Two strikes — he’s out!

I know — usually it’s three strikes before someone is out. But in dating sometimes all you need are two interactions with a man to decide he’s out.

Tonight was a good example. A man from a dating site looked at my profile every day for the last two weeks. In his picture, he wore a hat, sun glasses and had written nearly nothing in his profile. However he was height, age and geographically appropriate. He emailed a funny message 5 days ago. I responded with some banter. He replied with his number.

I waited a day to call. I decided to see if he was as funny live as he was in his email. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. At the end of the 30-minute call I thought I would just release him back into the dating pool. However, he wrote a nice email afterward saying how much he enjoyed our call and looked forward to talking again. Yesterday, he emailed asking if I’d call him since I hadn’t given him my number. I said I was tied up until late. He emailed today asking if I wanted to have coffee this afternoon. I responded that I was booked, suggesting perhaps tomorrow. He asked if I’d call him tonight to discuss it.

I tried to figure out if he was needy or lonely, or if I should just give him some slack. Since I like to give people some grace, I gave him another chance and called him again tonight. After 10 minutes, I remembered why I was going to let it go after our last conversation.

He would frequently change the subject to some rambling thought. Was he ADHD? Or just an unconscious communicator? He focused on himself (are we surprised?) until he realized he was monopolizing the conversation, then asked me one of the questions he’d asked me just two nights before. Were my answers so uninteresting he couldn’t remember from just 48 hours before? When I began to answer, he’d interrupt to share some stream-of-consciousness babble.

When he asked when I could meet him for coffee I made some excuse about having a full schedule for the next few days. Luckily, his self-distraction played to my favor and he changed the subject. I soon excused myself.

Have you found that two interactions are often sufficient to decide if you have enough of a connection to warrant a meeting? Sometimes it doesn’t take three strikes for someone to be out.

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14 responses to “Two strikes — he’s out!”

  1. Samantha Avatar

    Hmmmm…. maybe you were a little hard on him. Some people are not great with communicating, esp. in a dating situation. He may have some social anxiety, but once he relaxed might be a wonderful man. No harm in not being interested in the guy, but you come across a bit critical. It’s easy to judge someone before meeting them, we all do it.

  2. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Hi Samantha:

    I know I’ve felt as you have in the past. Now I’m trusting my assessment skills more. When a phone conversation has been difficult and then I met the man, it has been excruciating in person. So I’ve learned to not waste time for either of us. It’s usually the opposite as it was last week — we’d had 4 good phone conversations, then in person nothing. So to have challenges on the phone spells doom in person (at least in my book).

  3. Tina T Avatar

    I think that since women are better listeners (no offense men) that we can assess a situation over the phone very efficiently. After 2 conversations I can’t imagine that there would be a connection by meeting him in person. Actually, you knew after one call that there was no connection, but you let kindness take precedence over instinct and made that second phone call.

  4. Emily Booth Avatar
    Emily Booth

    A guy who has a blank dating profile and wears sunglasses and a hat in his photo is a big red flag that he has some issues. You gave it your best shot, it didn’t work out, back to the dating pool.

  5. nysharon Avatar

    I agree, go with instincs. When ever I push past it–it’s a disppointment and I feel I wasted my time.

  6. Toni Avatar

    I also don’t want to waste my time or energy. A man winked at me (didn’t bother to email) then when I sent brief email saying thanks for wink, tell me more…wrote to ask if I’d like to meet in afternoon for “tea or scotch” in a place where he could “show-off” his digs. Huh? I gave him benefit of doubt and asked for his number to call….when I called he mumbled on phone, couldn’t understand him, then yawned. Then asked me when we could meet. I think not. I got off phone shortly after and have no regrets. Only wonder who these guys are? This man in profile made it clear he’d gone to Stanford and other top schools…geez.

  7. Dating Goddess Avatar


    Apparently the school he didn’t attend is charm school!

  8. Toni Avatar

    you are so right – he needs finishing school :-)))0

  9. Mitsy Avatar

    Some of these posts really bring back memories of my online dating experiences. It’s hard to say if you should give them 3 chances are not waste anymore time after 2. To give the guy the benefit of the doubt, as someone else posted, maybe he’s better in person at communicating. I remember one guy who talked well on the phone but when I met him in person, he had little to say. It was very uncomfortable to say the least. No chemistry and pretty boring sized up his “in person” personality. The continual theme among most bad online dating situations is lack of effort on someone’s part. Many men are not sure they even want to meet someone, let alone develop a relationship with someone. I think the online dating world has been too casual in some ways. People don’t seem to put their best foot forward or they think it’s a game where people’s feelings don’t matter. Reading about the awkward conversations just make me glad I’m not involved in it anymore.

  10. Cilla Avatar

    I think you’re being really generous giving someone TWO strikes! Heck, if date number one (or phone conversation number one) goes badly, I don’t feel the need to invest in a second. I cut people slack if there’s a legitimate reason for the disappointment (they’re sick, kids underfoot during phone call, etc.), but my dating criteria have become honed by dozens of conversations that go nowhere (or worse, make me like the man less).

    I am growing tired of the online scene for the same reasons some of the previous posters discussed. When my subscription runs out at the end of January, I’m giving it a break. If I meet someone great before then, terrific. If not, it’s a sign from the universe that it’s just not the right time for me, and I need to focus on other areas of my life. I had sort of given myself a deadline for meeting someone in another part of the country, as I’m open to a move. But at a certain point, I need to pick a city where I want to live and eliminate meeting men anywhere else. I have to say, it’s a disappointment that even with my lack of geographic boundaries, I still haven’t met anyone who “sticks,” just a lot of liars, cheaters, egomaniacs, players, disappearing artists, bumpkins, and guys who are just plain wrong for me. If being alone is the price of having high standards, I guess I’ll have to live with that.

  11. hunter Avatar

    Men are a dime a dozen, see another one.

  12. Samantha Avatar

    I too did the online scene on and off for 10 long years. It really did go on that long. Due to some personnel changes at work (new people coming in to the workplace) someone finally came along there who has never done online dating. I was so relieved to meet someone who wasn’t in that online mind set (maybe a better one will be around the corner). Combine middle aged cynical men with middle aged women along with our own issues (over weight maybe and what have you) and it can be hard to find the needle in the haystack. A lot of men specify in their profiles that they only want to meet women who want a long term relationship because they too have met their share of players. I wonder if women should get more specific about what they want so the guy knows specifically that you really want to meet someone and re-marry.

  13. Samantha Avatar

    I got to the point where I said right off to them that we should meet. One phone conversation is enough. I’ve had several wonderful phone convo’s only to find he wasn’t interested in me once we met. My advice is to limit it to an email or two, ONE phone convo, then meet. If you can’t meet for a week… that’s OK. Just curb the phone contact. If you guys meet and like each other, great. Talk all you want! I’ve done it all different ways, and this way works the best IMO.

  14. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Hi Samantha:

    I’m glad that works for you. For me, I need a few conversations to better understand his values without being distracted by his looks, especially if he’s hunky. A lot of men who email or call me show their hand before we meet which saves me the time of getting dressed up and driving to meet them, then nothing, or I uncover a deal breaker. If a man is sex focused, it usually comes out by the second or third conversation when he asks my cup size or tells me the positions he imagines us in!

    The bottom line is you have to figure out what works for you and your process works for you.