Why You Must Never, Ever Send a Guy a Second Whatsapp

It’s a good thing smart phones and social media hadn’t been invented when I met my husband because I can tell you, for free, we would not be together now. While I am fun and delightful, I am also mammothly needy and intense, and he would have taken one look at the 19 whatsapps I’d sent before 7am and run for those proverbial hills. Which would have been a shame, because we’re actually great together. He is logical and sensible and easygoing, while I am more, well… not any of those things. And therefore we balance each other nicely. But I can say with absolute certainly that I would not have managed that space and the whole instant accessibility thing well.

Back in those days (which are now pretty much regarded as the dark ages but was actually only about thirteen years ago) not even everyone had cell phones. You still relied on a landline which sometimes, but not always, had an answering machine. Therefore, when the guy you were crushing on madly didn’t answer it meant he wasn’t home and you had to go away and think about something else (Or drive past his house but that’s just nuts and I never, ever did that. At all.) Me, in my twenties, with a smart phone? It would have a mess on wheels. I would have been relentless – messaging, tagging, instagramming, whatsapping and then freaking out when he didn’t answer me instantaneously, as in the following second.

Instead, I was forced to be patient and wait till he came back from his dive/finished watching the game/ended his working day till I could impose myself on him again, which led him to believe that I was more reasonable than I really was. So, it’s with great empathy and tremendous referred pain (from them to me) that I watch my single girlfriends navigating the dating website space and conducting these agonizing exercises in torture otherwise known as chatting to a new guy. And I cannot judge their eagerness and concomitant devastation when he doesn’t take the bait for one nanosecond, because that would have been me.

But on Sunday I went for a walk with a new girlfriend who shared a simple, but very clever little analogy re the whole dating website/new guy fiasco. And, being a dispassionate observer who is not (god forbid) looking for a man, I can see how absolutely correct and appropriate it is, and share it with you. She said, when you meet a new guy, either in person or online, you’ve got to imagine a tennis court with two people on either side and a ball going back and forth. Back and forth is the only way. You serve, he returns your ball. You send it back to him, he sends it back to you, and so it goes on. If he does not return the ball to your court, you do not serve again. There is one ball in this game. It is tennis, not snooker. If that ball doesn’t come back to you, you wait. And wait. Still not coming? He’s on another court. Move on. Don’t ask him where the court is or what he’s doing on it – he doesn’t want to play with you, and that’s all you need to know.

And yet all the time I see the women sending that ball over, then sending another and then another still, and then asking, why doesn’t he answer? Was it something I said? What’s his problem? And then taking their communication apart word for word in an attempt to decipher its hidden message. There’s no hidden message – he doesn’t want to play ball with you so you must go away. It’s much simpler than we believe. We sit there over-analysing, picking things apart, second-guessing: what is he doing? Why is he online and not answering me? Who else is he talking to? When none of this matters. It’s irrelevant. Despite all this technology which (for better or for worse) keeps us connected 24/7 some things have stayed the same: if the boy likes the girl he will go and get her. And that’s the long and the short of it.

Stop sending more balls – it just makes you look desperate. Even if you just want to say this one thing – don’t. Even if it’s the funniest, cleverest thing anyone has ever said in the world – don’t do it. He’ll feel hounded and think you’re psycho and not like you anymore. True story. And it’s easy as hell for me to say this because my dude is chained to the net, bless his tennis socks, but at the same time this vantage point allows me to see things a lot more clearly than I would if I were waiting to see if the little yellow ball was coming my way anytime soon. And if this guy isn’t game, eff him; there are many more where he came from. You served, he missed, game over.


54 thoughts on “Why You Must Never, Ever Send a Guy a Second Whatsapp

  1. Hilarious and completely true. It is just that simple. As a single girl in that very navigation I have discovered and am constantly reminding myself of how simple it is. Love the reference to Tennis.

  2. Love this, I think I’ll take this advice on board (have started Eharmony). There’s a guy I kinda liked, the ball went back and forward. He’s had it for a while, I was considering sending another ball in – I won’t now. Thanks!!

  3. This brings back memories and makes me laugh at myself. I so agree. And when I did not return the ball, he came running to find it! Your blog is a great way to start my day, with a big chuckle

  4. thanks for the great article! Mobile generation has sent dating into a whole new “ballgame” scary stuff out there!!

  5. Not sure how I found you, but I’m glad I did!
    This is what I’ve been trying to tell the ‘youngsters’ for ages.. they don’t believe me.. maybe sharing your post will help! :).

  6. Brilliant! “You served, he missed; game over.”

    Sometimes it actually goes the other way – the more one wants a guy to go away, the more he pursues. Now how does one reward the correct behaviour (they are supposed to be chasing us) while telling him you’re not the right girl for him? Complex!

  7. Love your blog!!! Firstly..every girl at high school needs to learn about dating tennis. So simple and so effective. nothing works as well as playing hard to get! All good men love a challenge (if they didn’t they’d be rather boring hey?)
    Your ‘maid’ stories are hilarious and hit the mark…we are having a disciplinary tomorrow!!! I’d rather have a messy space than a hostile one.
    Keep them coming

  8. Love, love, love! So true, clever, yet sad – all at the same time. And in hindsight, I’m just so bloody relieved, I’m not playing tennis anymore.

  9. Best blog post I have ever read! So very true and I love the tennis court analogy… really puts it into perspective :)

  10. A dude I was hounding sent me a link to this post haha. Anyway, he did me a favour. Love your words. From an expat writer living in Australia x

      1. I’ve served my ball again. Oppsie….sorry. Not anymore… Tx for the motivation Susanhayden… I’ll heed ur advice. Relieved 😌

  11. Brilliant! Funny and true… I’m on a dating site again but I’m finding that I’m not agonizing over whether or not I get a response. The proverbial ball in his court… love it!

  12. SO funny! And such a brilliant analogy. I shall be taking this and using it as my own age-old-wisdom when dealing with my teenage nieces. Thanx!

  13. <3 this. Thanks soooo sooo much for sharing it. I do the extra funny part message but I surely ain't gonna continue with that. Thanks :*

  14. Well, who’d a thunk it! The analogy is brilliant. And it can be drawn wider too! We parents with digitalia all complain about our adult kids who don’t communicate enough: same thing. And I suddenly see the poor sap on the other side of the net cringing while all these balls are being lobbed at him. Damn, now I just have to wait for the kids to answer…

  15. I am such a hounder!!! Quick on my fingertips when it comes to texting..I keep those balls coming…I am guy and that can be seen as relentless persuit of the opposite sex, and in that sense its a good thing, no?

  16. As a 50-something who has done the online dating, I can with a megaphone say “WELL DONE” for this post — it’s actually all very simple and you described it perfectly. Having said that, I am waiting for the right ball to come back in my court — but maybe that’s for another blog! :-)

  17. Thanks for this, I really enjoyed it. Just joined to follow you today.

    I was intrigued by a post on the following website http://kingdez.com/590/, which talks about your post ‘ON ANGRY SOUTH AFRICAN EXPATS’ – in fact this is where I found the link to your website.

    I guess another viewpoint of sorts?

  18. What bus me in the new dating world… is that many times, you meet online, you’re lucky if you get a phone call… usually it goes straight to whatssap, and then you play tennis, and play, and play and play, and no move is made to plan a date and go out in the real world!

  19. It’s been six days since I spoke to the guy I like. Six horrendous days. And while I keep telling myself, forget him, he’s obviously not interested, part of me thinks maybe he’s busy, or just playing hard to get. But how can he be when his What’s App reads Last Seen ALL THE TIME! The tennis analogy really struck with me; probably because I hate tennis. But if I want to get good at this, I guess I’d better carrying on playing…great blog by the way!

    1. It’s SO hard, and I often say it’s a small miracle that I dated before the days of social media because I would have been a nightmare on speed. When I was in my 20s there was landline which sometimes had an answering machine, but mostly not. If the guy was out, he was out. I swear it’s the only reason the nice man I married married me. Had no idea of the psycho lurking within… ha ha!

  20. Absolutely loved this… as a 30 something single girl, it feels harder trying to find a guy even with so many ways to communicate in this day and age. It feels like its more game playing than anything. So the reference to tennis really hit home… thank you!!

  21. Except it’s not really a good analogy at all. It’s the ‘good looking girl view of the world’. Without looking I’d knew you’d be a pretty young girl and thus you are. Congratulations! It how good looking girls would like to believe the world is. The better analogy of dating web sites is a tennis court in which there are lots of guys hitting balls at a few girls. The girl hits a ball back and it doesn’t return. So what, there are plenty of balls coming over all the time. Just hit another one back and it’s probably going to return.

    For most ordinary guys its about hitting lots of balls and rarely seeing them return. If a ball does return and he hits it back and it fails to return a second time, he might as well go looking for it. It could be a while before another ball comes back……

  22. That is so true if the ball doesnt come back then move to the next one sending more balls ova ta him also makes less interested cause you appear desperate.

  23. I agree with some of this, however, theer are other reasons why someone hasn’t messaged you back for e.g they are genuinely busy and they forgot, they sent a message and for some odd cyber reason it didn’t come through(this happened to me), they just are not the kind of person that messages alot (alot of guys are like this) and so forth. So, you could potentially be contributing to the unraveling of a good early connection that will lead to good things. Of course i totally agree with analogy of batting over 5 plus balls , when he is only throwing one or 2 back! However, i think be a bit more flexible and maybe have 2 balls handy, rather than giving up after 1  I’ma guy too btw—see we go through similar shit as you girls. Tamar

  24. Hello Dear it was a nice article you wrote about..
    i have this issue with the guy that i’m dating and dunno what to do to fix it with him..
    he gave me another chance to change..
    but i feel like he have someone else in his life..

    kindly help me to see what i should do

  25. Too good not to share! Love the way you write.
    Your friend is very wise, and you are brilliant to keep wise people around and add the wisdom to your own.

  26. Love this. I remember when I first realized that if the “ball is in his court” and he doesn’t return it, he has missed the ball and I can move on without worry. It was both liberating and tragic at the same time. Liberating, because I could then go right back doing stuff that was important to me without spending him another thought, and a bit tragic thinking about the time wasted previously while agonizing about the reasons behind his delay in returning the ball.

  27. This is the dumbest BS ever. There could be multiple reasons for the guy to be still interested but has not replied back. Messages could be lost, phone could be erased whatever. If the guy THINKS that you haven’t send a text back because he for example lost your messages you lose because you look desparate?

    Girls if you are higher educated (aka smart) just send out one more message! If he does not reply then yes then he is not interested. Also, this passive behavior is a big turn-off for most guys!

  28. I have to say, when girl doesn’t reply, or never initiates contact, it means she is not interested and it’s not worth going forward

  29. Maybe no one should second whatsapp, but one on one, would be nice if girls would reply, even by saying i don’t know anything, no reply at all is just rude.

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