We’ve all been put in the position of the dating waiting game. You know the game. You go out on a great date and then wait for them to call you back, or you send them a message and wait for a response for what seems like forever, or you reach out one way or another and are stuck waiting for something, ANYTHING. You wait by the phone, you check it often, you have your friends call or text to make sure it still works. You know you’ve done it. I won’t lie, I used to be guilty of this too. Not only does it give you anxiety, it can ruin your day or week. So what do you do? How do you deal? I’ve been asked this question on several occasions, and, experienced it myself. Here’s what I advised one reader.
Dear Single Dating Diva,
I’ve been dating with no success for many years. Time and again I meet men who I get along with but it never really ends up in anything but anxiety. Sometimes I get the call back but most often times I do not. My question is how long do I wait for someone to call back? Does the 3 day rule still apply to call back after a date? Should I just text them without waiting for them? I’ve sometimes taken the initiative and other times I haven’t with the same result.
Am I doing something wrong? I’m so frustrated at this point it’s driving me crazy. What do I do? Help!
Dear Dating Waiting,
Thank you for your question. I completely can relate and understand your frustration. We’ve all been there, I’ve been there. I know how much anxiety it can cause a person. The problem isn’t them, though, it’s you. How so? It’s how much weight you’re attaching to this callback and the emotional investment you’re making too early on. The answer lies in focusing on the process NOT the dating outcomes. How so? Well, I’ll explain.
Dating Waiting Game: Let’s Get Real
When you go on your first couple of dates it’s easy to get carried away if you really get along with the person and click. Add chemistry and attraction to the equation and you’re done for. That’s when your standards and logic go out the window and in flies expectation, excitement, impulsiveness and irrationality. Why is that a problem if you both really like each other? Well, in theory it shouldn’t be, but, realistically it matters a lot. When you get caught up you lose sight of what’s really happening and see things how you want them and not always how they really are. So when you have a great date with someone, you expect them to call back, because they had a great time too. Right? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. You really don’t know.
Many people are serial daters who enjoy that initiation part. They are addicted to the excitement that comes from meeting someone new and clicking with them on the first date and the fireworks that they want to do it over and over again dating multiple people. This isn’t everyone, but there are many out there who are like that. There are also others that just went home and realized that perhaps you weren’t the right one for them or they went on a date with someone else and clicked more with them than you. You don’t know, that’s the thing, and you probably will never know.
Dating Waiting Game: Should I Contact Them
I am a big believer in sending a “thank you text” the next day after a date, especially if I had a good time and see potential. I will usually send a text or message to say: “Hi. I just wanted to say thank you for the coffee and great conversation. Take Care, Suzie.” Yes, as a woman it’s OK to contact them the next day. It’s polite to say thank you and paints you in a positive light. Just don’t make it a big conversation or send anything lengthy or be clingy or over text. Send your brief message and leave the ball in their court. I asked many men what they thought of that, if it was a turn on or turn off and they said that either way it’s a positive thing. It will open the door to date two or shut the door completely. If they like you they will take it as encouragement to proceed. If they weren’t interested anyway they will be cold or vague in their response (if they respond at all) but what’s important is that you were polite and reached out. You didn’t throw yourself at them, you were just thanking them. So, in my opinion, it’s a win-win for you.
Truth is that if someone wants to be with you it doesn’t matter what you do they will still want to be with you, so don’t beat yourself up about anything you do. Enough with the “play hard to get” bullshit. We’re not kids playing games, we’re grown adults. If I like someone I tell them. Why not? If he can’t handle it or it “turns him off” then too bad for him. He obviously isn’t as in to me as I thought he was. I believe in giving people their space and enjoying the process of dating, but not making him chase. I do believe in having my own life and not dropping my life for them if I just met them and they haven’t even committed yet (that just turns out disastrous on the most part). I also believe in not turning them away just to make them sweat a little or make them jealous. What happens when someone really wants something and you make them work hard for it? On the most part when they get it they’re not interested anymore. It’s lost its appeal. Playing hard to get is just that, it’s playing childish games and I’m not a child AND I don’t want a child. Neither should you. All those “rules” that were set about when to call or show interest or whatever don’t apply anymore. What is important is that you know your standards and live by them. Be true to you.
Dating Waiting Game: Attitude Adjustment
OK, so what do you do then when you’re dating waiting? What you do is be yourself and get your expectations in check. A first date is a time to get a feel for someone. There are no guarantees, even if you had the best date ever. So the only thing you can do is take it at face value. See things as they are and NOT how you’d like them to be. Appreciate the good time you had with them and hope for the best but don’t expect anything to come of it. Remember it’s people’s actions and not their words that matter most. Stop emotionally investing early on and enjoy their company and move on until they give you a reason to stay for a while. Focus on what’s within your control and trust that things will fall into place where they need to be and wait for NO ONE. Plain. Simple.
Hope this helps!
Readers: What do you think about the dating waiting game? What would you do in this situation?
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
Copyright Single Dating Diva