The Rules of the Game


He walks me to my car after an amazing first date. "I had a great time," he says, then adds those three infamous words, "I''ll call you." He gives me a sweet kiss. I tell him I had a wonderful time as well. I close the door and smile, then call a friend to tell her how excited I am that the guy I just met with seems promising – and that I can''t wait for his call!

"Wait a minute," my friend says. "Wait for his call? Why can''t you call him?"

I explain how I know he had a great time, too, but that I''m still going to let him call me first. I figure if he likes me, he should call, since he''s the guy. Let''s be honest here. After the first date, the guy should be the one to call to make plans for a second date.

I''m not always this old-fashioned, but I''d rather find out right after the first date that the guy just isn''t into me. If he calls shortly thereafter, I take it as a sign that he likes me. If he does not and said he would, I then conclude that not only is he not into me, he''s a coward to boot.

If he didn''t want a second date, he shouldn''t have told me he''d call. It''s as simple as that. You''re not going to permanently hurt my feelings. I can take it!

If I''m not interested in a guy and he asks if he can take me out again, I have the decency to tell him that I had a nice time and it was nice meeting him. If he can''t take the hint, I simply say, no thank you. You may think it''s rude to say you''re not interested in someone to their face, but I think it''s more obnoxious to say you''re going to call when you never intend to. What''s the point of leading someone on?

As I get ready for bed that night, I wonder when he''s going to call. But I''m glad he hasn''t done so yet. Even after a fantastic date, if he calls 20 minutes later – before I even have time to call a friend – I don''t think, "what a sweetie." Instead, I see a flashing red light.

There''s no need to call the night of the date!

Unless one of you has to travel far afterward (a quick call to make sure he or she got home safely) or you were friends before dating, there''s no good reason. No matter how much I enjoyed myself, I want the night to let my feelings settle.

After Day One 
The next day goes by; he has not called. At 8:30 p.m. on the second day, he does. At this point, I''m overly excited to see his name on the caller ID, though a little annoyed that if he had such a great time, why didn''t he call the next night? We make plans for a second date.

But what if he didn''t call on that second day, or the third or even the fifth? Do I call him? Definitely not! I don''t want him to agree to a second date because he''s too lazy to come up with an excuse not to, and I certainly don''t want to find out after several more dates that he''s not interested. I want to know now!

If he hasn''t called by day four, you might as well write him off. No matter how busy he is, if he likes you, he''ll make the time.

I highly approve of the night-after call. It shows that you''re interested, and it''s enough time to eliminate any signs that you are pathetic. If the date was a weeknight, I''m also a supporter of a brief e-mail the next day. Send one telling her how much fun you had and that you''ll call soon – but do it only if you mean it.

Don''t send an e-mail saying you''re not interested; you should have made that clear after the first date.

So many men and women like to follow rules. I''d say waiting 48 hours after the first date is acceptable, but don''t wait around forever. Any more time than that and you are implying that she is obviously not high on your priority list.

I''m not saying that if he does not call until the third or fourth day to rule him out all together, but if you aren''t a top priority to him, why should he be yours? If he calls on the fourth or fifth day, I think you should be cautious, and make sure he''s not stringing you along.

Men who are confident will let you know what''s on their minds – and not play the mind games women want no part of.

Next time: Part 2 of "the "dating game." Send your thoughts and comments to: adinaleah



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