Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“Did I Ruin My Shot at a Second Date?”

I recently had this text conversation with a guy trying to set up a second date.

Me: Can you hang out Sunday?

Guy: Can I let you know Saturday? I’m swamped with work and might need the whole weekend to myself.

Me: That makes sense, but it seems to answer some unspoken questions that make me think it might not be a good idea after all. Do you want to hang out again?

Me, again (when he took awhile to respond): I understand if you need to rest, but I don’t have the energy for mixed signals. I appreciate honesty.

Guy: Honestly, it is way too early for this conversation, so it’s probably not a good idea.

Youch! I meant to let him know that I was looking for something serious (eventually) and that I’m not okay with being asked to wait around, but I didn’t mean to launch into a “where is this relationship going”conversation that early.

So I have two questions:

1) Can I salvage this without coming across even more needy and dramatic?

2) What’s a lighter, less dramatic way of letting someone know you want to spend time with them while not wanting to wait around for them that won’t be so easily misinterpreted? — Wanting a Second Date

Woah, yeah, you came on too strong, especially for planning a second date. There needn’t be any drama or accusatory tones about mixed signals to get your point across and let someone know you’re interested and that you aren’t ok with being asked to wait. This is how it could have been handled:

You: Can you hang out Sunday?

Guy: Can I let you know Saturday? I’m swamped with work and might need the whole weekend to myself.

You: Sorry to hear you’re swamped at work. Hope the rest of the week eases up a bit. I like to get my weekend plans set ahead of time, so if you’re interested, let me know if the following weekend looks better for you and we’ll go from there. Maybe we can [insert fun idea here].

Now he knows you’re definitely interested in seeing him again but not so desperate that you’ll be waiting around for his call that he’s maybe (or maybe not) available. Clearly, he’s not in any rush to see you because he’s talking about maybe “needing the whole weekend to himself,” because he’s going to be so worn out from his work week, which, I’m sorry, is fucking lame and do you even want to pursue a guy who is going to need to hibernate for an entire weekend after a busy week? Anyway, by using my example, you put the ball in his court without martyring yourself in the least. You’ve given something of a deadline (the following weekend) and even suggested something fun to do. If he’s interested at all, he’ll let you know within a week (or less, hopefully). If not, well, you’ll certainly have your answer by the following weekend without giving him any reason to think he’s dodged a bullet.

As for trying to salvage something with this particular guy, I wouldn’t bother. It doesn’t sound like he was that interested in the first place and now he’s even less so. Learn your lesson from this mistake, don’t beat yourself up about it, and in the future don’t be so quick to accuse someone of mixed signals and breaches of honesty, especially if you’re one date in and whatever signals you’d been getting were lukewarm anyway.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

67 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Moe P August 29, 2016, 8:30 am

    I would honestly run the other way if someone accused me of mixed signals after I had explained pretty clearly where I was date-wise. He does seem like he might not be interested, but also, he could be feeling overwhelmed by his week and can’t think about plans at the moment.

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  • Ettakit

    Ettakit August 29, 2016, 8:45 am

    I took it as he is swamped with work and it might spill over into the weekend, and, if it did he would need to be alone to work all weekend.

    This happens to me a lot lately since my co-worker is on maternity leave, and people are usually very understanding. Sometimes M-F isn’t enough time to get everything done that needs to be finished by Monday.

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    • avatar

      Northern Star August 29, 2016, 9:37 am

      That’s how I read it, too.

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  • avatar

    BecBoo84 August 29, 2016, 8:48 am

    Yikes, that was rough! I would definitely cut your losses with this guy, and try to keep the accusations in check the next time around.

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  • avatar

    Rebecca August 29, 2016, 8:48 am

    “…but it seems to answer some unspoken questions that make me think it might not be a good idea after all.” Damn, girl. That took his perception of your interest from lukewarm to cold, in one partial sentence. I’d have been out of there like a shot, too.

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  • kmtthat

    kmtthat August 29, 2016, 9:12 am

    Yeah, WHOAAAAAAA. As someone who’s been hurt and let down before, I get the need to try to get out in front of things and avoid being hurt but….this is in no way the right approach. You still need to go into dates assuming people are good people and not out to screw you over.
    .
    If someone has said that to me yeah, I would have been like hmmm maybe he’s not that interested. And I would’ve probably said something along the lines of “Sorry you’re so busy! I actually have a lot going on this weekend, so no worries. Let me know if you want to plan something for next week.” And then if he texts you with a solid day/plan, great! If not…let that ship sail.
    .
    And maybe I’m a jerk but I feel like if the woman is putting in all the effort to nail down the day/plans right in the beginning it never ends well.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 August 29, 2016, 9:43 am

      “Sorry you’re so busy! I actually have a lot going on this weekend, so no worries. Let me know if you want to plan something for next week.”

      Yeah I don’t get this answer at all, why would she be all of the suddenly soo busy? Just to save face because he might have to work?
      It is ok to just say something like, “Ugh I hate when that happens at work! Let’s just plan something for next week that way you don’t have to worry about it” Or something like that.
      Why do we have to make it seem like just because he might not be able to hang out that we are so busy anyways, like we have to prove we are popular, and we are the ones that have to make time for him, not the other way around with his stupid busy work schedule.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark August 29, 2016, 10:19 am

        Agreed. Its hilariously phony. “What?! Really?! You can’t go out with me saturday? Well, THANK God, I am wayyyyy too popular as it is…”
        .
        Uh huh. Yeah, right.

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      • kmtthat

        kmtthat August 29, 2016, 11:56 am

        Haha fair enough. I guess for me I’d want to make other plans anyway. Or I’d be like “Ok cool, let me know Saturday.” But she said she didn’t do that so….I don’t know.

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      • kare

        kare August 29, 2016, 12:49 pm

        I agree – suggesting another week would have been ideal. I also advocate making plans anyways so you’re not stuck in limbo hoping the other person is available, because most of the time they arent.

        Also…I would be pissed if a guy was upset I was choosing work over plans with them. Sometimes people have to work weekends. Or work very weird hours. I’m lucky that my job doesn’t have me working crazy hours all the time, but when it does happen I have no control over it.

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  • avatar

    fyodor August 29, 2016, 9:19 am

    I also read it as “his work might slip into the weekend” not “he will be tired after working during the week.”

    Wendy’s response seems to treat this as kind of a tactical error but I think that the LW has a basic disrespect/disregard for other people. Someone who you’ve met once does not owe you any explanation for their availability on a particular day.

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    • mjmaim

      mjmaim August 29, 2016, 2:38 pm

      “Someone who you’ve met once does not owe you any explanation for their availability on a particular day.” – 100% this! It’s like the LW was trying to get too serious with the expectations way to fast….it was 1 date! The first several dates are just supposed to be fun and starting to get to know each other, don’t put so much pressure on it.

      Also, the LW mentioned he took a while to respond to her text so she sent a follow up text, again with more pressure and expectations. Slow down a little bit, give the guy time to respond….like a few hours, not just 15 minutes because you think he should have written back immediately, because again he might be busy working or he might be with his parents having dinner or he might be taking a long relaxing bubble bath…. He doesn’t owe you an immediate response, he doesn’t owe you anything after 1 date. If you wanted an immediate answer, pick up the phone and call him, because the joy of texting is knowing that you can respond when it’s convenient.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 August 29, 2016, 9:35 am

    Whoa, this guy covered himself pretty well there, and could have been a lot more harsh about the situation. You had one date, and pretty much demanded an answer when this guy told you pretty clearly his situation, and he didn’t in anyway make is seem like a cop-out.

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  • Miss MJ

    Miss MJ August 29, 2016, 9:44 am

    “Did I ruin my shot at a second date?”

    Yes. But it probably wasn’t going to happen anyway or if it did, it’d have been half-hearted. If he really wanted to see you again, he’d have either said he was good for Sunday or made definite other plans, not “eh, maybe if I feel like it on Saturday.” I’m guessing that you probably picked up on the “eh-ness” on your first date and that’s why you jumped to “honestly, just say if you’re not interested.”

    Next time don’t come on so strong in setting up a second date, BUT also, listen to your gut. If it’s telling you he’s not that interested and, after follow up, he then shows he’s not 100% interested in seeing you at some point again, just let it go, no further clarification required.

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    • juliecatharine

      Juliecatharine August 29, 2016, 9:50 am

      Yep, this is a lesson we all have to learn. If they’re interested you will know it. LW, you definitely stepped in it but I don’t think you’re missing out on anything earth shattering here. Take Wendy’s advice and keep moving, we all stumble.

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      • avatar

        bondgirl August 29, 2016, 12:25 pm

        Yup. Happens to everyone sooner or later LW, don’t beat yourself up over this! As a side note though, and I hope this also goes without saying…but don’t wait around all weekend to see if a guy is available to go out again; make your own plans with friends/family and stick to them. You’ll feel silly if you cleared out/re-arranged your whole schedule and he never reaches back out to you.

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  • avatar

    for_cutie August 29, 2016, 9:46 am

    Your texts were brutal and I would have run too. The fact the he was responding, and giving feedback on his availability shows that he has interest. No need to be mean when he is actually engaging with a dialogue with you.

    I also get making last minute plans. Sometimes it is all you can allow for. The fact that he even gave you that option, instead of a “nope, busy week at work” response shows that he has some interest. Next time be more flexible and compassionate. If someone says they are busy with work, offer to bring them takeout. Now that is a response that shows compassion and interest in a developing a caring relationship.

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    • juliecatharine

      Juliecatharine August 29, 2016, 9:52 am

      Compassionate and caring yes but after one date offering to bring takeout would be pretty weird.

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      • avatar

        Another Jen August 29, 2016, 3:16 pm

        Good call, Juliecatherine. Takeout so early in the game would seem really needy.

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      • avatar

        for_cutie August 30, 2016, 9:25 am

        You’re right, for the one date context, assuming they’re a stranger. It doesn’t say how they met or if they knew each other previously.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. August 29, 2016, 9:49 am

    It’s your second date. If I got a text like that, I’d think you were pushy and demanding. A better response would have been, “That’s cool. Let me know as soon as you can. I totally understand the work thing.” (This is coming from someone who often needs an entire weekend to recover from a stressful week.) If you get this response a lot, then you can say something like, “It sounds like things are really busy for you right now. Give me a call when things lighten up.” This lets him know that you aren’t willing to wait around. If he’s interested, you’ll hear from him. If you don’t, you have your answer.

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    • kmtthat

      kmtthat August 29, 2016, 11:57 am

      Yeah, this is better than what I said.

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      • kmtthat

        kmtthat August 29, 2016, 11:58 am

        Oops can’t edit but I mean what I said in my comment…I’m not the LW.

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  • avatar

    Janelle August 29, 2016, 10:19 am

    Confrontational text after a 1st date. If he was interested (which it seemed he was but hello it was one date, how interested do you expect him to be after knowing you for mere hours) he surely isn’t now. I’d run for the hills if I were him.

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  • avatar

    Teacher Nerd August 29, 2016, 10:21 am

    I kinda don’t buy the “it’s really lame” statement from Wendy about needing an entire weekend to recover from work. (Then again, I’m a teacher with about 250 students; I’m also an introvert, so I personally DO kinda need most entire weekends to myself; I don’t feel the need to socialize on the weekends. Perhaps I’m simply an anomaly and/or I’m misunderstanding Wendy’s point.)

    Everything else, though, I can understand why the LW’s texts could be interpreted the way they were. This is a problem with texts: One’s tone can be misinterpreted.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy August 29, 2016, 10:31 am

      No, I get the need to recuperate. But, yeah, if I were single and looking for something serious, I would absolutely avoid someone who needs entire weekends to recover from work on a regular basis. Saying that is “really lame” was insensitive of me, because, of course, there are weeks that people will need a couple days to recover from, but if that’s typical of someone’s life as opposed to a very once-in-a-blue moon occurrence, then I would think that for a lot of people — probably for the LW — that wouldn’t be someone you’d want to pursue for a fulfilling relationship.

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      • avatar

        Ele4phant August 29, 2016, 10:40 am

        I see both sides of this. I am a person that on occasion just needs a weekend to myself after a tough week. And there’s no way to know if this is normal for this guy or if it was in fact an anomaly for him and was particularly difficult week.

        That said, I would think if you’re excited about someone, the thought of a second date isn’t draining. A date with a person you like after a tough week would be something to look forward to, not something you have to push yourself to get through.

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      • avatar

        csp August 29, 2016, 10:53 am

        I agree about date excitement but sometimes things take awhile to develop. I just feel like dating has gotten so definitive. Like swipe left or right. spark or no spark. Love me or don’t waste my time. Things just don’t seem to happen naturally. I just think one swamped week and everyone thinks that he didn’t like her that much.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant August 29, 2016, 12:03 pm

        Well, isn’t lukewarm interest right now effectively the same thing as not very interested?

        Sure, I guess there’s potential that feelings *could* grow over a few more dates, but as of right now, it seems like he’s not that interested in her. At least not as interested as she is in him.

        And I think we can both agree regardless of whether he’s trying to passively aggressively ghost her or whether he’s just not sure what he feels yet, she came on way too strong.

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      • avatar

        csp August 29, 2016, 12:11 pm

        It might be just luke warm, but I think mature relationships need more than two hours of conversations to see about compatibility. I just think for a second date, his lackluster response is not uncommon but her demand for interest level was way too early. I just think it is really hard to date now.

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      • avatar

        Ele4phant August 29, 2016, 12:34 pm

        Sure…I think we are saying the same thing. His investment in her, at this moment, is lukewarm. Could it have grown, maybe? He probably would have given her a second date. But I don’t think it’s false to say he didn’t sound that interested in her.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover August 30, 2016, 4:51 pm

        Nah, it’s still draining, for me anyway. If you’re drained by being around people, you just are. Doesn’t matter how much you like them. Pretty much the only person who doesn’t drain me is my husband. Maybe my mom.

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      • Copa

        Copa August 29, 2016, 11:28 am

        But we don’t even know if he wanted the weekend to recover. I assumed he’d be working based on what he wrote.

        And even if he did need the time to rest, we also don’t know if that was a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence for him.

        I’m usually pretty tepid about people after just one date, so all the “if he were excited about you, then this wouldn’t be happening!” talk is weird to me.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant August 29, 2016, 12:05 pm

        I wasn’t trying to say he wasn’t willing to go out with her again. Maybe he would have been up for it when his schedule cleared.

        But it definitely sounds like his interest in her at this moment was, as you say, tepid.

        And that’s fine and normal. But certainly, for her to push for a stronger commitment was bound to torpedo the whole thing.

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    • avatar

      Anonymousse August 29, 2016, 10:49 am

      I agree with you about introversion and needing some or all of the weekend….however, if I was single and into someone, they would be the exception to me needing a break from people.

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      • avatar

        ktfran August 29, 2016, 10:58 am

        But sometimes you don’t know if you’re into someone after a first date!!! Now… if this were date four or five, yes, there might be something off. This was for date two! Are people not allowed to take some time to decide if they like someone or not?

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      • avatar

        Anonymousse August 29, 2016, 12:46 pm

        I would need to be at least a little into someone to go on a second date. I think you generally have a little bit of the excitement for more, even after just one date, right? I mean…how long do you wait for it to build it, then? But this argument is moot anyway, because he didn’t even get the chance to say this weekend was too busy. I was just saying, even if I was exhausted, I’d go on a date with someone I wanted to date.

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      • avatar

        ktfran August 29, 2016, 2:55 pm

        Meh. I’m not sold that he wasn’t interested in a second date. Maybe he truly was going to have a stressful, busy week and wanted to know how it shook out before committing to a date and then canceling. After all, he did say yes, depending how his week went. This LW didn’t even give him a chance to say “Hey, this Sunday isn’t going to work for me, how about Thursday we meet up for drinks?” I think after one date, she could have at least given him the week to set something else up.

        My friend dated a guy in his residency. He moved SUPER SLOW. Like seriously slow. One date every few weeks, if that. They’re now married and recently had their second. He has said that he appreciated that she didn’t rush him.

        This LW and the guy probably aren’t a match regardless.

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      • avatar

        Anonymousse August 29, 2016, 4:36 pm

        I never said I thought he wasn’t into a second date.
        I responded with mostly agreement to @teacher nerd. I’m not supposing what the LW’s guy was doing or saying or thinking. I just said he didn’t actually get the chance to say yes or no to an actual plan before she went nuclear.

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      • avatar

        dinoceros August 29, 2016, 5:35 pm

        You don’t have to know if you’re really into someone, but if you know that you might want a second date, it’s good to be clear about that (i.e., suggest another time or otherwise indicate that it’s something you’d enjoy). Even if she didn’t go ballistic on him, the next most likely result would have been that she said, “Eh, he’s not interested, I guess” and moved on. I would have, at least. I think in the era of ghosting, it’s good to act moderately interested because being vague and indifferent tends to look like disinterest.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant August 29, 2016, 6:01 pm

        Yeah. I haven’t been single since my early twenties so I don’t want to overstate my case here, but generally if someone is interested (or if they’re interested in a few more dates to find out if they’re actually interested), wouldn’t they act like it?

        Like, make real plans? Suggest other dates that would work? Respond more promptly?

        Like I get it can take time for feelings to develop, but I would think after two hours you know if there’s at least some real potential there, and if you want to go out again to get that know that person, you’d at least go through the motions of acting like you’re interested.

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      • avatar

        dinoceros August 29, 2016, 8:44 pm

        Definitely. I’ve never encountered anyone who acted indifferent toward seeing me again who turned out to be interested in me.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros August 29, 2016, 5:37 pm

      I’m an introvert and I get this in theory (I usually spend a lot of weekends on my own or with minimal stuff going on), but I also know that to a lot of people (especially extroverts) this would sound like a blow-off. I would never make someone put their weekend on hold for me, though. I’d either say, “Sorry, not this weekend, how about Tuesday night?” or accept (and not cancel).

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    • Stonegypsy

      Stonegypsy August 31, 2016, 3:04 pm

      I am the same way. I spend my entire week talking to people. I don’t need *every* weekend to recover, but after an especially busy/stressful week I definitely want to hibernate for a couple days, or I won’t be ready to return on Monday.

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  • avatar

    Ele4phant August 29, 2016, 10:23 am

    Honestly, it did sound like he wasn’t interested in seeing you again in the initial text. If he was he would have made time to see you, or he would have texted *you* about going out again.

    But wholly moley were you overbearing. If you go on one date with someone, you’re not entitled to an official declaration of intent or an official breakup. You asked him out a second time, he deferred, what you should have done is just left the ball in his court. If he never picked it up again, no harm no foul.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark August 29, 2016, 10:23 am

    Ruin? Ruin your chance for a second date? More like you obliterated that shot with a blast from the Death Star…

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    • avatar

      Anonymousse August 29, 2016, 10:54 am

      Exactly. God forbid he ever cancel on you, LW. Not that that will happen now, of course.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark August 29, 2016, 5:58 pm

        I also don’t think there is ANY evidence the guy wasn’t interested in her either. Honestly? If I genuinely like somebody an am utterly exhausted from a shit-storm at work — I very well MIGHT put off a second date so they actually, gee, I dunno… see me at my very best.
        .
        Smooth move, LW. This guy was probably the one you’d marry and now its fucking gone forever, you should just let it go. Oh, and buy a cat, I guess.

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  • avatar

    MiMi August 29, 2016, 10:23 am

    People who are extremely busy and who don’t have complete control over their work, like firemen or ER physicians, manage to go out on dates if they want to – or they make it very clear why they can’t and rain check. No vague “I might need the weekend” b.s. that actually stands for “I might find someone more interesting than you.” LW, you sensed the equivocal nature of the reply and asked for clarity – so what if your wording wasn’t perfect? Are we now fish whisperers, tasked with tickling doubtful trout in just the right way so they will come out into the light? Screw that – someone who is interested isn’t waiting for the nebulous future to unveil itself before they can know deep in their hearts if they’re available on Saturday – they make themselves available. Skip happily away!

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  • avatar

    csp August 29, 2016, 10:44 am

    LW, I think this is unsalvageable. However, what I would write is: “I apologize, my last text came out harsher than anticipated. I wish you the best of luck.”

    That way, if you cross paths again, he can remember the better text ending.

    Going forward, I always think that you need to be extra flowery in texts. Tone is such a problem with texting. I would say, “Sure, lets see how the week goes.” Honestly, then I wouldn’t hold the day. See what other plans you have going on. If you have something better to do that day, and he reaches out, then just tell him that or invite him along. If you have nothing, then go out with him. Sometimes relationships have a slow start and you need to give them room to develop.

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  • avatar

    ktfran August 29, 2016, 10:55 am

    If some dude texted what the LW did after a first date… FIRST DATE… I would MOA in a heartbeat.

    He may have been interested in a second date, but you gave him no time to decide that. You could have easily said “I’m not sure how my Sunday is going to shake out, so we can touch base later this week and figure it out.” After he got a hold of you and said yes or no, and you accepted or not based on your plans (and you could have still made your own plans) you would have been able to gage interest if something solid was then made for the next week.

    Dating is getting to know someone. And to figure out if there is true interest. You went right from first date to him having to show he’s totally into you. I’d ease up a bit the next time.

    FWIW, I don’t buy that a guy has to be making plans with someone so quickly after a first date to show he’s truly interested. Life gets busy. Work might really suck. There might be family obligations. Some people are slow at dating. Geesh!

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    • mjmaim

      mjmaim August 29, 2016, 3:14 pm

      I second that

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark August 29, 2016, 5:59 pm

        See my post above on this. Cliff’s notes version? I totally, totally agree. So I guess I third that.

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  • avatar

    Brise August 29, 2016, 10:58 am

    Let this one go without apology. Or just say “OK”. He is gone anyway. Like you, I wouldn’t accept to wait till Saturday to know if yes or no he is available the same evening: no way. In such cases, be just short and casual: “OK, say next week, on wednesday?” If he is busy again, and doesn’t suggest an other time, he isn’t interested. So: you were right to refuse to be at his disposal. And wrong to suppose “unspoken questions”, that is complete miscommunication – never attribute hidden intentions to people if you want a good communication. And remember: be short. You write too much. Good luck next time.

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  • avatar

    Elin August 29, 2016, 10:58 am

    The funniest thing about this to me, is that you kind of berated him for not being honest, but he WAS being honest.

    He clearly is the kind of person (like myself, and my fiancee, and one of my best friends, and likely a billion or so other human beings) who sometimes just need to spend the weekend alone with Netflix, the cat, and some mac and cheese. Yeah, some people need a full 48 hours of just unwinding, not running errands, not being in public, not dealing with people, etc. Some of us really like to have those weekends once in a while. It absolutely is not “fucking lame” (yikes, btw).

    What he told you was 100% honest, and I respect him for admitting so soon after meeting you that he occasionally needs recharging time. So often when first getting to know someone we pretend we’re totally fun loving, up for anything, always happy, which is often (like in this guy’s case) not real or honest. If I’d been dating him, I would have appreciated and understood that. Rather than reply as you did, I would have said something like “Haha I totally have weekends like that too, if you feel up to it let me know, if not we can [fun thing] next week or something.”

    Clearly, you misinterpreted what he meant, and tbh I think it’s for the best. You know what kind of person he is now; an introvert who needs to recharge alone (completely normal, not fucking lame). If you don’t understand/respect that sometimes people need a hermit weekend, I don’t see you guys working out.

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  • avatar

    judge sheryl August 29, 2016, 11:04 am

    You could try to salvage dignity (second date, prob still out) “”

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    • avatar

      judge sheryl August 29, 2016, 11:20 am

      I meant to actually craft a response before this posted “hey, after seeing your response and re-reading my texts, I realized how badly my response came off. It was not my intention, and I’m sorry about that. Maybe if our paths cross again in the future, we could reconsider a second date. Best of luck with everything.”

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      • avatar

        Janelle August 29, 2016, 1:06 pm

        Id gander that he already blocked her. No more texts should be sent. He just thinks she is a wacko at this point, which I am wondering if it true based on that.

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      • avatar

        judge sheryl August 29, 2016, 2:29 pm

        Maybe, but if it’s blocked and it doesn’t go through, it won’t matter. I think it’s worth trying to send in case she does run into him again.

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  • Copa

    Copa August 29, 2016, 11:17 am

    Yeah, you came on way, way too strong. But it seems like you know that.

    I wouldn’t assume that someone who says he is “swamped” and needs the weekend to himself is using that weekend to rest. I recently rescheduled a (first) date (on a weekend) with someone due to work (new job in an understaffed department = clusterfuck). Point being: shit happens and jumping to conclusions/making accusations after a single date isn’t a good approach. Like, at all. The guy I was supposed to meet flipped out at me and accused me of not wanting to meet him and went off about how he wasn’t going to force me to meet him if I didn’t want to, when the reality was that 1) I was legitimately (really, really f’ing) busy with work, and 2) I actually had been looking forward to meeting him… until he was weird and accusatory.

    I wouldn’t bother trying to salvage this. And I don’t necessarily agree with what Wendy said about him being disinterested *before* your texts, but now, yeah, I think it’s safe to say he’s no longer interested. I don’t think he misinterpreted your texts as trying to have an exclusivity talk. He probably thought it was weird to be accused of sending mixed signals when all he said was he wasn’t sure if he had time on ONE particular day. (If someone is constantly saying they want to spend time together but repeatedly acts contrary to what they’re saying, THOSE are mixed signals.)

    In the future, chill out after one date. If you ask someone out for a specific date and they’re unsure, you can be blunt and say, “I’d like to see you again. If this weekend doesn’t work but you’re interested in going out again another time, let me know and we can plan something on a day that works for both of us.” And then it’s on him to let you know if and when he’s free, and you can pursue other people in the meantime. If you hear from him? Great! If not? Who cares! You’re pursuing other people!

    Good luck!

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    Sue Jones August 29, 2016, 11:33 am

    Instead of “Can you hang out on Sunday” I would ask “Are you open to hanging out on Sunday?”. That way he can reply “Yes!”, “No I am busy how about Tuesday” or “No thank you” or any other way. That takes into account his schedule, his interest, etc.” Because maybe he CAN hang out on Sunday but doesn’t want to, Maybe he wants to but has a scheduling conflict, and so on. Just a little wording change softens the delivery and expresses your interest without any pressure.

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  • Monkeysmommy

    Monkeysmommy August 29, 2016, 11:55 am

    Whoa. Yeah, you blew it. That came off desperate, needy, and clingy. Leave this man alone, you cannot salvage this. I would run like hell if someone said that to me.

    Next time if someone cannot commit to a next date, then make other arrangements. If he never texts you or calls you, that is your answer… don’t stalk him down demanding answers. Wow.

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    AuntyMacasar August 29, 2016, 3:26 pm

    Adding to the chorus of yikeses, LW. I dated a man, a few years ago, who confronted me in the same way after one or two dates…he accused me of leading him on or some such nonsense because I didn’t respond to a text of his in the way that he expected. I noped out of there so hard. It seemed really presumptuous on his part, pushy and demanding.

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    dinoceros August 29, 2016, 5:29 pm

    I don’t think he was interested, so don’t beat yourself up too much. However, yes, it’s probably coming on a little too strong. Basically, he was being vague and annoying, and then, you launched into what sounds like a DTR conversation. I think you have to learn to accept signals for what they are and not feel like a person has to always explain them extensively. For someone to say they may or may not want to hang out for some stupid reason and then say they’ll let you know the day before, I’d say, means they aren’t super into it. Sure, maybe they are that tired, and if they are, the ball is in their court. So, after that response, I’d probably just not contact them again unless I heard from them on their own. Your response indicates that you DO know that’s what that answer probably meant, so why was it necessary to drag the words out of him? People communicate via actions, not just words, and I get that maybe you want people to be really super blunt, but that’s not how everyone is and that’s a little too much to ask from someone you barely know. If he was truly giving mixed signals, that would be one thing, but it sounds like the only signal he was giving at this time was “meh.” If he had a tendency to flip back and forth between being really super into it and then not, and you guys had been pursuing something, then it might make sense to talk.

    Honestly, it kind of sounded like you were pissed because you knew he wasn’t interested and wanted to scold him for something just to get the satisfaction of it. It’s OK to tell someone that you’re not cool with waiting until the last minute for plans and asking them to just contact you some other time if they want.

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  • avatar

    LarsTheRealGirl August 30, 2016, 2:26 am

    Yikes. Yes, you were totally off base. And I think Wendy was a little off base too.

    If I had just gone on a first date with someone, no, they’re not my top priority – no matter how much I think there might be potential. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to see them again, it means I won’t rearrange my life/other priorities to see them ASAP.

    I think he gave you an honest and respectful answer. “Bad week, but I may be able to rally. COULD I let you know Saturday (being respectful of the fact that you may need to make other plans if he can’t confirm soon.)

    And I don’t think it’s fair to jump on the “do you really want to be with someone who needs a whole weekend to recuperate” thing. I work a stressful job, and sometimes I do need the whole weekend – not necessarily to recuperate but like, do laundry, get groceries, figure out my bills, get on a call with my mom, catch up on Scandal (all the things that a stressful week doesn’t let you do.) That doesn’t mean I couldn’t date – but it did mean (pre-Mr.Lars) that not every weekend was date weekend. At least until I could offer takeout and a movie at home while my laundry tumbled.

    I also wouldn’t write back. No point. Chalk this up to a learning experience. No one (especially after a first date) is required to honestly tell you what they’re up to. He could be trying to schedule a laser hair removal on Sunday – you don’t know, and would you really want to?

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    Rikki August 30, 2016, 4:22 am

    I agree. You came off a little too strong. May be he is going through something horrible and didn’t have the energy for a date. Perhaps, he has some plans already in place and by admitting to it, he feels he is putting you on the side and using work as an excuse.

    Another texting idea could be:

    Me: Hey, fun date. I look forward to seeing you again. Perhaps we can go out/do this [insert the plan] sometime this week or next if you don’t have a plan already. Think about it and let me know in time.

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  • Stonegypsy

    Stonegypsy August 31, 2016, 3:17 pm

    The correct response to someone saying “Can I let you know in a few days?” is “Sure, let’s touch base then and if we’re both free we can hang out. Otherwise, I’m sure we’ll figure out something for another day”
    Not
    “Geez, just be honest if you don’t really like me”
    I’m sorry LW. I know it feels like everyone’s piling on. But it’s not that big a deal. Just, relax a little next time. Sometimes people are busy, sometimes people are introverts, sometimes people need some time to figure out if they really like a person or not (I’ve been with my partner for nearly 3 years, I wasn’t really into him after the first date at all, but after the second I was super excited), sometimes they aren’t interested but you don’t have to demand that they tell you that. You can just pick it up from signals they give. Like if *every* week is too busy, you can assume they are just giving you a soft no.

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