Don't tell me you're interested and you'll call when you're not and you won't!

A couple of weeks ago, I met someone who I thought was a really cool guy. He was the ASL interpreter for a student who took my lab section for one week. (I teach 2 sections of an introductory biology course at my university. The university doesn’t have classes on Martin Luther King Day, which was on a Monday. All the students who ordinarily have labs on Monday had to reschedule for that week. This particular student ordinarily had a Monday lab, but my Thursday section fit his schedule for the week of MLK Day.)

The interpreter came in early to scope out the room. I was organizing papers, getting my stuff together to teach the recitation part of the period, etc. We ended up talking, and found out that we had some things in common. I got the impression that he was a really neat person (and he was attractive to boot!) He seemed to be enjoying the conversation and to be interested in me, too. The bell rang, and I went through my usual thing–recitation, running around from bench to bench, helping students, etc. Because the student he was helping finished his lab before the end of the period, the student and the interpreter left early. I couldn’t, of course, ask him for his phone number in front of my students. After a slightly awkward goodbye (he hung around in the doorframe and didn’t seem all that eager to leave), he and the student took off.

A few minutes later, I went out into the hallway to see if I could catch the guy when there were no students around. I found him at the water fountain; everyone who had left the room with him had left the building. I asked him if he’d like to go for coffee some time, and he gave me an enthusiastic “Yes!” I gave him my e-mail and phone number, which he seemed very happy to recieve. He asked me if I would be around during the weekend, and I told him I would. He said he’d call me.

The weekend came and went. No e-mail, no phone call. The next week came and went. No e-mail, no phone call, once again. Today, I had to go into the area where we run labs because I needed to talk to the person in charge of the lab facilities. I ran into the interpreter guy. He went out of his way to not make eye contact with me, and when he did finally look in my direction, the expression on his face told me very clearly that he didn’t even want to recognize me, let alone speak to me. I smiled and tried to give him a quick greeting, but, of course, he pretended not to hear or see me at all, even though I was only a few feet away from him.

What the hell?! Look, I understand that not everyone I like is going to like me back. And I understand that you’re probably cute enough and interesting enough to get a better-looking, younger date. (In the looks department, I’m not all that notable; my face neither launches ships nor stops clocks. It doesn’t help that I’m invariably dressed in old jeans and a loose sweatshirt that looks like it’s been munched upon by pit bulls. But, hell, I’m teaching a biology lab! I’m not going to show up in exquisite Dior silk to help my students dissect worms and make dyed microscope slides!) But that doesn’t mean that you should give me lots of signs that you’re interested when you’re not.

I really don’t understand exactly what happened here. Was it something I said? Did he like me until the weekend came and then changed his mind? Was I too “forward,” as my mother would say? I’d much rather be told honestly that you don’t want to see me than be lied to for the sake of “politeness.”

Sounds like a schmuck.

Complete bullshit. Sounds like it’s his loss.

He’s a child. Don’t worry about it.

I’m sure you’ve got something toxic hanging around your lab - just drop some in his coffee. :smiley:

I had a conversation on this exact subject with a female friend over the weekend. Her question was, “Why do guys say they will call, and then don’t?”

I can’t speak for all guys, but here are my theories. Two different possible scenarios are going on:

  1. The guy has no interest in going out with you, or calling you, and never did. But he also had no interest in an ugly scene in which he directly shot you down and hurt your feelings, to your face. For all their occasional machismo, guys generally don’t like confrontation.

While still disappointing you and hurting your feelings to some degree by not calling, it is less direct, and has a bit less “sting” (and, yeah, it’s easier for the guy).

  1. The guy had a chance to think about things between the time he said he’d call and the time in which he didn’t, and he came to recognize, for whatever reason, it wouldn’t be a good idea. This could have to do with circumstances in his own life and situation, or some nagging perception about you or your circumstances that became more nagging the more he thought about it.

It would have been nice of him to call you to let you know he’d reconsidered going out. But guys can be wimps when it comes to that kind of stuff. It’s been my experience that women are much more direct and honest (sometimes painfully so) in similar situations. Because you were both still on such a casual level, he may have felt his not calling gave you the message clearly enough.

For the record, women in jeans and old sweatshirts are sexy. :slight_smile:

I think that he was a jerk. He was avoiding declining in the 1st place more than likely.

I totally agree with Milossarian on this to.

I’m writing a long memoir (65 pages and going strong) about this phenomenon from a male point of view, because I used to do this ALL the time, from age 16 until I got married in my late 20s. Not exclusively this exact pattern, though I did do what you’re describing, but generally botching up relationships of ALL sorts with a variety of really interesting, charming, sexy women. I can’t post the whole thing (some of these stories are positively sick and funny, usually both) but generally speaking I had some nutty ideas about what I expected a woman to be, and what I expected her to do for my life. Often, weeks after getting out of a budding relationship with some terrific young woman for one stupid reason or another, I would get wise to myself, but feel too ashamed to explain my understanding of why I had behaved badly, if I could even articulate it. Once, I actually sprinted away when I had spotted one of these women a block away from me, because I felt so stupid about what I had done. Later that day, I read a note she’d written telling me how rude and foolish my rapidly retreating ass had looked. It took me well over a decade to understand anything at all about interacting with women, and I often wonder what these women made of me in retrospect. I wish I could apologize to them for being needlessly difficult, but I don’t know if I was capable at the time of behaving any differently.

That’s all by way of saying that I don’t know how much good it does for you to question yourself here. I’m sure young women are screwed up in their own way, but take it from me, no one is as screwed up as guys suffering from advanced testosterone poisoning.

Against all logic, I’m going to step up and tell the truth. I’ve done this on two occasions. Both times, I got the girl’s phone number and verbally committed myself to calling the next day or day after. As it turns out, I didnt call at all, ever. I still both of the girls, but I didnt pretend like I didnt do anything wrong. I did apologize to both of them, but I still havent called. For me, the thing is that I like to talk to alot of girls, and with these girls in particular it seemed as if they were expecting something more in the way of a relationship. This isnt something I want right now, and (granted I couldve handled it a bit better) felt that it would be best not to lead them on. I guess it does come down to a lack of balls in calling and letting them know that you dont want to be in a relationship. But, I did apologize, and I apologize to all women on the behalf of my sex for whatever our selfishness in general. Please be gentle with me…

Oops, scratch that “whatever” in the second to last sentence

Chicks do the same shit. It has happened to me a couple times. I had one chick who was acting all insane about me and then never called me.

I have only done this one time. It was after my one and only one night stand. The sex was awful. I felt guilty about letting myself get into the situation. I really had no intention of calling her. I just felt bad and took her number and told her I would call her in a few weeks when school got done. Few weeks later she called me and I didn’t answer the phone. Still feel oogy talking about it at all.


I’m surprised you went up to him and gave him your email and number without his even asking. I think that may be the problem.
I used to get mad when my mother would say that I should let the men do the chasing, but I know now that it may be old-fashioned, but it’s true. Next time, let him ask. If he’s interested, he eventually will take the first step…

Maybe he’s in a relationship and was just flirting for fun. Then when you gave him your info he got all excited and forgot himself for a minute. He ditched your info as soon as he could so his SO wouldn’t see it. When he saw you again he felt awkward and guilty and that’s why he avoided you.
By the way, as others have said, jeans and an old t-shirt is very sexy.


If you can look good in a pair of blue jeans and a white t-shirt, you will look good in anything, that’s my theory. It’s my favourite outfit for a girl, too, except for maybe some sexy lingerie.

Another possibility is that he has no cojones.

Oh bullshit. As I’ve said time and time again, I had to clober my boyfriend with a club and drag him back to my cave before he figured out I was interested.

Guess what - some guys don’t like forward women, some do. I happen to be a forward woman. Why on earth would I try to act like some shrinking violet, when the reality is that I’m not shy at all? Just to have the guy dissapointed when he finds out what I’m really like?

I may not get hundreds of dates, but the fellas I do go out with appreciate me for who I am, not who I’m pretending to be.

To the OP, I wouldn’t worry about it. I would assume that he got a diagnosis of some non-life threatening, and yet embarassing communicable disease, and rather than going into a long-winded explanation as to why he couldn’t smootch you, he decided to just not call. He probably has a really itchy rash right now. :slight_smile:

Milo, I agreed with everything you said except this:

What planet do you live on?! Of all the women who have ever given me the brush-off (no small number :frowning: ) only ONE simply said “I don’t like you that way.” Ironically, her honesty made me like and respect her MORE, although I simply admired her from afar after that.

I’ll admit that I haven’t been turned down by many older women, so maybe they’re more direct. But all the younger women I’ve know except the one have hemmed and hawed forever, rather than just tell a guy they weren’t interested.

So I feel the OP’s pain. The guy did her a real disservice. I’ve led girls on before when I later realized there was nothing there, but I never acted like they weren’t there, and at least gave them some kind of explanation. It wasn’t always the exact truth (a woman I dated just once smelled weird; how could I tell her THAT?) but I didn’t just treat them as non-entities. If I were th OP I would’n’t waste another second thinking about this guy. Mentally, he’s still in high school.

Maybe he was threatened by being asked out by an intelligent and forward woman? I’m sure many guys are intimidated by any woman smarter than a toad stool. I say, bless you forward women, without which I may never have dated in high school. Ratty sweater and faded jeans…Ummm.

Another possibility, maybe it was the formaldehyde? :wink:

Here is one more perspective, although I think it was touched on in a different way.

He might have chickened out and then been embarassed about not calling. It happens. Trust me.

As to what Monalisa9 said about guys eventually taking the first step, you are wrong. Some guys, maybe even most, will. But I know a lot that won’t. From their perspective, they feel that if the girl is interested, she will take the first step. I’ll bet you can figure out what happens from there.

I had to have this laid on me before I asked my wife out for the first time:

I’m new around here and I really don’t know anyone and I was really hoping that someone would just show me around. It would just be great to find someone to hang out with for a while.

She said all this after we had smiled quite a bit at each other and even talked once or twice.

Well, I wouldn’t want a guy who didn’t have enough nerve to ask me out…I still stand by my original idea…a guy who won’t take the first step is a wuss, and I still think the OP made a mistake by thrusting your # at him…he probably didn’t want it, and then when the you gave it to him, he was so on-the-spot that he said he would call her because he felt he had to.


Hey, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been given the blow-off more than once by women who said they’d call and didn’t. In fact, it happened to me only a few weeks ago, with a very lovely gal that I had big hopes for. I saw her a week later and she gave me the “I lost/accidentally destroyed your number” spiel; took my number again; and didn’t call again.

I can take a hint, if it’s dropped on me from a multiple-story building.

But, back to my point, if 10 percent of women are more direct about not wanting you than simply not calling, that’s probably a higher percentage than the guys. IMHO, guys are far more likely to wimp out and simply not call.

And, yes, I’ve done it before.

Monalisa9 said:

First of all, I didn’t “thrust” my phone number at him. I asked him if he’d like to go for coffee. He said yes. I then asked him if I could give him my phone number. His response was very positive, so I gave him my contact info. It seems to me that if he didn’t want to get in touch with me, then he had plenty of opportunities to either subtly or overtly let me know. And the only reason I left my lab room to find him and ask him out was because there was no way for either of us to invite the other out in front of students. I still had people finishing up their labs, so he couldn’t both be professional and come back into my room to make the first move, no matter how he felt.

Besides, after he’d said that, yes, he wanted to have coffee with me, I told him, “Yeah…I couldn’t ask you in front of students.” He smiled and said, “I know…I couldn’t ask you, either.”

So I don’t think I did anything wrong or untoward, here.