Is He Hung Up On His Ex Or Just Not Interested?




This guy I went on one date with and had a really good time seems to be very inconsistent. So I just ask him what he’s looking for and he says he’s going with the flow and not actively seeking a relationship since he just got out of one last year but is open to it if he meets the right person. This explains to me the inconsistency. He proceeds to text me here and there to stay in touch but doesn’t really make plans, I then one day ask if he was going to ask me out again or if we were just going to continue talking about nothing. He apologizes and explain how busy he’s been and proceeds to make plans with me. After making those plans he disappears for a week until the day of the plans to ask if we’re still on. I felt annoyed about the lack of follow up and cancel on him in which he felt kind of bad and apologized for not following up since it had been so long. He asks when we can reschedule and I kind of just made excuses to not make more plans. After that, he would still respond to me on social media posts and texts me here and there. I’m not sure what to make of this and what I should do. I feel like he may still be trying to get over his ex while stringing me along. I also felt a good connection to him after that first date too and don’t want to let him go just yet.


Please remember that just because you felt a strong connection on the first date does not mean he reciprocated those feelings. I think much of the confusion borne from these amazing first dates is that we assume the other person was feeling the same rapport and electric chemistry that we were.


I think I know why that happens: oxytocin.


When you’re on a first date, usually you’re both sharing stories and talking about things that interest you. When you have a lot in common with someone, you feel like you know them and start to form a bond with them. That’s when the oxytocin - a hormone necessary for the bonding process - kicks in. Bursts of the hormone can cause a heightened state of emotional or physical connection.


But the haze doesn’t last.


By the time you get home, the oxytocin has worn off. No more rose-colored glasses. Suddenly, the fact they live an hour away or snort when they laugh is a turn-off. I believe that’s why so many people wait for a text that is never going to come after a first date. Either the connection was one-sided or their match had time to think, maybe too much, and decided there were plenty more fish in the sea.


he just got out of one last year but is open to it if he meets the right person. This explains to me the inconsistency.

You’re doing something writers call “head hopping.” You’re presuming to know why he’s behaving a certain way. Understand that you are functioning under a narrative of your own creation. That being, that you and he both walked away from that first date smitten. You can’t say for sure that is the case. In situations like this, we tend to rationalize someone’s behavior to fit our narrative because the alternative is not something we wish to consider.


I then one day ask if he was going to ask me out again or if we were just going to continue talking about nothing. He apologizes and explain how busy he’s been and proceeds to make plans with me.

If you can step outside this for a second, ask yourself how you would respond if someone said something like that to you. Do you think you might feel pressured to give them what they want to diffuse the tension? I think that’s what he was doing. I think he only made plans with you because he felt pressured into doing so. If he’d really wanted to see you, he would have confirmed earlier than the day of the date. He was perfectly fine with the possibility you’d no longer be able to meet. In fact, I think he was hoping you would cancel.


After that, he would still respond to me on social media posts and texts me here and there.

With this statement, I’m inferring that he’s responding to your posts or comments you write on his posts. If that’s correct and if he’s responding to texts conversations you initiate, it’s very possible he’s not breadcrumbing you but you’re breadcrumbing yourself.


By that I mean you’re creating situations where he’s responding to you out of politeness or luke-warm interest but rarely taking the initiative and starting conversations himself. Based on your letter, it sounds like you’re performing the majority of the emotional labor here. Out of the many red flags to look for when you start dating someone, that’s one of the biggest. He simply isn’t making any effort.


If you were to go completely radio silent on him, do you think you’d hear from him beyond some bare-minimum “Hey, how was your weekend?” type thing? If not, then consider the possibility that you’re stringing yourself along. Not the other way around.


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