I heard from him every single day up until the following Monday. Nothing - until 9:30 pm, when I got a text that said,
"Just saying hi. Going to bed early. How was your day?"Between you and me (and the internet) I know he was online (match.com) earlier that evening. It wouldn't have bothered me except for this...
He has very limited time, which I tried to be respectful of and not bother him during the week. I wasn't looking for us to be exclusive or anything. I guess I just hoped that after five dates, he would put me a little higher on the priority list when he did have free time.
I replied to his text, and got no response from him. I'll be honest - my warning signals were sounding off. It felt like a preemptive blow off - like he was about to be busy for a while, didn't want to ignore texts from me, but also didn't want to have to check his phone.
Like he was about to go on a date (which he normally does later at night due to his schedule).
I didn't hear from him that Tuesday. I assumed his date had gone well, and that I would not hear from him again. I did not contact him because there really seemed to be no point.
On Wednesday, he sent a text asking how I was doing. "Fine, thanks," I told him. He asked if I was mad.
I responded honestly, telling him I felt as though he was blowing me off earlier in the week, and that since I hadn't really talked to him, I thought he'd probably lost interest or met someone else. I told him I was not mad (which was true). I never mentioned seeing him online because I knew there was no point.
He told me he was not blowing me off, and had not met anyone else. I have not heard from him since.
It's honestly cool, and I won't bother him, or even try to figure it out. I had doubts of my own, and I suspect he did, too.
Several friends asked how I could be so sure that he was blowing me off or going on other dates. One reason:
Because I've played that game.
I've been on many dates where, before settling down for some one-on-one time, I had to send one (or more) text messages to other guys, "excusing" myself for the rest of the evening. "Dinner with the girls, no-phones rule in effect" is my go-to reason. "Have a good night!" Depending on the relationship, maybe I tack on a smilely face or a couple of xes and os.
Listen - I know dating is a big game. I don't like it - but I know. No matter how much we say we're tired of the games, call ourselves straight-shooters, profess to be done playing, etc. - at one time or another, we're all guilty of something.
The trick is to never play games with someone who plays better.