dating – I'm still trying (or: explaining Dani's two call rule)

20 May 2009

When it comes to dating (not necessarily relationships) and pursuing people, I’ve had some interesting experiences since my last relationship (which ended 4 years ago).  For a while, I wasn’t ready to date again — not necessarily because I was “so heart broken” but because of some other life events as well.  However, when I was ready to start looking again, it seemed I just didn’t have any luck.

I’ve had guys interested in me, and I’ve gone out on dates, but nothing’s really panned out (as you’ve probably already noticed).  It wasn’t really for lack of trying either — which, honestly, probably hurt me more than it helped.

I am a semi-aggressive woman when it comes to dating.  I’m okay taking the lead and asking someone out or giving my number to someone.  Hell, I’ve even included it in my tip before at a restaurant or just taken the guy’s phone and programmed it in.  Granted in most cases, I’m pretty sure that they dude has at least some interest in me, even if it’s just for the moment.

However, when it comes to longevity, or even just getting a second date… Basically you can just stamp a big ol’ FAIL on my dating file.  I just haven’t found someone who’s connected with me enough, has been interested in me enough, to stick around.  Now, normally this is where, for many women, we insert the long, whiny, emo rant about how nobody loves us and how we can’t understand because we’re not “unattractive” but apparently we aren’t enough.. blah blah BLAH.  It’s bullshit and that’s all there is.

My friend Dani has a rule, a Two Call Rule.  Granted it was established before cell phones were the norm — which, hey, really wasn’t all that long ago… I got my first cell, which I shared with my mom, when I started driving.  Anyway.  Dani’s rule is simple.  She calls twice, and if she doesn’t get a response, she moves on.  When you had to sit around the house, waiting for someone to call your land-line, you really had to establish some ground rules otherwise you’d never leave your house.  Dani would make two attempts to connect with the guy, and if he didn’t respond, then that was it.  It’s pretty fair really, even with today’s connectivity.

While I’m not the absolute best at following it — I have a bad habit of thinking the best of people and making excuses for why they haven’t gotten in touch — I do follow it myself to some extent.  I’ll try a couple times to get in touch with a guy, and if he doesn’t respond or doesn’t make any indication that he actually wants to hang out, then all I really can do is just leave it be.  As Dani’s mentioned to me a couple times, if a guy’s interested he’ll let you know.  He’ll make an effort to get a hold of you.  Anything less and it’s not worth it.

From the other side, as I mentioned, I’m a semi-aggressive woman.  More often than not, I’ll let a guy know I’m interested.  I don’t feel that it’s all on the guy to do every bit of the pursuing — however, I do feel that I should be pursued to some extent.  Mutual pursuing.  If I’m going to make an effort, you should too — assuming you’re interested.  David, from The Rest is Still Unwritten, has some decent advice in his post “Love in the Digital Age“.

So, for those at home keeping score:

  • The swell guy and I have not, and will not date.  Even though he’s moving and will be living decently close to my mom’s, it’s just not going to happen.  He is still a good friend though, and hot.  Hot friends are good, right?
  • The guy I didn’t really talk about, and never created a nickname for, who lives in my new neighborhood… well, after dropping off all contact with me for a long time, he finally IMed me, but hasn’t responded since.
  • The virginian and I went from casually dating, to not talking, to friends.  It all worked out in the end.
  • Sweaterboy has stopped talking to me.  Never called back.
  • Sebby wants to declare his undying love for me, but is just too shy…
  • My bandmate is just that, my bandmate.  Just a friend I see every so often whom I happened to make out with (and then get attacked by a post-make out pink fluffy brain goo high)…

And where does that leave me know?  Still single, really.  It’s not a negative thing, it’s just a fact.  I’m one hell of a woman, and though rejection may suck, it’s not the end of the world.

  • Damn, was my undying love that transparent? I thought it was hidden better than that…

    I think semi-aggressive is just fine in today’s day and age. Better than the waiting-for-the-right-guy-to-make-a-move-on-me technique anyway — people certainly look for the easy way out, and with technology… well, it’s pretty easy for guys to hook up with girls!

    I know that about 90% of my girlfriends have been due to overly-aggressive females tracking me down, too 😛

  • Dani

    wheee! The two call rule! On occasion there are boys who are all “where’ve you been, why haven’t I heard from ya?” If I don’t call more than twice, but hey, I got shit to do, ya know? Other fish to fry, boats to sail, mountains to climb. I don’t need to wait about for a semi-interested dude when a really interested dude gets right back to me. Poor old Lucas called the other weekend when I had Paul over, and it was like “this ship has sailed! Can’t be waiting seven days to get back to Miss Dani, man!” Heh heh.

    That said, I too can be aggressive. I found Paul, contacted him, kept the emails flowing, and was pleasantly surprised at how our first meeting went. Basically I’ll do the “I’m quite interested/intrigued” dance for a few hours, and if I get a bite cool, and if I don’t, I got other things to do. So I guess the moral of the story is, don’t pine for some douche who doesn’t bother to get in contact — just continue seeking non-douches. Poetic, no? 😉

    • word. I need to work on the latter. While I may not have guys lining up out the door for me, there’s no reason to be waiting around for someone who can’t get it together enough to contact me in one way or another.

      And Sebby, even across the ocean… you can’t hide it…
      The whole waiting for the guy to make the first move is lame. I’ll make my moves, show that I’m interested, then it’s up to him to respond.

  • Personally, I think a lot of the problem is with the entire concept of dating. You put yourself into this incredibly artificial situation, where you both have rules you are supposed to follow which inhibit acting like yourself, and then whether it’s because you didn’t follow the rules properly (because you were being yourself) or you didn’t connect properly (because you were following the rules instead of being yourself.) I wrote about it a couple of months ago: http://robot-heart.tumblr.com/post/85875653/seagull-juliaallison-my-favorite-ep-of

    All of my relationships have come from friendships, people I already knew and already knew I was a good match for, well before anything even remotely romantic happened. Every date I’ve ever been on was pretty much a disaster. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people who date or anything like that. I think…it’s just the system of dating right now, which I think leaves pretty much everyone at a disadvantage, and it’s more or less a miracle that anyone ever makes it all work out.

    • While I agree that relationships that form out of friendship seem to be ideal… I don’t see anything wrong with dating. To me, it’s like making a new friend, only maybe more proactive… But you’re also adding in that element of attraction. Because even if it doesn’t work out as a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t keep hanging out as friends.

      I think if you don’t act like yourself on a date, that isn’t to say you shouldn’t have some manners or whatnot, then everything will fail. The whole point of going on a date is to get to know someone and see if you can enjoy each other’s company. Well, that’s a large part of it at least.

  • So right, it’s not the end of the world. And to be honest, I’m jealous. I’m the “relationship” girl; the one who hasn’t been single since she was 15. Ya, that’s me. I just fall into relationship after relationship, and always long ones. So I don’t even have a clue what it’s like to just date, to not have that committment. I kinda wish I did. Maybe I’d appreciate having a boyfriend more… Maybe not. But I always wonder what it’s like to be single in any capacity.

    • From when I was 13 until I was… 21.. I had had about 14 boyfriends… plus who knows how many random dates and make-out sessions… After my last relationship though, my ex was really surprised to find out that I was still single. I was his first real relationship, and since me he’s had a few other relationships and is now in a decently committed one…

      My brother, however, is the “relationship” one… … I just hope I don’t end up being the “single one with 15+ cats”…. ’cause you know I’ve got the potential…. 😉

  • Dani

    ah, I’m not a big fan of ‘dating your friends,’ I have to say – while sometimes it is the ideal thing, my experience with my girlfriends who like to date our guy friends is that they end up complicating the group dynamic unnecessarily, and it is awkward for all, esp. upon breakups. I’ve always had good luck seeking out quality outside guys and folding them into the group.

    Dating doesn’t have to be an artificial process, I reckon – I like to go on outings that aren’t defined as dates – that way, if they develop into a date naturally, nothing was forced.

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