“I’m attracted to you” does not mean “I’ll call you”

Embracing Midlife MenMidlife men have said and done many things that caused me to think, “What??? The examples and my lessons fill Embracing Midlife Men: Insights Into Curious Behaviors. Just when I think I have a handle on what goes on in men’s heads, I’m confronted with a new curiosity.

The latest is from last Wednesday’s New Guy — a cute, smart, funny, artistic business man. As we parted after our 2-hour coffee date, he said, “I’m really, really attracted to you. When can I see you again?” I suggested we cook dinner (he’d earlier offered to cook for me) Friday night. I could have sworn he said that was good.

When I hadn’t heard from him by noon Friday, I called as I needed to know what time to expect him. I said, “I wanted to solidify our plans for tonight and see what time you were thinking.” He said, “What plans?”

I was floored. Had I hallucinated the conversation? I responded, “When we parted you asked when you could see me again and I said Friday. You don’t remember that?” He said, “No. So I made a commitment to my mom for tonight. I’m driving, so let me check my calendar and get back to you. I think Sunday’s open so let me look and I’ll call you.”

Needless to say, the call never came.

So what could have happened in this guy’s brain? Had he never heard the Friday night suggestion? Did he never have an intention of seeing me again? Why would he say he was attracted to me yet not make an effort for a second encounter? Did he already have a girlfriend but was still looking around in the hopes of a tryst? And then when I didn’t scoop him away after coffee, he thought better of it?

I know men tend to be more literal than women. They can think that unless something is said straight out one should not interpret an implied message. But never before would have I thought someone could say on a date “I’m very attracted to you. I’d like to see you again” yet have no intention of making that happen, especially when the woman says she’s interested, too. It’s puzzling.

What would you do in this instance? Would you just say, “Next” as I have done? Men, any insights into this kind of thinking and behavior?


8 responses to ““I’m attracted to you” does not mean “I’ll call you””

  1. Joan Price Avatar

    My guess is that he meant what he said at the time, but he didn’t write it down, then had a couple more first dates with other women, and (uh oh) didn’t remember that he had sort of made a commitment to you for Friday night. If you hadn’t corresponded between Wednesday and Friday, nothing jogged his memory. It doesn’t excuse his behavior, but maybe it explains it a little…?

  2. Teresa Avatar

    My guess he meant what he said at the moment but of course he he neglected to add unless someone better comes along. It:s all about the bigger better deal these days.


  3. Heather Avatar

    Most confusing. It may be that he says that to everyone, not wanting to hurt anyone, but never has any intention to call. He may not have thought it was a firm date, but then he should’ve said he’d get back to you. He may have been out for a bit of fun, but you would think cooking dinner together at least had the potential for more fun. I’d just move on, assuming he wasn’t as interested as he appeared.

  4. Brenda Avatar

    Yes, “next” him. If he had truly been interested in seeing you again, he would have made it happen. The fact that he said he was spending time with his mother and that he would get back to you and didn’t, says that he did not care to follow up on this.

    Next time, if a man does this again, without a firm commitment, I suggest that you make plans with someone else, or just yourself, to do something – so if he does call, belatedly, you are busy but hopefully available to see him again sometime soon.

    This man does not deserve any further chances.

  5. Lisa Avatar

    It seems for midlife men that unless they take the active initiative to set something up, it is all just blah blah blah. If he was really interested, he would have suggested a specific date–“I would like to see you on Friday. Are you free?” etc. etc. rather than leaving it open ended and in your hands. That has always made a huge difference to me in terms of gauging someone’s sincere interest. It doesn’t mean they won’t disappear, but at least it makes them take the reins–mid life men being notoriously ambivalent–at least in my experience.

    I had something similar happen recently in that a man I had exchanged several weeks of very funny creative e-mails with just stopped writing. He lives about 1.5 hours from me so we had not met yet ( I prefer to just meet rather than talking on the phone), although he had suggested it, but since it was right before the holidays other social obligations had to be met, but he had the mid life red flags flapping pretty stiffly–he was SOOO into me before he even met me or talked to me, alluded to some heartbreak in the past year, etc. etc. –but you have to proceed with a little bit of fun and optimism, right? Otherwise every communication is too laced with cynicism.

    Anyway…..The guy in your situation DG just seems the typical mid life talker–one of those who is almost desperate to prove that he is still attractive to women and will say anything in the moment with little regard to future reality.

    I empathize with your disappointment. I had a man once tell me he could not meet me (as we had planned after having gone out a few times) because he had to cut his grass. At least a person’s mother seems a more noble excuse than a weed!

  6. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Lisa — you made me laugh — cutting the grass took priority over seeing you. I guess that’s a male equivalent of “I’ve got to wash my hair.”

    Thanks to everyone for sharing what you’d do in this situation. It’s too bad that he didn’t have the follow through I respect — and he’s the top salesman for his company so I know he has those skills. He just chose to not use them.


  7. Richard Avatar

    I really hate hearing stories like this about my own kind. That said, here’s my own take on it. There is at least a 50% chance that the guy was fishing for an immediate “hookup.” Saying, “I’m really, really attracted to you” is pretty much the male equivalent of saying, “I’m ready to hop in the sack right now, if you are.” However, the clever way it is phrased is relatively low risk, and could just be taken as a flattering statement, if the woman doesn’t respond with an immediate, “Well, I feel the same way about you. Let’s go back to my place.” Some guys are accustomed to tossing out verbal “opportunities” like this on a regular basis, and are occasionally miffed when the fish doesn’t immediately take the bait, and they move on with a slightly damaged ego. This all still supports the conclusion of “next,” though.

  8. Mark Avatar

    I have met people like that. They feel obligated to tell you they will connect with you, but never follow through with it. I think this is more common with people born after 1980 than my generation (1950’s).