You meet. You like each other. He starts texting and/or calling every day. Maybe more than once a day. Maybe all day. He says the sweet little flirty things, that lead you to believe he likes you.
You go on a date. Maybe you go out a couple of times. Things seem to be going well. Conversation is good - easy, comfortable. There's a lot of laughing. A lot of nodding because you agree. Chemistry is definitely there.
He keeps up with the communication. Then, just as you start to feel at ease...
My best friend and I are convinced that there is a black hole somewhere in the universe where men go when they hit this exact point. It sucks them in like a vacuum, and they're never heard from again. Occasionally one falls out, lands with a thud, and texts you - and then he gets sucked back in, usually just as quickly.
A guy once told me that men do this because they're afraid if they don't come on strong, women will think they're not interested and move on. So, a guy has to keep her "on the line" (so to speak) until he figures out what he really wants.
That same guy later told me that when a guy realizes he is interested, a lot of times he will pull back a little, to see if the woman will pursue him. Or, if he decides he's not interested, he might just start avoiding her, which resembles the pulling away, but is actually different. In this case, if she chases him, he can just say she's crazy or too clingy and use that as an excuse to officially end it - but only if he's pressed. Really, he'd just prefer she let him fall into the black hole.
Just so I'm clear... When a guy behaves like he is interested, it's because he's either really not, or he's not sure. When he behaves like he's not interested, it means that he might be - unless he's not, in which case he's just avoiding you because he doesn't want to actually say what he really thinks.
But women are the crazy, complicated ones...
Listen guys - I can't speak for all women, but I will tell you that the majority of us would be perfectly happy if you just told us what you're thinking. Not interested? That's cool. I'm not going to get all weird because one guy says he doesn't want to date me. You are interested? That's also cool - and no, I don't equate you saying so with a marriage proposal.
I'm not usually "that woman" - but if you want to see how quickly I can turn into her, go ahead and mess around with my head. The uncertainty, and the insecurity it causes, will be enough to send me over the edge. It'll make me obsess and wonder, and try one thing, and then another, and keep going until I get some sort of response because all I really want is a definite answer.
If you really want to to avoid the clingy, possessive, crazy woman, here's some advice:
Stop retreating into the black hole of cooties. That's what drives us nuts.