Q.A reader writes, “I went out with a guy and we really liked each other and made plans for next week. He called me everyday and was very interested. However, right now I am in the midst of my last two weeks of school, and I have so much work that I rescheduled our date for another time, and it turned out that I couldn’t make it again. It wasn’t really my fault, I was just so exhausted and I had to leave early the following day to go to another state for two days. So, I said we should hang out again when I come back. I also talked to him that night for over an hour on the phone (To show him that I liked him but that it did not make sense to meet that late).
This second time, I really didn’t cancel. It was a mutual decision because it was very late by the time we were done working, and it didn’t make sense to go out at that point. However, again, we spent time talking on the phone. I also thought he was being too pushy, he was calling me everyday. One day in particular, he even called twice just to say “Hello”.
Today I called him and he didn’t call me back. I bet he thinks I was ditching him, but this is not the case, I like him a lot. However, I really am serious about my last year at school, and he has been done with school for a long time now, and I don’t think he can understand my situation. I can go out with him next week and I will make sure I have time but what can I do now if he thinks I don’t care, or thinks that I am playing with him? Do you think I should wait and see if he calls me back? If he does not call, should I call him and tell him what I wrote to you, or should I just wait until I am done with finals in two weeks and then call him?”
A.What you need to do is make a real date. A real date includes a definite time and day. Just saying, “We’ll get together another time” leaves an open-ended, unanswered question – When? If that question is not answered, to the other person, it might seem that you are not serious, and understandably so.
Pull out your calendar and decide when you can definitely make it. Hopefully, you can make it sometime within the next three weeks. (A date about once a week is average and would be better). Keep calling him until you get him live on the phone. If you cannot get him live, leave a message on his machine with the day, date, and time, and ask him to call you back and confirm. If he calls back, great.
If he takes a definite step forward in the dating dance and asks for a real date, you must accept or counteroffer with another real date. Otherwise, you are taking a step back and telling him you don’t want to dance.
If you don’t have a specific time and day, you may think you have a date, but you really don’t. It’s not rocket science.
If you want to play in somebody’s sandbox with them, you should play nice. It’s best to make an appointment before lover-boy fills your time slot with another playmate. If that happens, just like getting sand kicked in your face, it’s going to sting.