#Love & Sex

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

by The 4-Way Panel

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Mixed messages after meeting your match at a bar? Learn more about how to handle a guy who gets your number but never calls from our relationship experts.


Dear 4-Way,
I recently ran into a man at a bar whom I know through mutual friends. Our mutual friends were at the bar, and the guy and I ended up having a great night talking, laughing, and flirting, and it ended with a kiss and his taking my phone number. He seemed genuinely interested in calling me and planning a night to go out, but I never heard from him. About a month later, I saw him out, and again, he seemed really happy to see me, very flirty, and talked about going out again and said he would call. Naturally, I never heard from him. His interest seemed genuine, and I’m confused about why he hasn’t called. He’s still single, he’s not a player, and our mutual friends say that he’s a very solid, decent guy. So what gives? Why hasn’t he called? JM, San Francisco, California


The Lesbian Woman’s Perspective: Jody Fischer
Hmmm, let me take out my Magic 8-Ball and see why this guy hasn’t called you. (Yes, I really do have one.)


Me: “So, Magic 8-Ball, will this nice, single guy ever call her?”


Magic 8-Ball: “My sources say no.”


Honestly, that’s what it said. So if you trust the ball, then we can move on to more important matters, like what can you do to not feel so helpless in this situation. My dear, there could be many reasons he has not, or will not, call you, such as he’s shy, busy, gay, having an affair, sick, and last but certainly not least, not interested.


You could always get his number from your friend and call him, but what I’ve learned from our resident and honorable 4-Way straight man and gay man is that if a man’s interested, he’ll figure out a way to make contact. I could see how this guy’s not responding could drive you batty, especially since you had some fun interactions, but I suggest transforming that energy into meeting the next man. And when you meet him, get his number, too, because some guys are just too afraid to make the call.


The Straight Man’s Perspective: Chris Kennedy
Out of sight, out of mind.


He wants to fool around with you when he sees you. He’s attracted but doesn’t feel the need to go through the trouble of planning an actual date when he gets home from the bar and back to his regular life. You’re dismissed from his thoughts and are basically out of his mind. He may seem genuine, he may seem to not be a player, he may seem interested in seeing you again, but actions speak louder than words. He may be a solid, decent guy, but he also seems like a player, too … at least, as far as you’re concerned.


I’d guess that the next time he sees you; he’ll do this same flirt/happy-to-see-you/kissy-face dance. You can keep telling yourself it will be different, but you really only have two choices:


1. Go home with him that night.


2. Be cordial, but stay out of his sight the rest of the night.


If you choose option two, your lack of interest may intrigue him. But in the end, he hasn’t called because he isn’t interested in you beyond the moment. So take your moment to put him out of sight and out of mind.


The Gay Man’s Perspective: Darren Maddox
You know who did call, JM? The women’s rights movement, that’s who! You know what they said? If you want to call someone, then you have the same right to call him as he has to call you. If he doesn’t have the balls to make the first move, then you should—and if you don’t call him, then you should at least call him on his bullshit the next time you see him out playing the same old Flirty McFlirterson game with you.


How about this: the next time you see him out, ask for his number. Then don’t call him. See how that makes him feel. It will likely eat him alive, and he’ll end up calling you before you happen to bump into him again.


Perhaps it’s my being gay and never really knowing who should get the number and do the calling, or perhaps it’s just my stubborn belief that women should feel the same empowerment (and stress level) that comes with making the first move and not knowing whether they’ll be rejected or accepted. In either case, I’m a firm believer that if you, or anyone reading this, wonders if it’s okay to call a guy, the answer is undeniably YES! Life is too short to wait on or wonder about other people.


The Straight Woman’s Perspective: Rebecca Brown
Remember on Sex and the City when Berger enlightened Miranda with the whole “He’s just not that into you” perspective, and it totally blew her mind? That’s the mindset you need to get into, JM. I know it’s hard, but it is truly liberating. And if you stop torturing yourself with the “why hasn’t he done this” and “why did he say that” questions, you’ll sleep a whole lot more soundly at night and probably free up some room in that big heart and brain of yours for someone else who’s more available. Think of all the great guys who were at that same bar whom you missed out on because you were focusing on Mr. Flaky Douchebag.


I don’t want to offend any male readers or dumb them down with my assessment, but I’m finally learning (after many years) that men are very in-the-moment creatures. You look pretty, you’re sexy, smart, and funny, and you were right there in front of him, so he flirted with you and asked for your number. Then he got home, and you weren’t there being pretty, sexy, smart, or funny, and he forgot all about calling you, and ordered a pizza instead. Honestly, JM, it’s still a mystery to me how anyone ends up in a committed relationship with humans as opposed to pepperoni pizzas.


The next time you see him, I’d pour it on and flirt your ass off for about ten seconds, make him want you, then move on to the next guy and leave him hanging. If he wants you badly enough, he’ll call. (And if you want him badly enough, you can always call him, too.) If not, someone else will. It might be Domino’s calling to let you know they’re at your front door, but mark my words, your phone will ring at some point.