One of the biggest questions after the date is the nagging question: “Why didn’t he call you?”
The question can take myriad forms. “Why hasn’t he called?”, “Why hasn’t he called me back?” or “Why hasn’t called me yet?”… is one question.
Yet there are many possible answers, and each situation can result in a unique answer. Some of the answers are valid, while other answers are excuses. Let’s look at the most common, honest reasons why he didn’t call you.
He Doesn’t Want to Call You Too Soon
There are dating guides that say not to call the day after the date because it makes him seem eager. Other books suggest waiting a few days to draw out her worry and anticipation, so she’ll be relieved to hear from him and feel grateful that he called. If he starts calling her the day after the date, he may seem desperate, needy, clingy or rushing things. By waiting a few days, he demonstrates that he has a life outside of her and theoretically improves his status in the relationship. If he says he was working late or earning overtime, he may even improve his image as a potential provider.
The dating method “The Rules” tells men to delay calling back so that he’s in control of when they resume contact. Then he controls the conversation when they plan the next event, and he isn’t caught unprepared when it is time to plan their next outing.
He Isn’t Going to Call
Maybe he said he’d call you as a way to end the date, but he has no plans for a second date. Perhaps he said he’d call you but upon further reflection has decided he doesn’t want to go out again. Not returning the call is seen as more merciful than calling you up to say he doesn’t want to see you again.
You might have given him your number and pressed him for a promise to call when he wasn’t interested in you. Or he met you but isn’t truly available (yes, cheater existing, both married and steady with someone else), so he doesn’t call after having had a good time. This is why you shouldn’t engage in sex on a first date, to avoid one night flings with someone who technically already has someone. In those cases, he isn’t going to call unless he wants to drag you along as a mistress on the side. And you don’t want him to call you, if that’s the case.
This is a valid reason for a man not to call. Did you give him your number late at night at a party, and now he has a piece of paper with a phone number on it but no clear memory of who gave it to him? Was he drunk, and thus doesn’t remember his promise to call you? In fact, he may not remember that night at all.
Did he have trouble remembering your name? Then he certainly might have forgotten your number. Even in an era of cell phones and text messages, he may forget to call you back if he doesn’t associate your phone number or text messaging ID with your name. In those situations, your subsequent calls and hang-ups may even be mistaken for telemarketing or crank calls.
He Can’t Call Back
There are cases where a guy cannot call you back. He lost his phone, which was the only place your phone number was stored. He dropped his phone in the toilet, losing all data in the process. The phone was stolen. His phone’s latest update turned it into a brick, and he hasn’t saved the phone number since the last update. He clicked on the link to a cool looking site, and now ransom-ware is demanding a $50 payment before he can access his data again.
Conversely, it may be a non-technical reason. His boss has him working 80 hour weeks for the next two weeks. He has the opportunity to earn overtime and needs the money. His latest job assignment is somewhere without cell phone coverage.
There are legitimate reasons why he literally cannot call you back. Why he didn’t call you may literally be because he couldn’t, though a surprising number of these excuses can be solved by tech support or putting his phone in a front pocket instead of a back pocket.
He is attracted to you, but he doesn’t want to talk to you right now. You disrespected him in front of his friends, so he’s debating whether to choose between you and them. Your snide comment about something he cared about offended him, and he is too angry to have a civil much less loving conversation. Your flirtations were mixed with rejections, and he’s mad that you may be playing him. He found out that you lied to him about something significant, and he’s angry.
Too many romantic comedies have someone pretending to be a royalty or rich only to turn around and have that character do a big reveal; in the movie, the other lead is supposed to love them anyway. In real life, meeting someone you talked to online only to find out they lied about prior relationships, having kids, being divorced, liking sports team or a simple admission of “I said it because I thought you wanted to hear it” may be enough to make him question the relationship. He’d rather not call when upset than risk blowing up the bridge between you. And he’s upset enough that it takes a while before he can call you back.
He Doesn’t Know How Much He Likes You
He liked the date. He thinks he likes you. He may not be calling you back immediately because he hasn’t decided what the next step is. In this case, he isn’t delaying the call because he won’t call back or wants to dominate the situation. Instead, he is trying to decide if the next outing will be more romantic than fun, more serious than an outing with friends, more intimate than the prior one.
When this is the reason he hasn’t called, you can be assured he will call. The only exception is someone so shy or nervous that he is afraid to call you back. These cases require you to call back a week after the last conversation. If he likes you, he’ll love you for calling and proving you care. If he has decided he doesn’t want to level up, then you’ll have an answer instead of waiting another few days by the phone.
He Doesn’t Want to Feel Obligated to Call
Some people use phone calls and check-ins as a way to control someone. Constantly calling someone while they are out disrupts their evening out, degrades the quality of the experience and demonstrates that the person calling them is in control of the situation. Some guys don’t want to call her back because he doesn’t want to feel obligated to call her often.
This is a complicated situation. If you’re married, he should check in or call you once in a while. If you’re starting a relationship, calling to keep in touch – assuming you aren’t texting regularly – is a form of feedback, relationship building and affirmation.
However, constantly calling can be seen as putting someone on a leash, at your beck and call. Someone who constantly calls is readily seen as demanding or needy. He may not call for a few days to avoid the obligation to call the next day to check in. If he sees calling back after a decent interval as a horrible imposition or gets offended that you want him to call you once in a while, then there are two likely causes: he’s a jerk who wants to string you long emotional via a silent treatment until you’re so desperate to hear from him that you’ll be putty, or he’s seeing someone else and afraid phone calls will lead to discovery of his cheating.
Why didn’t he call you? The mistaken belief is that he just isn’t into you. The real reasons can be complex and contradictory. Give him a few days to call you back and don’t agonize by the phone waiting for the call, even if he might be. However, if he doesn’t call back in a week, he’s either not going to call or has too many other issues in his life for you to continue dwelling on him.