The Unavailable Dance

Dear Dr. Darcy

I recently met up with a woman that I haven’t seen in thirty years.  We start dating for a couple weeks and had amazing sex after the third date. She calls me the next day and tells me how great everything was and that she likes me and wants to see me. But then the following Tuesday the calls and the texts stop and [she’s] not returning my calls. During this time she has been interviewing for a job, that on the same day the phone calls stopped she was told she didn’t get the job.  Now that she knows my feeling are getting stronger for her she finally texts me and says she not in the same place. Is it me or what? I treated her like gold. Why when you treat someone great they dump on you? Or is it stress? Maybe she's scared?

ANSWER

People want what’s slightly out of reach.  You, Good Guy, were a little too available.  Although this is a Universal truth that spans genders, it is particularly true within the heterosexual community where women are socialized to expect a man to be relationship-avoidant.  Demonstrate availability/interest too quickly during courting and watch her run for the hills.

That said, treating a woman well and remaining mysterious enough to hold her interest are not mutually exclusive behaviors.  Let me explain:  Treating a woman well might involve putting thought and creativity into choosing dating activities, being attentive during those dates, resisting the urge to try to get in her pants too quickly, and following up with a call the next day to tell her that you had a really good time.  And that’s where it should stop, at least in this limited example.

Let her reach out to you after the post-date phone call, and don’t respond immediately. People like to imagine their dates having very fulfilling and exciting lives, which doesn’t coincide with the ability to answer every call on the second ring.  Let an hour go by before returning a call or a text.  Put the communication on hold before you’ve had 6 back and forth texts.  If she’s texting you so feverishly, she wants to see you again, so make a date and close the deal.  Then, let her sit for some time without communication so that her mind (which is where seduction and repulsion each germinate) can fantasize about the next encounter.

This is really about you controlling your own impulses and pacing the courting phase so that it’s extended. Give in to your impulses and it’s like having sex without enough foreplay: She won’t get off and it won’t last.  People want to crave your attention.  If you give it too easily, there will be no craving.

You can rail against this Universal Law as long as you’d like, but you’ll be railing with all the other people in the world who, like you, are single because they stubbornly refuse to accept this truth.