Should I keep talking to this guy?
July 12, 2015 5:48 PM   Subscribe

I'm having trouble discerning if this guy is worthy of my time or not as I feel like I'm into him. We've been texting each other for a couple of weeks and met up once in person. He's very funny and we seemed to have mutual values and clicked well through our convo. He texts me a lot everyday yet he never calls. He said he's not a fan of talking on the phone.

A few days ago he asked me to go on a second date with him but he didn't give me any details on where we can go. I suggested going to eat or drink and he didn't seem to be fond of the ideas. The day before the date, he texted me that he's still undecided on where to go and would let me know the morning of the date. Then, I told him to let me know asap so I can plan my day accordingly. I also jokingly said that otherwise I'd take a nap instead. I tried to make it clear to him that I wasn't serious and I looked forward to seeing him again. The next day, I waited all day and he never texted me back about the plan. When I asked him, he said he thought I cancelled the date. The whole ordeal sounded like a miscommunication over text. So, I called him to explain the situation better. He didn't answer the phone but texted me back saying that he understands, and it's not a big deal.

I'm just puzzled as to why he didn't even make plan with me. Did it really seem like a miscommunication and he really thought that I value my nap more than spending time with him? Everything about him is great except this petty situation. It makes me feel like he wasn't considerate of my schedule and didn't really care much about seeing me or talking to me. What do you all think I should do? I appreciate your feedback.
posted by missybitsy to Human Relations (41 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think you should keep talking to this guy.

If he really wanted to go on a second date with you, he wouldn't shoot down your ideas, refuse to suggest ideas of his own, and then (most importantly) go silent based on this idea that you cancelled your date.

The best case scenario here is that he does want to date you, but he's immature and doesn't know how. I don't think it's all that likely, because it was clear you weren't cancelling the date (which wasn't even scheduled, and therefore wasn't even a date), and because each of these things on their own suggests that he isn't interested. But again, even if he is interested, do you really want to date someone who is so bad at communicating that he can't even make plans and will shut down when things don't play out according to however he's imagined they will? That's the best-case scenario, and it still sounds pretty shitty to me.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:58 PM on July 12, 2015 [15 favorites]

He doesn't sound super interested in building an in-person relationship with you, for whatever reason. I'd fade this guy out and put your effort toward dating other people.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:00 PM on July 12, 2015 [6 favorites]

Give the guy one more shot. There's no penalty to taking a chance with someone.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:01 PM on July 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

He sounds really tedious.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:06 PM on July 12, 2015 [33 favorites]

Sounds like you two might have different approaches to time and planning, if nothing else.
posted by salvia at 6:08 PM on July 12, 2015 [4 favorites]

It's hard to say without reading the conversation and seeing exactly what was said, but I think a joke that you might take a nap instead might not have come off very well. I wouldn't make a joke like that with someone I had just met. He might have been a little miffed, thought that you were taking a shot at him with that joke (i.e. sarcastic, "all right Mr. Indecisive, I'll just go take a nap then!"). If you really liked him I think you should definitely give him another shot, but just choose a place you think he will like. If you knew you were going on a date with him that evening, then I don't think waiting until that day to pick a location is inconsiderate of your schedule. Does it really matter to your schedule if you go to restaurant A versus restaurant B unless there's a potential major difference in travel time? If you need to have that level of precision ahead of time, you could have chosen something too. I don't think he committed any major faux pas here, although you can always move on and there's nothing 'wrong' with that, it just seems like nothing worth ditching a nice person for.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 6:09 PM on July 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

No, he didn't seriously think you cancelled the date to take a nap. He's just unreasonably petulant that you called him on his last-minute waffling and bullshit lack of planning after he rejected your perfectly good date ideas. He thinks he's entitled to waste your time. Show him the door.
posted by quincunx at 6:09 PM on July 12, 2015 [51 favorites]

It sounds like he's also not sure what to make of this.

Drop him. He's not trying to get together anyway, not in any kind of constructive way.
posted by RainyJay at 6:16 PM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Nope. Find a grownup who can make clear plans (I'll text you the morning of the date? Like is he a spy? Basically, "await my instructions" - no thanks.) There is someone out there who will be thrilled to have a second date with you and will communicate this with human words and not ignore your phone calls. Go find them.
posted by billiebee at 6:17 PM on July 12, 2015 [27 favorites]

I'm inclined to stick this guy in the just-not-that-into-you bucket, but if you'd like to give him one more shot, this is how you do it.

"Would you like to go to dinner with me this Saturday at 7? There's a new Thai place I'd really like to try out."

Responses that are ok:
-"Saturday doesn't work for me, how about Friday?"
-"7 doesn't work for me, how about 8:30?"
-"I have a curry allergy and need to stay away from Thai, how about we go get tacos at [place]?"

Responses that are not ok:
-literally anything else

Ask him out directly on a date at a concrete time and location. If his response to that is anything other than an enthusiastic yes or a counter with another concrete time and location, lose his number.
posted by phunniemee at 6:21 PM on July 12, 2015 [38 favorites]

He's not interested, ergo a waste of your time and hopefully no longer interesting to you. Move on.
posted by simulacra at 6:22 PM on July 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

I really think you would be well served by having conversations with people, in person or on the phone. You keep asking questions about how to interpret behaviour, usually behaviour over text. The answer is still the same: ask them.

I mean, from the information you've provided it's equally likely that he's socially awkward, or he's playing some game, or he's nervous and wants to impress you with a surprise, and maybe just hates talking on the phone. I certainly do.

And, I would totally have interpreted 'take a nap instead' as 'I view going on a date with you as being on the same level as a nap.'

I dunno, you keep asking more or less the same question over and over. Yes, dating sucks and it's all contradictory, and it's really really really not easy. And I feel like you might be able to teach yourself something important if you take some time to be mindful about the patterns in your past questions, and about the patterns in the responses, and think about what changes in your behaviour and expectations might lead you to start on the path to answering these questions for yourself.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:31 PM on July 12, 2015 [14 favorites]

Let's say you were to keep pursuing this into a relationship. You're going to end up doing ALL the work. Look how difficult and noncommunicative he is already. Leave this manbaby be.
posted by asockpuppet at 6:33 PM on July 12, 2015 [14 favorites]

Just for context, my current husband and I exchanged about a thousand emails in one month. And we already knew each other from before. He said, "I saw your email, the computer beeped at 3:00 a.m., and I got up to answer it, because I knew you were there, on the other end of the line," etc.

He was really into me and he let me know it. All kinds of lovey dovey talk. He still talks to this day about how the first time we met, how attractive I was. This guy is really into me and I have no doubts.

You're guy is not into you and you should drop him like a hot potato and find someone who is.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:35 PM on July 12, 2015 [8 favorites]

And seriously, it's ok to be direct and ask for what you want. 'I would like to meet at Fancy Coffee at noon on Sunday for brunch' is reasonable and you shouldn't second guess what you would want from a date and leave it up to someone else to make decisions for you.
posted by asockpuppet at 6:36 PM on July 12, 2015

He's either not that into you, but not ready to let things go so he's being non-committal.
Or he is into, but has poor communication and planning skills.

Neither seem to make him out to be worthy of your time. But I'm older and not 100% bought into texting as the only form of communication worth using. I still like phone and email, and even send letters once in a while. But, I get that all the young uns like their fancy apps and that texting as the primary form of communication is more acceptable.

It is possible that he's young and really needs to develop better relationship skills. If you do really want to give it one more chance that's fine and there's not a lot of emotional investment here so why not. But I do think you need to be really clear about how you like to communicate with someone you're having a relationship with (any kind of relationship - friends, dates, family, etc...). Make your preferences clear and ask him what his preferences are. Then you can decide if there's room for growth or if this is a deal breaker.

And don't have that conversation via text or email. Try to have that kind of important, "this is what I like in a relationship" conversation in person or over the phone.
posted by brookeb at 6:54 PM on July 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ughhh this sounds like something several people i know would do, and their awkward dates/early relationship stuff i've heard about.

It seems like a weird combination of shyness, social anxiety, and just not really being able to either settle on a plan because committing is stressful or not knowing what a good date plan is.

I don't agree with the petulant thing, or the not that in to you thing. I just think he's weird and bad at this stage of dating.

Decide if that's ok with you or not, but i think some of the stuff here is overly negative. You're not obligated to put up with it in any way, but i wouldn't attribute a lack of caring or malice to it necessarily.

I think he might have just been apprehensive about being too pushy to the extreme after the nap joke thing. I think the responses above about you having to organize this kind of stuff are pretty poignant though. Are you willing to do that? Is that a total bore/ugh/turnoff to you?
posted by emptythought at 7:02 PM on July 12, 2015 [6 favorites]

What do you all think I should do?

Find someone who likes you enough that he really doesn't care what you do on the second date, just as long as he's hanging out with you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:56 PM on July 12, 2015 [5 favorites]

He's stringing you along. You are his backup. You can do better. Stop texting him.
posted by myselfasme at 8:05 PM on July 12, 2015 [6 favorites]

A few of my friends have reported behaviour like this over the past month from internet dating. In both cases, the guys were married/in a live-in relationship. It's almost impossible to say when going on a second date with a stranger but just something to keep in mind.

I also think 'I'll let you know what we're doing the morning of the date' is a bad sign. It either says 'I control what and when we do things and you work around my demands' or 'I am so wishy-washy and flaky a relationship with me will almost be like you being my full-time carer' or 'I am so unexcited about this date I've given it less thought than what I'm going to have for breakfast tomorrow'. I think, even when casually dating, you can set the bar higher than this and still be said by anyone to have perfectly reasonable expectations.

Not answering the phone when you call him but texting back instead would be the end of it for me personally, this early in the game. This is either controlling behaviour or having to hide speaking to you from his wife. It's giving me all kinds of weird, bad vibes that you don't need to deal with after one date.
posted by everydayanewday at 8:07 PM on July 12, 2015 [11 favorites]

He's just not that into you - or, as you put it, he's not "worthy of your time."

Then, I told him to let me know asap so I can plan my day accordingly. I also jokingly said that otherwise I'd take a nap instead.

Just for future reference, this type of thing is not appealing behavior when interacting with potential romantic partners. Very, very unattractive. A weird mix of bossy and boring. You might have better luck in the future if you nix this type of behavior.

posted by schroedingersgirl at 8:17 PM on July 12, 2015 [5 favorites]

Married, can't get phone calls, can't go out to eat and drink after dinner at home, or else he can't come home smelling of food.
posted by Oyéah at 8:18 PM on July 12, 2015 [9 favorites]

Married, can't get phone calls, can't go out to eat and drink after dinner at home, or else he can't come home smelling of food.

Can't make plans until the last minute...

Oh! Is this the same guy that wouldn't go to the coffee shop, but instead wanted to meet you in the park? Was that one meeting you mention in the park?? If so, (plus all of the above) married! (or in some other long-term relationship configuration). Shun.
posted by WesterbergHigh at 8:28 PM on July 12, 2015 [8 favorites]

would let me know the morning of the date.

You don't want to date anyone who deals with you this way.
And I agree that he is living with someone already. But even if he is single, you do not want to date anyone who treats you like an employee.
posted by uans at 8:36 PM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

It seems like a weird combination of shyness, social anxiety, and just not really being able to either settle on a plan because committing is stressful or not knowing what a good date plan is.

I don't agree with the petulant thing, or the not that in to you thing. I just think he's weird and bad at this stage of dating.


I often observe that (usually) women are quick to ascribe this kind of behavior to "game-playing" or maliciousness or general unworthiness of the (usually) guy. It may be helpful, if overly generous, to remember that this is stressful to him too, particularly given that per societal convention the burden of initiation lies squarely on him. In the face of anxiety it is sometimes easier to do nothing.

(I will save the soapbox rant about how the former rhetoric reinforces traditional gender role stereotypes etc etc)

You don't ever have to put up with anything you don't like. The behavior you described would annoy the ever-living shit out of me, too. But if you like him, sure, give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe someday you can provide him some constructive feedback on his plan-making abilities.

Good luck!
posted by ista at 8:44 PM on July 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

I have to say, depending on the delivery, I might have found the nap comment to be fairly off-putting.
posted by salvia at 9:01 PM on July 12, 2015 [4 favorites]

I agree he's married or in another relationship.

My take is that he is stringing you along for a one night stand. And yes, he thinks he is entitled to use you or waste your time.

Block him asap & move on.
posted by jbenben at 9:01 PM on July 12, 2015 [6 favorites]

Deja vu! I told a guy I couldn't see him because I had to watch season 3 of House of Cards. He thought I was serious and made other plans. We had a good laugh about it though. Things don't translate that well over text, especially when you're still getting to know each other.

Did y'all set a time for the date? Or was he undecided about the location and the time? I think it was fair of you to ask for the plans so you can plan your day but perhaps not worded like that...
posted by showmetheway at 10:33 PM on July 12, 2015

Wow, I REALLY don't get why people are giving you a hard time about the nap comment. He turned down your suggestions for a date activity and expects you to just sit around patiently waiting? Uh, nope. I think you were perfectly justified in joking that you have other things you could do if he can't be bothered to mutually agree on a basic plan.

Also, this is really creepy control freak territory that he's creating. Only he gets to decide the date activity? Only he gets to decide on the mode of acceptable communication? Not okay. You have tried making suggestions and calling him, and he obviously did not like that because he wants to be in control 100%. This is a bad bad bad sign. Bad.

Dump him.
posted by joan_holloway at 10:40 PM on July 12, 2015 [12 favorites]

Either 1) he thinks you aren't into him and that you were trying to blow him off and he is accepting it and trying to avoid looking like a fool or getting hurt. Or, 2) he isn't that into you and wasn't all that fussed about not going out. I think your nap comment, while an innocent joke, could easily be misread as a lack of interest. If you like him, I think you try again, at least once, to get things back on track. One isolated miscommunication isn't enough to call off something that might work out. I think phunniemee has it as your last chance to see if it was a miscommunication or not.
posted by AppleTurnover at 10:52 PM on July 12, 2015

Ditch this guy. He's a waste of time.

1. It's not a 100% sure thing, but guys who won't talk on the phone are indeed often in another relationship.

2. This whole thing where he asks you on a 2nd date, but he doesn't have any idea about where to go or what to do? Bizarre. And he'll call you the morning of the date, to let you know what he's decided? That's really strange, and even rather rude.

If you're into each other, the 2nd date activity shouldn't matter - you can meet to watch the sun set, or go to the dump and shoot rats, whatever. It's really just an excuse to get together and delight in each other's company.
posted by doctor tough love at 11:33 PM on July 12, 2015 [5 favorites]

I think you should decide what you want from someone in the early stages of dating, then clearly communicate that to the someone that you're dating. I think you should stop trying to read people's minds and instead assert yourself and ask for what you want. You'll save yourself so much time and emotional energy.

You seem to do a lot of thinking about other people's motivations and asking for third party confirmation of other people's motivations. Pay attention to people's actions instead. Ask yourself, is [this person] giving me what I want? If they're not, then it doesn't really make any difference as to why they're not. Even if you manage to figure it out, they're still not going to give you the thing you want.

Decide what is and isn't going to be a dealbreaker for you. Then stick to your guns. If you want to date someone who meets you several times a week, then do that. If someone makes it clear that they're not up for that, either by telling you or simply showing you, then move on. If you're just not feeling it, then move on. Don't waste your time on people you're not into, and don't waste your time on people who aren't into you.
posted by Solomon at 1:02 AM on July 13, 2015 [5 favorites]

The flakiness/miscommunication wouldn't bother me. The assumption that he has the final say in activities would. I'm not you, I've got different priorities. Can *you* have fun with a flaky and/or awkward person? Is dating someone you're not 100% sure you want to be serious about a waste of your time?
posted by tchemgrrl at 5:33 AM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Should I keep talking to this guy?

posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 5:53 AM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

"I also jokingly said that otherwise I'd take a nap instead."

I absolutely love that you said that! Ha!!! I applaud you for calling his flaky bullshit out in such a hilarious way. Please don't ever hide this wonderful aspect of your authentic personality in order to please a man. (Really can't believe some of the anti-feminist responses here suggesting you came across as "unappealing" and "bossy" and "boring" for texting that -- seriously, WTF??) To answer your question: no, this one is NOT worthy of your time. Bullet dodged. Keep being yourself and the right one will understand and cherish your awesome sense of humor.
posted by hush at 8:24 AM on July 13, 2015 [12 favorites]

You made a suggestion to eat or drink, he shot it down. The day before the date, he told you basically to..await his further instructions the day of? I can see how your joke would rub people the wrong way, but you were backed into a corner there and tried to assert that yes, you need a concrete plan and it's not nice to string you along, making you wait and guess.

No way, he did not genuinely think your nap joke was a cancellation. He just didn't like your reaction to his little power play.

I'd let him get in touch with you with a concrete plan and genuine desire to see you, then you can decide if he's worth it. Personally, I'd have soured on him already, based on the whole interaction.
posted by kapers at 9:59 AM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

The not talking on the phone thing is a big ol' red flag.

I'd dump him just based on that and not necessarily the inability to plan an evening.
posted by PsuDab93 at 10:56 AM on July 13, 2015

Really can't believe some of the anti-feminist responses here suggesting you came across as "unappealing" and "bossy" and "boring" for texting that -- seriously, WTF??

Jumping back in to clarify what I meant in light of being labeled "anti-feminist."*

First, naps are not exciting. Don't get me wrong - I love me a good nap on a Sunday afternoon - but in general potential romantic partners want to know what you do for fun and naps are not it. Saying that it's either nap or date (even in jest) makes it sound like you don't have anything else to do (either solo, or with pals) and I'm sorry, that's just not appealing to most folks. I don't think that's sexist...I think it's true for all genders and just an unfortunate fact of dating in this day and age. Sadly, people in general seem to want energetic, fun partners, at least in the earliest stages of dating (and it kind of blows for the more low-energy among us).

Now, "bossy" was putting it strongly, and I apologize for that. You're 100% within your rights to ask for someone to make a decision quickly, especially if it affects your plans for the day! But phrasing it the way you seem to have - as an imperative, and using the term "ASAP" - makes it seem a little off. That's how I communicate urgent directives at work, not in my dating life. A good alternative would be "Great! Please let me know by 2pm so I can plan my day." Then, if no answer by 2:15pm or so, follow up with, "Hey, looks like you're too busy tonight. No worries! I'm [going to go for a hike/get dinner with a friend/read that book I was telling you about]. Talk soon!" The fact is, ordering others around isn't really very nice in social settings. There's a polite way to request these things. Again, this is something that goes for all genders. I wouldn't take kindly to a "Let me know ASAP" text from a potential boyfriend or girlfriend when a kinder alternative would suffice.

* For the record, I actually thought the OP was a man when I posted this. I was on my phone and hadn't seen the user name. I'm sorry if I offended anyone with my comments.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 1:33 PM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

The not talking on the phone thing is a big ol' red flag.

I can't believe i missed this in my previous post, but this was one of the main things that made me write that post. I have several friends, of all genders, who would react that way to being called and hate talking on the phone. It gives them crippling anxiety or they just hate it. They do the exact same ignore the call/immediately text back thing.

I see how it could be construed as the live-in-girlfriend-is-right-there thing, but that to me is a pretty innocuous one i'd give the benefit of the doubt.

It's the profile of the situation that should raise eyebrows, but that and several other individual behaviors just screamed some kind of anxiety thing to me.
posted by emptythought at 2:11 PM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

By any chance, is this the same guy from your prior question who cancelled an outdoor date because of the weather and shot down your suggestion about moving it indoors? If so, this scenario strikes me as much the same and whatever the reason for his reluctance to take any of your suggestions, I think you can expect much more of it should you continue speaking to him.

Also, let's pretend he did think you cancelled the date. He was just never going to speak to you again, presumably? Think about how hard you want to have to work to get a man to show some interest. I feel like this guy is a lot of work. Only you can say if he's worth it.
posted by kapers at 2:53 PM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

He sounds weird. Dump this guy. Don't date guys who don't make an effort to see you, make plans, etc.
posted by discopolo at 3:14 PM on July 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

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