A Problem With Technology or a Mixed Message?

Dear Dating Coach,

Why do women ignore men and play immature little games with the phone? They see a guy's number on the caller id and don't pick up, or listen to his voice mails and then don't respond. They also read the texts he sends but they don't text back. To me this is a sign that a woman is not interested. Yet too often when the guy gets the message and stops calling her, she starts calling him, and the cycle begins again. I know when a woman likes a guy, she chases him. How can I or any guy experiencing this turn it around with a woman? --Straightforward Guy

Dear Straightfoward Guy--

I think this kind of behavior occurs with a small percentage of women, not all women. You are right that if the lady is truly interested, she will usually be consistent in her responses and in keeping the lines of communication open with a guy. If not, and she just likes the attention, but has no real interest--she may "keep him in the wings" until someone else comes along.

There can be a number of reasons for why these women handle themselves this way. These can include problems with intimacy, fear of confrontation and conflict and/or confusion due to not getting closure on a past relationship or an attraction to more than one man at the same time. By the way, men have been known to behave this way as well, for the same reasons that women do.

Try to develop some good radar for detecting "bad girl" behavior in the people you meet, are attracted to, and would like to date. It is important to see your role in this as you choose these women, and may have some issues of your own to confront. Once you work on who you are attracted to and why, you can look for someone who is genuine, straightforward, and relationship ready. Then the only games you will be participating in will involve a team effort.

(from May 2008)

Want to read other columns on this subject?

""Letting Him Down Easily" Requires Honesty"
List of more
"Problems with communication"

This is the last "Problems with communication" column.


Toni Coleman, LCSW
Phone: 703-847-1768


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