Finding Real Closure in Online Dating

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With online dating, people can sometimes behave in strange ways that may cause us to want to give up on trying to communicate with them. Below is one example of how communication can fall apart as we are building a relationship. After the example, I’ll discuss how I feel it’s best to approach this type of situation.

I met a great guy online in December and we saw each other all that month and into January and everything was great! We stayed in contact during the week but over time his contact became less and he initiated meeting up less but was enthusiastic if I suggested something. Now it’s me in the boat rowing and he’s just going along for the ride.

Recently we had a great time together and he had to make a presentation that week that would make or break his company and his future. After we got together that last time he stopped contact for a solid week. Now I know he is under major pressure so I left him to it. Later I sent him a text and he acted overjoyed to hear from me, thanking me for being there for him and telling me how much he appreciated me with terms of endearment and all like there was nothing wrong with us. After that I just decided to let him be and it has been two weeks and I have not heard a thing.

I am too embarrassed to text him again. I don’t get it. If he really is as happy with me as he seems why is he just not talking to me anymore? I am tired of rowing. I put down my oars and he has yet to start the boat moving again. What do I do? Should I play his game and pick up the oars and swallow my pride to be supportive of him or just let him go?

Is Giving Up the Right Answer?

The above is just one example of why people might feel like they are wasting their time trying to contact someone. Sometimes, giving up may be the right answer, such as in the case where you are also talking to a lot of other people to date and the “problem” person is just distracting you. However, just like in my discussion on trying to contact someone again after no response, I think the process of finding closure is a fairly easy thing to attempt.

finding closure

I understand where people are coming from when they decide to give up but I think real closure is better than just giving up. Sure, you might be dead in the water…but often it’s hard to tell. If you’re considering giving up on someone but feel conflicted in doing so, I would recommend picking up the oars once more and on a date (or even on the phone) be open with the person about your concern.

In the case above, I encouraged this woman to let him know that she really enjoys her time with him but that she feels like it’s a one way relationship and she’s going to look into dating other people if he can’t show more interest. I also suggested she try to be as nice as possible when explaining this: try not to make him the bad guy. Make it more about being open and honest. If this is how things are going to be, she just needs to know so she can date someone else. Not his fault, not her fault, just time to move on. He’s great, just not great for her.

I think one of two things will happen with this approach for issues like this one:

  1. He’ll wake up and realize what he’s about to lose and kick into gear (and start rowing as my reader puts it)
  2. He’ll agree it’s not working (or he’ll make excuses and says that he’ll improve but then won’t improve at all)

In case #1, we have closure because now we’re headed down the right path. In case #2, we have closure because now it will be very clear that ending things is the right choice. Without communicating like this, we’re just guessing if it’s the right time to end it. Yes, in many cases it seems like a good guess but it’s still a guess.

If you’re in a similar situation, I’d recommend trying to remove any guess work by being open and getting the other person to address your concerns one way or another. At the very least, this will prevent you from wondering years from now what might have been.



About the Author:

Brad initially struggled with online dating but over time became quite successful using it. He met his wife using online dating and has been giving advice and helping people improve their results since 2007. He has written a Free Online Dating Guide to help others find success with online dating. You can learn more about his personal experience using online dating and running this website here.


  1. melani  May 13, 2012

    From another woman, my advice is that it never works out if youre the one initiating contact . Men are
    design to do the chasing, not us! I never ever felt right when I had to initiate contact, even when weve been contacting back
    and forth. THe problem here is that she put herself in the leading position, which never works out.

    My advice: let him be the man. let him lead and you just appreciate everything he offers. Smile, encourage him, and have
    fun. Be the lady, do absolutely nothing but recieve and it will feel amazing. Never initiate contact, if he wants to see
    you, he will contact you. If he doesnt contact you, well sweetheart, youve got your answer. Judge a man by his actions,
    not by his words. If he really wanted you and was that excited about you, he would find a way to see you=)! Trust me.

  2. Ron  May 28, 2012

    Melani, there are a lot of absolute/sweeping statements in your post. One of the biggest red flags I see is that you say men are “designed” to chase. I’m going to leave that alone, not because I agree with it, but because that statement is indicative of someone who already has very strong, very set opinions and convictions, and therefore I’m not going to waste my time presenting a contrasting viewpoint.

    What I can say is, I strongly disagree with the advice you gave. It has a strong flavor of Elisabeth Elliot (who I also strongly disagree with). About the only thing I agree with is that, if he doesn’t contact, there’s the answer. If you’re thinking of never initiating in a relationship, let me tell you what that feels like from my perspective as a man. It feels like I’m pulling a lead weight around. The point of the article is that relationships are a two-way street, and your advice, if I understand correctly, is to turn one one-way street into another one-way street, just going the opposite direction. If EITHER partner feels like they’re doing all the work…well, that’s not my idea of a relationship.

  3. Miranda  May 11, 2015

    I agree with Brad. Why waste time playing silly games and pretending to be someone you are not. I have been in that frustrating position of wanting more commitment from my boyfriend of nine months. He has constantly told me he can’t give more, due to his situation (job, children, distance) etc and I have been very frustrated at only seeing him at weekends with a strong feeling of him not caring enough to rearrange his life which would be difficult but not impossible. I felt it suited him for me to be weekend girl.
    Recently I said exactly what Brad suggested ie that I was going to start dating other men, as I had had enough of waiting. This came from a genuine need to find a more committed man and not from game playing. I was a bit moody for a while, as I was slowly pulling back from him emotionally and it was confusing and difficult to talk to other men whilst still being with him. I was honest all round with him and the men about my situation and my bf was ok with me doing it, as he said he couldn’t offer me everything I needed at the moment. He didn’t show any obvious jealousy although he said he’d be sad to lose me. His lack of jealousy and possessiveness convinced me that I am doing the right thing.
    Anyway, I’ve just spent the weekend with him and he was a very different man. Much more attentive and loving and interested in me, despite the presence of his three children. He was softer and more emotionally available and I felt much more wanted and much closer.
    Interesting as I have a date with another man tomorrow. He seems very different in character being much more chatty and passionate. It is stressful, but I need to see who makes me feel comfortable, safe and happy and until this weekend, it hasn’t been my boyfriend.


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