Writing left handed

You’re Asking Me?

Within the past 48 hours, I’ve had three friends come to me for relationship advice.  “I’m not exactly batting a thousand over here,” I keep telling them.  I’m hoping to meet with up PSM#3 sooner or later (now that he’s back from vacationing in the Bahamas) and both Date #1 and Date #7 keep popping back into my life but I’ve gone out with twenty different men since August!  The way I see it, I’m either sub-consciously sabotaging my new would-be relationships (which, to be honest, wouldn’t surprise me) or I am truly the world’s worst dater.

(Or, quite possibly, Fate plays a greater role in all of this than I’d like to acknowledge.  Perhaps I haven’t found “The One” [or realized that I’ve found “The One”] because I’m not meant to find “The One” just yet.)

Either way, I’m no closer to securing myself a reliable Plus One than I was when I first started serial dating six months ago.  But this hasn’t stopped my friends from coming to me for advice.

Oddly enough, I find myself saying the same thing over and over: Whatever you do, do NOT call him.

I find it rather depressing that the culmination of my hard-earned dating wisdom comes down to playing hard to get.  We’re all adults now; shouldn’t we be beyond playing games?  Can’t we just admit that we happen to enjoy someone’s company and go about arranging for a second date with the same efficiency we manage to employ for business meetings or job interviews?  Evidently not.  And so I find myself giving the same advice that women throughout the ages have given their girlfriends (even if they themselves can’t follow their own words of wisdom).

Do not call him.

Even if you had a great time.

Even if you suspect he had a great time.

Even if he said he had a great time— do NOT call him.

I used to think that all of those hunter/gatherer analogies were complete bullshit as far as dating was concerned but there’s a reason why virtually every relationship advice article boils down to the same thing: do not call him.  For in calling him, you deny his natural predilection for hunting, and in denying his natural predilection for hunting, you deny yourself the pleasure of his company.

It’s all very simple even though it makes the feminist in me want to scream Can’t I take charge of my own destiny?  Do I really have to sit around waiting for him to call?

“It sucks,” I found myself commiserating with one of my college roommates on New Year’s Eve.  “But if he said he’ll give you a call after the holidays, you really need to wait for him to give you a call after the holidays.”

Of course, you can Facebook stalk him all you want, and wonder how it is that he’s had the time to fly to Vegas/post Christmas photos/comment on his friends’ recent engagement and yet not call you… but it’s not going to make any difference.

(Actually, that’s not true.  It will make a difference.  To you.  It will drive you insane.  But it won’t make any difference to him.)

Lo and behold, exactly 48 hours into the New Year, I received a message from my old roommate.  “You were right!” she wrote.  “He called!”

I couldn’t help but smile—I do love being right, especially when my being right would suggest that A) I am indeed getting better at dating and B) I’m using my newfound knowledge for the betterment of single girls everywhere, society-in-general, and quite possibly the world-at-large.  (I fully expect to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize someday.)

Now, if only I could follow my own advice.

14 Responses to “You’re Asking Me?”

  1. mynakedbokkie

    Iuse that advice when i have a “disagreement” with my man! Dont call him. Yes, he eventually calls. Sometimes it takes a little longer though…… we really shoudl be past it all! Or at least i should be.

  2. robfreund

    Okay, I’ve admittedly only read the first two paragraphs of today’s post, and I have to comment – take from it what you will (or don’t, as none of this is really my business!) but I think I can label what you’re experiencing.
    It’s called Double-bind Ambivalence. Essentially, it’s when a person is caught between two (or in your case, many more) potential choices, and is unable to make that choice because of numerous advantages and detractors present in each choice. The ‘decider’ doesn’t want to make a concrete decision, because it would mean abandoning the other perfectly viable option. The resulting scenario is a constant see-saw between whatever options exist, and a situation (albeit an uncomfortable one) where the ‘decider’ is able to have everything without sacrificing all the possibilities. The only problem is that they’re unable to reach a resolution and true end state because they’re constantly in a state of flux.
    You, personally, have 30+ possibilities, some of which can/could be easily decided against, but the perception of a multitude of other men available via eharmony or match.com, each of whom statistically may be “the one,” creates a huuuuge double bind situation for you. It’s nigh unto impossible to settle on one person when there are so many others out there, so therefore, it becomes easier to jettison one option for the opportunity to try out another. The problem is that over the long term, the true goal (presumably a long term relationship involving Darcy-esque marital bliss and putzing around on lazy afternoons) cannot be attained so long as the pattern persists. So it’s not subconscious sabotaging, it may very well be inability to choose from too many options present at one time.

    Impressions from a mental health counseling student. Pardon the rambling. :S

    • robfreund

      … and my comment has literally no pertinence to the post. Awkwardness aside, I was addressing your comment about “The way I see it, I’m either sub-consciously sabotaging my new would-be relationships (which, to be honest, wouldn’t surprise me) or I am truly the world’s worst dater.” 🙂

      • Kat Richter

        You’ve made some great points Rob 🙂 I keep telling myself “A bird in the hand it worth two in the bush” but the truth of the matter is, I don’t really feel that way… at least not yet!

      • Zak

        Wow! Just wow. That really changed my perspective on things in my own life. I never considered that having so many options actually caused me issues.

  3. Kate

    As a fellow serial dater, I know how hard it is not to call back! And that’s totally right. That advice is completely solid. If he likes you, he’ll find a way to call. I’ve learned that guys really are that simple and primitive enough to be the hunter. They can figure it out.
    Good luck!

  4. sarahnsh

    I’ve had that issue with having to play hard to get with every single relationship except the one I’m in now. It’s nice not to play the games, because our second night we met each other he literally told me, “I’m not into game playing.” I said me too, but besides him every single guy it seems like I shouldn’t call, or should wait, or shouldn’t have said as much to him, or shouldn’t of had said how much fun I had, etc. It makes your head hurt!

  5. h&hs

    Dr. Cloud talks about “not calling him back” in his book How to Get a Date Worth Keeping. He says that all these “games” have truth to them.. they work! He goes on to mention, that these “games” are not just games like a script to complete….They give the other person the indication that you have a life of your own and that’s attractive to people. When people “play the game” they give the illusion that they have a life as to attract others.

    As I see it, there are two ways go: 1 is to “play the game” or 2 “get a life”

  6. Jackie

    Hey! Saw your post on Herheartsmiles; I think it’s great that you’ll be updating every day. I should have considering not doing weekends as well… but I’ve already committed! So 365 days in 2011. I love your blog and your style – best of luck with the commitment. Check out mine – Twist35 at http://www.thejackieblog.com

  7. Canti

    Remember, chickie … I was 31 when I met “the one” … so you might have a point.

    Invest in Chapstick … maybe you’ll be kissing frogs for a while yet. Doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, though … right?

  8. Maggie M.

    God, it’s so annoying that it’s true–I’ve never played “hard to get” and a friend just diagnosed that as my current dating problem. She says that a boy will cross a crowded room for a girl they are interested in, but if you “cross the room” for them in whatever way it may be–messaging them first, etc,–you diminish your worth in their eyes by at least 50%. I use it as further proof that boys are stupid: http://maggiesmanhunt.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/on-my-current-dating-attitudes/


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