DATING MYTH: If He Really Likes You, He’ll Make Time For You #atwys

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): MSJdatingsexy
Comment: Hi! So, I met this guy a couple of years ago through mutual friends, and then i found him on tinder. I generally use tinder as a confidence boost (oo these hot guys think I’m hot!), but since I recognized this kid I messaged him. My friends who know him said he is a really great guy, not a player, and super sweet. We went on a date and it was the best connection I’ve ever had with anyone. The amount we have in common is almost scary. He asked when he could see me again, and I actually ended up going to his place. We watched a movie and cuddled and I told him I didn’t wanna ruin anything by sleeping with him on the first date. Anyways.. it was a great night and he told me he wanted to see this movie that was coming out, wanted to teach me how to drive stick shift, wanted to watch this other movie one night soon, etc. When I got home he texted me saying he had an amazing time and we have to make plans to see the movie soon. And of course, this is where I get lost.

He was bad at texting since before we met up. I mean, there would be 24 hours between responses at times. I asked him when we were hanging out and he said he is genuinely terrible with checking his phone and texting. He is also a teacher and school started this week, and on top of that he is the best man in his brothers wedding next weekend. He then told me that he has 3 weddings in a row after that, is already behind on school work, and is busy for the next month and a half and he wishes he wasn’t so busy.

I have been playing it cool and giving him his pace, but I can’t help but feel if a guy really likes you he can at least try to step up his texting game or say something like “after things calm down maybe we can see that movie.” I am just wondering if I should wait it out until he has some time or if he is trying to let me down nicely. I really liked him and I don’t think he would have followed up by saying we have to see that movie if he was just trying to be nice. Soo confused.
Age: 24
City: morristown
State: nj


“If he really likes you, he’ll make time for you” is one of those dating myths we hear repeated over and over again that has led many women to abandon ship and freak out unnecessarily. Why? Because usually when someone says it, it’s used out of context. When this pearl of wisdom is being dispensed it’s often when a woman is complaining that the guy she met maybe a handful of times isn’t re-arranging his life for her.

After only one, two, or three dates, it is completely unreasonable to expect someone to alter their schedule and lifestyle to accommodate and consider the feelings and needs of someone they’ve met once or twice. This guy is under no obligation to cater to your whims. None.

So far he has told you that constant texting isn’t his thing. What he’s actually saying is, “Stop asking me when we’re going to get together again.” He hasn’t come out and said it explicitly, but that’s what he’s saying when he says that he rarely checks his phone or email. That’s a lie, and it’s an obvious one. He doesn’t have to be checking his phone every half hour, but most people these days check their phones at least once or twice a day if not more. As I’ve said, it takes all of two minutes to reply to an email or text. He’s telling you he doesn’t check his phone so that you won’t text him and then get pissed off or needy when he doesn’t reply right away to set up another date. He’s also alerted you to the fact that he has a packed schedule for the next six weeks. He’s letting you know this so that you won’t develop huge expectations and to get you to back off.

The vibe I’m getting from this is that after that first date, you began to push him to set up another date, and he decided to step back because he knows his schedule isn’t conducive to jumping into anything right now. Or maybe he just wanted to get laid. Who knows? What we do know is that he is not reciprocating your level of interest at this point. Which means you need to step away from your cell phone and let him come around when he’s ready.

He might not be trying to let you down as much as he is trying to slow you down.


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21 Responses to “DATING MYTH: If He Really Likes You, He’ll Make Time For You #atwys”

  1. BTownGirl Says:

    So well said! It’s so ironic when you think of how much dating advice there is out there that’s all, “Girlfriend, don’t you rearrange your life for a man you barely know!” And, yet, if a man doesn’t drop everything for the woman after date 3, he’s just not that into it?! Honestly, if people would be sensible, reasonable and just relax many a meltdown could be avoided :)

  2. Greg Figueroa Says:

    OP, why don’t you keep dating. He’s made it quite clear he’s busy.

    He might be interested, but a lot can happen in a month to sit there waiting for the guy who isn;t on the same interest level as you are definitely showing.

  3. D. Says:

    Three observations.

    1. This doesn’t necessarily indicate a lack of interest. It’s true — to a degree — that people will show their interest if they’re interested, but sometimes they prevent themselves from being interested when they know that circumstances won’t really permit them to pursue things fully.

    From the sound of it, you had a good date. Awesome! Still, it’s just one date and a lot can happen after that date, no matter how good it seemed. Don’t bother trying to figure out “what happened” either. What happened is you had a good date, and then things didn’t proceed exactly as you wanted. And that’s it. That’s all you know. Period. Speculation as to why is pointless because you’ll never really know.

    2. Sometimes, on those really awesome “We connect so well” dates, people talk a lot about the future. “I want to do XYZ with you. Oh, and then we should do ABC. Oh, and I hope you like sweet potatoes, because that’s what we serve at Thanksgiving.” You need to learn a cold, hard truth: most of the time this is just an expression of how much fun the person is having in the moment. It is not a promise, a guarantee, or anything that you should treat as anything more than “Wow! I’m really having a lot of fun right now!”

    And the thing is, “right now” can change pretty quickly. They’re caught up in the moment, but when the moment ends, when they have time to think over things, any number of things can change their attitudes, and what started as “I can’t wait for you to meet my grandmother” becomes anything up to total radio silence or a “I’m sorry, I just don’t think we’re a match.” So, enjoy the moment, but recognize that it’s just that: a moment, and that the moment will pass.

    3. As has been said, you really should date around while this guy’s busy. If he’s got other stuff going on, then don’t put your life on hold waiting for him. For all you know, he’ll meet a bridesmaid at one of the umpteen weddings, and become totally smitten with her. So, keep yourself open to this guy if you want to date him after his schedule opens up, but date around in the meantime. Maybe you’ll meet someone you like better.

    Just remember: one good date, no matter how good, doesn’t make a relationship.

  4. LostSailor Says:

    I +1 Moxie. And the comments.

    I know a bunch of school teachers, and the start of the school year is usually hectic and with a ton of work. One teacher I know told me last weekend that the school implement a new lesson plan filing system online and it’s vastly increased her workload, such that she spent the entire weekend working and still hadn’t prepared other things for class.

    Add to that being in his brother’s wedding, and attending others, and you pile on a number of expensive occasions.

    Sometimes when a guy says he’s busy, he’s not slyly communicating disinterest, he’s actually busy.

    And while I agree that people check their phones fairly often and responding to a text doesn’t take a lot of time, some guys don’t like texting.

    Like Moxie, I’d say to wait this one out. Date other guys if you want. Maybe send an occasional text to him. If he’s interested, he’ll show it.


  5. AC Says:

    It sounds like the OP had a great first date but that’s it. I understand the feeling of “amazing chemistry” but as you get older you’ll see that that can happen more often than you think. Addition, the part about teachers being super busy right now is 100% accurate. For many teachers this is the first full week of school and I can tell you from experience that this is often the most hectic and busy week of the year. His brothers wedding just adds to that so this guy is probably swamped right now.

    My advice is to temper your expectations and certainly don’t get angry at the sky for being a little bit nonresponsive. Best thing the OP can do is to go about her business. The old “playing it cool” cliché really applies here. In short, don’t wait forever for a guy you had one date with. At the same time don’t dismiss this guy because he’s “busy” either.

  6. Damien Says:

    In about half the cases after the first date, or even before we make it to the first date, the person is super busy. I don’t quite get it, because if you’re so busy, why bother dating? Maybe she was not that attracted to me. In cases like this, I just move on, or put the candidate on a roster until she becomes available.

    If you are not at the table, you are on the menu.

  7. toni Says:

    That has never been a myth for me.

    • D. Says:

      In fairness, it is a myth, and it isn’t a myth. It depends on the context in which the phrase is being employed.

      When it’s used to explain why a guy isn’t making some bare minimum of effort, yeah, it’s not a myth; he probably isn’t interested. If you’re at date 3 and you’ve been seeing this guy for 8 weeks….well…three dates in 8 weeks doesn’t suggest a lot of interest. Especially if he’s also basically incommunicado in between dates.

      When it’s used to dismiss a guy merely because he isn’t behaving the way a woman wants him to behave — often without regard to whether she’s let him know how she’d like him to behave, and/or when she’s unwilling to reciprocate that behavior — it’s a myth.

      Example: a guy might genuinely like a girl, but find texting back and forth between dates to be artificial and awkward, and instead prefers to just see them on the next date. End result is that he makes plans regularly, sometimes 2x a week, but never communicates between dates other than to set up a date (and maybe some idle chitchat while doing that).

      Example 2: a guy has just met a girl at a really shitty point in his life where he’s got a ton of crap going on and not a lot of time to devote to a total stranger, no matter how intriguing. As a result, he texts periodically, indicates his interest in meeting up “at some point later,” but genuinely doesn’t have the time until after his schedule opens up.

      In either case, what we’re dealing with is a guy who’s interested, but simply isn’t showing that interest the way the woman wants him to. Not the same thing as just not being interested.

      Often, the end result is the same — dude just ain’t getting in touch — but the motivation behind it is different, and has to be judged in-context.

      This also highlights why it’s often fairly pointless to try to determine why the guy is behaving the way he is. Is he not texting because he’s not interested? Or is he not texting because his office is in a dead-zone and by the time he gets home, he’s exhausted, distracted, and preparing for the next day? Answer: Who cares?

      He’s not texting, so you have a choice: sit around and wait for him, or go find someone else to keep you company and figure if he gets back to you, you’ll evaluate your options then. The “why” is secondary at best, and usually just irrelevant.

      • jane Says:

        The end result should be the same though. If he’s not putting in the same level of effort as you – for whatever reason – it is *probably* in your best interests to detach and move on. In that way I would say its not a myth – you arent on the same page so the message to you should be to stop and/or look elsewhere for someone who is looking for the same type of dating and communication style as you are.

        • D. Says:

          Which is pretty much what I said at the end there. The point isn’t to suss out the other person’s motivations, but rather to decide how to respond to the behavior itself. Too often in dating, people place emphasis on knowing why the other person is doing what they’re doing, when, practically speaking, it doesn’t matter much.

  8. Sarah Says:

    Sorry this advice is a crock. We’re ALL busy. Busy is an excuse. I have a day job and two home-based businesses. I’ve dated men that have traveled for work. My friend dated a guy in MED SCHOOL in another country for 2 years who later became her husband. Bottom line, when someone wants to see you they will make time. If they’re not, you’re not a priority. This has never proven to be a myth in my life. And given how much people complain about dating and clicking with someone, it makes it that much sillier that they don’t bother to follow up when they like someone.

    Side note, the person in question uses Tinder for an ego boost? Seriously, get a life! Or get help for your low self-esteem.

    • Michael Says:

      Agreed, If I liked a women but was busy most men would say: I am going to be very busy this month but I want to do something next month when my schedule clears. Another red flag: He is going to 3 weddings, why not invite her along? It is clear this man has options and this woman is not option #1. If anything talking about things in common may have sent signals you wanted something more when clearly he didn’t. Our emotions often trump commonsense and we sometimes miss obvious cues that the other person is sending. What I would do: If you really like this dude, Call and ask if he wants to date again, If he gives another BS excuse, move on. With a single ratio of 100 women to 115 men USA women under 40 have so many dating options unless she is unattractive her dating life is much easier then mine…

    • Aly Says:

      I agree with you. My mom and dad met while they were in high school and dated all through college. My dad went to med school in Mexico and they made it work. My mom barely saw or spoke to him during that time (and this was in the late ’80s so no Skype, email, etc.) He didn’t come back to the states until 1989, when I was born. And they’re still married today!

      The “too busy” excuse has never proved a myth in my life either. I see how it can in the early stages of dating, but not past that. It’s how my last relationship ended. My ex really did have a lot of stuff piled onto him at once, but I also believe he used it as a cop-out to stop seeing me and go back on OKCupid to troll for other girls, which is exactly what I caught him doing during his ~*too busy*~ period.

      As for using Tinder as an ego boost, not to make excuses but the writer is 24. I’m also in that age group and while I don’t do things like that, I know a lot of other females who do. I do agree that it’s immature and displays low self-esteem.

    • Randy Says:

      Well said!!! I completely agree. I’m super busy but I will always try to make time for someone I’m inserted in. I have found in 45 years that most people aren’t as “busy” as they say or think they are. It’s an excuse.

      • Randy Says:

        And one other note. As far as the using tinder as an ego boost…. That’s 90% of the problem with online dating. Too many people on there only trying to make themselves feel better instead of the right reason which is to meet people.

  9. LSerialDater Says:

    I’ve always believed that if someone wants to be with you, they’ll make time to be with you, no matter what. I’ve had guys bend over backwards and cancel plans with their “bros” to plan dates with me, but I’ve also had guys not answer back to texts for hours, only to make up some silly excuse as to why they couldn’t text me back.
    Dating shouldn’t be an obligation. It’s a two-way street. If the person you’re seeing isn’t responding in a positive way, either make some changes or forget about it. At least that’s what I do!

  10. i. leon Says:

    Great advice . Wow great great advice. This just happened to me and it makes perfect sense. I am not waiting I am living my life and keeping really busy. He will come around again when his life is less hectic.

    I also think he knows she is not the sleep with you type of chick so he is gathering his schedule and his life and coming around again when he has his game together and can focus on her.

    I think loving life and looking beautiful and being busy on facebook will inspire him to call. Keep the energy busy in your life he will slowly feel the focus on him disappearing and come back like a magnet.

    Great great writing and advice.

  11. Greg Says:

    or he won’t come around and that’s perfectly fine as well.

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