I seem to keep running into the same problems lately in my dating life. And so do my friends. Literally three or four different amazing, beautiful, successful single women in my life keep hitting the same wall as me . . . so I KNOW there must be something to it. I mean, as much as I adore Greg Behrendt (and here's the proof), they can't all possibly be "just not that into us" . . . right?!?
What am I talking about?
I don't know if it's modern-day communication or modern-day men in general that are causing us the greatest amounts of heartburn, but all three of the issues I see single ladies struggling with stem from a communication breakdown. I recently wrote a blog post called What (Most) Women Really Want, and all you have to do is scroll down to the comments section to see firsthand the giant Grand Canyon-sized gap between what expectations women have and what expectations men are willing to meet.
So what are the top three communication trends right now in dating that are driving single women bonkers? Glad you asked.
- No follow-through. He shows interest. He flirts. He beelines to your side the minute he sees you at trivia night. The message is clear. He's into you! So when he FINALLY asks for your number, you think it's just a matter of time before he calls, you go out, you fall in love, you live happily ever after. Right? Wrong! Instead, he texts you halfheartedly a couple of times before dropping off the radar completely. So what gives, fellas? Why ask for a girl's number and act interested if you have no intention of following through? I hear phrases tossed around a lot like "He's shy" and "He's intimidated" and "He's too busy right now" . . . but in my experience, a man who sees something he wants tends to go after it.
- Infrequent Communication. This is sort of an offshoot of No. 1, however, this applies more to men who don't drop off completely but instead vanish for weeks at a time only to pop up randomly here and there with a phone call or a drive-by "Hey, pretty lady!" text. What does this mean?!? When you talk, things seem great. You laugh, you vibe, you have a grand old time. So why doesn't he come around more often? This puzzles me more than John Travolta's pronunciation of Idina Menzel. (Adele Dazeem, for those of you who didn't watch the Oscars.)
- Banishing Himself to the Island of Misfit Boys. You're finally dating. You've worked through the early stages of dating communication weirdness and you’re on the other side. Things are moving right along. You are literally saddling up the horse to ride off into the sunset to Happily Ever After when . . . he vanishes. Poof! Gone, without a trace. Last night he sent you a sweet "Good night, beautiful" text and conveniently left off the: "Have a nice life." You literally go from talking multiple times a day and seeing each other multiple times a week to checking the sides of milk cartons for his face. WHAT WENT WRONG? Unfortunately, in these types of situations, you rarely ever get real closure. Usually the guy just disappears into the night, never to be seen or heard from again.
Despite all of these issues, I am happy to report that a communication breakdown doesn't always lead to a break-UP. A girlfriend of mine has been talking to a guy who at times, met criteria for all three of the points above . . . yet they worked through it, and just last week, he asked her to be his girlfriend! This is actually a true story and not an urban legend. So keep the faith, ladies! Keep being open, keep communicating, and keep being clear about what you want, and I truly believe that someday, somewhere, someone will come along who wants the same things as you. And all the guys who came before him will vanish from your mind faster than . . . well, the guys who came before him.
Mandy Hale, affectionately known as "The Single Woman" by her million+ readers and fans, is the author of I've Never Been to Vegas but My Luggage Has and creator of The Single Woman blog. With a heart to inspire single women to live their best lives and to never, ever settle, Mandy cuts to the heart of the matter with her inspirational, straight-talking, witty, and often wildly humorous take on the life of a modern single woman.