Written for Soulmatch

Dating Q&A #13:

After the First Date, How Can She Get Him To Call Again?

I went out with this guy once and now I want him to ask me out again. How can I get him to call me and ask? – Donna, Unity, Maine

David Wygant answers: Do you believe in magic spells? You can’t get a guy to call you unless you have some type of magic powers. Either you wait for his call or you pick up the phone and give him a call. The choice is all yours.

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. answers: Sorry, dear, you can’t. You don’t control someone else’s actions or thoughts. What you can do is call him up and invite him to something. Find something low-key, that you’re doing with friends, such as a pool party at a friend’s house or brunch at a local coffee shop, and see if he’s interested. Or, ask him if he wants to go for a hike, a drive, or to play video games at a local arcade. Pick something you think you’ll both enjoy, that doesn’t have romance written all over it, and is not too expensive. Something that includes friends is appropriately low-key. This will not only get across the idea that you’d like to see him again, but it also begins creating a friendship, which any relationship needs if it is going to succeed. If he turns your invite down, fugeddabout it.

The Insightful Dater answers: You can’t “get” him to do anything. But you can take the initiative yourself. If asking outright is too big a step for you, then hint heavily you would like for him to ask you out again. You can even say you are old-fashioned when it comes to doing the asking and see if he gets the message. The truth is, I think guys like it when you take the initiative. Worst case: he says no and you move on to other options.

How to handle “I love you”

There are three “I love you” situations I never know how to handle: (1) He says it and, while he’s a nice guy to date and spend time with, I know it’s never going to happen for me; (2) He says it and I think there’s a real possibility I will develop those feelings in the future, but I’m not there right now, and (3) He says it and I do not believe him and I am suspicious of his motives. How should I handle each of these? – Leslie, West Plains, Mo.

David Wygant answers: The exact way to handle it is what you just wrote me. Real love is built on honest and open communications. In the first situation, why lead someone on by not being honest? In the second situation, try telling that you are not there now but could be in the future. And in the third situation, once again you need to be open and honest with him and explore the reasons why you do not trust his actions or words.

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. answers: (1) Either ignore it as if he never said it (not polite, but it will probably cool his jets) or say something like “That’s so sweet, you’re such a nice guy, I wish I could feel the same.” You might lose him as a date, but at least you’ll let him know how the land lies. (2) You’re a lucky lady, if this is happening. A lot of women would like to know your secret. Just say what you wrote, but do it like this: “Wow! That’s a lovely surprise, and I have some feelings for you, too, but that’s moving a bit too fast for me. Could you put it on hold for a few more weeks? I’d definitely like a rain check.” (3) Just laugh, take it lightly, and let him know you don’t believe him without insulting him. Most important: reconsider why you’re dating him, if you don’t trust his motives.

The Insightful Dater answers: In each instance, say almost exactly what you wrote in your question after “He says it” for each situation. Be kind, be honest–but say what it is that’s going on for you, with words you are comfortable with saying. Also ask yourself if it’s your own issues (fear of getting intimate, fear of trusting someone) that could be behind your reaction. (1) He says it: “while I think you are a great guy to spend time with, I just don’t think getting more serious is going to happen for us.” (2) He says it: “I think there’s a real possibility I am developing those feelings, but I need for you to give me more time with all of this.” (3) He says it: “I’m not sure I feel like you really are at that point–(but it could be my ‘trust’ issues). Let’s talk about this further.”

She wants a hubby – she may need a hobby

I have a tendency to call too much when I first meet someone. I am looking for what everybody else wants – love. I guess you would say I expect it to happen instantly. I know I need to be patient, stop being pushy and allow the man to call me. I tend to call every other day, just to say, “Hi.” Guys tend to get turned off because they think I am being too pushy, but actually I am just being friendly. I don’t have any hobbies. Should I get one? – Kathy, Bel Air, Md.

David Wygant answers: May I suggest a great hobby for you – patience. Every time you feel the urge to over call a man, step back and force yourself to be patient and not overbearing. You need to let people get to know you at a pace that is comfortable for both of you. Real love takes time and there is no way after one date you can possibly have feelings of love. Sit back relax and enjoy the process.

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. answers: Don’t just get a hobby; get a life. Find some friends, and spend time with them. Join Co-dependents Anonymous. Read “Women Who Love Too Much” and also my book, “The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again.” Volunteer to help someone. You need more in your life than just a man. Consider building a life that will cause someone else to want to join in. In the first place, a social network is the best place to find a partner, and in the second place, you need to build some self-esteem before you’ll believe you’re worth loving. Get busy, girl!

The Insightful Dater answers: Please do get a hobby. Make a pact that with yourself you won’t share the hobby with a date until you are truly in love with this hobby and enjoy spending the time doing it on your own or with other non-dates. Then, share it with a date that has the same interest and your joy for the activity will shine through (which is really attractive!). Shared interests and hobbies are a great way for you to make regular contact with someone you want to nurture a relationship with – and it gets rid of the need to just call to say, “Hi.” Instead, you can call to set up a tennis match or a nature hike.

Treat me like a lady

Why do nice guys perceive me the way they do? I’m attractive, intelligent, respectful and kind. In my dating experience I’ve noticed men too often want to get physical pretty much from the start. I know it’s a guy thing, but I know there are scenarios where it’s not the case. I want to be treated like a lady, respected and taken seriously. What should I do to get the treatment I want? – Jaclyn, Corona Del Mar, Calif.

David Wygant answers: Lay down the ground rules! On your first date tell that male species that you are not looking for a quick fling. Tell that drooling dog of a male that you are looking to get to know someone before any physical education will be tolerated. When the date ends do not go into his house or invite the dog in to yours, you will be just asking for trouble because some men will tell you one thing and then when they are let into the house you will find that they are not properly housebroken. Do this for at least three dates with the same person. You will find that you will have eliminated the hound dogs from your life.

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. answers: You’re right, it’s a guy thing – I know it’s the 21st century, but it’s still usually up to the woman to slow the pace. If you want to be treated like a lady, you have to set some limits. Don’t agree to be alone with him right away. After you first meet (in a public place) face-to-face, if you want to see more of him, and he suggests a dinner date, suggest that you two do something with friends – For example, say “Would you like to go to the movies with me and a few friends?” Or, suggest lunch or a bike ride or a beach date. Make it clear via these suggestions that you aren’t going to be physical right away. Men who only want sex may not call again, which is good, because it saves you time trying to figure out who really wants to get to know you.

The Insightful Dater answers: Simple. Use the great benefit online dating offers you – take time to screen dates online and over the phone. Put in your profile what you noted (“I want to be treated like a lady, respected and taken seriously.”) Nothing better than being direct and honest and not wasting anyone’s time! Screening gives you time to get to know one another and, when you are both ready, to communicate about what kind of relationship you want.

A free spirit’s dilemma

Without much experience in dating, I’m at an all-time loss for what to do. Recently I’ve dated an attorney, it was a true “Dharma and Greg” relationship. After each date, for five dates, he never kissed me on the mouth, just on the cheek in a very boyish manner. I was ready to yank his tie and do some serious mouth time, but just couldn’t guess what his reaction would be. I certainly didn’t want to face repulsion on his part! I was totally perplexed. Then, after going to a Metaphysical Fair he never called me again. Should I get over it or try to get him back? – Diane, Lebanon, N.J.

David Wygant answers: Get over it. He may sound like a gentleman; in reality he’s a man who has no idea about how to romance a woman. If a man kisses you on the cheek you need to think about that man’s sex drive and desire level. I like it when men act like gentlemen but not even trying to kiss you for five dates is strange. Dating is a process and you will need to go through quite a few of strange experiences before you find the right guy. Enjoy the process and always remember it is never about you. Stay positive and you will land a great guy.

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. answers: Who knows? Maybe he was gay, or celibate for religious reasons, or just painfully shy. Either way, you’d probably have found out more by yanking his tie. Repulsion on his part would not have killed you, and either way, you’d have had the same result. I’d move on if I were you. If he were keeping you guessing this early in the relationship, how would it be after months? Probably worse. If he’s just shy, he may call you after a while, when he gets his courage up. If he does, then ask him how long he dates before kissing. That should open a conversation that will tell you whether you want to have another date or not.

The Insightful Dater answers: If he was going for the cheek and you wanted more, why did you let that go on for five dates? One or two I can see (a girl has her reputation and self-respect to consider…bit five?) Unless you really have a thing for this guy, chalk it up to some good experience and work on getting comfortable with what it is you want from spending time with someone. Verbal and nonverbal clues are both important here. By the fifth date, what would have been so bad about yanking his tie and clueing him in on what you were thinking? In this first few meetings, communicate openly and get on the same page with dates with whom you have chemistry. On your own, work out what ways you are comfortable clarifying your desires and setting boundaries.