As I opened my computer for another Wednesday of WFH, it was hard to ignore the anxious buzzing erupting from my phone.
“Soo it’s been 12 days,” my friend texted me, followed by a frenetic stream of thoughts.
“He literally kissed me goodnight”
“and sent the ‘are you home safe’ text”
“I simply don’t understand…the date went so well”
This, unfortunately, is the brutal aftermath of a girl who’s been ghosted. The tale is as old as time: My friend, Lauren, a witty 24-year-old who works in PR, agreed to go out with a scruffy, 26-year-old musician after five days of flirty Hinge exchanges. He suggested they meet at a dive bar in Brooklyn—even though it was a Wednesday, and she lives in Manhattan and she was exhausted from work. Still, she powered through, and after 30 minutes of conversation, she knew it was a $44 Uber well-spent. The guitar player was just as handsome in person, and they talked about everything from family and childhood to career goals and wanderlust. After four hours of chatting, he paid for their drinks and said he had to get up early for work the next day. As they waited outside for her second Uber of the evening to arrive, he kissed her and said, “text me when you get home.” Then, before she could even take off her makeup, her phone pinged with the ‘did you get home safe’ text from him. Score. She wrote back that she made it home, had a nice time and that they should do it again soon. He replied, “yes, let’s hang out soon.”
Twelve days later, she’s still waiting for him to follow up.
Naturally, my friend has found herself in a downward spiral with every passing day of post-date radio silence. Her texts to me have gone from, “is it too much to bring up the long-term effects of my parents’ divorce on a first date?” to “do you think he was disappointed by the way I looked in person?”
From an outside perspective, it’s easy to pass judgment: c’mon—it was *one date*. Forget about him and move on! But as someone who’s been there myself, I sympathize. No one can understand the agony of pandemic dating until they’ve dined street-side in six-degree weather, or shared childhood traumas through a KN95 mask—just to be ignored. It’s only natural for my friend to obsess over what this guy is thinking…how else is she supposed to move on? More importantly, WTF went wrong?
That said, I can’t help but wonder whether we put too much pressure on the guy to make the first move. In my experience, I’ve seen women hold back because they’re petrified that reaching out will be ‘too much, too soon.’ So, instead of guessing, I’ve asked five men to answer the same question: Based on the scenario above, do you think my friend should reach out to the musician or just let it go?
1. ERIC, 24, BANKING
Should she text him? No
If I’m interested in seeing a girl again, I’ll make sure to reach out. It might not be the day after the date, it might be later in the week, but I wouldn’t wait [12 days] for a girl to text. I think for most guys my age, we’re not looking to force a connection with someone. When it happens, it happens. Plus, if the date went well, it’s because there was a good vibe when we talked and it didn't feel rushed. So, I feel like there’s no point in her reaching out again—it probably won’t change how [the guy] was feeling after he left that night.
2. CHRISTOPHER, 41, SALES
Should she text him? Yes
Your friend might be looking at this the wrong way. I have absolutely not reached out after a first date, but if the woman doesn't reach out either, I don't consider it ghosting, just mutual disinterest. That said, I’m open to going on a second date 90 percent of the time (unless something specifically weird or bad happened while we were out). So yes, I think it would be OK for her to reach out and suggest a second date. She can give an idea of something she’s wanted to do for a while and see if the guy wants to go with her. What’s the worst that could happen?
3. DYLAN, 27, INVESTMENT ASSOCIATE
Should she text him? Yes
I’d say she should reach out if she’s interested in seeing him again. In this scenario, I feel like the guy might prefer her to initiate the first or second move. Twelve days of silence could just mean he’s been super busy, traveling and simply putting off reaching out. There’s no harm in her following up with something light like, “Hey, do you have anything going on this week?”
4. OMAR, 37, SOFTWARE ENGINEER
Should she text him? Yes
Yes, I think she can definitely text him again. Just make sure she goes into it with a different perspective. Basically, if someone who I had ghosted texted me again, I would be open to taking them out again—on the condition that they’ve either 1.) showed me that they've changed and grown since our last date or 2.) convinced me that I was wrong about them somehow. Before she reaches out, I think she should consider whether there was really a connection (or if she was just forcing one). If the feelings aren’t mutual, or if she isn’t willing to do things differently the second time around, texting him won’t change anything about the original situation.
5. SAL, 25, ANALYST
Should she text him? Maybe
I think if she texts him, it might lead to a hookup or something more casual. Here’s an example: I recently ghosted a girl after I realized she wanted more commitment than I was willing to give. After a while, we kind of just stopped talking. But when she reached out a few months later, I agreed to see her again. Things were much more casual the second time around, but it didn’t really change anything—I was still less interested in her than she was in me. Eventually, the same thing happened, and the conversation slowly faded into silence. Unless your friend is OK with it being a more casual, ‘hookup’ situation, I’d say it’s probably best to let this guy go.
FINAL VERDICT: TO TEXT OR NOT TO TEXT?
Yes, she should text him.
BUT! Only if she really wants to see him again. And while each man responded differently to the question at hand, one theme was clear: Lauren should ask herself a couple questions before she makes the next move. For instance, is she comfortable if things with this guy head in a more casual direction? Is she OK hanging out with a guy who maybe only texts every 12 days? Is exploring what she might have with this guy worth the dread of potentially not getting a text back? After all, those 12 days of silence seemed to rattle her. Either way, it’s the 21st-century, people. The ball is in her court if she wants it to be.