She asked me out, again. We went out, again. And once again...

Last weekend I was awakened by three text messages from B., with whom I had two awkward dates in the past. She told me that she was getting settled in at a new job, life was calming down, and she wanted to get together with me soon (dinner, some activity…) This was a surprise. I had pretty much written her off, after deciding (and with that thought reinforced by the SDMB community) that sending her an email to cut through my confusion would not get a good response.

She actually was swamped by work for much of that time.

And so, just like a couple of years ago, we went out on Thursday night. The plan was originally for Wednesday, but work deadlines slammed her again (“but I really want to reschedule,” she said). Unlike the last time, things went really well. Both of us were better conversationalists, in a healthier place in our lives. We talked for a long time, and had a very nice rapport. At the train platform, her train arrived as soon as we arrived, with a long gap until the next one, so we had to separate very quickly. I gave her fingers a little squeeze as we parted.

Per my therapist’s advice, I made my follow-up offer (ice skating on the weekend) via text the next afternoon, and then, since people are attracted to scarcity, I have done nothing but wait.

And now, like last time, I wait for a response, and wonder. It’s been almost 48 hours, with no response. Also, since I coincidentally discovered her OKCupid profile last year, I noticed that she signed on again after more than a month, and was answering those profile-building questions.

So, what is going on? My therapist says that B. understands and enjoys the “game” that I do not comprehend, and that I should simply wait until, true to form, she comes around, but I should not project instant availability.

Is there anything else I’m missing? Does this sound familiar to anybody else?

The waiting is supposed to be between your date and then asking her out for another one, not after you ask her.

She may be playing games, but sitting on a text for 48 hours seems a bit excessive even in that context.

I think your therapist has some good advice.

It appears like she is starting to date again after taking a break. Dating can be fun- you get to meet a lot of new people, explore the city, and have different kinds of experiences. It’s probably fairly likely that she’s just enjoying dating right now, and not currently looking to move in to an exclusive committed relationship. She’s probably also seeing what’s out there. Smart people don’t instantly glom on to the first available opportunity. They take their time, have fun with it, weigh there options and only move forward when they are good and ready to move forward. Not every woman is desperate to lock it in. Sometimes we just want to relax and take things as they come.

Where does that leave you? Well, none of us have any way of knowing. She may be in to you but preferring to move slowly. She may be treating you as a “practice date” to get back in the groove (and sometimes that can turn into a relationship, depending on how things go.) She may just be bored and have your number handy.

You don’t know, we don’t know, and there is nothing any of us can do about. Certainly, being “ever available” isn’t going to help. All that can do is potentially waste your time and energy if she’s just hanging out with you because it’s easy.

My advice is to branch out and explore all your options as well. Live you life, let her live her life (stop stalking her OKCupid profile!) and let it be seen if your lives come together. And stop focusing on this one person. There world has no shortage of women. Date as many of them as you can, and see what does and doesn’t bloom into more.

Also, remember it’s not really about a “game.”

People prefer relationships with people who have rich, fully developed, active lives. That sort of person is much more likely to be emotionally stable, have social traits associated with success, and generally be more interesting and fun to be around. These people are also likely to be fairly busy and really balance their dating with the rest of their lives, which makes them a little less available than the kind of person who spends all day at home waiting for the phone to ring. So people are going to read in to your lifestyle based on your communication patters, and they are going to prefer potential partners who appear to have balanced personal lives.

Ideally, the best way to achieve this is to actually have a rich, fully developed, active life. If you are having trouble with being “too available,” the best thing to do would be to work on enriching your life. “Playing games” is just a make-do measure when you don’t really have that option.

This probably isn’t her issue, but when I do that kind of thing, it’s because I’m *trying *to be interested in the person because it seems like a good idea and I like them as a person, but just don’t feel that spark. So I’ll try every so often and then try to force myself to call them back or whatever, and eventually I just can’t talk myself into it.

I think your therapist has given you the answer you are looking for and I think it’s the right one.

You pay your therapist for advice. Advice you get here is free. You be the judge. :slight_smile:

I believe the therapist said, “the game”, not “a game”. It’s a whole other thing.

Good point. I still think “game” is a pretty negative word that implies that things are somehow arbitrary and adversarial. It’s healthier to think of dating as a process, or a set of steps where most of the steps have a pretty good reason for being there, rather than as some sort of made-up game.

I agree, dating is not a game. It is a dance.

Agreed. I suppose it all depends on the players and the cards you’re dealt. :wink:

<hums Kenny Rogers song… >

You’ve done the appropriate thing by not following up with another text. If she’s interested in you, she’ll text you back. In the meantime, consider yourself available.

Don’t get too hung up on this woman, and do date other people. Don’t write her off, either - she might truly be interested, and truly busy with work and stuff. My gut instinct, however, is that people who are interested in each other and want to be together usually get together pretty easily - it shouldn’t be this hard.

Yup. Ball’s in her court. Continue dating other people, she almost assuredly is.

Agree with everyone else (I think if I read everyone correctly).

Don’t text her until she contacts you.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing (I know it’s hard not to take it personally).
Don’t wait around for her.

Even if she likes you - she might just be trying her other options. She may have answered those questions just to see who OKC would match her with.

I know it’s hard - try and look at it as a mental challenge - continue working on yourself - the rest will follow.

This is all very educational. If anything I say here seems trite, it’s because I’m essentially missing one of my senses when it comes to this sort of thing. I’ve been bashing my head against this wall for about fifteen years, and I still don’t understand. I can chalk up the early problems to depression, but I’m a lot less depressed now, and still failing.

You’re right, it shouldn’t be this hard. Briefly, I’ve noticed what it’s like when people get together pretty easily. The woman from the first such occurrence now says, regarding me and relationships, that “it never seems natural!” This time, it seemed perfectly natural. B. was interested in me, which is why she asked in 2010 and again last week. I was interested as well, which is why I accepted. Then, after spending some time with me, she stops responding.

That’s why I bother to write here about it. When my ex tells me that I have so much to offer (except parenthood), when therapists tell me that I just have a negative self-image, when other friends say there’s nothing wrong with me, why does this keep happening, especially this time, when it really seemed like it would be different?

My guess - do you think at the end of your dates (where you are interested) that your date knows you will ask her out?

If the answer is yes - that may be it. She should think you had a good time, but there should still be a little mystery as to whether you will ask her out again.

I know that seems gamish - it isn’t - it’s attraction and you have to be aware of the signals you are giving out. I am taking an educated guess here - of course I don’t know you and am not trying to be a prick.

It could just be bad luck. I know people that are pretty desirable that have problems finding someone.

Women can smell even small amounts of desperation on a man, and they will usually avoid men who give off this vibe. There is an entire subtext to dating and male -female relationships that cannot be readily distilled down to words.

With respect to the current scenario you HAVE to stop obsessing over one woman or one date. Not calling you back usually means she’s following up on a better opportunity and wants to see where it leads. She owes you nothing. Yes it would be polite if she responded, but there is no moral obligation for her to do so.

In her mind If she was *really *interested in you she would get back to you fairly quickly. This is simply the way the world works. Male self reliance and self confidence are the most powerful aphrodisiacs for women bar none. Unless you can communicate to women that you are your own man and not entirely dependent on other people’s approval for your self worth they will not respect or desire you. I know this is a chicken and the egg, but you have to break the cycle of self abasement if you want some play.

After far too many years of dating, the only thing I’ve learned and think I know for sure is this: if a man or a woman is really into you, he or she will close the fuckin deal. You won’t have to sit on eggshells waiting to find out. If you do find yourself sitting on eggshells, waiting, waiting waiting, forget it. He or she is not really all that into you.

“Women can smell even small amounts of desperation on a man, and they will usually avoid men who give off this vibe.”

They can also smell even small amounts of perspiration on a man.

Sorry. I couldn’t help it.

Seriously. This should be a sticky.