A reader wonders if she should contact a guy who always runs hot and cold, and who recently dropped off the face of the planet.
“We’ve been close for about eight months. And yes, of course, he used to act hot and cold in those periods, but I was cool, that’s not a big deal for me. Until he starts getting busy and leaves me on read for two days. Then I send another text saying ‘Are you okay?’ — and he replies, saying he’s fine, just so busy at work, no apology. Now, three weeks have passed with no more texts.
I don’t know why, but I hope he’ll text me again. Should I just hold myself back and never text him again?”
Let me start by saying I’m sorry you’re going through this.
You didn’t say if you had an established, continuous relationship with this man, so I’ll assume that you didn’t, because normally there would be a breakup conversation or something when a serious relationship ends.
Here’s the thing: He is not pursuing you. You said that he’ll let your texts hang for two days before you reached out and asked if he was okay, which is chasing behavior on your part.
If you want any chance of being with him, you have to learn how to make him chase you instead.
What you’ve described is not the behavior of anyone who really likes you and deeply wants to talk to you.
To answer your question directly — yes, continue not to contact him. Perhaps forever. Let him do his thing and get out there and meet some new men.
By chasing him in the past, you have effectively taught him that you will make sure he doesn’t go anywhere if he chooses not to respond to you.
Now, he’s been gone for three weeks.
Three weeks is actually early days in the world of male disappearances. But you have to decide if you want to deal with trying to draw him closer to you by requiring him to actually date and court you, or if you want to set him loose, move on and find another guy who will be more attentive to you.
I understand why you have allowed him to act like this so far. But at this point, it sounds like you’ve fallen prey to the dreaded “fantasy relationship” where one person wants more and is encouraged when the guy gets in touch or even tosses out a vague “hey” — but he’s largely killing time or responding out of guilt.
If he seemed into you at some point, these crumbs are even worse, because research shows we’re more attracted to people whose feelings for us are unclear.
This man does seem like he was vaguely interested in you at some point. The problem is that “some point” has moved to a distant spot in the past.
This often happens when women over-contact a man in hopes that he’ll ask them out more — which always backfires, since trying to “win a man over” requires a lot of masculine conquering energy.
Feminine energy receives — so when you chase him, he isn’t able to give you his attention, time, and affection.
To fall in love, men need to think about you and decide whether they want to see you.
Men fall in love when they give.
By being the one to regularly initiate contact with him and try to see him, you put yourself into the masculine role in your interactions — which appears to have turned him off.
Given that he has usually found the time to text you eventually, he probably will again…sometime. But given his actions so far, he’s largely ambivalent toward you. He doesn’t care too much about what happens with you one way or another.
Ambivalence is the kiss of death for romance.
The mystery has gone from the flirtation you shared because he knows he can count on you to be there waiting around like a doormat.
You said that the last time he popped up, he didn’t say “sorry” like he usually does. This tells me that he’s tossed you vague excuses about why he didn’t respond to you before — but now it’s only gotten worse since now he’s quit bothering to give you even a lukewarm “sorry” for falling off the face of the Earth.
You don’t have to give up completely on him, but since he has been rude in the past by not responding to you at all, you can learn how to make him chase you, instead. Let him make all the forward motion towards you if you want anything more than a casual text flirtation.
This means let him initiate all conversation, dates, and contact.
If he wants to talk to you, he will. If not, losing an ambivalent man is not a big loss.
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