His messages DO have an expiration date, ladies ... And then, he's moving on!
Did you know there is an "expiration date" when it comes to responding to a man's interest or invitation? ... Well, it's true.
Especially with online dating, where singles have access to a nearly endless supply of romantic prospects. You may not see it that way, but many people do. This makes dating a somewhat competitive activity. Why am I telling you the obvious? Well, as a dating coach for women, I am frequently surprised by my clients who wait too long to respond to men and, as a result, miss out on really great relationships.
I'm not telling you this to make you panic, but you need to know — there IS a time limit on how long you have to respond to a request for a date or to talk, etc. And that time limit isn't very long.
You're Super Busy
Yes, I get it ... your schedule is incredibly hectic, packed with career, children, soccer, elder-care, exercise, household chores, volunteer work, etc. Squeezing dating into your crazy schedule is challenging. "Real responsibilities" must come first. As a result, when a man contacts you online or by phone, one of your top priorities probably isn't responding to him.
Is taking a few days to respond to him really a huge problem? Yes — yes, it is!
There is only so long a man will stay interested or wait to hear from you. Especially online, since singles often contact multiple people at the same seating. If you don't check your email regularly, you'll easily miss out on a great guy saying "hello." When he doesn't hear from you, he simply moves on to other women who catch his eye.
Wake Up to the Importance of Response Timing
My objective is not to put pressure on you or freak you out, thinking you must respond immediately to for his interest in you.
When it comes to texting, that is an instantaneous type of communication. Your maximum window to text back is 24 hours. Naturally, sooner is better. You don't need to react within minutes, especially if he starts texting frequently. In fact, waiting a few hours can, possibly, be a good strategy to slow a frequent texter down. But, if this is a relatively new contact, your extended response time gives a man the impression you're not interested.
Returning a phone call can stretch a bit longer to 48 hours, but again, 24 hours is more acceptable. If you don't get back to a man, he'll move on since he has plenty of options. Don't risk letting a good one get away because you couldn't find 10-minutes in your day to respond.
Why You Don't Respond
Why can't you find 10 or 15 minutes for a quick phone call? I'm sure there are many reasons which might include:
- You didn't feel like it or weren't in the mood
- You felt too tired or overwhelmed
- You have too many other taxing things to deal with
- You pushed it off to later
- You forgot
- You thought it could wait
- It wasn't important to you
My Client Carol, the Med Student
Let me share an interesting story about timing. My client, Carol, is a medical student (age 32) whose schedules are notoriously overloaded. She managed to find time to attend a local singles event. She went around, mingling with men for 3-5 minutes a piece. At the end of each interaction, Carol asked the men if they wanted to exchange contact information and she collected 10 numbers.
I'm not crazy about this method, since I have found when men ask a woman for her number things tend go better. However, she was seeking efficiency and trying to maximize her time investment, which was her highest priority.
Out of the 10 contacts, one man called and two texted her within two days. This was a surprisingly good result. Did Carol respond to these men? Nope! She's made mistakes in the past, so she wanted to talk to me, her dating coach, first before doing the wrong thing.
Trouble is she waited two weeks before talking to me. She didn't want to ruin her chances with this new group of guys. Sadly, I had to tell her to say good-bye to these opportunities because the men most likely moved on, thinking she wasn't interested. Her window of opportunity with them had expired.
If you want to date and find love, you have to make it one of your priorities. I know everything in your life can't be a top priority, but your dating life needs attention, too. If you want a loving relationship, your dating life requires nurturing. In the big picture, if you don't have time to date, you won't have time for true love either.
You deserve love, which is part of Maslow's hierarchy of the top five basic human needs.
I recommend that you set an intention to respond to the men who contact you, within 24 hours or sooner. If you aren't interested, you're off the hook. However, if you are genuinely attracted to a man, don't let him slip through your fingers because you couldn't find time for love.