A sudden change in a guy I met online's texting habits has me assuming the worst. Am I wrong?
I have (an embarrassing amount of experience) with online dating, and while this situation involves someone I have not met yet, it matters to me. And at the very least, I need to learn something from this. :)
I "met" a guy on an online dating site in late May. We're both early 30's. We both live in SF, except he is currently in West LA studying for the Bar Exam (in LA staying with family to save money on rent while studying). He winked, I winked back, we started communicating and he explained his circumstances and that he'd be gone from May 26th and back July 11th after the Bar review course ends (but then studying here for another two weeks leading up to the Bar Exam itself).
After a few fun emails where we learned how much we have in common, he said he wasn't interested in dating anyone while he was studying and/or in LA, and that he was going to take down his profile, and asked for my number so we could keep communicating. (He did in fact hide his profile the next day, including deleting all content and pictures prior to hiding it.) He also jokingly said that he hopes I don't have any luck dating anyone else before he gets back, that he hopes I'm still available. I gave him my number, and for the next three weeks, we texted and sent pictures (of the completely innocent selfie/food/view variety) every single day, several texts a day. On a couple weekends, it was pretty much all-day. The other days, he'd text in the morning, around lunch, and then after his classes. I'd initiate about a third of the time.
(Side note: I've never taken the Bar, but I have several friends who have (including an ex-BF) and I know how arduous *and not-arduous* it is - or at least, *when* it is. He essentially has his evenings and weekends relatively free, and there's nothing in particular that would make him soooo busy that he can't communicate in some fashion for the entire day. He seemed to have a pretty clear schedule and we developed a pattern of communicating, and if he ever broke it, the next time he texted he'd volunteer an explanation for his absence ("Sorry, was out for a run...").)
The content of our messages was general chit chat, sharing about what I do for a living, his career plans, sharing about our days (pictures of ourselves/with friends/where we were, like him in class, whatever). He'd throw in a term of endearment in most of his initiating messages (e.g., "Hi beautiful!"). He's never been short, always fun, flirty, very often with an exclamation point or an emoticon (yes, I know these might seem like minute details, but they're relevant to the tone of our communications). A few times he said he couldn't wait to get back so we could meet and go out on a date, that he was counting down the days. He does not seem particularly stressed about the Bar Exam.
Basically, I was getting really excited about him and excited for him to come back so we could meet and possibly develop something in person. But then he kinda flipped the script on me.
Last Friday, he started the day with the typical cutsie message, and followed that up at lunch with another. I responded in kind, per usual. Then... nothing. He sent me a short message saying that he was going to Ventura for the weekend (he and his study-mates have escaped town a couple weekends). Our communication has been vastly different since then. Saturday he said he slept until 3 and later sent a picture of what he was up to on Saturday night, and responded to my Sunday texts (I think two) late on Sunday night. I texted him yesterday (Monday), and he never responded. That was a first.
And this, MetaFi peeps, is when the anxiety set in. You know, that "ugh, he's pulling away, he's bored/done/over this, it's too much trouble for him" feeling... ALL BECAUSE OF HIS TEXTING HABITS. I'm reaching conclusions about his desire to continue "this" based solely on his texting habits, and namely the frequency of his texts compared to all the weeks before, and basically off of one day of not hearing from him. Yes, that's what I'm doing, and with someone I've never even met, and it's making me feel like a crazy person. It was everything I could do to NOT text/email/call him to ask if something was wrong, or to ask if he wanted to do as he suggested before, and just stop talking until he gets back. Instead, I just told myself he's probably busy/tired/needs space/decompression time/whatever, even though I didn't believe it. I never do, with any guy, even when there's a 99.99999% chance that it's legit.
So, that might be problem #1: I don't believe guys who are committed to the process (aka "into me") go MIA - even if just for a day or two - because they're busy/tired/need space/decompression time. Tell me straight: Am I wrong?
This morning, I awoke to a good morning text, with an explanation: "I've been running on empty so I disappeared for a bit." He also said he hoped my week was starting off well. So then I think, "Ahhhhh, so he's just been busy after all..." I wait all day to respond, to "not run the risk of looking needy," and again - NO RESPONSE. Okay, fine... he just told me he's running on empty and so I'm just gonna leave him be, and he can come to me when he's got more energy. I can deal. I've got a very full life, I'm not exactly waiting by the phone - yet, I'm very much aware that every text that comes through from others isn't one from him! Bummer!
But then I also realize that he's been Instagraming memes for two days now... so, clearly he's not THAT busy or running on empty if he can IG but not text me or call me or email or FB or send a carrier pigeon.
I'm crazy. Right? Or, no?
There are all sorts of theories on dudes and them coming close and then kinda pulling back and then coming back (I'm sure you've heard of the infamous "rubber-banding theory")... and that this behavior is NATURAL. Is it? Do guys really need space after they get "close," whatever "close" means for them in that moment?
My guy pals also say that (1) our level of texting isn't maintainable, (2) that he might not want to text at all because he thinks that as soon as he does, a text-versation will ensue, and while he can drop a note he doesn't have the time/energy to have a full fledged text-talk, and (3) guys have no idea how important consistent texting is to a girl, that they're clueless, that I shouldn't read into it. But he's always volunteered/explained his absence without prompting, which suggests to me that he knows that it's not cool. Are they right?
Any other comments that might help me snap out of having doomsday thoughts? I know, I know, I haven't even met the guy yet... but there's something there, and I don't want to blow it.