When it doesn't happen, it hits you like a car wreck.
We're talking about a guy not calling. Not texting. Not using the number he (emphasis on HE) asked for when we met and made magic like vodka and tonic. Oh, we know why. It goes like this:
1. He lost our number
2. Phone service is down
3. On the way home, after we kissed, he got kidnapped by a Somali terrorist group. (Alt: He fell on his head and got amnesia.)
4. He's gay.
5. (That can't be right, not the way he worked those lips)
6. He's a sadist, who gets off on torturing women
7. He's just not that into (shall we have a communal groan here?) us.
Okay, this pretty much covers it. Let's turn this over tothe guys at Details Magazine. What gives?
DETAILS BREAKS THE SILENCE! HERE THEY ARE WITH THEIR EXPLANATIONS.
When it comes to the battle of the sexes, guys have your number-we just don't always use it. But why does a man bother getting your digits if he's not going to pick up the phone? It's a fair question, so here are a few of the reasons he may not have called-and when you should take the initiative and pound that number pad yourself.
WHY HE DOESN'T CALL . . .
. . . AFTER HE ASKED FOR YOUR NUMBER AT A BAR:
1. We fancy ourselves big-game hunters. Our prey: phone numbers. And this is often done without premeditation or hostility-some of us simply thrill to the chase, then once the number is actually stored in our phones we lose interest.
2. We sobered up. Perhaps we weren't fall-down, black-out drunk, but after downing a couple of beers during our tête-à-tête things got a bit hazy. The next morning the memory of what you said (or even what look like!) is patchy. Did you like or loathe reality television? Who knows? Rather than embarrass ourselves as we fake our way through a second conversation, we just choose to not engage.
3. We suddenly remembered a girlfriend/wife. Maybe we really want to go out with you but are still entangled in a relationship, or perhaps we were seeing whether we still have the single-guy skills we'll need when we're free and clear-but either way, it's likely that either guilt or fear or both has led us to erase your number. So count yourself lucky we never did call, right?
When You Should Call: If you had a really good rapport with him and feel that there's really no way he wouldn't call unless he lost your number or was renditioned to a prison in an undisclosed Eastern European country. Men do lose numbers. Men do lose phones. And really, what do you have to lose?
. . . AFTER YOU HAVE A GREAT FIRST DATE:
1. Our initial outing went off without a hitch. We laughed together, the conversation never faltered, and we seemed to be developing a growing bond. We like you-just not like that. That "friend" feeling you've had toward amazing guys? We get it for women too. Calling would mean confronting you honestly about these feelings-fairly heavy conversation after just one date. Instead, we tell ourselves the most humane thing to do is go completely dark.
2. We are dating more than one person. We're in the midst of a delicate balancing act and seeing how it goes with our other someone before digging in for a second date with you. We're trying to have, and eat, our cake. We've got frosting all over our faces.
3. We are still planning to call, maybe in a week. Why the delay? We're establishing our independence by managing expectations right at the start. Even though we had fun, we're not going to be calling every other day and seeing each other multiple times a week. We need space-and are telling you that from the outset.
When You Should Call: This is trickier-if the "we should really do this again" boilerplate felt like a genuine sentiment, go for it (after giving him a few days-say, four-to call you). But again, we can't stress this enough: When a guy is interested after a date, he'll always call.
. . . AFTER YOU'VE BEEN DATING A WHILE AND HE DROPS OUT OF SIGHT:
1. We're losing interest. We're beginning the process of distancing ourselves from you. We're suddenly busy at work. Headed home for a weekend, have friends in from out of town. But-and this is a big but-we might also actually have stuff going on in our lives that we're not ready to share with you. Work really could be imploding, we might have a family issue; most guys won't open up about this stuff too early into dating someone.
2. We're letting you know something that went down recently didn't sit well with us. This is typical guy behavior-you do something that upsets us or makes us see you in a different light, and instead of talking to you about it, we phase you out for a bit. It's very easy for us dudes to go into retreat mode when we're annoyed. Oh, you don't like my old friend Mark (even though he is sort of a d-bag), fine. Talk in a week or so. Maybe.
3. We're trying to figure out where our interest level is, seeing whether not talking to you affects us. We're not exactly sure how we feel about you and we're taking a step back to assess. (Or we're cheating on you, in which case we're trying to get a handle on that situation before we reengage.)
When You Should Call: Simple-if you're dating and he drops off the radar or has a habit of it, you call him. It's not like he'll be surprised to get your call after a few days. And ongoing silence from someone you're supposed to be close to is not a good sign.
. . . AFTER YOU'RE MARRIED AND HE'S RUNNING LATE:
1. One of the beauties of our union is we can be late without its being the be all and end all. We don't call because we'll get there as soon as we can-much as we assume you'll do. Men rank being late very, very low on the scale of marital mistakes-we simply don't see it as that big of a deal.
2. We reject the notion that, because we're married, we have to constantly update each other on our whereabouts. We were single once, and there are parts of our previous, caveman life we recall fondly, and one of those is being free from the responsibility of the "check-in." We remember that all too well, from back in high school . . . when we had to call Mom.
3. We're getting you back-you're always late!
When You Should Call: When our radio silence puts you in an awkward or untenable position. If you're alone at a restaurant, waiting at the airport, with other people, or otherwise being embarrassed by our failure to call, you have every right to ring us-and ream us out!
Hey ladies, just to regroup: I think this is a lot better than "He's just not that into you." What do you think?
For more of a guy's eye view on a few random topics, check out...
True Blood hotties
AND in case yo haven't heard enough on on why men don't call...
[photo credit: Getty Images/Digital Vision]