He Won’t Call Me Back – What to Do?

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I am 45 years old and been divorced for 5 years. During this time I have dated a fair number of men. WIth the exception of one longer term relationship where he lied and cheated on me several times, I have remained friendly with all the men that I have dated. Several of them, I still do things with and keep in regular contact … we are actually very good friends!

Recently, I ended a 4 month relationship with a 40 year old man. We really enjoyed each others company but rarely saw each other. He was never married and did not have children. He spent a ton of time traveling with his buddies. He was not really a “kid person”. I have almost sole custody of my son and date with the eye of hoping to get remarried some day.

When I ended the relationship, I explained to this guy that I wanted to date someone with children. He seemed upset but I assumed that in a short time things would “smooth over”, and we would be friendly again. We had plans to go to this really big weekend long event where I was going to meet his



family so I thought it best to end it before we started “going down that path”. Also, it would mean that I would have to spend the weekend with him (i.e. sleep with him) which I was no longer comfortable doing. I heard he found another date so I assumed we were “square” on that front.

Well, it has been about a month now and I have emailed him once, and called him once to “check in” and make sure that the “air was clear” between us. He never responded to either the email or call … so I have respected his boundaries and not initiated contact again.

Here is my confusion / frustration … I hear a lot about “no contact” with younger people dating. But at 45 years old and only dating some one for 4 months (every other weekend at best), it seems a little childish to never reply to me … not even to simply say “I prefer NOT to be friends or I prefer that you NOT contact me”. No one cheated, there were no personal attacks, it was not a long term relationship, there was not some dramatic argument … it just did not work out because we had completely different lifestyles and priorities in life.

We got along great all the way through to almost the end. We had an argument 2 weeks before and talked about ending it then, but we decided to hang in there a bit longer.

Am I being callous, or does his unwillingness to even respond to my call or email seem a little melodramatic for the circumstance? I do not want to get back together, or do things with him. I just feel at this point in my life, I prefer to clear up resentments and not let grudges build so that it is not uncomfortable or awkward. I feel too old for the “no contact” business — am I out of line?

MIDLIFE BACHELOR ANSWER: This is a great question – and applies equally to men and women who are going through the same thing.

The best thing I can tell you is to try and not take him ignoring you personally. This type of thing really is not that uncommon in dating situations — even at our age. The reasons for him behaving this way are his own … doesn’t even matter really what his reasons are, right? You can no more expect him to behave the way you want than for him to expect you to behave a certain way … which means that I’d just leave things as they are, and move on. He’ll contact you eventually if he is interested in a friendship.

Especially with respect to dating and relationships – people behave in all kinds of ways … and have all kinds of motivations like past experiences, emotional baggage, maybe a newer girlfriend or boyfriend, etc. You could go crazy trying to truly understand where they are coming from. I say that trying to understand or figure someone out in a case like this is pure wasted energy on your part … better to use that energy for something more positive … like finding your next victim / boyfriend ;o)  So don’t let it bother you.  Control what you can, … what you cannot control you must accept, and then move on.

I can tell from your writing and grammar that you are extremely intelligent, and will be a great catch for someone. So don’t let this guy get under your skin – it is not worth wasting the energy.

I noticed that you already joined our Midlife Forum here – so I look forward to hearing more from you!

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About the Author

Midlife Bachelor chronicles lifestyle, dating, and relationship experiences and advice to avoid a midlife crisis. Readers like you are often beyond young adulthood in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s that want to understand how dating, sex, relationships, and love fit in with our lifestyles.