Q: I just started dating a man who works seven days a week and is in law school at night. He stated at the beginning of the relationship that free time would be an issue. I understood because I work five days a week and am in school at night. He doesn’t call or text me first; I always text him first. He didn’t call or text me yesterday, and I didn’t call or text him. Is he just not into me? We don’t see one another often, and I’m wondering if I should just throw in the towel, so to speak. Am I being needy?

– L.M., Williamsville

A: I’m sorry to say, but it sounds like he’s just not that into you right now. It was thoughtful of him to be honest about his busy schedule, but when someone cares about you, he will make the time to give a quick text or a phone call. It only takes a minute to make a small gesture, to let you know he’s thinking about you.

Perhaps he does like you, but his studies are just more important right now. I’d call him one final time and let him know how you feel and that when the timing is better for him, he can get in touch with you if he likes. There’s no sense in wasting your time on someone who doesn’t put as much effort into the relationship as you do.

As far as being needy is concerned, one phone call or text per day is not needy when you’re seeing someone. (Calling or texting 10 times a day would be out of line, but that doesn’t seem to be your situation.)

No ladies man

Q: I’m a single guy in my 40s and I haven’t had a serious relationship in over 10 years. Most of that has to do with my job and other obligations, but the fact of the matter is that I’m terrified to get back into the dating scene. I feel like I just don’t understand women. I’ve been on a few dates and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but I never get a second date. I’m about to give up! Any advice about how to connect better with women? I grew up with a single father and a house full of brothers, so this is all pretty confusing for me.

– B.K., Buffalo

A: Women are emotional creatures. When you’re out together, listen to your date. Ask her questions about herself, and when you listen to understand, you can respond accordingly. Women like a man who is confident and comfortable enough to show his sensitive, feminine side.

Don’t talk too much about your career or the fact that you haven’t been in a relationship for a long time; that’s a big red flag for a lot of women. If she asks about your dating history, just tell her you haven’t quite found the right one yet, and leave it at that. Less is more, especially on a first date.

Don’t talk about anything heavy such as politics, religion or sex. Being vague is not lying. Be sure to keep yourself well-groomed; dress nicely and make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.

Try to figure out if there are any patterns on your dates. Are you oversharing information? Are you not being attentive enough? Are you a nervous talker? Analyze your past dates and go from there. Don’t give up; there is always room for improvement, and you deserve love just as much as the next person.

Patti Novak welcomes your relationship questions. Email her at and please include your initials and hometown.