I see a lot of women — on websites like this one, but everywhere, really — talking about guys like me. “We have a good time and then, out of nowhere, they never text back!” It’s as though something magical has happened, and they went from “deeply interested” to “inhumanely distant” overnight. There’s no explanation, of course, except “he’s an asshole.” The idea that someone could just stop communicating with no prior warning, and not show any visible remorse for cutting someone off, is just unfathomable. And I have long accepted that I was going to be labeled as one of these assholes, because, even though it doesn’t happen every time I go on a date, I’ve been the guy who doesn’t text back on more than one occasion.
Now, let’s get one thing straight: Men and women (in general) do not respond to things the same way. They don’t have the same styles of communication, they don’t look for the same things, and they don’t always treat one another the way they want to be treated. You can yell at me in the comment section all you want about how I am a misogynist (and you probably will, which is why I didn’t put my real name on this), but it’s true. If you refuse to accept some of the fundamental differences in the heterosexual dating world, you are in for a tough romantic life. It is with these differences in mind that I have chosen to operate this way, and in some cases cauterize the emotional wound by not responding to a text messages after a date or two.
The usual scenario is this (and, again, it’s only happened a few times): I go on a date with a woman, I don’t really enjoy it that much, and I don’t want to see her again. She texts me — once, then twice, then three or four times — and I don’t respond. I delete her number from my phone. I move on. I don’t do this with women I know socially, of course, because that would be incredibly awkward. But if it’s an OkCupid date, or when I’m on vacation somewhere, you can bet that I don’t feel much remorse for cutting things off like that.
Because of our fundamental differences in communication, women act like I am a monster for doing this — it’s something they fundamentally can’t understand. But my guy friends get it, and have probably even done it themselves before. And it’s not a question of disrespect or anger or wanting to hurt, it’s a question of not dragging things out longer than they need to be. Rejecting a woman who likes you is rarely a cut-and-dry thing; they want answers. They want explanations, they want details, they want intricate reasons for letting go, even if you’ve only been on a date or so. Even in the absence of response, they will text you again and again, looking for some kind of affirmation or presumably waiting until you get angry enough that they yell and make the ending clear. By avoiding this contact, there is no room for debate or misinterpretation. It’s just over, and there is no need to make it more uncomfortable than it is.
If I sense that the woman is chill (and she hasn’t texted me multiple times while waiting for my response), I’ll be up-front. I’ll tell her that I’m not looking for anything serious, or I don’t have time right now. I’ll be delicately honest with them, because I know that it’s not going to start some prolonged battle that no one will win.
When you call guys like me an asshole, I get it. And honestly, in your position, I probably would, too. But my opinion is that life is too short to engage in these games, especially when you are never going to give the person the answer they are actually looking for. And honestly, if you are so hell-bent on finding a reason why the guy you went out with one time and texted over and over again didn’t respond to you, maybe you should turn that question inward — why do you think that you are owed so much from someone you don’t even know at all?