just not that into… telling the truth

So here’s the thing.

I’ve never been on a date.

I’ve only ever gotten as far as “coffee” coffee, and that was only by not telling the guys involved that it was “coffee” coffee (they all eventually figured it out though and backed off, which is fine).

So the whole thing of, “we had a great time, why hasn’t he called” has not really ‘officially’ happened to me. I’ve never had a great date with someone cos I’ve never had a date.

BUT, I’ve certainly been in the “we have a great time together, why doesn’t he ask me out” thing, and I’ve ended up where I think most girls end up on this issue. “I’m so vile he doesn’t like me”. Yah. Great conclusion. And super fair to the guys themselves right?

So what’s the deal if you’ve had a great time on a date, and, even more tricksy, the date has said they’ve had a great time and that you “should do this again”, and then DOESN’T CALL?!! What are you meant to think? What’s going on there?!

One answer is the good old American pop-psych answer – “he’s just not that into you”. This theory/book/movie suggests that if a guy likes you, he’ll pursue you. If he doesn’t like you, he won’t. We could go back and forward on the truth and validity of this for hours, and there are definitely exceptions to every rule. BUT, from the relationships I’ve observed IRL, and from the attempted relationships I’ve observerd, generally this assertion is true. If a guy wants you to be with him, he’s gonna let you know that. So you may think you’ve had a great date, and hey, maybe you have! Maybe you do really get along well and match each other. But, if he’s missing the spark (or whatever), and has decided he doesn’t want to pursue you romantically, that’s why he hasn’t called. He’s just not that into you. It doesn’t mean you’re vile. It just means it’s not happening. Liking someone and enjoying their company doesn’t mean you should marry them. It’s sad, cos you’re wonderful and he should notice that and it’d be great if he’d respond appropriately (ie, fall at your feet adoringly and whisk you off to Paris or something), but he ain’t, and he don’t have to, and maybe he just doesn’t like you that way.

Or, alternatively, he’s a lazy liker. You know the guy. He wants to be in a relationship, but every time he gets near one he remembers that it’d be hard work. That there is no perfect person so whoever he chooses will not match every single quality of his dream girl. So, he enjoyed himself, but he’s thinking, just one more. Maybe she’s the next one. That girl was great, but you never know who’s coming up next.

If that’s the reason he hasn’t called, then thank God he hasn’t. Seriously. Better to be with a guy that at least wants to spend more time with you to continue to explore the possibility of a relationship than with someone who’ll always be looking over your shoulder waiting for the next girl to join Bible study or church or the party.

So, if he’s just not that into you, or he’s a lazy liker, why’d he say he had a great time and that he’s going to call you? Well, here’s the thing. People lie. A lot. All the time! At least six times today I bet, someone will ask, “how’re you?” and I’ll say, “I’m good, yeah, thanks, how’re you?” Most of the time, we call this polite behaviour, or civilisation, but when does it cross the line? Well, the ‘fat speech’ moment of I’m “I’m fine, how’re you?” doesn’t bear much significance. That’s why if you accidentally ask and answer that question at the same time when you bump into someone, you just both move past it. “I”m fine, how’re you? I mean sorry, yes, I’m fine, heh heh heh. Well anyway, how was Bible study?” etc.

But some questions and statements mean a lot more. And in the context of a date, the main question at the end for a girl is, ‘where is this going? What’s going to happen next?’

Which is why I think if you’ve had a good time with someone, but you’re not interested in a second date, the best way to honour her as a sister in Christ is to be gentle but clear, even though it’s scary and all of your conditioning tells you to lie to women/people to keep them happy. If you’re old enough to go on dates, you need to be old enough to tell the truth to ladies even when it’s scary.

You could try this, “thanks for a lovely evening, it was nice meeting you. Maybe we’ll see each other around some time.” Look, feel free to go straight for brutal, uncut honesty as well if you like, “thanks for a lovely evening, it was nice meeting you. I don’t really feel a spark though, so I probably won’t invite you out again. But if I have any friends, should I pass your number on?” KIDDING!! DON’T SAY THAT LAST BIT!!!

Or ladies, you could try saying, “thanks, I had a great time, I’ll call you.” Call them, invite them out again, and then guys, if you don’t wanna go, say no! ”

Yes it’s a bit awful telling someone you don’t like them ‘that way’, but the alternatives are worse. False hopes, lies, self-satisfaction.

Let’s make it ok to say, “hey, you’re great, but I don’t like you like that”, cos you know what? It IS ok if no one likes us like that.

We have all the treasures of knowing Christ. We have been blessed with every spiritual gift in the heavenly realms. We’ve been washed and adopted, we’re in the family of God now, and they have to put up with us forever even when they don’t like us like that!

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2 Responses to just not that into… telling the truth

  1. sarahn says:

    Yeah it’s awkward but if there’s no spark, there’s no spark. HOWEVER I truly need 2-3 dates to know someone well enough (if we don’t have a shared interest/met in a non date context first). I don’t think I’m leading them along but perceptions vary.

    I also strongly endorse girls following up with thank text or similar, in case, like me, you can come off cold/disinterested in person. True story! But doing that happily got me coupled up!


    • joannaohayes says:

      I totes agree Sarah! I don’t think a repeat date or two is leading on, it’s what dating is! The opportunity to see the person in a variety of contexts, on a variety of days, in a variety of situations, so you can actually get to know them! Dating is GOOD! Sparks aren’t always IMMEDIATE!

      And yes to the thank you text! Further support to the idea that we can’t just use someone’s behaviour or body language to read their mind! (There are heaps of people for eg that have presumed I’m happy/sad/standoffish/serious/frivolous based on one interaction. Clarification was required!!)


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