Comment: My question is: at what point should you become a top priority in the guy you’re dating’s life?
I’ve been seeing this guy for about 2 months. We met through okcupid. He’s 28, and I’m 26. Our first 3 dates were very nice – dinner followed by drinks at a bar. For our fourth date, he invited me to a party his friend was having. So, I got to meet a bunch of his friends (I think it went well). However, the next few times we met up were either late at night with his friends, or me meeting him after he’d already hung out with his friends. I have tried to be flexible about this, because he’s been flexible with me to an extent (there were a few times he wanted to meet up and I couldn’t because of work or prior commitments with my own friends, but I suggested alternative days, which he agreed to).
Last Friday night, he texted me around 8pm telling me he was going to dinner with his friends, and would be in touch later about when we could get together. I already had plans, so I told him I couldn’t do tonight but how about Saturday. He said that was fine. But Saturday, his idea of plans was to meet me at a bar after he (again) had dinner with his friends.
I agreed to meet him, and basically just told him that this arrangement wasn’t working for me. I said I wanted to get to know him better, and that that wasn’t going to happen if we were always meeting late at night or with his friends. He seemed to genuinely agree with me and apologized profusely. He chalked it up to his being “very immature”, and basically told me that it’s difficult for him to make me a priority over his guy friends whom he’s known for 10 years (since college), while he’s known me for only 2 months. He also mentioned how a lot of his guy friends are starting to get married etc and that he finds that scary, but that he understands it’s just a natural progression and that he probably needs to grow up and behave differently, and that he does like me a lot.
I asked if he’d be able to change his behavior, since I didn’t see a point in continuing this if not, and he said he wasn’t sure, and asked if he could think about it. I said “sure” (which seemed to surprise him – maybe he was expecting me to freak out or yell at him), and then suggested we leave and he could let me know.
So, we went our separate ways that night, and I really wasn’t sure whether I’d ever hear from him again. 2 days later, he texted me asking if I’d like to have dinner with him on Saturday at 8pm at a very nice restaurant. He didn’t directly address our prior conversation, but I was obviously thrilled, and took the dinner suggestion plus the early time as a sign that he did want to try with me.
Then, incredibly, on Saturday morning, he cancelled on me. He told me that he was unaware that three of his good college friends were in town on Saturday, and all of his friends had plans to meet up and that he didn’t want to miss this. He said we’d just move the dinner to another night. I said fine and have fun.
So, now I’m sitting here wondering what I should do. Do I just end it? I feel like with the Saturday invitation he took a step forward, only to immediately take 2 steps back with the cancellation. Or should I continue to see him hoping he becomes more attached and wants to spend more time with me?
Am I unreasonable to expect him to make me a priority after 2 months of dating? He does have a large group of friends that he seems very close with.
Or is he just not that interested? I don’t think he is seeing anyone else (based on his availability to see me on both Friday and Saturday sometimes).
If he’s not that interested, is there anything I can do to get him interested in me again?
City: New York
I followed up with the OP and asked whether or not she was sleeping with this guy. Here’s her answer:
I went through every date in my head: We did sleep together on every date except the first and sixth dates (first because it was the first, and sixth because we were both way too drunk).
Before I get into my answer to this letter, let’s address the whole “I didn’t sleep with him on the first date because it was the first date, but I TOTALLY boned him on the second date” thing. If you’re going to wait to have sex because that’s what you’re comfortable with and you want to get to know someone, then actually wait. Sleeping with a guy on the second date just because it’s not the first date achieves absolutely nothing other than letting the guy know you follow a bunch of arbitrary, stupid rules. Any regard or respect you think you gained by waiting ONE WHOLE DATE exists only in your head. Guys play along because nine times out of ten the woman who says she doesn’t have sex on the first date usually puts out on the second date. It’s childish and immature and is a red flag (albeit one they overlook) to a man.
It sounds like you want him to be more flexible while at the same time not being terribly flexible yourself. When you don’t cancel plans due to work or commitments to friends, it’s somehow acceptable. But when he does it, he’s wrong.
He pre-emptively admitted that he’s immature and feeling pressured to settle down because all of his friends are getting married, etc. It’s a ruse. He told you that to get you to back down a bit. He was just beating you to the inevitable punch. He knew where you were going with this, and has probably even heard the same complaints from other women, so he decided to throw himself down on the sword. He was telling you, in a nice way, that he’s taken you out a handful of times and you need to chill and that his friends mean more to him than you do at this point.
He took you out on four “real” dates. He’s done with that. You’re not someone for whom he’s going to rearrange his life. If you want to end it, do it. He’s anticipating that. He’s going to continue doing what he wants because he’s not invested in whether you stick around. He won’t cut you loose because he’s not going to give up the consistent sex. He might even miss you, but he’s not going to fight to keep you.
Am I unreasonable to expect him to make me a priority after 2 months of dating?
Nice try. You’ve had all of 6 to 8 dates with him. You’re saying you’ve been dating for about two months because framing it in those terms lends credibility to your argument. In reality, it’s been a handful of dates. No, it’s not reasonable to expect to be a top priority to a man you’ve dated 6 or 7 times. At best you’ve spent all of 36-48 hours together with him. You and he barely know each other, regardless of how close you think you and he have become.
This is how dating is for many people now. There is a lot of ambiguous “hanging out” with groups and casual plans. A lot of men are just in no rush to commit. They’re not locking themselves into anything too quickly because a) they don’t want to and b) they don’t have to. So if you want to see if this has potential, you’re going to have to suck it up for a bit longer. If your goal is to “get to know him” you can achieve that regardless of how the time together is spent. That’s an excuse you’re using to try and get him to spend more alone time with you. I’d be far more suspicious of a man who was eager to commit and readily available right away than one who dragged his feet a bit.