Nov 23, 2010

Dating in NYC

How many of you have met a guy, flirted notoriously with each other, exchanged phone number (and even IM handles and Facebook friended), went out a few times, made out in public (and/or in private), and then - NOTHING. No further dates but still some random texting, IM-ing, or an occasional Facebook status comment. And no explanation.

I recently had to de-friend a friend because he was guilty of aforementioned behavior. In the past it never bothered me when he told me his dating stories, the mishaps, the "crazy" ones, the stalkers, etc. I always thought it was entertaining, albeit a little sad, and also because I never knew any of these "crazy" women he was seeing. But recently, it hit closer to home because the women are my friends. These are not just casual friends but friends I have invited over to my house for dinner and spend holidays with. There were at least three women who came back to ask me how well I know him and what his "deal" was. At first I wasn't sure what they were asking but with further questioning I realized that the women felt, to a greater or lesser degree, led on by his flirting, messaging, going out, kissing, then sudden vagueness and lack of committing to doing anything else. I've been in NYC for eleven years now and I've had long relationships, short non-committal ones and my share of one-night stands. It's no secret that NYC is dating heaven for men. There are 3 women to 1 men here, and this city not only condones but encourages the "Peter Pan Syndrome." Recently one of my best friends met a really interesting and handsome man through her friends. He joined them for dinner almost every night, they shared drinks, and had lively conversations. She felt a spark between them which was further flamed when they went back to her place and shared a kiss. He didn't spend the night because he said he really liked her and didn't want to move too fast. I was so excited for her when she told me this because I'm very protective of her and I want her to find someone who loves and respects her. But then the next day rolled around and nothing from him. Day turned into weeks and nothing begot nothing. Whatever plans he had to see her went away. And that was it! She told me she felt like maybe she imagined the whole connection and spark. (He is not married or already has a girlfriend).

So when my girl friends come to me and tell me this or asks, "What is his deal?", I see the disappointment in their eyes and I feel their feelings of rejection. We've all been there before realizing that, Oh, he must have many other hotter, better options than me. Then the self-doubt settles in and you ask if you imagined the whole connection, you ask if maybe you read into the situation more than there was, and insecurity sets in. This is NOT behavior that is respectful to women. This is selfish, irresponsible, and cowardly! And it's behavior appropriate to 20 year olds! I always tell my guy friends that if they don't want to romantically date someone anymore or maybe they hooked up once but doesn't want to continue the sexual part of the relationship to just be an adult and talk about it openly! Or at least give an explanation why you suddenly are no longer interested. I'm also a huge proponent of women asking the man "why". Something as adult and simply as, "Hey, I thought we made a connection but maybe you didn't feel the same way as I did?" That's all and then you can move on! I think of all the times I've wasted when I was younger pondering and obsessing about some guy's interest or lack-of or why-did-he-did-this-or-that, and if I could hottube timemachine myself back I would be a lot more direct (but not confrontational) and take control of the situation and my wildly careering feelings and moods. Women waste so much of our time obsessing about things like this when that energy can be rechanneled to more fruitful and rewarding things. This robs us of our creativity.

Frankly... I got tired of defending his actions and I am not condoning this kind of behavior anymore. It breeds bad self-esteem in women and it makes women feel bad about themselves. Using lame platitudes such as "I'm commitment phobic" (but not sexually phobic as demonstrated by groping you all over, hello!) is just intellectually AND emotionally LAZY. Respect for women means many things. One of which is respect for their feelings. You owe it to the woman who gave birth to you to be honest and kind. Even if you are not interested in them anymore or regretted that drunken kiss or hook up, you can be a man and say so kindly.

10 comments:

  1. Maybe this is why i only date married men...then it's all very clear right up front.

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  2. I'm only half kidding.

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  3. you speak my mind!

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  4. Hotter, better options? Bullshit-this guy's just a moron. A dog chasing cars in traffic. Props to you, Missy...thanks for helping us dodge that bullet! XOXO, BBT

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  5. Overall, I agree - on both ends of the gender line, but it's not just the guys. Girls tend to disappear without so much as a clue as well. I've had more than a couple respond less than kindly when I asked why.

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  6. Thanks for providing your perspective, Enobrev! I'm sorry their responses were less than kind. That's probably a good indication that you didn't miss anything with them if they are decent enough to say something with kindness and honesty.

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  7. Recently my commitment phobic girlfriend, of 12 years, didn't call me or see me for most of the month of November (we saw each other one time during the whole month). The worst part of it is making excuses for her to people I know, who consider the behavior quite strange. Oh, and also trying not to make any firm plans with other people in case she deigns to call me.

    I wouldn't mind if she decided to leave me, I'm not out to cling to someone who doesn't love me. At this point, though, breaking up means we would need to decide who gets what. (Also, it's bad not to be able to get in touch with someone when you have financial stuff in common. What if there was some kind of emergency?)

    The funny thing is, as far as I know things were fine, we hadn't fought or anything.

    When I dared to complain, she said I was controlling. I'm not controlling, I'm probably one of very few people who would put up with this kind of ill treatment with just a mild rebuke.

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  8. Hi Anonymous, I'm sorry to hear about your confusion. It sounds like you are disappointed and a little bit saddened by her sudden abandonment of you and the relationship. Granted, I don't know you and you were generous enough to share your pain on my blog, I can tell however that she may not be as commitment-phobic as you think. 12 years, a commitment phobe one does not make. No one can tell anyone what they should do especially in matters of the heart, but for what its worth, if I were in your shoes, I would have a conversation with her and negotiate the terms of the relationship and define what is appropriate and acceptable for YOU (ie: her sudden MIA behavior is hurtful) and it's totally OK to say that and negotiate that in a relationship. If the other person is not open to discussion, then maybe the grass IS greener on the other side.

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  9. Sooooooo many times in the seven years I've lived in NYC I've had men indicate that they are VERY interested, and then disappear with no explanation. Luckily, I have enough self-esteem that I refuse to put up with childish BS and emotional insecurity, and I don't go chasing after those guys. It is terribly disappointing when you think you have a good connection with someone and then never hear from them again, but I'd rather walk away and be single than be miserable.

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  10. Hi Calamity. I'm the guy who wrote about my girlfriend who I've been with for 12 years. Everything is fine now, but I still think that behavior from a couple of months back was odd.

    She loves me, but our relationship has always been a bit complex.

    Hmm... when I say commitment phobic perhaps I should rather say "afraid of change." I want to get closer, and she wants things to stay the same. (Which means sleeping together but living separately... and occasionally not talking for a month for no reason.)

    Oh well, I guess we'll continue to be Max von Mayerling and Norma Desmond for the time being...

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