“Keep in touch”

When one ends a first date, sometimes it’s awkward. You’re not sure if he enjoyed himself as much as you did. You’re waiting for a clue he did. Sometimes it’s in what he says as you’re saying goodbye.

“I’d love to see you again,” is a sure sign.

“I had a great time and would love to take you to dinner.” Even better.

“I’ll call you.” Not so much, as few do.

“Take care.” Not likely you’ll ever hear from him again.

So imagine my consternation when at the end of what I thought was a fun 45-minute drink date, the guy said, “Keep in touch” as we were parting. It might have been an unconscious uttering, not really knowing what to say. But I didn’t like that it was non-committal and it put the onus on me to initiate future contact.

I tried not to read more into it than the nebulous statement it was. I did not spend time with gal pals trying to decipher the cryptic comment. I just went on my merry way living my life and feeling that if he didn’t see what he’d be missing, it’s his loss.

While off-hand mutterings can telegraph what a person is really thinking, they can also be just verbalizations of someone not sure what they want to say. Women can get tied into emotional knots trying to figure out what unclear comments really meant, when they really mean nothing.

So while I believe in paying attention to what someone says, even in asides, as it will sometimes be very revealing, I also don’t recommend spending more than a nanosecond trying to decrypt unclear comments. If you are curious, ask for clarification.

Meanwhile, “Take care” evidently meant that he enjoyed himself as the next day he texted “It was a pleasure meeting you finally. Let’s plan on getting together sometime.” But this is also nebulous. Sigh. I like men who are clear!

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7 responses to ““Keep in touch””

  1. Heather Avatar

    I do find that first date awkward, especially when I’m not really attracted to the guy and he obviously is. Without wanting to be hurtful, I don’t want to give too much encouragement either. I generally text afterwards and say that he’s a nice guy, but I felt no connection. If a guy texted that it was nice to meet and we should get together some time, I would probably reply that I had a nice time and to text when “some time” arrives. I think a guy might reply offhand, trying to play it cool, and not seem too eager. But if he really wants to see you again, he’s not going to waste too much time.

  2. Janie Avatar

    I so agree with you Dating Goddess. “Take care” means goodbye. “I’ll call you is much the same.” But I’m a bit of a coward too. Like Heather I’ll say sure (I’m happy to see you again) but then text or email and say “Thank you for a lovely time but on reflection I don’t think I’m the girl for you”.

    Mind you I not only like a man to be clear. I like them to call me not just text if they want another date.

  3. Susan Avatar

    if a guy is vague after a date, I won’t do anything more than a message saying ‘lovely to meet you’, enough to show if I liked them. If I don’t want to see them again, I very clearly state ‘thanks but I don’t think we’d be a match’.

    Most men I know love to chase women, and if they are really interested, they will call you. Absolutely. And if they are too unsure/not interested enough to call, but you ring them, you risk falling into the category of ‘easy lay’ and them saying yes to seeing you again only to be dumped quickly later! 🙁

  4. Caspar Avatar

    So, I’d like to share a guys perspective. Clearly I can only speak from my perspective rather than all men.

    Life is pretty simple. You meet people. You connect. You have fun. You say you’ve had fun and you’d like to do it again.

    So why is it that it can get so complicated and end up with the analysis and worrying about what things mean. I’m not saying by the way that is a female only thing. Guys can certainly do that too and you are trying to read the situation and second guess things.

    Maybe it would be so much easier if we all just were open and said what we really thought and felt and and were clear. Or maybe, that guessing is part of the delicious story that is dating. If it were too clear and transparent maybe that would be boring?

    I reference this great article – http://www.strictlydating.com/dating-at-40-the-10-step-guaranteed-success-plan/ as I learnt a lot from this on some of the do’s and don’ts.

  5. Lisa Avatar

    After so many years of doing on-line dating (although nothing recently), I have come to realize that words mean pretty much nothing until after you establish a personal connection and get to know someone over the course of several dates–if it gets that far. Actions always speak louder than words. Preliminary emails are often just “blah blah”–you are some guy’s fantasy of the perfect woman until you meet and then you are not!! And I am sure the situation is true in reverse.

    On parting, I usually say something along the lines of “it was a pleasure to meet you,” etc. and part on a pleasant and upbeat note. Maybe that is too vague, but I don’t think it’s fair to put someone on the spot and ask for a second date right then and there. I think it’s best to lightheartedly say “we can both think about it” etc.

    If I were doing the online thing now, I would definitely wait and see if the man shows some initiative and follows up in any way–positive or negative–and take it from there. I have met a lot of ambivalent confused angst-ridden mid life men who seem not to want to put any effort into making an impression, and I am really tired of that type.

  6. Almita Avatar

    My girlfriend went on a first date with a man. When they parted at the end of the date, the man said, “Don’t be a stranger!” We didn’t know how to interpret that one. He never contacted her again after that. So who was being a stranger?

  7. Lisa Avatar

    To be “Don’t be a stranger” means ‘I am not interested in you” because it is putting all the follow up effort on you which is a turn off. If someone said that to me, I would immediately forget about him. It is a waste of effort to show interest in ambivalent men!