When a man says, “Let’s get together Saturday night,” do you take that as a possibility or a promise?
I take it as a promise. If he says, “Let’s do lunch sometime,” as many acquaintances do, I view that as a possibility — a remote one, more of a nicety than necessity. No fixed date is stated. But giving a time frame, even if no specific time, is a promise in my mind.
If he said, “Let’s get together this weekend,” I still consider it a promise, with the specifics to be determined later. I hold in my mind that we will get together, even though I won’t reserve a day or time until that is cemented. So I don’t limit my activities waiting for the phone to ring.
This came up again this week. Tuesday I met for coffee a man with whom I’d been talking for a week. We had an enjoyable time, laughing and learning about each other. At the end of the hour, as he walked me to my car he said, “Would you like to get together again?” I responded, “That would be fun.” He said, “I have to work tomorrow night, but why don’t we go listen to some music Thurs. or Friday night?” “Either one works for me.” He said, “Great. Tell me when to be where and I’ll be there.” “Okay,” I muttered, as I knew he was new to the area so might not have ideas on where to go.
On my way home, I thought about all the things I had to do before going abroad in a week. I didn’t relish researching who’s playing at which clubs then deciding which would work best for both of us. And candidly, I think it’s part of a man’s job to plan an outing that he thinks would please the woman he’s trying to impress. I spent too many years being the activity planner in my marriage and now I want to have someone who will take the lead at least half the time.
I called him the same afternoon and said, “I have a request. As you know, I’m preparing for my trip to Dubai next week and would really appreciate it if you would do some digging about our music options.” He said, “No problem. I’ll call you tomorrow and we can discuss it.” I appreciated his flexibility.
Wednesday evening he called from work (he works nights) to say hi. Before we could solidify plans, he said he needed to go as someone needed him pronto, but we’d talk tomorrow. No problem.
Thursday came and went with no contact. I thought, “Perhaps he’s thinking we’ll get together Friday.” Friday came and went with no contact.
This has happened to me before. So is he flaky? Did he decide he’s just not that into me? Did I misunderstand? Was my assertiveness too much for him to handle?
I kick myself for not doing what I’ve learned to do from past experiences like this: set a time before which we’ll talk to solidify plans, like, “Let’s talk by 5:00 Wed. to solidify our plans.” I forgot to do that this time. Not that it slowed me down, as I went about my business anyway. But it does make it hard to make other plans. So on Tuesday when he said “Let’s get together Thursday or Friday,” I didn’t make plans with a gal pal to see a movie on the other night, as I might have if the date were definite. I could have limited our date plans to one of the two days, but I wanted to be flexible in case a great band was playing one night but not the other.
I also could have called him to clarify, but I figure if I have to chase a man down to confirm a date, he’s not that into me so I will just let it go. If he doesn’t want to see me enough to confirm then best to release him.
Contrast that with another man with whom I’ve been talking once a week for 5 weeks. Our schedules haven’t meshed until this weekend. He called Monday and asked about getting together. We decided Sunday would be best. He called Friday to further define our plans. We discussed options. He said he’s going to research where to meet in the town about half-way between us and he’d get back to me Saturday. I like that kind of planning and follow through! He understands that possibilities need to be turned into promises if he wants to see me.
What do you think about the difference between possibility and promise? Have you ever thought something was a possibility when the man you were seeing thought it was a promise?
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