Guest Post: Disappointed In Inwood

September 11th, 2011

Dating, Guest Post, Latests Posts, Online Dating

Name: Disappointed in Inwood
State: New York
Age: 42
Comment: I don’t have a question. I just have a date story that I want to get off my chest with some lesson (not) learned.

“Penny” and I met online Memorial Day weekend. I’m 43, she’s 33. She said her age range for men was 38 but thought I was interesting so we starting e-mailing.  By the third e-mail I had sent her my phone number and personal e-mail address. I suggested we call or get together for a drink.  She said e-mailing through match was fine for now, so we did. The e-mails went on back and forth. Come Labor Day weekend I suggested we get together for a drink. She agreed.

We met at a Café on the Upper West Side last Tuesday (when it rained all day non-stop). Like all my first dates I thought it went really well (pretty much all my dates go well, it’s the follow up, I guess, that’s lacking. I think I’m a personable enough dinner date but I guess not enough to be boyfriend material – but that’s another topic). We hung around for two hours exactly. We had wine, dinner and at the end we shared a dessert. I experienced no awkward pauses and not once did she cross her arms. I picked up the tab. She said she’s willing and able to pay her share. I said I know and I appreciate it but I picked it up anyway.

I walked her to the subway station.  Usually I say to them “I hope to hear from you again soon” (my way of saying, let me know if it’s yes or no). As great as a date goes I never ask her for a 2nd one right then and there. Before I had a chance to say something she said “Well, let’s hang out again, I mean, if you want to.”  I said “Of course.” She then leaned over and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.  Kind of romantic actually in a “Notebook”/ in the rain kind of way.

As soon as I got home an hour later, I got a match e-mail from her saying “thanks for the dinner and conversation. It was nice to meet you.” I replied to her first thing in the morning. I said “thanks for coming out, want to get together again next week, I’ll call you soon.”  So that was Wednesday. I didn’t get any responses from her all day.

Thursday all day I still hadn’t heard from her. Thursday night I called and left her a message about making plans for next week. It’s Saturday morning now and still no word from her ☹

All this time I’m trying to think how I could have lost her. Obviously I was interesting enough to e-mail with, sight unseen, all summer.  My photos were accurate. They were taken a year and a half, and at least 10 pounds ago. Also she did say she wanted to get together again upon splitting up.

Anyway, lesson learned is, no matter how great a date goes, just move on!  For a couple of days I was really happy and dared to even start planning a possible future with her. Now that she’s not calling I’m crashing hard.  I think after a great date think 1) just because you’d make a great dinner date, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll make a great boyfriend 2) maybe it’s just the red wine talking 3) keep on looking!!!



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85 Responses to “Guest Post: Disappointed In Inwood”

  1. Christina Says:

    Ah well, I think this is one of the most common scenarios for online dating. Even though I was eventually successful, I went on way more first dates than any other kind. And just about all of those went well enough to leave me wondering about the lack of follow-up. Try not to take it to heart.

    One thing that jumped out at me was the length of time you two had been exchanging messages. That just seems way too long for two people living fairly close to each other. It allows time to build up a fantasy, leading to greater disappointment when things don’t work out.

    Online dating really is a total crapshoot, and for that reason, it’s best to keep expectations low. Just figure you’ll have a pleasant evening out, meeting someone new and enjoying some good food and drinks. That way, you haven’t wasted your time, and any positive developments beyond that are a bonus.

    • Andrew Says:

      That Chemistry thing! It’s really crazy but people sometimes don’t have as much control, as they would like to think, as to whom they are attacted. Guys always have testosterone, especially when we are young, as a countermeasure, ensuring we are not as picky. You may have thought it went well but she felt little or no chemistry, and I know why. You are too needy! And it sounds like she wanted to, why she online chatted so long, but, in the end, couldn’t get past your needy demeanor, or is still trying to get past it in her mind.

      My advice to you is to get out of the the needy mode that you are in. Other humans hate needy, and they can smell it a mile off. It works that way for both men and women. Your crash and burn after that one date is a good example. You really should not be doing that to yourself.

      “dared to even start planning a possible future with her.” Those are your words. After one date, that is just not realistic. Take a hard look at yourself. You went on one date with a woman on Tues night and have not heard back from her by Sat morning and you’re all a mess. It could even be a genuine reason she did not get back to you. It could be 9/11 related or had to go out of town or family emergency or something else.

      You built up a false image of her to satisfy some difficiencies in the way you view your life, and of course reality always bites. You have to work on some inner issues. As you yourself said, this date went like a lot of the others; you felt like you were charming, but really you were being wussy. It has nothing to do with your follow up which may actually end up at stalking if you don’t get your act together. There are a proliferation of dating gurus out there. Take a look at their stuff; a lot of it is marketing hype but the stuff addressing inner strength is actually good.

      Also, it’s about time. Don’t waste so much time before meeting people. Either do it or not do it. If you put a person off too long or a person puts you off too long, it’s probably not going to work. So you end up wasting both your time and the other person’s time. I am not into online dating these days, but I learned that one the hard way too. Also talk to more women. It doesn’t even have to be romantically related. Try to project some inner resolve when you do that. Stand for something when you talk with them. Have your own passsion(s) not related to women. I know I am being a little harsh on you, but it’s neccessary.

  2. datingdiva (Toni) Says:

    I am so sorry that things didn’t work out. Sometimes (and this has happened to me too) people tend to try to be nice and say “til next time” sort of thing – but I am boggled as she made a point to email you on match afterwards. I have been online dating for 9 years and it seems it just gets more frustrating.

    Like Christina said – keep the expectations low. When I meet someone for the first time – even if it goes well, I just kind of expect not to hear from them as I think there are a lot of serial daters out there. It’s a lot easier to go on a lot of first dates where you don’t have to really open yourself up and get to know the person then to make a relationship work.

    Keep your chin up – and never give up.

  3. D Says:

    Breaks of the game. Don’t feel like you “lost” her. For all you know, an old lover came back in her life, or she hooked up with someone else the next day, or even a family tragedy led her to stop email altogether.

    The best solution for this, in my experience, is just to go on a lot more dates. I’ve had as many as four dates in a week. When one flakes on me, it’s comforting to know that there other fish in the sea.

  4. K Says:

    Along the lines of what D said, I’d bet it was some kind of extenuating circumstance.

    I think she probably was at least somewhat interested… At least, I don’t say “let’s hang out again” and text /email someone right after a date if I’m not interested, because I don’t want to send mixed signals. The fact that she did so indicates, I think, that she enjoyed your date and thought it would be enjoyable to go out again. But then maybe she started to talk to her ex again, or she had some other guy she was seeing who got in there before you did,

    Of course, it’s also possible that she thought about things and decided someone who is 43 may actually be older than she’s comfortable dating, now that she met you and gave it a shot. When I was 33, I think 43 would really have been a stretch, although it’s ok now that I’m a few years older.

    It sounds like you’re doing the right things and you had a successful date. I agree with everyone else who says just keep it up and go on more dates, and try not to get too into someone too soon. I’d definitely suggest meeting after a few emails are exchanged, so you don’t go too long building somebody up in your head before meeting them and invest too much too soon.

  5. Trouble Says:

    The take-away from all of this is to not start planning a future (or letting yourself fantasize too much) after 1 date. Pace yourself, obviously be interested, but don’t be too interested until you know that there is some reciprocity.

    I’m sorry, I’ve been there, done that, it sucks. Don’t give up.

  6. Steve Says:

    not that I’m the expert at getting 2nd dates, but I wouldn’t have emailed her that soon asking to go out next week (even if she did email you back immediately). You then emailed her again the very next day after not hearing anything. So basically it was meeting her Tuesday, you contacted Wed and Thursday asking to go out. This just seems like too much too soon. And then, after Thursday night, when were you expecting her to contact you? Thursday night is the same night, Friday morning and day is work, and Friday night I don’t think you would expect her to call back, she may have had plans and most people do not want to contact potential dates on Friday or Saturday nights. So really you haven’t given her any time, it’s only been 3 days since you met. I also don’t like the word choice (do you want to go out next week, I’ll call you soon). You want to put the ball in her court but then say you will call soon anyway. So when you do call, you have already contacted her twice in 2 days without contact. Just seems like that it sets you up for defeat. Also, I don’t like the word choice, “I hope to hear from you soon”, which you said you usually use. It doesn’t project confidence and puts her on the spot. While it appears you didn’t do anything wrong on closing the night you met her (she initiated anyway), this brings up the question, how should the guy close when he wants her to see her again, versus not wanting to see her again? If you are interested does saying you want to meet again put her on the spot or give her validation that you are interested? If you aren’t interested, does not bringing up meeting again appear rude?

    • K Says:

      Good point – A way of “closing” that my friends and I like (we were just talking about it yesterday) is when a guy texts the next day sometime and says he had fun and would love to go out again. Then he can call or email a few days later and ask for another date.

      I went out with a guy recently who I had a pretty good time with, but he ended up texting me multiple times right after the date, and then called 2 days after… I felt like that was too much contact too soon and it bugged me a little.

    • Trouble Says:

      Steve: It has to do with whether I’m attracted or not. If I really liked the guy, I’d be excited to hear from him so soon and be asked out again. If I was ambivalent, I’ll find it a little off-putting, but the caveat is that I wasn’t that into him to begin with.

      In other words, if there was a good connection, he will have to work hard to screw things up. If there isn’t, any little thing he does will serve as an adequate excuse.

      • nathan Says:

        This is a good point. If someone isn’t happy that you contacted them soon after the date to get together again, it’s probably a sign of at least ambivalence on their part. Now, sometimes people move from ambivalence in the beginning into fully committed relationships later on. But regardless, it’s better to just express your interest, step back, and let the other person respond how they will. If he or she is interested enough, you’ll find a way to see each other again. And if not, you move on without worries.

  7. Selena Says:

    The line you usually use “I hope to hear from you again soon” feels awkward to me. I might wonder, does he not plan to ask me out again? Or, does he want me to chase him? What?

    If you genuinely want to go out again why not say, “I enjoyed tonight, I’d like to do it again sometime.” and leave it at that instead?

    If you don’t want to go out again, a simple “Thank you for joining me. It was nice meeting you.” is polite without giving any future expectations.

    I don’t think there was anything wrong with your follow-through. You mirrored her manners with the email and then called to ask her out again in a timely manner. She was the one who said, “Well, let’s hang out again, I mean, if you want to.” to me that would indicate she genuinely wanted to. Maybe she changed her mind after mulling it over? I don’t know. Very disappointing.

    This thing: “1) just because you’d make a great dinner date, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll make a great boyfriend ” – stop that. Do you think you would make a great boyfriend? Then yes, you would – for the right woman. You need to change you inner dialogue to that ; “I’d make a great boyfriend!” Convince yourself and you will project the confidence to women.

  8. dimplz Says:

    I think keeping your feelings in check is what’s most important. Just try to stop yourself from fantasizing too much and thinking about what can be. I heard an awesome homily and the message was to live in the moment. Too many of us think about the past and the future that we have no time to enjoy the present. Enjoy the present, don’t take too long to act on going out with someone, and if it takes too long, keep it moving. You can find another person to date in that time period if you act when you know the time is right.

  9. uesider Says:

    Very good post and discussion- some very hard lessons that have to be learned. I’ve had dates where all systems were go, and then nothing. Can’t imagine what is happening on the other side. Also, I realize that the reality is that many/most online daters are single for a good reason. They may not be ready for a partner, they may be attracted to ones that aren’t good for them, and about 50 other things.

    I’m an absolutist in that if he/she is in to you not much matters and if they aren’t not much matters. My rules are that I don’t ask for a 2nd date on the date, no matter how well it went. Good to sleep on it. Also, if there are 2 contacts that aren’t reciprocated, I forget about her. She knows where I am, if she wanted to call/write she would. And then move on.

    I had a great date a couple of weeks ago, thought all systems were go and they weren’t. No contact. Very disappointing but it’s been 2 weeks and I don’t even remember her name anymore. You will never run out of attractive, eligible people in a decent size metro area, and many want to date YOU.

  10. nathan Says:

    She said ““thanks for the dinner and conversation. It was nice to meet you.” That usually means I’m not interested, but wanted to thank you for your time. I have had numerous dates like this, where things seem to be going well, but my date isn’t interested (or interested enough anyway). And I have been on the other side as well a fair number of times. It’s just how it goes.

    I don’t think it really matters if you write or call back the next day. If she was into you, she would have probably been happy to hear from you. All these “wait for X number of days” rules are just games in my view.

    I totally agree with those who said to check your fantasizing, especially about the long term. The length of time between first contact and meeting her seems extremely long. Was there a good reason for such a delay?

    Finally, Selena’s point that maybe she changed her mind is also worth considering. Sometimes, the energy of hanging out with someone new carries you to want to see the person again. And then you go to sleep, wake up, and think “You know, I’m not really into him or her like that.” It’s happened to me plenty of times.

  11. Paula Says:

    I think a lot of people don’t know what to say at the end of a date with someone with whom they don’t want to go out again. Their intention is to pull the Fade or ignore any further requests for dates, but think it’s too awkward to tell the person that at the end of the date to his or her face. So they say something they think is noncommittal, like “let’s hang out,” knowing that it will never come to pass.

    That’s why I think it’s best, like uesider says, to not ask for the second date on the first one. Wait and see if she contacts you afterwards, and if so, if it’s only to thank you.

    Here’s what I’ve been doing: if I want to see the guy again, I say something at the end of the date that I had a nice time and would like to see him again. Then I follow up with a separate thank you note about a day later, using the channel of communication we had been using prior to setting up the date (text/email/online service messaging). If I don’t want to see the guy again, I thank him politely at the end of the date, say it was nice to meet him, and don’t suggest future dates. If he messages me afterwards after only one date, I do not respond, as I have already thanked him and want to send the clear signal that I don’t want future contact, but don’t really want to have to tell him why.

    Some others may have different practices, but this has been working pretty well for me, unless the guy is giving off a lot of what seem like mixed signals, like engaging in physical contact, or talking specifically about what we will do on future dates, but also not really initiating them.

    • dan Says:

      Paula you are crafty. But, the silent treatment is the most effective way to communicate “leave me alone.”

      • Tommy Says:

        I disagree with the silent treatment, shows to me you are gutless and probably someone I would end up not liking if things did go great at first. Why can’t you let someone know you are not interested? If I ever came across one of these people ever again in the future and recalled oh that was so and so from 2 years back and they acted like a jerk and didn’t return my call or whatever I will make sure to point that out now.

        I recently was conversing with a woman who a friend of mine had dated 2 years prior and at first I didn’t make the connection. But soon as I started getting to know her a bit, I felt like I had met her before or something. Turns out I did and that was it, run for the hills. This person was a dinner whore to my friend a couple of years back. She didn’t thank him for the dinner and he spent about $100 on her. She never responded to any of his calls or texts….

      • Paula Says:

        “But, the silent treatment is the most effective way to communicate “leave me alone.”

        Maybe that’s true for you, Dan. But maybe not: weren’t you on this very blog a short time ago trying to figure out what happened with the young drinking lass? What if she’d replied to let you know what she was really thinking about you and why she didn’t want to go out with you again? Or why she only wanted to have something casual or friend-like with you?

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      Paula’s approach is 100 percent correct. Having read her past commentary, I can’t believe she is advocating some of that. Nevertheless.

      • Paula Says:

        Huh, DMN? Not trying to start something up, just don’t know what you’re referring to…

        • Paula Says:

          If I think “nice to meet you” is a lie, I don’t say that — I’ll say something like what Maargen suggests: have fun out there.

          But even on dates that have gone badly or where there hasn’t been chemistry, it is usually nice to have met the person, if even to be able to rule them out for any future hopes and expectations. Sometimes they end up being a professional contact or part of an extended community of acquaintances: you never know when you’re going to encounter someone again and under what circumstances.

          • Selena Says:

            “Sometimes they end up being a professional contact or part of an extended community of acquaintances: you never know when you’re going to encounter someone again and under what circumstances.”

            Yes. Which is why I think it’s better to let them know you aren’t interested in further dating, rather than ignore their calls/emails letting them figure it out for themselves. Despite it being a chickenshit way to handle someone else’s feelings – it could come back to bite you in the ass one day. ;)

            • Paula Says:

              If I happen to run into them (because they’re Tommy and have blocked the call, or because I see them in real life) then I would be happy to tell them that in person. But I’ve also had the bad experience of someone begging me to tell them why or to reconsider, and that’s way more awkward than not returning someone’s call.

              Really, with all the dates I’ve had this year, I’ve only really had to do it with a couple of people…usually it’s by mutual agreement or occasionally him choosing not to contact me again. There’s only one person who I wouldn’t want to run into again in real life, but that was the Worst Date Ever — someone who was completely unable to figure out the regular social cues at all.

              • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                The pointed and baiting comments directed at Tommy are unnecessary and obnoxious. That goes for all of you. Please stop.

                Also, Paula, please note that you did to Dan what you say you hate being done to you. You threw in his face information he revealed in previous comments. So keep that in mind the next time you complain about personal attacks and how you aren’t an OP and didn’t offer your personal life up for judgment.

                Carry on, and please stop beating the dead horse.


                • Paula Says:

                  Dan was an OP, was he not? I was referring to his OP situation, not anything he revealed as a commenter.

                  That’s always been the line I’ve drawn…people who deliberately solicit advice from you and others, vs. people who are merely commenting and not asking for anyone’s advice.

              • Selena Says:

                Lol at your example.

                I was thinking in terms of going out with someone once or twice, they call, I avoid the call and don’t call them back because I don’t want to give the “I don’t feel we’re a good match” speech. They give up and go away. Then…down the line I apply for a job and guess who’s part of the interviewing process? Uh oh.

                Better to be a grownup I believe – awkward as it is.

        • DrivingMeNutes Says:

          The part that surprised me is that you would not respond to his attempt at contact. This is not about lying, its about “fading.”

          I agree with the approach, as I said. The idea is to reject the person in as non-provocative way as possible. “Thanks, nice meeting you” can be sincere. “Thanks, have fun out there!” is obnoxious and provocative and I wouldn’t say it.

          • Paula Says:

            Everyone draws their Fade line differently (Tommy’s is apparently “never,” Dimplz’ is “three dates.”)

            Mine is probably 3 dates, but anywhere from 2-5 depending on what was said and done. If sex happened during the dates (as opposed to a situation where it was clear it was a one-time hookup), then I don’t think it’s appropriate.

            >>>“Thanks, have fun out there!” is obnoxious and provocative and I wouldn’t say it.

            I tend to agree, which is why I usually say “nice meeting you,” but there are occasions where I just can’t do that sincerely and feel like someone deserves a bit of snarky obnoxiousness and provocation. But that’s pretty rare.

    • Maargen Says:


      I find it very harsh not to respond to someone’s communication. Especially after they’ve taken you out.

      I’ve never had a bad first date (except for the time I got stood up…which I guess was a bad first non-date), and it’s pretty common for a guy to ask for a second date despite the fact that I was only pleasant and not flirtatious at all, since I’m rarely that into a guy after just one date.

      If the date was with a guy I don’t want to see again, I send him a text, email, whatever, saying “Thanks for the nice time. Have fun out there!”

      Is this a harsh blow? Maybe – but I really don’t think it’s that serious: it was just one date. He may have had fun, but he’ll have a lot more fun with someone he has more chemistry with. Even if he gets pissed off at me and thinks I’m the world’s biggest bitch, I think ultimately a short sting that he’ll forget about pretty quick is better than waiting, wondering, and risking putting himself out there again to be rejected for a second date.

      If he contacts me again about going out (which has never happened after that message, btw) I really don’t see why I can’t say right out what I’ve said to other guys before: “I had a good time with you, but I don’t feel we have the right chemistry for dating”. There is absolutely no reason for a guy to take that personally – it means exactly what it says. It’s not him that’s the issue – it’s the combination of him and me.

      • Paula Says:

        >>Especially after they’ve taken you out.

        Definitely not to start something up again about “who pays,” but when someone hasn’t “taken you out,” it’s much easier not to feel obligated to them in any way. I don’t feel guilty about not responding to a sales person or telemarketer’s call if I don’t want what they’re offering. When we part on equal terms, each having sacrificed the same time and money spent getting to know each other, neither of us owe each other anything after a single date, as long as we haven’t done anything to falsely raise expectations.

        Now the Fade after a bunch of dates, sex that was not part of a one-night-stand situation, or other communication that raised expectations that you were now dating, that’s another matter entirely, but not after a single date.

  12. Maargen Says:

    I don’t see that you did anything wromg here, but chemistry is chemistry. If you both feel it, all is well. If not, she may not see the point in going out with you again – she may feel that to do so will only lead you on. Some people have a hard time sying “no, thank you”, though, and some people have had bad experiences when they’ve said “no” to a second date in the past, so they now choose to just not return phone calls.

    The thing about chemistry is that the fact that it wasn’t a two way thing this time means almost nothing. Unless you’re socially inept or a total “outlier” in the looks department (I mean really, really unattractive – which is rare), then the next person you meet might be more into you.

    Other posters have mentioned something about “ambivalence” as if it were a bad thing. I think ambivalence is a pretty natural response after a first date. Unless either party has little personality, no social/conversational skills, is rude, or is too obviously not a well-adjusted adult, a good first date should be typical. To build too much into that comes from making too many assumptions about someone you barely know. A pleasant time with someone who doesn’t have the right factors in common with you may not be worth a follow up, so there might be a definite lack of interest after the first date. But sometimes a person does need more information (in the absence of the “wow – isn’t he/she great!” kind of chemistry), and is open to exploring with follow-up dates. How/when you set up these dates can make a big difference.

    To say “let’s get together next week” is ambivalent in itself – it really doesn’t give the person anything to get excited about. Even “let’s have dinner” gets a bit old. If, instead, you pick up on something the two of you mentioned on the first date, find something to do that relates to that, and give her a few options as to dates (“Hey – so and so is playing at wherever on the 11th, 12th and 13th. Want to go check it out? Which date works for you?”) this might be a lot more interesting and difficult to resist.

    Although I don’t believe this is necessary for the person who is really, really into you after the first date, I wonder how often that scenario happens, and if it indicates a better chance of a good relationship?

  13. grace Says:

    In the future, don’t tell a woman after a first date (if you enjoyed her company and want to see her again), “I hope to hear from you soon.” It sounds kinda lazy and dis-interested.

  14. Mike Says:

    Dude. You reek of neediness! Work on and develop yourself as a human being, as a man. People can instinctually and subconsciously recognize that lack of authentic confidence. Work on strategies to develop your genuine confidence. In your words, in your mindset and in your core beliefs and you’ll instead be able to let people realize what a treat it is to even hang out with you. Don’t have all your eggs in one basket, waiting by the phone so to speak. Be the person and the man you know you could be and you’ll discover women flocking to you.

  15. Dan Says:

    To the OP:

    OP, I’m not going to bash you because this has happened to everyone. Further, I don’t know if you allegedly acting needy was the issue. It could be so many things. Women just have a lot of options when it comes to online dating–especially young women. For example, I met this 32 year old about a week and a half ago and had a good time. I texted her a few days later to go out to eat; and, today, she finally texts me back to tell me she can’t meet me because she has met someone and they are now exclusive. It’s just the way the game is played.

    What sucks is when you start to believe you are the only one that has not found anyone and everyone else has. It’s a crappy feeling. I can only recommend that you move one and keep going on dates. When you meet the next woman you will realize that there are plenty of fish and that, the girl that passed you up, was not necessarily right for you or was going to provide you with the relationship you are looking for. Learn from this experience and while you should be happy goiing on dates just be a little bit more reserved.

    *On a sidenote, I did not need the follow-up text (thanks but no thanks) from her as I prefer the silent treatment. No need to do that ladies.

    • Tommy Says:

      Forget Dan’s comment about not needing to know. I’d rather know that way I know at least the date went well enough to know it wasn’t something I did. Who knows who that other guy is, could have been her ex bf and you stood no real chance…But I’d prefer to know…if she was totally not interested she could’ve not responded to you at all.

    • Paula Says:

      Put me in the “prefer to know” camp as well. I’d like each date to be a learning experience, and if I’m doing something in particular (or not doing something and it was something over which I had no control), I’d feel better knowing it. Plus that demonstrates to me that his communications skills are sound (which sucks if it doesn’t work out, since that’s a quality that’s important to me.)

      • uesider Says:

        I would agree with you, but that assumes you get the truth. The nature of these things is that you never will. That doesn’t necessarily make the other person dishonest, just wary of confrontation and not wanting to hurt your feelings, usually. I’m ok with not knowing- seems a little rude to not return calls but at the same time who cares? Not like either of you are going to think about each other again.

        • Paula Says:

          Actually it does make the person dishonest, but that’s a whole ‘nother conversation, since being wary of confrontation and not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings doesn’t compel dishonesty. After one date, it would be nice to know, if someone wants to tell you, but if they don’t, they shouldn’t be forced to do that either.

  16. Saj Says:

    The part of the letter that confuses me is that the OP told her ok I’ll call you later and then seemed miffed she didnt respond to that. Yah she was waiting for a phone call. Then the OP only tried calling one time before giving up. I’d try calling again and reaching her. Many people are crappy with checking phone messages.

    I think he is over anlysing too much.

    • dan Says:

      Why would he call again? That would serve no purpose. Women know when you call and when they don’t return the call that’s it. Some guys try twice, but, in my experience, unless she is in a hospital in Peru with some tropical disease, she got his message. Time to move on.

      The only thing he should do is give it time and see if she calls. If not, forget about it.

  17. Tommy Says:

    After u don’t hear from them after you’ve left a voice mail. You should call back at a time you usually don’t call her at and use a blocked #. Catch her off guard and don’t call her right after your original call that will be obvious.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      To what end?

      Is it really worthwhile to hold grudges for a lifetime against people you barely knew for these imagined wrongs?

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Sure. Obvious that you’re a stalker. Blocked numbers are rare nowadays. Which means if a number does come through a blocked the person *67d (if that even works anymore) so that their number doesn’t pop up on Caller ID. Either way, tres creepy.

    • Andrew Says:

      That sounds like something one does in High School. Trust me, people know you called. There are so many other women out there. Why drive yourself nuts over a person who doesn’t want you.

    • uesider Says:

      Dislike. If she wanted to talk to you she would. The best you’re going to get using this “trick” is a general committment to a second date, followed by “something came up” when it’s time to cash in. Don’t waste your time, makes you look like a loser. Which, if you employ this tactic regularly, you may well be.

    • dimplz Says:

      No one likes to be rejected, but at least take it with dignity. A person who has been on less than 3 dates with you doesn’t owe you an explanation.

    • VD Joe Says:

      Tommy: I think the blocked # trick is a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

      When you use surveillance equipment, where do you like to shop? I like this place:

    • Angeline Says:

      And … the wisdom of simply not answering followup calls to The Fade is made abundantly clear.

  18. Selena Says:


    What does it get you to call someone who hasn’t returned your call from a blocked #? Do you realize how stalkerish that sounds? What the hell do you even say if the person answers? Personally, I never answer blocked numbers anyway, believing whoever is using them has something to hide.

    While I agree with you it’s kinder to tell someone you are not interested – if you run into them later it’s less awkward than if you blew them off without a word – your tactics Tommy, are terribly immature and creepy.

  19. nathan Says:

    Tommy, as another man, I agree with the women here. You’re tactics are creepy, and really unnecessary. While it’s really nice when someone is completely honest, it often doesn’t play out so clearly. Hell, I’m not always clear myself because I sometimes don’t know if I should move on or try for another date. Life is full of ambiguity and trying to chase down every women who gives you mixed signals is a recipe for disaster.

  20. Tommy Says:

    So now I’m a stalker since i suggested a blocked #?

    • dimplz Says:

      You wouldn’t have to block your number if they actually wanted to talk to you. Calling someone when you know they don’t want you to call is harassment.

      • Tommy Says:

        It would be called harassment if they actually told you do not all me again. If they don’t say that, then I can call on a blocked or regular phone # and it’s called I’m trying to contact you. I work for a law office and that’s fact. No harassment at all. You are mistaken.

        • dimplz Says:

          You work for a law office. Guess you’re not a lawyer or you would have flaunted that.

          If you have to block your number to get an answer, you shouldn’t be calling. You’re on the same level as a telemarketer. Actually worse, because you’re knowingly blocking your number in hopes of getting an answer, and you’re not even getting paid to make the call.

          • Tommy Says:

            I’m supposed to flaunt my profession? Is this a dating site column or something else? I go to school and work at a law office. Would you like me to flaunt something? Because I certainly can and can back up anything if so you desire me to. I go to NYU law school and live in Manhattan on the east side. Do I need to get a bit more particular, maybe we could meet up for dinner and we can pretend you are a dinner whore.

            I’m guessing we can discuss how you only have a bachelor’s degree and make $45,000 per year or maybe you are 1 of the 25 million unemployed folks in the United States. Which is it?

            • dimplz Says:

              Aw, I got the cool, calm, and collected law student ANGRY. :(

              Oh you didn’t know? I’m Angelina Jolie. My bf Brad Pitt is here somewhere ;)

              • Tommy Says:

                Weds or Thursday night, your choice I’ll meet you @ Seagrill in Manhattan..It’s right in Rockefeller Center. I’ll pick up the tab for you buddy and you can explain to me how ingenious and all knowing you are.

                I’ll assume if you turn me down you are all talk.

        • Paula Says:

          Tommy, there’s the legal definition of harassment (or violating “do not call” statutes), and there’s the way that makes a person feel who chooses not to talk to you to realize you’ve tricked them into talking to you anyway. As everyone who has responded above has said, it’s creepy and awkward.

          If you think it’s somehow less awkward to have a final conversation under these circumstances than it is to run into someone who didn’t call you back, then you are mistaken.

          • Tommy Says:

            What that is called is opinion, nothing more. I also didn’t state that I call people back under blocked #’s, I suggested it. And everyone is who has responded is all of a sudden the voice of reason? Haha, so if everyone decided they were going to swim to Europe to tonight, I’m assuming that’s a swell idea too?

            Who cares what everyone says…..And so if you call a person 1 time and they don’t respond and you use a blocked # 1 additional time….by your definition that is harassment???

            If you honestly believe that then I’m dealing with small-minded people here and it’s time to move on to a more intelligent, educated group of people.

            • Paula Says:

              All I’m saying is that we disagree enough (and sometimes pretty violently) around here on a regular basis that it’s incredibly rare to find something we’re unanimous about.

              The legal definition of harassment doesn’t matter: I don’t respond to blocked calls period, but if I did, and found it was someone who deliberately shielded his number so that I would talk to him, if he did it enough, I would probably consider it harassment. But even if he did it just once, I would find it really weird and needy, if not creepy and unsettling. I would also find it much more awkward to run into him again than if I had just failed to return his phone call. If that happened, I would just say, “Sorry I didn’t call you back…[least offensive reason why I wasn’t interested].”

              • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                Please drop the whole is it or isn’t it harassment topic. Off Topic.

                • Denny Laine Says:

                  Thanks for all the feedback. Just to follow up, Penny did call me on Sunday. She left a voice mail saying thanks for a good time but unfortunately she didn’t think we’d have enough to go on to have a long term relationship. Fine. I never called her back. I was very disappointed she didn’t want to see me again. I liked her a lot too. Having said that however, I’m feeling much better now about the whole thing.

                  1) Even though she wasn’t interested, I can’t get too disappointed over it, I barely even know her! We only met for 2 hours. She was a great girl to drink with but who knows what possible red flags she never got a chance to talk to me about.

                  2) Though I’ll never see her again, I’m glad she had the courtesy to at least let me know. Most women figure out we’re big boys, we should be able to figure things out for ourselves.

                  3) I’m sorta glad she didn’t pull the “you’re a great guy, there’s someone out there for you” or “let’s be friends” bit. It made her even more likable. These things won’t make up for the fact that she rejected me but I’m glad to know that common courtesy out there amongst human being still exist.

                  I was pondering what could have changed her mind about me, but doing that will not get me closer to my goal of meeting someone. It’s tough out there. I’ve been the dumpee on a few cases as well, it’s not easy.

                  Time to hit the online profiles again, and the Moxie parties, and speed dating…

                  – Feeling better in Inwood

                  • dan Says:

                    Dude, let me tell you that online dating is harder than offline. I find women are a lot pickier–more so than they usually are.

                    I would not be disappoitned in this chick not wanting to see you again. First, you don’t know what issues she might have or what kinds of guys she likes. Second, don’t give her any credit. You are out there to get a woman and you need to think that way. You sound too sensitive. I don’t give any women credit for rejecting me after one or two dates. A trained monkey could do that. Besides, think about the message she left. She said she did not see a long term relatinship with you based on one date that lasted two (2) hours? That’s b.s and that’s why I say don’t give women credit or like them for rejecting you. Be an alpha male. This one girl text me back, recently, to tell me she could not see me again b/c she was getting exclusive with one guy. F** that. I’m not going to give her credit for wasting my time and waiting three (3) days to respond to my invitation. Finally, think about it this way–you saved money which you can use yourself. Treat yourself to something such as a ball game or a new suit.

                    Just move on. There’s plenty of fish in the sea.

                  • Andrew Says:

                    Well we did see it coming. This is what happens when we have too few prospects. We start attributing higher meaning to the few prospects we have.

                    Work on improving the way you see yourself. You have to get to the point where you truly feel that whoever spends time with you is a fortunate person. And you dont want to go the other extreme of stupid arrogance. There has to be that quiet confidence, that women seem to like. Also, remember people take some time to reveal their real nature. So we should never go too crazy in the early. If you encounter a lust situation that’s driving you crazy; you have to admit that to yourself, rather than mix it up with the everything else you use to justify why she is so perfect for you.

                    And get more prospects! Some Sources

                    Online sites with more women than men
                    Dance classes
                    Meet-up events with more women than men,

              • Tommy Says:

                I’m glad you have clarified your opinion and you are a stand up individual unlike some of the others here who just like to add drama to the conversation.

        • VD Joe Says:

          Tommy, what is your method for getting a girl to meet you in person? I like to go to her apartment building, ring a few buzzers and get in. On the way through the foyer memorized the Super’s name, it is always posted.

          Then knock on her door and say “(Super) sent me to check a meter.” I know you think that’s dumb, that apartments don’t have meters, but girls never know that kind of thing. Once she opens the door you can have the face-to-face you deserve.

          That’s mine, but I’m always willing to try something new. Any suggestions? What is your method?

  21. Jonny Moondog Says:

    Hi Moxie, FYI I created some more dating related episodes. As they say: If life gives you lemons…

  22. Mike Felber Says:

    Dan. You sound really angry for no good reason. A woman getting back to someone politely & by all indications honestly, including the one who responded to you after 3 days-not a great deal of time-is behaving kindly, & their conduct is due respect. The !@#$%&* them, allegedly alpha male attitude is just out of bitterness, feeling wounded. C’mon man.

    Tommy, no need to give yourself the sour grapes pep talk-she may have had huge issues-who knows, but your other respectful feelings towards her are positive & mature. I worry only that given how you fantasized so quickly about a future, & now mention a few different ways of meeting woman-maximizing chances is great, but it what really takes cojones & will help a lot is if you can accurately gauge whether you are too needy, making your happiness dependent upon meeting the right girl. Just maybe you will not for a while, but feeling just fine out of any relationship not only makes it more likely you will find a girl, but having confidence regardless of “success” will make for much more joy in life.

    I must say that not responding to a date who treats you decently due to a basic inability to even say something like “I did not feel any chemistry”, or about different interests & values-is just cowardly & inconsiderate. Saying thanks for a date does not send a clear “signal”. Even besides the awkwardness of Karma if you meet again: it violates The Golden Rule & is childish & passive- aggressive to just ignore a question. Whether that person is needy, highly evolved & curious, hopeful due to liking you or a 1 sided feeling of connection, it is a small cruelty & making the word a slightly darker place to do so. I have had girls express interest in me & not feel similarly: I could not respect myself if I did not have the human decency to respond because I did not want something from them.

    • Paula Says:

      What do you guys do when you have a date with someone in whom you’re not interested? Say you meet her at a bar, ask her out, and pay for the date, so you’ve been initiating things all along. But during the first date, you realize that for whatever reason, it’s not going to work, and you’re not even sure you want to sleep with her. (Say you find out she’s a smoker, and you won’t date smokers, or she mentions having a child, and you don’t want to date someone with children, or there’s just something about her personality that is a real turn-off that you didn’t see before.)

      She thanks you at the end of the evening, seems to still be into you and having a nice time, and the next day you see that she’s called and left a message or sent you an email, leaving the door open to getting together again or maybe flat out suggesting it. What do you do?

      (The reason is, I’ve never had a guy call back in that situation. Never. No wait, there was one, but he is also someone I run into fairly frequently professionally, and we have a number of mutual friends. But the ones I meet online and am unlikely to ever see again? Not once. It was actually the pattern I was seeing from guys that led me to develop my own practice, figuring I was the only one to whom more closure and finality was important.)

      • Tommy Says:

        Either Never respond or

        if there’s no way you’d date her, you can always try to be friends with her by suggesting that you’re not sure if you 2 have chemistry or what not. Anyone I don’t want to date again I will try to become friends with them. That way within time perhaps they have single friends with whom you’d have a chance to date. I’ve gone out with a couple of women where there was glaring reason I wouldn’t go out with them and instead have told them that. I said it’s always nice meeting new people and expanding your social network, maybe we can just be friends. I’ve also set up people I’ve dated with single friends of mine if I think they may be a better fit.

        • Paula Says:

          “Never respond” is exactly what I suggested that got all you guys worked up and got you talking about blocked numbers.

          If I wanted to be friends, that’s what I would do, but to be honest, I have enough guy friends and am busy enough that I am not realistically in the market for new guy friends right now. What little time I have available, I want to reserve it for dating and working to develop a relationship. And there are some about which I’ve learned enough about in one date with whom I wouldn’t even want to be friends even if I had the time.

          So to me, that doesn’t solve the problem of whether to respond to someone in whom I’m not interested after one date.

  23. Mike Felber Says:

    You are missing the point Paula, & the main rationale for responding has been expounded upon in great detail. Tommy has good options,& just remaining on good terms with someone, you never know if you might get a reference to something like a romantic prospect.

    but that is a side issue. You continually address only your possible self interest, & ostentatiously avoid the ethical question. If someone treats you decently & contacts you, certainly because they are interested in seeing you again, it is just only human & decent to get back to them, REGARDLESS if there is any long or short term benefit.

    if a girl called a guy & took the initiative to say she enjoyed seeing him, & would you like to get together again, would you consider him acting like a callous jerk for blowing her off due to personal disinterest? You should. The 1st & 2nd rules in dating or just any social intercourse should be “Do onto others as you would like done onto you”, & “do no harm”. Few would prefer you ignore them. Some are needy, some are very secure, but either way, it is just selfish & un-brave behavior to not care enough to treat them with minimal consideration.

    Don’t like the cynical, sometimes sexist attitude of those who are bitter, some represented above? Do not like the way they treat woman, or any human/ Then stand apart from their “me 1st”, I am in it for what I can get from the @#$%%^&*’s attitude. Don’t be more like them & try to justify ignoring someone “useless” to you, or you in small part perpetuate cold using paradigms.

    You had a bad experience before? If we all only extended ourselves to be kind or minimally civil when there was no risk of any hurt, then we would all be selfish, mean spirited folks. We have a responsibility not to put any little convenience for the self above common courtesy, principles & the common good.

    An irony exists here that can be bracingly instructive. Most date with at least the hope of finding one person to love & be loved by. but to reserve any kindness & human consideration to those who just might “benefit” you in this way is unloving, is an admittedly pretty small bad karma, & ANTITHETICAL to what tends to make folks happy in both romantic situations as well as life;

    Thinking about what you might get as a priority over doing small things to be good, or make others feel O.K., or just not being rude & inconsiderate. It is cost free & takes little effort to be minimally decent.

  24. Paula Says:

    The thing about invoking the Golden Rule is that it *is* about you and what you would want done unto you. You must use your own experience as a guide to how you treat others, instead of resorting to someone else’s ethical standard.

    So based on that…

    I would probably prefer to know why in certain situations…a guy after one date sent me a message that said “I don’t think we’re destined to make each other’s hearts go pitter-patter…” He was right, and that was sweet. And we run into each other a fair amount, so that was a great way to handle it.

    However, what if we had hooked up on the first date, and he wasn’t calling back because he was repulsed by my hairy butt? (I don’t have one, but that’s too good of an example to resist.) Or, if, like what I think happened to me once, a guy realized how old I was once we had a date when he was sober, and he wasn’t interested in dating a woman my age. You know, in both of those cases, I’d rather not know that. And if the tables were turned, I wouldn’t want to potentially humiliate someone by telling them that, or lying and saying it was something else.

    If I want to remain on good terms with them, I will definitely do that, but that’s because I think they’re a good person I want in my life and hope they feel the same way. But, again, if the tables were turned and they knew they didn’t want me in their life after only one date, then I would want the Fade done unto me. If I encounter someone who hasn’t called me back after one date, I’m not angry and don’t hold it against them, and I hope they would feel the same way rather than forcing me into an awkward interaction over one date that didn’t result in more.

    • Tommy Says:

      I never hook with anyone until at least date 2 and that’s even pushing it. If you hook up that early on, then you really aren’t into the whole dating thing, you are there to hookup without anything else in mind.

      • Paula Says:

        Change of subject. Some guys do push for sex on first dates, and — gasp — have even formed relationships with the women they hooked up with early on. Pretty much all my college friends hooked up before they officially were dating, and those who stayed together have now been together for over 20 years now.

        But that does not answer the question of what you do when you learn something on the first date that convinces you not to date the person again, but would rather not tell them, as it’s something that would only embarrass them rather than providing closure.

        • Tommy Says:

          How is it embarrassing if the two of you will never see each other again?

          • Paula Says:

            Because people are sensitive about things and it doesn’t matter whether it comes from a relative stranger (you on a first date) or friends and family. If you don’t want to go out with someone again because, for example, of a hygiene or grooming issue, do you really want to have to tell them that? I went out with a guy this year once who had very bad dental plaque, and it was hard to look at him while we were talking without getting distracted by his fuzzy teeth.

            My dad raised me with the belief “if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all,” and reserved his harshest punishments for lying. So in this situation, under my moral code (and yes, I do have one, even if it doesn’t match Mike Felber’s), I think not returning a phone call is the best option presented, compared to a conversation where my options are either saying something potentially humiliating and hurtful, or saying something untruthful.

  25. nathan Says:

    Tommy, although I have almost never had sex on a first date (it’s happened once), I don’t think that those who do are necessarily just looking for sex. Things unfold differently for different people, and I’ve heard plenty of stories of long term partnerships and marriages that included first or second date sex. However, one of the main reasons why I wait is that once you cross that line, your connection changes. And if it’s really early on, walking out on someone after sex never looks good, no matter how you try and slice it.

    As for follow up with someone you don’t want to date – I always let them know if I’m not interested. However, I don’t usually go into details about my various reasons, partly because sometimes it’s just a gut feeling. There’s no need to tell someone they are too old, or not intellectual enough, or not active enough or whatever.

    People tend to over think the whole thing. You don’t owe someone you dated once or twice anything more than a nice, simple e-mail or phone call saying you don’t want to continue dating, and then thanking them for their time and wishing them well. I have heard women say things like “But this guy kept e-mailing me and calling me, and I had to keep telling him why I didn’t want to go out again.” Which I get is totally annoying and can get troubling if the guy doesn’t let go. However, this is exactly when to employ the “no response.” All further calls and e-mails past the first one get ignored and deleted period.

  26. Mike Felber Says:

    I agree that many folks have sex early & are interested in more. Plenty meet under dubious, like drunken circumstances, which i do not endorse, but stay together for years. And if folks are principled, kind, & feel a connection, it is not necessarily bad or wrong, can be a lovingly spontaneous thing, even if it starts mostly with lust. Though one should be safe & make sure you are ready for a good chance things will not last if you get busy right away.

    Paula, you are conflating two things, but I am not implying you do not have principles, just disagreeing with your choice. But until now you gave no indication of concern for how the other party might feel-it was all phrased as what is most comfy, awkward, or otherwise useful for you cost-benefit wise. The conflation: you have jumped ahead to what you would tell them. But I would bet that you would want SOME response instead of a complete ignoring of your expressed claim of interest, should you have initiated a call where you were so forward as to expose that you liked him & want to see him again.

    On the off chance that you would not want to hear anything, even a generality “I just do not feel an attraction” (which sometimes is the whole story & fully valid), or a kindly told lie “I am not ready to see anyone now/I am seeing someone unexpectedly” (which sometimes can be true too): you should substitute the standard that the vast majority of folks would prefer to hear a considerate reply of some sort, than to open up about liking someone & be ignored, which generally reads like disrespect & as callous, & often is fairly seen as selfish & unkind.

    As to WHAT to tell folks:there is value in telling the truth on many levels, & if it is just your preference, one can say if they do not match it-though if it is not something they can change like age, or easily change, like being fat, then unless they lied in a profile, likely it is best to of course call back, but not give the full truth. Yet while you do not owe them it, it can be a kindness, if one has the gumption, to compassionately say something about, say, plaque: nobody is telling them, you can make them self aware AND more likely to find love!

    Any embarrassment would be way overwhelmed by the practical good, & their later gratitude, of telling them. But if you cannot get past YOUR discomfort & tell them, it is a false choice that your only option is to hide from their polite & sweet expression of interest. Just tell them what is absolutely true, but in a non-specific sense, that you do not feel a romantic connection.

    But even if folks never meet again, it is humanizing & respectful to be able to tell as much of the truth as you can while being aware of their feelings. Nothing wrong with saying I happen to prefer someone more active. Don’t tell them they are el stuoido, but you can say I just do not feel an intellectual connection. Instead of the truth serum reality that “I could not imagine kissing you except at gun point”, you can say I do not feel a physical attraction-then say something nice about their attitude, interests, or whatever.

    It is caring when you do not want or need someone that is the virtue & possible good karma. And can be a small pleasure in itself.

    • Paula Says:

      We will have to disagree. A kindly told lie is still a lie. So if what someone has to tell me about their reasons for not wanting to date me after one date, they are unable to tell me, either because they lack courage or it would humiliate me, then I would rather they not contact me at all instead of lying to me. And just because we are used to hearing white lies doesn’t, in my opinion, provide any justification for perpetuating them.

      After one date, the number of people who emphatically express interest, and who I just as emphatically do not have interest, is so nominal that this really isn’t a big deal or a common occurrence anyway. Usually there is either mutual non-interest, in which case there is no contact to return, or enough of a connection that a second date is worth exploring. Or if I contact him and don’t hear back, if it has only been one date, I’m ok with not hearing back if he isn’t interested, as it beats hearing a meaningless lie or something that might be humiliating for both of us.

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