Men, dating and shiny objects

You’ve exchanged a few fun, interesting and engaging emails with a new guy from an online site. Maybe you’ve also had a satisfying phone call or two.

He promises to call again in the next few days. He says he likes talking to you and wants to get together.


… nothing.

No email.

No call.

No invitation for coffee.

You wonder what happened. Was he lying? Already dating someone else? Married?


More likely he got distracted.

By another woman. A TV show. Work. Life.

Pretty much anything.

In over 5 years of dating, I’ve found men are easily distracted by “shiny objects.” These can be any of the above — or pretty much anything else that takes his focus.

He’s forgotten about you. At least for now.

Was it that he just wasn’t that into you? Perhaps.

More likely, he’s just let other things take his focus.

He may be back to you. In a day. Or a week. Or a month. Or never.

Don’t let it bug you. Just keep going. Don’t wait for his call. Don’t chastise him in an email. It is what it is. You have better things to do than obsess over why he isn’t contacting you. If he calls, fine. You can decide if you want to continue your conversations or not. But don’t ream him out for not calling as he said he would. He doesn’t feel beholden to you now, as he really doesn’t even know you yet.

Let it go. If he does reconnect and this pattern continues, then no need to keep in contact. However, he may be the kind of guy who needs to see you a few times before he decides he’d like to date you, then steps up a bit.

Is it what you’d like? No. But it is what it is. And it’s common in dating. So just accept it and don’t get bitter about it or that anger will leak out to other guys. That’s very unattractive.

Keep dating. Someone will find you are the shiny object that distracts him from other parts of his life.


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14 responses to “Men, dating and shiny objects”

  1. Stephanie Avatar

    It could be that he’s shy and that’s why he hasn’t contacted. If you aren’t going to ever see him again otherwise then surely it can do no harm to contact him and give it a try.

  2. Espi Avatar

    I keep reading about men dissing women when it comes to not showing for dates, but I rarely, if ever, read anything about women flaking on men.

    When a man disses a woman, he’s an insensitive jerk.

    When a woman disses a man, she’s “liberated.”

    It goes both ways. I would say that women flake much more often than men.

  3. andi luna Avatar
    andi luna

    Love this! So glad I’m not the only one 41 confused about dating!

  4. Dee Avatar

    Or maybe he’s just not that into you.

  5. Rachel Fenno Avatar
    Rachel Fenno

    I don’t flake. Also, I haven’t tried internet dating. In fact, I have NEVER actually dated. I’m in a relationship, or I don’t give you a second thought. I would LOVE to figure out how to actually date. At 44, this seems really late in the game!

  6. Richard Avatar

    > I would LOVE to figure out how to actually date

    Not hard for a lady. Put your profile on a free site like, and you will be flooded with requests. Dating effectively is tougher. Weeding through the chaff to find the few that are worth it for you to date. However, don’t make your filters too narrow.

    > I’m in a relationship, or I don’t give you a second thought.

    How do you go from “stranger” to “in a relationship”? Maybe you only date one guy at a time. That is not a “relationship”. There is a grey area between when are you serially dating, and when you are in a relationship.

  7. Tinzley Avatar

    I have been going by this advice for a while now.Just cut a fella off because of this behavior. He was too flip flop and wanted to call or come around at his leisure. Then he never wanted to do things with me even though he claimed he did but I never saw it. Dude is 45 years old still playing the game of chase. I don’t have time so peace! Good advice here thanks!

  8. Chantal Avatar

    I don’t buy it. I think we tell ourselves we need to get used to this crappy behavior, but I see it as poor manners that have somehow become acceptable. There are so many options to meet people online that men are always onto the next thing without hesitation. Texting and e-mail also perpetuate this bad behaviour because it allows us to test the waters easily and with no repercussions – get a bad reaction? Simply delete and move on without ever having to deal with it face to face – or even on the phone! Maybe if you had to deal in person/phone you would be less likely to behave badly knowing the discomfort risk?

    How is it okay to not have the decency to tell someone you aren’t interested? How is it okay to drop the ball while you explore something else and then think you just re-enter with a one-liner text? How is it okay to think so little of a PERSON vs a TV SHOW?

    It’s bad behavior pure and simple. You teach people how to treat you and by going along with these bad habits I believe men AND women are giving each other permission to lower the bar on minimum acceptable social graces. Is it uncomfortable to tell another person you aren’t into them/you lied/you picked someone else? Yes. It is. I say if you can’t hack it then don’t date! Would these same men treat business relationships so flippently? I think not.

  9. Art Avatar

    I think that he is not worth it for your date. Forget and try someone else. Don’t think and waste your time.

  10. Mike Lowrey Avatar

    DG have you been reading a few of my blogposts. lol.

    You are correct in thinking if he says he will call and keeps failing to do so that he isn’t interested. For me, I’m not a constant contact guy, especially if things haven’t gotten sexual yet. I tend to get vested into a relationship right around the time a nipple makes an appearance (hers or mine). I figure that I may not always there when you call, but I’m always on time when you need me. I think I talk to more women about their crappy BFs and helping them through it, then I do with women I actually date.

    Ladies all I can say is that you need to realize just how much is out there now for guys. I can get 5 numbers a night these days and that’s without trying. Guys have tons to chose from. The vagina market is different since the days of the Ralph & Alice Kramden. The Market is flooded.

    The world has changed a lot in the past decade. The vagina war is over. The time of not having to “really” compete for a guy is over. When I meet women, all I hear is what she doesn’t want, or what she went through or what she isn’t willing to deal with….Next!
    Life is short play hard or go home to those cats.

    Chantal trust a guy will never miss calling a woman he is into over a TV show, anyone who tells you differently is hilarious. Just beware that guys are guys. I don’t get where this whole grow up thing. 45 still playing games. Um, the games never stop. We just play a different game when we are in a relationship but if we aren’t game on.

    A married (now recently divorced) woman asked me when do guys stop wanting sex all the time. I told her the second we stop breathing and go on to the upper room with Jesus. Or in my case the hot ass fire lit basement with all the rest of the freaky women I know.

    My best advice to women is:
    Look at what a guy does, not what he looks like and not what he says.
    If you live by that rule you can weed out 70% of the losers.

    DG: I think it is time we linked up on a book: The Man Manual for Ladies. Between my stories & yours, I’m thinking NYTimes best seller.

  11. Chantal Avatar

    Mike: great response, esp the nipple comment 😉

    This is the line that really caught my attention though: Life is short play hard or go home to those cats.

    I agree that life is too short to listen to the whining. In the last year I have had to kick two different men out of my bed for blathering on ad nauseum about the ex when the intent of our meetup was casual fun. Not cool.

    But riddle me this Mike…I realize there are lots of options out there for men (maybe not quality, but quantity for sure). I also know that men don’t like to be smothered and many prefer to go the lesser contact route until a certain milestone is hit (physical or otherwise). So, I am loathe to chase a man until he shows signs of real interest because I agree that he needs to DO something to show his interest. So how do you define “playing hard” when it shouldn’t involve too much pursuit? Does playing hard just mean sheer volume until you find a guy who starts chasing you? 5 numbers a night and play them all until a front runner emerges?

  12. Patricia Avatar

    The best thing to do is enjoy your life after 50. Do the things that make you happy. Do not seek. LIVE!!!!!!. Tommorrow is not promised especially after 50. Why waste time looking for someone to make you happy. Find your own happiness within. Take one day at a time and enjoy the little things. Pay attention to the wonders of this life and prepare for the next stage.Do something kind for at least one person daily, if only a smile or kind word. LIVE !!!!! and if there is someone to share the next years of your life with you will find each other.

  13. Sef Avatar

    Lol to Mike “vagina market”…

    My dear lad, vagina is the gold and woman is the seller. This is a seller’s market and will always be. You’re forgetting the golden rule:

    1. We women do not require or like sex as much as men do
    2. Men need sex; women do not


    3. Woman is in control.

    You can now take your PUA material elsewhere, because your 5 to 6 numbers with no guarantee you’ll close escrow on even one of them is nothing compared to the 20-30 approaches I get a night where I am the one who decides whether I’m giving up any 🙂


  14. Richard Avatar

    She may have the Gold, but I have the Benjamins. It takes two to make a market. Whether it is a Seller’s or Buyer’s market depends on how many seller’s and buyer’s there are. Whoever wants the transaction least is the one that is in control.

    It also depends upon what you consider the transaction. Closing the deal on a one night stand is one thing. Closing it on a LTR is a whole different ball game.

    Playing hard is playing for keeps. Everything you do is with an eye towards the win. Pursuit is an individual thing. Some people need more space, so don’t smother them. Some people are ok with more contact. I take my cue from the other person, and my own pace. Kind of like a tennis mach. She hits one over, and I respond. If she sends me 5 in one day, I may only have time for one response. If she sends one every few days, I respond then.

    I don’t believe in playing hard to get. I don’t have time for that. And, if you are trying to catch that type of guy, good luck when you catch him.