In my last blog post, I detailed the saga of a texting encounter that left me unimpressed for two reasons: 1) text-dating is lame; and 2) the texts were each separated by up to 14 whole days of silence. Thanks to my readers for your fabulous and varied advice on how I should respond to his last scintillating text. In the end, I settled upon this:
February 24, 2012 @ 10:51 AM
Hi Bradley… you seem super busy! I’m always up for hanging out with new friends… so just give me a call if your schedule ever opens up. Have a great week!
Not exactly Shakespeare, but it’ll do.
His last text left me hanging on by an emoticon as I grappled with why he continued maintaining contact even though he clearly didn’t want to pursue me in any romantic capacity. After all—as Greg Behrendt says (in so many words) in his bestselling book He’s Just Not That Into You—if a guy likes you, he will call.
I mentioned these sentiments to a male friend of mine from church, who immediately disagreed with my logic. I was beyond intrigued. After bartering for Chinese food, he agreed to let me interview him for my blog.
Meet Brian*, a successful, Christian, handsome businessman in his mid-thirties… who happens to be married to a beautiful wife and has a kid on the way. (Boo!) But, lucky for us, Brian apparently has the memory of an elephant and can recall fascinating details of his single life. So, over a sesame chicken lunch special and those addicting little crunchy noodle things, I asked him questions like the giddy, first-year journalism major still buried somewhere deep inside me.
* * * * *
Ruth: “If a guy likes you, he will call.” What’s your reaction to this statement?
Brian: You’re making the big assumption that men have it all together, that they are brimming with confidence and charm, and aren’t afraid of rejection. I’d consider myself to be intelligent, sometimes funny, maybe quirky, but I’d probably never walk up to a stranger at a bar and introduce myself. It took me four days to draw up enough courage just to call a beautiful, Christian girl that my sister had already set me up with.
Ruth: Here’s another quote from He’s Just Not That Into You: “If he’s not calling you, it’s because you are not on his mind.” Thoughts?
Brian: Untrue. You are on his mind—good or bad. Years later I still reflect back on dates running “what if” scenarios. What if I asked for a second date? What if I grabbed her hand instead of being too chicken? What if I was a little more charming and a little less concerned about life?
Ruth: What are the reasons you might not call a girl that you’re interested in?
Brian: Other than me not being interested, I can only think of one: I didn’t think she was interested in a second date.
Ruth: Why do you think it’s so hard for guys to call?
Brian: They fear being turned down, and having their manliness called into question. No one likes being told that they’re not good enough.
Ruth: Preach it, brother. But, let’s get real—has a girl ever actually rejected you outright?
Brian: No… [Insert Ruth’s laughter]… but there’s a reason for that. I’ve only asked out girls that I knew would say yes. My dating life (and I can only assume the same for some others as well) was a game of getting enough information from women on the phone or date or situation to evaluate whether or not I wanted to ask her out, and if I did, if she would say yes. If there was even a small chance of a no, I’d probably not ask.
Brian: In general, texting can be a great way to communicate quickly. But, c’mon—not for the first few dates when you’re trying to get to know each other. You already have the phone in your hand, just ask Siri to call. A two-minute phone call goes a lot further than 160 characters of text. Maybe it’s just easier for men to handle rejection by text rather than over the phone.
* * * * *
If I apply Brian’s experiences to my little tryst with Bradley, I deduce that Bradley might like me. Won’t change that I don’t want to pursue something with him, but it at least gives me some insight.
Somewhere in between taking a call from his wife and asking the waitress which part of Hong Kong she grew up in, Brian felt obligated to add a couple disclaimers to the interview log: “This is just my opinion,” and “I’m not saying I’m right.” No need for the disclaimers, Brian. Greg Behrendt’s entire book was based on his opinions. My blog is all about my opinion. It’s the beauty of this process—gaining new perspectives and a fresh outlook in an area of sheer mystery for millions—the dating scene.
What do you think of Brian’s thoughts? I’d love to hear your opinion.
Tune in Wednesday for the bonus interview: “Part Two: Finding a Good Apple.”
*Name changed only to protect this really cool guy’s privacy, not because he’s a big chicken.