Dating 101: Sometimes You Just Have To Wait & See #atwys

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Stephanieflakeydates

Comment: I’ve been seeing someone since mid-July. We’ve seen each other on average twice a week since then, with some breaks when my son was in town and then when he was out of town on vacation (but altogether about 15 dates so far). Things seem to have been going fine, though. He contacted me when he got back from vacation last Friday, and we went out that night—dinner, dancing, and then spending the night at my place. We had what I thought were solid plans to see each other on Labor Day, but somehow between Saturday morning (when he was excited and “looking forward” to spending the day with me on Monday) and Sunday night, something shifted.

When I tried to confirm plans with him Sunday night (we were supposed to go to the beach, but the weather plans were questionable), the narrative changed to “I” statements: “I might work in the morning. I might see a movie in the afternoon.” When asked if he wanted company, there was radio silence.

I ended up going to the beach with my girlfriends (not going to sit at home waiting for him; that’s crazy) on Monday, and I didn’t hear from this guy until 4pm. He said he hoped I had a great day, that he’d gotten caught up with work (he’s in sales, creates his own schedule), and he was just going to relax at home. He’s in a short movie filming this coming weekend and said he had rehearsals this week, but maybe we could meet up Thursday.

I was a bit peeved that he’d blown off our plans, so I waited until the next day (Tuesday) to text back, saying I had a great day at the beach and asking if he had any ideas about Thursday. No response. A second text later in the day, in which I asked how rehearsals went, elicited a response in which he said they might have to go into Thursday but he’d be done by 9 or 10. I replied asking him when he’d know, stating I didn’t mind doing something a little later if we had definitive plans, but of course I’d love seeing him.

It’s Thursday now and there’s been zero response since then.

Honestly, I don’t get it. Things were perfectly fine up to Saturday morning when he left my place, and then went 180º in the opposite direction. The only thing I can think of is that he met someone (another actor?) at the read-through of his script on Saturday night (not implausible) who was younger/more appealing/whatever. (Moxie’s note: This guy is 39.)

My initial thought is to just blow this guy off. He’s not worth my time and effort. He’s left some things at my house; I can mail them back to him, and that’s that. I’ve no desire to be catty or get a last word/dig in. I’m a grown-up and know that sometimes people just lose interest. But is that the best course of action? What went wrong here (I like to learn from mistakes) and were there warning signs I could/should have seen? Is it better to send him a message asking what is going on/what happened? Some well-meaning friends have suggested that perhaps he has a lot going on and is just being absent-minded, to which my reply has been, “if he were really interested in me, none of that would matter.”

Honestly, I’m more peeved at the lack of communication/the assumption that if he decided he wasn’t interested anymore he couldn’t just say so. I’ve demonstrated over the past weeks that I’m not a histrionic woman, that I’m fairly laid-back and take things in stride. If, in fact, this is him blowing me off, it seems a pretty cowardly move on his part.

Any (reasonable and grown-up) ideas on how to move forward would be appreciated. Moxie, you’ve known me for a few years… so you know I’m on the up-and-up here. :)

Update: got the following text message from him just now:

Hi. Sorry for late response. Film project is in crisis mode because costar had to pull out of project. By chance have found another actress but need more rehearsal time. I will not be able to meet up until maybe Sunday eve after 7pm.

I’m conflicted whether to chalk this up to him suddenly getting busy with his work (in which case I still think I should be treated with more respect) and give him (one) break or just not respond. But I’m also old enough to realize I need to be flexible and I’m not the center of the universe of a guy I’ve been dating for six weeks. How can I tell if this behavior is a red flag or just someone who’s truly just temporarily busy?
Age: 41
City: New York
State: NY

I don’t think there’s really anything to do just yet. To be perfectly honest, 15 dates in six weeks sounds like a lot to me. It could be that he just wanted some time and space to recalibrate things a little. Sometimes we choose ourselves over the person we’re dating. He sent that text late in the day on Labor Day because it was too late to spend the whole day with you and he probably knew you’d be pissed if you didn’t hear from him.

Yes, maybe he did meet someone Saturday at the read through. Things happen very quickly these days, so anything is possible. The fact that he’s an actor, and that actor’s are notoriously self-involved, could also play a role (hah! get it?) in this. Actors are fun to date casually, but they are not really relationship material unless they’re working steadily. They’re flakey and moody and unstable in various ways. Sexually, they’re fantastic. But as far as anything more meaningful or serious, actors are total liabilities. Most of them just don’t have their lives together enough to provide anything stable or substantive. All they can think about is their next job.

It could be that he feels like things are moving too fast, or he could be re-evaluating whether or not he wants to proceed with this blossoming relationship. Or he might not wish to feel obligated to see you. Whatever it is that is motivating to behave this way, all signs point to him pulling back.

Maybe this is a temporary thing, maybe it’s permanent. It’s too soon to tell just yet. Normally I would say just ask him, but I think this is one of those times where you just have to suck it up and give it a few weeks to see if things go back to normal. I say give it a couple of weeks and see how things go. If this turnaround lasts longer than a week or two, then that’s a pretty good sign he’s trying to remove himself from the relationship. Reply to his text and say, “No problem! Let me know when things settle down for you” and then play the waiting game.

 

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13 Responses to “Dating 101: Sometimes You Just Have To Wait & See #atwys”

  1. Elle Says:

    Wow, reading this, I totally recognized my own situation through your story. I have been dating a guy since mid-July, thigs have been going absolutely great and then, things shifted during Labour Day weekend as well. I felt like he pulled back for family and work reasons and this week I’m giving him some space so that he can deal with family and work issues. I will take the time and see how things will turn out. Thanks so much for the advice, it’s really helped me too. Good luck to you :)

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

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  2. Damien Says:

    Interesting that the OP and Elle experienced the same thing. Is it possible that these were summer flings that ended after Labor Day?

    The vast majority of schedules get busy again after Labor Day. Work life picks up, clubs and hobby activities start again, kids go back to school… and maybe the significant other has returned?

    A similar thing happened to me two summers ago. I was casually dating a 38 year old single mom with two kids, who was also a teacher. She was busy enough tending to her kids over the summer, but at least she had the summer off. I had no interest in anything long term, but she was a total MILF, so I was making time. Then after Labor Day, her busy schedule gets super busy as she is going back to school and dealing with her kids’ schedules. She quickly faded on me. I just viewed it as being a natural close to things.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

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  3. LostSailor Says:

    Once again, a classic case of over-analyzing a situation, and spinning out scenarios in one’s head.

    Let’s look at the timeline. Fifteen “dates” in about 6 weeks. Some breaks when family/work interfered, but still a very decent track record. He returns from vacation and wines, dines, and dances with her that same night. Plans for a couple of days later fall through and a project he’s on runs into difficulties.

    Now, what’s Stephanie’s response?

    something shifted…When asked if he wanted company, there was radio silence…not going to sit at home waiting for him; that’s crazy…I was a bit peeved that he’d blown off our plans…Honestly, I don’t get it…[he] went 180º in the opposite direction…My initial thought is to just blow this guy off. He’s not worth my time and effort…’m more peeved at the lack of communication/[my]assumption that if he decided he wasn’t interested anymore he couldn’t just say so…a pretty cowardly move on his part.

    And the kicker:

    I’m not a histrionic woman…I’m fairly laid-back and take things in stride…you know I’m on the up-and-up here.

    No, Stephanie, you’re not laid back. And, yes, you are histrionic. You’re not on the up-and-up.

    The tl;dr version of your letter is “he paid a lot of attention to me, accommodated my schedule, but now he’s ignoring me and not entertaining me and this is all about how it affects me!!!

    Now, that may sound harsh. But I think warranted. Why?

    Because Labor Day was three freakin’ days ago. And because he might have gotten busy after the “Official End of Summer®” for three days, your response is, to quote, “to just blow this guy off. He’s not worth my time and effort.”

    What effort? There’s no “effort” in evidence here outside of some vague texting that you would like to see him. Your first thought is that he met some floozy actress and you’re already planning on mailing him stuff he left at your place.

    So, to your main question: What went wrong here (I like to learn from mistakes)

    You went wrong here. You say that by not fawning over you for three days, he’s not worth your time. Your reply to your “well meaning” friends’ sensible suggestions is if he were really interested in me, none of that would matter.”

    So, his life, his work, his problems simply don’t matter. The only thing that matters is you, Stephanie, getting the attention that you “deserve.” Though you say “I’m not the center of the universe of a guy I’ve been dating for six weeks” your letter belies that. If you aren’t the center of his universe, he’s a two-faced “coward.”

    OMG!!! His “narrative” changed to “I” statements. The unmitigated gall!!

    What went wrong? What have you done to support him? I understand he might want to just relax at home, without the questionable benefit of your company.

    You sound like an utterly exhausting woman; he probably deserves a breather.

    Moxie’s headline is that sometimes you just need to wait and see. I’d recommend waiting more than three freaking days…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 23

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    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Actually?

      She is laid back. I know her personally. You’re being unnecessarily condescending. The guy made tentative plans with her then disappeared. That’s not normal.She’s not “over-analyzing” anything. She’s wondering why HE did a complete 180 degree turn out of no where.

      And really, I think it’s pretty funny that you can write manifesto of a comment about a situation that has nothing to do with you, but SHE’S over-analyzing things. Okay, Sure. Seriously, you need to dial it back a bit.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 8

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      • LostSailor Says:

        You’re right. I don’t know her. I can only go by what she wrote in her letter. I don’t have any inside information.

        Having tentative plans that don’t pan out hardly seems like a 180 degree turn out of nowhere. And considering dumping him after 6 weeks of dating and 3 days of less than normal communication seems a bit over the top, not to mention a bit self-centered and attention-demanding.

        All of the situations I comment on here have nothing to do with me; if that’s “pretty funny,” so be it.

        I stand by what I wrote.

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  4. fuzzilla Says:

    I tend to think the OP is right, that if someone wants to make time for you, they will. I’ll allow that filming a movie isn’t like a 9 to 5 job and he may truly not have anticipated just how busy he’d be. No excuse not to communicate in a timely fashion, though, and the OP’s needs don’t seem to be met.

    I agree with Moxie that the OP should wait and see, keep busy and I’d add maybe dip a toe in the OKCupid pool in the meantime (I know, I always say that. I’m all about keeping expectations low and guarding your heart ’til you have a good reason not to).

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    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “No excuse not to communicate in a timely fashion, though,”

      Agreed. I get that work can get crazy, sometimes without warning; however, if someone even remotely matters to you, you can find a few seconds to send them a text to let them know that and when you think you’ll come up for air again. If they’re not even worth that much thought/effort–after 15 dates, no less–that’s a sign.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

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  5. DMN the Wise Says:

    “When asked if he wanted company, there was radio silence.”

    This actually made me cringe a bit, having been in the position where I’m trying to create distance and the woman just isn’t getting it. It also demonstrates, rather starkly, that she really does not know him all that well, even though she thinks/wishes she did.

    I think Stephanie is being dumped, and I wouldn’t try to push things (though I suppose polite responding, as Moxie’s suggested, is the least risky approach just in case I’m wrong.)

    I doubt everything was perfect on Friday and he just suddenly met someone else on Saturday and decided to end things. The guy was harboring doubts about the relationship but was not yet committed to ending things, for one reason or another. So, he just played along and acted like everything is normal until he was ready.

    You don’t need to be an Oscar winning actor to feign interest with someone who barely knows you.

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  6. Yvonne Says:

    First off, the man is not a full-time actor. He’s in sales and acts on the side, so I’m not sure the “actors are flaky” tag completely applies. It does sound like he is potentially doing the slow fade. I would also be hurt if I had solid plans with someone and they blew me off. “I will not be able to meet up until maybe Sunday eve after 7pm” sounds pretty vague, with the “maybe Sunday” part giving him an out. I agree with DMN that the guy was harboring doubts, but was not yet committed to ending things.

    I would do absolutely nothing other than using Moxie’s reply. If you don’t hear from him by the end of the week, I’d make other plans for Sunday. If someone appears to need space, I say give them plenty of space. The ball is in his court. If he does want to end things, you deserve to have an honest conversation, but something tells me that you will know sooner rather than later.

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  7. AC Says:

    My experience is when someone’s behavior changes that quickly, something’s up. The best thing you can do is retrace your steps. Did something happen? Was something said? If not, it may very well be him. No matter the profession, it seems that the world slows down in mid-August only to speed up again after Labor Day which was only three days ago.

    I hate to say “play it cool” but you have no other option. At the same time, be mentally prepared for him slow fading or breaking things off. He’s acting weird.

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  8. bbdawg Says:

    Wait and see! I was seeing someone over the summer in a more fwb situation and we knew it was going to end around the summer time as I was going to leave town then. We were emailing back and forth about it and he said “it was great that we did that during the summer but now it’s time to focus on ____ at work and _____ on my personal life. I think the end of the summer is a closure of sorts to some people. It’s the end of a cycle.

    Meaning I think there is some truth to what the OP is sensing the guy is pulling back a bit because he is shifting priorities. He is figuring out how to redistribute his time and figuring out if you fit into his day-to-day life. Chances are now that the summer is over he is going back to “normal”. I’d say give him time to re-adjust especially if he is genuinely busy with this play. You can’t control the outcome. Let him be, get busy with your friends and try to forget about him for now.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

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  9. D. Says:

    You’re 6 weeks in to this? That’s one of the “breaking points” for early relationships, from my experience.

    You’re past the “getting to know you” stage and starting to transition towards (maybe) the “coupley” stage where maybe you’re meeting each others’ friends (instead of just doing one-on-one dates), leaving stuff at each others’ places (although that may take longer), etc. At least, 4-6 weeks is about the earliest that that transition starts. Basically, it’s one of the first points where you start asking yourself if this thing you’re doing has long-term potential — if you’re even looking for long-term. If you aren’t, or if you aren’t sure what you want, then 6 weeks or so is where you start really questioning how much further you want this to go.

    As for what to do, as most folks here said — wait it out. But I’d also do the following in the future:

    1. Maybe keep a few backup plans, or date around while you’re still getting to know someone. This can help lessen the sting of things if a person you thought was promising falls through.

    2. If you can’t get comfortable with dating around, or prefer to focus on one person at a time, do so with your eyes open, and accept that it could blow up in your face at pretty much any time, especially early on, even if things seemed great. That’s always a risk.

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  10. john Says:

    The guy is losing interest or he never had that much to begin with. These stories about work can be real or fabricated. Its not that he blew her off on Labor Day. Its that it was a change of character.

    When shit hits the fan at work and you have to rearrange your schedule to accommodate it, you immediately think of the solid plans you already had and how to go about cancelling them. He left her hanging. I don’t care how busy you are. If you have to cancel plans, you can send a 5 second text when sitting on the bowl. No excuse for leaving someone hanging.

    He is doing the slow fade. This change of character on his part sucks for her but that is the ugly side of dating vs. being in a relationship.

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