Help me figure out if I blew it with my new guy.
June 29, 2007 8:38 PM   Subscribe

Help me figure out if I blew it with my new guy, or if there's hope, and if there's anything I should do about it.

I met a new guy through Match.com. We had a coffee date last week. It seemed to have gone pretty well.

Two days later, he emailed me the following: "hi Jesse-- i really enjoyed meeting you and would love to meet again soon. let me know how your schedule looks over the next few weeks--ok?
thanks--john"

I responded (same day) by saying: "I enjoyed talking with you, too. You have a very peaceful/calm presence about you that I think is really cool.

This week & weekend are very busy, but my schedule is pretty open after that. I think my only "impossible" days are 7/3, 7/4 and 7/13. Otherwise, I should be able to get together just about anytime, subject to babysitting availability (which is seldom a problem, but every once in a while I hit a glitch). Why don't you suggest something that fits in with your work/teaching/dad schedule and we can figure it out from there.

Look forward to seeing you again,
Jesse"

It's been three days and no response, and that strikes me as odd. Questions are: (1) Did I blow it somehow? Did I seem overeager? Too wordy? (2) Is there any chance at all that he didn't get my email? (it's a hotmail address). (3) If I don't hear anything in the next few days, is there any reason to follow up, or should I just chalk it up as a learning experience in playing hard-to-get?

Thanks for the advice. I'm just getting back into the dating scene after a divorce and am clueless about this stuff. If I need to just forget it and move on, I can do that, but have this nagging worry that maybe he didn't get my email or something.
posted by messiejessie to Human Relations (32 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
He said he wants to hang out with you in the "next few weeks". And you said you're really busy this week and the weekend. So maybe he's waiting until after you're done being busy to get back to you.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:45 PM on June 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


He did say "over the next few weeks," so it's possible he, too, is busy at the moment and couldn't check his email right away.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 8:45 PM on June 29, 2007


would love to meet again soon.

This sounds pretty encouraging. I definintely would not take the initiative to write something like that if I wasn't interested.

Is there any chance at all that he didn't get my email?

Yeah, hotmail kind of sucks, so that's always a possibility, but as others have pointed out, he's probably just taking some time.

If you don't hear from him, I'd suggest emailing (or better yet, calling or texting) next week sometime...but this time you could suggest something more specific. Something like "hey, how about _______ next _______?"
posted by dhammond at 8:48 PM on June 29, 2007


Are you sure he wasn't just intimidated by your ability to use the shift key?

I kid. Your email sounds fine; a bit wordier than his, but there's nothing wrong with it at all, and it sounds friendly, sincere, and not overeager. It sounds encouraging. I agree with dhammond - wait a few more days and if you don't get a reply, contact him again with something specific.
posted by iconomy at 8:49 PM on June 29, 2007


I don't see how that would have blown it. (I'm a guy, recently divorced as well.)

I tend to obsess when I don't get an email replied to as quickly as I reply to others. But, sometimes people go out of town, or get so busy they can't get to their email. Other times, I have put off replying because I didn't want to write a quick sentence or 2, but I didn't have time to write more, so I just waited till I had time.

You are probably worried about whether writing a follow up email now would seem nagging or desperate, or whatever. I know that feeling as well!

My suggestions: stop worrying. And if you want, maybe you can email him tomorrow night with a specific suggestion. So it doesn't appear like nagging, just say "Hey, since I emailed you last, I found out that Squicky and The Squeeges are playing at the Bongo lounge on Friday. I'd love for us to go to that. How's that work for you?"

Also, have you exchanged phone numbers, or just emails? A quick phone call might not hurt.

I know many dating "experts" are all into some kind of power game where you have to maintain control by playing hard to get (men and women) and playing all these phone and email games. I hate that crap. We obsess on it too much naturally anyway. Just be yourself. He seemed to like you for who you were, right? And, if for whatever reason he doesn't reply, or doesn't want to see you again, oh well... you should be with people who want to be with you, right? :) Good luck!!!
posted by The Deej at 8:50 PM on June 29, 2007


My gut reaction was that his was a little too vague and non-committal and yours was too business like as if you were trying to schedule a conference call. But, I also think he has not gotten back to you for a legit reason and that you will hear from him after the 4th.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:10 PM on June 29, 2007


The fact that he hasn't responded yet isn't a great sign, but it's not the end of the road. Stop analyzing every detail ("Did I seem...too wordy?"), and just keep working at it. There might come a point where it's clear he's not interested, but you haven't gotten there yet. Don't try to read his mind when you don't have a basis for doing so.

Don't send another email to ask whether he got your earlier email, as that would suggest that you think he's waiting too long. (You may be right, but you don't want to seem annoyed.) Instead, change something about your approach. Instead of emailing, you could call or IM to talk about when to meet next, so that there's more pressure on him to respond. (You should have each other's phone numbers, since you've already gone on a date.) Or instead of talking generally about your schedules, you could suggest something specific: "This concert looks interesting--want to go with me?"

Also: you asked whether you should wait a few days. How should any of us know how long you should wait? You're free to do what you want--you could contact him right now, or wait a few days, or just sit back and see if he contacts you. It's not like there are rules about this.

In short: Relax, use common sense, and don't give up. (Those are generally good rules for dating, BTW.)
posted by jejune at 9:12 PM on June 29, 2007


um, is there something in the babysitting bit? was he fully up to speed on that issue for you? anyway, you felt comfortable so definitely give it a few days then make contact again, either way. be totally prepared for it to go either direction, but dont miss the chance that he could be a good guy
posted by edtut at 9:12 PM on June 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


he didn't like you. sorry to be a jerk, but i have been in the same situation. move on and don't be pissed at me. TRUST ME.
posted by WaterSprite at 9:21 PM on June 29, 2007


he didn't like you.

If you go on a date with someone and don't like them, you don't initiate the post-date communication with: "i really enjoyed meeting you and would love to meet again soon." Maybe his lack of response indicates flagging interest, but there was surely some interest there.
posted by jejune at 9:28 PM on June 29, 2007


WaterSprite's wrong.

love to meet you again is love to meet you again. If I didn't like you I'd just not email again. If he has issues and comes on/backs off, that means he's got issues and you didn't "blow it"
posted by Ironmouth at 9:45 PM on June 29, 2007


I'm with jejune on this one. Don't write him off just yet. Perhaps he's busy too, and is trying to figure out when he'll be available based on what you told him about your own schedule.

If you really feel the need to follow up with him again, perhaps you could try sending another e-mail, but change the subject. Pick something you talked about over coffee, and run with it a little:

"Hey, I just read {whatever} article online, and I thought you'd be interested in it since you said you were really into {whatever}. I thought that {blah blah blah whatever you thought about the article}. Hope you're doing well."

This could serve as a subtle reminder that you're still around without pressuring him about meeting. Maybe it's a bit on the transparent side, but it's an easy e-mail to send without too much "No, seriously, let's meet again" forwardness on your part.

I've always been too chicken to try online dating (and good for you for being brave about it), but from what I've heard, it's not out of the ordinary to go on a date with someone and then never hear from them again. Don't take it personally. If you don't go out with this guy again, it's not the end of your online-dating career.
posted by bluishorange at 10:29 PM on June 29, 2007


I don't think you have anything to worry about. You may hear from this guy, you may not, but you were fine, and if he didn't get your email for some reason he can always email you again. You're busy this weekend, right? Well, be busy. And set up more dates with different guys for when you are less busy. If you hear from this guy, great. If you don't, you don't.
posted by Methylviolet at 11:16 PM on June 29, 2007


If he didnt know that you had kids then that could have sent him running. Or it could be as innocent as he didnt get your email or he got it when he was busy and then forgot to reply.

Maybe he's just cooling it off because in your mail you sound really busy. Maybe you should try inviting him out when you are free and have time properly (rather than squeezing him in) , just because he's the guy doesnt mean he has to make all the arrangements ;)
posted by missmagenta at 12:41 AM on June 30, 2007


It's hard to say you "blew it," because his email says "over the next few weeks," which is a huge non-specific time for dating. I'm honestly surprised that he would word his email like that.

So, given that, take my response with some hefty grains of salt, but your email makes you come across as someone that is somewhat passive-aggressive, relatively high maintenance and prone to setting a high bar for others to jump over.

Reading between the lines...

I enjoyed talking with you, too.

You said you enjoyed meeting me, but I will only say I enjoyed talking to you. In other words, I'm just not that into you.

This week & weekend are very busy

I won't make time to see you.

but my schedule is pretty open after that.

I will say my schedule is "pretty open," which is not the same as "open," so I'm reserving the right to come up with an excuse not to meet you.

I think my only "impossible" days

In my world, there is such a thing as an "impossible" day, and I will not provide you with any context as to what exactly makes a day "impossible," so you will have to work harder-than-usual to get my attention and avoid my impossible days.

Otherwise, I should be able to get together just about anytime

I'm not going to give you any help here. Read my mind.

Why don't you suggest something that fits in with your work/teaching/dad schedule and we can figure it out from there.

Rather than suggest something myself, I will hold you at arm's length and require you to suggest something that will earn my interest and attention. Moreover, I will reserve veto power over your suggestion, per the above messaging.


Really, if you liked the guy, you should've just plunged forward. "Hey! It was greet meeting you, too! How about we meet on date X and do activity Y? I'm busy on dates A, B and C because I'm doing D, E and F, but I'd like to get together some time soon, even if it's just for coffee."

If you're interested, show some interest, ya' know?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:43 AM on June 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


CPB is wrong. Don't fall into the trap of overthinking every possible nuance of his email, and of his possible response to yours.

He emailed you spontaneously to say he likes you and wants to see you again. You emailed back saying "likewise." You are both busy people and there are logistics involved in making it happen.

That's all that's going on here, no more, no less. Relax, let things happen as they will. And post something to MeTa letting us know how it turns out!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 4:44 AM on June 30, 2007


I agree with ssF.
posted by iconomy at 4:59 AM on June 30, 2007


Cool Papa Bell's response is fascinating and illustrative of exactly why internet dating can be/is so stressful - can you believe the gamut of responses from people reading your emails verbatim?! Your response is, I think, appropriately blase and volleying right back into his court to set something up with you. I think it conveys that you're trying to test the waters to see just how much he's into you. Which, following the somewhat vague "over the next few weeks" is a reasonable thing. I think you should be confident in your response but definitely don't email him again. It's hard, but remember guys WILL track you down and set something up if they want to see you again. I think generally, their threshold for veto-ing a potential date because she might not "be that into them" is a lot higher than women's. Bottom line, he'll get in touch if he wants to see you again and if he doesn't, it's probably not because of anything you wrote in your email. There are a lot of fish out there (esp. online). Good luck! And if any part of you is annoyed that he'd send a follow up email the next day to you suggesting another date without really intending to make it happen, I'm right there with ya sister. ;)
posted by smallstatic at 5:03 AM on June 30, 2007


Did he already know you're a mom? Maybe he was freaked by your "babysitting" reference.
posted by Carol Anne at 5:46 AM on June 30, 2007


Carol Anne wrote "Did he already know you're a mom? Maybe he was freaked by your 'babysitting' reference."

That's what I thought. Maybe it's mentioned on your Match.com profile but he missed it? Was the subject brought up when you met?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:52 AM on June 30, 2007


I did match. Met my wife on it. And nearly every email I sent while using it, I agonized over every phrase and word choice like I bet that you did. So it's a lot of effort to wrote something because everyone's playing this "did I get it perfect?" game.

He definitely wants to see you again. My bet is that he hasn't had the time/mental energy to respond in meticulous fashion yet. After you see him again, correspondence will get easier and quicker as you get more comfortable. It's not a lot of time yet.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:34 AM on June 30, 2007


Thanks so much everybody! I feel a lot better, regardless of outcome. This dating stuff is just confusing but I'm going to try to relax and stop overthinking things so much. It's good to know I didn't make a major misstep.

Oh, and for those of you who asked, he did know all about the kids, so it definitely wasn't that.
posted by messiejessie at 8:36 AM on June 30, 2007


You're both busy, so maybe he doesn't feel he has to sort it out right away. Both emails are positive about getting together, it sounds like you're off to a good start! Email is such holey communication....
posted by MiffyCLB at 8:58 AM on June 30, 2007


Email leaves a vacuum of understanding, because there is no body language and no sense of a person's vocal tones. People often, naturally, fill that void with worst-case-scenarios and other imaginings. You're just being anxious, which is totally understandable. Try not to overthink things, but if you find you can't help it, maybe it would help to upgrade to making these second date arrangements by telephone.

Also, don't worry about having made some mystery faux pas. Most people aren't characters from Seinfeld and the male species is, on average, pretty uncomplicated in this regard. Any guy who has some magic, unperceivable, shallow dealbreaking trigger isn't worth the effort.
posted by Skwirl at 9:56 AM on June 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


This has sorta been said above, but not quite so specifically, so I want to emphasize it.

In all communication with people, when you want an answer, you need to ask a question. This is especially true of men, who (generally) tend to be less chatty than women, and prefer to get straight to the point.

Your email was very encouraging, and I doubt he took it the wrong way. What probably happened is, he took in the information, and said to himself, "Ok, I'll respond when I have some time free, and we'll set up the next date then."

So, if you want a reply sooner, ask a question. Make sure the question is the last thing before your signature as well, so it stands out. I suggest something like:
John,

I just found a great restaurant/movie/demolition derby I'd love to go to with you. Are you free sometime this week?

See you!
Jesse
This both gives an "excuse" to write other than just to check in (which may or may not seem "desperate" otherwise), and asks a specific question, so you're more likely to get a reply. Oh, and it's better if the event isn't something too time-sensitive, so he doesn't feel bad about missing it if he can't make it. Restaurant = good. Movie/play that ends next week = bad.

Oh, and definitely wait a few days before sending it.
posted by CrayDrygu at 10:19 AM on June 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think it conveys that you're trying to test the waters to see just how much he's into you. ... I think you should be confident in your response but definitely don't email him again. It's hard, but remember guys WILL track you down and set something up if they want to see you again.

I was trying to provide a male perspective with my answer above, and I'd like to double-back and do so here.

This "he will track you down" idea and "volleying balls back into his court" is incredibly passive-aggressive, and that tone shines right through these posts and your email. It just turns guys off, period, especially older guys with kids that probably just don't wanna fuck around. It's all just very counter-productive.

I'm not advocating for reading emails with a microscope ... but if your email dating and you want to show some interest ... Show. Some. Interest.

Don't play hard to get over the Internet. Most of us idiot guys don't have maps. And, of course, we won't ask for directions, either.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:41 PM on June 30, 2007


I was trying to provide a male perspective with my answer above... Show. Some. Interest. Don't play hard to get over the Internet. Most of us idiot guys don't have maps.

Oh, this whole self-deprecating male routine is ridiculous. I'm a guy, and I can detect the subtle display of interest from her email where she agreed to go on a second date! It's not complicated.

Also, you're not that familiar with dating norms based on your earlier post where you said she shouldn't have any "impossible days." It's the norm to have days where you simply say you're not free and don't give a reason. This is actually necessary at this stage, as it gives them the option to date other people without mentioning the details.
posted by jejune at 2:02 PM on June 30, 2007


It's the norm to have days where you simply say you're not free and don't give a reason.

Well, I would respectfully disagree that this is neither the "norm," whatever that means, nor is it effective, personable communication.

Not giving a reason for an absence is quite a passive-aggressive stance. You're saying (without saying it plainly, which makes it passive-aggressive) that you don't consider the act of informing the other person to be worthwhile. It's like saying "you're on a need-to-know basis." It's a subtle denigration. I would wonder that, if in the future you have to break a date, you'll tell me that "something suddenly came up."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:23 PM on June 30, 2007


Well, you did word your email to indicate this week was out - he may not even know how his schedule falls out for next week until closer to the end of it, and is perhaps waiting for the window when you'll be free to email again.

Ultimately, I think the problem is one that others have pointed out - you just said, I'm not available these times, or for at least a week, but after that, suggest away. Since he knows you're busy this week, he may just be biding his time, who knows.

Why not take the bull by the horns and put forth a concrete suggestion?
posted by canine epigram at 8:28 AM on July 2, 2007


DO NOT WRITE A FOLLOW UP EMAIL.

He will write you back or he will not. Or, you will write a follow up email and scare him off. That's the only other possibility. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES will writing an email help.

That is all. Your other questions have been answered above.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 11:25 AM on July 2, 2007


I'm a woman and agree with Cool Papa Bell and especially with JohnnyGunn's "my gut reaction was that his was a little too vague and non-committal and yours was too business like as if you were trying to schedule a conference call".

The 'self-deprecating male' stuff may be annoying but only because there's really nothing to deprecate about being more direct and to the point in these matters and apparently men tend to manage that better, well, erm, except this match.com guy obviously...

So, don't beat yourself up too much about how exactly you worded your email, your new guy could do with some help in being a little clearer himself. But if you're really interested you shouldn't be writing emails with so many conditions on the possibility of a date.

It does come across as if you're testing his willingness to put up with your schedule and it's not very clear how interested you are. Mentioning babysitting problems, using words like "very busy" and "impossible" especially is a little offputting.

Leave out the potential problems part, be more positive, mention simply when you can and want to meet up again, and even better, suggest where and for what yourself, so he has something specific to reply to.


This is not really because he's a man and genetically incapable of getting subtler hints and all that, it's because someone has to do that! especially since you just met, and you're relying so much on email, someone has to be specific and bring up a precise date and activity for a second date, and since contrary to stereotype he hasn't, it should have been up to you. In easy going but straightforward terms.

'I'd really love to go next Tuesday to see/do this/that, want to go together? I'm free next Friday, want to go for a drink/dinner?' simple yes/no questions, that's what you (both!) need.

Now he hasn't gotten back to you, you could try waiting say a few more days, then next week send him a quick email like that, and see if it works, if it doesn't then well just don't waste more time. After all, you already met once, and if he can't make up his mind, in practice, not just words, if he wants to see you again or not, then well your emails are not the problem.
posted by pleeker at 4:37 PM on July 2, 2007


I think it conveys that you're trying to test the waters to see just how much he's into you.

Exactly, but I do think that's a problem, not a good thing. People usually don't like to feel like they're being tested, you know, especially when it comes to dating and it's only the beginning and it's a simple email about plans for a second date...! If you have to test waters do it face to face.
posted by pleeker at 4:41 PM on July 2, 2007


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