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Know When to Hold ‘Em, Know When to Fold ‘Em

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I have received many comments on my articles from women who seem not to know when a guy is just not interested in them. It really is surprising that women still don’t realize when a guy doesn’t have a great deal of interest in them or has lost interest. Here are five common situations that women find themselves in and can’t understand what is really happening:

Why did he take my number and not call?

There are several reasons a guy would do this. Perhaps the two of you were engaged in a nice conversation and he felt obligated to take the number. Sometimes guys have conversations with women, but really aren’t interested in dating them. They foolishly ask for a girl’s number knowing that they have no intention of ever calling them. A guy feels that he would be offending the woman if he didn’t take the number so he asks for it anyway.

A guy might also have been looking to only hook up with a woman that evening. Instead, he met a girl who engaged him in conversation or even some kissing. Oftentimes, the guy just wanted a little action and when he realizes it’s not going any further than that, he will simply ask for the number as a way of being able to leave gracefully.

We had a great first date. Why didn’t he call me after that?

It is not always easy to know if both parties enjoyed themselves on the date and had sincere interest in each other. Perhaps one person did and the other didn’t. Maybe one sees the other as just a friend due to a lack of physical attraction or something else. Either way, “good” first dates aren’t necessarily good for both parties.

A woman should wait to hear from the guy after the date. If she doesn’t hear from him, he simply isn’t interested. If he waits a week, he has marginal interest no matter what his excuse is for waiting a week to call. A guy who has interest in seeing a girl for a second date will call within three days.

I had sex with him, but he hasn’t called me in a week.

Hopefully you didn’t sleep with him on the first date because he isn’t going to call you. Move on. He used you for sex and has no interest in dating you. Chalk it up to experience and move on. Just don’t do it again.

However, if you have been dating and sleeping together for a while, then something is wrong. Feel free to call him and find out what happened. He owes you an explanation for why he is acting like an ass.

Why do I (the woman) always have to call HIM and ask HIM out?

You don’t and you shouldn’t. If you can’t figure out what is wrong here, shame on YOU. He doesn’t take you seriously and only has marginal interest in spending time with you. When a guy continues to act aloof, he really isn’t interested and you should move on to bigger and better things.

We have been dating for almost three months and he hasn’t committed to me?

This situation is a little different than the ones above. In this case, it’s time for a conversation. Be direct and to the point. If you want a committed relationship, three months is the time to discuss it. If not, go with the flow. Specify exactly where you see the relationship going. His timetable might be a little different than yours, but ask him about his feelings and where he expects the relationship to go.

It’s easier said than done but you need to think with your head and not your heart. Consult your friends because they can view your situation objectively and will usually be able to give you good advice. If you are not getting what you want in a relationship, move on. It is easier said than done, but being in a bad relationship is much worse than having no relationship at all. 

I appreciate all of the comments and emails I have been getting over the past few months. Should there be a topic you would like me to write about in the future, please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.

After being a bachelor for many years and counseling his friends about dating, Brad Berkowitz, who is now a JDate Success Story, decided to write the book, The 21st Century Guide to Bachelorhood: Lessons Learned Over 20 Years, to help other men navigate the dating scene. To purchase the book, click here! For more articles by Brad, click here.
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13 Comments »

  • Laura says:

    Lori G

    I agree with you, Robin is a wimp. I am sure he is not a gentleman. He expects a girl to call him? Well, that’s why he is still on the site and will be forever. NO girl will call him. He doesn’t look like George Clooney and his views are absolutely wrong.

    This article is directly on point.

  • Lori G, FL says:

    I agree with Brad’s comments, and most of Robin’s comments. However, Robin, if a guy doesn’t take charge, he is a wimp and has no backbone. A guy must take control early. I am a strong woman, but like my man to be strong too. I actualy read Brad’s book, and while it is a little sexist, has many valid points, and is actually very funny.

    I have no problem asking out a man, but rather choose to show him some interest and let him take the lead. He will know I like him. If he doesn’t act, he is a wimp and not for me. Many comments above are from lazy guys waiting for women to make the first move. That’s why you guys are still here.

  • Robin Ader says:

    Rachel – Thank you. There are women fully competent to take control of their relationships, and as a man, I find it refreshing to hear a woman speak up.

  • Frank says:

    Brad, first read Robin Aders comments carefully. You are giving some archetypical examples of male behavior, which I believe most of us are aware of. Such examples are only of value to women if you explain where the roots of these instincts lie in the reflexes of men. Only if you dig deeper are these type of comments going to helpful to both men (to understand themselves) en women (to better understand men).

  • Rachel Goodman says:

    I found these comments to be really sexist, who say’s that it is the guy who needs to always call the girl, and that the girl should wait by the phone?

  • Mike says:

    Am I the only one that thinks most of this article is only pertaining to certain experience. I understand there are men like that out there, but I think it’s a little too personalized. I mean yes these situation can happen and are plausible, but the fact of the matter is not all guys are like that. I know I’m not. yeah he says sometimes in the beginning but the rest of it is a bit much. and that’s my rant of the day.

  • al neuman says:

    Brad:

    Kudos for accuracy and honesty–as a guy, agree with essentially everything you said. Should be required reading for women in the dating game.

  • Robin Ader says:

    Brad – I appreciate your trying to distill this for your female readers, but you’ve fallen into the “men are pigs” pitfall. Men are people, too. You start with a valid premise — Mars/Venus — but choose to resolve it via a 20th century paradigm. It’s time for women, who claim they’re always in charge anyway, to take charge in the relationship. To claim that a man “…used you for sex…” is ludicrous. Perhaps the woman — I hope this isn’t anathema to your experience — enjoyed the sex, too. Women can call men. I get emails from women. Why would I be surprised to get a call? Why can’t a woman say, “Hey, if you’re not really going to call, I’m not giving you my number.” Further, rather than give a man her number, a woman should ask for his cell number and call him right there on the spot as a way to “give him her number.” Then, she has his number as well. Put him on the spot. If he declines, then the question is answered. WOMEN: 30 minutes into the date, make your decision and ask him for his. If he hesitates, thank him for his time, get up and leave. A man does not need more that 5 minutes to decide if he’s going to ask you out again.

  • gerry says:

    I’m struck by the almost subliminal “male” (or at least female vs male) view of dating. Men should call women & likewise, women should men for date follow-ups. Welcome to the post modern era, there are no “roles” anymore! Oh sure, women can wait for men to call…& then women get the their mother’s dating dynamic. People, call the other. Don’t be afraid or stand on archaic gender ceremony. Just as u would for job search, you’ll get the answers u need & can move on if must. Hey, shouldn’t we also be equal on date costs & decisions. No? Hmmm, I wonder why not & what results. Can u say “granny rules”?

  • David says:

    How about the reverse column – the date goes well and the guy calls the girl for a second date but she doesn’t return his call? That happens plenty too and guys aren’t the only ones guilty of this behavior.

  • Paul says:

    I recently saw for the first time a film called The Invention of Lying where we witness a date where only brutal, nonjudgemental truth is spoken. Unfortunately the film missteps into preaching atheism but that’s besides the point. On a first date, the common default goal of both parties is to make a good impression. This can either mean taking a “resume” approach about yourself, highlighting all you believe is positive, or taking the listening approach to best gauge the other person. Brad is dead on regarding asking for her number. Men are led to believe, erroneously, that a woman’s ego is more fragile so we do it out of a sense of old school chivalry. Then there is Sally’s question to Harry: “Can a man be friends with a woman without wanting to sleep with her?” Harry’s response does not speak for all men nor myself. Sometimes I find a woman’s personality and conversation so engaging that I want to see them again, but that chemical “click” isn’t there. There’s the rub. To call or not to call? Can JDate also serve as a venue to form legitimate friendships vs. romantic relationship? I would like to hope “yes.” I honestly don’t have an answer.

  • David in IL says:

    I can relate to this well-written article. I broke up with a woman, but wasn’t clear enough to her. I was not fair to her and led her on. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I left her hanging. I learned something from this article, thank you.

  • Lisa says:

    Brad, I really enjoy your articles. You write honestly from the heart. I look forward to your next piece of advice. I am tired of reading all of those cooking articles.

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