Dating After Divorce: We Agreed to Be Casual, So Why Hasn’t He Called?

 

Dear Ronnie,
I joined match.com after being divorced four years and met a man. We get along great, did the IM, email and phone thing for about a month before meeting and it was great. We both decided we weren’t ready for a relationship but that we wanted to date each other casually (i.e. have sex) Finally went out on a date with him and did the deed. It was pretty good and we agreed to see each other again.
 
That was four days ago and I haven’t heard boo from him. This is his busy work season so I know he’s consumed, but a friendly hello would be good. I left him a message this today wondering how things were going, but I don’t think I’m going to hear back from him. We’re both 40, clear on what we want (or don’t want) and get a long great!  Any insights for me?

 

Perplexed,
 Paula
 
 
Dear Paula,
 
It’s so hard to know, but sometimes once is enough for a man. All of that conversation etc. might have been leading up to just one night. Or maybe he was embarrassed by his performance. Or a thousand other possibile reasons.
 
Your idea of casual is probably very different than his. For example you were thinking that further communication would be a natural next step. He might not be thinking this at all, regardless of what he said.
 
Being casual is fine, but what does that really mean? Being clear on your dating agenda is key to successful dating. So be clear with yourself as well. You may not want to get married, but you do want some consistency. That might not be the definition of casual for everyone. For some casual means hello/goodbye and just one night. If you announce your intention of casual, that you don’t expect much of a relationship, that let’s a guy off the hook doesn’t it?
 
My suggestion is to keep your agenda to yourself. Dating is a game. Think of it like poker. Once the cards are dealt, you wouldn’t show your hand to the other player before you place your bet right? So don’t show your cards here either. Just smile and go along if he seems like he might fit your description of what you are looking for. Then see what happens. The purpose of dating is to observe the other person’s behavior to see if it meets your needs.
 
As you can see, Mr. Pretty Good doesn’t have the same idea regarding consistency for his casual dating as you do. He may still call, but as time goes by, the chances dwindle.
 
In addition, I recommend not having as much build up/contact before meeting. You can end up with a lot of expectations or false security thinking you know someone. But if you don’t meet them in person, you don’t really know them. And until you’ve got a track record with someone, you don’t know them either. Even if the person seems open and friendly.
 
Only time will help you really know someone. That’s why it’s best to email 4-8 times, then talk on the phone for a brief conversation – maybe 20 minutes. Then meet the guy
 
You want to minimize the pre-contact so you don’t end up with a virtual relationship. Or, you might find that you talked about so much prior to meeting, than when you do meet, there’s no small talk left which can be very awkward!
 
If the men don’t want to talk on the phone – move on. If they don’t want to meet, move on. There are plenty more fish in the proverbial sea.
 
Good luck in your journey. Being casual is a great way to learn about yourself, men, and what works for you, so enjoy!
 
 Ronnie – The Dating Coach

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