she’s single?   Because people date lots of people online but are serially monogamous IRL?   I’m confused.

    2. 11.2

      D_M, Adrian,

      Thank you both for weighing in, I always appreciate your input.   First let me say I regret using the word “insistent” when I said I’d like things to develop slowly with this man.   It wasn’t “insistent” from the standpoint of stamping my foot and shouting “No no no!” Actually, it was more he was making noises about us going slowly and I saying “yes, please” which reinforced to him that I was in full agreement.   Let’s take that word “insistent” out of the mix please.   I don’t “insist” with men.   Or at least only rarely.

      As for mixed signals, no, I’m not rebounding here, the last relationship did not end suddenly as it may have appeared here.   There were doubts a long time before I posted my query here a couple of months ago, and the doubts just kept growing.   I gave him every benefit of the doubt, too, until the final minor argument which once again turned into full blown drama because of his sudden anger and unwillingness to meet me in the middle, and that’s when I thought it best to pull the plug.   But this is not a sudden ending of a relationship, not at all.    And for the record, I AM still going to buy acreage in the country, just not necessarily in his area.   That was my plan all along, with or without him, and I’m pretty sure I stated same in that post long, long ago.   🙂

      D_M, you said “This is a guy that has liked you for years, so he is probably trying to figure out how not to mess things up.”     I do agree with you and was thinking the same thing which is why I myself said   “… and who knows, maybe HE had to sit on his hands so he wouldn’t text too soon,…”   I’m ok with the length of time he went, I was just bouncing my thoughts off of you all, not carving them into my forehead.   I prefer slow to speedy,   cooked meal to junk food, etc.

      And as for me getting onto match.com, there is nothing wrong with it as far as I can tell.   I do not prefer, as D_M said “…a few ‘friends,’…”, I would much prefer to see how this thing with M. pans out which is why I’m going to wait to see how the next couple of dates turn out.   Match.com doesn’t mean “instant boyfriends,” and for someone my age, it might not mean ANY new friends for awhile.   I see it as an exercise in being proactive in getting on with the rest of the life, that’s all, I don’t see it as having my cake and eating it too.

      Adrian, I don’t think I said in my earlier posts that I wanted to do a lot of back and forth texting.   I said that I wouldn’t have minded a ping or two over the weekend which does not equate to a lot of texting.   I agree – a lot of texting too soon IS smothering, and the main reason I said it is because recent ex and I texted every day and talked on the phone every night, and it’s a hard habit to break, though even he and I only texted a couple of times a week at first.   Please understand that I know this isn’t how things start off, or should start off, it was merely a tiny bit of wishful thinking among (mostly) friends.   You may be sure, though, that I will be telling M. on Thursday how much I enjoy seeing his name pop up on my phone’s screen.   I figure that’ll be clear enough to let him know that texting will be welcome, right?

      And for the record, I have liked this man for years too, but our ships kept passing in the night for one reason or another and we both thought we’d never be at this point where we get to date and see what happens.   There is no rebounding here. I’m thrilled to get the chance to see him outside of the office, and I will be minding my p’s and q’s.   I will NOT be investing too heavily at first and will be paying close attention to Evan’s material as I have been since discovering him.

      Thanks guys for the input.   Sorry for the long post, my last two were to try to save space, but then I had to “‘splain, Lucy” anyway.   🙂

  12. 12
    Karmic Equation

    IDK,  If before a first date date women here  are wanting/needing to “develop rapport”, to me that just means  sheisn’t really leading a full life and/or maybe investing too much of her headspace in a stranger. If she has “that much” time to spend worrying about talking to the guy why didn’t she schedule the date earlier?

    When I was dating, I scheduled dates on first available time slot, as I led a full life of pool leagues and OTHER dates, sometimes that was 1-2 weeks after the initial contact. I had barely enough time to sleep never mind having convos with strangers on the phone. I cannot talk to someone on the phone I haven’t yet met in person. Feels like I’m talking to a telemarketer. lol

    AFTER a date, I don’t mind phone calls. And depending on the guy, I actually like phone calls. But usually, I’m good with texts. I’d rather talk face-to-face than on the phone. I really don’t trust the FALSE feelings of intimacy that phone calls create. There are women who fall in love with guys they’ve never met but whom they’ve only talked with on the phone. That is nuts to me. You don’t know how “real” that guy is until you meet him.

    JM2C. YMMV

    1. 12.1

      Hi Karmic Equation,

      __What is your opinion on skyping instead of talking on the phone? Not for your personally, since I know your philosophy on talking to strangers before the date.

      __I ask because it seems that skyping would solve so many problems that people mention about email and the phone. You can see how they look in real time, you can read facial cues, and you get a preview of how they converse without the benefit of time to thinking of charming replies like with e-mailing.

      1. 12.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        I guess I’d be ok skyping with someone I already met in person. But a person I’ve never met before, no way…since I look like a troll on skype, closed circuit TV, photos. Just as unphotogenic as one can get. So sad…

        But for others who are more photogenic, probably ok for them. That way at least they can see that the other person is not obese, too old, etc.

        However, I would have felt weird talking to someone I hadn’t yet met in person even though I can “see” them on skype. I guess I feel “talking” is normal only when done in person. Talking on the phone, to me, is a hassle, and abnormal even with family, unless they live across the country.

        That said, my bf would rather call than text. So I’ve made that compromise, particularly since he still uses a dumb phone. Texting XT9 is a PITA, so I never insisted. And he’s too alpha to change to suit me in this regard, which is fine. I like his voice so it’s not really a chore to take his calls. lol

      2. 12.1.2

        I want that benefit of time to think of charming emails…

        If they’re going to see me stutter and flub, they get to do it in real life.   🙂

      3. 12.1.3

        Hi Adrian – I know you asked KE, not me, but I am chiming in.

        It really depends.   For me, Skype did NOT work.   For one thing, my computer is in my bedroom, and the lighting isn’t so great.   Also, my computer is old and slow and the Skype reception is terrible.   The picture freezes up without warning and sometimes Skype disconnects.   Also, there is often time a lag in the audio leading to a lot of awkward pauses, then both people talking at the same time.

        I think if both people had really great working computers, in an area with good lighting then it could work.

        But honestly, the whole question of communication is highly personal and varies from individual to individual.   If there is really such a big gap in communication preferences, then the 2 people probably weren’t a good match to begin with.

        KE –   With all due respect, I had a very full life when I met my sweetie, but I enjoyed the communication before our first date and in between.   I wouldn’t say that I “needed” it, and it was all initiated by him, but I did respond ASAP, not because I was trying to fill up an empty life, but because I really liked him, and wanted to show that to him that, by responding enthusiastically and quickly to his e-mails.

        It’s really not that time consuming or a brain drain to send a few quick e-mails (or texts, or voice messages or smoke signals) before or in between dates.     I was planning a vacation out of the country, in rehearsal for a stage play, and a meet up organizer as well.   But even with a full slate, I made time to respond to his communications quickly and to see him regularly.

        Again, not that I “needed” that in between dates communication, but if I was getting dead radio silence between long spaced apart dates, I would wonder if he was really into me or not. As it was, our relationship flourished rather quickly,   and what we did “in between” dates, quickly became irrelevant, as those periods were brief.

        Communication between seeing each other is a pretty moot point now, but even though we see each other almost every day, we still e-mail in between.   Usually for practical matters these days, like, ” going shopping – do you want me to pick up something from the grocery store ? ” or to let him know I arrived at work safely when riding my bike to work, but sometimes just to say hello.


      4. 12.1.4

        Hi Karmic Equation and SparklingEmerald,

        __Both of your comments/stories remind me of something that happened to me A LOT during my very brief flirtation with online dating.

        __As I’ve said, I really do look a lot like the lead actor from the TV show Smallville Tom Welling (well a younger him anyway). So whenever a woman would respond to my e-mail (I think most thought I was a scammer, because I got hundreds of views a day but no messages), I would always be asked immediately “is that really you in the picture?” They would demand that we Skype, but my laptop didn’t have a camera on it, so when women heard that, they thought it was an excuse and block me! (^_^)


        1. SparklingEmerald

          Hi Adrian – Are you particularly handsome or young looking ?   I did have a few men question if my pictures were recent as the didn’t believe that those pics could be recent, given my age.   I never really was quite sure if they genuinely thought the pics must be old because my current pictures of me in my late 50’s looked younger, or if they were just trying to flatter me.

          I dated my pictures, and showed them in reverse chronalogical order, from most recent to oldest.   Any pictures over a year old, were usually in there to show me in some fun activity.   (perhaps at a charity bike ride, or in an art gallery)   By dating all of them, they could see how I looked now, and 2 years ago and also see me doing some activities.

          I know posting pictures that are decades old, photo shopped to death and of other people is a common problem.   As is lying about age, smoking habits, marital status, relationship intent etc.   Everyone deals with that issue in their own way.   I found that reverse image searched help weed out some phonies, without accusing anyone of anything or even questioning them.   Sorry you were not believed when you failed the “Skype test”.

          My fiance said that one of the first thoughts he had when we first met face to face was “Yay !     She looks JUST like her picture ! ”   I really did try and post accurate recent photos, both close up and full length.     Physical attraction is one important factor for me. (but not the only factor)   I am fully aware and understand that looks are important for men as well.   I would not want to post a picture of my 20 year old self, or another person altogether.   I wanted the men I met to at least be attracted to my picture and profile.   What would be the point of posting a picture of someone else, or a picture of me in high school with big boobs photoshopped in ?   The truth would come out eventually.




      5. 12.1.5

        Skyping? ……LOL    Most people barely have a profile with 3 decent photo’s and a paragraph. For most men trying to get a woman to “Skype” with them before a meet & greet would be quite an amazing feat in and of itself especially if we haven’t seen the “full body shot”. There’s a reason why no online dating service has video and or audio profiles. When it was tried way back when no one uploaded either anyway because most feel uncomfortable doing it much like Skyping. Skyping is great for long distance AFTER people have met and feel comfortable using it but it’ll never replace the meet & greet.

      6. 12.1.6

        Hi Adrian,

        Writing because I definitely love Skype(not all women think alike, obviously). Not only do I quickly get bored by looking at people’s pics- I also feel like I am seeing only a fourth of the real person. Then again, I love to look people in their eyes. Also, I read people’s faces a lot. Somehow, very often you can see the personality in other’s faces, and when talking with them you can see every reaction they have- the micro ones as well(those first reactions which we are unable to control). On Skype those are  even more  visible for some reason(warning! Do not go on Skype if you have  anything you prefer staying hidden   😉 ).

        For me- I look just fine on Skype(and on pics, just like KE I feel I look like a troll, so absolutely understand her non-exsisting enthusiasm) but I find that I’m not eager to go on cam. It feels better when others fall in love with my personality first- if I feel for them falling for my looks I’ll just smile when I’m out and about.

        Skypoe is a great way to see more of a person- body language is  so  much more informative- and appealing- than a lifeless picture.

    2. 12.2

      KE, like you, I am busy almost every night of the week with, again like you, pool   shooting (about to join a permanent league), dancing, occasional girls’ nights out with friends, occasional girls’ nights in (with my daughter), and more dancing.   I do NOT like talking on the phone as a rule, but I will do it with someone I’m seeing because, well, I enjoy it   But not with strangers.     And skype?   I had to laugh at your description of you on skype.   No WAY would I want my face popping up on someone’s mega screen, only inches from theirs.   Not even in a full-blown relationship.   Skype is completely out of the question for this “seasoned vet.”

      As for building a rapport, I prefer doing that on mid-week dates which is why I don’t mind mid-week dates.   I’m not giving a total stranger a weekend.   I want to know if we have anything in common and enjoy each other’s company (“rapport”) before I give him my weekend time.

      1. 12.2.1
        Karmic Equation

        Yup. When I was online dating, I scheduled dates on weeknights for first dates. I only scheduled weekend dates if they absolutely couldn’t do midweek for their schedule. I was more flexible for 2nd dates.

    3. 12.3
      Runner Girl

      Hi KE – I just wanted to respond to your thought about women who need communication before first dates and in between dates as, “…..to me that just means she isn’t really leading a full life and/or maybe investing too much of her headspace in a stranger. If she had ‘that much’ time to spend worrying about talking to the guy, why didn’t she schedule the date earlier?”   to explain the reason that many women do prefer and/or enjoy that type of communication. I prefer that communication to weed out and get to know someone, because I do lead a full life, a very busy one at that. At the time I met my fiancé, I had both of my boys in Cub Scouts, my daughter was in dance classes, and all 3 of my kids played soccer, so most of my evenings after work (I am an elementary school teacher, so I brought home lesson planning and papers to grade in the evenings as well) were spent taking my kids to sports practices and scout meetings, as well as cooking my family dinner and helping my kids with their homework. My ex was working doing taxes, and it was the middle of tax season, so I had my kids 2 weeks on and 2 days off (only 2 kid free weekends a month), and on those weekends, I either went on dates, went out with my friends, ran errands and did chores that I did not have time for during the week, or went running and/or participated in running events/races, so my schedule was very full. I actually liked it that way, weird as it may sound, because it kept my mind off of my divorce and kept me from feeling depressed or sorry for myself, and it kept my kids’ lives with the same schedule and stability that they had prior to my divorce, which was a benefit to them as well. So as a result, I didn’t have the time to waste on continuously dating men indefinitely in order to find a guy that I like. That is also the reason that I did not have my date sooner than 2.5 weeks into communication – well, my schedule, combined with my fiancé’s schedule (he also had kids ages 8 and 6, and is an attorney, so brought a lot of work home as well). The scheduling was tricky, but we made it work. I may be an anomaly, but due to the hecticness of my life, in the past I dated only one guy at a time. I was communicating with other men online, and stopped once my fiancé and I became exclusive, but did not have time to focus on more than one guy. Since I was very selective, the in-between dates communication assisted me with the selection process a lot, which is another reason that it was important to me to have. I hope all of that helps explain my POV of why me and probably other women with similar lives have that preference. I am happy that your preferences have been helpful for you as well.


      BTW – I just want to say that I think the fact that you think like a guy probably in general has been very beneficial in helping you to understand and relate to men, which is awesome!  I wish I were better at that. I think you generally write very insightful, intelligent comments on these forums as well. Best wishes on things with you and your boyfriend! 😊

      1. 12.3.1
        Karmic Equation

        Hi Runner Girl,

        I agree with the need for communication between dates (e.g., AFTER first dates). Those in-between communications are essential to ensure that both parties remain interested in pursuing further.

        My only thing was the phone call communications before the FIRST date don’t seem essential, if the woman is dating others and leads a full life besides. He’s just another guy until they meet. If his interest wavers before the actual first date (and this happened like 2x for me). One  time at 2 hours before the date, I hadn’t gotten a confirmation text-wise, so I texted to ask if we were still on. He claimed he forgot or something, can’t even remember his reason, so I said no prob. Never heard from him again. But it was truly no problem as I could easily figure out something else to do and he wasn’t real to me, so not meeting him didn’t bother me in the least. The 2nd time it had happened I had scheduled a date two weeks forward, and the day of date came and I hadn’t received any msgs to confirm, so I just figured he must have lost interest. I shrugged that off too. And just saw it as a much needed “free” night for myself. If he was waiting for me to confirm, he lost out. I couldn’t be bothered.

        Anyway, I think you made my point a little bit. Since you tended to date one guy at a time, you would definitely notice if the guy didn’t keep in touch before the first date.

        I’m not saying you were wrong or “less-than” to date that way. But rather that dating-one-at-a-time leads elevates that first date to be “more important” than it should be. And if a woman has a tendency to over-romanticize or put all her eggs in one basket, then she will be overly disappointed if, for some reason, the first date never materializes. Dating more than one guy (or at least scheduling first dates with more than one guy 🙂 )  helps in various ways to keep a girl grounded and remind her she does not live in the land of scarcity.

        I do agree that AFTER a date, aka “between” date, communications ARE essential to get anything off the ground.

        I’m glad you found someone! Best of luck and thank you for the kind words 🙂

        1. Runner Girl

          KE – Thank you so much for clarifying and for the good wishes. Much appreciated! 🙂   You are very welcome, and I appreciate your kind words as well. I agree with your advice/suggestion about dating more than one guy at a time. I think I focused back then on dating one guy at a time because I felt so overwhelmed with my schedule, being a single parent, and being in the midst of a divorce (which did get nasty for awhile), that I felt didn’t think I could juggle more than that. If my situation had been different, then yes, I probably would have dated more guys. I think in all honesty that I was also a little bit afraid of dating again. It is intimidating when you first put yourself out there, especially after a long absence. Anyway, thank you again! 🙂

  13. 13

    KE said ” I cannot talk to someone on the phone I haven’t yet met in person.”

    Thank you KE. I feel the same way.   I tried to follow the 2/2/2 suggestion that EMK suggests, but I found so many interactions fell apart during the phone convo.   It IS hard for me to talk on the phone to a total stranger, and I’ve read some men here and on other forums say the same thing.   At least when meeting someone face to face, and perhaps an activity, even just a walk through a sculpture garden, gives you something to talk about.   After many painful, awkward, forced phone conversations, I decided to stop nudging men towards a phone call.   If THEY asked for my number and want to CALL me   (I am a terrible texter, but good at e-mailing), then I would pre-screen them on the phone, but if after a decent exchange of e-mails, a good profile, a good feeling on my part, and no red flags, if they wanted to meet face to face I would accept a short date close to home.   If the face to face fell flat, I could easily exit the date, if we hit if off, we   could extend the date and go somewhere else.

    Lo and behold, the very first man that I communicated with by e-mail ONLY, prior to our “coffee date” is now my fiance.   He even admits that he doesn’t like talking on the phone.   I am so glad I didn’t try and steer him to a phone call, it very well may have been a painful awkward, phone call.

    I was very excited to meet him as we had a great e-mail exchange.   Our “coffee date” morphed into a coffee date, followed by a walking tour of my neighbor hood, ending up at the base of a hiking trail in my neighborhood.   We weren’t really outfitted to hike up the mountain, so he asked me to hike it with him the following week end.   Then we went out for appetizers, then the movies.   That “coffee date” started out at 10AM and ended sometime time later that evening.     (That was one helluva a great cup of coffee).   Since the scheduled hike was almost a week away, I just smiled at him and said I’d LOVE to ride our bikes and hike next weekend with him, but also told him “I AM allowed out on ‘school night’ ”   So we did go out two nights prior our planned week end date, and kept in touch by e-mail.   We’ve been together for over a year and a half, and we have probably talked on the phone less than five times.   But we   see each other 5-7 days a week, and have some sort of e-mail communication pretty much daily.

    Perhaps for some people, phone convo is a neccessity, but for me, it was actually a detriment.   So I decided to try a different screening approach and it worked for me.   It really doesn’t bother me that he doesn’t call me.   He will be moving in soon, and we are getting married next year, so for us, phone calls (or lack thereof) are really a moot point.

    Sometimes we just gotta tweak the formula and find what works for us.   What works well for some, might not work well for others.   The e-mail only screening and brief “coffee date” meet and greet worked very well for me.

    JM2C, YMMV.

    1. 13.1

      I guess I cannot fathom how one prefers not to screen on the phone first (or at minimum, through texting). My philosophy is: awkward on the phone, awkward in life.   There is so much I pick up while communicating before the first date…then again, most of my dates are planned a week in advance at least just like the OP (based on my regular schedule) And for the life of me, I don’t understand how a man communicating somewhat before meeting shows that either he or you are too invested (what KE said)…I mean, that’s how most people   do get to know each other. And in the online world where most of us are speaking to more than one person, it’s so easy to…forget…When I meet someone IRL, I would at least like a basic familiarity.   But at the end of day, to each his own as you stated.

      By the way, congrats on your impending marriage!

      1. 13.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        Hi Stacy,

        To me, a week is a short time 🙂 And I really don’t like talking on the phone to strangers, whom I define as a person I haven’t yet met in person. After the first date, I’m ok with inbetween date calls, but I prefer texting between dates to talking on the phone between dates.

        And even when I talk to my own family, I really prefer to talk about logistics “Where are meeting for lunch/dinner/shopping” or maybe some venting if I’m having a bad day at work, etc. Same with my guy. I guess it comes down to the fact that not only do I naturally think like a guy, I probably communicate like a guy on the phone, in that I hate talking about feelings and what’s going on in my life. I’d rather do that in person.

        I bond when I DO things with my guy, not talk about things.

        I’m not saying talking on the phone is wrong. But I do feel that it creates a false sense of intimacy and connection with a stranger.

        Of course phone convos MAINTAIN connections with friends and family. But in the initial stages of dating before exclusivity, phone calls are awkward for me. If I can spend hours talking to a romantic interest, why can’t we meet in person and talk for hours face to face instead?

      2. 13.1.2

        Thanks Stacy.   I used to prefer to screen by phone, but I had so many bad experiences, or a good phone convo would end up to bad on a date.   Anyway, dropping the phone call (unless the guy brought it up) worked for me.   My guy says he doesn’t like to talk on the phone, but he is great in person and by e-mail.   I can’t stand texting, but I love e-mailing.   I think it’s mostly due to the size of the keyboard, not that one is innherently better, it’s just easier for me to type at a   full sized keyboard.

        And what I forgot to mention in   my earlier post, I was over-thinking, and over analyzing my “I AM allowed out on a school night” remark.   Yes, I actually went home and wondered if I had twisted his arm into asking me out during the week, much like the OP is wondering about her interaction.

        Later I found out, that he was just be conscience of the fact the he is retired and I still work.   Also, since we were at the base of a mountain hiking trail, asking to do that hike would not be a practical week night activity.   But I still wondered to myself if that remark was to aggressive, even though he smiled when I said that.   It was just my way of letting him know that we didn’t have to wait until the next weekend to see each other again.

        Perhaps I SHOULD have kept my mouth shut, and just continued e-mailing him during the week, and see if he would suggest a mid week get together on his own, but despite my technical error, we are going very strong as a couple.   I guess it just shows that you can’t do the wrong thing with the right guy.

        If had taken that remark and put me in the “too needy” or “too cling” or “too aggressive” box, he wouldn’t have been the right guy for me anyway.

        I am very happy to be coupled up and beyond wondering if I am leading the relationship, if I should introduce him to my friends or wondering where I stand.

        Except for my brief angst over nudging him for a mid week date, I never wondered where I stood with him.

      3. 13.1.3

        I prefer not to screen on the phone because I’m a little hard of hearing and spend a lot of time asking people to repeat themselves if I can’t see their lips while we’re talking.

        It’s a big, wide world.

  14. 14
    Runner Girl

    Stacy – You are very welcome. I am glad my comment was helpful. Reading other’s comments here has definitely shown me that we all have different preferences on what makes us feel the best, so due to that, we all must let our prospective dates know what works for us, by reaching out to them if they do not do so first, and communicating this. No one can read minds, and those who have dated a lot have probably noticed everyone feels differently about pre-date communication, so throwing our preferences out there never hurts.


    D_M – Thank you very much for the congratulations and I appreciate your great suggestions. At the time of those 2 dates, I had been separated from my now ex-husband of 18 years for only 6 months, and had only filed for divorce 1 month prior to that. So I was brand new to the whole dating scene again, which was already a whole new experience being in my late 30’s, and also in a time where technology had drastically changed (no texting, emailing, online dating as norms were present much in 1993 when I got engaged to my ex). So I really did not know how to navigate it, and I liked the old-school way of phone conversations and communication – it put me at ease. In addition, I had 3 young kids (11, 8, and 6) then, so I really was serious about not wasting my time with someone who was not looking for the exact same thing, a LTR, and felt more confident weeding out men who were not on the page. Anyway, sorry to get off of my point a little with explaining my background, but back to your suggestions – I truly had been off the market for so long, that I was sort of naive in how to handle guy number 2’s “interrogation.” He caught me off guard, and unfortunately, I am not a fast thinker on my feet (I wish I were), and I usually process things better after the fact, once I have the time to comtemplate them. However, you are right, I really needed to have steered that first date conversation elsewhere, and playfully (or in a nice way to not look as if I am avoiding it, as you mentioned) indicated that that topic was better saved for a later time. Looking back on that date now, I also wonder why the reason my ex and I got divorced was of so much interest to that guy from the beginning, unless he had been burned badly from an ex and wanted to avoid dating a woman who had gone through the same situation as well? Who knows? It really doesn’t matter any more, but man, what we reflect on in hindsight! Thank you again for your thoughtful advice. I am sure it will benefit others on here as well, who have endured the same scenario. 🙂


    Overall, my take away from Evan’s advice and all of the comments that I have read on this forum thus far is this: The better we all are at straightforwardly, but politely and respectfully (and even being a little playful about it to get our ideas across, if that makes it easier to keep things light) communicating our dating preferences to the other party, the better off the situation will be. If the other party does not make any effort toward working with us on whatever feels best (to each of us or both of us, as agreed upon), then they are actually doing us a favor by saving us wasted time in dating someone who doesn’t care about our wants or needs, which in all likelihood, will continue to be the precedent as the dating, relationship, etc. continues.


    As a side note, since I see that I did not respond completely to the original post/letter regarding Cathy, I think she handled the situation with Jim just fine. She thanked him for the date, they obviously both had an enjoyable time out together, as I figured as much based on the post date conversation between the two of them (I would not say that I had fun if I really didn’t – totally dishonest and misleading), and I think he threw out the “sometime” part as a way of gauging her interest in going out again, but without setting himself up for being harshly rejected. He was probably simply nervous and did not wish to assume anything. She responded correctly IMO by happily taking him up on his offer to go out again, and inquiring as to let her know when he would be available (not pushy at all, but straightforward, and still leaving it open ended for him to respond with setting up a day/time, which he answered her back right away with a suggestion). It all sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Now hopefully if they do have their second date and all goes well, and she continues to express her appreciation and that she enjoyed their date, that he is clear on the knowledge that she is interested, and he can much more confidently follow up in both asking her out again, as well as sharing in in-between dates communication, which becomes more necessary to start establishing things between them at that point. I think Cathy was nervous as well, overthinking things as most women tend to do, and stressing herself out in the process. The craziness of dating!! 😉

  15. 15

    Runner Girl…LOVED your story, and congratulations to you!!!

    1. 15.1
      Runner Girl

      SMC – Thank you!! That is very sweet! I am happy that you thought so. 🙂 Now comes the awesome part of moving in together (we currently live in different cities 50 miles apart) and combining our lives with 5 kids between us hitting their teenage years. It will be an exciting adventure for sure, and I am so looking forward to it! 💜

  16. 16
    Runner Girl

    Emily the original – I understand your post was a response to Stacy’s comment. However, did you not mention that with the OP’s situation, that her date had “…..no reason to contact her again. They’re strangers.” ? That was the comment that  I   am referring to, in order to clarify why I think that in the OP’s case, that communication was beneficial. I was not discussing anything about the conversation you had between Stacy. As for your second reference to my comment about how communication builds anticipation and excitement, yes, to some degree what you said is true, that that is all I know. However, I can also read between the lines. I saw some personality, playfulness, intelligence, etc. on his part, and since we did talk about a few things in our prior communication, like having some kids of the same age, and me coming from a family of lawyers, and his ex-wife being a teacher, it gave us a starting point to go from in conversation upon meeting face to face. Since you have not done online dating, and have already met your future dates IRL, then it really is not a fair comparison to make. You probably already sensed some form of chemistry, which is why you agreed to go out on a date. Since I was unable to do that, I found a  different  way to feel out dates, which was beneficial to me. To each their own, right? I was not trying to negate your opinion, but only to explain another perspective on the matter. I am glad you have met your suitors IRL. I would have much preferred that method, but was honestly clueless as to the best place to meet other available men my age (I was 38), who had stable lives, who did not mind dating a woman with 3 young kids. Thank you for your insight. I wish you much luck and happiness! 🙂

    1. 16.1
      Runner Girl

      Sorry, Emily, I meant to reference the OP’s situation with regard to your comment on my original post as well, so that is probably where the communication got skewed. My bad. It was 11:30 p.m. when I posted, so maybe I was already falling asleep? Anyway, I just wanted to clarify so that it makes sense.

  17. 17

    Runner Girl:

    I get what you’re saying about developing some rapport with someone you have not officially met yet. I am not ruling out online dating. There have been lots of stories on this blog about successful relationships that developed from it. Also, I didn’t say I was getting quality dates IRL!   🙂     Just that that’s where they were coming from.

    After reading some other posts, I think there are some other women who also don’t want a ton of communication before the first date. As you said, to each his own. I just have a tendency to overly invest, particularly if it is someone I really like. I’d like to know there is at least going to be a second date before the drawbridge comes down.

    1. 17.1
      Runner Girl

      Emily – Thank you, I appreciate your comments, and I understand where you are coming from. Yes, IRL can be tricky as well. I am glad you are not ruling out OLD. I did not want to try it at all, but my hair stylist swore by it, and told me that I could answer or not answer anyone I wanted, and that I had nothing to lose by at least trying. So I did, and I was successful very early on, although I realize that is not typical, so I must have just gotten lucky. When you finally go there (if you do), I wish you much success. 🙂

    2. 17.2
      Runner Girl

      Emily – Thank you for your response. I understand where you are coming from and why. I am glad you have not ruled out OLD. If you ever decide to go that route, I wish you much success. 🙂

  18. 18
    Runner Girl

    My first comment disappeared, so I posted again. Now both posted – nice. Please disregard the second comment. Don’t we all love technology?!

  19. 19

    This has been an enlightening thread. The point about lack of confidence in dating vs confidence in other areas of life is a very good one, as is the distinction between confidence and self-esteem. Of course, confidence isn’t binary. It’s a continuum. I think that’s why it bothers me so much to judge this guy as beta when we have no idea what happened on the date. LeBron James confidence works best with LeBron James talent. LeBron James confidence with replacement level talent is a dork who cannot read social cues and cannot tell when he is being blown off.

    As to the situation in the letter: I do wonder how important the thank you text is to people’s opinions. If the LW had sent no text at all, and the “would you like to do it again sometime?” Had been the first move of either party, would that still show a lack of confidence? Because I continue to believe the text showed nothing. “I had fun” does not have to be a lie; I’ve had enough experience (and read enough posts here) to know that people are quite capable of having fun for a couple of hours getting to know someone even if they are not attracted to them. It’s very possible that every word in that text be true, but that doesn’t mean she wants to see him again. We know she did, but we have information he didn’t: this letter.

    As for predate contact: this thread has done a very nice job of showing that you cannot please everyone. Which is all the more reason for people to keep an open mind.

  20. 20

    REALLY liked this article! Thank you!!!! I too, like Cathy have encountered men like this and was left confused many times thinking, huh? what’s going on??? Evan, I like how you point out the specifics in the subtleties, something I have difficulty with recognizing myself when getting involved with someone and learning about how they operate and how they are. As a woman you just automatically question ‘does he like me?’ never, not once have I considered that the guy could be ‘beta male’ or feel as insecure as me!!

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