How to Know When You’re Being Played

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

When he doesn’t answer your texts on time

Dating is especially difficult in this technological day and age. It’s funny – it seems like the more ways we get to connect to each other, the more barriers go up on making that connection genuine. One of the newer ways we’ve been getting in touch with new people is through online dating websites and mobile apps. If you’re lucky, this then leads to a phone call. More often than not, this just leads to even more texts. Now, I’m not an advocate of texting when trying to get to know someone new, but there are some cases where it can’t be helped. In these cases, it’s good to have a set of rules that you follow to help weed out those who would simply add you to their hypothetical “black book”. As you know, the less personal you are with someone, the easier it is for them to play you, and as Beyonce and Shakira said, “Nobody likes being played.”

24-hour limit

I give potential dates an extremely generous 24-hour limit to respond after every text. When this time is up, my heart moves on. I may still dabble in a quick exchange with you from time to time just to be friendly, but trust me, the attempts to meet up stop, and the next guy who comes along gets my full attention.

If you were a celebrity he’d answer right away

Think about it. If you got a text from David Beckham how long would it take you to respond? Exactly. Not long. So why is it okay for this new guy to ignore you when he already showed some interest? You first have to know that you’re worthy of celebrity-level attention from a potential date. A timely response sends the message that he’s truly interested.

There are no excuses (except for the good ones)

Good excuses: “I misplaced my phone”, “My family member died”, or even just an honest “I saw your text, got distracted, and completely forgot to respond. I’m sorry.”

Bad excuses: anything else.

This all reminds me of a story of what I went through with a guy.

I met this guy on Jack’d (ugh!) and we started messaging each other back and forth and had a good rapport. I eventually asked him for his number. A day and a half later, I got his number along with the message, “Call me or text me sometime”. Record-scratch! Yes. A whole day and a half. I was already turned off. This guy was a player. Think about it from his perspective: If I leave this guy hanging for that long and he still wants to talk to me – that’s easy ass. Not to say that he was this calculating, but that’s the message he would get if I responded after all this time. If he were truly interested, it wouldn’t have taken him this long. I played along, knowing full well what I was dealing with. I flipped it on him: “Nah. You call me xxx-xxx-xxxx.” He must not have liked that because I didn’t hear back from him for about 5 days, but lo and behold, my phone chimed a new text: “Hey it’s ——”. After a short conversation that was left unfinished, I didn’t hear from him again for another whole two days. Yet again, he tried to put me in the box of “I’ll talk to you when I feel like it.” At that point, I was tired and done playing games.

The story goes on for much too long, but I eventually came to understand that he didn’t text me back in good time because he worked as an EMT and sometimes had 12-hour shifts where he would just go home and go to sleep afterwards. I accepted that he had a tough job, but I didn’t accept that as an excuse as to why he couldn’t text back. If I were important enough, he certainly could have texted a, ‘Sorry, just got out of work and I’m tired. Talk tomorrow,’ type of text. Certainly, if I were a hot celebrity he would have made the effort. And a few strokes of your finger to send a message is no effort at all.

How do you feel about texting in the beginning stages of getting to know someone?

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