There are few things in this world more reliable than the Swiss rail system. I know this because when I was 17, I blitzed from Strasbourg to Interlaken to Vienna with my then-boyfriend and despite our half-baked travel plans, we never missed a connection.
What exactly does this have to do with dating? We’ll, I’ve stumbled upon a little “universal truth” and unlike that which plagued Jane Austen’s hapless Bennet sisters this one actually holds water.
My discovery is hardly rocket science; we already know that guys don’t call when you want them to call. What’s less commonly known (or perhaps known but more generally ignored) is the fact that you can predict the exact hour a man will call once you start ignoring him. And you can predict this with all the certainly of the Swiss rail system.
How so? Well, to put it plainly, men are simple creatures. (Sorry guys, it’s true.) You don’t want what is easily obtained any more than we women genuinely want you to throw yourselves at our feet. This is because the illusion of being unattainable suggests value and there’s little value in something that can be obtained for free (unless of course it’s chocolate).
As such, if a man says he going to call you to set up a coffee date but texts you with a half hearted “How r u?” instead, you should ignore him.
Don’t worry. He’ll be back. And just like the train from Interlaken to Vienna, he’ll be on time (exactly 36 hours later, according to my latest calculations).
I know this because I tested my new hypothesis with The Civilian last week. I’ve dubbed my newest prospect “The Civilian” because we met in the real world—not on Match.com or eHarmony or Plenty of Fish but rather in the Mt. Airy coffee shop where I’ve taken to spending my Friday afternoons.
He was working on his laptop at the table next to me and spent the better part of an hour making inane but hopeful comments (“It’s cold in here, isn’t it?” and “Is that tea that you’re drinking?”). Never one to miss an opportunity for the improvement of my social skills, I tossed a few brilliant, monosyllabic replies in his direction (“Yeah” and “It’s chai”) and got back to my work.
It wasn’t until he inquired, “How on earth can you sit with your legs tucked underneath you like that?” that I bothered to look up from my computer. This is probably because he concluded his little interrogation with “I could never sit like that. I’m 6’4”.”
6’4”? You don’t say…
From that moment on, I was all smiles and charm and “Here’s my card, give me a shout if you’re ever here again.” (I meant to say, “Here’s my card, give me a shout if you’d like to grab a drink sometime” but having discovered that the man seated beside me was a rather deadly combination of tall, dark and handsome, I wimped out.)
What can I say? It’s not every day—not ever, actually—that I meet someone dateable during my “office hours.” He caught me off guard.
Fortunately I’d regained my footing by the time he said he’d call and didn’t. I ignored him and when I finally deigned (36 hours later) to reply to his latest text, it was only to inform him that I was “too busy” to meet (and thanks to the show I’m co-producing for the Philly Fringe, this was the honest-to-God-truth).
Moral of the story? He apologized. And asked to reschedule. And asked again before finally offering to just join me during my “office hours” at the very same coffee shop where we first met.
See? Like clockwork. You could set your watch by a man-about-town because once you start ignoring him, he’ll become as predictable as the Swiss rail system.