…as a MAN.
Here’s some background. My friend basically swore off dating for 2010, but went out with this guy one night to get it over with since he had asked her to hang out a few times before that. She had no expectations and really wasn’t in the mood to go have drinks with this stranger at the Belmont on a Sunday night. It turned out that they hit it off and spent five hours talking about everything and anything. He had qualities she hadn’t found yet in other guys, he was assertive, direct, a great listener, and very manly – a real guys guy. She was very intrigued by his time spent in the Israeli army and the fact that he wrote a book about his experience there. An intellectual tough guy, she thought. Perfect. He seemed very into her and made all kinds of future plans to see her. At the end of that week he would be leaving town for over a month and wanted to see her as much as possible before that. She was taken back by his eagerness to see her since they’d just started hanging out but liked it. No games, finally.
A few days before he left, he became distant, less talkative, and canceled plans, if you can even call what he did a cancellation. She was disappointed but not upset because by that point, he had hardly made a dent on her life. Then, lo and behold, once he got situated on location in Europe, he resurfaced with his excuse being that he was extremely busy before leaving town and needed to take care of everything. Fine, that’s understandable, she decided. I mean he hardly knew her. She definitely wasn’t a priority yet. It made sense and she forgave him. They continued talking via text, calls, skype and email. He constantly kept in contact. She figured it couldn’t hurt and would at least be entertained. However, quickly it went from careless entertainment to real feelings and real feelings turned into missing him. How could that even be possible after knowing him for such a short amount of time? It was illogical and unrealistic. They spoke all of the time, revealed things about themselves in “morning messages” they’d send each other letting the other know how they felt and concerns and questions, and grew closer by the day. He even initiated talks of her flying out to see him in Europe (on his dime) and brought up what it would be like together when he returned to LA. He wanted to integrate himself into her life, have her cancel all of her plans for the month of April and spend it with him once he got back. He wanted her to leave a toothbrush and pajamas at his place and be comfortable there with him. Aside for a few small things, and the major disappearing act he pulled in the beginning, he seemed like a good guy. A little pushy and quick to dive into a relationship, but great otherwise. She was definitely excited by his enthusiasm, yet still reluctant because it was all stemming from the two times they hung out before he left. She wasn’t sure she wanted to rule out seeing other people for this person she hardly knew, but hey, she didn’t want to date in 2010 anyway so what was the difference at this point?
Sooner than she expected, they had a series of fights and make ups where each time she wanted to call it quits because hello, it was just absurd to be dealing with this much trouble in the short period of time they knew each other. He felt the opposite – that the problems were due to the distance and that once in the same place, they would be completely fine. Again, he pursued, convinced, and on they went. By this point, she was one foot in, one foot out. She didn’t allow herself to get completely involved emotionally because things had been so inconsistent and so she kept herself at a distance. She definitely didn’t see a future with this guy because of their personality differences. He had a temper, would drop off when stressed out with work, and had a mouth on him – most likely due to his time spent in the army.
Then for a while, it seemed like smooth sailing. No fights, just great talks, supporting each other, and becoming close again. Time was passing and soon he would be returning to LA. They’d finally get a chance to really see how things would be together. She was actually really excited to pick him up at the airport on March 27 and decided she would give it a shot. Lo and freaking behold, about two weeks ago he dropped off again, growing distant and less talkative. She knew something was up and in her likely fashion, she wanted to check out emotionally. Not the best defense mechanism, but one nonetheless. Only this time she couldn’t. He had worn her down, after all of the red flags and hesitance, and she let him in. The only difference was that now he had really dropped off. It came right after they had gotten their closest too. She couldn’t get in touch with him and finally gave up. Until yesterday. She couldn’t take it anymore and wanted answers. How could he suck her in like this and then completely go MIA? He was the one driving it the entire time and now silence. So she called him. She wasn’t surprised when he didn’t answer and left a message. But she couldn’t leave it at that. She called the hotel he was staying at and was connected to his room and finally got through. Only the person answering the phone was not him, it was a female and then he got on the phone and pretended he couldn’t hear her on the other end of the line. Now she had an answer. He was seeing someone else. Who knows if it was just that one, or maybe others he was seeing too. For all she knew, he could have been married this entire time. Of course this led to a series of other questions like why, how, when, and who. It also led to anger and disappointment and utter shock. How could he treat her like that after everything they’d planned for and told each other and supposedly felt? What kind of emotionless animal was he really? How can people treat other people like that at all? People pretend to be someone they aren’t, and basically disguise themselves as the person they know you want them to be. The truth always comes out though and someone is always left with the rug pulled from underneath them.
Moral of the story: Take things slowly, get to know the person, and push the brakes when you see red flags early on. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a fraud like she did, hurt, confused and afraid to trust again. Also, it’s much more respectable and eventually forgivable if you own up to whatever you’ve done to hurt someone else. Acknowledging it and coming clean may be uncomfortable for you, but it goes a long way and definitely will make a difference in the long run to that person on the receiving end. Promise.