Slam! Here that? That’s your Window of Opportunity slamming shut.
These windows aren’t open for long. Some shut sooner than others. But they all slam shut sometime. The trick is getting through it before it closes.
Here’s a case study. markymark360 and sallybear126 met each other a year ago. It was a set-up by their mutual friends. Both seemed to show an interest in each other. She gave him an opportunity to ask her out. markymark360 did with fervor. After a date, he didn’t contact her again.
Then, three months later, he emailed her. Again, he pursued her with fervor. They went on second date. And again, he didn’t contact her afterwards.
This pattern happened two more times. The last time, sallybear126 finally decided he wasn’t worth her time anymore. His Window of Opportunity slammed shut. She didn’t return his call and he never followed up.
…until another three months later, where he had the following instant messenger exchange with her (reprinted with her permission).
markymark360: hi sally!
markymark360: how are you doing?
sallybear126: not bad. getting ready for my trip
markymark360: not bad as well….wish summer was still here
markymark360: when are you leaving?
sallybear126: i leave friday!!!
markymark360: are you going to have time to hang out?
sallybear126: my schedule is pretty tight for the rest of the week
sallybear126: i have to go to physical therapy
sallybear126: to get my ankle fixed
sallybear126: so i dont injure it more on my trip!
markymark360: wow…this coming Friday?
markymark360: what time is your flight?
markymark360: need a ride to the airport?
sallybear126: thanks but i got it covered
markymark360: ok…busy everyday until Friday?
sallybear126: i have b-day dinners. packing, physical therapy
markymark360: what about meeting up after one of the dinners or therapy session? for drinks? I can help with your alcohol consumption … preparing you for your trip
sallybear126: how about when i get back
sallybear126: i am pretty slammed at work which means early mornings
markymark360: sounds good…
markymark360: definitely meet up when you get back
markymark360: sore ankle? or more?
sallybear126: i tore a muscle
markymark360: so cancel all your plans and I will carry you to the bar when we head out
sallybear126: yeah right
sallybear126: nice try
markymark360: foot massage included…no?
sallybear126: you’re so funny…
sallybear126: i dont get emails from you… or calls…
sallybear126: but out of the blue when we chat
sallybear126: you’re so eager to hang out
markymark360: always wanted to hang out….just know you are very busy — as well as I
sallybear126: we’re all busy ppl but it doesnt mean we dont have a social life
markymark360: I agree
markymark360: so I will carry you to the bar? call me Dr. Mark
sallybear126: no can do this week
sallybear126: besides shouldnt u be encouraging a friend with an injure foot to rest it
sallybear126: at a bar drinking is not resting it
markymark360: I totally understand
markymark360: just giving you a hard time
markymark360: I will see you when you get back
sallybear126: no worries i dont give in to hard times
markymark360: that’s too bad
markymark360: try harder next time
markymark360: I’m holding a service ticket to get in line
sallybear126: haha cute but i think our time has expired… dont u think?
markymark360: how did our time expire?
markymark360: not like it’s milk
sallybear126: haha sort of…
markymark360: so no chance to spark that interest again?
sallybear126: we met a while back…it just doesnt feel natural now ya know?
sallybear126: so next time… if u meet a girl that you’re interested in… call her ask her out… if u like her… call her ask her out again
sallybear126: or vice versa
sallybear126: she’ll call you
sallybear126: but it’ll happen pretty quickly if somethings there
markymark360: I think it can…..we didn’t get a chance to start
markymark360: give me a chance to take you out when you return
markymark360: all I ask
sallybear126: oh but we did…
sallybear126: we had a lot of time!
sallybear126: we’ve “known” each other for over a year now
markymark360: ok… I’d better log off now. Have a great evening.
sallybear126: ok. have a good one
So what happened here? Did markymark360 wait too long? Is a Window of Opportunity like milk? Was sallybear126 being unreasonable? Or did she already give him enough chances?
Here’s one interpretation. When there’s no phone call after a date, it usually means the person is not interested. That’s a fairly universal rule. When that person contacts you again months later, something kept that person occupied for that time. Was it work? Another relationship? Whatever it was, this person now has you on the radar again.
But if this kind of behavior becomes a pattern, then you’ve got to wonder. What exactly is keeping this person occupied for so much time? Why the sudden eagerness to get another date all of a sudden? And do you really want a relationship with a person who keeps such a schedule?
I don’t have all the answers, just lots of questions. What I do know is that there is a limited window of time for all of our opportunities, the Window of Opportunity. After that time has passed, trying to bring back that opportunity is pretty much useless. As sallybear126 put it, “it doesn’t feel natural.” And who wants a relationship that doesn’t feel natural?
What do you think went wrong between markymark360 and sallybear126?