Dating Unplugged: Drastic approach or game changing trend?

“He’s been texting me for the last three days, but he still hasn’t asked me out for another date! What is going on?”

I get asked some form of this question at least twice a day. Frustrated single women scratching their heads over why the man they are seeing, (or maybe more accurately, not seeing) is dragging his feet on setting up a date. The romantic tales of today are sounding more and more like this; boy meets girl. boy gets her number. boy texts girl. boy texts girl some more. girl gets frustrated that boy is not making any real moves. Sometimes there is a date or two wedged into all that texting, but not always. Quite often the relationship fizzles out leaving girl to wonder, “where did we go wrong?”

The reason these potential relationships fail to take flight can vary. Some men just prefer the comfort of a virtual relationship, others start interested but that interest quickly wanes with one text too many, but most are doing what women wish they wouldn’t do. They are texting with multiple girls at once and just don’t have the time to date all of them.

Tired of constantly losing at the dating game, my client, who we will call Grace, decided that she spent too much time during our sessions asking me when and what to text boys. Exhausted at the minutia, she decided to do the unthinkable. She disabled her text messaging. She decided she would date plugged for the next year and hope for better results.

When Grace handed out her number, she made a point to tell the guy she couldn’t receive texts. Some looked confused but others just accepted the information. Some wouldn’t call even after taking her number, but the ones who did, set up dates. Not only that, but they set up the next date before that date ended. The biggest difference came with online dating though. Since Grace was a big internet dater (and I recommended not giving that one up) she emailed with men but again told them she didn’t have text capability. The results? There were no more long drawn out texts convos with men she hadn’t met, no more waiting “day-of” to get a text about where and when they would meet (or if they were even still meeting!), best of all, she wasn’t worried that she was wasting time constantly communicating with someone she wasn’t going to see again. Grace’s story changed to boy meets girl. boy gets girls number. boy calls girl and asks her out properly.

Grace’s resounding success caused a wave among her friends. Soon they were all dating unplugged. I began telling my clients to stop giving out there cell phone numbers and go back to using their home phone. Funny, not all were up for the challenge and when pressed, admitted that they were afraid of letting go of their virtual relationships, even at the prospect of more quickly developing a real one. Most that tried did try it though, were pleased at the turn around. They felt no more angst and anxiety in between dates. They felt more confident while on them, too, because they were only going out with men who picked up the phone and asked them out, which takes more thought and courage than typing a quick “how r u?”. And while you would think that communicating less with someone would slow the relationship, in many ways it had the opposite effect. More people were going on more dates, more often, and building something real rather than aimlessly surface chatting for weeks about their daily grind, or plans for the weekend.

If you have had your fill of flirty texting that lead only to confusion, anxiety, and more texting, take the uplugged dating challenge and keep us posted on your results!

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I RUINED MY CHANCES WITH A GREAT GUY! CAN I WIN HIM BACK?

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Should I text him back: How to stay strong when he finally calls

Should I text him, when to text back, How long to wait to textHe pissed you off. He let you down. Not just once, but a few times. Now it’s a week later, your phone is vibrating and it’s him. What do you do?

How many of you have ever been in the situation where you know you shouldn’t call or text a guy back, but for some irrational and illogical reason, you go against your own sound judgment and do it anyway? Maybe he said he would call one night, but didn’t. Or maybe he’s disappeared on you for a few days and he’s suddenly come back. Whatever the reason is that he is contacting you now, you know that dating etiquette would tell you to either send him to voicemail, or let him hang in textual limbo. Maybe you leave him there for good, or maybe just for a night. Whatever the specifics of your situation are, you know that the right move is to not call or text him back right away.

But somehow the right move just doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t sit well. It’s like day old pizza in your stomach. You can tolerate it for a little while but sooner or later you have to do something about it. Every book out there will tell you it’s perfectly okay not to return his call. In fact, many will say that it will only help you gain the upper hand. So why can’t we follow this one little-bitty, time tested, widely known piece of advice?

Not Calling is Tougher than Calling

While you are waiting for his call, a tremendous amount of angst builds up inside of you. You are stressed, nervous, sad, and angry all at the same time. It’s emotional overload. You walk around with a cloud over your head, and no matter what else you do to keep yourself occupied, it’s still there.

Until that phone rings. Then suddenly all that emotional build up is wiped away. Thank God! He’s called (or in many cases, texted.) You are satisfied for the moment. That will teach him to make you wait. But then, not ten minutes later all the angst is back. Now the ball is in your court. It’s up to you to make the right decision. You have all the power. What if by not calling back he thinks you are a total bitch? Or what if you wait too long to call him back and he calls someone else? Someone cuter and less neurotic? What if he thinks you are mad, or worse, what if he thinks you are playing a game? Is it possible you could push him even further away at this point? Now the emotional stress is even more unbearable because it’s contingent on you. Before you only had to sit there and do nothing. That was easy. Now you have to make the right play or you could ruin everything!

What to do when you know you should not call.

For whatever reason, earlier you decided that this guy did not deserve a call back, either right away or maybe at all. While you were waiting you gathered all the evidence you needed to support your decision. You were just waiting for him to call so you could immediately start not calling him back. But once your cell lit up with his number, emotion took over, and rather than stick to your original plan, you became consumed with one thing: making yourself feeling better. The problem here is that holding out on calling him, means holding on to the stress. You’d rather call him back and be done with that, than prolong this agony. You’d rather call and lose a bit of your pride than not call and worry about it for the next three weeks. We’ve all been there, and there is no shame in that place.

The problem is that if you call or text him back, you will just be starting this vicious cycle all over again. You were finally going to stand your ground and do something different. Something he wouldn’t expect. And while you planned this all out in your head, you felt good about it. You felt powerful. And that is where you need to be. So how do you fight this urge to immediately respond? How can you win this internal battle with yourself and come out victorious?

The Solution

Just when you are about to pick up that phone and make that fatal mistake, I want you to think of one thing. I want you to imagine going to your “Favorites”, pressing his name, and hearing the phone ring. I want you to imagine it ringing and ringing. And ringing some more. And then I want you to imagine the worse thing possible happening. His voicemail picks up.

Can you even fathom having to leave a message? You could hang up of course, but if he doesn’t call you back after that, then what? Then you will be in an even worse position than you are now. So you would have to leave some sort of message and then you would have to hang up and wait for him to call you back…again.

Same goes for texting. What if you text him back, and then as some guys are known to do, he doesn’t respond. The text-then-no-text is the absolute worst!

Just thinking of him not replying to you yet again should be enough of a deterrent for you. The best way to ensure that he will pick up his phone or reply to your text is to wait a long enough amount of time so that when he sees your number finally pop up he thinks, “wow, I wasn’t sure if she was going to call me! I better answer because she took a long time to respond.” At that point, he won’t want to miss his chance to talk.

So next time you are struggling with the no call back, just envision this scenario. That should keep you nice and strong for at least a few hours. Because nothing is more frustrating than waiting a week to hear from a guy, only to have him ignore your call back to him.

Check out my two books for advice on finding and keeping the guy you want.

Was It Something I Said - Should I text him back, best book on dating, best dating book Continue to my Advice Blogs here, or choose from some popular posts:

Why Hasn’t He Called?

When You Should NOT Respond.

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Do you have a burning question about hooking up, texting, or getting to commitment? Post a comment below or follow Jess on Twitter to get your answer!
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