Guys: Need your help translating

Gentleman readers:

On behalf of my women readers, I want to offer my last date as a case study. I need your help translating this message. Yesterday’s posting talked about that date, which by my assessment went well. Not the best first date, but good. Here’s Mr. New Guy’s response to my thank-you email:

Last night was lots of fun and I’m really glad that I had the chance to meet you. You’re more gorgeous than I ever imagined.

One thing though. I’m quite sure that our personalities aren’t a match for a long term romantic relationship. While I found you to be physically attractive I didn’t feel a romantic spark.

It wasn’t a negative experience at all. It just felt like I was out with a very good friend.

Our conversation was so interesting and your background is just amazing. I was in awe of what you have accomplished.

Can we remain in contact and perhaps get together as friends at some time in the future? I’d really like to maintain our friendship..

All the best,

This is a bit of a new one for me. I’ve not had (at least that I knew) a man find me interesting and physically attractive and not have a spark. The way I interpret this is I did or said something that was a turn off. I know I wasn’t bitchy, overly aggressive, angry, bitter, didn’t talk too much or about my ex or past relationships, or didn’t interrogate him — all things other men have said were deal breakers in women.

Guys, help enlighten us women. We are told all the time that men are visual, and that if they find you attractive physically, unless you show some egregious behavior, he’ll want to spend more time with you. And is it only women who say they want to date someone who is a friend, too, who they can talk to easily? Isn’t that part of men’s criteria?

So I’m a bit flummoxed (something that happens with some regularity). Care to enlighten all of us women by sharing your take on this? Or is this just another case of not his cup of tea and move on to the next three guys in my pipeline?

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27 responses to “Guys: Need your help translating”

  1. Gatti Avatar

    I’m getting the feeling that the extra-special attention he showed you on the first date was all planned to be in place **in case** the date was everything he hoped it would be. Then you met and were nice and attractive and all that but didn’t ring his mystical romantic chimes and hence the “be my friend” followup.

    Considering what he could have done (probably go Poof like a lot of guys would) I guess this was pretty classy, though of no real help to you. I’ve experienced worse.

    And how could a man find you interesting and attractive and all but not want to continue? Has happened to me a number of times. Two in particular, in years gone by, were very painful.

    So…move on, yes. Nothing else to do, I would say.

    Did I just get very, very lucky? I’m grateful every day for the sweetie. Reading the columns and comments here always reminds me how precious it is.

  2. Scott Avatar

    A brief word before I begin – none of these applies to me personally, and although I’m a man, I only take responsibility for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Disclaimer in place, there are several options I see:

    He didn’t find you physically attractive in person. I know he said he did, but he’s trying to be nice instead of taking responsibility for reality. He’s turning you down, so the flattery in multiple sentences is a smoke screen for “I’m not that into you.”

    He’s intimidated. Some men have to be the more successful, intelligent, good looking, etc. one in a relationship. It’s a power thing. If you aren’t needy, screwed up, etc. then you don’t NEED him, and that can be a scary place to be.

    He’s screwed up for some unknown reason. I’ve actually had a woman break up with me because she said that I was great and sexy and that a relationship with me might actually work, so she had to bail because she was afraid of that. (!!)

    All of these have the same result – respond and move on to the next one. When I’ve gotten a response that’s similarly hot and cold yet talking of friendship, I’ve politely responded that I enjoyed our time together as well, but that I have plenty of friends already and I wish them well in their endeavors.

  3. Lulu Avatar

    DG, is it possible that these dates know you are the Dating Goddess? I live in the UK and I’m not technically gifted in any way, but even I know what you look like from following links on your website to television appearances, and it wasn’t difficult to find your website. Men who are on dating websites try to glean information on how women think, in the same way that we women try to get info on their thought processes. Your dates may know who you are, and not want to be written about on this site.
    Interesting that Scott thinks men like to be needed. I’ve got the impression that men like strong, independent women. Any hint of weedy neediness sends them running. What on earth do they want?

  4. LA Avatar

    maybe he didn’t like your smell.

  5. k Avatar

    I have had a similar experience, however…..he STILL continues to contact me periodically via email. I think mine didn’t work for two reasons…the intimidation factor as one gentleman mentioned above (I’ve had a few guys actually tell me “what do I have to offer you?”) AND he could tell that I wasn’t going to be an easy lay… I think a lot of guys don’t want to put a lot of time & energy into a relationship unless it is a sure thing, or they view it so casually they want to go to bed first & then see if the relationship will work out.

  6. Mom of 3 Avatar

    Some people might call Luddite direct or honest, but I call him rude and offensive. Just ignore those remarks.

    Lulu, most men don’t like strong and independent women. They are too threatening. Men DO like women who are not needy or clingy, so they may use the word “independent” in that way.

    I’m no longer dating around, since I’m seeing one man exclusively, but trying to figure out why a date didn’t work can often be a lesson in futility. Just move on is my advice. I always think, to boost my confidence, “It’s his loss.” Even if the person tells you why it didn’t work out, you are never sure if that is the truth. It may be with good intention, trying to spare any hurt feelings. Or they may be cowardly.

    My guess why this date didn’t work out? You are successful and accomplished, and he can’t handle it.

  7. walt Avatar

    Unfortunately, I’d have to say that what he said in his email means little to nothing. Most guys just want to extricate themselves from a situation as cleanly as possible, and will say….whatever. As you know, many simply just disappear without a word. I’m afraid that we’re a race of cowards. So, I wouldn’t place any weight on what he said, and it’s pretty much impossible to tell what he is really thinking.

  8. Susan Avatar

    I have to agree with Scott. I don’t think he was that into you. Chemistry is such an elusive thing. I don’t have any chemistry with 95% of my dates.

    Why second guess him? He basically told you the reason was no romantic spark. I would take that at face value and move on to the next one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Just me Avatar
    Just me

    How well can you get to know someone on a first date anyway? Think of how many couples you’ve known over the years whose stories start “when I first met him/her, I thought he/she was a (fill in the blank) but the, one day, something changed…”

    There’s something to be said for striking up a casual friendship and taking time to get familiar with another person without the pressure of auditioning for possible romantic entanglement.

  10. Jeff Mac Avatar
    Jeff Mac

    As I always say, when a man gives mixed signals, always, always forget what he says, and listen to what he DOES.

    Yes, he SAID all kinds of stuff, but his ACTIONS say that, for whatever reason, he wasn’t interested in more dates.

    (The whole “let’s be friends” stuff is, if my hunch is right, a smokescreen covering his escape. I’m guessing that you won’t find him pursuing said “friendship” very ardently.)

    I say move on to worthier dudes.


  11. Becky Avatar

    I just don’t believe one date with someone is giving something enough of a chance to see if “there is that spark” – while initially someone might not feel something on a first date – if they thought there could be something, later, why wouldn’t they come back and check it out again? But then, he had to go and use the dreaded “F” word – let’s be friends. I’m not a guy, but to me his statements mean that he just isn’t into you or that he’s intimated by your obvious success. Maybe he does know who you are on the internet. That would be extremely intimating to most men, I think. And, that crap about being friends down the road – well – it’s his diplomatic way of just hoping you’ll forget about it. Something turned him off from the start.

  12. Susan Avatar

    I have one of those “let’s be friends” guys who I dated twice. I didn’t feel any romantic spark with him either. Now I am on his mailing list where he sends out funny pics, cartoons and articles to a group of buds. I wish there were an unsubscribe button. I think he wants to keep me on his radar for business reasons.

    If I don’t find someone romantically appealing, they will NEVER be romantically appealing no matter how much time passes. For those couples who suddenly find attraction where none existed, just think of the people you are not attracted to who are still unattractive to you. That is a losing numbers game in my book.

  13. Stan Avatar

    No sexiness or flirtation, perhaps? I see no reference to that on either side. If someone was sending off platonic vibes, I’d be moving on, gorgeous or no. I don’t mean sex on the first date, or second or third – but I could see someone on a first date being *too* careful and leaving the impression that a physical relationship is either never going to happen, or will be very limited.

  14. Johnny Avatar

    I’ll have to say – I wonder if that line is in a book somewhere. It could be that he’s saying he’s attracted to you, but is trying to lure you into chasing him by saying that the spark isn’t there. That is – he’s trying to get you to chase after him to MAKE him love you.

    Weird, and I’d never do it myself, but I could see that email translating that way.

  15. Kelly Avatar

    You said earlier that he’s a romantic, like you. In reading your blog, I have gotten the impression that you have dated so much and met so many duds that you might give off the vibe that this is only one of a hundred other dates. You may be too comfortable, or too wary, or too businesslike. Maybe he was reacting to those vibes, even though he was attracted to you, he felt like something was off. Like it wasn’t as romantic as he’d hoped. My guess is he’s either totally new to the online dating thing and is expecting violins to start playing and wants it to feel fresh and wonderful immediately. OR that he is just as experienced at online dating as YOU are, and he is impatient with the whole thing and now requires instant ‘marriage’ thoughts to materialize or you’re outta there. I definitely think that the “romantic” keyword holds the clue to this e-mail. You should keep seeing him as friends. Takes the pressure off, allows the romance to blossom naturally. This may help him see that this isn’t a crass kind of transaction. And he can rewrite the story in his head about you. He may just feel like you weren’t feely and romanticky enough for him, like you didn’t display those obvious signs. He should give you a break. It was a first date. We’re too alert for red flags to relax and totally enjoy ourselves. He, too, was probably nervous and equated his nervousness and wariness with your own personality. If he is open to hanging out, I think somewhere in there maybe he hasn’t really made up his mind about you. No harm in seeing where this goes.

  16. Mitsy Avatar

    I would say that this dude was “assuming” quite a lot with expecting fireworks on date #1 unless, like one poster alluded, he did not really find you attractive but lied about that in order to make himself look better & make you feel better. Otherwise, I agree with Kelly that he could give it a second chance….most good relationships (in my mind) start out as friends. Heck, I’ve even talked to couples who actually had no physical attraction in the beginning. But that “attraction” factor is very subjective and what would work for one or be a “maybe” might be totally wrong for someone else. So, the laws of attraction are very elusive and fickle…a lot like men are and this guy sounds like a perfect example of that. I’d say it’s “his loss” though.

  17. Brian Avatar

    Sounds to me like he was firing a pre-emptive strike before you gave him that same line first…we’ve all heard it before. No one wants to feel rejected, especially on a first date. He did it to you before you got the chance to do it to him.

  18. hunter Avatar

    …too bad he is saying, “keep your distance,” too soon….they say both male and female anxiety level is very high the first 3 dates…….

  19. PaxMan Avatar

    The guy wasn’t interested. Leave it alone. You go on HUNDREDS of dates, why are you obsessing about this one guy doesn’t who isn’t claiming himself to you in romantic prostration? He was trying to be nice. He sent you an nice response to your “I need to know if you like me” email. Go onto the next one. I am sure they are lining up.

  20. Steve Mertz Avatar

    Goddess, Why are all these women commenting-didn’t they read that you wanted a guy’s perspective ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m in the camp with the folks who said he was not attracted to you and felt obligated/guilty/whatever -to say nice things so feelings would not be hurt. Move on and enjoy!

  21. hunter Avatar

    …all right steve! Tell them, to to read the title of this blog!…… funny!…..

  22. singlemomseeking Avatar

    Oh my. Look what happens to us — your readers — when you write about your personal dating life. We’re absolutely sucked in! I just want to encourage you to keep your head high. I appreciate what Jeff Mac said above: “As I always say, when a man gives mixed signals, always, always forget what he says, and listen to what he DOES.”

    Indeed, move onto a worthier man. You deserve him.


  23. Ellen Avatar

    Really, we’ll NEVER know why this guy did this, never. Wasn’t he that very overly sweet and nice guy that did everything right? A guy like that can’t really tell the truth or be confrontative, so you’ll never know, even if he tells you. Imagine falling for a guy like this? You’d never know what’s really going on, since he can’t face reality. My view is that it’s a good thing that a guy shows us who he really is right away so we don’t have to waste any more time on him. I’d go with “he’s just not that into you” and not try to figure it out. You could get 1000 ideas or suggestions, but you’ll never know what really happened. Never. Next!
    xo Ellen

  24. Dan Avatar

    Don’t know if this is true of other guys but, from my perspective, there are two aspects of the physical attractiveness of a woman. First is the structure and composition of the physical features of a woman – how well she’s put together and maintained, to be somewhat crude. This aspect will cause a man to want to spend time with a woman but not necessarily make him want to get to know her. This would be the Paris Hilton type of attractiveness. Very pleasant to look at but God Forbid that I should have to carry on a conversation with her. If the woman has nothing but structure and composition to offer, that’s all a man can respond to. If she has a personality that is attractive to a man, he will know it from the look in her eyes, her smile, her touch, the way she moves, the sound of her laugh, and from everything about her inner being that projects itself through her outward features. That’s the second, and for me the more important, aspect of the physical attractiveness of a woman. It’s possible that your date saw that aspect in you but that it reminded him (even subconsciously) of someone with whom a previous relationship didn’t work. It’s also possible that you’re overanalysing this situation because you assume that all men act the same – supported by the second half of your post – and that means that what he said can’t be all there is to it. If we don’t all act the same then it’s possible that what he said is all there is to it and if we do all act the same, what difference does it make what excuse he gave?

  25. mhmpang Avatar

    It seems like he likes you as a person, but doesn’t want to commit. Maybe he isn’t ready or you don’t fit his ideal for a mate. If you would like to have a friendship with him, then continue on.. If not, then tell him “Thanks, I will call you. ” Don’t waste your time if you want a serious relationship with sombody who gives no sign that he wants the same. Many other fish in the sea.. THe way he said it was quite honest in my opinion. Don’t dig deeper than what is there.

    I agree with you on the eHarmony portion, It took me over an hour to complete the assessment, but hey,, I found my fiancee that way.. And we wouldn’t want it any other way.

  26. Rod Avatar

    This has happened to me, from the guys perspective. Once met a woman who was VERY attractive, so much so that I nearly fell off my chair when she came round the corner. And we had a great time on our date, talked, laughed, shared, joked and things went rather famously actually… but, I decided not to see her again. Why? Because there was a moment, toward the end of our date, where she made a very tiny comment that sounded *exactly* like my ex. Not her fault. She was just being her. But in that split second I had a deep, visceral reconnection to something that I absolutely could not be close to ever again. I guess she was the unwitting victim of the ghost of my past and I never saw her again, despite her requests to do so.

  27. hunter Avatar


    you are a nice guy,(look out, nice guys finish last) any other man would have asked her out, again, just because of her looks……