June 22, 2011

Calling after the first date

By Anthony Buono *

Dear Anthony,

I was on a first date with a man recently that went very well for both of us and ended with my clearly believing we would see each other again. After four days, I called him to find out when we would be going out again.

You really called to get closure. That’s understandable. Women need closure in order to move on. But his not calling you in a reasonable amount of days post first date was all the closure you needed, if you felt four days was too long to hear from him. Your contacting him has burned the bridge of any hope that he might still contact you to go out again. Women cannot forfeit their mystery just to get closure.

A man who does not call is likely not interested. It might be that he wants to take time to see if you are that type of woman who has to be called right away, and if not, will be unsettled and feel she has to make the call. I’m not saying men do that maliciously (God forbid, that would be really distorted), but more subconsciously based on bad experiences of dating women who seem to them (though they might have misinterpreted) like needy or over anxious women.

Men pursue. He will pursue if he is interested. If there are men out there who are not quite sure what to do after a date has gone well and the women clearly showed interest, there are problems there that a woman should not be interested in taking on.

My concern is that you take time to realize and understand your dignity as a dating woman, which is your mystery. Your mystery is what makes a man want to see more of you and discover who you are. Each date reveals a little more about you that is intriguing without giving away the ending. Men who get too much of a woman at one time choke on it. They can’t process it, and therefore they panic or are too overwhelmed and just decide it is not worth it. Or worse, they have seen too much and find the pursuit way too easy or dull (lacking adventure).

Provide the man with a sample of you to generate interest, and at the end of the date to give a clear indication you would be interested in going out again. Perhaps you say, “I enjoyed myself, thank you, I hope we can do this again sometime,” something like that. If you don’t present anything interesting about you, nor give him a clear green light that he can ask you out again, then he will not be interested.

To get impatient and make the call after the date might make you feel better, but it has hurt your chances of maintaining that man’s interest. So you should not have called him. It would be better if you just resumed your normal life and kept him in your prayers.

A man can tell when he is dealing with an impatient woman. You might say “I am not impatient, I just want to hear that he is not interested.” You want closure. But what if four days of not hearing from him is not closure for him? Maybe he is getting up the nerve to contact you again. Maybe he is praying about you. And again, maybe he is just waiting to see if you are going to pursue him instead of allowing him to pursue you.

I realize that many women are sick of this aspect of dating; namely, the going out on a date, having a great time, and then being left to hang there wondering what is going to happen next. But you have understand that there is a big problem with women allowing themselves to hang there at all.

You have dignity. You have to know that for some lucky man, you are a good catch. You have to understand that the right man is going to recognize who you are and want you. You have to accept that dates are just that; dates. There are no promises or guarantees after a date. Though the date went well and you both seemed like you really liked each other, a good night’s sleep might make things look different in the morning. Or praying about it might change one’s mind. Who knows?

The fact is, you are a person and a woman worthy of a good man FOR YOU. You want him to be good for you. No man who sees who you are and has interest is going to pass up on an opportunity to see you again. So do not succumb to that temptation to need closure.

A good date is a blessing, even if it never goes further. You got to go out, you had a good time, and you felt like a woman and human. Wonderful! Thank God for that. But it is selfish to over desire for that to continue. It is natural to want that feeling again. Who wouldn’t? But a woman’s dignity should never be sacrificed for the hope that taking control of the situation will produce another date. I’m sure most women you talk to will attest that this rarely works.

You are a woman. A woman has mystery. A man loves a woman as he experiences her mystery. A man pursues that intrigue, and a woman MUST learn how to be open to being pursued and receptive to a man’s need to pursue on his own terms. If he is interested, his pursuit will be pleasingly timely. If his silence is unreasonable, then allow him to move on without your effort to take control. You never know if God has a timing for the two of you contrary to your own expectation.

In the meantime, preserve your dignity, your mystery, and be firm in your trust in right man for you taking action. Wait for the post-date call. He will call. Pray for strength to resist the need for things to happen in your time and the need for closure.

Anthony Buono is the founder of Avemariasingles.com. For thousands of Catholic singles, Anthony offers guidance, humor, understanding, and practical relationship advice.  Visit his blog at 6stonejars.com

* Catholic News Agency columns are opinion and do not necessarily express the perspective of the agency.


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