Dating, Men, and Communication: When will they grow the balls to say "you're not the one?" (Dear Steven, Column #2)

Dating, Men, and Communication: When will they grow the balls to say "you're not the one?" (Dear Steven, Column #2)

Dear Steven:

“Why is it after a date, men don’t text me back. We have a great time, we laugh and smile and have a blast but they don’t communicate with me after that. Is it something I did? And on that note, why is communication lacking. Why don’t they have the balls to tell me that they are looking for something different from what I’m offering.”

Sincerely, The Baker’s Wife

Dear The Baker’s Wife,

From the moment the first caveman said “Ook ook, you pretty, ook ook, I no like you, though”, the nagging debate about communication in relationships has been a hot-button issue. Either communication is lacking or overabundant, hot or cold running water,  or simply non-existent, we always feel that we need more from our dates and/or partners.

As I always do when analyzing a topic fraught with emotion, I like to pare it down to its basic premise. In the case of communication, the basic issue is one of the wiring of the individual. Is this person an introvert or an extrovert? How long have you known each other? Do you think he’d be able to communicate better as he gets to know you more intimately? These factors are crucial to gauge how open they will be at a given point in the relationship. An introvert is more likely to clam up during the first few dates, whereas the extrovert may never shut up!

Next, you have to look at what he wants in life. Does he want a one night stand or a baby-mama or a wife? You can infer this by listening to where they steer the conversation: do they start talking immediately about your body or banter about your lives in a casual way? The motives of the individual in question speak volumes about his intentions.

In regards to going on a date and being ignored afterwards, we start to tread on a path that has many thorns. Men become Oscar-caliber actors when putting up a front of politeness on a date. They could hate your guts and you’d never even know it (and I’m not saying that’s the case with you, honey!) It’s what happens after the date that determines what kind of person he actually is. If he texts back positive things and mentions another date, you have an easy answer. If he texts back and says he had a good time, but he’s looking for something else, he’s at least honest. If he doesn’t respond to your message, or indeed doesn’t message you of his own accord, you can automatically infer that he’s not interested.

That last inevitability is the hardest for the person on the receiving end to cope with. The first thing we do is blame ourselves. Did I not dress right? Did I talk too much? Did I push him away? We go through every second of the date, trying to pinpoint the moment where it started to sink faster than the Titanic in a mop bucket. You start to become anxious when they don’t answer and start to question yourself, all because of what another person chose to do.

If they don’t respond with at least a polite refusal for another day, you are entirely correct in saying that they have been shorn of their testicles. It takes half a minute to craft a polite note to say you’re not interested. It may hurt the other person, but it hurts them more if they’re sitting in stunted silence, waiting for a response that very well may never come. You’d be better off send a carrier pigeon than sending a text these days, to be honest.

When a person you thought you had a good date with disappoints you, you need to learn to let go. You should be thankful they showed their true colors early on! It’s much harder to be ignored in the middle of a relationship than to be ignored after a first date. To be preemptive about this thorny issue, I suggest that, at the end of the date, you lay it all out on the table: if you don’t like me or this date didn’t do anything for you, please tell me sooner rather than later and, for God’s sake, don’t just ignore it! Often those who do those sorts of things will be taken aback so much that they will be candid with you, no matter what the outcome might be.

So, my final word is to don’t stress when some guy doesn’t have the balls to text you back and let you down easily. Love isn’t for cowards and you’re going to get a few (or many) punches to the guy before you find the one who will heal those wounds.

And, if you need an example of the dangers of reading into body language too much during a date, I suggest you (NOT) take a tip from Blanche Devereaux:

I invite you to visit my new website,! I’m very proud of my new creation and would love to hear your feedback about it.

And, as always, remember to subscribe to this blog by entering your email below and remember to listen to my podcast, Kvetching with Steven, on SoundCloud with a new episode every Friday!


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  • 'if you don't like me or this date didn't do anything for you, please tell me sooner rather than later and, for God's sake, don't just ignore it!'......Yes, then the movie ends with a boiling pot of white rabbit, hello!

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