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22 June 2007 @ 01:37 pm
I was just given a very interesting take on a rule I never understood, and felt like it was good food for thought. I'm not the only one I've heard express confusion about it.

So, in the big ol' world, outside of the folks I normally hang with, there's a standard bit of conventional wisdom that goes, "after a date, a guy should wait a day or a couple of days to call back, so he doesn't seem too eager." If he waits longer than about a week, it usually means he's not going to be calling back.

Our little community tends to regard this as passive-aggressive... It's important to call back, or otherwise communicate, soon and preferably with "let's do this again" or some suitable "um, it was fun, but I think I'm busy for awhile" sort of rejection. We're also not as strongly gendered about who communicates first. Communicating quickly can solve a lot of scheduling issues, and (for instance) successful polyfolk have so many scheduling issues that most date-related polyfolk-specific ritual revolves around reducing the scheduling headache.

However, in the less-scheduling-obsessed world that surrounds them/us/whatever, rituals often have other purposes. And the interesting thing about the timing of calling back is that the person calling back gets to choose the light they are seen in. If the date ended poorly, you're better off waiting longer to call because the other person has had more of a chance to forget the specifics of your loser-dom and (with luck) remember mostly that you were polite and nice and have a productive job :-) Stuff like "spinach between your teeth" usually fades from memory faster.

I hadn't even considered that. It's really a kinda neat idea. I'm not planning to pick up such habits, what with me being all monogamously married, but it's still a good thing to keep in mind when giving advice or hearing it. 'Cause that does make a difference in people's reactions.
The Water Seekerplymouth on June 22nd, 2007 08:48 pm (UTC)
remember mostly that you were polite and nice and have a productive job :-) Stuff like "spinach between your teeth" usually fades from memory faster.

huh. I don't THINK my brain works that way. Then again, I suppose I can't really tell, can I? I mean, by definition the stuff I remember isn't the stuff I forget :)
vito_excalibur on June 22nd, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
Wait wait wait you're the WHAT kind of married??
satyrlovesong on June 22nd, 2007 09:21 pm (UTC)
Noahangelbob on June 22nd, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC)

We haven't been talking much about it (or its opposite), but the girl and I are going to be monogamous, pretty much guaranteed, for at least the next few years while having kids. More likely, it'll last longer than that.

There are minor further details, but that's the basics.
vito_excalibur on June 22nd, 2007 09:30 pm (UTC)
Whoa! I mean, I've got nothing against mo - no, that's not true, but what I mean to say is that it works for many people, myself included at various times including now, so, y'know, no criticism was expressed or implied. I'm just...kind of shocked I guess. You always seemed like the complete polyamorist!

Is it to avoid paternity issues? That can be smart, I've certainly seen that be a problem more than once.
Noahangelbob on June 22nd, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
I've been monogamous before (before you knew me). I'm not basically opposed to it. I think I did well by polyamory, but that's different from saying I feel it's necessary in all times and circumstances.

While it does avoid paternity issues, and that's a nice side-effect, mostly it's because separate outside relationships tend to detract time and energy from the primary relationship. Usually that's okay, but during pregnancy and having a young child it's a lot less okay. Or at least, it doesn't work with rightkindofme's and my idea of good parenting.
satyrlovesong on June 22nd, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC)
Outstanding attitude.
Anthony: drama makes me interestingterpsichoros on June 22nd, 2007 10:31 pm (UTC)
Funny, I always took the "so he doesn't seem to eager" at face value. There's another bit of conventional wisdom I'd heard that once you start having sex, you should call the next day, or you were communicating "thanks for the one-night stand". For a date that didn't end in sex, calling right away can look like "I'm reallly anxious to get into your pants", or otherwise emit an odor of desperation.

I think that waiting will tend to reinforce initial impressions, both good and bad. If you weren't that into your date, and sense that your date wasn't that into you, waiting a couple of days to say "thanks, but we're not made for each other" will come easier, because by then, your date will have solidified that impression, too. If the date seems to have gone well, from both sides, then "absence makes the heart grow fonder", up to a point. THe only problem is when one of you is more interested than the other. But that's *always* a problem.