Q. Dear Meredith,
A few weeks ago I requested an UberPool to avoid a downpour on the way to my internship. I met a guy, an upperclassman from my school, heading to his internship as well. He turned out to be quite charming. Before I could offer my number, he gave me his and told me to keep in touch.
I texted him the next morning, a Friday, but I did not receive a response until Monday afternoon. He claimed that he was celebrating his birthday and that he’d been on a digital cleanse where he avoids using his phone. I was apprehensive but gave him the benefit of the doubt, responding a few hours later, trying to engage him in conversation. This was eight days ago, and I have received no response. At this point I know I should move on, but part of me wants to believe that there is some legitimate reason for him to not respond. We hit it off during that short ride. I want to send a follow-up text to see if he’s still there, but I’m also aware of the implications of double texting a guy. Meredith, what is your read of the situation?
— Car Talk
A. You need to remember that you don’t know why he gave you his number that day. Nothing about your Uber interaction suggests that he wanted a date. He gave you his number but didn’t ask for yours.
I need to confess that this letter reminded me that I still owe an e-mail to a guy I met on a shared ride. It was many months ago, and I’d called Lyft, not realizing I’d hit the shared option. I was not in the mood to talk to anyone, but the other passenger was super nice and we had a great conversation. At the end of the ride he said he’d find my Globe e-mail and reach out. I think I said something like, “Please do!” I didn’t even mean for a date; I was just excited to meet someone new in the city in such a random way. Later, he e-mailed, and now I feel like a jerk because I never replied. There was no malicious intent on my part. Sometimes people are bad about communicating, especially when their history with someone is eight minutes in a car.
In your case, if you do reach out again, be clear about what you want. You could say, “Took an UberPool today and missed your company. Let me know if you have time to get together.” He’ll either make it happen or he won’t.
His “legitimate reason” for not being in touch is that he’s not interested in you. You have put way too much stock in this brief interaction.
The fact that you’ve made this brief encounter such a big deal makes it pretty clear to me that you’re not spending enough time cultivating real connections.
I know this will just sound like crazy talk to someone in their 20s, but how about you take that number he gave you and actually call him?
I don’t think the goal here is to be more intrusive.
He’s a big old flirt, is what I think. If he ever wanted to get together, he changed his mind. Sorry sister, nothing to see here, move on.
boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.