Why He Didn’t Call You Back


Author Rachel Greenwald’s Why He Didn’t Call You Back is a comprehensive, in-depth look at why men don’t call women back after a first date. By developing an extensive exit interview strategy, Greenwald interviewed a thousand “hims” and was able to get them to explain the real reasons they never called back after a first date. The answers she got were clear and consistent. She is very logical in her approach and does a great job explaining how she was able to get these men to be specific as to why. While written for women, her process makes this book easy for men to understand.

She explains that much of this choice has to do with online dating. Online dating has led to a high percentage of first-date failures, too many options, overly high expectations, screening out rather than screening in, easier rejection, and more focus on messaging instead of phone calls and meeting in person.

One of the biggest surprises in this book was that women guessed wrongly 90% of the time on why the men didn’t call them back—the actual reasons are categorized into this book’s Top Ten Date Breakers. Greenwald adds an additional six honorable mentions for a total of 16.  She breaks down how women can recognize if they are displaying these behaviors and what they can do to make corrections. Many women have a combination of these behaviors. However, in most cases, all that is necessary is a set of minor adjustments. The key here is not to change who you are, but rather to create context as to who you are, presenting who you are in a tempered and deliberate way.

Additionally, Greenwald covers what the top five date-breaking reasons are for the morning after a first date, what the top five reasons are for women not returning men’s calls, and how to recognize the things you’re doing right. There are also some client success example stories.

50 Dates at 50 Take: 

While this book is written for women, men can learn much from it, especially if they have difficulty getting second dates. In many cases, men are a mirror image of the 16 types listed. I found myself laughing with Greenwald all the way through this read. I’ve had many personal experiences with these date breakers.

It’s essential to recognize that this book encourages awareness of your weaknesses alongside some minor corrections and that this small change will make a big difference in your success at getting to second and third dates.

Why You Need to Read It:

While this book was published back in 2009, 95% of the information is still relevant. I’ve taken the liberty of listing Greenwald’s Date Breakers (and other related content) below with a small description for each one. We’ll all recognize parts of ourselves and our dates, but you’ll need to purchase the book to get the in-depth scoop on how to identify, troubleshoot, and correct your questionable dating behaviors. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to date with purpose to find a really great guy or gal.

TOP TEN DATE-BREAKERS (These are deal-breakers described by men that occurred on the first date)

  • Reason #1 The Boss Lady
    • Exhibits dominant behavior to the point where most men would rather hire her for her professional representation than date her. Name Droppers and One-Uppers fall into this category.
  • Reason #2 The Blahs
    • Dates like she is on auto-pilot, with a lack of enthusiasm. She makes little or no effort to engage in the conversation. The Blahs often come disguised as a self-inflicted form of “No Chemistry.”
  • Reason #3 The Bait and Switcher
    • She portrays herself one way online and is entirely different in person. This includes misrepresentations in dating profiles.
  • Reason #4 The Park Avenue Princess
    • She represents herself as high-maintenance and displays a general lack of appreciation. Men often perceive her as fake or superficial.
  • Reason #5 The Closer
    • She is on a mission to find a boyfriend, husband, baby, or any combination of the three. She uses her time to effectively close the deal.
  • Reason #6 The Flasher
    • Introduces negative information about herself, or “baggage,” without realizing it.
  • Reason #7 The Bitch in Boots
    • Does not appear to be kind. She displays impatience and rudeness, is easily irritated, and acts entitled.
  • Reason #8 The Debbie Downer
    • This is a complainer with her glass half-empty, who’s never really happy. She embraces cynicism and pessimism.  (Reviewer’s Note: Sarcasm is often a cloak for cynicism and pessimism -Paul)
  • Reason #9 The Ex-Factor
    • She talks about or refers to her ex-boyfriends or husbands. Women can’t help themselves on this. Many subtly do it without even knowing. It’s a trap with no way out.
  • Reason #10 The One-Way Street
    • A woman in her own world. She often interviews her date but does not listen to what he says. She generally looks to find out enough information about her date to label him, put him neatly in a box, and screen him out.


  • Reason #11 The Seinfeld
    • This woman makes bizarre statements or demonstrates odd behaviors.
  • Reason #12 The Never-Ever
    • Makes absolute or uncompromising statements such as “I will never” or “I hate.”
  • Reason #13 Birds of a Feather
    • She makes statements about places she frequents (Example: biker bars or a tattoo parlor), leading to her being stereotyped. A person’s Facebook friends can easily mislead about who they are—guilt by association.
  • Reason #14 The Psychobabbler
    • This woman brings up their visits to the therapist in general conversation.
  • Reason #15 The Wino
    • This is a woman who drinks too much on the first date.
  • Reason #16 The Why Bother
    • This is when a woman doesn’t get a call back because the man is expecting rejection. He figures he isn’t successful, educated, or attractive enough for her.


  • The Sadie Hawkins
    • She doesn’t want the guy to get away, so she flips the table and becomes the heavy pursuer.
  • The Flame-Out
    • The couple engages in fast and furious texting and phone calls immediately following the date. There is a high level of mutual infatuation leading to premature emotional and physical decisions. Things flame out as quickly as they caught fire.
  • The Busy Bee
    • This woman is unable or unwilling to move things around to make time for a date, or she is way too popular with calls and texts while out on the date.
  • The R U 4 Real
    • Use of confusing communication content in text messages. There are lots of typos, overuse of exclamation points, or emojis. There may also be rapid-fire text messages followed by long periods of dead silence.
  • The Tail Spin
    • This is where a woman doesn’t hear back from a man immediately after a great first date and cognitive distortions begin to form in her mind as to why he has not called. By the time he does call, she’s worked herself into a frenzy. This leads to game-playing.


  • Greenwald explains that the danger of all the exit interview information she presents is that a woman may focus too much on why he might not call her back instead of why he should call her back. Once you are aware and have learned how to avoid traps, you can focus on showing him the many reasons you’re a fabulous catch.
  • What she has discovered in her exit interviews is that “Men are most impressed with kindness and thoughtfulness during the dating phase.”
  • The vast majority of divorced men who have hired Greenwald as a matchmaker in the ten years before she wrote this book said that the number-one thing they were looking for the next time around was a kind person.


  • The Puppy Dog
    • This man is your typical namby-pamby puts you on a pedestal “Nice Guy” and a serial pleaser.
  • The Yuk Factor
    • This man has issues with personal grooming or is a bad kisser.
  • The Garbage Man
    • This man uses four-letter expletives, makes lewd and sexual comments, and undresses their date with their eyes.
  • The Not-So-Macho-Man
    • This man lacks essential awareness of etiquette and chivalry. He displays wishy-washy behavior with no ambition or plan.
  • The Mr. Big
    • This man is full of himself and still relives his past juvenile antics. He is the male equivalent of the “One-Way Street.”


  • Women are more likely to give men a second chance after the first date, even if there wasn’t initial attraction. This is why eliminating the minor errors is so crucial in getting to the second date. This is a key point in dating!
  • After the age of 30, women begin to notice the second guy in the room rather than the first because the first guy never seems to work out.
  • Women more often allow for personality traits in men that might overcome physical liabilities (attractiveness) when it comes to the first date.
  • When it comes to advancing to the second date, women more often will decline citing physical appearance than men.
  • Women who feel comfortable getting feedback in a work context are highly resistant to getting feedback from a date. In this case, exit interviews go from empowering to embarrassing. Remember that Greenwald found 90% of women were wrong when they guessed why men didn’t call them back! (Reviewer’s Note: Generally speaking, I’ve witnessed women having two completely different standards when calling back a man who is a work client compared to calling back a man in a dating situation. -Paul)
  • Four out of five dentists agree – In this example, a man and a woman are on a date seated at a restaurant table. The woman does not notice and acknowledge the waiter refilling her glass with water. Four out of five men might take this as rude, where one out of five would be impressed her focus was on him. What annoys one person may attract another. It’s worthy to decipher if you’re creating a pattern or dealing with random situations. You can fix patterns.
  • One strike doesn’t mean you’re out; it’s almost always a combination of little things that results in no callback.


Book Title: Why He Didn’t Call You Back

Author:  Rachel Greenwald

Year Published:  2009

Amazon Link

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