A reader asks: I remember watching a video on your website where you stated that it’s a red flag when women return voicemails with text messages. I had an interesting experience this evening. I went on a first date on a Sunday, called her this evening (Tuesday), and in my voicemail I asked her on a second date on Thursday or Friday. I also asked her to call me back. She responded with a text saying “Thanks for your VM. Just listened to it. I was at the gym. The restaurant you mentioned sounds fun. I have an event Thursday, though. Hope you’re having a great week!” I felt it was odd she didn’t acknowledge that I offered Friday as well. Also, I thought it was probably a bad sign that she didn’t offer a different day that would work for her. Other than mentioning that the restaurant sounded fun, it seemed similar to other texts I’ve gotten from girls when they simply turn down a date request and don’t say anything else. I feel like in those situations the girls were politely letting me know they’re not interested. Is it a hard and fast rule that you use that if a girl returns a VM with a text that you interpret that as she’s not interested, and you don’t pursue it any further? Or do you determine things on a case by case basis? If so, what are your determining factors in regards to when to continue pursuing, and when not? Thanks!
This is a very common situation. I will address your question part by part
(a) Returning a call with a text. This used to be bad manners, but these days, when texting becomes more and more common and calling less and less popular, it’s consider normal, so I wouldn’t take it personally, even though still – it’s not the “classiest” thing to do. In other words, I wouldn’t assume today that just because a girl returns your call with a text, this means that she is not interested. Many, if not most, people seems to be doing this because… again – everyone else is doing this, so they think it’s acceptable.
(b) Not mentioning Friday. There are two options here – either she skimmed your voicemail and didn’t notice the Friday option or she was just trying to blow you off and didn’t even bother to fully address your voicemail. In any event, there is nothing wrong with responding with “what about my suggestion to meet on Friday?” If she says she is unavailable, then you can push the envelope a little further and say “not available on Friday or not available at all?” and see what happens when you confront her a little more directly. Some would suggest not to bother doing this, but.. what do you have to lose. I am always curious to see how people respond when you do this. Some get defensive and disappear, while other rise to the occasion and actually find this type of directness to be attractive and refreshing.
(c) Not offering an alternative day as a sign of not being interested. This is also not a rule that’s always correct. In some cases, it’s true that a girl who doesn’t bother suggesting a different time to meet is not interested. However, many women, especially the more traditional ones, expect the guy to continue pursuing them and working toward figuring out the mutually convenient time to meet. A woman might also want to make sure that you are really interested in her and you will not give up just because she said she is not available on a certain day. Assuming that the woman you are dealing with and are trying to set up a date with is not just play games, this is a very feminine quality and to be expected.
In sum, it would be great to have universal rules of calling, texting, and responses that apply to every situation, but “case by case” is the way to go for one simple reason – we are all different. We have different personalities, goals, desires and experiences that shaped our own needs and behaviors. So, how can there possibly be a universal set of rules that applies to everyone? It can’t possibly exist. The goal is to know what to do in each specific situation.