A Man Is Not Real Until He Is Your Boyfriend

You want to know why your heart gets broken each time a new guy disappears?

It’s not because you’re a fool for believing that good men exist.

It’s not because he’s an evil human being hell-bent on destroying your self-esteem.

It’s not because you will not be able to survive without him. You’ve gone your entire life without him! I’m sure you’ll be fine once he’s gone.

The reason your heart gets broken each time a new guy disappears is because you are SURPRISED when he disappears.

Look at your life. Men disappearing is probably a semi-normal occurrence. Then why act so shocked and devastated when outcome is so predictable?

I’m not blaming you for having feelings. What I want to do is show you how to manage them – to protect yourself from continual heartbreak.

The reason your heart gets broken each time a new guy disappears is because you are SURPRISED when he disappears.

Men may still frustrate you, but I can make things easier, especially if you use online dating as a means to meet men. By mastering this medium and understanding male behavior, you can finally be in control of your own love life, and not a victim of disappearing men.

Yes, it really is that simple.

If you’ve ever been really hot for a new online dating prospect, you’re not alone.

You see a picture, you read a profile, and you start to get excited.

You write an email and he writes back.

Suddenly, you’re flirting like crazy, eagerly anticipating his every response.

There’s wit, there’s sexual innuendo, there’s instant talk about making plans.

Better yet, he seems sincere. He’s a good guy. He’s trying hard. Your phone calls are effortless and frequent. You remember that this is how dating is supposed to feel.

You plan your first date for Saturday night, and you have butterflies beforehand. You know that dates are rarely as promising as the buildup. But, sure enough, when he shows up, he’s as cute as his picture.

You have an amazing evening, filled with easy conversation and laughter. He’s chivalrous, interesting, attentive, and warm. You close the restaurant, end with a goodnight kiss, and a promise to do this again soon.

He texts you the next day to say he had fun, and instantly makes plans for the following Friday evening. You say yes.

He checks in during the week – a call here, an email there – not too needy, not too distant. He’s doing everything just right. It’s almost as if he’s reading your mind!

Friday night rolls around. You play mini-golf and grab two rounds of drinks at a nearby bar, after which you go back to your place and make out on the couch for an hour. In fact, you do a little more than that, but hold a little bit back. All in all, a great night.

He says good night and tells you he’ll call the next day.

But he doesn’t.

You go online and see that he’s checked his email.

You wait for his call, his email, his text. Nothing.

Another day goes by.

And another.

You check him out on the dating site again. He’s online RIGHT NOW and he still hasn’t called.

What the hell is wrong with this guy? He seemed so great, so perfect, so kind, so consistent.

How is he turning out to be like all the others?

If this story feels familiar to you, it’s because it’s familiar to EVERYONE.

And the reason it hurts so badly is simple: our expectations aren’t aligned with reality.

Sandy was a 45-year-old client living in rural Wisconsin. She had seen a really cute guy on Match.com and signed up for my Passion Course to figure out how to get his attention.

I wrote her profile, got her professional photos, and started our weekly coaching sessions. By the second week, the cute guy had already written to her. (This stuff is POWERFUL!)

Soon, they were bantering back and forth multiple times a day, and he started to plot their first date.

But there was a problem.

When the cute guy Googled Sandy’s hometown, he was surprised to learn that she lived 3 hours away. He knew he didn’t want to get into a long-distance relationship, and so, instead of trekking to go on a first date, he emailed Sandy to apologize and wish her well in her search for love.

Sandy was destroyed.

Even though she’d only exchanged a few emails, she’d gotten excited about this cute, successful, articulate, enthusiastic man.

If 9 times out of 10 (in real life), the special guy doesn’t turn out to be all that special, it may be smarter to reserve judgment for later.

She started to picture life with a partner.

She started to dream about this man saving her from a life of loneliness.

As a result of this wishful thinking, Sandy was as hurt by this man’s simple email as she would have been if they’d been dating and broken up.

I shared in Sandy’s pain, then informed her that she could respond in 1 of 2 ways:

1)    She could be devastated that Mr. Right turned out to be Mr. Wrong. She could have that sick feeling in the pit of her stomach and lose sleep over how she’s going to replace him. Or…

2)    She could realize that she’d never even MET this man. They’d never talked on the phone. They’d never met. They’d never slept together. They really didn’t have any relationship whatsoever. As a result, Sandy wasn’t “losing” anything; she never had anything to lose.

Which do you think is a healthier approach?

It’s not that Sandy was wrong to look at all the available signs and conclude that she had special connection with a special guy. Anyone in her right mind would draw the same conclusion.

It’s that, if 9 times out of 10 (in real life), the special guy doesn’t turn out to be all that special, it may be smarter to reserve judgment for later.

This is what I mean about adjusting your expectations to conform to reality.

I’ve had women tell me to chastise men to start following through more, to stop being so nice if they’re not ready for a relationship, to promise to call after having sex.

I hear you, and I agree that men could stand to do hundreds of things better to improve your relationships. However, as you know, I can no more stop men from being men than I can stop the earth from turning.

As such, your lesson, as a woman, is not to wish men acted another way, but to understand how they DO act and prepare yourself emotionally.

Because a man can be really interested in you, sleep with you, act like a future boyfriend for a few weeks, and be doing the EXACT SAME THING with another woman simultaneously.

Or he could seem like a great guy, make a great effort for you, and then realize, when it’s time to commit, that he’s just not ready for a commitment.

The point is that, by getting too excited about a promising dating prospect, you’re emotionally setting yourself up for heartbreak. And you don’t have to.

When you choose to be devastated by a man who is NOT your boyfriend, what you’re really doing is holding onto the loss of your fantasy. You’re not really mourning the loss of a guy you never had.

It’s the difference in feeling between losing a million dollars (devastating) vs. the feeling of NOT winning the lottery at all when you had 4 numbers (mildly irritating).

When you choose to be devastated by a man who is NOT your boyfriend, what you’re really doing is holding onto the loss of your fantasy.

You know when you CAN get excited? When the contract is signed, the ink is dry, and you know, without a doubt, that your dating prospect has become your BOYFRIEND.

Until then, each promising man is not actually “real.” He is merely hope, potential and fantasy.

Remembering this will save you a TREMENDOUS amount of trouble when you’re dating online. No longer will each flaky and disappointing man derail you. You’ll be able to bounce back and persevere instead of quitting. This is what’s going to pay off with a serious relationship in the long run.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Christina

    Maybe that’s why I enjoyed online dating so much. I had really low expectations. :-) I guess I figured that most guys would turn out to be flakes. I did get caught once or twice building air castles, but the sooner that can be nipped in the bud, the better.
    So, when my now-fiance announced pretty early on that he wanted to be my boyfriend, I was in a state of very pleasant shock.
    I think all of the fantasizing becomes a problem because so many of us have turned to online dating when we’re already desperate for a relationship. That can quickly lead to the hopes that the next guy will be “the one.”
    Great post, as usual!

  2. 2
    MysteeBee

    @Christina- that feeling of desperation that can lead people online can also sometimes make us accept people online that we wouldn’t if we were being more clear-headed!  Just because a guy is into you doesn’t mean you have to pick him!

  3. 3
    Laine

    Sandy’s predicament is a very different scenario than the one you outline, Evan, in your opening introduction, where the woman has gone on several great dates and the guy just disappears. I certainly don’t get nonplussed if a cyber guy who I have never met doesn’t follow through. I would certainly wonder though if a guy I had several great dates, and who was attentive with communication just went M.I.A without explanation. Maybe I am the exceptionto the rule but a man has never disappeared on me. Yet :)

  4. 4
    BloggyDaddy

    I agree with Laine, #3.  If several dates had occurred and he just disappears, I don’t think I could blame any woman for being more than just a little upset and disappointed.  Realistically, sure, men pull disappearing acts all the time, but I don’t think it’s an unrealistic expectation for a woman to expect to at least hear something from a guy that spent several good dates with her instead of vanishing without any reasons.  I think any normal guy or girl would be upset after that.
    Normally I agree with the rest of what you said though in general terms.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the communication that happens online and it frequently just drops to zero without warning.  That comes with the territory and getting all worked up doesn’t do anyone any good.  I think that kind of wisdom comes with time on these sites, once you realize that a lot of people act much differently online than they do in real life.

  5. 5
    Blue

    I love this post, Evan.  It goes along with another wonderful trainer who says, “If he isn’t in front of you, he isn’t real.”

  6. 6
    Margo

    Well, can anyone tell me why the scumbags do this? Have several dates with a woman and just disappear?!

  7. 7
    detha

    I have never had this happen to me when I was doing online dating, the disappearing act after few dates. But I do understand how devastating it can be for the woman who have had several dates with a guy, then he disappears.

  8. 8
    starthrower68

    I think part of the reason women find this behavior so troubling and confusing is when a guy disappears, the first thing that often crosses our minds is what did we do wrong?  Ladies, if we’re well behaved and do the things Evan advises, then there’s nothing to question.  His disappearing act is completely on him.  The other good way to deal with this is to have a busy, fulfilling life in the first place so that if he does disappear, we just go back to business as usual without missing a beat. 

  9. 9
    Still Looking

    Margo @6 –  You asked why men (scumbags) have several dates and then just disappear.   Simple answer is he’s just not interested.  If I’m not interested after one date I usually don’t give any explanation.  However, after a second date I will always give a vague “I don’t feel the chemistry I was hoping for” explanation.  Is your use of the word scumbag in reference to guys not giving an explanation or is it because guys lose interest?

  10. 10
    Ruby

    I, too, see a big difference between what happened to Sandy, and the men who disappear after a few great dates. At least in Sandy’s case, the man had the courtesy to call her and explain. Yes, she was disappointed, but she hadn’t wasted much time on him, the problem was the distance (and not something about her), and maybe they wouldn’t have connected in person anyway. 

    But how can you not be disappointed when someone disappears after a few actual promising dates without a word? Online dating has given men so many choices, and there is so much anonymity in cyber-world, that some men feel they no longer have to show any consideration for another’s feelings. Common courtesy has all-too-often become common rudeness. It would be easier to dismiss if it happened much less frequently than it does.

  11. 11
    EE

    The  disappearing act hurts a bit more because it leaves you hanging while reality dawns. After a few promising dates, it is also going to hurt if he says “I am sorry, this just isn’t going to work for me” and then stops talking to you. The key is in not taking it personal either way.  Be disappointed at the vanisher, but hey, if you were not exclusive yet anyway, you should still be trolling for leads and going on dates with other men also.

  12. 12
    Margo

    @StillLooking #9, It would be because they don’t give an explanation. I had 3 dates with a man that I have known as a friend for 2 years. The chemistry was off the charts hot. I’ve even been in bed with him, but asked him to stop. He was the first one to RSVP for my birthday party, then didn’t show up. He spent the day with his friends instead. I got an apology two days after the party via email, not even a phone call. I accepted the apology a day later. Now it’s been a week since this happened and nothing from him. Nada. Poof. If you just scroll through this blog, you’ll see this seems to be fairly common as to how a lot of men treat women. Now do you understand my use of the word?

  13. 13
    Karl R

    Margo asked: (#6)
    “Well, can anyone tell me why the scumbags do this? Have several dates with a woman and just disappear?!”

    Sure.

    In 2008 I dated a woman whom I’d met through dancing. After dating for six weeks, she suddenly vanished. Several months later, she showed up again at another dance function. She apologized. She was very concerned that I may have been hurt by her actions.

    This woman is not a scumbag. She’s a sweet, friendly, bright, outgoing person. She has several flaws (like her inability to maintain a healthy life/work balance), but she’s a genuinely good person.

    People do this as an act of cowardice. When you break up with someone, they get hurt (or angry or argumentative). When dealing with that person face-to-face, you don’t feel good about yourself. You’ve been in their shoes before. But this time, you’re the “bad guy.”

    In order to avoid feeling like a “bad guy,” some people try to avoid having that confrontation. They break up by text or email or voicemail. In previous generations they would write a “Dear John” letter. Or they simply disappear. They’re choosing the way out which is easiest for them. They’re not bad people, just cowardly ones.

    starthrower68 said: (#8)
    “when a guy disappears, the first thing that often crosses our minds is what did we do wrong?”

    When that woman disappeared, I assumed that she just wasn’t that into me. I later found out that there were other (external) factors which contributed to her decision, but HJNTIY is a safe bet.

    Ruby asked: (#10)
    “But how can you not be disappointed when someone disappears after a few actual promising dates without a word?”

    When that woman disappeared (after six weeks of dating), I was moderately irritated (at how she handled it), but not disappointed or hurt.

    You just spelled out the difference between us. You had a few “promising” dates. I had six weeks of “good” dates, “fun” dates. The dates didn’t “promise” me anything.

    The person you dated didn’t promise you a long-term relationship. The date you went on was incapable of making promises. Any promise that existed was the creation of your own mind. If you stop making promises to yourself (promises that you’re incapable of fulfilling), you’ll feel a lot less disappointment.

    You don’t need to have those expectations in order to have a successful relationship.

    Last Saturday a friend reminded me of something that happened 1 or 2 months after I started dating my fiancée. This friend asked me if things were getting serious between my girlfriend and me, and I replied, “I don’t think it’s going to end up being a long-term, serious relationship, but we’re enjoing each other’s company for now.”

    Upon hearing that my friend thought, “Karl, you’re an idiot.” (And she was happy to point that out to me now that I’m engaged.)

    At that time, my fiancée and I were physically intimate. She was having me spend the night several times per week. She was acting more like my girlfriend than any other woman in the previous 9 years.

    But before we’d started dating, she told me that she wasn’t interested in having a serious relationship with me. For the first 2 months of the relationship, she introduced me to people as her “dance partner.” (Since I have over 100 regular and semi-regular dance partners, that’s hardly a term of distinction.)

    I was spending the night 4-5 times per week. We were having sex 3 times per week. She clearly liked me and enjoyed being with me. But I also recognized that she had made no promises.

    I didn’t need to create an unfounded expectation in order to make the relationship work. I could keep a realistic view of where things stood at that point in time, act like a boyfriend, and create something based off reality, not fantasy.

    Expectations cause you pain when they’re not fulfilled. Expectations are not necessary to creating a permanent relationship. Why do you keep creating these expectations?

  14. 14
    ad

    I think men and women are hardwired differently, and to tell a woman “not to be upset” when a guy disappears, is kind of like telling someone “to relax.” Can women help getting upset in these situations?
    I couldn’t. Yes, I overattached. And was constantly disappointed. In the end I ended up with a man who never disappoints me, was always there when he said he would and did not disappear. But I  really never got “beyond” the trait of hopefulness.

  15. 15
    MysteeBee

    @Margo- that sounds like a very frustrating experience!  Has this happened to you before?
    There aren’t any good explanations for this, without knowing more, although even then there might not be any good explanations!
    I know women (myself included) have disappeared on men before too…we can all be very contrary when it comes to dating.
    Really, though, if he’s not showing up to your birthday party, he just wasn’t/isn’t that into you.

  16. 16
    Ruby

    Karl #13

    I get your point, but you are taking the word “promising” too literally. Of course, there is no actual verbal promise in the dates, but there is hope and encouragement of a potential relationship. And many of us feel disappointed, as well as irritated. 

    Where does the encouragement come from? From the other person. My friends and I have all dated men who have brought up future plans with us numerous times during the date, and then don’t follow through later on. As a result, I’ve learned to keep my expectations low in the early stages of dating. Have I changed my own mind about a man as I’ve gotten to know him better? Absolutely, that’s why I don’t get into a lot of “future” talk early on. 
    I also agree that people who disappear are cowardly. I do think that after 6 weeks of dating, the polite and thoughtful thing to do is to offer an explanation, even if it seems weak, rather than to simply vanish. 

  17. 17
    Bill

    What goes around comes around. Both sexes are as bad. If this happens to you than you should probably not do this to someone else.

  18. 18
    Nicole

    Karl #13,
    But it sounds like your now fiancee did exactly what a lot of women wished men would do.  She was perfectly okay saying to your face what she wanted, and she articulated both to you and to other people.

    Your point is great, but clearly, having someone who will come out and say, I’m not sure, but let’s enjoy this for now, is different from someone saying nothing at all…you didn’t have to worry about whether you were her boyfriend and you knew that at any point, she could have ended it and you wouldn’t have been left hanging…

    Clearly it is harder for some people, of both genders, to be so rational and detached about all of this, even if you get it.  

    I think that to make this work, a lot of us have to fake it until we make it, and stay in the game. But this is like running in a race where you don’t know where the finish line is, and sometimes is looks as though it’s within reach and then suddenly it gets moved another 100 miles away.

  19. 19
    Karl R

    Nicole said: (#18)
    “it sounds like your now fiancee did exactly what a lot of women wished men would do. […] clearly, having someone who will come out and say, I’m not sure, but let’s enjoy this for now, is different from someone saying nothing at all…”

    No it’s not different.

    Have you ever started a relationship and been sure that you wanted to marry that person within the first few dates? Unless you’re dating some obsessive stalker, it’s far more likely that the person isn’t sure, and they’re just enjoying things while they figure out what they want.

    When a person says nothing at all, just assume that they said, “I’m not sure where this is going to go, but let’s just have fun while we figure this out.” You’ll be right almost all of the time.

    It’s convenient if my date clarifies where things stand, but I could safely guess that the woman who vanished after 6 weeks didn’t know what she wanted after week one. I was still assuming that was the case at week five. It’s certainly polite to verbally clarify things when you do make up your mind, but I think everyone on this blog is bright enough to figure out what the vanishing act means.

    After a week of silence, I didn’t feel like I’d been left hanging. I felt like I’d been cut loose, and it was time to find another girlfriend.

    Ruby said: (#16)
    “My friends and I have all dated men who have brought up future plans with us numerous times during the date,”

    I had one girlfriend freak out because she felt I was making “long-range future plans.” I had mentioned taking a walk through a particular neighborhood to see the Christmas lights … and I mentioned this during February.

    In my mind, I wasn’t making a plan. I hadn’t paid money for a ticket. I hadn’t set aside a date. If a man’s plan doesn’t involve any effort on his part, then he’s just making conversation. He’s making a plan when he spends time, money or energy on it.

    Nicole said: (#18)
    “Clearly it is harder for some people, of both genders, to be so rational and detached about all of this, even if you get it.”

    Until you “get it,” it’s impossible to be this rational and detached.

    And when you do understand, you have to constantly remind yourself of it during the initial excitement of a new relationship.

    But I’m capable of dating an amazing woman, having her vanish after six weeks, and walking away without disappointment (much less devastation). Would it be worth the effort to you to be able to save yourself that much pain?

    Ruby said: (#16)
    “I’ve learned to keep my expectations low in the early stages of dating.”

    I learned the same thing. My date isn’t going to tell me that I’m setting my expectations too high (and if your date is explicitly trying to lower your future expectations, that’s a rather dismal sign).

    Since I can’t count on the other person to limit my disappointment, then it’s up to me to do so. Blaming my date after the fact (even if she vanished after 6 weeks) is completely pointless.

  20. 20
    starthrower68

    @ Karl #13,

    While I can appreciate you just guessed that the woman who disappeared on you just wasn’t that into you, not everybody is going to react the same way.  It may not necessarily be right for a woman to assume she did something to scare a guy away, some women still assume it nonetheless. 

    I would also agree that its not so much expecting anything from a guy as it is being hopeful.  Now if hope is being taken as expectation, what would you have us do?  Evan is always telling women that we need to be open.  We should not be hopeful?  I need rules.  Someone give me some rules.  I don’t do well with this abstract stuff. 

    1. 20.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Karl’s right. When I’m not here, just listen to him. Congratulations on your fiance, buddy. She’s lucky to get a guy who understands relationships as you do.

  21. 21
    Apple Jacks

    I’ve been reading this blog for a couple of weeks now, and I would like to ask Karl if you have a blog or anything?

  22. 22
    Cat

    Karl said: (#19)

    In my mind, I wasn’t making a plan. I hadn’t paid money for a ticket. I hadn’t set aside a date. If a man’s plan doesn’t involve any effort on his part, then he’s just making conversation. He’s making a plan when he spends time, money or energy on it.

    Exactly! Thank you, Karl. When a guy I’m dating mentions wanting to take me on a weekend trip or to some expensive restaurant, I don’t take it seriously until he says he has reservations and has set a date. Until then, he’s just dreaming out loud, basically.  Like you said, until “he spends time, money or energy on it” it’s not real.

  23. 23
    Margo

    @Karl-13. Why are you asking why are people creating expectations?? In my case, it’s not that I created expectations. I grew to like someone as a result of spending time with them and I got hurt when they left. Karl, you are rationalizing things as if human beings are made of steel. We aren’t. If you grew to like the woman you talk about in post 13 that disappeared on you, how could you just be “mildly disappointed” and not hurt. You wouldn’t be denying your feelings, would you? If you are, that isn’t healthy.

  24. 24
    starthrower68

    The correct response to most of what a guy says is to just smile and nod then dismiss it.  Until there is any action to back it up, it’s idle chatter.

  25. 25
    helene

    I agree with starthrower – there seems to be rather contradictory advice going on here.
    On the one hand we’re not supposted to “blame a new guy for previous guys bad behaviour” “expect him to earn our trust when he hasn’t done anything wrong” or “build protective walls.”
    With each new guy we’re supposed to “start with a clean slate” and put out previous bad experiences and disappointments out of our minds. We’re supposed to “leave the door wide open, be smiling and have a welcome smell of cookies” floating out to meet him… In short we’re supposed to behave like someone who was young and naiive, unspoilt, optomistic and trusting, to create a welcoming environment for this new guy… 
    This is completely at odds with the advice to not get our hopes, up, EXPECT that 90% of men will disappear, not get excited about anything he says…. The optomistic unspoilt young girl WOULD be devastated and confused if a new guy who seemed keen then just vanished. Its only older, more cynical women who had zero expectations to start with who could take this in their stride.
    So what’s it to be: cautious, self protective, low expectations and cynically unfazed when yet another guy disappears, or enthusiastic, welcoming, hopeful… and then inevitably disappointed when it comes crashing down. I’m afraid I’m not sure there’s a middle point here….?

    1. 25.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Helene “The mark of a first-rate intelligence,” Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “is the ability to hold contradictory ideas in the mind at the same time and still function”.

      Yes, you’re supposed to remain open and optimistic about each new man. No, you’re not supposed to have particularly high expectations, since they’re rarely met in real life. Seems to me that’s the ONLY way to function. Unless you’d rather be a negative pessimist on dates (which is not attractive) and get completely derailed when a guy isn’t into you (which is not healthy).

  26. 26
    Angie

    I think it’s a bit rude after several dates to say nothing and just disappear, but I guess that’s the way it goes.

    Getting all excited over a profile or an email seems dumb, though.  I’ve met people on the internet who were NOTHING like their profile.  I’ve also replied back because someone sent me a witty email and I hadn’t personally had time to look at their details yet, including location or whether or not they “hate” children, etc.  (I have a bad habit of being impressed by witty emails/profiles, that I am realizing translates to nothing in reality, and attempting to not just respond because then guys start hinting at meeting up and I’m thinking “Maybe for friends”).  I guess this can go both ways.  Have women not done this as well?

  27. 27
    helene

    Well alas, it seems not all of us can aspire to the first rate intelligence of which you speak…. You’ll have to forgive me I’m only a cardiologist.

  28. 28
    Karl R

    starthrower68 said: (#20)
    “It may not necessarily be right for a woman to assume she did something to scare a guy away, some women still assume it nonetheless.”

    You give your child(ren) good advice. Children do not always follow their parents’ advice. If they choose not to, they face the consequences of that decision.

    If you’re following Evan’s advice, you didn’t say or do anything to scare him away. If you choose to make erroneous assumptions, you’re going to torment yourself needlessly.

    starthrower68 asked: (#20)
    “Evan is always telling women that we need to be open.  We should not be hopeful?”

    Openness has to do with whether you seem approachable. This mannerism is under your control.

    Your hope/expectation revolves around whether he’s going to ask you out again. That action is under his control.

    I’m not understanding your question, because you’re seeing some connection between these two words that I’m not.

    starthrower68 said: (#20)
    “I need rules.  Someone give me some rules.”

    Until you’re exclusive, you can hope for the next date. If you’re hoping further ahead than that, you’re getting your hopes ahead of reality.

    helene said: (#26)
    “there seems to be rather contradictory advice going on here.”

    Have you ever thought a man was Mr. Terrific after 3 or 4 dates, but a few months later you realized he was a jerk, so you dumped him?

    You’re hoping that it will become a serious relationship after 3-4 dates, even though you haven’t decided yet whether he’s a keeper. That’s a contradictory attitude.

    If you’re open and friendly to people in general (including those whom you’re not going to date), it’s not difficult to continue that habit with a potential boyfriend … even while recognizing that the odds of it working out are less than 5%.

    helene said: (#26)
    “The optomistic unspoilt young girl WOULD be devastated and confused if a new guy who seemed keen then just vanished. Its only older, more cynical women who had zero expectations to start with who could take this in their stride.”

    I can act like I trust you … and I can do it without giving you my housekey or my credit card.

    Start extrapolating that concept and you’ll eventually grasp how you can be open and still take setbacks in stride.

    Margo asked: (#24)
    “If you grew to like the woman you talk about in post 13 that disappeared on you, how could you just be ‘mildly disappointed’ and not hurt.”

    I still like her. I know her even better now. But that doesn’t mean she’d make a good partner for me.

    Would you want to have a lousy marriage with a terrific man? I’m thinking the “lousy marriage” part would quickly overwhelm the “terrific man” part.

    Given how the dating ended between us, I concluded that I missed out (at most) on several months of a mediocre relationship with a great woman. And the thought of missing out on a mediocre relationship … well … it’s not particularly painful to me.

    Apple Jacks, (#22)
    No, I don’t have a blog.

  29. 29
    starthrower68

    Evan, while I have no argument with what you are saying, it’s easier said than done.  I think Helene has some valid points and she says exactly what I’ve tried more than once to get across and have not been able to do.  I understand that it not attractive to be a negative pessimist and not get completely derailed when a guy is not into me. I GET that.  But there is a certain cognitive disconnect that goes along with this, which is tough to pull off.  It’s almost like you have to split parts of yourself off.

  30. 30
    Mika

    starthrower68,
    Believe it or not, but the way you deal with your frustration and disappointment from dating men is a skill. It’s something that you can master. Give me at least one reason why you should feel miserable when some man bolted for no apparent reason that would benefit your emotional well-being. I am not saying that it’s easy to let go of your emotional/intellectual/physical attachments and you should not be feeling down when another man did not choose to be with you. I understand that you have to give it a time to grieve, but feel devastated …why? Why do you have to punish yourself by choosing to feel that way because another person couldn’t make you happy for whatever reason (not ready/HIJNITY/other issues) ?

    Rule #1 — love yourself first, because you are special, like everybody else.
    Rule #2 — the way you handle your frustration and disappointment is a skill and a choice. You can always choose a different way of handling it. Yes, it takes time, practice and first of all willingness to change.
    Rule #3 — read Rules 1&3.

    1. 30.1
      patty

      i know its hard but what Mika says its true.

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