How to deal with getting the brush-off

Dear Lady and The Scamp,

I met this woman online, we chatted then she gave me her number. We texted constantly for weeks and we met once and had arranged to meet again. I thought that she liked me from what she was saying in her messages, and I told her that I really liked her. The past week though she has been really cold and the texts have dried up, so I asked her if anything was wrong. She replied that we wouldn't work out but that we could stay in touch. I'm confused.

Kevin says:

There could be a million reasons why this has happened. Maybe she got back with an ex, or she fell off the ketamine wagon, or your mum got in touch and told her to back off, or she was Mark Lamarr in a mask all along. These are all probably wrong but you've only met the girl once, so who knows what's going on in her head?

You probably never will know for sure. But given the limited information provided, I'd suggest there's one possibility that's most likely... you have scared her off. I'd like to know how you phrased this declaration that you "really liked her". After one date, there's nothing more off-putting than someone who seems to be already preparing for a full-blown relationship. This is the time for guessing games and playing it cool, not intensity and soppiness.

And when she backed away, you responded with the second cardinal sin — being needy and asking her what was wrong. It's one date, remember. She has a right to be aloof and unsure if she wants to. If I'm right, and I'm normally not, the only way you can possibly retrieve this is by nonchalantly disappearing for a while and then dropping her a friendly text in a couple of months. It sounds as though she liked you at some point, so maybe she will in the future. But if it really was Mark Lamarr, then forget it - I can't see him doing that again.

Christine says:

Ah, the geeks' dating agency — meeting online. It opens up the possibilities of meeting thousands of potential mates from all around the world, people that are looking for their perfect partner too. How could this possibly go wrong? It can go wrong because behind all the carefully selected photos and shared interests in 'Back to The Future' and 'Mario Kart', it is still just a blind date and they hinge on how you get on when you meet.

You say you 'texted constantly' before you'd met each other, but amusing texts are no substitute for actually meeting the person. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say she met up with you and thought, 'no thanks, not for me' but didn't want to be rude. Which might sound harsh, but that's the dating game I'm afraid. The smallest things can put women off, if you know what I mean. I've had friends that thought men sounded great on paper and when they met hated the way they ate.  Or hated the way they pronounced the word 'tombola', moved their mouth, scratched, talked in an incredulously loud voice, put too much gel in their hair, wore Uggs or coughed over dinner without covering their mouth.

I'm not saying you did any of these things or that everyone would hate them, but when you meet someone first impressions last. And women, I'm afraid, can be the harshest of critics, but you can't love everyone you meet, that would be weird. There has to be some sort of selection process that works for you, and I'm afraid you didn't pass hers. If she wanted you, she'd be battering your door down. It's that simple. So get back online and find someone else. And try eating in front of a mirror, just to make sure.

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