Reality Steve

Dr. Reality Steve

Podcast #43 – Interview with Desiree Siegfried (Part 2), “Dr. Reality Steve,” & (EXCLUSIVE) Who is Ben Higgins Currently Seeing?

Dr. Reality Steve

Hi Steve,

I have a random question for you today and I was going to ask you a second, but maybe I’ll save it for next week to spread them out 😛 Neither story affects my current relationship in any way, I’m just curious to understand the male mind a bit more and am trying to help add to your Thursday column.

So I recently got engaged and posted it on Facebook. My ex direct messaged me to say congratulations saying: “CONGRATSSSSS!!!! :O”. I responded thanks and I hope he and his wife are doing well. He saw the message but never responded (fair, whatever). He got married about 2 years ago and his wife was known to me at the time we broke up. She was actually part of the problem at the time we broke up because he spent lots of time with her as a “friend” but I felt he was prioritizing their friendship over our relationship, so I felt pretty vindicated when I found out they were dating..haha but anyway on with my story.

Typically, I wouldn’t see his message as abnormal since we are super amicable and friendly when we interact, but this isn’t the first time he has reached out to me, when we really have no other contact with each other at all. I don’t think I congratulated him when he got engaged or married. The first time he reached out after break-up was the first Christmas after we had broken up. He was already with his wife at this time (we broke up April, they were dating by August, could have been earlier than that but I only found out because I saw them out together). We didn’t speak since May, and suddenly on Christmas day I got a SnapChat from him with like his face and Christmas doodles around it. I just brushed it off as a mass message to his friend list. It probably was but I guess, added to the next 3 incidents and the most recent one, I figured this info would add insight to your understanding.

To complicate things, I had signed a 3-year contract for a cell plan under his name, and at the time of our break-up, I had 2 years to go before it expired. We agreed I would check-in once a year and find out if he would prefer to cancel or transfer the plan, or allow me to continue using it. The first year I messaged him to ask and we resolved I could just pay him for the year and continue using it. He then said “we should catch-up some time”. I said yes for sure let’s do coffee sometime, it’d be nice to catch up. (I was seeing my fiance by that time and he was fine with it). He replied he would check with his gf and get back to me. I never heard from him again and assumed she said no (lol). Didn’t think it would come up again.

A year goes by with zero communication. The last year of the plan rolls around and after discussing that, he says again “we should catch up sometime”. I say, yeah for sure just let me know when. Again, no response ever after that msg.

Finally, it’s time for the plan to end, and there are some issues with terminating/me wanting to carry the # over. Through that discussion, he asks me AGAIN to meet up for coffee sometime to catch up and I again said I’d be free anytime, maybe over the holidays?, and then it was dropped.

Now I haven’t talked to him since that time in 2015, and then he sends me the message to congratulate me very excitedly on the engagement.

So I guess my question is, why does he keep reaching out to me and suggesting to meet up, but then dropping it completely when he realizes after the fact its a bad idea? (AKA probably his wife wouldn’t like it). I agree to it each time because it’d be cool to catch up but I have never had any desire myself to reach out to him or initiate aside from sorting out the cellphone issues. I think he was hiding the cellphone plan thing from his wife…but also I’m curious if every time he asks her if she would be okay with it and she continuously says no? Otherwise, why would he even keep asking to catch up with me if he knows she doesn’t want him to? I don’t get it. Was he just being polite and “fake” asking to catch-up? I don’t see why that’s necessary at all because our relationship was purely “business” by that point re: the phone plan and literally we had zero interaction otherwise. Again, no bearing on my life, I just think it’s really funny to be honest!

Comment: There could be a myriad of reasons for why 3 times in a row he’s asked to meet up and never followed through. Kinda hard to get into the guy’s brain though. He could just be saying it without thinking and trying to be nice. It happens. I mean, is it really any different than when you’re talking to someone and at the end of the conversation they say, “I’ll call you later” then never do? I mean, I’ve had that happen to me numerous times and I always think, “Why would you say that (especially the same person who’s been the offender) then never do it?” And then I begin to think sometimes it’s just a normal reaction that comes out of someone’s mouth that they reconnect with after a long time. They’re not meaning to purposely not follow through, they just don’t realize what they’re saying in the moment and it’s fleeting. That’s kinda the way I look at it, and maybe that’s the case here. If he’s never followed up one of his “we should meet up soon” with an apology later, I guarantee he’s just saying it to be nice & friendly with zero intention of ever following through. But at the time he’s saying it, it’s not consciously going through his head, “I’m gonna tell her lets meet up but I’ll never follow through.” Does that make sense? I don’t know. That’s the way I see it because I’ve had it happen to me on the phone numerous times. At first it kinda drove me nuts because I absolutely cannot stand when people don’t follow through on what they tell me, but in that situation I realized it might just be a kind gesture that’s almost instinctive to say, and there’s no malicious intent behind it. Hell, I’m sure I’ve done it before without even knowing it. But the point being I didn’t openly know before I said it I’d never follow through.

Dr Reality Steve

I’ll try to keep this brief. Background: In my 30s, have my own career, and independent. Been single for a long time but have met and dated many guys over the past few years, though none serious as dating in NYC is hard! Met someone about 6 months ago on a dating app. He seemed great. Was not from around here (from Europe but lived in NY for 3-4 years) who also has a good career and has had long term relationships in the past. We went out on like 5 dates over the course of about 6 weeks and texted almost every single day in btwn. During this time I was also traveling and busy with work so didn’t get to see each other as much as I would’ve liked but there were never any signs that he wasn’t into him. Then on our 6th date, we were supposed to meet up before I left for vacation in mid May and the day of meeting up, I never heard from him on when/where we were meeting. I was crushed! Especially since the day before he said he wanted to see me before I left.

Flash forward to August, he reached out to reconnect (we ended up matching again on another dating app, which prompted him to reach out to me–but the ironic thing is, I don’t recall seeing him on there this year which means I probably swiped on him sometime last year before we ever met on the other one as I was not really active on this app too much this year). He asked to see me and we met up for dinner and I confronted him (halfway thru the date). He said he doesn’t know why he never responded to me, he just didn’t. he was busy w work and not ready for a committed relationship at the time. I asked him if he was just looking for fun (which is fine but not me) or something more serious in general. He said he was looking for something more serious and that he knew he liked me and didn’t mean to disrespect me, etc. He acknowledged we needed to have this conversation to move forward and that he will try to be better at communicating and confirming plans the day before, etc. Since then, he texted me almost every single day to see how I am, how my day was, etc. We tried to meet up over Labor Day wknd and he invited me over but I was busy and couldn’t meet up. So we tried to make plans for this past weekend. Over the course of the week, he continues to text me to say hi, tells me he misses me, etc. On Thursday night I confirmed to meet up with him on Sunday, and asked if Sunday evening was ok.

On this past Saturday early evening, he texts to say he’s been sick w a cold (last weekend he also indicated he wasn’t feeling great most of the week before but had invited me to hang out last Sunday but I couldn’t and I know he we went to the beach the following Labor Day Monday) but that tomorrow Sunday evening was good for him. So I responded great look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Sunday comes and as I’m going thru my day, I hear NOTHING! I finally text him around 530 and say Hey, thought we were getting together today but haven’t heard from you. Everything ok? And he responds within 20 min: Sorry for my silence. Still not feeling well with this cold. Would you mind if we met up when i feel better?

I was livid! Especially since I had told him before the last time we met up that it bothers me when I have to check in with him when we’re meeting up. Also, he was NOT like this on our first 4 dates. He was really great at making plans and following thru w me in the beginning which is why I didn’t think he was like this until later on. Anyway I responded back: I wouldn’t mind, but this is what bothers me….Like why couldn’t you have told me earlier? Like I don’t understand why you would leave me hanging after what happened last time.

Needless to say, he didn’t respond and it’s been 3 days and haven’t heard from him (if he does text me at all, it’s usually at night after work). I know he’s not on his deathbed as it happens a friend of mine works at the same office he does (but they don’t know each other, it’s a big company). I am over it and know I don’t deserve someone who would be like that but any insight as to WHY guys are like this? If he wasn’t into me, why reach out to reconnect and tell me you like me and want to see me? Why text me every day to see how I am? I just felt like he did everything else right and we got along well and had chemistry but when it comes to like following thru on plans, I don’t know what!

I also don’t think he was seeing anyone else…yes it’s possible but when it came to making plans, I was usually the busier one and he’d always tell me his schedule was open. I also know he does not like skanky girls so I don’t think he’s sleeping around but yes it is possible he could be seeing someone else but I never got that sense he had time for anyone else.

This is the second guy I’ve met who’s been like this with me–there was another guy in my previous life who treated me this way as well but I always thought it was just him and it was easier for me to walk away from him because I wasn’t that into him. Why do men reach out and say all these things and then not follow thru? He never came across as selfish to me whenever we were together. It’s only been in the instance of communicating the day of the date where it seems to fall apart but when we did get together in person, interaction and everything was great!

Anyway do you think my last text to him was bitchy/scared him off? I don’t regret saying what I said, I just don’t understand how this guy who is 40 and been in relationships is like this unless his past gfs put up w this pattern of his. I just wanted him to acknowledge my side of things. Should i reach out to him again at all? Probably not right. I mean I guess I just would appreciate from a guy’s point of view why this happened and if I did everything I could. I really did like him (in fact, we bonded over our mutual amusement of the Bachelor franchise). I know what my girlfriends are telling me but I wonder what a guy’s perspective is. And yes, if a guy wants to be with you he’ll contact you and I feel like he did do that but then I confronted him and he ran away. And in the very off chance he ever contacts me again, how should I approach it?

Sorry for being long winded. Just needed to vent!

Comment: Again, it’s kinda tough to pinpoint exactly why this particular guy is a flake. I think the first, and most obvious answer is, he’s just not that into you. You can ask “Why does he say these things” til you’re blue in the face, but the bottom line seems to be his actions don’t back up his words. So frankly, it doesn’t matter what he says if he doesn’t follow through. It seems so cliché but it’s true. Saying and doing are two different things. Especially in 2017 in the digital age, it’s very easy to text something and not follow through. So unfortunately in your situation, that seems to be the case here. I wouldn’t get too worked up about him since he doesn’t seem to want to put the effort into you, so, why waste time on him?

The ball is in his court. Don’t reach out to him. If he wants to, he’ll reach out to you. But I wouldn’t push it. If it happens, it happens. Doesn’t look good though from where I’m sitting.

Dear Dr Reality Steve,

I just recently moved to Atlanta for a new job coming out of school. I have a high paying, awesome job at a local hospital. So I haven’t really had a serious relationship in the last few years and feel ready to have one. I met a cute resident at the hospital in the last month that seems to be interested in me. A couple of weekends ago we hooked up and a few days later he texted me and said he wanted to do something soon. He hasn’t been the greatest at texting and I’m tempted to text him to tell him I’m free but at the same time I’m trying to play it cool and not text since I’ve always been told if a guy really wants to see you he will make an effort to do it. So he had tried to get me to come out with him to watch a football game this last Sunday and it didn’t work out but said he wanted to see me this week but hasn’t contacted me since Sunday. This whole situation has me on edge and has kind of brought my confidence down, waiting for him to make a move. I’ve dealt for a while with an eating disorder and self confidence issues overall. Everyone says I’m a catch; they say I’m pretty and I know I am educated and have a great job and am independent, something not all women can say and I feel very fortunate for that. However I feel like I am letting my feelings be based in his actions or lack of and I know that is not healthy. I think the initial attention I was getting from him got me overly excited and his lack of initiating communication has recently gotten me down. I want to believe there are more fish in the sea and I shouldn’t get hung up on one guy but my self confidence issues don’t always allow me to believe that as well as the fact that just moving to Atlanta where there are a lot of pretty girls gets me down as well. What should I do in terms of the guy? Should I try to initiate something or just move on? What other advice as a guy do you have for me for confidence in general or in the dating world particularly? Thanks for your help Steve!

A town feeling down

Comment: Wow, three emails today with basically the same theme. Guys not following through on what they say. It sucks. I hear ya’.

Especially in your case where you’re already a little down on yourself, having that happen I’m sure doesn’t help matters. The only thing you can do is keep putting yourself out there and eventually something will work itself out. This is just one guy. Try to not group everyone in with him. Just because he did this, don’t let it get you down or you’ll ruin yourself for future partners. Dating is not easy. Know that going on. You’ll come across jerks, narcissists, and other kinds of duds. Very rare that people immediately meet the one they connect with then spend the rest of their life with them. What’s the saying, “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before finding your prince?” Something like that. So yeah, expect that there will be dating bumps in the road. It’s inevitable. Is it possible a guy can want you but moves at a different pace, but needs to sort stuff out on his end first? Of course. Sounds like you barely know this guy right now, so knows what’s going on in his life. Maybe he’s fresh out of a relationship, maybe he just started seeing someone else too and he’s deciding, etc. You just don’t know. But if he doesn’t follow through, then he wasn’t for you anyway and move on. You’re a little more fragile because of what you say you’ve been through which is completely understandable, but the best advice I can give is any guys that pass you up, or don’t follow through etc don’t take it out on yourself and think it’s you. Try to turn it around and say that they’re the ones missing out. Sounds like you’re fairly young so you’ve got plenty of time to figure this out. I hope you get there. Good luck.

Send all links and emails to: To follow me on Twitter, it’s: Instagram name is “RealitySteve,” or join my Reality Steve Facebook Fan Page. Talk to you next week.

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  1. rob22

    September 14, 2017 at 2:15 PM

    So, these were really vanilla Dr. Reality Steve questions. Two of them were in the variety of “He’s not that into you”. So ladies, here’s the deal. Instead of meeting someone and having all these high expectations, why not let it come to you a bit. As has been said millions of times, guys will say all kinds of things to you to keep you interested. Why? Probably because they are interested enough to have sex with you, but that’s about it. But whatever the reason, that’s the MOST they are interested in you, unless they follow up, continue to show interest, and meet up with you at least 1-2X/week. That’s a minimum. I would expect that if things were progressing, you’d see the meet ups increase beyond that after a few weeks. BTW: it’s perfectly OK to give him signs that you’re interested without throwing yourself at his feet and begging. He does need to know you’re interested or that might effect his level of interest. But again, showing interest in meeting up, answering his texts, etc. is all that’s necessary here. That’s all you need to invest until you see where it’s headed. You don’t need to be picking out curtains for your first house together at this point.

    So…. take each relationship for what it is. Don’t have big expectations until you see the behavior match up with the words. Words mean nothing. Nothing. Actions mean everything. If they blow you off for days, cancel get togethers more than once in the beginning of the relationship, and you never quite get together…. then you know what you have. You might as well not get all bent out of shape over it, or it effects YOU negatively. It effects him, not at all. So for your own sake, if you see these signs, move on. It’s not personal in that this is more about the guy than it is about you. The more time you spend being upset about some douchey guy that blew you off, the better the chance that you’ll miss an opportunity with someone else. Letting go of things is a sign of maturity, btw. So, work on that first. You’ll be very happy with the results.

  2. nursej

    September 14, 2017 at 5:47 PM

    This is a general statement and does not pertain to any posts this week.

    Rob22 – you always provide the best straightforward, logical responses that women need to hear when it comes to men and relationships! Please continue to comment. I always enjoy your perspective.
    Ladies, in terms of laying the relationship’s foundation, you should not have to work harder than him. It will be a mutual effort if it has any chance of being worthwhile and long-term.
    Work on you (health, education, employment, friendships, hobbies, etc.). Create some self-worth, believe in yourself, and exude confidence. Don’t let your life be all about the relationship with your bf/gf/spouse. Engage in your own interests/activities and create a life you can live without them. Having someone special in your life will be a bonus. Of course there will be ups and downs, but overall it will compliment you, not overwhelm you with chronic sadness and grief.

  3. shenanigans

    September 14, 2017 at 6:03 PM

    If a man wants you, he will let you know about it. You will not have to wonder, worry, agonize, or make excuses for him. You will also not have to compete with anyone else.

    If that’s not the case, he’s not the one. And, you shouldn’t invest in him until and unless he invests in you.

    I don’t know why that is so hard for many women to understand.

  4. katieottawa

    September 14, 2017 at 9:39 PM

    to the girl who was dating the total flake. I was in that position years ago. A coworker i really liked we dated a bit for a few weeks and then all of a sudden he started canceling our dates last minute. He had to go visit his sister, his friend would just show up in town. He would always say we would reschedule it and then he would leave me with vague plans. I was the idiot who liked him and kept putting up with it. Anyways he did this over an over again and it became less and less frequen when he wouldnt cancel. Most time he would call me and cancel 1-3 hours before our date with another stupid excuse.

    Fast forward 7 years later we got linked on facebook somehow and he messaged me to get together. I figured maybe he had changed his ways. Nope. Again vague plans and up until 2 hours before the date he hadnt even contacted me to tell me when, where or what time. Finally an hour before meeting up he calls me to tell me we are on. I was shocked. We met up and come to realize he was suffering from major anxiety and even suffered a panic attack at the table in front of me. We cut it short and he said he would call me again to meet up at some time. I never heard back from him.

    Moral of the story some people have some major mental issues. If a guy flakes on you continuously dont bother with him. He is basically doing YOU a favor in showing you this very inconsiderate and unreliable behavior. Most likely it has everything to do with him and little to do with you. Even down the road he will STILL act the same way I guarantee you a leopard doesnt change his spots.

  5. katieottawa

    September 14, 2017 at 10:01 PM

    Only looik at a guys actions. dont even listen to anything he says it means S**t. And when he comes up with some stupid excuse after then just tell him to get lost. If he cant be bothered to make the effort in the beginning to call,text,see you when he says he will he doesnt care enough and is just wasting your time. Nothing worthwhile will come out of guys like that. Dont think if you are patient and understanding he will eventually see you as a great person and he will change his ways about you. He wont. He will see you as someone who is willing to accept the lowest possible standard and therefore will never gain any more respect for you.

    If the guy REALLY is serious about you there wont be games, his words and actions will reflect each other, he will let you know as to not risk losing you to another guy. Anything less is byebye and dont waste your time.

  6. katieottawa

    September 15, 2017 at 12:49 AM

    I read the dr realitysteve and in reality most of it is pretty much common sense. It is always some variation of this guy i met we met up and texted for a while and now i seem to hear less and less from him. why is that??

    women would prefer to make excuses than admit to themselves the truth and the reality that he just isnt all that interested or no longer interested. There is always this overanalysing over WHY he no longer isnt interested. Seriously who cares what his reason is?? thats not the point. The point is he doesnt care enough so why would you waste your time lowering your standards and yourself to be with a guy who for god knows what reason doesnt really want to be with you and who will most likely treat you like crap,string you along and disappoint you??

    women need to understand that it is way better to be with no one than being with some player that just plays games and uses them when it suits him while putting the least amount of effort. If a guy takes more than a few hours to even text you back sorry but you need to cut him loose. If he is fine with making you wait longer than a day to take 10seconds to respond to you than you need to just ignore him from then on. A guy who likes you will WANT to talk to you, and will respond to you in a timely manner, anything less is just games and not worth your time. Tell these douchebags to get lost, stay single and be available to meet someone who is worthwhile. A lot of the times these guys are playing with girls heads where they arent in the proper headspace to give a decent guy a chance when they are busy and stressed dealing and overanalysing these douchebags BS

    Look at the successful couples the guys were always SURE of who they were into and PURSUED the girl. Seriously the girls didnt have to do much. Tanner wanted Jade, Evan wanted Carly. Derek looks to be serious about Taylor. Bryan with rachel, he made sure to tell Rachel how he felt at all times and where she stood with him. THAT is what you want in someone. Not someone who is wishy washy where things just remain vague or noncommittal.

  7. kygirl13

    September 15, 2017 at 5:35 AM

    Ben H, I am so disappointed 🙁

  8. jlal

    September 15, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    I have a concern with the gossip on the SM sites being repeated like it is gospel. RS, you claim this Lindsey “hooked up” with Jef, you also called the concert date a “fling”, both terms implying a sexual relationship; that is what I take issue with. Then you further the salacious tone by sarcastically saying she “seems like a real catch”. RS, I realize you’re a guy, so that may be why you automatically assume every encounter involves sex, but newsflash not all do. She and Robby had a history together, so could have just been affectionate with one another at the concert. I don’t know the details of how she “hooked up” with Jef, but from the facts or lack thereof your other comments are based on, I’m almost sure it doesn’t involved proof they had sex. And, she and Ben could have left together, but not had sex either. When I was younger, single and having fun I went out with, hung out with, dated, and flirted with many, many guys I didn’t have sex with. I even went home with or had guys stay over, usually due to too much drinking, that I didn’t have sex with. You’re not only disparaging the guys reputations, but with the known double standard, you’re really hurting Lindsey’s. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know the girl, she could be the biggest slut in the world. What I do know is jumping to the conclusions you frequently do and then becoming so judgmental based on little or no facts is wrong. Also, it makes you no better than the people you’re judging. One more thing, for the love of Christ you’re a professional writer or supposed to be, use the proper pronouns please.

  9. jlal

    September 15, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    Also, as everyone else is saying and I have before on this site and in life – Ladies, talk is cheap, cheap, cheap, pay attention to his actions not his words. A lesson I learn the hard way, fortunately many, many years ago. Keeping that in mind, saved me much heartache later on.

    One more thing ladies –
    When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.
    Maya Angelou

  10. qtontv

    September 16, 2017 at 2:14 PM

    Pretty weird gossip about Ben H & the f-boys. Why must they be so incestuous?? There are thousands of girls that look just like her, heck I couldn’t even tell which among her spray tanned & bleach blonde friends was her.

  11. rob22

    September 18, 2017 at 9:03 AM

    I will take issue with one thing that was said on this thread. I think women have way too big of an expectation of instant/near instant responses via Text and social media. Expecting a guy to be available whenever you send a text is not only unrealistic, it’s oppressive. Guys should be able to work, go out with friends, have lunch, travel, etc. without being expected to respond to your texts (and your demands for instant responses). Guys HATE that. I know this goes way against the grain in this instant gratification world we’re in. But chill out. If you don’t hear back from the guy until the next day, it isn’t grounds for capital punishment. Give the guy some slack. They’ll love you for it, btw. Women hate when guys are flaky… Guys hate when women are up in their grille 24X7. Find a happy medium & enjoy each other. The time you spend together is very important. The other stuff…. honestly, get a grip. It’s not exactly important stuff that’s texted back and forth.

  12. ctrealitygirl

    September 18, 2017 at 1:55 PM

    I was going to write in the exact same comment “qtontv” !! I don’t get why all these former bachelor/ette contestants have to date in the same small pool of bachelor rejects and “groupies”…geeesh! How gross passing girls around like hors d’oeuvres!

  13. dogmomma

    September 18, 2017 at 2:56 PM

    rob22…I agree about the texting response time. Sometimes people are busy and don’t want to get into a text conversation going back and forth. Sometimes their phone isn’t right there with them when a text comes in. Sometimes people can’t text at work. Sometimes people are watching something on TV and don’t want to text during the show. It can go on and on…. Now if they don’t answer for days, then maybe something is up. But to say that they need to answer right away is just not practical.

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