Dating Games: ‘Worth the wait’

By TAMAR CASPI
June 18, 2010 19:34

Michael liked Joy, but had his own reason for leaving large chunks of time between phone calls. This didn’t faze her. How would you react?

4 minute read.



Celebrate you!

dating games celebrating 58. (photo credit: Pepe Fainburg)

Whenever women complain about a guy not calling within the two-day range, my best friend Joy always tells the story of how she and her husband met.

Joy and Michael were at a mutual family friend’s shiva on a Thursday night, and afterwards he asked for her phone number and said he would call her after the weekend, since he was going out of town.

Ten days later, the phone rang and Michael wanted to know if Joy was still interested. Luckily, Joy was in the middle of finals (this was nearly 10 years ago and we were still in college at the time) and also had a crush on someone else, so the long wait didn’t bother her. She accepted the date and they had an amazing night filled with conversation, laughter and flirting.

Joy completely forgot about the other guy she was crushing on and was completely romanced by Michael. Yet Michael didn’t call for another three weeks!

Once again, Joy accepted the date and made a conscious decision not to make a big deal out of the time lapse between phone calls. After the second date they were inseparable, and two years later they were married in an elaborate Jewish wedding.

Now that their third baby is on the way, I asked Michael if he remembers why he made Joy jump through hoops. He says the waiting game was a test: Since he is more than a few years older than us and was looking for a wife, he wanted to make sure she was mature enough. He told me that he had wanted to call her really badly, but first wanted to make sure she wasn’t a “Rules Girl” (or follower of some equally obnoxious dating theory). Since she didn’t hem and haw over the time in between phone calls and subsequent dates, Joy passed Michael’s own set of (equally obnoxious) rules.

In this case, they were both worth the wait and it ended in the ultimate success; but the type of test Michael used will often lead to failure.

Most women nowadays will not accept even a phone call – not to mention a date – after a few days. But it really depends on you and your overall dating attitude.

If you’re busy dating and working and exercising and socializing, then waiting a few extra days for a phone call isn’t a big deal. But if you’re desperate for a date, then two days already feels like an eternity – so anything more is pure torture, which will lead you to see the guy negatively before you even give him a chance.

The thing is, you don’t know if the other person is still healing from a bad break-up, or, like Michael, deliberately doesn’t call precisely because it is expected. There are always exceptions to the rules, and hopefully your gut instinct will tell you if the guy is playing you or really likes you.

Julie keeps meeting these guys on J*Date who continuously e-mail her throughout the day, ignoring the cell phone number she discreetly types under her signature. It’s definitely confusing because they’re still contacting her, they’re just not taking a productive step in the right direction.

I finally had to be brutally honest with her and tell her these guys fell into two categories: 1. They weren’t interested and were just bored and corresponding with her as a way to fill time; or 2. They were cowards who were too scared to step out from behind the computer screen.

Did she want to pursue a relationship with either type? Of course not. So she needed to cut her losses by no longer responding to the e-mails, or simply being straight up and telling them that she didn’t want to waste her time anymore. Then her phone started ringing.

I

t finally took Julie standing up for herself and being assertive to get these seemingly dense guys to pick up the phone. But they finally did and although Julie was cautious, she accepted their dates and found one wonderful guy whom she dated for a few months. It wasn’t the ultimate J*Date success story, but it taught Julie that she needs to keep her standards and not be a virtual floor mat.

J*Date should be used as a means to an end, meaning that if you are on J*Date, then you should use the website to meet someone in person and not just waste time trading instant messages and e-mails back and forth. And telling a guy that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Concessions need to be made when you’re dating – whether that means allowing a phone call after two days, accepting a first date in the middle of the week, or overlooking typos in e-mails and text messages. It could mean going a year over your age range, or an inch under your height preference, or accepting a phone call after you told the guy you were no longer going to respond to his e-mails.

Relationships need compromise to thrive, even if that means meeting someone halfway from the first day.


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