Dr. Reality 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.
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