If Someone Blows You Off, Should You Contact Them Again?

February 3rd, 2014

Break Ups, NEW!, Texting, The Dating Tool Box

Comment: Would it be weird if I did the following: shipped by mail a small gift I had bought someone I went on a few dates with? I haven’t heard from him in a few days. He knows a bought him a puzzle (it’s a hobby of his). I have his address because I drove up to his house last week. I did send this guy an email on the dating site we met on telling him I did not like getting no response to the last text I sent him. What should I do? I can’t return the puzzle, bought it on clearance (only reason I got it).
Age: 34
City: Hartford
State: Ct

I would either eat the loss or re-gift the puzzle.  You’re looking for an excuse to reach out to him, but you’ve already done that and it doesn’t seem like you got the response you were looking for. Continuing to try and create or orchestrate conversation will make you appear like you’re trying too hard. If he wasn’t even gracious enough to respond to a text that you sent him after you went out a few times, then why reward him? All that will lead him to believe is that he can blow someone off and they’ll still seek out his attention and approval.

In the future, don’t reach out to people to chastise them for not responding to you. Maybe he thought it was the more humane way to handle things. Maybe he’s just a  jerkface. The why doesn’t matter. Confronting people like that will always, and I mean always, make the person doing the confronting look bad. It’s one thing to follow up one last time just in case something got lost or overlooked or forgotten. I don’t see anything wrong with that. But guilt tripping someone you barely know rarely ever ends with them offering a sincere apology. Nor does it typically lead to another date.

I would also avoid buying gifts for people that you are casually dating. Not only does it often lead to situations such as yours, but it reveals a level of investment and interest that might be premature.

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30 Responses to “If Someone Blows You Off, Should You Contact Them Again?”

  1. LostSailor Says:

    Lisa hasn’t heard from him “in a few days” after going on a “few dates.” And she’s buying him gifts and driving by his house and sending him chiding emails about not getting a response.

    If I were this guy, I’d sense “stalkerish” behavior and wouldn’t respond either. I completely agree with Moxie that sending an email confronting someone over a lack of response is not only bad form, it only reinforces non-response.

    Now, some might nit-pick about the stalkerish behavior claim. But I question this: Lisa says she knows his address because she drove “up to his house last week.” How did she know where the house was without already knowing his address? Stalkerish…

    • Nicole Says:

      Lost Sailor, I assumed she meant that he’d invited her to his house at some point and she’d driven there to see him.

      Having said that, I agree she is overreacting here. It’s not unheard of for someone to get busy and be out of touch for a few days, especially after only a few dates. The guy might not even have deliberately ignored her text – maybe he just didn’t have time to reply and planned on getting back to her later.

      Doesn’t matter now, though, she thoroughly killed anything that might have been happening by calling him out for not responding to her text.

      Lisa, yes, mailing the puzzle would be weird. And what would it accomplish? I’m guessing you either think it would prompt him to call you, or that it would at least make him regret blowing off such a great woman. I doubt very much that it would work. Far more likely it would creep him out and convince him he dodged a bullet by not following up with you.

      Give the puzzle to charity, places that do holiday gifts (and lots do Valentines or Easter) are overflowing with stuff for little kids and don’t get many donations for teens.

      • C Says:

        Totally agree with Nicole (and Moxie). OP – even if you dont realize it, you are hanging on to the hope that any continued contact will prolong the “relationship”. It wont. It will creep him out. Sorry to be blunt but its very much an unwanted gift he will never use. If he wanted it and he knew you had already purchased it, he would have replied.

        Please donate it to charity. And in the future, if someone doesnt reply, just assume they got busy and forgot. You may follow up with one maybe two additional friendly message but then drop it like its hot. Communication, especially early communication must be reciprocal or the relationship goes nowhere.

  2. AnnieNonymous Says:

    I kind of agree with LostSailor. I feel like Lisa is asking a question about one of her more innocuous actions in an attempt to get approval for other, more intense things she might be doing. She’s trying to present her strange behaviors as normal and is testing Moxie to see if anyone else buys it as normal.

    If Lisa isn’t nutty and is maybe just out of the dating loop, the answer stays the same: sending the puzzle would make you look desperate. Don’t do it.

  3. mari Says:

    Agree..throw it in a closet, or thrift shop it. Don’t mail it to this guy. This is over – generally no one will respond to a message that complains about them not texting you. Time to find a new date.

  4. Maria Says:

    Try not investing so much time on people who clearly don’t invest any on you.

  5. Sherry Says:

    To the OP (Lisa): Don’t chase after men who go silent on you, especially in the early stages of dating. Women who do this have the tendency to appear needy, clingy, desperate and pathetic, which are traits that make men run in the opposite direction.

    You already indicated your interest in him, albeit in a mildly annoying manner. Give him the time and space to initiate contact. If he never reaches out to you again, move on with your life. Your interest level seems much higher than his, anyway.

  6. CoolDude Says:

    I find that the only time it’s acceptable to write back to someone who blew you off after you went out a few times is to do a “Hey, totally get the message by your lack of response. Either way, it was nice meeting you and best of luck with your future endeavors.” Something polite like that acknowledges the issue without getting in someone’s face.

    • Nicole Says:

      I’m torn about this one. You’re right, there’s nothing offensive or creepy about a polite message like that, but … What’s the point of sending it?
      I can see it if the person who blew you off lives close by or works in your field – as a “hey, things didn’t work out but no hard feelings, we can still be on good terms” kind of thing. If it’s someone random who you’ll never see again, though, why bother?

      • C Says:

        I would skip the “I get the message by your lack of response…” That just points out the fact that the other person blew you off and was in essence being kind of “rude”. I would equate it with any other circumstance in my life where I may have (intentionally or unintentionally) blown off a colleagues invitation to catch up. I would hate to get an email saying, “Hey great seeing you at the conference and I totally get the message that you dont want to get together. No hard feelings. See you at the next one.” EEEEEEK! That would suck!

        I thought the rest of the message was lovely. “It was nice to meet you! Best of luck!”, is a really sweet message. I would respond very possitively to that and offer my friendship if I otherwise liked the guy on a personal level.

    • Selena Says:

      I don’t see the point in sending a message acknowledging the other person blew you off however politely phrased. They blew you off. As Moxie said maybe they thought they were handling it humanely, or maybe they are a jerkface. It isn’t necessary to respond to a non-response.

      I agree with her that it’s okay to send one last message just in case something got overlooked or forgotten, but one can do that without mentioning the previous message that was ignored.

  7. Goldie Says:

    I recently went on five dates with a guy, had him pick him up at my house on date 5, decided he wasn’t a good fit, and ended things on date 6. He responded with a barrage of angry texts and emails (including a few to an email address I hadn’t given him). It was scary enough that I went out and bought pepper spray. I can tell you how it would have made me feel if I’d faded on the guy and he’d have, first sent me a nastygram about my fading, then mailed a gift to my home address – SCARED SHITLESS. The message I would get from this would be – hey, you can’t fade on me, I know where you live! Hell I’d probably get a bigger dog at that point.

    Lisa, dude, whatever you do, do NOT mail that puzzle. Donate it to Goodwill, use it yourself, burn it in a voodoo ritual, but do not mail it to the guy. Then forget all about him and move on. There are other guys in CT.

  8. Howard Says:

    We have seen many versions of this “wanting to know why?” The answer is always, “You don’t need to know why, to move on, and if the person actually told you why, it will really hurt your feelings.”

    People could actually help us in the long term is they honestly told us why. It might sting quite a bit upon hearing, but the long term benefit could indeed be great.

    It however rarely happens for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that people are selfish, or self-focused or whatever you want to call it. They just don’t want to be bothered with wasting anymore of their time or energy or calm on a situation that will bring them no benefit, in their eyes.

    The second reason is that people hate being made a villain or dealing with anger from anyone. I am one of those people who have actually told people why. I can categorically state that it always ended up with me facing anger and/or being made out to be the bad guy. It doesn’t matter how nicely or tactfully one puts it, it still goes to crap.

    Human beings like to say they want the truth. However they really hate hearing it, when it’s somehow critical of them. To give an example,

    I once told a girlfriend that her breath smelled a little off at times. I did it as nicely, and as tactfully as I could. I told her I loved her, and that there was probably a real cause that could be easily corrected. I told her it didn’t change anything with us. Guess what?

    She still got very upset and annoyed and felt very rejected. She was mad at me. It killed the sex between us. She did the cold shoulder on me. We eventually figured out that it was her retainer that she put in her mouth at night, to keep her teeth straight. Was she apologetic and/or thankful upon us figuring this out? just barely. The moral of that story is that the messenger of bad news, always gets killed.

    So people pick the path of least resistance when it comes to the things where rejection or the interpretation of rejection can take place. Silence should be seen as golden and telling. As much as we know it could help us if we knew, we still have to move on.

    Sometimes, it’s nothing we can fix; chemistry, compatibility or synchronicity just didn’t happen. Sometimes a little fix can indeed help us if we only knew. Here’s a list that covers maybe 90$ of the reasons why people fade:

    Getting a bad sense about the person, lack of trust issues.
    Poor in bed.
    Body odor.
    Breath smells.
    Don’t like how the other person kisses.
    Man is not manly enough, or woman is not feminine enough.
    Man is too full of himself or woman is too emotional.
    Person is fatter than he or she thought.
    Guy is shorter that she thought or woman is too plain looking.
    Person is boring.
    Conversation is too much about him or her.
    Person seems to have too much baggage.
    Person has too many kids, or kids too young, or wants kids, or don’t want kids.
    And lastly and most importantly, the person does not match the image one has in one’s head about one’s ideal partner. He may indeed seem cheap or she seem a little loose.

    • Goldie Says:

      I dunno, Howard. While I really don’t care to know the reason why a guy faded on me after one, two, or five dates, I still wish I would’ve gotten an answer after my relationship of two years ended. I gave my reasons to my husband when I left him. In my first serious relationship after divorce, I gave my reasons to the man I left. And they were all serious, valid reasons. But, when it was my turn to be walked out on, all I got was “I don’t know, everything was good, I don’t have bad memories, but something was missing”. It made me sad. Because it sounded a lot like being lied to. Nobody walks out after two years because everything was good. And, after two years, I would think I could handle the truth. I know that it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but it is sad. It’s like the guy who was the closest person in my life, and I in his, for two years, couldn’t even trust me enough to tell me that. Like maybe he was afraid that, if he told me why, I’d change that and try to get back together! That’s adding insult to injury. Plus, you’re right, the long-term benefits of knowing why could’ve been useful in my future relationships and possibly for my personal growth. The fact that he refused to say why, still saddens me :(

      Also, your girlfriend probably became overly sensitive after your comment, always wondering if her breath smelled just now. I probably wouldn’t be able to enjoy kissing my boyfriend either, if in the back of my mind, there was a constant “OMG what if my breath stinks again?” Narrowing it down to the retainer probably didn’t help much for the simple reason that she still had to wear the retainer, only now with the added guilt of stinky breath. I would’ve still be thankful for that information, though. It’s embarrassing, but useful.

      • C Says:

        Hi Goldie, I cant speak for your ex but I’ve been in the position of honestly saying to two separate men “Youre great. We just arent right for each other” after 1-2 years. Your ex may not be lying to you at all. He may really think you are great….for someone else.

        One of the guys had everything going for him: smart, loyal, accomplished, tall, fit, good looking, etc… However, he was very risk averse, dispised change, and was a creature of habit. It took me nearly 1.5 years I didnt want a future with him because I was bored…but I could never tell him that nor do I consider it a flaw. Someone other woman is going to love him for his stoic stability.

        You may as well just assume that he thinks you are great. You are just not right for him.

        • Goldie Says:

          C, you might be on to something. Thanks, I’m a lot less PO’d at my ex now because of your input! Plus, we probably really weren’t all that great for each other in the serious long-term, meaning anything beyond two years. In the short-term, we were a great match. But probably not for the more serious stuff. Very different personalities.

      • HammersAndNails Says:

        I’m trying to pull a fade on a nice woman who I get along well with pretty much solely because the sex is awful and she looks a lot better in low lighting than broad daylight. You are telling me I’d be better off telling her? Seriously?

        • Goldie Says:

          How would I know? None of this applies to my situation afaik. But yeah if my looks had suddenly gotten terrible in his opinion on month 19, after being great for 18 months straight, I would probably want to know – maybe something horrible really did happen to my face or body, and maybe it’s something I can still fix.

          Tell her there’s no chemistry. Which is true. Someone else might find the sex with her amazing and her looks stunning. It’s all perception in that department.

          • HammersAndNails Says:

            I will agree with you that the time does make a difference, but most of the situations people are talking about are a few weeks to a few months at most.

            I agree with you that after 2 years I would be looking for a bit more candor.

    • C Says:

      “We have seen many versions of this “wanting to know why?” The answer is always, “You don’t need to know why, to move on, and if the person actually told you why, it will really hurt your feelings.”

      Absolutely! I once asked “why” of a guy who dumped me after 5 weeks thinking he would provide me with some valuable points for self improvement…boy was I wrong! The guy picked me apart. Told me I was immature, my perfume “smelled like a man”, he hated the way I dress, etc… Not only was there nothing useful in anything he said (I did stop using the perfume), but no other man has ever made similar complaints meaning it was just one guys opinion.

      Waste of time!!

      • Goldie Says:

        The guy that I let go after 5-6 weeks (citing no chemistry), suddenly decided to give ME a postmortem, and told me I had “rolled my eyes a lot during making out”. I have no idea what he meant. I asked every one of my guy friends I’d made out with since my divorce. “Hey, do I roll my eyes when I make out?” They all said no. At least, they all got a good laugh out of that one.

        No one even knows you that early in the game. Whatever opinion they have of you is probably far from being accurate. Why bother asking them, right?

        I am now dying to know what the perfume was. I’ve never come across a women’s perfume that smelled like a man.

        • C Says:

          Lolol. What a goofy guy!

          The perfume was called Michael Kors (by Michael Kors). I really loved it but was too afraid to wear it after that :-(. The guy insisted that both he and one of his male friends discussed this particular perfume and both felt it smelled like a man.

  9. Eliza Says:

    Q; If Someone blows you off, should you contact them? No…absolutely not! What is so difficult or earth shattering about this? Anyone that blows you off–is non-verbally telling you–stay away, I am not into you. This won’t go anywhere. No point in being in contact. Enough said, enough done. Just move on. Who care “why”? You and that person are just not aligned. Trust me, if you breathe smelled, or you looked ragged, and need something aesthetic fixed, a good close friend would tell you – diplomatically. You can only be YOU, and you can’t go changing/tweaking this or that just to keep someone happy. For the OP, PLEASE, it’s a puzzle…not a 2 carat diamond! You purchased it on clearance no less! Just give it to a good friend, keep it for later – or give it to a niece or nephew. Don’t lose sleep over mailing this to that guy – which obviously could care less that you went out of your way to get him a gift. And yes, I agree with Moxie…it’s way too premature to buy someone any gift, big or small.

  10. noquay Says:

    Let it go, he is clearly not interested. I do hope that you knew where he lived because you’d been invited there at one point. Giving gifts to someone clearly no longer interested is getting kinda stalker-ish. Like previous commenters have stated, keep your dignity and give the gift to a friend.

  11. Arbee Says:

    “Confronting people like that will always, and I mean always, make the person doing the confronting look bad.”

    I disagree. There is something to be said about standing up for oneself and also giving someone a consequence to their bad behavior. If you know things are over and this isn’t going to change that, who cares if it “looks bad”. To who, the guy who is a jerk? Who cares what he thinks? Say your piece, let him know what he did is not okay, and move on.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Except in the OP’s case, she was clearly confronting him in order to guilt him into a response. If she truly knew it was over, she wouldn’t be debating whether to mail him a present she bought him. Contacting him and saying she didn’t appreciate his lack of response was the wrong approach. That’s why i said contacting someone “like that” makes someone look nuts. She could have followed up one last time and asked if he wanted to get together again or to check that he got her previous message. Instead she chose to go the other direction and be accusatory and abrasive. He’s definitely not responding now.

      Most reasonable and experienced people know that fading after a couple of dates is common. If you feel a need to “stand up for yourself” because someone you went out with a few times didn’t reply to a text when you felt they should have, I think it’s safe to assume there are bigger issues at work.

    • Goldie Says:

      I disagree that what he did is not okay. What, had he been leading her on for 3-4 dates and now needs to make an honest woman out of her? He went out with her a few times, decided it wasn’t a good fit, and moved on. Something we’ve all done many times, for a good reason.

    • Tinker Says:

      That’s the thing though- it’s not a ‘consequence’ for the other person to be called out it’s just a minor annoyance at most. And if you are telling them off to ‘make them pay’ then it really isn’t about you getting something off of your chest, it’s about them. Which is useless.

    • HammersAndNails Says:

      Arbee,you are not standing up for yourself, you are making a fool of yourself. The only consequence is that they become absolutely certain they made the right choice in cutting you loose because only petty, immature people act that way.

  12. SierraWhiskey Says:

    OP, the same thing happened to me recently – I dated a guy for about five weeks, he took me out for my birthday, then I bought him a book for his birthday but he ghosted before I could give it to him. I tried asking him what was up and his only response was that he had been “sick,” so I knew I had to let it go at that point (and I was right – haven’t heard from him again). I did the best I could to save face by not contacting him on his birthday and not giving him the gift. I basically just “ate the loss,” as Moxie suggested. It sucked, and it kinda hurt, but at least I know that he was the “jerkface” in this situation, not me.

    Move on. Pursue other options. You’ll be ok. Better to find someone responsive and willing than to chase after someone distant and unavailable, because that dance will never end (or it will end in a very ugly and humiliating way).

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