I’m having trouble deciphering whether a woman is generally interested in me, it she’s being nice. First date seemed to go well, and throughout the next week we exchanged fun and somewhat flirty (more on my end) texts. When I asked her out for a second time she said she should be available. The day of the date, she asked for a raincheck, that she couldn’t make it out because she was tired and she was going on vacation. Since she didn’t follow that up with any indication that she wanted to get together when she got back, I just wrote her off as not that interested in me, and moved on. But she continued to text me (unsolicited) everyday she was on vacation. I would think if she definitely wasn’t interested, she wouldn’t text me while she was on vacation. So I’m wondering: should I bother asking her out again? Are women still in that ‘the man must make EVERY move mode’ or am I overthinking?
The above is a letter from a reader of the blog And that's why you're single. It's something I, too, have experienced. Perhaps other readers out there have also been through this.
In February and March, I had three dates with a woman who's company I enjoyed, and with whom I felt a decent amount of attraction. We shared a lot of common interests, had similar attitudes about values, and generally seemed to live our lives in a similar way. The conversations we had flowed well, and things seemed to be moving in a positive direction. And then she pulled the "I'm really busy" card. Which she was. But which I also figured was a sign that she wasn't interested. However, I then would receive e-mails from her asking me how I was, what I was up to, and saying she was hoping to get her classwork and some other things finished in a week or two, and then we could get together again. The first two times, I responded back with some details about how I was, and asking her to let me know when she has some time, so we could schedule another date. Then, a week went by, and then another one, before I got a short message that sounded exactly like the previous ones. At this point, I'm thinking "she's not really interested. She's probably just hoping to keep me around as a hang out option." So, I just let it go without response.
Here is the first paragraph of blogger Moxie's response to the letter writer above:
She’s waiting for you to ask her out. I’ve mentioned this before, but I think there are a lot of people out there – men and women – who do something similar. They go out with someone once or twice, then cancel the second or third date. Then they sit back and wait for the other person to follow up with them and ask them out. Often times, but not always, it’s a test. They want to see how interested the other person really is. They cancel plans, truly believing their ill or sleepy or busy but actually could go meet the person. They’re waiting for the other person to chase them to some degree.
I have to say the whole "chasing thing" rather ticks me off. I'm not into games, and I'm not going to play the mind-reader either. In fact, when I get the vibe from a woman that she wants me to chase, I'm much more likely to walk away than anything else.
The way I see it, there's a difference between making an effort to demonstrate your interest and chasing. Chasing is always a one way street. One person is expected to prove something to the other person before anything will go further. Which is very different from a mutual effort where both parties do something, say something, or otherwise express something that shows an interest in the other.
Although Moxie writes that both men and women do this, I feel it's more common amongst women because of the old socialization we're all muddling through around gender roles. There's still a sense that it's sexy for a man to keep calling, keep writing, keep pressing for dates, all the while tossing sweet comments in the woman's directions. It's tied in with the whole financial set of expectations around men paying for dates to express their interest and level of potential commitment.
However, some of this is changing, and for men, employing THE CHASE is a mixed bag tactic. When I was younger, I employed a level of chasing towards a few women I was interested in. And honestly, it was mostly a flop. In fact, one got downright irritated at the extra attention I was offering, and basically stopped talking to me. It's really difficult to not look like a stalker in such cases, if someone either isn't sure they are interested in you, or doesn't like to be pressured.
And that gets to another point: I don't like to be pressured, and I don't like it when someone seems to be trying to sell me something. And that's what chasing feels like. You're upping the attention towards someone to sell them YOU as a partner.
Once I realized that, I simply stopped. No more chasing. If I show some interest, and put in my share of effort and there's no response from the woman in question, I move on. End of story. If someone is naturally shy, I might put a little more time and effort in, but at some point, there has to be some kind of positive response. And frankly, if someone wants to run me through a bunch of hoops, she's probably not right for me anyway.
That's my take. What about you?