Dear Nina, I recently met a man through an internet dating site, we have been on a couple of dates and had a lovely time. The odd thing is that he only texts me between dates (no calls) and he had to cancel our third date due to a hectic day at work, and as yet has not rescheduled (it was a week ago today we were meant to meet). He texts every day and the texts are very flattering and flirty, and are starting to get quite cheeky- although I keep batting back with ones to suggest he may find me attractive but thats not all there is to me (but in a less obvious way of course). What does one do in this situation? He has 2 kids (aged 8 and 12) who live with him, and he works in the city, so he is a pretty busy guy. I keep thinking I need to be patient as he’s probably just waiting for a night when he can get a babysitter or something, but he isn’t communicating this to me, so I am left wondering. Or maybe he is “just not that into me” and I should stop responding to his flirty texts, to see whether he would bother to ask me out if I wasn’t feeding this interaction? Please help, I need a dose of your no nonsense advice! Thank you, Alex
You are right in the Temptation to Settle for Less than a truly great relationship. In the earliest stages of a relationship with a guy who is really into you, there are phone calls galore, date requests galore, and no last-minute cancellations unless it is really an emergency. “I had a hard day at work and can’t meet you” is code for “I got a better offer” or “I’m not that into you.”
The text messaging with sexual connotations serves two purposes: 1. he keeps you on the hook while he checks out his options (or maybe continues another relationship), and 2. he reels you in for some fun in the sack without any commitment. Get real here, Alex! Guys don’t do suggestive text messaging with women they respect. So right off the bat, he’s pulling you off the pedestal and into the muck. Ick!
My advice: absolutely do NOT engage with the texting except to convey this message: “Dear ___, I truly enjoyed our first two dates and would enjoy getting to know you better. But you need to know that I’m not looking for a no-strings sexual relationship. If you’re interested in exploring a real relationship real-time, please call. If not, I wish you the best.” Then, sit back and observe the response. If he calls right away, apologizing and asking to see you again, I’d say you might have something worthy. If not, you have your answer: he’s either a player, not that into you, or both.
Often women accept these crumbs because of the fear of losing a guy who has potential and going back to nothing. The fear of being alone will cripple you in your search for a truly good man, and this you must overcome. Instead, practice letting go the moment you see these issues crop up. Do that two or three times and you will begin to develop some real emotional muscle in dating.
The universe gets the message when you take a stand for yourself and your vision for your life. After a couple of more attempts to serve up a plate of crumbs and you saying “no!,” something will shift. You will then begin attracting a whole new kind of man - someone who is totally into you, with good character, who respects women.