Bring on the Barrage

November 26, 2011 § 56 Comments

A few weeks ago Janey said she had been giving a talk to her twelve year old daughter.  She had told her that the world has changed immeasurably since her day but that there are one or two things which never change.  Controversially, she said that top of those things is that a girl/woman should never ring (text, email) a boy/man.  Her divine student son was in the room at the time and he said to his sister that she should listen to their mother because, speaking as a man and wrong though it may sound, he felt she was absolutely spot on; the girls who had chased him, if they had had any allure for him in the first place, lost it completely if and when they themselves took the initiative.

Incendiary stuff, maybe, but I am afraid I agree with Janey and her eldest completely.  She related to me what she had said to her daughter to emphasise her very firm stance on the matter, but did so all the more to persuade me to do the opposite in the case of Long Shot.  She was trying to make it clear to me that, knowing him well, she felt he was the one exception to the rule; his character was such that he might actually be in need of a little goading.  But is any man, really?  When it comes down to it?  I am not so sure.  If a man wants a woman enough, he makes the effort, even if it means he has to overcome innate shyness, fear, indolence, arrogance, feebleness or whatever.  I can’t help believing this, always have.  So in my DNA is it not EVER to contact a prospective (unless they contact me first), that even with Janey and her dear husband’s blessing – and they are the wisest most wonderful pair in all Europe – I found myself quite unable to do so.  The very thought thickened the inner lining of my throat and I just couldn’t.

It is a view, in 2011, which has its fulsome detractors, certainly.  But like Janey I am strangely old-fashioned in this respect (even though in almost none other) and I am also of a certain age – as we know – so I find it hard to change and I am not altogether sure that I want to.  A little light spinning behind the scenes is, naturally enough, permissible, but I want them to want me.  One plankton I know says she will not lower her self respect to consider anyone who doesn’t pursue her.  (She is not budging on this, and still waiting).  Another friend I spoke to said she would find it problematical sexually if she had chased the man as opposed to vice versa  and, shoot me down, but I am with them both to a degree.

Oh, I can predict the barrage already.  People telling me women and men are equal and do I live in the Middle Ages and am I in fact an ancestor of Jane Austen herself and I have every right to ring a man as he does me and I am a reactionary arsehole and no wonder I am a pathetic plankton if I take this attitude and, if I don’t look to myself long and hard and change my medieval attitudes, then I am destined to be so for ever and beyond, and so on and so on and so on.

Well, I take your point entirely but it just isn’t me.  I hold up my hands but I don’t suppose there is anything I can or am going to do about it.  So it is I will doubtless turn into Miss Haversham herself, less even the blinking wedding dress because I don’t even have a proposal or anything near, sitting awaiting my turn to be out of the game in Shady Oaks (cf. yesterday’s post), with cobwebs covering every withered surface and ordured orifice of my being.


§ 56 Responses to Bring on the Barrage

  • Lydia says:

    Certainly on internet dating sites I always just respond to men who contact me. I have virtually never initiated contact.

    However men do say that they sometimes like a woman to approach them in real life or on line and indeed quite a few reports of marriages the couple will say – she asked him out. It does happen but I agree it is less common.

    Lots of men don’t want to be rejected so they tend to press things only if they think they will be welcome so it does not harm to be absolutely 100% clear that any approach would be welcomed otherwise they might hold back and don’t expect them to notice any subtle indication.

    Most of us talk to our teenage daughters about politics, economics and school work. Anyone who is lecturing them on how men will pick them up should perhaps concentrate more on career talks with them but then my children seemed to wait until univesrity (the older ones) for boys/girls friends as did I.

  • ToneDeafSinger says:

    I think it’s true that chasing men, sadly, puts them off…I remember from a lifetime ago, Plankton, that the thing to do was to have a friend of both “test the ground”… “drop hints”…

  • Elle says:

    Some fellow planktons and I were talking about this very topic last night. We all agreed that it is not good to text or call a man first. We are all on our own. However if you take the initiative and contact a man first you are leaving yourself open even more abuse and game playing than if you left him to initiative contact.

    It’s a tricky one, because when there are so few available men how do you make yourself appeal to them as the woman they should call/text/email? I am beginning to think it would be easier to win a series of X-Factor.

    Indeed, the humiliation undergone by X-Factor contestants in order to get selected as the week’s finalist is similar to that undergone by planktons in order to get selected as the woman a man chooses to ask out on a date.

    In today’s dating world, any single eligible man over 35 has the same power as Simon Cowell.

  • Caz says:

    Your blogs have reached a new level of eloquence plankton….and they are more compelling than the Archers. It is absolutely fascinating everyday to read them and see the barrage of comments unleashed from your ever increasing band of followers!

    One thing puzzles me though – I agree with you on the contacting of men issue but I am at a loss as to why you replied to longshots long awaited text within hours I believe? It is surely showing elements of a pursuing female…..and I hope you haven’t frightened him off.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you very much for your kind words as usual, Caz, and you are so right about responding to him so soon which went against the grain but I did it because I knew he was in an area of very dodgy reception and his internet connection is intermittent at best. I suppose I convinced myself that if I left it for more than a few hours, he might not get it for weeks. But maybe that was bollocks and it was just an excuse. Px

  • Sarah says:

    But what if it never entered his head that you were interested in him? Some men are so out of it you have to slap them over the face with a wet fish to make them realise something.

    Has he sent you the document he wanted your email for, by the way? If he hasn’t, you could send him a gentle prod.

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Sarah, I honestly think my short text was pitch-perfect (I took much trouble over its composition). He hasn’t sent the promised email, surprise, surprise; there again it takes him sometimes three weeks to respond to his friend (and mine), BF. I am considering the gentle prod. BF, Janey and I are all on to it. Px

      • fi says:

        The bottom line is if he were interested he’d have made contact. Men enjoy the chase.

      • fi says:

        Here’s an example. Have been on POF for a week now and been pursued by a number of men. One who is attractive has been emailing me and we’ve exchanged a number of emails every evening. He asked me to do something with him. I said yes. Being a literal kind of person I meant “yes I would do that with you”. He, I think, took that to mean “yes I would love to be your woman”. Haven’t heard from him since. No doubt he thought he’d been successful and he’d try his luck with other women to see if they were more compatible/attractive/younger. And he’s right to do that because I’d only be testing the water by meeting him. But it illustrates that once the chase is over (in his mind anyway, in reality I reserve the right to scarper off if I feel like it) the interest is gone.

      • DAN says:

        Fi, whats wrong with feeling the water ?
        He may be just in shock that you said yes, and now doesen’t know what to do about it !
        Send him another email inviting him to something, coffee, lunch.
        If he doesent reply, then write him off.
        Maybe he just needs a jolt.
        Try it and see . You’ve nothing to lose !


      • Lydia says:

        This is interesting. As lots of men aren’t suitable then on line I reject by far most of them or we get into debates about why they may not be suitable for me. I suppose that’s why some might become keener because it becomes a challenge to persuade me that their club foot or zero income or shaggy beard should not stand in the way of true love.

      • fi says:

        Dan. Nothing to lose except my self respect! I’ve already said yes.

      • DAN says:

        Fi, GOOD,
        Hope everything works out well for you !
        Keep us updated .


    • MissM says:

      So true that many men just haven’t a clue and it really is up to the woman to wield a fish to the face as it were. I have heard many a man admit to the fact that it was the woman who later became their wife that made the first move. There are also those men who only love the chase itself and once they have you, become bored and move onto the next person to regain the thrill. Useless ones, those, do nothing but break your heart.

      So the truth is generalisations can be dangerous because everyone is different. No one can say ALL men are like this, that, or the other. For every man who runs from the woman with initiative, there is the one who would miss any hint more subtle than a grenade to the face. I’d much prefer the man made the move, since I love to feel wanted (don’t we all?) but sometimes I will feel forced to have to take matters into my own hands too.

      • Sarah says:

        I quite agree, and the secret is to make the grenade not look like a grenade. Contact without pursuit.

        Never forget that out of sight is out of mind, and there are too many young leggy blonds out there bent on distracting those Alpha males so he’s no longer thinking of the quiet little plankton.

        Some men like to pursue, some men like to be pursued, but unfortunately they don’t come colour coded, so one just has to guess or ask around to find out their true nature. There is certainly no ‘one size fits all’.

        When I got divorced, my confidence was blown to shreds, so I joined a website called which was for men, obviously. It had a forum, which I read avidly to find out about what men really like and what they really want. It was very enlightening, and became obvious that you cannot make sweeping generalisations with regard to dating.

        One thing that struck me was that many really appreciate things to be simple and straightforward. They are not mind readers and can’t necessarily read the more subtle signals women put out. They also get pretty fed up having to make the first move all the time.

        I’m just saying…

  • june says:

    Yes plankton, ive never thought women should chase men, the odd text maybe but actually chase no, a friend did that to get her partner back and when they have an argument and as relationship is still rocky, they often do, he throws it back at her, Smacks of desperation to me, and we planktons dont do desperate do we,possibly why we planktons,some would say,but we do still have our self respect,women who lower themselves to get a man do not, and then the man can treat them like crap and get away with it. Sadly plankton i do sometimes wonder how far we have moved on and if men really have deep down changed their attitude to women. I had a dad who brought me up in a way years ahead of his time, i used to laugh and tell him he was a new man before new men were invented. Now i wonder how many “new men” there are about, from what i see in my life and from fellow planktons comments on here,i fear very few. I know of one or two friends with them, but not a lot. Not strange that they seem happier women than those without new men.

    I am not sure i understand how men behave anyway, as i said ive had another week on a dating website ive been on before and it has not improved. I clearly state i only want to meet men in my city or within a 10 mile radius, also a fit and active person.What do i get, men from 20/30 miles away, men from small out of way villages. men from hundreds miles away and men who quite frankly are obese,hardly fit and active. Do men have a problem reading and inwardly digesting information and do other women have this problem or is it just past sell by date ones like me, I would be interested to hear from my fellow planktons.

    • Lydia says:

      A good few just look at photographs. Also the dating sites all say that no matter what people write about their requirements if you then look at their behaviour in terms of whom they select often those they select are way outside their supposed age or geographical range. Knowing that that is so I suppose that makes people contact others whose criteria they do not meet.

      Some people think they are God’s gift to the planet so they also think anyone would want them too,

  • DAN says:

    this is the very thing i dont get about our so called liberated society nowadays !
    Where has all the honesty and integrity gone ?
    I have been out to nite clubs with freinds now and again and seen members of the younger generation up on bonnets of cars and doing things even in the nite club that would be too blue in nature to write on this blog , and then seen these beautiful young women with someone different an hour later and vice versa the male concerned!
    I have been in bars where live bands play and i sing out loud, and can usually get the whole bar to stop talking and take part in this as well .
    In the past 18 months when word went out that i was free and available,
    while out at the back or front doors of these bars having a cigarette, girls in there early twentys onwards that i might have been singing along with would approach me and either give me a peck on cheek to let me know they were interested,or ask was i going to such and such a niteclub afterwards, and more would just come right out with it and ask me did i want there number ! Which i dident of course unless they were just looking to be freinds to which some of them still are .
    If all this can occur during drink fueled events, why can’t something of a kind of a toned down version occur in normal time without drink being involved .
    Why cant people just be open and honest with one another like they were when i was dating and on the scene almost 30 years ago ?
    Even back then if a guy or gal was interested in you they let you know and diden’t hang around about it either !
    There were no mobile phones back then but there was the landline and to speak with someone only meant picking up the phone and calling as every number was in directory enquiries anyway.
    Guys rang girls and yes girls rang boys !
    There seems to have been a major cultural change in the way that people view what a person (female or male) has to do nowadays to make contact with members of the opposite sex.
    There are dating sites making a fortune out of vulnerable people looking for a relationship who are too afraid for whatever reason to just
    text, call or speak to someone that their interested in.
    All these taboos that have arisen , such as a girl should never ring or text aboy or man have only made it more difficult for everyone to actually do something about meeting someone their interested in and just create a furter barrier to such an event ever taking place .
    In my view if your interested in somebody , just let them know by all the methods of communication that are at your disposal.BE it by text, phone , email, or just good old body language .
    If their interested you’ll know straight away, and if not they weren’t anyway, and can write them off your book and move on.
    Otherwise ,the alternative is to go to the bar or niteclub, get pissed, and end up in bed with someone you dont even know, and in the morning for eg.. wake to find the person beside you asking ..Who the fuck are you ?
    And in the case of you waking up with a female beside you , may ask the same question, but may add on Where did “brad pitt” go ?

    The alternative is to wait around for the guy or gal to come along, with all the qualitys that you are looking for in your perfect partner who is just going to drop out of the sky and land in your lap !
    Yeah, right ! I dont think so . cinderella etc .. come to mind !

    So get out there, pick up that phone, speak to this person, text or email them!
    It’s what everybody is waiting for , including you !


    • Lydia says:

      There was no past nirvana of male and female honesty. Many men have always promised women much to get them into b ed and girls have flirted and played with men’s affection.

      What most of us now and in the past seek though is people who say what they mean. Try to concentrate on those types.

      The fact girls might be more free now to engage in no strings sex whereas in the past society and their fathers stopped them is a massive improvement and very good news for women who have been kept down far too long by men.

      • DAN says:

        Sorry lydia,
        I don’t agree !
        This type of behaviour now by our supposed to be independant young women are taking there independance a little bit too far and to the extreme.
        Every day now i meet young single girls pushing prams and dragging other children behind them with different fathers involved of each and every child and thats only in the area where i live !
        What must it be like nationally ?
        I really feel from what i have witnessed myself on numerous occaisions that things have hugly deteriated instead of improving !
        Look at the statistics, they speak for themselves !
        If going to bed with any ediot on a saturday nite after getting so pissed that they cant even stand is clasified as a huge improvement and good news for women, but on top of that, that this type of behaviour is condoned by people of our age group either male or female is seriously worrying to me .
        No wonder the world is in the state that it’s in .
        I have overheard young fellas talking about young girls with comments like, ” get her pissed and you’ll have a great time afterwards “.
        Do you honestly believe that any bloke with any sence of cop-on is ever going to propose to this girl ?
        Never mind the std’s, and what way these children are going to survive or turn out in later life, but i can understand now why young couples are just not getting married anymore !


    • june says:

      But Dan it isnt 30 years ago is it, yes we didnt have mobile phones,emails and god knows what other forms of communication, but life was different, there were bars, and over 25s disco nights and such like.I can remember going to such a thing with a married friend, she met someone else, divorced the husband she had married at 19 and eventually married the chap she had met. I meanwhile met no-one, well i did have the odd fling or two but i was always crap at keeping men. We baby boomers were the first generation where women were liberated, enough to go out without husbands,i say husbands cause then you got married, didnt live with anyone first, and like my friend with this new liberation realised you had married the wrong person and got divorced, we had choices our mothers didnt, perhaps too many so we ended up not knowng what the hell we wanted. I personally thought i had all the time in the world to meet someone, as noone i met ever seemed quite right, but i didnt,i left it far too late.

      These dating websites are a big con, personally i hate them, there is nothing natural about them, most of the men live far too far away, do they really believe any women would uproot herself for them if she is happy where she lives, i am, i want to meet someone in my city, I have no desire to mee.t anyone outside, but if you put that on your profile they ignore it, contact you and seem to imagine you so desperate for a man, you will go out with them even if live miles from you,and presumably if you get on,move to their life with them, no i wouldnt im sorry, i just wouldnt,id rather be on my own here in a place i like, and where i have friends. But there really is no-where now for single mature people to meet, sadly so these money making cons survive as you say on peoples lonliness and hope springing eternal, even if there isnt very much.

      • DAN says:

        June, believe it or not we used to go to bingo at a local hotel when i was only twenty years old , but the reason was because anybody that stayed on afterwards got 2 burgers on a plate ( no buns ) in somekind of a sauce with mash , and into the disco all for free once you went to the bingo and had a chance of winning a few bob as well ! great nites out and cheap !
        Believe it or not on my 21st birthday my wife to be at the time wanted to go there on this particular date as the jackpot was very high
        (350 pounds, which was a huge amount of money at that time. my wages were about 47 pounds per week at the time.) when all my freinds were in town waiting to celebrate my birthday with me .
        She had arranged it in such a way that i could not refuse to go by stating that a freind of hers could not go unless i drove them to the venue. Which i did but only on the condition that as soon as the jackpot page of the book was played that we would then go to town to meet my freinds to which she agreed .
        But when the jackpot page was played and the game nearly over i was more interested in getting to town when her goodself looked at my book and said your down to 3 numbers.
        Just then the announcer announced that there were only 3 numbers left to play, and to make a long story short, yes they called out the last 3 numbers and i had the three of them and shouted check !
        I not alone won the jackpot of 350 pounds but also won the raffle for 2 sets of blankets which were 100% new wool which would have cost a fortune at that time !
        Who says destiny doesen’t play apart in each and everyones lives every day of the week . I diden’t even want to be there !
        We went to dances at the same venue where the men lined up on one side of the hall and the ladies on the other and when the last song in the 3 song set was played all the men would charge over to the ladies side asking every and anybody to dance with them in the hope that they might hit it off and start a relationship with someone !
        Something like the speed dating that they have nowadays but at least then you had 3 dances to try and impress them.
        Nowadays they go to a disco, smile at a bird, say hows she going and doing hows your father 10 minutes later and then looking around for there next victim !
        So much has changed but not for the good i’m afraid !


    • Elle says:

      Dan, if you’re going to nightclubs and getting chatted up by 20 something girls in music bars then what are you doing on a blog full of plankton women? You previously stated you were too upset over your separation 18 months ago to look at anyone. At least you had happiness for a time with your wife before that. Many of us plankton have never been married and our chances of meeting a partner are slim to zilch. Especially so in countries where 40 something men hang out in nightclub, music bars and other places where they can chat up and be chatted up by 20 something girls. I understand it’s been hard for you over the last 18 months, but with respect, you can have no concept of the echoing, hopeless and indefinite loneliness that plankton women suffer.

      • DAN says:

        Sorry but why do you think i go out every weekend and get pissed out of my tree ?

        I have a couple of hours release for 3 hours on a friday and saturday nite !

        The rest of the time 7 days a week im exactly in, if not in a worse place than every one else as i’m not even looking to get involved with anybody ever again and never will !

        My only other vice is this blog by plankton which has helped me immensly in dealing with all my shit .

        Thanks plankton for allowing me to be a part of your wonderful blog, and in allowing me to make new freinds who are in the same situation as im in !

        You just can’t talk to everybody about your feelings as you can here !

        So thanks again. It does help !


      • The Plankton says:

        Dear Dan, Thank you and I’m glad it is helping. Best, Px

      • june says:

        Elle did you say you had never been married but have you cohabited? . Its just that our friend Jo has decided to become my therapist and tells me my problem is of my own making as i said i was fed up with people thinking older people who have never cohabited or married are strange. I said no its just that we havent met the right person and would rather be on our own than be with the wrong one or put up with the crap some women have to. It really pisses me off when people give you this stuff, being a plankton isnt nice, but nor is being with a person who humilates you,treats you like dirt or you have nothing in common with but in peoples eyes you are “normal” as cohabiting whereas we poor planktons are completly abnormal as we are on our own because we are too choosey. Do you ever feel that people think you neednt be on your own if youd accept anything,and “compromise”, so you would end up with someone totally unsuitable and wrong for you. I do,even with my closest friends,i sense this, its your fault really. Where one is suppose to meet all these men you could cohabit with i dont know, online presumably, because nowhere else springs to mind.

      • miss passive agressive says:

        Now that’s not what she said June is it?

    • Jo says:

      Bloody hell Dan.Your literacy and grammar needs some work!
      Yes. It does matter. It’s very hard to read your words. It’s so badly constructed. It reflects very badly on you.
      Simply a word of advice. Because it stands out a mile.

      • Jo says:

        Ditto June. You do yourself no favours by writing so grammatically badly.
        Sorry. But true.

      • DAN says:

        JO, Sorry for my bad grammer and construction !

        I feel like a child in class being scolded for a bad essay !

        I diden’t think anybody needed a phd in lituracy to write on a blog !

        But there you go, you learn something new every day !

        So in future seriously think of me as a child in seniour infants trying to tell a story, or make a comment.

        Read the story the best way you can and try and take something constructive from it !

        Besides its very hard to write and stay focused when your pissed !


      • Elle says:

        Jo I think that Dan is a great storyteller. You don’t always need to. Be dramatically perfect to tell a good story. However, intentional or not, it comes across very strongly in Dan’s writing that plankton aren’t on his radar when it comes to dating but 20 something are. I would like to see him getting back with his ex-wife because he clearly misses her.

      • Elle says:

        I mean you don’t always need to be grammatically perfect to tell a good story. Damn this predictive text that defies all attempts at editing!

  • Leftatforty says:

    The argument of gender equality is quite irrelevant in this case. A pre-requisite in ‘my criteria’ is that he must do the chasing. No exceptions. If he likes me enough he will do it. I will not like him enough if he doesn’t do it.

    And yes, of course I am still alone…

  • Jane says:

    No, you’re right, if they really want you, they make the effort, end of story

  • Housewife83 says:

    I’m a woman and I’ve been the ‘pursuer’ on several occasions. Looking back I think I had around a 50% success rate. I believe that those who didn’t go for me did it because they weren’t interested enough in the first place, not because I’d put them off by being the aggressor so to speak.

    I made a lot of the first moves in my relationship with my husband when we first started seeing each other. I’m glad I did because I learnt later that he was pretty shy and despite liking me a lot, he wouldn’t have had the confidence to take things further.

    However I think there is a difference between approaching men in a confident poised manner and appearing like a stalker/bunny boiler. I had a strict two text/invite/message rule for men I met in the ‘real’ world and online.

    For an example I’d only send two text messages to a man asking him out for a drink or something. Both messages would be polite, simple and non emotional along ‘Fancy going out for a cup of coffee on Saturday’ type lines. I’d send two because one message can easily get misdirected, be forgotten or overlooked in the course of a busy day. If both were ignored I never made contact again. In my mind, two simple messages didn’t compromise my dignity and could hardly be interpreted as clinging or weird – while allowing the man plenty of opportunity to handle the situation in what ever way he saw fit. I also applied this policy after dates if I hadn’t heard back from the man first.

    Men who responded positively often appeared flattered and never seem put off by the fact I’d been the one to initiate things. Of course it was disappointing when I didn’t hear anything back, but in the long run it saved me a lot of time agonising over mixed signals.

    • DAN says:

      Housewife 83,
      this is exactly what i have been saying all along !
      At least this way you will find out early instead of wasting valuable time on suposedly wishful rendevoux’s !


    • Lydia says:

      Yes, that’s what a lot of men have said to me as being fine and some quite like it, particularly those who are a bit shy or think they would be rejected.

  • MissBates says:

    The man MUST be the initiator. Or THINK that he is. Thus all the exhausting machinations to put yourself in LongShot’s path when of course it would be far easier if it were advisable to just ask him, point-blank “how about it?” Of course then he likely would flee . . .

    I must say, Plankton, I am curious to know where this gem of a man lives that he apparently has so little access to modern communications. Doesn’t he have a phone? Not a cellphone, but a real, “landline” phone? I know it’s very “last century,” but surely THAT would be a way for him to communicate his now egregiously overdue acceptance/rejection of your friend’s generous Christmas invitation.

  • Brigitte says:

    Here is my experience in making the first move:

    I’m interested in “John” at the gym. Last summer, we had been eyeing each other for a few weeks without he or I making any moves. Being attractive (but of Plankton age) and getting tired of us just looking at each other, I smiled at him and said “hi” and gave him my name. Since then, we have chatted (always briefly) at the gym, but nothing more. Finally, I told him that if he were to ask me out for a beer, I wouldn’t say “no” (this, I learned later, is one of the right ways, according to dating GURU Christian Carter, of letting a guy know you are interested without outright asking him out). He told me he was living with the mother of his 3-yr old daughter, but that it was on the rocks and that we could touch base again once he was free.

    From the first day I saw him, I have seen him really chat it up with older, much less attractive women at the gym (what on earth does he talk to them about for so long?). My friends tell me they are “safe” for him and I want to believe this, but I can’t help feeling that my “overture” may have turned him off. (BTW, I am terrible at flirting and my attempts didn’t work. This is why I resorted to the direct approach).

    Maybe it depends on the guy. A nice, serious candidate for a LTR (that may not have female options like my “John”) may be encouraged by my advance. Then again, maybe not.

  • Ella says:

    You are completely right, Plankton, and it is nothing to do with being modern or reactionary, it is to do with how we are hard-wired biologically, and has f*** all to do with rationality: the origins of these patterns of mating behaviour are buried somewhere in the darker recesses of our very ancient reptile brains.

    As with all rules, there are very occasionally exceptions, but other things being equal, you should always let the man make the first move. And if he really wants you, he will…

    There is nothing wrong with making it clear, indirectly, that such a move is likely to meet with a positive response; there are plenty of subtle ways of doing that. But making an unambiguous first move? NOT A GOOD PLAN.

    Stick to your guns, Plankton. Play the long game with Long-Shot. He texted you; you are therefore occupying a space in his mind. Be patient. Right now, you have nothing to lose by waiting, but you might lose everything by frightening him off prematurely.

  • EmGee says:

    I am going to touch base with a subject I haven’t harped on for awhile: Honesty, because it seems to be in short supply

    Mainly, honesty with oneself. If you are not the type to do the pursuing for instance, but do it in spite of your discomfort, you are opening yourself up to lots of misunderstanding and miscommunication in the future. People may think they are being honest with others around them, but if they are fooling themselves by believing they are doing the right thing, they are fooling those around them too, however unwittingly.

    My feeling on LS, is that he is going to take some time, if he comes round at all. I am hoping that he comes to your BF’s Christmas, and you are together long enough to decide you want to know each other better. Then perhaps he will make himself more accessible.

    I too, have an out of the area person-of-interest, who also travels a lot, and who I would like to get to know better, but while he says, ‘keep in touch’, and it is my ‘turn’ to make contact, I can think of nothing to say to him that doesn’t sound inane. I will drop him a holiday themed card soon, and hope that he is somewhere near the his mailbox when it arrives. In the meantime, I am getting to know other men I have met recently, who live nearby and who have stayed in closer contact.

  • Penny says:

    Plankton, it is true and right what you say. I was brought up that a man rings the woman. Many friends have told me, do not ring a man. The men like the chase, it sort of kills something if a woman rings, its too obvious. Maybe nowadays the kids (20s/30’s) might have a different look on things but I bet not. If a man is really interested he will get in touch, as soon as he can, not weeks or months later. It really isnt complicated. Years ago (when I was late 20’s) I did ring a guy I was really keen on (we had a couple of dates already) and couldnt bear the suspense of waiting – wish I hadnt he didnt really like it, I felt I shouldnt have done it. Never again. Stick to what you believe.

  • I’m in agreement with Plankton …but , my Wife made the fist move …told me she wouldn’t communicate with me any more …because she loved me ! I was lost immediately .

  • AMJ says:

    Absolutely agree 100% that women shouldn’t initiate contact with men EVER. Not because of some sleazy strategy to manipulate them into action, as some incorrectly assume – but because most times, it is simply counterproductive.

  • Steve says:

    I can’t speak for all men, just this one. But I can let you into a secret.

    I loathe the chase.

  • Chris says:

    Super stuff plankey. Keep it coming. You are a great writer , pithy and witty with a talent for cutting through the crap

  • Lydia says:

    A little off topic for this day’s blog but relevant to the blog in general is this article on the decline in high status men, rise in women (great, let us celebrate) and the fact plenty of women are happy alone anyway;;;

  • zoe says:

    I learnt as a teenager that waiting by the phone for a boy to call was a weak and miserable place to be. So I resolved early to try to avoid putting myself in that position. Subsequently, if any boy (and later, man) asked me for my phone number, I would not give him mine, but would take his. He could do the waiting, while I decided how much I wanted to see him again.

    It is one thing, I realise, to formulate a simple rule for phone number exchanges, another to live out the general principle through one’s romantic career. A much more testing time, I think, is in the weeks immediately after you’ve had sex with someone, while you’re still negotiating the relationship that you have. The question of who makes the first moves pre-sex is much less fraught than post-sex. For a start, you have very little invested pre-sex. If he turns out not to like you, no bid deal. But if I’ve gone to bed with a man, it’s because I really like him and have done so in the expectation that this is the beginning of a relationship. Stakes are much higher, but the dynamics no less tricky.

    But, basically, I’m with Dan and Housewife83. You owe it to yourself to say what you want and be who you are. Maybe you do lose some battles. Maybe, even, you win fewer battles by not pandering to some putative primitive region in the male primate brain reinforced by unthinking social pressure. But at least when you win them – when you find a man you like and who likes you – you have done so on an honest basis and one that does not compromise you or your future partner.

    As a teenager, I stopped waiting by the phone, not because I thought it would up my chances of getting a boyfriend, but because I did not want to be that weak and miserable person. And I still don’t.

    • Brigitte says:


      I also have a similar way of avoiding waiting by the phone for too long. I will only give him my number if he gives me his. I tell him (good naturedly) that I will only contact him if I haven’t heard from him after a week. That way if he misplaces my number we can still get in touch. If he gives me a bogus number, then I know he wasn’t serious and I can move on.

      I decided to do this in March after an attractive fortyish guy asked for it and didn’t ring me. It was my first singles’ outing since my boyfriend went back to his wife last December. I knew nothing of Planktonhood and having men look at and approach me felt pretty familiar (I hadn’t been on the dating scene in over a decade). Although I never mentioned my age, we talked about how long we’d been out of school, and well, he did the math (she’s 47! Holy sh*t!). I must have waited 3 weeks for that phone call (stupid me). I was totally deflated.

      I haven’t had a chance to impliment my new strategy because there haven’t been any men since that I have encouraged to ask for my number.

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