Dear Wayne and Wanda,
I recently was introduced to a guy who works in the same industry as I do (hotels, hospitality, etc.) at an employee mixer. We don't work at the same hotel but we do have basically the same job, so there was a lot to talk about. In fact, I really didn't want the conversation to end, so I was happy when he asked for my card and even happier when he emailed me the same day to say how great it was to chat and that we should grab lunch sometime.
A couple of weeks passed and he emailed again. I wrote back. After a few back-and-forths, we set up a lunch appointment for that Friday. I told a friend about it and she asked, "Is this a date or a business meeting?" I didn't know the answer -- and I still don't! I guess I hoped the lunch was a date. He seemed nervous, we talked mostly about personal stuff instead of work and he insisted on paying, saying I could pay "next time" and suggested maybe we could get dinner instead so we could enjoy some wine.
That was weeks ago. He has sent a couple of emails here and there about how busy he is with the cruise ship season starting (don't I know it) and all the tourists coming in. I've been busy too. But I've still had time for lunch or dinner. I really wanted that first meeting to be a date because this guy is cute and interesting and seemed really fun. We're both in our mid-20s and I thought it might be the start of something. Yet his lack of urgency has me thinking maybe this was just a business meeting in his eyes. I don't know how to figure out what he's thinking -- if anything at all. Was it a date or just business? Is there any hope here? Help.
-- Business or Personal?
Wanda says: Remember back in the day when you liked someone and you'd have to wait until you got home to check your answering machine to see if they called? And if they did, you'd probably wait a day or two to call them back? There was no email, no cellphones, no texting or tweeting or IMing. Relationships moved at a slower pace and correspondence was not nearly as rushed or immediate.
Those days are over.
In this day and age, when you're into someone, you move. Because if you don't, someone else will. It's survival of the fittest and fastest, and as a result, if someone's into you, you will hear from them. I don't care how busy you are at work: it takes 10 seconds to send a text.
This guy sounds nice enough, like someone who might become a solid casual friend over time, like someone with whom you definitely have professional overlap and could swap war stories over occasional happy hour appetizer platters. But boyfriend material? Sorry to say it, but his inaction speaks volumes: he's just not that into you.
Wayne says: Inaction? Wanda, homie already asked homegirl out, took her out on a nice date, was a perfectly charming gentleman, carried on personable conversation, picked up the tab and continued to communicate with her afterward. Sounds like a lot of action and an excellent first date to me. And he's keeping the doors open for more. But I'm guessing he's also very, very busy and wondering whether she has any real interest in him and is willing to do more than just email and text.
Yes, it's your turn to ask him out, Miss Business/Personal. I know -- it isn't as old-fashioned as "The Notebook" or (enter old-school rom-com here). But, like Wanda said, "those days are over" and you need to change, too. Be aggressive. Dial up the urgency. Pick up your personal texting and emailing device and tap the telephone option -- yes, they are telephones, too! Call him and tell him you'd like to take him on a date. This weekend. You've already picked the spots and you're paying.
Now that oughta clear up his level of interest in you pretty quickly, right? And it will also give you a sense of control of your dating life, versus waiting for someone else to determine it for you. Go get him, girl!
• Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and been to therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.