What to Do When He Doesn’t Call

by Dr. Seth Meyers - February 11, 2013

The always insightful Dr. Seth Meyers addresses one of the biggest issues women deal with (and struggle with) when it comes to men. Read on for the relationship expert’s advice about how to handle the guy who says he’ll call, but doesn’t.

Don’t panic.

If you’ve met someone you like, it’s a no-brainer that you’re going to want to see that person again. In fact, you might find yourself spending a good chunk of time daydreaming about him or imagining future things the two of you could do together. For these reasons, it can really sting when he doesn’t call. When you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic or let your anxiety overwhelm you. The main way to avoid panic and anxiety is to keep things in perspective.

Don’t beat yourself up.

To help keep things in perspective, I want you to conduct an exercise that isn’t very different from what psychotherapists do with their clients. The idea behind the exercise is the notion that your beliefs cause your feelings. For example, if I believe that I’m somehow cursed and will never find someone, I am going to start feeling sad. In other words, the negative belief led to the negative feeling. Now, let’s apply the theory to the circumstance when he doesn’t call.

Ask yourself what beliefs you have about him not calling you back. What are you telling yourself in response? Do you say to yourself that you have the worst luck with men? That you’re not attractive enough? That you’re the only one you know who doesn’t have a boyfriend? Figure out what beliefs you have about the fact that he hasn’t called, and then ask yourself if those beliefs are causing any negative feelings. If any of your thoughts or beliefs are negative, the hard work must begin: You must stop yourself from thinking those thoughts and tell yourself positive thoughts instead. By paying close attention to your thoughts and feelings, you will understand your reactions better and can see things in greater perspective.

Don’t jump to conclusions.

Oh, how dating sends everyone jumping to conclusions! A mentor of mine always says, “Dating is risky business.” It’s risky, of course, because there’s always the chance of getting hurt. If you are going to date, you need to accept that many different variables are at play when two people successfully come together and forge a real relationship. Timing, readiness, relationship status, and even luck all play an important role, so remember that and live by this cardinal rule of matchmaking. If you have to write that sentence on a note and tape it on your refrigerator until it truly sinks in, then do it. I always tell my clients, “Changing your ways isn’t going to happen automatically; you’re going to have to try some new behaviors in order to make that change happen.”

It’s also important to understand that jumping to conclusions keeps the focus on him, which gives him an awful lot of power over the way you feel – and you probably hardly even know the guy! Instead of giving him all the power, keep the focus on you and your emotional needs.

What I’m about to say may be hard to hear but it’s the truth: How you respond to a guy not calling is a reflection on how you feel about yourself, and not so much about the guy. If you’re feeling bad because a guy didn’t call, it means that you’ve gotten stuck jumping to some negative conclusions. To turn things around, focus on yourself by saying positive things about yourself. Say out loud, “I’m a good package, and I know other men will see that.” Repeat it multiple times throughout the day.

Do focus your mental energy on something else.

The temptation to feel bad when someone you like doesn’t call is going to be strong, so watch out for the accompanying inclination to beat yourself up. Instead of focusing on the negative (he didn’t call), redirect your attention to something positive. Distraction is an extremely effective coping mechanism, and you can employ it in countless ways. Go for a run, call a friend, or start working on a project that will give you a sense of satisfaction once you’ve finished. (Yes, I’m talking about that bedroom closet).

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Do start looking for another guy.

If it’s been a couple days and he hasn’t called, give him a week or so until you decide to move on. But once it’s apparent that he’s not going to call (usually around the one week marker), set a new goal of finding someone else. This is the perfect time to respond to a few guys’ online profiles or go for a night out with your girlfriends to a place where you might meet someone new. Think about it this way: If you were hungry and found a restaurant that was closed, you’d go look for another restaurant, right? You wouldn’t keep focusing on the fact that the first restaurant was closed. Similarly, remember that there are many men out there and that your best chance of finding a good one is to stay positive and hopeful.

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