Written by Evan Marc Katz creator of Why Men Disappear.
Communication breakdown that often happens in the early phases of dating, particularly when it comes to texting.
Rose is a favorite client of mine.
She’s bright, attractive, inquisitive, and always comes prepared with questions for our weekly coaching sessions.
She’s also kind of a guy.
I know Rose is reading this right now and I’m not telling you anything I haven’t already said to her face.
In general, women talk to connect.
You provide detail, nuance, and emotion to every conversation.
You give context, background, clothing choices, and verbatim text conversations.
As a result of this voluminous amount of detail, you are more likely to feel understood by the person who is the recipient of your story.
Men don’t operate the same way.
Men communicate to get a point across.
“You, me, Saturday night?” is a typical male email.
“Yep” may be his reply to your 400 word text message.
When he calls you, it’s to arrange a date, not to tell you what he did that day.
You’ve seen this time and again.
Men keep it brief and get to the point.
And because they do so, you have a harder time feeling connected.
“What does it mean when he says ‘Yep’?”, you ask, holding up your phone incredulously to your friends.
This is the friction men and women have in communication – and it’s a big part of why I have a job. Men usually say only what they really mean. They don’t provide a ton of extraneous information. Not when they’re making a point or making plans.
Which brings us back to Rose, who is a very successful businesswoman who wonders why men never seem to follow through with her.
In reading her emails and hearing her stories about the men who come and go from her life, the answer was as obvious as the nose on my face:
Rose is not passing the baton forward!
You ever see those 4X100 meter relays in the Olympics? How each runner passes the baton forward to keep the momentum of the race alive?
Well, that’s how communication is supposed to work in dating. Your job is to think about what you want to happen and lead the guy into taking action.
Unfortunately, Rose (like many men) is TERRIBLE at this sort of thing.
She’ll get a text from a guy after a date that says, “Rose, I had a great time with you last night. Can’t wait to do it again!”
Rose will reply with, “Sure thing.”
Or she’ll be talking with a guy from out of town about figuring out a way to meet. He’ll write, “I look forward to getting to know you better in person,” to which Rose will reply, “Okay, I’ll look you up next time I’m in your neck of the woods.”
We can go on, but the point should be clear: even though Rose very much wants these men to move things forward, she’s not passing the baton to them to show them HOW. Which is why things always seem to be in limbo for her.
Men can’t tell if she’s interested.
And they certainly don’t know what to do next.
How else could Rose have responded to the first text?
How about, “I think I had even a better time with you! Tell you what, give me a call on Sunday night and we’ll figure out a plan for next week!”
She acknowledges his excitement, returns it, and maps out a plan for him to follow, opening the window for him to make plans for Date #2.
Or let’s take the second text with the long distance guy:
“I’d love to get to you better as well. If we’re going to eventually meet, the best thing we can do is connect frequently on the phone. Best time to reach me is after work around 8pm. Lemme know when you’re going to call and I’ll block out some time on my calendar. Looking forward to it!”
It’s warm. It matches his energy. It’s forward thinking. It’s assuming he’s interested enough to follow through.
What’s the worst thing that happens when Rose lays out a plan for him to follow?
If he doesn’t call to make plans, he’s just not that interested. No big deal.
But if she sends him a bland text or email that doesn’t convey her interest or let him know what to do next, he may think she’s not interested in him at all!
Moral of the story:
You may be feminine, but the way you naturally communicate may be masculine.
If you find that things tend to stall out in the early phases of dating, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of my audio series, Finding the One Online.
In Volume 4, I spend a half-hour explaining how to lead men from email to the phone to the real life date, without all the confusion and friction you’re used to.
Pretty soon, you’ll see how easy it is to get a guy to follow up with you – just by telling him exactly what to do!
Nobody knows more about online dating than Evan Marc Katz. Not only did he work at an online dating company and start an online dating profile writing service, but he also went on 300 online dates over 10 years before he got married.
In other words, he can tell you what photos to choose, how to write a profile, what to say in a first email, how to move men from email to the phone to the first date, and how to attract the best guys and weed out the worst ones.
Soon you’ll have more high quality men writing to you than you’ve ever had before – AND you’ll know how to communicate with them.
The lessons Evan teaches in Finding The One Online apply to “real-life” dating as well. At least that’s what this very happy reader suggests:
"I've had to undo what I'd learned from other sites and books in the past: Play games, play hard to get, don't return his calls, don't text him, don't plan dates. They might as well say, "but do be high-maintenance!"
When he e-mails, I follow your advice and I write back.
When he texts, I respond.
When he calls, I answer.
And he loved my super-scientific dating quiz on the first e-mail I sent which asked him: "Superman or Batman? Tea or Coffee? Breakfast or Brunch? Saturday or Sunday?"
His answers were the first to make me laugh out loud, and I have you to thank for that idea.
I'm continuing to plan dates with other men or respond to their e-mails and calls until Ryan and I discuss whether we should be exclusive, although he says he hasn't checked his profile since our second e-mail where he gave me his personal e-mail.
Our third date is tickets to a concert and meeting two of his friends, while he is letting me plan what we do on our second date. He loves his Scottish heritage, so I planned a Scotch and cigar tasting, which will take place on a dock overlooking our city.
Today he sent me this text: "Fancy, you keep me on my toes, have me thinking of creative ways to let you know I'm thinking of you, and are someone I want to be near, holding hands and trying new things alongside."
The cool thing is that I just trust that he's telling the truth because I'm being myself and confident in who I am because of your advice. I'm just that awesome to someone because I became that awesome to myself.
Evan, imagine going from being sick, scared and alone for years, where the only physical touch you received was from doctors or from family and friends who were trying to comfort you or were scared themselves, to going back in the dating world and getting the best first kiss you've ever had.
From reading your book and following your advice, I really have become smarter, stronger, and on my way to being successful in love, I hope. I don't know what will happen with Ryan, but I'm excited to find out. Thanks for giving me the confidence to try. And thanks for sharing your own stories with us. It turns out that I can learn just as much from your wife as I can from you, and I love hearing how adoring you are of her.
Gratefulness and best regards,
A dating coach for smart, strong, successful women – and one of the better writers in the personal growth space.
He is a real, hands-on coach – he has been listening to women on the phone for three hours a day for over a decade, and he has incredible insight into what makes men tick and relationships succeed.