It's Monday and you're talking on the phone with a nice guy you're interested in. After some chit-chat he finally asks you out on a date.
It goes something like this:
Nice Guy: Do you want to go out for dinner Saturday night?
You: Yes, that would be nice.
Nice Guy: Okay, I'll call you later in the week to firm up the plans. I'm looking forward to it.
You: Me too. Talk then.
You: Woohoo!! (Okay…I added that on for dramatic effect.)
You like him, and you're looking forward to Saturday. In fact, you're already wondering what you're going to wear and what you're going to talk about.
Wednesday there is no call. Thursday there is no call.
Friday morning comes, and you wonder, "Do we actually have a date?" You’re disappointed: maybe a little mad. You're fretting over what to do next. You email your friend or your dating coach and ask: What should I do? Should I call him?
Unfortunately, this is a common situation — especially when you're meeting men via online dating. So common, in fact, that is happened to one of my clients. When my private coaching client, "Jean" emailed me to ask what she should do, not only did I answer whether she should call him, I helped her make sure this situation doesn't happen again.
My response to her: Hi Jean. No. I would not email or call him. I know it’s difficult to wait…kind of painful even. But he asked you out and, although it was up in the air about the details, it was set to do a particular thing on a particular night. That's a date, right? Wait and see what he does.
This is what you might call "love, on purpose" — choosing specific behaviors and actions to help you more confidently navigate those dating and relationship waters. Whether a man keeps his word is, of course, extremely important. It’s on your list as a must-have. You want him to know you’re serious about finding a man whose word you can trust and that you respect yourself and expect him to as well. As important is letting him take the lead, especially at the beginning.
The gal who emails "just to confirm" sends the signal she's willing to accept him even if he doesn't come through with his promises. And you, Jean, are not that gal. That gal also says "yes" when he calls on Friday afternoon for a Friday evening date. She's the woman he plays with, not the one he marries.
I'm not saying that if he doesn't get in touch, you should forget about him. Something may have come up out of the ordinary that prevented him from coming through. But it's important to see what he's going to do without prompting. Hold tight! This is where you set the pace for all that comes next.
And by the way, there's a way to avoid this in the future. When he asks if you want to go out and then says he’ll call later in the week, tell him this very kindly: "You know, I'm really interested in going out with you, but my schedule is pretty hectic this weekend. [Make sure you qualify that it's this weekend so he doesn't get the impression you're so busy that you won't have time for him.] It would be great if we could make our dinner plans now. That way we can be sure it works out. Would that be okay with you?"
If he's serious about getting to know you, he'll spend the extra few minutes it takes to make a plan, or he'll commit to when he's going to call back with details. If he doesn't do either, it gives you some valuable insight. Maybe he isn't serious about dating and relationships?
People, including my clients, ask me all the time whether I offer dating and relationship coaching for single men (like the guy who didn't call Jean). I don't. But I tell them that I help men by helping women. (It really is ALL about you!) One of the most transformational ways I support women is by helping you better understand GROWNUP men. Just like you, and me, and Jean, the men you're dating have lived and learned. I’ve spoken to countless single men over the years about their experiences with women, especially those in their 40s, 50s and beyond so that I can fully support you in your journey toward your own grownup love story and find that space where you are coming to your relationships with love, on purpose.