Or, 95.4% of the time, he’s just thinking, hey, there’s an outside chance I could get laid here. If you want steady boyfriend leading to marriage and 2.3 kids and he wants Wednesday Arm Candy #3, we have a mismatch.

On the other hand, if you’re both on the same page, whether it’s a short-, medium- or long-term page, things have a better chance of working out than when your relationship goals are at odds. Now, I’ve never been a lion or gazelle, but I can imagine that the chief emotion that the lion was feeling at that moment was confusion.

ANTIDOTE: Once again, more cluelessness than malice operating here. The antidote to this is the “one step forward, two steps back” protocol, as I describe it in The Tao of Dating, Ch. Sometimes you have to prime the pump to get things going again.

Heck, I’m probably losing interest in someone right now, completely unbeknownst to myself but setting the mind of the poor lass on fire, and not necessarily in a good way.

One saving grace is that most people, male or female, usually aren’t doing this stuff deliberately.

You’re thinking, “Aw man, this is going to be great. There was the girl who invited me to her senior year final dance in college who was all over me much more than I was all over her.

There was the super sweet, cute Midwestern girl in med school whom I tried so hard to charm.

Most non-sociopathic men aren’t out to deliberately hurt women.

We’re all interconnected at some level, and causing distress in another person causes distress in ourselves. And at a very primitive level, remember that men enjoy the chase.Why waste time when a better match is around the corner? In every interaction, whether on phone, online or in person, keep in mind, “There’s a real human being on the other end, and a small but nonzero chance this guy/girl could be my future ex-spouse.” So be nice now, and pay attention. If you were to remember one of the Four Agreements from Don Miguel Ruiz’s Toltec wisdom, let it be #2: don’t take anything personally.Therefore, in the early stages of courtship, people in this age of electronic dating are in Merciless Elimination Mode. With that out of the way, let’s talk about why guys go poof. Even if it is about you, thinking that it’s not about you keeps you saner in the long run. He’s bored, and he finds your company marginally more interesting than a night of Archer reruns.So let’s go through some scenarios to make sense of this and maybe give you some tools for handling it in the future. There are forces that strengthen the bond between two people, and forces that weaken it. Now remember that in the beginning of any relationship — what we call “dating” — the bond is fragile at best, and nonexistent at worst. Early on, people will eliminate a perfectly decent human from contention as Mr or Ms Right based on the most trivial and even spurious data that has little bearing on how well they’ll get along as a couple. In the course of your brief courtship with someone, there’s always a chance that weird shit could happen.For example, seeing a lot of each other generally strengthens the bond. Kissing and sex create bonding, since you’re producing bonding chemicals like oxytocin, which is why they’re called bonding chemicals. If the net forces bonding a couple are greater than those separating them, they tend to stay together. Two strangers are gambling on each other, hoping something may come of it. I’m sorry, what do you mean you don’t like the Grateful Dead, or hip-hop, or sushi, or my sportsball team, or coffee, or tattoos? And with the length of courtship going from months (see: Emma by Jane Austen), to days (see: 20 their due is only getting worse. As a result, the stress levels of your paramour go through the roof, and your budding romance goes from Priority #1 to #73, right between “start watercolor lessons” and “re-string ukelele.” Here, let me share a story with you: some time ago, over the course of one week I had two first dates that I thought went reasonably well, concluding in semi-torrid makeout sessions.There he was, showing up outside your castle window every day in his mostly shiny but frankly also a little rusty armor, strumming his lute and warbling his troubadour songs. Now, I don’t know exactly what was going on in your particular situation, Sheila, since I wasn’t there.