Should I let this one go?
January 5, 2019 5:26 PM   Subscribe

Help me figure out whether I should text one more time or move on.

I went out with someone a couple times and it went really well. We both said we had a good time and I was really vibing that we would go out again. I'm not in town for the weekend but I texted him asking how the weekend was going and we had a pretty normal conversation. I took this as a good sign so I said when I would be back in town and to let me know if he'd like to hang out again.

Its been four hours and I've heard nothing. Normally he replies in a normal amount of time so this is unusual and it's really bothering me. Its probably just him letting me down gently. I'm considering texting him again, though, saying "hey, it's totally fine if you dont want to go out again, but can you let me know either way? Thanks".

I'm unsure, though. I don't want to be too pushy or clingy or unable to take a hint. Maybe he's out with his friends; I dont want to scare him off. I've already done a lot of the texting. On the other hand, nicely asking someone to please be direct really shouldn't scare them off, right?

What would you do, metafilter?

Thanks in advance.
posted by Amy93 to Human Relations (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
4 hours? Wait. Definitely wait. Like, a week. And then if you’ve waited a week and he still hasn’t responded, then toss a coin. Do what your heart says then. Next week.

He’s not being indirect, he’s just not responded. Asking someone to be direct after 4 hours of silence will usually seem pushy, needy, demanding, and/or insecure.
posted by bilabial at 5:32 PM on January 5 [87 favorites]

I mean, maybe he's waiting until you're back in town to let you know when he wants to hang again? That's what you specifically told him.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:36 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]

This. You gave him a date when you’ll be back and available to catch up. He’s waiting for that time. It’s not now.
posted by Jubey at 5:38 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]

Do you want to see him again? Then say "hey I had a great time and I want to see you again [insert date and time here]".

4 hours is nothing in terms of not texting. maybe he's busy, left his phone in another room, watching a movie, etc, etc. Not everyone has their phone with them 24/7
posted by littlesq at 5:43 PM on January 5 [9 favorites]

Don't text again.

If he's ghosting you, asking him for a direct response is only going to lead to more ghosting. You can't force someone to give you a direct response when they don't want to.

If he's not ghosting you and just hasn't had a chance to reply, texting again will make you seem "pushy, needy, demanding, and/or insecure" from the answer above.

There is no advantage to texting again.
posted by sunflower16 at 5:45 PM on January 5 [8 favorites]

Agreed to wait, try to enjoy your weekend, he may very well have taken your "I'm out of town this weekend" as a "please do not text me until I'm back". If he doesn't follow up within a few days with a suggested date I'd assume he is doing the fade.
posted by lafemma at 5:45 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]

On the other hand, nicely asking someone to please be direct really shouldn't scare them off, right?

Being direct is different than being prompt. I treat texting as an asynchronous communication mechanism with no defined response time shorter than a couple days. I regularly turn the ringer on my cell phone completely for upwards of a day in order to avoid annoying my coworkers. Often times that means I forget in the evening or the weekend. Hence, I may literally only see a text or message hours after its received.

I wouldn't be scared off by this by itself. However, I would see it as a sign that you'll continue in the future, and that wouldn't be very encouraging to me.
posted by saeculorum at 5:53 PM on January 5 [13 favorites]

What sunflower16 said. The answer to "Should I contact him again?" is always a "No," really.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:53 PM on January 5 [10 favorites]

Just wait for him to respond. 4 hours is....not that long. I know firsthand that the constant uncertainty of dating is extremely anxiety-inducing, but dude, just relax and live your life.
posted by a strong female character at 5:54 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]

Its been four hours and I've heard nothing. Normally he replies in a normal amount of time so this is unusual

Eesh. Not to pile on here, but your expectations for normal texting behavior are really out of whack. (Sorry.) You should not text him now, and certainly not that overly dramatic text you had planned. Longer-term, you should try to get your own insecurities and expectations in check.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 5:55 PM on January 5 [13 favorites]

It’s Saturday night he’s probably out with friends or at the movies where it wouldn’t be right to get all texty text. Definitely sit on your hands. Or bite on a stick. Sorry dating anxiety sucks I know :P
posted by St. Peepsburg at 5:57 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]

Absolutely wait. Four hours is barely "dinner and a movie with friends" time, not even taking into account that you're travelling so he knows you're off doing your own thing. This is not even slightly red-flaggy at this point - early-dating nerves are getting to you, which is understandable, but you don't have to let them have their way! Go forth and enjoy your weekend, and if you don't hear anything, feel free to text tomorrow or Monday to say "hey, how's your weekend going?" but don't make it an ARE YOU IN THIS THING OR NOT message. That's not called for at this point.
posted by Stacey at 6:01 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]

Thanks for the replies, guys. They were REALLY the wake-up call I needed. I'm not texting him. I will work on modifying my expectations in the future.
posted by Amy93 at 6:10 PM on January 5 [17 favorites]

I would not even text tomorrow or whenever to ask how his weekend is going. The ball is in his court because you texted last. I know some Mefites will respond to this and say I'm being old-fashioned and childish etc but I don't think I am. I sometimes get multiple texts in a row from dates and every single time I kinda judge them from being overly keen. It comes across as a tiny bit desperate. It is his turn to reply. If he likes you, he will, even if it takes him a few days. If he doesn't like you, texting him again is not gonna help.

Enjoy your weekend away. Be the person who is independent and has her own stuff going on. Hopefully you will hear back from him in a bit :)
posted by sunflower16 at 6:34 PM on January 5 [13 favorites]

Whether you texted him again or not, whether he replied or not, I think that this is just the point of maximum uncertainty, and that you’d be tempted to read the tea leaves no matter what happened.

Hope for the best and let him decide on his own about whether he wants to go out again. Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of a text conversation where one’s lack of response after a few hours merits a confrontation (even a gentle one, like the phrasing you proposed).

Enjoy your weekend, and when you get back, ask him on a date. “Hey, I’m back from my work trip. I hope your weekend was good. I really enjoyed our last two dates and I’d like to take you out to dinner sometime this coming weekend, would you be up for that? Let me know.” And then whatever answer you get is your answer.
posted by Autumnheart at 6:39 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]

Remember that all kinds of things can prevent a quick reply to a text. Perhaps even, he's charging his phone and it's off.
posted by ragtimepiano at 9:04 PM on January 5

Definitely do NOT text anything like what you said, it has only been 4 hours! I am a terrible texter and often just leave my phone lying around in the car or wherever. It probably doesn't mean anything. However, if I got a text like just because I hadn't responded for a few hours I would take it as a huge red flag and probably commence ghosting even if I hadn't intended to before.
posted by thereader at 11:07 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]

Also, I would suggest going in a different direction than this:

hey, it's totally fine if you dont want to go out again, but can you let me know either way? Thanks

That’s weirdly presumptive and negative. If you don’t hear back from him after you get back to town, I think it would be fine to send one more text that says something like “Hope you had a great weekend! I’m available Wednesday and Thursday if you’d like to go out again.” Keep it friendly and light and positive.
posted by bluedaisy at 12:18 AM on January 6 [11 favorites]

Its been four hours and I've heard nothing.

Four DAYS hearing nothing is "let it go" territory. Four hours, is you've discovered, an indicator you need to re-calibrate!
posted by DarlingBri at 12:50 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]

Honestly, the answer is always yes, text one more time. No, don't be desperate or clingy, or panic after four hours (or four days--I hate texting and if my partner of seven years hadn't been persistent when we first met--not bothersome, but also not inclined to assume that my lack of response meant I wasn't interested--we'd never have lasted at the beginning!), but the idea you can't show interest and have to play it cool should die. If you like someone, show it.
posted by tapir-whorf at 5:08 AM on January 6

Getting a message like the one you’ve proposed (especially after just four hours) would be a major red flag for me.

Also, I have on-and-off depression, so there are days where I just don’t have the energy to check my phone and stay socially active; try to keep in mind that there could be a multitude of legitimate reasons for someone to hold off on texting you back.
posted by CottonCandyCapers at 5:16 AM on January 6 [3 favorites]

Four hours is not something to worry about unless you are like, at a date and actively being stood up.

Also, what response are you looking for? A reassuring "yay, I want to hang out again" or something with firm plans and logistics for your next date? The latter takes some time to organize, and the former...well, ask yourself why you really need a text like that with nothing actionable attached to it.

I'll tell you what my mother told me when I was complaining about a similar dating issue: if you're going to act like this every time something happens you shouldn't date period. Now, that's unhelpful and judgmental AF, but there's a kernel of truth in there - you probably want to shore up your distress tolerance skills if you want to date people and set reasonable expectations.
posted by blerghamot at 10:51 AM on January 6

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