With online dating, the rules for dating are sometimes similar to the old-style of dating but in many cases the rules that people operate under are very different. One area of difference occurs when someone loses interest. Below is a question I received from a reader recently:
Thanks so much for your kind words of encouragement! I have a question and maybe I know the answer but sometimes it’s helpful to hear it from others. I had been communicating with a man via email through Match.com, which is the dating site that I am on. We had tried to connect recently but I was really busy and so was he and it just didn’t happen. So he reached out to me again a few weeks ago to see if I was still interested in meeting him and I said sure. So we met for drinks….very nice looking man and very nice man. Felt good about the date and not long after he called me again to get together. So I met him for dinner and then we met some of his friends for a drink afterward. That night he called me on his way home to make sure I got home….this was a week ago, haven’t heard from him since! What is up with that? I’m not taking it personally but I just don’t get it.
What Is Up With That?
This is something that happens with online dating far more than in “real” life where the person you are talking to just disappears. There are generally two reasons that a man would intentionally do this:
- He likes you and is following advice that says you will be more interested in him if he ignores you
- He met someone else or decided he didn’t want to date you
Pesonally, I don’t recommend that guys “ignore” women but I will admit it does tend to work so we’ll continue to see this happening (online dating or otherwise).
The second case is more likely with online dating. Unlike “real” life, if you end up not liking someone or if you meet someone else you want to pursue, a common action is to simply stop communicating.
So What Can You Do To Check on His Interest?
You can simply email him again but this can be tricky…if you do email him you definitely don’t want ask questions like “What’s wrong?”. This approach can at times actually drive an interrested man away. So what can you try?
The approach I recommended to this reader was pretty simple: put up a new primary picture on Match.com. This approach is intended to discourage the guy if he’s taking approach number 1 above. From my response to her:
I know that sounds strange but by doing so you’re making it clear that you’re actively interested in meeting other people online (and hopefully you are!). If he is playing some game and he sees your new photo, this might cause him cut it out.
Basically, contacting him directly could create an awkward situation if he is just busy and planning on contacting you. On the other hand, if he is playing some game and sees you’re actively dating this might give him cause to shape up. Plus, new photos are always a good thing so no harm even if it doesn’t work.
Again, my thought here is if he’s playing some game let’s get him to stop. If he’s actually lost interest then a new picture still works since she’ll be wanting to attract some new guys. And finally, if he’s just busy no harm has been done and he should be contacting her soon again anyway.
So What Was Happening in This Particular Case?
This reader wrote me back shortly after I had given my advice and…he was just busy! Before she could even try my advice out he had contacted her letting her know that his schedule was hectic. Sometimes patience is the key…but if you simply cannot wait then at least make sure whatever actions you do take aren’t hurting your situation!