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Still waiting for that first call

>Q: I met a great guy (from what I can tell so far) at an event last weekend. We talked for about 20 minutes, flirted with each other, and decided that we wanted to see the potential by going on a date. He asked me for my number and told me he would call to set something up. It has been more than a week and I still haven't heard from him. I don't have his number, so the ball is entirely in his court. Why hasn't he called? Everything seemed to be clicking in all the right places when we first met. It is starting to bother me.

-- B.N., Williamsville

A: Frankly, sometimes there really are extenuating circumstances. Maybe he has some unexpected personal or work issues going on or, although rare, he may have misplaced your number, broke his phone, or lost his wallet, etc. Life happens, and when you put the burden of contact completely on the other person, you lose all control of the situation. If he is serious about seeing you again, he can try to find a mutual contact or look you up on a social networking site. If you have a way of seeking him out, go for it, but do so at your own risk.

It also is possible that he is dating other people and there is someone he is more interested in pursuing. Although it is rude to tell you he'll call and then not follow through, it does happen.

Or, you may have misinterpreted the flirty and interested vibes you were feeling, and he might have asked for your number simply to end the conversation and allow himself to walk away without feeling like a complete jerk. It is a cruel tactic at best and shows how inconsiderate and oblivious people can be to the anxious agony that immature behavior like this causes.

If he was in fact interested at the time, it could be that he woke up the next morning and decided it wasn't going anywhere. We all change our minds, and have every right to do so, but he is wrong and cowardly to leave you hanging. A courtesy call to explain his change of heart would be the right thing to do.

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Hates to date

Q: I have been single for a few years and I have only dated a few times. I absolutely hate dating and I am wondering if there is any other way to find love. I get nervous and awkward, and I fear the rejection of someone not wanting to see me again.

-- M.M., Buffalo

A: If you want to find love, you need to make it a priority and put yourself out there. Sorry to say, but dating in some form is absolutely necessary. You are right, it can be awkward and uncomfortable, but there are huge benefits to going on dates, even when there is no romantic chemistry with some of the people you're meeting.

Dating forces you to step outside of your comfort zone, and therefore offers incredible opportunity for personal growth. If you choose to not date, you'll be forever avoiding interactions with potential mates while making excuses as to why you're still single.

Dating also will help you work out the kinks in your communication skills and open your eyes to the things you need to work on in order to be ready for love when the opportunity presents itself. It is a great way to learn a lot about yourself and what works for you. You also will begin to find comfort in the fact that you are taking the necessary steps to find love, and you can stop panicking about how on earth you're going to meet someone. You are being proactive, and it sends the message to the universe that you are truly ready for the right person to come into your life.

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Patti Novak owns Buffalo Niagara Introductions (www.buffaloniagaraintro.com). E-mail questions to queencitymatchmaker@gmail.com and include your initials and hometown.

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