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.