Why Some Strong Suitors Quickly Cool

Ladies, are you confused by guys who come on strong during your first date then quietly disappear, never to call you again? Maybe it’s time to adjust your dating expectations with these five tips.

By Dave Singleton

nthusiasm. Excitement. Anticipation. These are the wonderful emotional aspects of dating someone new that cause your serotonin levels to soar. But it’s easy to get disillusioned when the
This makes him a man who is single and dating, just like you.
initial enthusiasm about a first date fades or the pace of your fast and furious flirtation slows.

You want to know why he came on so strong, then quickly cooled. But maybe the better question is, how can you get your expectations in check while you get some perspective? Instead of why, focus on what, as in, what can you do to bring your dating expectations back in line and stop the emotional rollercoaster.

These five tips will help you rethink your expectations, steady your pace and keep that initial dating enthusiasm bubbling on a slow burn.

1. Consider the reasons why men flirt fast (and flee faster).
What if you spent more time mentally preparing for your dates and less time dissecting them afterward? Start by reviewing all the reasons why a seemingly nice, normal guy might come on very strong, then quickly cool and back off from another date. Of course, there are many reasons to consider; you expect that the first-date high will stay… well, high. It doesn’t. Fantasies give way to reality. Reality can include juggling a stressful job and a complicated, busy personal life in the real world. Maybe an old girlfriend reappeared. Or he’s got the attention span of a goldfish and lives in the moment like a four-year-old. He was into you, but the feeling faded. Or he’s really a player dressed in a mensch’s clothing and was never as into you as you thought… the list goes on and can drive you crazy if you dwell on it, so don’t! Being aware of the possibilities before the date prevents you from feeling let down if he comes on strong, dazzles you with charm and then fades away without a peep. If you are steeled for the possibility, the motivation behind the move ceases to matter.

2. Don’t just assume you know what happened.
I can’t count the number of times women have told me slightly different versions of this same story: “We had an awesome first date last night! But this morning, I see that the jerk updated his online dating profile. What a creep!

Sorry, but this doesn’t make him a creep. This makes him a man who is single and dating, just like you. Is it a problem? Not necessarily, but women sometimes jump to the conclusion that a man updating a profile means that his feelings for her have cooled. I don’t think that’s true. It’s an awkward example of how the Pandora’s Box of technology opened yet another door that we weren’t ready to handle in regards to transparency. In the good old days, you knew his dating options remained open by running into him alone at a bar or with another woman at dinner. Chance encounters were rare. It was easy to live in a fantasy land, pretending that your date wasn’t a romantic gadabout. But online dating allows for such clarity. It doesn’t feel good, but your date isn’t doing anything wrong by updating his profile. The dating game is now played far more out in the open. That alone doesn’t mean he lost interest in you! Always assume that your dates are dating around until there’s a mutual agreement about exclusivity. In fact, why aren’t you dating around, too? Which brings us to my third tip…

3. Keep your dating schedule full.
If you are out there meeting men and increasing your odds of finding a great date, then kudos! But here’s the thing. Don’t stop looking once you get asked out on a date. When you are dating
Don’t confuse flattery with genuine relationship interest.
and single with no committed relationship looming on the immediate horizon, what’s wrong with having several, simultaneous dating prospects? Nothing. In fact, think of it as having an emotional insurance policy.

Not only will having several prospects keep you calmer as you emotionally toggle between different guys, but it’ll also prevent you from hanging all your hopes on the whims of one man before he’s ready (or deserving) of such power. Keeping your options open early on takes the pressure off. Nothing screams “danger!” to a guy faster than feeling like he’s trapped after just one date. Without all this pressure, you and your dates have a chance to be yourselves and the guy is a lot less likely to disappear.

4. Stay on your toes during the “push me-pull you” dance.
First, he pushes you to get that into him. Maybe he’s completely charming, very flattering and indulges you with a premature grand romantic gesture. Then he pulls back once you are that into him, making you question if he’s just not that into you. I call this the “push me-pull you” dance.

It’s a two-person tango that requires timing and concentration as you navigate intricate movements of pushing and pulling while trying to stay on your toes. You know that if you don’t pull a little on your own (rather than only during the times he’s pushing first) that he may think you’re not that into him. You also know that if you push too hard, some men might get turned off. Some men are hunters when it comes to love. They like the challenge. Once you understand the rhythm of this dating dance, you’ll be more comfortable taking a step back now and then — when your original response might have been to leap forward every time.

5. Watch what he does, not what he says.
In our fast-paced dating world, flattery is as seductive as it is mercurial. It’s easy to get carried away with initial, excessive compliments. But don’t confuse flattery with genuine relationship interest. One way to keep your dating expectations in check is to pay closer attention to what your dates do and less to what they say. The signs that he’s hot for you are obvious. What about the signs that imply that your date is interested in a real relationship? Not so much. Most interest indicators are everyday things; for example: you talk with increasing frequency, at least every couple of days. Gradually, you are integrated into each other’s lives. But above all, the most obvious — and essential — sign is that you tell each other that you’re interested in moving on to the next level together.

His actions will tell you if he can live up to that splashy first date come-on that made you swoon. Until then, keep your compliment-oiled ears half closed and your eyes, mind, heart (and dating schedule!) wide open.

Dave Singleton, an award-winning writer and columnist for since 2003, is the author of two books on dating and relationships. Send your dating questions and comments to him at
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