Twin has been trying online dating for over a year now, and it has indeed been trying. She's found a lot of duds, unfortunately. Last night over a beer she showed me the various messages that have come to her inbox lately. Aside from the 18 year old who wanted her to slap and humiliate him and the WAY too self-deprecating guy who even put himself down for having a boring name, I noticed a trend.
These guys expected a reply yesterday. Patience, it would seem, is not a virtue among the internet dating crowd. Most of her recent conversations begin with a string of messages from the guy. The first one is his opening line, his introduction or whatever. And more often than not, the second message in the conversation is also from him, generally around ten minutes later, asking why she didn't answer or apologizing for bothering her. Sometimes there is a third from him. (If a guy is going to be rude, it's in the third message. He'll call her a bitch or say she's stuck up and she's really missing out by not giving him a chance. I wish I was kidding.) Sadly, a lot of her opening lines in these conversations revolve around telling him she was busy, or to chill out. It's all very romantic.
A couple years ago, I met this guy--we'll call him Boy Band--at a bar. I was out with some friends who like to buy rounds of shots and he had a cute smile. He seemed perfectly normal so when he asked if he could take me to dinner sometime, I gave him my phone number. Having grown up with Sex and the City, I figured I would hear from him in three days--two if he was really eager. I was confident with that assumption, because basically every sitcom from my childhood until that point had an episode about The Three Day Rule. RULE. It's so widely known that it has a name! Everyone knows The Three Day Rule! If a guy on TV only waits two days he says he just couldn't wait another day and his friends still give him shit for it! Like it or not, that is the world I know.
So when Boy Band called me that night after he got home from the bar, I was surprised. (Particularly since my friends hadn't even left yet--we were still at the bar so I had to go outside to hear him.) He texted me the next morning--and all day. I had a busy day planned, including an evening with friends. He texted constantly to see if I had any free time yet. Sitting around a bonfire that night, I missed his text inviting me to his friend's house. When I noticed it after about twenty minutes, I also had another message--"I get it, you don't want to see me."
CHILL OUT. As my friends laughed at him, I wrote back. Then he tried to flirt with me, but feeling suffocated really doesn't do it for me. I ignored two (TWO!!) 2am drunk phone calls and one good morning text during a family brunch the next day before I deleted his number. How could The Three Day Rule have failed me so miserably?
Ok, fine. The rule kind of sucks. It's silly. I don't care if you call the next day. I don't even care if you text that day. But I do care that you can't wait for a damn reply. Guys, what is your problem? Do women do this? Is this a side effect of smart phone culture? Like, everything is on my phone and I always have my phone, so no matter how or when you get in touch I should be responding that instant? Or is this an ego thing? You feel like a wounded bird after ten minutes of silence so you blame me to make yourself feel better? Because you're such a catch that I should drop everything to answer you or else I'm missing out? What is it? Because my outgoing voicemail message says that I'm probably doing something more interesting--I don't have time to sit by the phone.
This idea of "how dare you ignore me for fifteen minutes, I'm awesome" is not attractive. It doesn't make us realize we've made a huge mistake and send our apologies. For me, it's a big red flag. I'll pass, thanks. Play it a little cooler, guys. I'm not saying you have to wait three days, but remind yourself that she probably has a busy schedule give her some time to answer you.
Otherwise you might end up as the guy her friends still make fun of.