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It's What They Do Between Dates That Matters

After 4mons of matching, small talk, me unmatching, and us matching again for the 5th time, this guy asks me for my number and to make plans. He seems to find me each time I delete and go back on the apps. We decide to grab a drink the following week. I'm not a big texter, and he isn't either so text on and off until the day we meet. He does let me know that his work schedule is tough given he is understaffed. The first date was a lot of fun. He texts me as soon as he gets home saying he had a great time and would like to see me again. We make plans for lunch 5 days later. Another great date, and again he texts me as soon as he gets home to say he had a great time and asks to plan another date. I responded like I did the first time saying I also had a great time and look forward to seeing him again.

At this point we're texting more often but still not overwhelming which I appreciate. The following day after our second date, I let him know I'm enjoying getting to know him and would like to do more of it. He responds saying he feels the same and looks forward to more to come. But no 3rd date confirmed. A few days later, I ask him when we're seeing each other again. He says since his manager quit, his work schedule is overwhelming and isn't sure when he'll have time but he absolutely still wants to see me and it's hoping it can happen soon. It's been 3wks since we last saw one another.

He still texts me. He still mentions going out again once his work schedule lets up. He keeps me updated on his work, his schedule, and his day to day. I know he wasn't feeling well one week and he worked while sick. He's been working all day but did say he hired some new people and his schedule should be looking better. We're still matched on the app. I'm still going on other dates. Should I still see if that third date ever happens or just let it go? He did apologize for not having much time, and I said I'm not in a rush so all good. However, it's been 3wks and I feel like, if he can't even make time for coffee, then he has no time to date, or more specifically, no time for me. Or maybe he isn't as interested as he let on.

He spent 4mons swiping and matching with me even after I would unmatch. I don't know how to read him.

I know you. You absolutely do know how to read him. That inner-conflict you think you feel isn’t conflict at all. It’s your intuition telling you this guy as well as this entire situation isn’t passing the vibe check.

He gave you a preview of his dating style when you and he matched multiple times and ultimately never met. On four previous occasions, he showed you he had no problem wasting your time. Why should the fifth be any different?

I’ve talked before about the importance of maintaining momentum. When you’re really jazzed not just about a particular person but the potential blossoming relationship, you tend to it as much as possible so it doesn’t wither.

In my opinion, what transpires between the dates is just as if not more important than what happens on the dates. It’s easy to show someone how much you like them when you’re face-to-face. When you’re apart requires more effort. And - no - texting is not effort.

If we learned anything in the hellscape of 2020, it was new ways to date. There are ways to maintain momentum when you can’t have an in-person date. You can Skype or Zoom, play virtual murder mystery games, enjoy a bottle of wine “together” etc. Someone who wants to see if the relationship has legs will do what they can to maintain that momentum.

He did apologize for not having much time, and I said I'm not in a rush so all good.

You might not be in a rush but you do have goals and priorities. Which you should. Wanting this guy to follow through isn’t being aggressive or pushy. I think a lot of women worry they’ll be perceived as demanding - or worse, needy - if they ask a man to make good on his word. That’s not you being pushy. That’s you giving this schlub a chance before you unmatch him. Asking someone to follow through is not being desperate. It’s holding them accountable. There’s a difference.

Let’s be clear about one thing: His hectic schedule isn’t a blip. This is his life. His whole “I’m just suuuper busy at work” shtick is just that. By taking so long to plan the next date, he’s setting expectations. He’s giving you just enough attention to keep you on the hook and convince you he’s still in this. Which he may be. Unfortunately, his version of “in this” is seeing you when his schedule allows and when he feels like making the effort. Trust me. He has the time.

That’s the thing: If they’re truly available and interested, they’ll make the effort. They’ll find a way to maintain that momentum even if they can’t do it in person.

Fuck this guy.

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