Feeling powerless in dating

A lot of people are feeling powerless lately — about their job security, their financial future, their retirement. Those of us who are dating are used to feeling powerless.

Men say they feel powerless because women set the pace in dating. Women decide how quickly or slowly a relationship advances. A man can feel helpless to get a woman to return his calls or go out with him.

Women say they feel powerless because men control the pace. How many times have you heard women complain about waiting for a man to call? Nowadays, women call men, of course. But even with all the advancements women have made, many still feel some stigma in calling a man or asking him out.

Recently I received an email after a second date with a man I liked. He said he enjoyed our dinner and would call before he left for an international trip a few days later. He’d always kept his word in the months we’d been talking. But not this time. So the quandary is do I call or email him, or just wait for him to surface if/when he wants to connect. I made it clear I’d like to see him again on our date and in our last correspondence. But maybe he felt otherwise as his lack of communication could seem.

I think the best thing we can do to protect ourselves from a feeling of powerlessness is to keep busy. Fill up your life with activities you enjoy and dating others until you’re getting what you need/want in the relationship. If you are talking to and seeing others, you don’t worry about not hearing from one — even if he is the one you like the best.

You don’t want to come across as needy or a stalker by texting/IMing/emailing/calling him multiple times. Let him come to you. If you make it clear you would say yes to an invitation from him and he still doesn’t move forward, that doesn’t need to hold you back. Keep moving forward on your own path without waiting for him to come with you. There are plenty of men who would love to have your company so don’t wait on one who isn’t sure.


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9 responses to “Feeling powerless in dating”

  1. Samantha Avatar

    I agree. I’ve heard over and over now from men that they prefer to pursue, and it’s true for me that I want to be pursued.

  2. Sandra Avatar

    Yeah, don’t call him. I don’t care how fantastic it was for you after that second date. Men don’t just forget to call you. You don’t want a man that still has to decide if he wants you. You want a man that is nuts about you.

    Good luck, I feel helpless in dating all the time.

  3. Emily Booth Avatar
    Emily Booth

    Words of wisdom, DG.

    If a man is into you, he will move mountains to be w/ you. If he doesn’t, bless him for the positive interactions, the nice time you had together, and move on. Don’t get stuck in the feelings of powerlessness.

  4. Mitsy Avatar

    I also agree, but there are a lot of players on match.com & yahoopersonals. Sometimes you really are left wondering WTF when a guy doesn’t call or doesn’t pursue but continues to make contact or lead you to believe that he’s interested or that you will go out again. I was left hanging for more times than I care to remember when I was doing online dating. But, for the most part, I think it’s best if you do stay busy and don’t put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to dating. If you don’t let yourself get your hopes up too much, then you aren’t as disappointed when the guy simply doesn’t follow through with things. I ran into many men who did not seem to know what they wanted (and sometimes that fickle attitude was displayed even before we met face to face) so the chemistry or lack thereof was not always the reason they didn’t pursue. I think there is a lot of laziness on the part of men. I’ve seen & heard of this with even other friends who experienced the same type of problem when it came to dating. Lack of effort on their part oftentimes translated into confusion on their would-be date’s part. But not letting that kind of game playing get to you is a real obstacle to overcome. I never have learned to let things go. That is why I’m still gun-shy to try online dating again.

  5. Samantha Avatar

    Misty – dating online is like finding a needle in a haystack, and only one way to meet a guy! Keep on trying!

  6. Mitsy Avatar

    On moving mountains…I think there are few and far between when it comes to men willing to go the extra mile. It’s easy to say that, but if you are truly waiting to find a guy who fits that kind of criteria, you’ll be waiting MANY years. The majority of men just are not that romantic and many hide their emotions even if they are into someone. Been there before.

  7. John Gillis Avatar
    John Gillis

    Some years back I began dating a gal I already knew, but I had just come out of a relationship. I was kind of excited to date her because we had a couple of things in common & I thought her provocative. After 1 or 2 dates
    she began breaking them. I, then, saw another one of her friends & asked her out. Of course she told our mutual friend who immediately tried to trap me into an exclusive relationship w/ her. I said,” that I was sorry, but that unless our present situation improved, that there was NO WAY!” She, then, broke 2 more dates; one of which was a bar-b que @ my house w/ her son & his pal. I had goe to the trouble of making salads, etc. When they hadn’t arrived @ the appointed time & waited 30 minutes I called to see what the hold up was, I was told by her that she had a migrane & that I should just shove everything in the freezer. We talked one more time the following week, made one more date for that Friday which she broke to go out w/ the girls. I ran into one of the girls the next day who told me about it. Needless to say, that was the end. When she tried to contact me I didn’t respond; then her friends said I should call. My response, “LIFE IS TOO F—–G SHORT! Tell her ALOHA NUI(good bye forever).”
    Some time later on she enticed me over to her place & literally raped me. To little too late!

  8. Mitsy Avatar

    I guess your story was good up to the point that it illustrates that there are women “players” as well as men players. But I am baffled by your last line.

    “Some time later on she enticed me over to her place & literally raped me. To little too late!”

    And your REASON for going over there WAS??? I felt bad for you until you typed that last line. Telling her to go F herself would have been a better come back if she was really trying to lure you over there. Too bad that you were that weak. She didn’t deserve the time of day – much less a one-night stand.

  9. Bob Avatar

    I sense some female bias here (obviously) but I’d like to give a male opinion. First, a guy doesn’t like to do all the work. If he’s always calling, and she’s not, he’s sensing that you’re not that into him. Also, guys are used to hear women complaining about ‘creepy’ guys who keep calling. So we’ve developed the 2-call rule. You can call a woman 2 times, and then wait for a response. No response = stopping contact.

    As for why a guy doesn’t call, someone did a survey and here are the general results:

    * He didn’t want to call you, he just wanted to test to see if he could get a phone number
    * He delayed calling for too long, and then decided that he’d left it too late
    * He’s met someone else
    * He’s gone back to his ex
    * He lost your number (yes it does happen)
    and a few others I can’t remember.

    As for me, if I ever become single again and decide to jump in that pool again, I’ll attempt to date multiple women until relationship status occurs. It makes it so much less stressful if you know you’ve got ‘backup’ when you’re sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring, or checking your email 20 times a day.