A reader e-mailed me with a problem that they have faced in online dating.
“On those rare occasions when I get responses to the numerous e-mails I send out and good conversation occurs, going back and forth for a day, a week, maybe two weeks and then sudden and absolute silence from the female occurs, what just happened?”
I can’t speak for every girl in the online dating world, but I can at least give you a few ideas as to why the disappearing act happened. I know how disappointing it can be to feel a connection growing with someone, and then they disappear in the blink of an eye. You’re left with no answer as to why, and can only wonder what happened. I have three theories as to why a girl disappears in the midst of a good messaging string.
Most women that I know are at least talking consistently with 2-3 different guys at a time. These 2-3 men have surpassed the initial inspection and are onto the next step in this process. Out of the 2-3 guys, one of them is going to either stand out, or ask for her number first. I know a lot of guys are not sure WHEN the best time to ask for her phone number is, but I would say that after a week it would be acceptable. I normally will swap phone numbers after just a day or two, just because it is easier to text than it is to message through the apps.
When a girl gets a phone number from a guy, she tends to ease off of the dating website, and starts spending more of her time texting with this guy. This man has made it to step 3 in the process and is on his way to getting a date. Because this girl is now spending more of her time texting this guy, she somewhat, if not entirely drops off of the online dating world. This means that the other 1-2 guys that she was messaging with are no longer in her focus. She will likely reappear if the first date doesn’t go well with the texting guy, but if she never does…then i’m sorry to say she’s likely off the market.
Very similar to the above scenario, the outside world can cause the disappearing act too. We live in the day and age of NOW. We want things NOW! Patience is a virtue that we almost don’t have to have anymore because everything is so instant. Although she has enjoyed conversing with you on the dating website, an attractive man at the grocery store could cut off that communication stream in an instant. When we meet men in real life, there is no week long messaging that results in a phone number and date. Instead we immediately jump to phone number, and the first date could be the next day. It is much more instant, and therefore more desirable in our mind.
If she meets someone in real life, she might not log onto the dating websites ever again. It sucks when you have put in so much effort through a weeks worth of messaging, but ready rice is a lot more tempting than having to boil and strain out regular rice. If this new prospect ends up not being a match, then she might resurface eventually, and likely will tell you she’s been busy at work.
Transaction vs Connection…
I have found many times I will be messaging with a guy and out of nowhere it starts to feel like work. There is a fine line between a TRANSACTION and a CONNECTION. If I find myself searching for things to talk about in order to keep the conversation going, it feels more like a transaction to me. A connection is where you find yourself having so much to talk about, that there are not enough hours in the day to go through all of it. It takes little to no effort to message back and forth with this person because you have a great CONNECTION.
When I start to feel like I am having to try TOO hard in order to maintain a conversation, I get disinterested very quickly. Normally when I start to feel the disinterest, I will just message the guy and let him know that I don’t see a connection. However, some men can be pretty needy and want to know what’s wrong, what they could do differently, etc etc. Because there is always the possibility of having to spend extra time explaining your feelings, this can be a less appealing thing to do. That is why I think a lot of girls tend to just stop messaging altogether, and hope that you’ll take the hint.
I have had a lot of guys ask me WHY I don’t see a connection, and ask WHAT they can do to change. Finding out why I don’t see a connection, isn’t going to help you connect with someone else. Just because you’re not MY type, doesn’t mean that you’re NOT someone else’s TYPE. That’s why I think a lot of girls try to avoid being asked these questions. We don’t want to be responsible for someone trying to change who they are as a person. That is why I tread very lightly when I offer up one-on-one advice to guys.
For example: If you are very outdoorsy, then I won’t feel a connection with you. I HATE the outdoors. Unless I am on a beach with a cocktail, I would much rather stay inside. I agree that opposites attract, but there is no way in hell I am sleeping in a tent. I don’t want you to stop doing things that you love, just because I don’t love those things and I most likely NEVER WILL. Relationships are about compromise, but I think that there is a certain level of compromise that should be off limits.
Another example: I typically will not talk to guys that are into running marathons, and similar running activities. When I was a teenager, I broke both sides of my ankle on a trampoline. Fortunately they were able to reattach the bone by screwing them together, and I was able to walk again. HOWEVER I am not able to run anymore. I could run, if I was being chased by something or someone, but I wouldn’t be able to walk the next day. I will never be able to run with you, or participate in marathons, because I am physically incapable. So when your profile says you would love a girl who can go running with you, I already know that we wouldn’t work out because of this. I could follow you in my car, but I think that takes away some of the magic of ‘running together’.
In conclusion, I can’t necessarily give you an EXACT reason WHY a girl disappears, but I wouldn’t rule out any of my theories. That is why I would suggest to not wait more than a WEEK before giving her your phone number. You don’t need to spend weeks and months messaging each other before taking that step, and if the messaging has been consistent and equal, then she will likely be glad you made the move. It doesn’t hurt to at least throw your phone number out there, and give her the option.
“Hey, I definitely will keep talking to you on here if you would prefer…but I wanted you to have my phone number if you decide you would rather text me. (###)###-####. :)”
TADA!!! Now she has your phone number and the ball is in her court, and I think you would be surprised at how quickly she will text you. If she doesn’t text you, then she’s possibly timid, or she might not be THAT interested. There are TWO very important things to remember depending on the result of this message:
She Doesn’t Text: KEEP TALKING TO HER! Act as though the phone number suggestion never happened, and continue the messaging stream through the dating website like normal. Don’t make her feel pressured to switch to texting, and show her that you don’t care HOW you two talk, just as long as you’re talking.
SHE TEXTS!!!: Although text messaging is a new platform for your communication, it is important to keep it similar to the last one. Think about when you get a new pet…if you plan on feeding it a different food than what it used to eat, you have to ween the pet with the new food slowly. The same applies in this situation. You want to keep the messaging similar to what it was through the app, but throw in some surprises occasionally. Pictures are a great tool to use! Send her pictures occasionally of either yourself, a pet, food, or anything you think she might enjoy seeing. The pictures make her view you as more than just a random guy on a dating site, she starts to think of you as a real person.
Thank you for reading and also thank you to the reader that suggested this topic!!! I hope that I was able to shed a little light on why girls have disappeared on you in the past. Have I missed any possible reasons why a girl (or guy) stops messaging? Is there something that has caused you to cut off communication with someone? I would love to hear about! Please follow my blog if you would like to read more and so I know you’re out there! Please feel free to suggest topics for future posts by either commenting below, tweeting me @how2cupid, or e-mailing me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you! Good luck & happy soul searching!!! xoxo