A few weeks ago, I went on a date with a handsome guy I'd met on OKCupid. It was a last-minute date on a Saturday night. I prefaced the evening letting him know I had to work the next day and couldn't make it a late night. We met at a whiskey bar in my neighborhood where we shared a couple of rounds of drinks.
Physically, he was totally my type. Personality-wise, I didn't think we were super compatible, but the conversation flowed and we spent a very amiable three hours together. At one point, I noticed it was getting late and conscious that I had an early start, when he went to the bathroom, I asked for the check. We split the bill and he offered to walk me home. The bar was very near my apartment, so a short walk later, we arrived. He made a show of asking for my number saying he really wanted to see me again soon. I agreed that would be great, relayed my number and we parted ways.
That was three weeks ago. I haven't heard from him and I don't expect to. Under different circumstances, I might be disappointed. But, since I'd had my reservations about our compatibility, I brushed it off and moved on. In spite of my ambivalence towards him, our interaction made me wonder what had happened between his initial seemingly abundant interest, and his subsequent decision to change his mind and blow me off. The only thing I can imagine is that he sensed some reticence on my part and instead of allowing me to say no to a second date, decided to not even bother asking.
This experience got me thinking about the intricacies of "the blow off". So often, women assume it's something we have done wrong. Well, for those men out there who are curious about instances when the cards turn and we're the ones not returning calls or texts, here's a little cheat sheet explaining why you may not hear from us again.
At the top of a list of reasons why people blow dates off, is a simple lack of interest, physical or otherwise. But what about those dates where it seems like everything is perfectly aligned for another date and you never hear from them again? Or what about those instances before you've even made it to a first date where things fizzle via text prematurely.
To help answer these questions, I emailed a number of my fabulous, single girlfriends polling them about situations that would lead them to lose interest and cut off contact with a date (or prospective date). The results were funny, expected, ridiculous and downright sad in some instances. Here are the top 10 of the bunch.
1. You're Wishy Washy About Making Plans -- Nothing is more unattractive than a man who won't even bother to make a plan for a first date. We haven't met yet and you're already being lazy? Not cute. Make a plan! It doesn't have to be anything fancy. If a guy were to say "I love dive bars, let's go to this great one I know of", I'd totally be game. At least it shows you put a second's worth of thought into getting together. On top of being noncommittal to a place, it's also not cool when a guy keeps plans intentionally vague as in "let's get together this weekend" (Saturday or Sunday?) or, let's shoot for next week. Give us a date, a time and a place. Otherwise, you can't expect us to keep our schedules open for someone who may not come through anyway!
2. You're an Adult Baby -- Myself (and most of my friends) are in their late twenties. No one says you have to have your life figured out by now. But if you're verging on 40 and still live like a frat boy in college, we're not going to take you seriously. By this we mean, your apartment is a mess, you live with your parents, you have three or more roommates, or you don't even have a steady place to sleep. Grow up.
3. You Smell Bad. Nuff said.
4. Being Inappropriately Intimate -- If I haven't even kissed you yet, I don't want your hand on my leg, my ass, my arm, my hair or my face. I'm not a prude. But let this stuff play out rather than expecting that excessive physical contact upfront is cool. We'll let you know when it's ok. And until then, keep your hands to yourself. Same goes for hyper-sexualized conversation. You like sex. We get it. So do we. But that doesn't mean you have to talk about it incessantly throughout our first date.
5. Dick Pics Before We've Met -- If we're not sleeping together, I don't want to see your junk. I don't care how big you think it is or how much you're convinced I want to see it. Let is wait. A little mystery is good.
6. Asking For Naked Pics -- See above. Why would I send a naked picture of myself to a complete stranger?
7. Believing We're in a Relationship After One Date -- We've been on one date. Maybe we had a really nice time together. That doesn't mean I want to hear from you ALL THE TIME. A text here and there is nice. It shows interest and that you're dependable. But don't harass me. Don't take me to meet your family. Don't call me your girlfriend. It's a sure fire way to guarantee there will be no second date. And if we haven't met yet, DON'T CALL ME BABY!
8. Being Rude to Wait Staff/Servers -- If you're rude to a person who is waiting on us, what makes me think you won't be rude to me? Learn some manners.
9. Having a Girlfriend -- Come on boys. Get a clue! If you're involved, don't take us out to drinks and then casually drop that you're seeing someone (and that you live together!) Either you're a sleaze who hopes the whole girlfriend think won't phase us or, you're in a relationship but don't see the harm in casually hanging out with a single, interested woman. Either way, you look like a dick.
10. Not Paying On a First Date -- I'm a feminist and a part of me is hesitant to even post this but, having had a number of conversations about this very topic, it seems to warrant a mention. Pretty much across the board, the women I've spoken to (and I'll begrudgingly admit, this includes myself) want to have a guy pay on the first date. After that, I'm all about 50/50. But on a first date, I think it's a classy move to pay. Let's be honest, no one does dinner first dates these days anyway. And how much does a few rounds of drinks really cost? It's just polite.
Gentlemen, I hope this has been a somewhat informative experience for you. And if you disagree with anything I've said, I'd love to hear about it in the comments. Ladies, thank you to those of you who contributed to this article and I hope I've sufficiently captured the sentiment of what you said. Either way, I hope we're inching closer on a daily basis to unlocking the mysteries of online dating!