E-Tethering ~ How Men Easily String You Along

E-Tethering ~ How Men Easily String You Along

bigstock-Beautiful-young-man-relaxing-o-26440322As your guy spy I am breaking one of the cardinal rules by telling you our secrets.

So have you ever put something on a string because you didn’t want to lose it? It’s called tethering. That’s right, something you might forget but want to make sure you don’t lose.

Men do this all the time, it’s called: Electronic Tethering (e-tethering for short).

Here’s how it works.

Say there’s this guy you’ve seen a few times and you’re really beginning to like him. In the beginning he came on kind of strong and there was chemistry.

Then he seemed to stop making plans to see you as much… sure he’s busy with work or has family problems, but you’d still get a text from him every so often.

He’s at the doctors office “thinking of you”.
He’s out with his friends “wish you were here”.
He’s at his parents “can’t wait till you meet my mom”.

All this communication feels wonderful and you feel connected.

Women interpret this text as action saying, “Gee, he must be into me.”


It’s activity, not action.

That’s right, ever since sleeping with him he hasn’t planned a real date, has he? This goes on for a few weeks and then comes the late night text for a rendezvous. You bite because you like the guy and believe he’s finally coming around.


The pattern starts all over again. No plans, just text messages.

The sign post up ahead… you’re in the e-tethering zone.

What is e-tethering? Glad you asked.

It’s a way he can stay connected without doing any work.

And here’s the worst thing.

Chances are, he’s doing it with several women.

How do I know this?

Because I was this guy.

Shortly after my divorce I finally became pretty savvy with electronic devices.  Before that I used texting to let my friends know I’d be late to the golf course or to ask my wife if she needed anything from the store. But for dating, texting can be used in so many ways.

These days you don’t have to pick up the phone to ask a woman out on a date. These days you can send romantic text instead flowers. These days you can break up with a person via text. And the best part, you can string along a number of women at the same time via text.

Before I met my beloved, I was kind of a cad. Yes, I was single and dating and my day might go something like this:

Stuck in traffic on the 405 (those who live in Los Angeles, CA know what I’m talking about) I would text 5 or 6 women all at once.

Me: “just thinkn of u”

Sure it was kind of lame, but I was bored.

Here’s the thing, three would respond back

Them: “awwwwwwww how sweet”

Me: whatca doing?

Them: just hangn out, u?

Me: “stuck n traffic, get back 2 u ltr”

Them: “no worries, text me when ur free”

See how easy that was? I could keep an electronic tether on several women at once and most of them even suggested using text to respond.

Now you must know, most of these women I met over the course of a year or so and we weren’t romantically dating. But keeping an e-tether was a great way to stay connected for those times I wasn’t dating someone else.

Occasionally when I got lonely I would reach out with my e-tether and if someone bit, I would schedule a rendezvous. Maybe it was dinner or drinks, but really it was a glorified booty call.  Yes it was lame, but it worked. In fact, when I look back to how easy it was, I shudder think how many other women were e-tethered in this way.

So as your heart protector I want you to be informed with a major heads up.

BEWARE of e-tethering.

Texting is a great source for flirtation and can be a wonderful romantic tool, but without real action, all you’ve got is some empty cyber scribbles.

While a text might feel charming and good, ask yourself: does he plan dates, take you out to dinner, introduce you to his friends? Or does he just have an e-tether on you?

Men who are serious about a relationship don’t play this childish game, and neither should you.

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13 Responses to E-Tethering ~ How Men Easily String You Along

  1. Loy September 25, 2013 at 2:23 am #

    Thanks for the warning. This type of man it seems hide behind texts. Its like the monitor mice who hides behind the computer. Both have similarities. They only want to talk via texts and the computer but want no real relationship or real dates in the first instance.

  2. lm September 28, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Would have really appreciated an actual definition of what constitutes “action” here, then.
    Some concrete examples, maybe …?

  3. KP November 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    I’m in this situation right now….any ideas how to get the guy to act on a date and quit the tethering without actually breaking it off completely? I am not his booty call, He has asked me out in a general sense but no specific date has ever been made. We dated for a year and are now back in touch.

  4. Jo November 19, 2013 at 2:45 am #

    I did this with someone for 10 months. ..hopeful and waiting for him. NEVER again will I waste my time. If he wants to be with you, he’ll find a way. It was cruel to string me along. I really fell for nothing more than a promise. What a cad.. I want the real deal.

  5. Holly December 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    Funnily enough I’m not surprised by this at all, I was half expecting it due to the amount of reading material I’ve accumulated over the years.

    It’s good to reading it from a man saying exactly how it is, so thanks for being a heart protector.

    I’m thinking about signing up to your emails, I’ll have to give it some thought though before I make that decision.

  6. Jill January 22, 2014 at 6:46 am #

    After the end of a 5 year relationship, I got back into dating in 2012. Imagine my surprise at the amount of change in the way men communicate since 2007. Texting just wasn’t as overused back then. Now, I am plagued with text-abusers in the dating pool. I have met a couple of men online who use text as their primary communication method, which to me is frustrating because (1) texting to make plans can be a lot more complicated and time consuming than phoning and (2) texting is SO subject to misinterpretation.

    Additionally, I’ve run into the “e-tethering guy” who has texted for months but clearly is not that into me because he will suggest getting together but has not followed through with a plan. Clearly, he’s got a half-dozen fish on the line and I am fairly sure he is an insincere player.

  7. my website March 7, 2014 at 7:59 am #

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  8. Kara April 19, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    Wow. I am so glad for this email. Because, I knew I was being strung along. But I was very confused about how strong he came on me in the begining and the sex/chemistry was mind blowing. – THIS MADE IT VERY VERY CLEAR! … The single sentence .. “In the beginning he came on kind of strong and there was chemistry.” Nailed it in the head. Thank you.

  9. T April 22, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    This happened to me we dated a while and then the last 10 months text string along stuff. I was in love so any communication seemed hopeful. I’ve never done anything to him to deserve such a disregard for my feelings and I would ask and he would always make an excuse and assure me he really likes me. Now I’m pregnant and can’t even tell him. I don’t know why guys do this and I don’t know why I fell for him when there are much nicer kinder men pursuing me. Now I realize a guy who has to keep women around he’s not that into is pathetic if much rather have a guy who cares about women as equal humans and doesn’t do this type of thing

  10. Aimee June 13, 2014 at 6:29 am #

    Thank you for this!!! I think because of this technology overload era we now live in, it is very easy for anyone to fall “victim” to being e-tethered! My favorite is “It’s activity, not action.”!!! Yes, yes, yes!!! As we all know…actions speak louder than words…but then our gets involved and can tend to muddy the waters a bit. : )

  11. MaryCanary July 17, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

    I’m still trying to get over a guy who’s been doing this to me for the past 3 years. I had been into him for a long time, and, just as in your article, he came on strong in the beginning and there was chemistry, but any dinner date turned into nothing more than a “glorified booty call”. I think the thing that pisses me off the most is that his childish and caddish behavior has done zero to diminish my feelings for him. So now, what I feel and what I do are two different things. Unless I’m desperate for a good lay, I don’t feel the need to bite anymore.

  12. Amber October 28, 2014 at 5:32 am #

    I had to search for “being strung along” and my heart sunk when I read your post. I was dating a guy for 11 months, and every few months we’d end it for a few days because I think he felt like it was getting too serious – or I was getting too emotionally involved. After 7 months, we finally labeled it for a few weeks and then he broke it off – but KEPT COMING AROUND. The worst part is that every so often he’d say things that would make me feel like it was going somewhere. I did meet his friends and some of his family and these were other signs that I felt like it was progressing. Well, I finally professed my love to him and he gave me the friends line. I’m so angry. I fell so deeply in love and feel completely used and unappreciated. I can’t believe people (not just men) do this to other people. It really dicks around people with good intentions and good hearts and really, who wins in a situation like this?

  13. Marie October 30, 2014 at 7:02 am #

    Wow, Thanks. I was just trying to figure out what to do with this one guy I met, who when things don’t go his way tells me he’s deleting my number (which he’s “Done” like 3 times but somehow remembers it to text me a month later). I am too nice and don’t like to leave people hanging but this guy is a piece of work and if I think about it long enough, seems like he’d end up being the biggest disappointment.

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