Ask Charles: "After our first date, he went silent!"

Dear Charles:

I went on a first date with a guy and I thought it went well. He texted me about an hour later and asked if we could get together again and I said I’d like that. We playfully chatted via text for a few hours that same day. One week later, I haven’t heard a thing from him. Why did he ask for a second date and not set anything up if he wasn’t interested?!

- A


Dear A:

First dates offer you a glimpse of who the person is, but you don’t really know them; you just have an impression, and they have one of you. There’s no telling what was going on behind the scenes for him: Multiple dates with multiple people, just out of a prior relationship, busy work schedule, family issues – there’s no knowing. The fact that he didn’t get back in touch after putting in the beginnings of effort, however, is a red flag. If he’s going to say one thing and then do another, it sounds like he’s done you a favor by dropping back. After all, it just takes a moment to communicate if something has changed for him.



Dear Charles:

My boyfriend (25) and I (27) have split because I don’t trust him. On several occasions he has been talking to other women through text, email and phone. I don’t think he’s done anything physical (apart from when we had a short break and I asked him not to but he still did). He is a doorman at a 5-star hotel. He says he doesn’t see anything wrong in talking to women even though I made it clear it wasn’t acceptable. He said he did it to make himself feel like he still had it and wouldn’t have met up with any of these women. He wants me back and I love him so much and everything else about him is perfect. He says he won’t do it again but he has said that before. Would I be a fool to take him back?


Dear M:

A man who is really with you won’t need to validate himself by “seeing if he still has it.” My gut reaction is that he is playing you, and you’ve said that he’s done this before, so more than likely, that’s what’s happening. You told him that it’s unacceptable, but then you took him back. And what that REALLY means to him is that it IS acceptable to you. My advice: move on. If he’s playing these games now, what will happen later? He needs to be real with you and confident in his decision to be with you and you alone, and until he does, you are better off without that relationship. You can’t make him stay or invest, M, and it has nothing to do with if you are “worth it” or not. He has to choose, and you need to realize you’re worth someone’s best treatment.

Dear Charles:

I received a text from this guy I’ve been dating. We’ve been seeing each other for the past six months exclusively. He says “I love you” (he also said it first, I made sure of that), but tonight he tells me that he needs some space. He says he loves me, but he’s not in love with me. He wants to take a break for a while, meaning a few months, but he wants me to wait for him while he figures things out. What gives?


Dear S:

It’s been six months and he tells you he loves you. Now, he’s spooked and wants space? Okay, maybe. That’s sounds a little like deflection and doesn’t effectively communicate what’s really going on in his head, but people get to things as/when they do. The red flag: He wants you to wait. I see. So what he’s really saying is: “Baby, I love you, but only kind of, and I want some space to go do whatever/whomever I want. But you? Yeah … you need to wait. Right. Here. Don’t see anyone, don’t sleep with anyone, don’t do anything that involves another man and when I get good and ready, I’ll be back (maybe … I haven’t decided yet, because it depends.)”

Sorry, but I call bullsh*t.

My gut: He’s doing you a favor. Take his need for “space” as a gift and recognize that this break is actually a break-up. Go do your thing and if/when he comes back, you can decide if you want to be available then. But I will say that anyone who plays these games is (usually) just warming up. There’s more game-playing behind that, and I would advise you not to find out.

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