Why Doesn’t He?


Do you ever wonder why your man doesn’t behave the way you want him to? Could it be because he doesn’t know how you want him to behave? He could be lazy, oblivious, or uninterested. Each case is different, so it’s hard for me to say.

I’ve been the “he” often enough to provide some perspective. For me, the most delicate and frustrating part is straddling the line between being aloof and overbearing. So much comes into play:

  • Length of text messages.
  • Frequency of text messages.
  • Time it takes to respond to a text message.
  • Voice calls to text message ratio.
  • Number of voice calls with no message left.
  • Number of rings during voice call before sent to voicemail.
  • Length of voice message.
  • Number of and duration of silent periods during voice call.

This is one tough game to master, especially when each teammate has unique talents and expectations.

“OK, cute young thing just texted me and now I feel all squishy.”


“What should I do?”


“How long?”

“I say five minutes minimum.”

“But I like him.”

“Imagine you’re out on the Alaskan prairie hunting buck. You can’t just run up to it and shoot it in the head. You need to approach calmly and slowly–lull him into believing there’s no danger.”

“Is it five minutes yet?”

“Not even one minute. OK, what did he say in his text?”

“He just asked how my night was going and which teams I picked for the final four.”


“He knows I like basketball.”

“You’re weird. Tell me this: How many silly abbreviations did he use in his text and did he include any fucking emoticons?”

“Two and one winky face.”

“I hate him.”

“Stop. He’s cute. A bit young for me, though.”

“How young?”


“Last I checked thirty-five is more than eighteen.”

“I doubt he realizes that I’m much older.”

“I doubt he cares.”

“Has it been five minutes yet?”

“Christ! Fine. Go ahead.”

The cute volley continued throughout the evening. I didn’t want to be hating on him excessively as that would signal cattiness or jealousy. For me, it’s more like vicarious embarrassment. It’s similar to drafting your little brother on your touch football team so he doesn’t feel bad. Then you toss him a pass, which hits him in the noggin. Instead of pointing and laughing at the clumsy runt, you need to do the politically correct thing and say, “Ooh, nice try. Don’t be discouraged. You’ll catch it next time.”

(Naturally, he wouldn’t see another pass the rest of the game and be sent home to practice tuba. Band is the only chance he has of seeing a football field.)

After doing extensive research, here are the ratios that I have found to be optimal:

  • Two-sentence text messages, complete with proper capitalization, punctuation, and completely spelled-out words. You may abbreviate the following: Street, Ante Meridiem, and Sexually Transmitted Disease.
  • Five messages per hour. Only two without a reply. None after midnight or before dawn.
  • Time to respond to message no less than five minutes or you’re sounding desperate.
  • Once voice call for every ten messages.
  • Two voice calls with no message left (and reactivate your Match.com profile).
  • No fewer than four rings before voicemail. Two rings or fewer means you’ve been replaced.
  • Voice message duration should be limited to thirty seconds. Do not begin the message with “Hey, it’s me.” Grammatically speaking, it should be “Hey, it is I.” Yet, there’s this thing you may have heard of called caller-fucking-ID, so quit it.
  • When the silent period during a phone call exceeds five seconds, say goodbye. Make an excuse, if necessary, but get off the goddamn phone before you start saying “So …” just to keep things moving along. A good excuse might be, “I had Mexican for lunch and need to go before I make poopie pants.” Or, “I think I hear my Mom calling.” Whatever. Just hang up, will you?

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About the author

Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.