Please answer this ultimately simple dating question that I am over-thinking for me.
March 17, 2010 4:21 PM   Subscribe

Should I respond to this guy's text message or ignore him?

Backstory: I went to a bar for a friend's birthday in January and met a guy. We hit it off, have a great conversation all night, do some kissing, lalala happy land of meeting someone new and intriguing. He texts me 3 times the next day, suggests we see eachother again, I say let me know what your schedule is like...and then....RADIO SILENCE. I chalk it up to another random bar story and continue life as usual.

Cut to the Friday before last. Birthday friend invites me out on a Friday night, I think of last time I went out with her and decide, what the heck, I'll text this guy and just say hi. Worst case scenario, he doesn't bother to respond. And what do you know, no response all weekend, so Sunday I delete his number.

And now we arrive at Today, in which a couple of hours ago I received a text saying hello, apologizing for not getting back to me sooner because he was out of town and asking me how I've been. It took me a while to even piece it together since I deleted his number.

This is just perplexing. Why bother nearly two weeks after the fact? The dating books say this is BS but I only met the guy once and I'm not the type who feels like a man can't like you if he isn't chasing you around with a club 24 hours a day. I also know he is a sporty trip takin' zip linin' kind of guy and honestly I almost went to Mexico just this weekend where I would have had absolutely no cell service for 5 days. But I may be rationalizing. I'm also amid a serious dry spell and would like to get the rock rolling again in ANY direction.

Soooo...would you respond?
posted by amycup to Human Relations (38 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I would respond. Knowing full well that said person doesn't really care about me yet, and isn't really that interested. But you can change that.
posted by lakerk at 4:23 PM on March 17, 2010

Respond. Lakerk has it right, you're not on the top of his list, but he was interested enough to respond eventually. Responding won't cost you anything and might lead to something good. I often don't respond to someone just because I don't feel like getting into a text conversation at the time, and then forget to ever get back to them.
posted by catatethebird at 4:30 PM on March 17, 2010

Yeah, respond, his delay means nothing this early in the game.
posted by desjardins at 4:32 PM on March 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

This is a no-lose proposition, isn't it? If you respond and he's interested, you win. If you respond and he's not interested, you've not lost anything. Why not?
posted by Houstonian at 4:33 PM on March 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

I would repond - but you should expect to meet live, and have that meeting early in the day. Like lunch. (Unless you just want some fun, which would be totally okay.)

There's always the possibility he as chasing some other girl, some girl he met during the RADIO SILENCE, but it's also possible he was out of town, or had a terrible few days of IBS, or had some reason for RADIO SILENCE.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 4:34 PM on March 17, 2010

Might as well give him one more chance. If he keeps being flaky, drop him, but otherwise you only stand to gain. Maybe he just sucks at SMS dating/flirting/conversations; I know I hate it. Why not give him a call?
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:36 PM on March 17, 2010

Oh good lord. When will people stop with the silliness of texting to avoid actual human contact?

Eff texting.
Call him and say "Hi."
It's a start.

I'm sorry if this was rude, but texting is becoming the death of us as a society. Communication boiled down to nothingness isn't communication. It's perpetual hinting. You've got his number. Give him a call. Say hello.

Best of luck.
posted by 2oh1 at 4:50 PM on March 17, 2010 [19 favorites]

for fuck's sake, why would you not respond? what do you have to lose?
posted by Perplexity at 4:55 PM on March 17, 2010

This is just perplexing. Why bother nearly two weeks after the fact?

Why not? He was out of town. Busy. Unable to see you. He is no longer out of town and able to see you. Absolutely none of his lack-of-contact reflects on you. Sure it would've been nice if he had texted that he was splitting for a while but, hey, whatever.

Like everyone else says: go for broke, there's nothing to lose.
posted by griphus at 5:09 PM on March 17, 2010

Eh, the flakiness of his previous communications is not a great sign.

I'd give him one more chance, but with reservations. If he's late, ignores your texts for hours at a time, etc., then I'd probably decide I had better things to do with my time.
posted by selfmedicating at 5:11 PM on March 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

Being out of town and not being able/not wanting to respond to texts while out of town could easily be legitimate. Might as well give him a chance.
posted by Diplodocus at 5:11 PM on March 17, 2010

Respond. See if he is married. If he is, say "adios".
posted by MsKim at 5:13 PM on March 17, 2010

Respond, but if he ever does something similar again then be done with him. I also would wait for him to suggest a date. At this point I wouldn't be willing to put in too much effort.
posted by whoaali at 5:15 PM on March 17, 2010

Happened to me once. No call after a sure thing. 2 weeks later I get a breathless call from her--sorry was in Africa privatizing power authorities, called as soon as I heard your message.

Why not respond?
posted by Ironmouth at 5:16 PM on March 17, 2010

I wouldn't respond. He already was weird twice.
posted by serazin at 5:19 PM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

life is short. it seems pretty clear that you're still intrigued, otherwise you would not have posted this. so why not take a risk - and, i agree with 2oh1, try calling him. the worst that happens is that the chat sucks. better than a never ending stream of texts that really don't get to any conclusion about mutual interest. and with the call you will know pretty quickly whether there is chemistry or if the texting is coming out of some other compulsion.
posted by anya32 at 5:23 PM on March 17, 2010

Ignore him. It sounds like he's very strange and is looking for a regular booty call. He doesn't seem genuinely interested in more.
posted by anniecat at 5:34 PM on March 17, 2010

Why bother nearly two weeks after the fact?

IMO, because he's not that into making something happen with you, but wants to keep you around as an option. My guess is that he's bored right now. Maybe he was out of town since two days after you guys first met, who knows, but if he really wanted to make something happen with you, that wouldn't have stopped him.

So my advice is- reply to him if you want, but don't get your hopes up. Don't become invested in what he does either way. Forego emotional attachment until he's acted consistently for a good long time.

People are saying upthread that if someone's not that into you off the bat, you can change that. I think that 999 times out of 1000, that doesn't happen.
posted by Ashley801 at 5:38 PM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

"Grab a chance and never be sorry for a might have been"
Your call!
posted by lungtaworld at 5:44 PM on March 17, 2010


Do what YOU want to do.

one way or the other
posted by edgeways at 5:47 PM on March 17, 2010

He basically blew you off the first time (better offer, maybe?), and then took 2 weeks to respond the 2nd time. And this is at the beginning of the relationship, before the newness has worn off. He's in the process of training you to be treated like a doormat and keep coming back for more. I wouldn't bother. Just plain common courtesy would have dictated a response to your original text asking about his schedule.
posted by MexicanYenta at 5:50 PM on March 17, 2010 [3 favorites]

It takes, what, all of 15 seconds to write a text and send it, yet in two weeks he couldn't manage to do just that? No one is so busy that they can't take 15 seconds out of their day to be courteous to someone to let them know that they are out of town. His response to your "let me know what your schedule is like" should have been "I'll be out of town but we can talk when i get back." Sorry but this guy is a flake and I'd drop him. Also, I'm sick of the "make a phone call, text messages are killing the world!" diatribe. Not all people like talking on the phone, there was even a thread about this.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:58 PM on March 17, 2010 [4 favorites]

I'm going to add another one to the "don't respond" pile. You're already doubting the situation, and I personally have found that those gut feelings tend to be correct. He seems shallow, and if you were into something shallow then you probably wouldn't be sitting here pondering, because you'd have texted back already.
posted by cottonswab at 6:08 PM on March 17, 2010

Response by poster: Well, I decided to respond - and be bold and ask him if he'd like to get a drink. His immediate response was "I'd love to."

Thank you for encouraging me to just see.

And for the record, I don't think anyone can train you to be a doormat without your permission.
posted by amycup at 6:11 PM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

The relationship sounds like it was just fun rather than anything resembling a date, so I'd say give it a second chance. But once you all start on an actual date, be fully prepared to walk away if he disappears again without good reason, as that's totally uncool... and be prepared to make good on it. I wouldn't even bring up the disappearance to him because it's better that he gets to reveal his true colors early on, whether it brings on more radio silence or giving you honest friendship or more.
posted by crapmatic at 6:11 PM on March 17, 2010

Two weeks later? Unless I read you wrong, he hasn't responded to any of your texts since the day after you met him in January. That's a long damn time to be out of town.

If you were really into him it might be worth giving it one more shot, but I'd sure be on the lookout for more weirdness or blowing-off type behaviors and he wouldn't get another chance after the next one.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 6:19 PM on March 17, 2010

Another vote for "fuck him," figuratively.

He didn't even ask to see you in his eventual response-text! I mean, give me a break. It was polite because he wants to keep you on the back burner but non-committal because for whatever reason, he couldn't really care less about seeing you. And contrary to the "you have nothing to lose"-sayers upthread, I can see this becoming a real time-waster as you get in deeper, with him stringing and you wondering. This plane's destination is going to be a real shithole -- get off while you're still parked at the gate.

And as for "why bother two weeks later," I find that you always hear from guys again. They just always randomly pop back in from the woodwork or wherever they go. You drift apart, you blow each other off, you get new relationships, you fight, you break up, you fizzle away, and months, years later, up he pops. It could be that this guy just thought of you and so decided to contact you, simple as that. It's the testosterone: they don't always think through the consequences of their actions (ie, they don't over-analyze the ramifications of every minutiae of the relationship). Or, he thought that if he texted you, he might get laid, and you are just a number in his Little Black Book.

My rule is that if you have to ask (should I call/text/whatever him), your answer is probably No.
posted by thebazilist at 6:40 PM on March 17, 2010

Hmm, I guess I was too late, and now I'm like that friend who trash-talks the ex-boyfriend only to find out that you just got back together. Good luck! [sincere, not sarcastic]

I love seeing the community divide between Team Walk Away and Team Go For It that always surfaces with these questions.
posted by thebazilist at 6:44 PM on March 17, 2010

Out of town? *cough* This guy says ignore.
posted by zombieApoc at 7:09 PM on March 17, 2010

Thanks for asking this question. Team Go for It won! (thanks! thebazilist) Have a good date!
(Note to self:Definitely taking the phone call route next time.)
posted by VickyR at 8:01 PM on March 17, 2010

And btw, totally agree with you about the doormat thing.
posted by VickyR at 8:03 PM on March 17, 2010

He might actually have been out of town, you know. Sometimes people are actually honest...
posted by paultopia at 8:37 PM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

One of the problems with text messages I have is that sometimes you get them at the worst time possible--right as the movie is starting, right when you're getting ready for a long bath, right before you're heading out for dinner, right as you're about to get on a plane to Mexico, etc. etc.

I don't get very many text messages, don't particularly like text messages, and don't tend to prioritize them, because I am not very good at most asynchronous communication methods.

So, I get a message, think "Crap, I don't have time to answer this right now" and then go about my business. And then I forget about it. Then it is two weeks later and I get another text message from someone, and then I remember that I was supposed to respond to this other text message. And then I wonder if I should even bother, it's been two weeks already, etc. etc.

Some people are just not the texting type. It's up to you to determine whether or not you're okay with that.
posted by that girl at 8:52 PM on March 17, 2010

If it were me, one more shot. Why not? But call. Say "hey, good to hear from you, let's hang." Then if he pulls the disappearing act again (whether intentional or not), meh.
posted by AlisonM at 9:19 PM on March 17, 2010

Texting is no way to foster a good relationship. Call him.
posted by Lukenlogs at 11:01 PM on March 17, 2010

Respond. The first text you sent might have gotten lost (I've had it happen with friends sometimes - a text will fail and I won't notice, for example), and the second one you sent he already said he was out of the country for. Treat it like you just met him and give him the chance you would then. Also, my boyfriend is very much in the "not the texting type" camp, so I second that this guy might be in that group and not to think of it as so odd or bad -- texting is only one form of communication, after all.
posted by lorrer at 8:54 AM on March 18, 2010

Make it clear when you see him that this behavior is not okay (it's not that hard to text you and tell you he's going out of town, is it?) and enjoy! Hope things work out.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 12:09 PM on March 18, 2010

Response by poster: Haha - @the Bazilist - we only met once. I agree, men often do pop back in and out, but there hasn't really been enough interaction to call this a meaningful push/pull. Plus,

I really appreciate everyone's feedback. I agree with many posters that texting is very fragmented and not ideal, but it's often convenient.

My reasoning behind not writing it off is that I find that generalizing human behavior just makes me crazy and skews me toward the pessimistic. So we'll see how it goes.
posted by amycup at 1:07 PM on March 18, 2010

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