TL;DR: Ladies, don’t play “Whac-A-Mole” with a man when he’s trying to plan dates with you over text messaging. If you don’t like his suggestions, give him a counter offer; if you don’t want to see him anymore, tell him instead of drifting away.
Ladies, let’s talk about making date plans through texting. One of my male colleagues at my day job was seeing someone for a couple of months and received what he considered a “disconcerting” text.
I won’t give you the details for privacy’s sake, but he was basically trying to keep up the momentum by seeing if she was available during the upcoming weekend. She said she was unavailable but provided neither a reason nor a counter offer (that is, when she’d be free next).
I didn’t have enough deets to tell him what she might be thinking, and I was trying to avoid judging this person I didn’t know. But the mystery really ruffled our feathers like nails on a chalkboard. It seemed like she was going to ghost him, but I welcomed the possibility that something big and distracting came up that she was failing to communicate. It happens, and I told him that.
Regardless, while certified life coaches are trained to ask their clients open-ended, empowering questions to help them arrive at their own answers, this incident inspired me to go into impassioned “consulting” mode. Here, I share some ridiculously simple, common-sense advice for either keeping up the momentum in a budding relationship or wasting less time in one. Read on.
I might get penalized for saying this, but we were witnessing a habit I see more often in women than in men. Men will suggest date plans, then women (not all, but many) will play “Whac-A-Mole” with those suggestions and seem to expect the guy to read their mind and keep suggesting plans until something sticks. Otherwise, they might be hinting that they’re not interested anymore.
Here are a couple of examples of the dating version of “Whac-A-Mole” I’m talking about:
Man: Are you free this weekend?
Woman: Sorry, I’m busy this weekend.
Man: Interested in a hike?
Woman: Sorry, I need to stay off my left foot for a while.
Man: Okay, well, I’ve been eyeballing this new Korean BBQ place. How about that instead?
Woman: I’m actually vegan, so that wouldn’t work for me.
Now, if this were a work conversation and your boss wanted your constructive feedback, how much would it serve the organization (or, in this case, two adult humans) to complain, critique, and basically play the “No” game instead of “Yes, and…” (improv game) without providing a solution?
Here’s how you can turn those conversations around:
“I’m busy this weekend, but I’m free Tuesday night if that works for you.” [Momentum sustained!]
“How about watching some old movies at my apartment instead?” [Momentum sustained!]
Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it? I need one of those “That was easy!” buttons.
Now, you might be thinking that maybe she’s not interested in the guy anymore. That’s certainly possible, and for that, I have a solution: She needs to be fucking honest with him, because it’s the fucking mature thing to do.
“Thank you so much for everything, but after thinking about it, I’m not sure we’re compatible.” Then wish him well. If he overreacts, then good riddance!
Fuck, even ask for feedback so you can perform better on future dates! You would at work, so why not in your romantic life?
I know if can be hard to break the cycle with someone you barely know. Given the world we live in, those big balls of testosterone-driven cells can be scary and aggro if they get an undesirable result from you. But how much can you agree with me when I say it’s better to be forthright and not waste your time (since time isn’t promised) than to let a guy keep pursuing you because he didn’t pick up your indirect signals? How would you feel if we flipped the script and he led you on or Whac-A-Moled you?
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