How much contact is too much contact? Every human is different. Each of us has different needs, and each of us has her own personal way of interacting with people. We all want more contact with people whose company we enjoy, and less contact with people we don’t actually need or want. Therefore, it makes no sense to follow dating rules, or to go by what dating experts think is right. It does make sense to pay attention to the man, and gauge his level of interest, and how much contact he seems to be comfortable with. That applies to women as well. There is nothing more off putting than a person who is contacting us more than we’d like to hear from them.
Also, timed or measured contact- texting or calling someone to purposely delay a response and appear to be unavailable is a game. You are playing a game with a man who I am sure you wouldn’t want to play games with you. You are appearing to be too busy, when in fact you are not, thus creating false appearances. Would you think he is fake if he did this to you, texted you and then pretended to be too busy to follow up? Games are unattractive. It takes two to tango. If you don’t want him to play texting games with you, then please don’t play texting games with men, even when they are suggested by a dating book like “The Rules”. If you can see through men who are inauthentic, rest assured that men can tell when you are pretending to be unavailable.
So what is an appropriate level of contact? There is no hard answer, it depends on how much the person wants to hear from you. Here’s an example. A few months ago, this guy who I had no intention of dating started texting me. The questions he was asking via text were too personal for someone I had no interest in. I openly told him that I was not interested in dating him, and he seemed amenable to contact as friends. But he still kept texting more than I needed to hear from him, and the questions indicated that his level of interest in me is much higher than just a friendship. So, again, I said “Hey, we are just friends, why so many personal questions?”. More questions later, and I saw that he is still trying to get to know me, when I have no interest in getting to know him on a personal level. I wasn’t initiating contact, wasn’t asking any questions of him at all, I would only reply rarely to indicate no interest. So, this is an example of too much contact. I happen to be blunt and very open about how I feel, so he should have taken my first “I am not interested in dating you” as a signal to back off and stop contact.
If you tend to overtext, ask yourself if you are texting because you are anxious, and need to know where this situation is going to calm your nerves? If you are, then back off. Allow people to show you how much contact they want. If men rarely text you or initiate contact, or if the texts are superficial, then that indicates low interest. When somebody shows you low interest, use that to calm your anxiety. Now is not the time to overthink when you can text him next, now is the time to talk yourself into accepting that low interest indicates you should be taking your attention elsewhere. How often do you text with your girlfriends? Do you have anxiety every time you need to text one of them? Do you time your responses to them? Chances are you don’t overthink it when your girlfriends don’t text you back right away.
When I start to feel a certain level of anxiety about texting back, or start to overthink my responses, I let that anxiety guide me. Anxiety indicates I am not comfortable, I am unsure of the situation, I doubt myself, him or the situationship. Anxiety means that right now this situation is not clear enough for me to engage. Let your anxiety be your red flag that YOU, (not he) is not operating in your highest interest and back off. Rather than use anxiety as your excuse to start thinking about him, what does he want, where is this going, etc., shift your focus elsewhere. If you are doubting whether he would want to hear from you, and how much, be certain that your doubt is accurate. Down girl. It is your own body telling you that you don’t have enough of a connection to start poking and prodding him. If you feel anxiety, it is because at some level you already sense he is not fully into you. If you had a genuine connection, and if you had two-way mutual interest, the channel of communication would be clear, and you wouldn’t feel so uncertain contacting him.
Ask yourself that most important question of all: is there mutual and equal interest? A lot of women confuse their own interest in him, with ‘he must like me too because he is nice to me’. Nice people don’t always have an interest in you personally, nor dating you. Is he interested in getting to know me? Is he interested in dating me? What exactly does he want? What are his intentions? Not sure? That’s because you don’t have enough information about him to move towards him. Your need to get answers before anything has happened between you is your indicator that you are jumping the gun. You are way ahead of him. Niceness does not indicate interest. ‘I am interested in dating you’ is an indication of interest.
If you are overthinking contact, chances are that your monkey mind is telling you that you don’t have enough of an established connection to start communicating. Your mind and your body are always talking to you, you just have to pay attention. Remember that children’s game: Hot and cold? The closer you move in the right direction, the crowd yells “warmer”? Well your anxiety is screaming “colder, colder, don’t go there girl!” That’s not the right move to make.
If the reason you need to start contacting him is to comfort yourself, ease your own tension, feed your hunger, quell your anxiety, that is not a healthy reason. That person of interest is not your medicine. Chances are that you are using him or her to soothe your own discomfort, and that you are establishing a toxic connection already. Any tension or anxiety about this situation is within you. Therefore, in this situation, you are the problem. Deal with yourself. The other person is not the cause of the tension and unease you feel, so resist the temptation to make them responsible for making you feel good about the situation. If you feel discomfort it is because you are anxiously trying to make something happen, while the other person is not there at all.
The appropriate level of contact depends on how much the other person wants to hear from you. You have no way of knowing that until they have shown you. If they are not showing you any clear signs, it is because they are nicely and subtly keeping you at arms length.
Remember, contact is always too much when the other person does not feel the same way about you. Contact is always irritating when one person is not picking up queues about lack of interest. Contact is always uncomfortable when a genuine connection has not been established. Contact is always a source of anxiety and tension when it is not right. Pay attention to your own self. Are you building tension, or are you building mutual interest? Do you feel that you might be intruding on that person’s time? If you doubt whether your texts are welcome, let that doubt be your guide. Back off and go elsewhere, unless that person tells you “Call me”.