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And then I didn’t know what to do with her when she made those doe eyes at me and said she was really, really, really looking forward to hanging out again. I can’t feel great about these stories since the experience for these ladies was probably not hugely validating.

And hey, maybe I was just flattering myself and they weren’t that into me either.

Heck, I’m probably losing interest in someone right now, completely unbeknownst to myself but setting the mind of the poor lass on fire, and not necessarily in a good way.

One saving grace is that most people, male or female, usually aren’t doing this stuff deliberately.

“Why is it that a guy fiercely pursues a woman at first, and then when he finds out she is actually interested he is not so sure if he is interested anymore? For background, I’m 29, live in Australia, and I’ve been on 5 dates with this guy so far but we haven’t kissed yet.” — Sheila Well well.

Also, after you’ve pined for so long for a woman, any woman to like you, having one pop up who actually does can be a terrifying experience. Why should he be thrilled about your taking away his thrill?

Why waste time when a better match is around the corner? In every interaction, whether on phone, online or in person, keep in mind, “There’s a real human being on the other end, and a small but nonzero chance this guy/girl could be my future ex-spouse.” So be nice now, and pay attention. If you were to remember one of the Four Agreements from Don Miguel Ruiz’s Toltec wisdom, let it be #2: don’t take anything personally.

Therefore, in the early stages of courtship, people in this age of electronic dating are in Merciless Elimination Mode. With that out of the way, let’s talk about why guys go poof. Even if it is about you, thinking that it’s not about you keeps you saner in the long run. He’s bored, and he finds your company marginally more interesting than a night of Archer reruns.

How do you get a guy to treat you like priority instead of an option?

There he was, totally interested, looking dapper in his buffalo skin while nonchalantly swinging his club at the cave entrance, offering you some freshly killed mastodon meat. What, if anything, could you have done differently?