Dear Slutty Abby
February 8, 2011 8:19 AM   Subscribe

What's the general opinion on "morning after" etiquette?

I went out via a popular dating site with a very respectful, caring, down-to-earth, and seemingly trustworthy guy. We clicked immediately, and our first date ended with some pretty powerful kissing. I initiated a second date.

Second date night came around, we met up again, still totally clicked. I am liking him more and more, and all the messages I'm getting are that he's enjoying himself as well. At no point did it seem to me that he wasn't enjoying my company, that the whole thing was just some sort of casual sex transaction, or that he was the sort of person who would behave in a crass or ungentlemanly manner. Every signal indicated that we were both definitely having a good time on what was obviously A Romantic Date and not a mere formality leading to glory-hole style sex.

So we go back to his place. The sex is not so great. But, OK. First times are always awkward, and there are a million reasons to give him the benefit of the doubt. Afterwards, we're hanging out and continuing to enjoy ourselves. Things are still going well, and as far as I can tell, the night is young and I'm sleeping over. And then he gets a text. Apparently a good friend is in a hairy situation in some other part of town and needs rescuing. I find it sort of sweet that he's such a stand up guy that he'd be the first person you called when you needed bailing out of a tough situation in the middle of the night. So I wasn't terribly put out when he decided to go help his friend. I felt weird waiting around alone in his apartment, though, so I decided to go home. (Important: he did NOT ask me to leave or even say anything that implied that he expected me to leave.) He apologized profusely as he walked me to the train station.

The end. Seriously, this was Friday night and I have not heard from the guy to date. Is this within the bounds of normal/respectful behavior? Granted I'm not vastly experienced in the world of casual sex, but even when I've had blatant one night stand hookups I've gotten some kind of follow-up within a day or so. Especially if we didn't spend the night together. It's completely baffling to me. I mean, seriously, we went from potential relationship chemistry to Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am in the space of about 10 minutes. What the fuck? Who does this? Are there people who are really so sociopathic that they will put on an Oscar-worthy performance of being really into you as an actual human being one minute, and then usher you out the door the next minute?

What do people consider typical post-hookup behavior? Do you call the person the next day if they don't sleep over? Is there a difference in what you'd do if you were interested in a relationship versus if it was just about the sex? Is it ever OK to just never speak to the person again? Do I have a right to be angry with him, or should I cut him a break if he calls me later and acts normal?

The necessary demographic info: I'm a late 20's woman and the dude in question is within a year of my age. We live in a major US city. We are both politically and socially liberal folks who are in no way religious, conservative, or "traditional" in outlook. As far as I know, we are both neurotypical and have both had the typical late-20's big city dating experiences.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (52 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

It's very, very possible that the "emergency phone call from a friend" was set up, and your hook up was the one being rescued, no?

Also: some guys are jerks.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:22 AM on February 8, 2011 [6 favorites]

You may be reading too much into his silence while he's simultaneously reading too much into YOUR silence. It's Tuesday, I'd text him if I were you and say something like, "Hey, had fun the other night, and I hope your friend's situation turned out okay. Do you want to get a beer tonight after work?"

Beer is the new coffee. Or the old coffee, or something.

Also, you don't know what happened with this friend, and we don't either, so who knows if he's spent the last few days trying to figure out how to bail someone out of jail? If he seemed so nice, benefit of the doubt. If he actually turns out to be a creep, so be it, but life's too short to spend a bunch of time on it even if he is.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:24 AM on February 8, 2011

Have you tried to contact him? If you're as politically and socially liberal as you say, why does he have to be the one to initiate contact?
posted by BlooPen at 8:25 AM on February 8, 2011 [17 favorites]

Eh, it's possible the text was fake, it's also possible it was real. Just call him yourself and see if he wants to hang out again, or whatever. There's no real protocol.
posted by delmoi at 8:25 AM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

I agree with your assessment - What the fuck? This is not typical post-hookup behavior.

My suggestion would be forget about him, he's an asshole. He is either such a jerk he used you for a one night stand, or such a neurotic freak that his "performance issues" lead to him being too upset to call you - which is crazy in its own way. Regardless, I'd call it a day with this particular dude and move on.

Maybe to deal with it most easily, focus on the fact that you really did not know him - sure, he seems respectful, down-to-earth, etc., but you don't really know that. Who knows what nuttiness goes on in his pinhead or around him. I would think that having a friend in a "hairy situation" across town in the middle of the night might be a pretty solid red flag, in retrospect.
posted by RajahKing at 8:27 AM on February 8, 2011 [6 favorites]

Have you called him? Maybe you should call him. Maybe he's at home thinking, I had to deal with this major fucking emergency, and she didn't even call to see how I am!! What a sociopath!

But honestly, you probably got played. This is a potential downside of having sex with people you don't know very well- that what you expect is going to happen afterwards (sleeping over, romance, commitment, whatever) will not.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:28 AM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

Also, I get why you haven't called him - he is the one that ended the show with the emergency text. It is his responsibility to contact you, and that's not the result of his gender.
posted by RajahKing at 8:31 AM on February 8, 2011 [7 favorites]

Maybe he's embarrassed or shy? Is there any real downside to sending him a text?
posted by schmod at 8:34 AM on February 8, 2011

I don't think you have enough facts yet to make hard decisions, which is why yuo're getting responses on both ends of the spectrum here. I would say you should do what you want. If you want to reach out to him, as some here have suggested, you should. If you want to wait for him to reach out to you, do that. If you want to write him off, fair enough. This isn't innocent until proven guilty. You don't need to 'know' that he's acting weird to be weirded out by his behavior, and you don't have to know that he's telling the truth either; you can just take him at his word.
posted by troywestfield at 8:43 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

My instinct tells me the emergency text was a pre-arranged "help me get this girl out of my apartment" situation. He didn't outright ask you to leave, but he probably knew you'd want to go home anyway, rather than stay in his apartment alone.

Whether the text was real or fake, IMO you shouldn't be spending the night after the first encounter, after the second date. Maintain your sense of mystery here, and more importantly, your separate space.
posted by litnerd at 8:43 AM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

It's possible the "emergency" was a setup to get rid of you. It's possible he felt that your leaving was a message to him that it wasn't a good time. It's possible something else entirely.

You can get closer to finding out if you just try and touch base with him. Agonizing over this stuff is useless, but to answer one of your specific questions, typical post-hookup behavior does seem to involve sitting around wondering what the fuck, so nothing you're describing is over the top.
posted by padraigin at 8:45 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding dfelimingecon and others who say there is no rule book. There may be a reason why he hasn't called, there may not be. He might be embarrassed about the not great sex (or something else) or he may have played you. The only way to find out is to call him or talk to him. At the very least, if he does turn out to be an asshole, that lets you settle the matter, and move on.

(Also, I hear that cider is the new beer. Text him and suggest you meet for a cider.)
posted by Ahab at 8:47 AM on February 8, 2011

The etiquette for any situation where you want to know what another person is thinking is to call them and ask.
posted by rocket88 at 8:49 AM on February 8, 2011 [31 favorites]

I'm sure this is just from watching too many bad movies, but maybe the bad situation he ran off to deal with hasn't been resolved and he's still busy dealing with it?
posted by kmz at 8:49 AM on February 8, 2011

That potential relationship chemistry you refer to is called, "People being on their best behavior within sight or earshot of you, because you barely know each other." You admit the sex wasn't so great, maybe he thought so too and is just less charitable in his interpretation of what that indicates for the future. But you know, at that early phase of getting to know someone it's so easy to move on, and so sometimes people just vanish, and you never know why. Or yeah, like TPS says, you could CALL HIM.

Dating (and casual sex, which is not necessarily separate) is like big game hunting. Sometimes you trek all the way out into the jungle to just stand there all day in the mud and end up seeing nothing. Sometimes you get trampled. Sometimes you score, but the meat turns out to be inedible, resulting in just a trophy. You keep doing it because of the mythology of it, the stories you've heard about the hunter who bagged a rare creature. Anyhow, you have to accept the other aspects of the sport or else you'll just make yourself miserable thinking you're doing it wrong.
posted by hermitosis at 8:51 AM on February 8, 2011 [32 favorites]

The etiquette for any situation where you want to know what another person is thinking is to call them and ask.

Can we have this in blinking 40pt type whenever anyone is about to post a human relations question?
posted by ripley_ at 8:52 AM on February 8, 2011 [7 favorites]

Also, I agree with the sentiment in this comment: This guy doesn't owe you anything: you both wanted sex, you both got some. You did not fuck him in exchange for a bed, you fucked him in exchange for a fuck.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:53 AM on February 8, 2011 [7 favorites]

I would definitely be put out by this situation. Er, pardon the pun! I'd probably try initiating a communication ONCE, but be wary about any response he might give, and be prepared for him to blow you off entirely. Which is lame and sucks.
posted by rosa at 8:54 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

The only way to confirm or deny his assholeness is to call him.

The question is, do you want to know if he is an asshole or simply expecting you to make the next contact, or do you only want to date someone who plays by your rulebook?
posted by freshwater at 8:54 AM on February 8, 2011

I've said it here before, and I'll say it again: When you have a question about a relationship that only the other person can answer, talk to that person.

I'm sure you're frustrated, and understandably so, but frankly, you're being a bit of a drama queen here. You're making up all kinds of possible scenarios and building this up far too much in your mind. It's really not necessary to call him a sociopath when you have no idea what's going on. So here's a simple solution: Why not just cut to the chase and get in touch with him to see if he wants to get together again?
posted by runningwithscissors at 8:56 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

As other people are saying, you can call him and suggest getting together again. It's just as much up to you to do so as it is to him.

He may want to get together again, but he may not. The phone call may have been real or a set up. And yes, there are lots of men out there (there may be women who do it too, but I wouldn't know, never having dated women) who will put on a big performance and act like they really like you until they get what they want, and then the charm is turned off like a tap and you never hear from them again. It sucks when a supposedly mature guy pulls a frat boy-style fuck and run, but it happens. An ethical guy in the same situation makes it clear to the woman that it's just something casual before he sleeps with her so as not to take advantage of her hopes, and would rather not get laid than have a woman hate him for the rest of her life.

If the guy doesn't respond immediately and enthusiastically to your offer to get together again (some guys will pretend to want to get together and string a woman along rather than have an uncomfortable conversation), write him off, because he's an asshole, and you're better off without a guy who only cares about his own pleasure and comfort.

And from now on, in situations like this, make sure you and a prospective partner both know where you stand with each other before you sleep with him. It'll protect you from being used and protect others from feeling like you're feeling now.
posted by orange swan at 8:57 AM on February 8, 2011

I would be really put off by someone having a good time with me reading his txt messages and dumping me for someone else's "crisis". If it had been a real crisis and he was an adult he would have contacted you the next moring profusing apologising and setting up the next date. Whatever his issues are with his poor sexual performance he is not someone worth wasting your time on. You deserve much better and there are lots of fantastic men out there just waiting to meet fabulous you.
posted by saucysault at 9:15 AM on February 8, 2011 [7 favorites]

Oh hell no. This screams set-up all over it. If you were in his shoes and had a friend TEXT you in the middle of the night, would you jump up and run out? Couldn't this friend call a cab? If it was such a hairy situation, why wasn't the friend CALLING? Did you see this text message, or was it just explained to you? If you decided to jump up and run out based on a text message in the reverse situation, wouldn't you call the guy back if he had left your house?

I think you should not call him. If he calls you, then great, proceed with caution from there because maybe it all was legit. However, I think that this was a douchebag maneuver and I'm sorry that this happened to you. I've had it happen to me once and it was crappy. However, do you want to be with a crappy guy who does crappy things like this? Nope! Didn't think so! Move on and go find someone who's totally awesome and crazy about you.
posted by floweredfish at 9:15 AM on February 8, 2011 [21 favorites]

If I'm with someone I like for the first time, unless it's literally life or death, my friends are going to have to MacGuyver their way out of their hairy situation themselves. This was at least a breach of etiquette on his part. If he doesn't return your call, I wouldn't waste time calling again. You can certainly do better.
posted by Hylas at 9:43 AM on February 8, 2011 [5 favorites]

IANY. But I would not call this guy, and I'd be very wary if you don't hear from him SOON, suggesting dinner or the opera or something besides an obvious booty call. Two weeks from now is too late.
posted by cyndigo at 9:52 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

And tell us what happened!
posted by zia at 10:12 AM on February 8, 2011

Assume the bast-case scenario. He's busy at work/feeling awkward/busy helping his friend deal with the aftermath of the house fire. Call or email and say hi. Once you have put the ball explicitly in his court, if he doesn't reply, it's game over. Some people are jerks; I hope he isn't. On balance, there are fewer jerks than decent people.
posted by theora55 at 10:34 AM on February 8, 2011

This is not within in the bounds of what I consider respectful behavior, but unfortunately it is somewhat normal (in the world of casual sex with a twenty something city-dwelling straight dude). The fact that he has failed to contact you is the biggest indicator, to me, that he doesn't care.

Alternatively it is possible that he was confused by you leaving his apartment, and by your silence. Did he say you should stay while he went out to meet his friend? What was exactly said before he left? I would suggest contacting him to get the real deal. Upfront communication (even at the expense of coming off stark raving obsessed) is the only way to resolve and get over any kind of weird encounter.

I have learned the hard way through my early twenties about the realities of casual sex. And just like hermitosis said, I did it largely for the mythology of the hunt (or rather I was in love with my imaginary quirky harlot identity). Now I no longer sleep with anyone I don't know/have been hanging out with for at least a month. Also, when you meet someone off the internet who doesn't share at least a few acquaintances or friends in common, it's easier for them to deceive you, and even easier to brush you off.

I hope everything works out. You don't deserve to be treated this way.
posted by GEB's fun world at 10:42 AM on February 8, 2011


The only acceptable action, had his "emergency" been real, would have been for him to call you the next day.

Even then, I would consider it a red flag that he cut things short on your date and had that type of drama come up in his life. How often do YOU get called in the middle of the night to bail someone out? And if that happens a lot, what sort of company would you be keeping??

I wish my mother or someone else had taught me boundaries about stuff like this. It took me a long long time of trial and error to figure out that a situation like this was, sadly, not what I thought it was or was hoping going in.

Don't call him back. Don't date him again.

ProTip: the right folks and opportunities won't leave nagging questions in the back of your mind or inspire you to post a question to the AskMe's!
posted by jbenben at 10:43 AM on February 8, 2011 [47 favorites]

I'd just add that there's no real way to protect against this kind of things. Sure, you can wait longer to jump in the sack, but that just means more time wasted if he does turn out to be only in it until the sex (for whatever reason, even if it's not out of pure jerkiness), and also less sex.

So don't beat yourself up about it. You didn't do anything wrong or precipitous, and it takes two tango anyway. Have sex when you want to have sex and you think it will be fun and leave you happy that you did (ie, not to 'solidify' a new relationship or move things forward or make him feel more attached or obligated to you) and then you'll at least have had sex that you wanted.

You initiated the second date, he can step up and initiate the next one, if he wants.

I wouldn't have any expectations in this case, but if it's bugging you more not to contact him than to contact him, go ahead and call. It's not a big deal.
posted by Salamandrous at 11:08 AM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

The "emergency" text is a bail-out protocol used by both men and women. Sorry it happened to you. Don't call, don't bother, move on.
posted by medea42 at 11:18 AM on February 8, 2011 [8 favorites]

I think there's some evidence in your description of the evening to show that he wasn't being a sociopath just using you for sex. Examples:

1. You said that afterwards you guys were hanging out and things seemed cool. If he was just using you for sex he wouldn't have allowed "hanging out" to occur. Not even 10 minutes of it.

2. He walked you to the train station and apologized profusely. If he was a sociopath or just wanted sex, he would have merely walked you to his front door and shut it in your face.

Another consideration: it's only Tuesday. It hasn't actually been that long! Did he say he was going to get in touch with you within x number of days? If you didn't establish such a deadline then I don't see the problem. And maybe he's waiting for you to contact him because he feels incredibly embarrassed and sheepish about how the night ended. What if he thinks you're a sociopath for not being concerned enough to check in after said emergency?

In short, I think you're reading too much into all of this. If you want to know WTF is up, ask. And maybe in the future, you should consider asking your dates about their impressions of having sex before a relationship has been formally established. For some people (possibly this guy) having sex at the end of a date isn't that far off from making out with someone. That's not to say they're cheap or sleazy or only looking for a casual hook-up. It just means sex might not be an indicator of increased expectations.
posted by joan_holloway at 11:24 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I generally agree with the advice that you should just call and ask, but the emergency text is just weird. Also, behavior does say a lot: a guy who really liked you would have called.

As for etiquette, a person of character would take the sometimes difficult step of telling you he wasn't interested after a night together, and if he knew in advance there was no relationship potential he would tell you that beforehand.
posted by yarly at 11:31 AM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

It took me a long long time of trial and error to figure out that a situation like this was, sadly, not what I thought it was or was hoping going in.

And if you'd had our advice, it could have taken you a single phone call to figure it out.
posted by padraigin at 11:45 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have unfortunately had quite a few wtf experiences with guys I've met through "popular dating sites" moreso than I've had with the guys I've met from meatspace in more "conventional" ways. (I have my theories about why this is, but that's a story for another day.) Some were experiences like yours; some were even worse, but what every one of these head-scratching and angst-inducing experiences had in common was that the dude just dropped off the face of the earth, and all of them were charmers on the first few dates, and I felt a great mutual vibe. I spent a lot of time and emotional energy spinning myself up over these experiences, and in the end it simply boils down to this: he's just not that into you. Let this one go and move on.
posted by angiewriter at 11:57 AM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

@ padragin - Ha. Ha. But, no. You are wrong.

What usually happened was I would make that call and hear reasonable excuses plus promises to get together tomorrow/next weekend/etc.... I'd get my hopes up... only to eventually get blown off.

- When you put someone without character on the spot, they aren't going to suddenly give you the straight answer you are looking for. You might get some nice words and find yourself being led on again, though.

- If this guy was into the OP, he would have called the next day. No phone call from the OP is necessary (or appropriate) because she wasn't the one who cut the evening short!

I think hermitosis (plus yarly, medea42, and a few others...) absolutely nailed the dynamic of the situation the OP just experienced. Nothing to do but keep moving forward and try again.
posted by jbenben at 11:58 AM on February 8, 2011 [5 favorites]

Nobody's pointed out yet that she could call him, but odds are he probably won't call back. Unfortunately, the guy not having called by now is probably doing the ol' "silent dump" and she's supposed to take the hint that he's done now.

I totally agree with jbenben. Even if she somehow talks to him, she probably won't get a straight answer either. Just move on.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:12 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

OP wrote: And then he gets a text. Apparently a good friend is in a hairy situation in some other part of town and needs rescuing. I find it sort of sweet that he's such a stand up guy that he'd be the first person you called when you needed bailing out of a tough situation in the middle of the night.


jbenben wrote: How often do YOU get called in the middle of the night to bail someone out? And if that happens a lot, what sort of company would you be keeping??

Are we assuming that 'bailing out' means jail? I'm under the impression that the OP meant 'bailing out' colloquially and even with my limited experience with these kinds of things, midnight to four in the morning are apparently prime hours in which otherwise reasonable people will message you for assistance in this regard.

So he sort-of-maybe shooed you out right after two dates and sex that could have gone better. Maybe this is just how he's always done it? Maybe sex means more to him than you'd expect it to? Maybe he just wanted a fuckbuddy but was too polite to not take you on two dates? Maybe a friend really did need to be bailed out? Maybe an ex texted him and he has to figure out what's going on with her? Maybe his Russian friends asked about this really hip bar that was hiring dancers and he was suspicious of the club's intentions?

Even if calling back does lead to hurt and pain and runarounds, at least the OP will know for sure and that itch will be scratched and she'll know what the deal is the next time around. What's being lost by calling back? The subjectively informed protectionism that seems to be going on in this thread puts a lot more at stake than there really is. Being embarrassed isn't the end of the world, and that only assumes that she'll be embarrassed in the first place.

A short, sweet message. "Hey, is everything okay?" And if there's no response, well, he didn't deserve the OP anyway and she's that much wiser to men with strange intentions.
posted by dubusadus at 12:54 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

The text in the middle of the night was almost certainly bogus. However, if the text was real then it probably was something he couldn't ignore. You don't call/text friends late at night claiming an emergency unless it's actually an emergency (and, for reference, the couple of times I've received calls like this at night I went out to help. And if I had just finished having hot monkey sex with some cute young thing I would have made my apologies and gone anyway).

I'd send a message or call and ask if everything is okay, just on the one in a million chance that it was actually for real. Then I'd take his subsequent vague silence as a sign that he's just not that in to you.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:29 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I really don't think you know the guy well enough to judge what his intentions were, only how you feel about his actions based on what he's done. And it sounds like you feel pretty upset about how he's acted (or not acted).

Why not just nip it in the bud and walk on? I mean, in the 1 in a 100 chance that he really had to bail out a friend who texted him (.............seriously?), he still decided not to get in touch with you, which hurt your feelings. Whether it was his responsibility to do so or not is besides the point, you wanted him to and he didn't. So clearly you'd like someone as conscientious to his girlfriend to-be as he is to his friends, which he isn't.
posted by fantasticninety at 1:33 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

I see the point that the people telling you to call him are making, but I think he owes you one. Apologizing profusely as he walks you to the train is one thing, but if he's genuinely interested in seeing you again and maybe pursuing a relationship, he should definitely follow up in some nice way (e.g. call you soon, let you know how things turned out with his friend, and ask you out again).

If he doesn't, he's sending a clear signal that he's not interested in a relationship, or at least not the kind of relationship in which he is concerned for your feelings and makes you a priority.
posted by pompelmo at 1:46 PM on February 8, 2011

There's always the possibility (backed up by the profuse apologies, if they were sincere) that he was mortified by how the situation unfolded re: naked time vs. friend obligations, and thinks that you wouldn't want anything to do with him. A simple text query as to if everything's okay, and if he'd like to get a drink/bite to eat/etc is all it takes. No response, oh well. It's only been, what, 2-3 days? No biggee.

I also have had to deal with emergency friend action at 2-3 in the morning. It's inconvenient, but the fact that I'm capable and helpful enough to assist someone at that kind of crunchtime moment is one of the things that makes me NOT an asshole (vs. the many other things that occasionally DO make me an asshole, heh). Either way - ignore everyone who gets this bizarrely aggressive 'don't you DARE send 25-30 characters in a text message as follow up!' tone going on. That is terrible advice.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:06 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you do decide to send a "hope everything is all right" text, which is one thing, do not issue an invitation ... under the circumstances that is DEFINITELY his job. For your own self-respect, the very last thing you want is to be seen as chasing a mediocre lay with manners problems.
posted by cyndigo at 2:31 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

Everyone telling you to call him back is absolutely right. How outrageous that you would leave this poor man without so much as a by-your-leave. Why, for all you know he is rotting in jail this very minute, having used up his one phone call on the friend he rushed off to help.

"This guy doesn't owe you anything: you both wanted sex, you both got some. You did not fuck him in exchange for a bed, you fucked him in exchange for a fuck." Indeed. It says something about your sense of entitlement that you would be grandiose enough to expect a phone call from him after you left him in the lurch like that, and with no explanation! He could be crying his eyes out somewhere, like in jail for instance, and have no access to a phone right now!

I am sure he would give you a straight answer if you would just give up your mimsy Victorian morals and ask him whether he has encountered insurmountable personal difficulties and perhaps needs you to mortgage your house to post bail for him?

Just because this scenario coincidentally resembles the classic booty call and emergency text release, these are modern times, and it ill becomes a lady to be so paranoid. Evil to her who thinks evil.

p.s. In case it wasn't clear, that was sarcasm. I meant the opposite of what I said. Let me be clear about what I do mean: He is the one who put you in a situation where you felt possibly disrespected, and it is obvious to anyone with an iota of social awareness why you would feel possibly disrespected. And it would be very simple for him to correct that by at least phoning and saying "thanks but I don't think it's going to work out", and yet he hasn't made even that slight effort, which barring truly extraordinary circumstances he should be able to do.

Furthermore, the reasons for your hesitation to call him are obvious: if he was just using you, he's more likely to take your phone call as pursuit and, therefore, a cue to just use you again, probably buttering you up emotionally again and setting you up to get hurt twice as much. Of course you don't want that. You'd have to be totally gullible and have almost no self-esteem to want that.

(((hug))) Sorry, it sucks.
posted by tel3path at 2:36 PM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]

If you want to know what the deal is (as others have mentioned), just send him a text, ask about how his friend is doing, then ask if he'd like to go out for a beer.

He will either reply or he won't - there's your answer.
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 5:50 PM on February 8, 2011

Hi tel3path, can I buy you a cider sometime? Or do you prefer bitter?

I'd advocate giving people the benefit of the doubt in life and yes, maybe getting burned occasionally. Trust your gut.

There is zero downside to a quick follow-up text or call -- if he blows you off or strings you along it's a good learning experience, provided you're emotionally prepared for that possibility. Be honest.
posted by raider at 6:03 PM on February 8, 2011

I felt weird waiting around alone in his apartment, though, so I decided to go home. (Important: he did NOT ask me to leave or even say anything that implied that he expected me to leave.) He apologized profusely as he walked me to the train station.

So what did he say after he got the text? He didn't ask you to leave, did he say or imply anything about you staying? If he wanted you to stay, and you decided to go home, perhaps he thought that you weren't interested in him. You've left out some context here that's very important in interpreting his behavior.

Are there people who are really so sociopathic that they will put on an Oscar-worthy performance of being really into you as an actual human being one minute, and then usher you out the door the next minute?

Excuse me? You decided to go home. What did you want him to do, refuse to let you leave? (which would be far more sociopathic!) He walked you to the train station when you indicated that you wanted to go home, and you think this is a BAD thing?

If someone indicates that they wish to leave your apartment and go home, rude doesn't even begin to cover it, it's illegal not to allow them to leave.
posted by yohko at 6:10 PM on February 8, 2011

Jbenben is right. I'm about 90% sure you'll get some form of the following if you call:

He doesn't pick up and he never calls back.

He doesn't pick up and texts back several hours/days later that he's really sorry it's been such a busy week he's been meaning to call you, his friend is fine thanks for asking, and you guys should get together *soon*

You actually get him on the phone and he says the same as above. Oh and he will be convincing.

You then never hear from him again. Or possibly two weeks later you get a booty call at 2 am.

I would love to live in a world where you could call up a person that you had sex with after two dates and you havent heard a peep from since and get a straight answer about where you stand, but Ive never heard of that actually happening. Guys who run out on girls they just slept with and never called aren't exactly known for their forthrightness. And all the people who are suggesting anon calls, I have to admit I'm perplexed. I mean I wish the world worked that way, but In my experience it doesn't and continuing to make an effort when the other party isn't just makes moving on that much harder.

And yes he's probably an asshole who put on a convincing show. Don't feel too bad, it happens to everyone.
posted by whoaali at 7:09 PM on February 8, 2011 [6 favorites]

It stinks that he hasn't reached out to you, and I agree that a third date is unlikely and you should just move on... but for what it's worth, it doesn't necessarily mean that he's an asshole who was deliberately playing you. It's at least possible that he went into your dates with good intentions and genuine enthusiasm, but for whatever reason (either before the text if he made it up, or after it if it was real) he just plain freaked out and has chosen the selfish avoidance/non-confrontation path rather than trying to explain it to you, especially if he doesn't even really understand it himself. It's a chickenshit move, no doubt, which means he is not the guy for you, but it really could be that he's more weak than he is evil (and thus more worthy of pity than hatred)... and if so, he has probably even rationalized that it's better for *you* if he just goes MIA. Maybe not, and maybe the distinction between that and "asshole" is not that big, but it's at least something to consider.

It's unfortunately much easier for people you've met online to get away with this kind of behavior. If I were in your shoes, I confess that my curiosity alone would probably prompt me to create a fake account on the dating site just to watch what happens on his profile in the next few days/weeks. I think it will be pretty telling.

If you do decide to text him, or if you hear from him or otherwise gain any new info, I really hope you'll post back on this thread. You obviously have a lot of company here.
posted by argonauta at 8:35 PM on February 8, 2011

Mod note: a little less eye-rolling and a little less judgeme, please answer the question with your helpful voices, thanks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:41 AM on February 9, 2011

Here's what I've learned (and am still learning) from situations such as these:

1) If he really likes you and wants to see you again, he'll contact you. Period.
2) #1 applies to you too. If you dig him and you wanna know what's up, give him a week and contact him. But know that him not reaching out first or within a decent amount of time, is usually a pretty good indication of how he feels.
3) As much as I have no problem sleeping with a guy early on, whether it's a hook-up, one night stand or a potential boyfriend, the latter usually never ends up working out. I think there is something to be said about making guys work for it. Sure, women's lib is making it more acceptable to sleep around, casually and in higher numbers, but nature still dictates men wanting the hunt. Once the mystique is gone, it's over for them.

So yeah, though I haven't gotten to put this into practice yet, I think waiting as long as possible before sleeping with someone you have a sincere interest in is the best way to go.

Also, waiting a good amount of time (a week) and not hearing from them is message enough for me that they aren't interested, or at least not interested ENOUGH.

I hope things work out for you and would definitely love to hear the outcome!
posted by patientpatient at 8:39 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Mod note: From the OP:
Hi everyone,

Thanks for the advice, the sympathy, the hugs, etc. So I called him. And he didn't answer or call me back. Jerk. It sucks, but I'm trying my best to put it into perspective and move on. Plenty of fish in the sea, right?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:45 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

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