Ugggghhhhh, I don’t get it! I am so frustrated. I thought for sure this boy was different. I mean, I’ve been through this a million times. I figured out a long time ago that guys will hardly ever call after a random hookup, and if they do you know it’s a booty call. Fine. But is there one single guy who is not 100% immune to me? I’ve been trying to follow your advice this semester, and it’s been good in the sense that guys seem to have figured out that I’m not gonna hook up at closing time.
Lately I’ve been hanging out with this guy, taking it really slow. I told him I didn’t want to rush the sex, and he said that was cool. For about three weeks we were talking, texting, hanging out, etc. We’ve even met for lunch and studied together. I was really starting to like him a lot. Last weekend we finally hooked up and it was really good between us. We didn’t have sex, but it was pretty intense emotionally. I could tell he was really into it. I figured I would talk to him really soon after that, ’cause we usually talk every day. When he didn’t call for a couple of days I called him, and he was nice but things felt really weird and off. Now it’s been over a week, and he’s clearly done. He won’t even make eye contact. Why? Why? Why?
Annabel, I understand why you are frustrated; you feel like you have done everything right, and things still didn’t work out. “Why doesn’t he call?” are probably the four words women dread uttering most (followed closely by “We need to talk.”) I would say this is probably the most common complaint of young women. Things seem to be going really well, and then the guy disappears. Self-help books have been written about this one question. There are lots of reasons a boy may stop calling, but it’s tricky to generalize.
Here are the most common interpretations girls make when a boy is MIA:
He’s Just Not That Into You
Yeah, I guess it’s true that if he were obsessed he’d call. But I don’t think not calling means that he doesn’t like you or feel attracted to you. Often the best lasting relationships evolve slowly, not necessarily moving forward in a straight path. Maybe he will be in touch again after a little while, maybe not. If a boy has second thoughts about committing and then goes for it, that’s a happy ending.
By the way, I have trouble with this explanation (and book) in general. I find it really depressing. It’s in the FIDO genre of self-help (F**k It Drive On). Sometimes it pays to hang in there for a while. Every young woman I know who’s read this book feels very discouraged afterwards. Who needs to read a self-hurt book?
You’re Not Relationship Material
So often girls blame themselves when the guy loses interest. They feel like they’ve been told they’re not good enough, not hot enough, whatever, for the guy to become exclusive. But in the hookup culture, it is often precisely those girls who are relationship material who get screwed over. Guys want to hook up. When a guy is monogamous, he is giving up something he wants. When a guy is single and hooking up with a variety of girls, he usually doesn’t get to know any of them particularly well. The intimacy is strictly physical.
In your case, you delayed the physical intimacy, and established a friendship first. The two of you got to know each other, resulting in an emotional connection. You enjoyed spending time together. When you did get physically intimate, you saw it as a natural progression from the feelings you were having for this boy, and by your own account it went really well for both of you. But as you were feeling great about being on the path to a relationship, he was freaking out – “Like, whoa, man, this is way too intense!” Scary stuff. So he balked.
What is especially disappointing in this case is that even though you had become friends and spent a lot of time together, he was unable to tell you what was really going on with him. Unfortunately, that is also common. Even nice guys just don’t know how to talk to girls about emotional stuff. Most of them will get there eventually, but he just isn’t on your emotional wavelength yet.
He’s a Total Player Douche Bag
You feel like you’ve been messed with. He hung out with you till he got what he wanted, then he took off. You feel used. He wasn’t even honest about it. He made you look like a fool. He is probably getting props from his friends right now for dumping you. When you see him around, he ignores you, he acts like you’ve got the plague.
All of this might be true. Or none of it might be. He might be a nice guy who handled this really poorly. He might be confused. He might be taking crap from his friends about being whipped.
Guys are good at pretending to be invested in the short-term to get sex, but if you spent a fair amount of time with this boy, and you were emotionally and sexually compatible, then I don’t think you should assume you used poor judgment, or were wrong about him. The fact that he was cool with taking it slowly from the beginning weighs in his favor. He might just not be ready. Or maybe he realized he wasn’t going to fall in love with you. It happens.
So what should you do now?
Be fabulous. Fake it if you have to, but you will feel better about yourself if you exude confidence whenever you are around him.
Don’t engage in drama. Let it go. Creating a scene makes you look like a psycho and convinces him he made the right call.
Don’t write him off. Chill out, and keep an open mind. I’ve seen boys in this sitch come around, though you shouldn’t wait for or expect that. He’s probably too much of an idiot. Of course, the chances are good that if he does see the light you will have moved on. But at the very least, in time he may be able to apologize and approach you as a friend again.
Don’t go back to behaviors that made you unhappy. This is not the time to start having sex with his frat brothers. Stay true to yourself and what you want.
Get back out there so that you are ready and open for the right guy when he shows up. Soon there will be a boy who is really glad you aren’t taken. Continue to take it slow, maintain your independence and learn.
This is all part of living – it will shape your own future expectations and experiences, and will help you learn what you want (and don’t want) from a relationship. In the meantime, remember two things that are always true in life: