She doesn't answer, so you leave a voice mail.
She doesn't return it.
You try her number again a couple of days later...fully intending to play it cool when she answers.
And again...voice mail.
So being a chooser rather than a chaser, you drop her a text saying it was nice to meet her but find it disappointing that she doesn't pick up the phone. You prefer women who are mature enough not to play games, and wish her well in the future.
Lo and behold, the next day she calls you when you're tied up at work and can't answer the phone. You check voice mail later and hear only a click...no message whatsoever.
How frustrating is that?
Or perhaps you're browsing around online and happen across the profile of a woman who seems friendly and engaging, so you write her a quick email.
You've become a master at this stuff, so you craft a brilliantly worded message that acknowledges you've read her profile in a witty, charming way and issues a clear call to action...all in three lines of text.
Later, you not only notice that she has opened and read your message, but she's also looked at your profile six times in the last 48 hours.
But you've got cobwebs forming on your inbox, nonetheless.
If you can relate to either of these examples, you're a normal, red-blooded guy.
And for sure, when this sort of thing happens you're left to wonder, "What on Earth did I do to mess this up?"
The answer may very well be NOTHING. In fact, that's likely the case.
In other words, often it's not YOU...it's THEM.
I've written to you previously about how we as guys tend to blame ourselves when a date goes horribly wrong, even when any 3rd party bystander could have easily concluded that the woman was a total basket case--even as you had conducted yourself with textbook "big four" perfection.
The truth of the matter is that women are equally as likely to have dating and relationship issues as men.
We're all human here, and women don't necessarily have everything figured out, regardless of what you've been led to believe.
There's even a video or two circulating lately where a guy is teaching how to get around brutal "rejection" by particularly aloof, blatantly rude women.
This is a great example of what we as guys tend to brainwash ourselves into believing is perfectly normal and reasonable.
We put women on a pedestal so high that we'll simultaneously excuse any preposterous behavior on their part while redoubling our efforts to fix the problem of things "not working out".
So what ends up happening?
Because we're barking up the wrong tree from the get-go, we spend our time trying to figure out how to REACT to the situation (i.e. fix ourselves) rather than PROACTIVELY seeing the scenario for what it is and taking leadership.
We don't see the forest for the trees, so we don't make rational decisions and proceed accordingly.
This is precisely what everyone's talking about when they refer to "being in your own head" and the need to "get outside" of it instead.
To objectively illustrate what I'm getting at here, let's revisit the two examples I gave above.
In the case of having gotten a woman's number only to encounter the shenanigans I described, the typical knee-jerk reaction for most of us as guys would be to think that we somehow managed to mess things up, even though we haven't even spoken to her since meeting her.
Or maybe we'd allow ourselves to obsess over that initial conversation --looking for what certainly must have been some blunder we made that creeped her out later the more she thought about it.
But here's what's probably really going on.
You and I both know that it's hard to pick up the phone and follow up with a woman.
It was hard to call girls you liked in 7th grade, and nothing has changed since. Yet you do it.
So then, what makes you think that calling YOU is so easy for HER to do?
The truth is that she may be just as wadded up over calling you back as you were over calling her to begin with.
But yet you automatically assume that she'll "man up" and return your call, don't you?
In the case of the woman you were hoping to meet online, maybe it's not that your profile was as lurid a mess as you thought.
Maybe she's just massively gun shy about writing e-mails back because she's self-conscious about her spelling. Or perhaps she just doesn't know what to write.
OR...maybe she's completely new to this whole online dating thing and is totally intimidated in general...or perhaps (just perhaps) by YOU in particular. That factor can never be underestimated.
Guess what gentlemen? Generally speaking, it may not be that she's so indifferent about you as to be okay with blowing you off like a rusty muffler.
The OPPOSITE may be true.
That's right. She may really, really like you.
She may even be sitting there thinking, "Oh wow...how am I going to make sure NOT to ruin this?"
In fact, I believe you should go ahead and operate as if any or all of this is the case if you see indications like unto what I've been describing above.
So here's what you should do.
In the case of the woman you met and called on the phone, try this.
When you call her back, say, "Hey, I realize that talking to people you just met on the phone can be a bit intimidating. But hey, I'm an easy going guy so don't be shy at all."
And for the woman you wrote on Match.com, you might write her back after seeing all those profile hits and say something similar. Make the first line: "Hey...caught you looking."
Inspiring confidence, or causing a woman to feel safe and secure in your presence" is a mission-critical component of the "big four".
When you are able to see a situation when a woman appears to be chickening out for what it is, you're better equipped to put her at ease than if you're unable to get past your own insecurities.
Remember, all women--even the ones you're really attracted to--are human beings.
When you can move away from the "too good to be true" factor and recognize that she may be just as excited and/or nervous to meet you as you are about meeting her, you can put aside any concern about looking needy.
Instead, you can confidently take leadership in a way that shows her you're a man.
And yes...when you look at these situations through that filter, your confidence is what turns your otherwise lame, apologetic voicemails and e-mails into inspiring calls to action.
The words you use aren't so revolutionary, but the attitude sure is.
Can you adopt that transformational mindset and get the job done? My bet is you'll get that call or message returned if you can.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below!