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Aug 20, 2012

The Dangler

I'm a pretty straight-laced guy, so when I go out on a date with a woman and let her know at the end that I had a great time and would like to go out again, I mean it. I also contact her within the next couple of days, at least to chat a bit, build more of a connection, flirt, etc. Either way, I definitely have the next date in mind even if I don't always get "down to business" straight away.

I have come to understand that the process of dating takes time, to wait for a suggestion, consider it carefully, to answer and wait back for an affirmative response, to make contact and compare schedules, to set a date and go out, to talk a day or two later. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Still, sometimes it's too drawn out, like this story about the dangler, who strung me a long for a couple weeks after a first date. 

As I've mentioned, graduate school keeps me somewhat busy on occasion, reducing my available dating time. Summers are often the best and most open time I have, which also makes them the most precious for dating. While I could probably cram in 4-6 dates a week with anywhere between 2-6 women, being straight-laced means (to me) that I'll take it one at a time. I'd rather not compare or cram. 

So, onto the dangler. Our initial contact and phone conversation was great, and we set a time to go out. I thoroughly enjoyed exchanging stories on the date, I happen to think it's a great way to start getting to know each other, and there's always extra points when the stories are funny, shocking or otherwise striking. It's also a great way to slip in some intrigue, a la "remind me to tell you the story about my first experience with peas..."

Unfortunately it was all lateral from there. Lateral as in "sideways," as in "no upwards or downwards movement."

Communication almost immediately became particularly patchy. Texts would sometimes garner little response and other times multiple responses, calls went unanswered but returned via text (and then responded to patchily, as above), she'd selectively answer questions and comments I made. In the two weeks that followed our first date I mentioned talking about setting up another date at least twice, if not thrice, and I would have been perfectly fine if she were not interested. 

At first I wondered if it was a game of hot-and-cold. Personally, I don't have much interest in the game, but I was wondering about it. After about a week, I found my interest dropping, particularly since I experienced a significant drop in receptiveness. You'd think it could indicate her lack of interest, but I didn't sense that. Then I wondered if she was having a busy week, perhaps not unlike some of my own, but I thought she should have said something about that.

And then she did.

"Okay, that happens"  I thought to myself. "I have had busy weeks, I know what it's like. Maybe this week will be better." Meanwhile, a precious week of summer dating time had gone by with nary a date in sight.

And then she did it again.

After twelve days of this, I had pretty much lost interest. I didn't even really want to go out on a second date anymore. Being straight-laced does have its drawbacks, and feeling obligated to stay true to my word and go out again is one of them.

I figured if I didn't have a stellar time and a third date didn't materialize quickly thereafter, I'd wash my hands of the whole ordeal.

Finally, we set a time to talk on the phone. At this point I was pretty much done with chasing her, so we figured out a time and I let her know she can call me, thinking that I wasn't going to keep initiating forever with someone so busy. Let her make time and contact me when she is comfortable.

The call never came, but I did get a text three days later saying she's a bit too busy to date right now. "No kidding," I thought to myself, "I figured that one out on my own, thanks." Then she offered to talk on the phone about it. Having had enough of the dangling, this cat just walked away.

I learned two lessons. First, never tell a woman you'd like to go out again, until you are planning the next date already. Second, if someone you go out with is too busy to schedule another date, just tell them that they seem busy and cut 'em loose. Third, receptivity is #1. Okay, that's three, but the last one is an old lesson anyways. 

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