I’m Upset That My Non-Boyfriend Isn’t Acting Like My Boyfriend

 

I’ve been dating this guy for about three months. He has worked out of the country for 2 of those three months and just got back home this week.

While he was away he called me or texted me everyday, was very attentive and made the effort to keep in contact since he was on the other side of the world.

I picked him up from the airport, brought him home, he gave me a small gift and we had a nice night just watching TV and talking. I go to work and get a text that says he’s taking off with a buddy for a week, Last minute trip type thing but he’s leaving that day.

I told him I’m happy that he’s getting to spend time with his friend but I also feel kind of jilted that I waited so patiently for him to come home.

His response was less than stellar. He pretty much stated that I can’t expect him to stay home all day and wait for me to come home from work to hang out with me. That he missed the whole summer working away and wants to spend time with his friends and do fun things cause his work takes away from that.

I kinda just said, whoa, that’s not what I meant, that I would never take him away from friends or living his life. To have a good trip and I’ll talk to him later.

I can’t help how I feel, because I do feel jilted. I also feel like he just assumed I was trying to cage him, when in reality all I wanted was to be included in his life.

I’m not sure if I should just leave him to his devices while he’s gone and talk to him when he gets back. Maybe I triggered something in him. Or just walk away now and save myself the trouble of dealing with someone who doesn’t make the effort to understand where I’m coming from?

Annette

I’m sorry you’re feeling this way, Annette. And I’m sorry I already answered your question in the title of this blog post. I know it seems more complicated to you than it might to me.

However, you pretty much painted a clear, objective picture of the situation.

  • You’re sleeping with a man who hasn’t committed to you.
  • You’ve only been seeing each other for one month out of three.
  • Despite the fact that he was attentive while you were gone (which gave you hope), now that he’s home, he’s not treating you like a priority (which makes you sad).
  • You seek validation about feeling “jilted” and want to know what to do now.

Here goes:

You are certainly entitled to feel disappointed and hurt that your long-distance connection hasn’t been as intense since this man’s return.

You can even call it “jilted” if you like.

What you can’t reasonably do – from my perspective, anyway – is imply that he has done anything wrong beyond being insensitive in his texts.

But he’s not your boyfriend. Never has been.

If he were your committed boyfriend, it’d be one thing.

There’s a code of conduct on how boyfriends are supposed to behave and this guy certainly didn’t live up to it.

But he’s not your boyfriend. Never has been. He’s the guy you dated for a month before he went away for two months.

As such, you have no leverage over him, nor much right to give him guilt over his chosen course of action.

He’s doing what’s right for him.

You do what’s right for you.

By the time you read this, Annette, your situation will already have been resolved. My guess is that you won’t have to talk to him about your text exchange. Nor will you have to walk away.

My guess is that he’s already shown you the type of relationship he’d like to have – a casual one, entirely on his terms. All that remains to be seen is whether you continue to accept it or whether you dump his ass to find a man who values you more.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Emily, the original

    I agree he wants something casual now that he’s back, but then he needed to act casually while he was away. She’s confused because he contacted her every day. That’s not casual. Casual is a lot less contact than that. 

    1. 1.1
      Casey

      Agree 100%. I have had several guys in my life do this sort of thing.  I can’t figure out why they do it, but it does play with a girl’s heart and leave her to believe we are more important to them than we really are. 

      1. 1.1.1
        Emily, the original

        Casey, 

        I can’t figure out why they do it, but it does play with a girl’s heart and leave her to believe we are more important to them than we really are. 

        I’m guessing, but they like the attention. It’s an ego boost.

    2. 1.2
      Carrie L Burns

      Hi Emily

      I disagree.  Util he says hes your boyfriend he isn’t.  Period.  My guy was pretty much gone 3 out of the first 5 months we dated. But, until he said the magic words “Do I think I’m in a committed, exclusive relationship? Yes” we were both free agents.

      Perhaps he was “using her for attention ” while gone, but she’s a grown woman who is free to make choices about who she gives her time too and she’s mad she was all in and he wasn’t when he never said he was!!

      Just my opinion 😁

       

      1. 1.2.1
        Emily, the original

        Carrie,

        But, until he said the magic words “Do I think I’m in a committed, exclusive relationship? Yes” we were both free agents.

        I agree that they aren’t committed to each other, but contacting someone everyday gives that person the impression something is developing. People who say they want something “casual” often mean they want the benefits of a relationship — the emotional connection and support — without the commitment, on their terms and their time, and that’s, IMO, bullshit. Don’t contact someone everyday if you’re not serious about getting to know them. Casual is casual. You call every now and then, you hang out every now and then. If he doesn’t want to be a boyfriend, he shouldn’t act like one.

        1. Clare

          Emily,

          “I agree that they aren’t committed to each other, but contacting someone everyday gives that person the impression something is developing.”

          I used to think this, but I’ve come to realise that in this era of smart phones and instant communication, texting someone every day does not mean squat. I’ve had people I’ve never even met yet contact me every day, religiously. It’s as if they’re just looking for validation, attention, something to assuage their boredom, or someone to prattle on about their day to. Personally, I think you’d be an idiot to ascribe any meaning to this. (sorry)

          You have to remember that texting is just that. Texting. Keep it in perspective. The guy may as well be playing a game on his phone for all the effort he’s putting forth. It’s fun, sure, but no more than that. In fact, I put far more stock in a guy who contacts me less often, but actually makes an effort to see me. Time in person is what matters, not words on a screen.

        2. Emily, the original

          Clare,

          You have to remember that texting is just that.  …. Time in person is what matters, not words on a screen.

          I agree that texting is for validation and means nothing and making an effort to see the person means much more, but she wrote he was calling or texting every day, and the man was away. I think she was reasonable to assume he’d be interested in seeing where things went once he got back based on his behavior. Unfortunately, he was all flim flam.

        3. Clare

          Emily,

          “I think she was reasonable to assume he’d be interested in seeing where things went once he got back based on his behavior.”

          Well, to be fair, we don’t know what they were talking about. Perhaps they were talking about meeting up and all the things they would do when he got back. In which case, her expectations would be a bit more understandable.

          I know it sounds cynical, but I honestly only believe I will see a guy unless he makes plans with me. And even then, only if he keeps to plans (and doesn’t flake). I prefer to think of it as practical. It keeps you grounded in reality to focus on what is, rather than what you’d like it to be. Action and effort.

          To me, the fact that she’d picked him up from the airport suggested that she got ahead of herself and wanted (and expected) their relationship to be more than it was.

          But honestly, if all they talked about while he was away was about what they’d been doing all day and not actually making plans, whose fault is it that she had expectations?

        4. Gab

          I agree with both Clare and Evan on this one – texting daily means nothing unless there are other boyfriend-congruent behaviors present. For someone whose primary love language is words, this is precisely why I need to internalize this fact. The combination of wit/emotion and daily texts is my kryptonite:-(

        5. Emily, the original

          Clare,
          And even then, only if he keeps to plans (and doesn’t flake). I prefer to think of it as practical. It keeps you grounded in reality to focus on what is,rather than what you’d like it to be. Action and effort.
          Agreed. But I think the more you like someone, the harder it is to stay in reality and not project what you want to happen.
          But honestly, if all they talked about while he was away was about what they’d been doing all day and not actually making plans, whose fault is it that she had expectations?
          Well, it takes two to tango. She may have had unrealistic expectations but he fed into them with the daily contact. It’s probably me. I don’t text and call people for shits and giggles (or validation — thought I admit to being guilty of this in the past). If we’re talking on the phone and communicating, I’m interested in getting to know the person. Communicating takes effort, particularly phone calls. But I guess you can’t assume the other person is thinking the same thing. What I mean is … I don’t see the point in killing time with people you’re half interested in.

        6. Clare

          Emily,

          “What I mean is … I don’t see the point in killing time with people you’re half interested in.”

          God, me neither. But people do it. All. the. time.

          You won’t believe how many people there are out there who just love to have someone to text, and who make little to no effort to spend time with the person in person. I call these people “pen pals.”

          Frankly, I can’t think of anything worse than being glued to my phone for the sake of someone whom I do not see regularly in real life. I’d rather stick sharp objects into my eye repeatedly. Such a waste of time and energy. I’m interested in getting to know someone in real life, and I’m not a great texter (as you and I have previously discussed). I just can’t and won’t persevere with texting someone who is not actually present in my life (unless we have a longstanding relationship). But other people are not the same.

          There really are people who will text with you almost indefinitely and suck every last bit of attention and validation that you are willing to give them. And why would you? Ain’t nobody got time for dat.

          Again, we actually have no hard evidence that the OP’s guy led her on. Daily texting and even phone calls do not = committed relationship. The fact that she got her hopes up is on her. As Matthew Hussey says “If he’s the kind of guy who keeps texting you without making plans, shame on him. If you’re the kind of girl who keeps replying even though he is not making plans, shame on you.”

        7. Emily, the original

          Clare,
          There really are people who will text with you almost indefinitely and suck every last bit of attention and validation that you are willing to give them. And why would you? Ain’t nobody got time for dat.
          I agree. I have a friend of a friend who has a menagerie of past and current interests she texts daily. I don’t think she’s into any of them. Like you said, that takes too much energy and my ego isn’t that big. Plus, to me, it only means something if I’m really interested. I don’t get a ding in my drawers from people I don’t like!   🙂
           As Matthew Hussey s
          Ah, Matthew Hussey. A wise sage wrapped up in the body of a hunkazoid. 🙂

        8. Evan Marc Katz

          Yeah, he’s cute (and a good guy), but maybe calm down with the Hussey love on the EMK blog. 🙂

        9. S.

          I don’t see the point in killing time with people you’re half interested in.

          Me three. I just stop responding. Like ever.

          I will qualify this with one situation: The guy I used to be really interested in. Like I really, really was.  But then he disappeared or went on vacation or whatever.  Then he comes back and is genuinely interested.  And I still am, but not at the same level. I will still spend/kill time with that person.  Usually my interest level never goes back to what it was, though.  And usually they disappear again into what is really present for them–job, travel, family, whatever.

          So I do it in that case but it doesn’t ever really go anywhere.

  2. 2
    sylvana

    What you can’t reasonably do – from my perspective, anyway – is imply that he has done anything wrong beyond being insensitive in his texts.

    I’m a bit surprised by this. You don’t see anything wrong with completely narcissistic behavior?

    I’m stuck in a foreign country, bored and alone. Talk to me, talk to me – every single day. He gets back home and it’s: Back among friends. Got other plans. No longer need you. See you when I see you.

    To make matters worse, when she tells him she’s happy for him, but that she was looking forward to spending some time with him (totally to be expected after the way he behaved while he was gone), he actually gets nasty with her (insensitive is putting it beyond mildly). Makes it sounds like it’s all her fault, and she’s the one being irrational.

    As I said – classical narcissist.

    There’s a code of conduct on how boyfriends are supposed to behave.

    I’d say making an effort to contact someone every day while out of town and being very attentive pretty much describes such behavior. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, we’re supposed to assume it’s a …..pig in disguise??? Unless it specifically tells us it’s a duck?

    I don’t care whether we’re talking about a man or woman, this is simply a person who treats others with piss-poor respect. A person who is all about me, me, me with no consideration whatsoever toward another person’s feelings. Even if this was just a friend of mine, or someone I was starting a friendship with, I would not tolerate that kind of behavior.

    If my friend (or someone I started being friends with) works out of country, we talked every day for two months, and were looking forward to spending some time together when he/she came home, they better at least run a change of plans by me to see if I would mind. I’d let them go, of course. But I think Annette would have too. That was not the point of her letter.

    What they better not do is inform me that they’re going, and that’s that. Not even a mention about “sorry I won’t get to see you”. No mention of “would you mind if…”. And they better not get a nasty attitude when I point out that I’m happy for them, but I had thought we were going to spend some time together.

    To me, this has nothing to do with being boyfriend/girlfriend or not. It’s a matter of common curtesy and respect.

    As such, you have no leverage over him, nor much right to give him guilt over his chosen course of action.

    I agree with the no leverage part. Then again, we really don’t have leverage over anyone. As for the guilt? I totally disagree. Do not use a person and mislead them with your actions for two whole months, then get nasty when that person actually ends up feeling used or misled.

    You’re basically saying that since he didn’t say he was her boyfriend, it is her fault for believing that his completely boyfriend behavior would call for at least a tiny bit of common curtesy. Even if he just used her as a friend for those two months, she deserved better treatment. The title of boyfriend doesn’t even come into play here.

    In short, approach everyone with mistrust and a jaded attitude, or you’re the stupid one if you get fooled. Because, apparently, by not saying he was her boyfriend he gained the right to treat her like shit.

    1. 2.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Overreaction. It’s not narcissism. It’s small-scale dimestore selfishness. He’s not playing games. He’s not trying to pretend. He’s not fooling her. He’s showing her exactly the kind of “relationship” he wants – one on his terms. So while the OP may be SHOCKED that a guy who once made an effort is no longer making an effort, that is as newsworthy as a headline reading: “SHOCKER: Water is wet!”

      SHE needs to take responsibility for being a doormat instead of blaming him for stepping on her. And your advice about approaching everyone with mistrust is literally the OPPOSITE of the good advice I give here.

      YOU are responsible for how you are treated AND you should treat everyone with openness, trust, and respect until there’s reason for it to be lost. Blaming men solves nothing. Approaching dating in a jaded, fearful way? Equally ineffective.

      1. 2.1.1
        sylvana

        Evan,

        small-scale, dimestore selfishness. Wow. You must deal with some seriously nasty people on a regular basis to consider that small-scale. And around my parts, if you come back with that ugly, aggressive a response to someone telling you they’re happy for you, but had expected something different based on your actions (basically letting you know you hurt or disappointed them), you’ll get your teeth knocked out.

        If he’s not playing games, trying to pretend, or trying to fool her, then what exactly was he doing when he made the effort, contacted her every single day, and was being very attentive? What exactly do you call this other than using her friendship for his own benefit?

        And a doormat? Really? So on one hand you should treat everyone with openness, trust, and respect, but then when they do you wrong, you’re a doormat for trusting them to begin with? Or – shocker! You were open and trusted him and got burned. Hardly newsworthy. Hmm…so it’s pretty much darned if you do, darned if you don’t. Do trust, but don’t come running to me for advice when it goes wrong, because you shouldn’t have trusted to begin with.

        Honestly, I didn’t see anything in this OPs letter that made me think she’s a doormat. She followed your advice, stayed open and trusted, went by the signals he gave her, and now that he is displaying behavior that is clearly not all right with her, she’s asking if she should walk away (which she clearly wants to do) or whether she is misinterpreting his actions (wondering if she is overreacting). That’s not being a doormat, it’s trying to make sure she’s not just misunderstanding the way men handle situations like this.

        And your answer was basically that is was her fault that she trusted a selfish person with no respect for others or their feelings. He didn’t really do anything wrong, he was just being a man. (Ouch, talking about throwing men under the bus)

        Blaming men solves nothing

        I completely agree. That’s why I specifically pointed out that whether it was a woman or man displaying this kind of behavior, it would not make a difference. It is straight up not a person of good character.

        But excusing a particular man’s bad behavior in the name of “understanding men” is giving men, in general, a very bad, and very undeserved reputation.

        Men aren’t like that. Narcissists are like that, whether they’re male or female. You make it sound as if he behaved this way because he’s a man. And that this type of behavior is pretty much what a woman should expect from a man who’s not her boyfriend.

        That is very, very ugly toward men. And, I think, the part that got under my skin the most. Honestly, I attribute this kind of behavior way more to women than men.

        Sorry, but I think this should have been a case of “you dealt with a bad person, let it go.” Trying to get her (and the rest of us) to understand men by excusing one person’s bad behavior and making it all her fault is not helping at all. It just makes men, in general, sound totally crappy.

         

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          I did NOT make it sound as if he behaved this way because he’s man. That’s something that you interpolated. I only said “men” because he’s a man. Switch the genders and the advice is the same. I’ve been in the OPs shoes – REALLY excited about a woman who seems REALLY excited about me and then…she’s not. The solution isn’t to label that woman a narcissist and act wary of other women; it’s to move on from that non-relationship to another woman without judgment. This is so obvious that it hurts my brain to consider that you don’t see it this way. But hey, as long as what you’re doing is working for you, keep at it.

      2. 2.1.2
        Agnieszka

        Totally Evan! This has happened so many times to me and I just cut them loose. They only text everyday when they’re away to keep you on the line. I’ll quote something you wrote, it doesn’t matter how much a man texts you, the only thing that matters is how much effort he puts into seeing you and actually does.

    2. 2.2
      Tom10

      @ sylvana
      “You don’t see anything wrong with completely narcissistic behavior?
      I’m stuck in a foreign country, bored and alone. Talk to me, talk to me – every single day. He gets back home and it’s: Back among friends. Got other plans. No longer need you. See you when I see you.”
       
      I agree sylvana; it’s shitty behavior on his part; he’s bored and alone and just wants some contact to pass the time. Then blanked her when he got back.
       
      A friend of mine did this to me recently and I’m still seething about it. Fool me once, however; I assure you it won’t happen again.
       
      Which is the point here; Annette (the op) needs to realize what exactly was going on here and put the steps in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again; when someone is away and alone don’t be the patsy passing their time until they’ve found some company.

    3. 2.3
      Clare

      sylvana,

      I’m afraid I agree with Evan.

      His behaviour was not stellar, but as I was reading the OP’s letter, I was asking myself if I would have acted in the same way as she did and been misled in the same way, and then felt just as upset about it. And the answer was that I wouldn’t. And here’s why:

      * He was texting her daily, when he didn’t know her very well, he was out of the country and probably lonely and bored. Do you know who else does this? Guys I’ve matched with on Tinder whom I’ve never even met yet. Daily texting with no action to back it up is about as meaningful as liking someone’s pictures on Facebook. I’m sorry to be blunt, but there it is. I find myself heaving a deep sigh at any adult who has not learnt this yet.

      * Would I have elected to go and pick a guy up from the airport when we’d only been dating a month and he had been away for two, and then go back to his place to Netflix and chill? No, I would not. (Am I the only one who thinks this is too little effort on his part?) I would have let one of his family members pick him up, and then seen what effort he made to get in touch with me once he was back. That’s really the best way to approach the early stages of dating and protect your feelings: see what effort the other person is willing to make, and don’t be going and looking for them. It’s an equal exchange.

      * She picked an argument with him about him agreeing to go on a last minute roadtrip with a buddy. Whilst I can understand why she would have felt sad, this was not the time or the place. If he’s agreed to go roadtripping with his buddy the day after he gets back from working away for two months, the last thing he wants is to argue with his not-quite-girlfriend about it. I can’t think of a faster way to push a man away. I would have said “Cool 🙂 enjoy” and then immediately lined up evenings out with friends and dates with other guys. I would have assumed the guy was only ready for something casual. I wouldn’t have had a conversation with him. Why? Because it’s a waste of my energy; his actions are telling you everything you need to know. If he gets back from his roadtrip and decides he wants to see you, then you can see how you feel. Personally, I’d be inclined to give a guy like this a pass.

      * I agree with Evan that this is dimestore, run-of-the-mill, everyday selfishness, nothing more. It’s not particularly pretty behaviour, but it’s not unusual either. Not by any stretch of the imagination. The fact that you are so willing to diagnose it as narcissism, Sylvana, makes me think that the people you associate with and date must be extraordinarily kind and considerate people. Because I, personally, have come across behaviour like this dozens, maybe even hundreds, of times in my life. I don’t get bent out of shape about it; I take it that this person is showing me who they are and how they operate, and I adjust my perception of them accordingly.

      * Which brings me to my final point. What on God’s earth was she thinking having expectations of a guy she has been dating for a month (I do not count the two months he was away), who hadn’t agreed to be her boyfriend, and who had not made plans with her? Here is a complete list of the expectations I have of a guy I’ve been dating for a month:

      – If we make plans, he shows up at the agreed place and time.

      That’s it. I was wracking my brains to think of something else, but honestly, that’s it. Because you cannot hold people to things they have not agreed to. It’s a hard truth, but it’s a truth nonetheless. Honest to God, and it doesn’t make them narcissists. Self-involved? Sure, but that’s most people. Now, would behave like the guy in the OP’s letter? No. But I wouldn’t have any expectations of him either, and I probably wouldn’t date him.

      1. 2.3.1
        ScottH

        Clare- “go back to his place to Netflix and chill? No, I would not. (Am I the only one who thinks this is too little effort on his part?”

        Minor comment but the guy just got off a plane from halfway around the world and being gone for 2 months.  How much effort would you expect him to make after that?

        “really the best way to approach the early stages of dating and protect your feelings: see what effort the other person is willing to make, and don’t be going and looking for them. It’s an equal exchange.”

        Is it really an equal exchange?  This is where I get tripped up in this endeavor.  Is the guy supposed to make all (or most) of the effort or is it supposed to be roughly equal, because I can’t tell the difference between making all/most of the effort and them not being interested.  I guess I should take the advice about mixed messages and believing the negatives but sometimes it feels subtle.

        1. sylvana

          ScottH,

          I’m with you. I’m wondering the same.

        2. Emily, the original

          ScottH,

          Is it really an equal exchange?  This is where I get tripped up in this endeavor.  Is the guy supposed to make all (or most) of the effort or is it supposed to be roughly equal, because I can’t tell the difference between making all/most of the effort and them not being interested. 

          No, it’s not equal. A lot of women will expect the man, in the beginning, to initiate contact and make dates/plans. For those who won’t do more (maybe call the guy and ask him out, for example, for date #2), they either don’t want to or they’ve been burned in the past by doing too much. Maybe nothing materialized or they felt like they were doing all the work. But I don’t see why a woman would continue to accept dates with a man she wasn’t interested in.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @ScottH

          Being the pursuer is a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” job.  Women complain about having to be the pursuer, but what passes as pursuit to them pales in comparison to what they expect from a man.  The complaint I hear from women most often is how do I know if a man is into me if he does not pursue me with vigor?  Let’s flip that one around.  How do I know that a woman is not settling for me because I am pursuing her with vigor?  I would like have five-year moratorium where women had to do all of the pursuing. I bet that we would cease to see letters like this one.

      2. 2.3.2
        sylvana

        Clare,

        yes, I do have to say that I am, in fact, surrounded by kind and considerate people. Mostly, because those are the people I choose to have in my life, and allow to be in my life. But I was also brought up that way and was always surrounded by people who were that way. And I have to say that people, in general, tend to be that way in my area. To you, it might seem extraordinary. To me, it’s normal.

        Pretty much like you (and Evan) seem to be surrounded by rather nasty people, since you do not consider that behavior unusual, and therefore the norm, while I think it’s extraordinarily rude, even nasty.

        It’s likely much of a cultural thing, as well. I could never live in the northern states of the US or in a big city, for example. What they consider normal behavior tends to come across as abrasive and rude, even if they’re not deliberately trying to be. If they’re having a bad day, I’ve often found myself contemplating whether it is worth going to jail for beating some respect and common curtesy into them.

        The OPs situation kind of reminds me of a southerner dealing with a yank.

        Please don’t take offense to this, because it’s not meant in a mean way, but you sound like you have a rather hard edge to you. I hate to say this, but it does sound pretty jaded, or like people would have to proof to you that they’re worth your trust. And I have to agree with ScottH that it comes across as if it might be hard for a man to figure out if you’re interested at all.

        While I fully understand why you are that way (since it only makes sense), it’s pretty much the opposite of the trusting, open, hopefully even a little vulnerable woman that men tend to want. (It also once again brings to mind the never-ending complaint about women become too “masculine”. Gee, wonder why.)

        I think it’s a bit easier for men, since they’re expected to be the “harder” sex. But as a woman, how many times can you get bowled over by that type of selfish, rude assholes before you do, indeed develop a harder edge that you will not be able to hide?

        As you said, you encounter this behavior on a regular basis, and do not consider it unusual. Therefore, you (understandably so) protect yourself from letting it get to you – basically from disappointment. But that protection is the opposite of openness and trust.

        This is pretty much the dilemma I had pointed out to Evan. Darned if you do, darned if you don’t.

         

         

         

         

         

         

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          You said: “Pretty much like you (and Evan) seem to be surrounded by rather nasty people.”

          Who said I’m surrounded by nasty people? In fact, I surround myself with the NICEST people because I’m happily married, self-employed, and have high character standards for friends, as my free time as a father of 2 is limited. By pointing out that people (in this case, an individual man) will act in his own self interest is not an endorsement of his behavior, nor do I seek to normalize selfishness. I’m merely pointing out that selfish behavior is the most COMMON behavior and if you do not like said behavior, you no longer have to consort with him.

          I’m not sure what there is to disagree about. But please, continue to rail against mean people and throw other people under the bus who understand that the answer to mean people is to cut them loose, not teach them a lesson.

        2. Clare

          Gosh sylvana, I almost don’t know what to say to this massive misinterpretation of what I said, so I think I might leave it for now until I do know what to say.

          I will say, though, that this is the second time on this blog that you have leapt to judgment about my character based on my having a response to an OP’s letter that was different from yours, and the second time that said conclusions have been completely false.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Totally. I’m stunned by how far off Sylvana is on this one.

        4. Marika

          Sylvana

          I do hear you. Can I ask if you have dated online at all (I can’t remember from previous discussions)? The reason I ask is, having dated online for a few years now, I  know not to be overly surprised or upset by behaviour which only a few years ago (when I was a serial monogamist in a close knit family) I would have labelled incredibly selfish and upsetting.

          Not to condone anything – my upbringing & mentality are very much in line with what you are saying, I was very much taught to care about others, put others first, be considerate etc., and my family and the vast majority of my friends are like that too.

          But in dating, when you’re meeting people online who don’t know you, or know you well, it’s a bit of a different story. Not that you accept rude, dismissive or selfish behaviour with a shrug and a smile, but that you realise that people tend to put themselves first (and certainly above someone they’ve known for a few months), they act far more on impulse and in-the-moment feelings than with a long-term, set in stone planning, and things can change quite quickly (e.g., if they start chatting to someone else, someone from their past comes back into their life etc etc).

          This is a bit like the conversation we had about not taking it personally if someone comes back after a short silence – this isn’t really about the OP, as he doesn’t know her well enough and she hasn’t really done anything for him to react badly to. He’s just doing what’s right for him. By not taking it personally you don’t condone it, you just realise this is someone who you barely know, who is acting in their own self-interest. I think he could have definitely handled it better and it would definitely bother me, but unfortunately this is not a rare event (I had something very similar happen myself). And I have no doubt this guy would be more mindful and caring towards a good friend or family member – or maybe on the other hand he’s just a selfish, rude person who is like this with everyone. Either way, all she can do at this point is move on  – and try not to take this on as anything against her personally, for her own sake (not his).

          You have to develop somewhat of a thick(ish) skin in dating, I think. I recall that Clare has been dating for a good 10? (correct me if I’m wrong, Clare?) years. In a country where men are known to be chivalrous and caring (far more than in my own neck of the woods! hehe). But after years of dating you see patterns and you get used to all types of responses and behaviours. Mostly due to cluelessness rather than people setting out to hurt each other. You can’t let it all get to you or constantly be miffed when things don’t go down the way you want them to. Or you’ll be constantly disappointed. And it will affect you, not them. YMMV

        5. Clare

          Marika,

          Thanks for advocating so beautifully on my behalf 🙂

          Yes, what you said was spot on. I too was brought up in an extremely manners-conscious family, and raised to be very polite and considerate. All of the people in my inner circle share these qualities.

          It has been 9 years since my divorce, and I have been dating and had relationships for much of that time. In the last 5 years, I have dated online quite a bit, gone on, I’m not sure exactly, but it must be close to 60 or 70 first, second and third dates. And yes, what you say is absolutely true. Men here tend to be polite, chivalrous and traditional. They almost always pay, book restaurants, open doors for you, etc. I’ve also never had a guy try to grope me inappropriately or send me a dick pic. They also are fairly quick to lock you in as their girlfriend if they are looking for a relationship.

          But yeah, you have to develop a thick-ish skin when online dating. You simply have to. It’s a jungle out there. In this fast-paced world, people’s lives and relationships can change very quickly, and you just can’t make assumptions about others based on the type of person you are or how you would like them to be. Unfortunately, you have to accept them based on face value and on what they show you. And it’s no good getting upset with them and railing against them all for being narcissist. Until you are in a committed relationship with someone who has made plans with you consistently and shown you consistently that they’re going to be around, you do need to be a little guarded. And this does not equal being hard or not being vulnerable. It’s far more about being practical and about letting other people show you who they are. The beauty of it is you are always free to walk away if you don’t like it.

        6. Evan Marc Katz

          You sound like someone who has taken Love U, Clare. Is that the case?

        7. Clare

          Evan,

          I’m flattered, but no. Being South African, the rand-dollar exchange rate (which is particularly weak at the moment) is not in my favour. I have had to forego a lot of good products from coaches I admire due to this fact.

          I do owe a lot of what I have learned to your excellent advice however 🙂 and what I have picked up here and there from others I have admired. (And of course, a lot of it from the school of experience.)

          I am currently dating a very cute, lovely, intelligent guy who seems to answer everything I’m looking for in a guy. It’s early days and we are taking it slow, but I’m happy 🙂 Dating is pretty nice for me these days.

        8. SparklingEmerald

          Hi Clare Very Glad to hear about the new cute guy !

    4. 2.4
      Laurie Wolpert

      I’ve read a lot of Evan’s blog.  His theory seems to be a lot of people are self-centered so just move on to the next.  However, it really does hurt if you yourself are not self-centered and you give of yourself only to find the opposite.  Just shrugging and saying that’s the way the world is doesn’t really address the pain of the person who feels duped.  Selfishness hurts whether or not you’ve found some way to justify it.  Why not be honest or at least considerate of the other person?  And it’s no shame to feel hurt or used if you have been.  People shouldn’t be doing that no matter how common it is.

      1. 2.4.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        “Why not be honest or at least considerate of the other person?” If I were here to teach the world a lesson, I would agree with you. I’m here to teach the original poster a lesson – you can’t change what other people do or how they act; all you can do is choose whether to remain in their life.

        1. Scooter

          Evan, that’s true, but Laurie brings up a point: sometimes you seem insensitive, even cold to the emotional trauma inflicted upon others.

          People can have a level of naivety that they simply may not realize, until world experience teaches them otherwise.   (“You don’t know what you don’t know.”)  Pair this with the fact that some people are far more sensitive, and thus vulnerable, and I’m sure you understand some of the outrage in this thread, especially from Sylvana.

          The guy described by the OP had to know he was taking advantage of the OP.

          I’ve run across men and women who are jaded beyond recognition of their previous selves, and it’s due to being used in some form or another.

          Yes, these people need to learn to be more guarded, but too often, by the time they “learn” such, they are so upset and wary, they just aren’t the same -loving/caring/giving- individuals they used to be.

          (Yeah.. I am in that group)

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          So then the question remains, Scooter: what do you want in an advice column? Do you want validation or do you want advice?

          Validation would make this a bland space to read with nothing to learn. Every single column would simply tell the aggrieved original poster that she’s right to be sad, frustrated, angry, jaded. It may be partially true, but it’s kind of repetitive, you know?

          Because I blog quickly in between my regular gig as a dating coach, I cut right to the chase: here’s what YOU can do differently. Not what your disappointing boyfriend can do differently. Not what all men in society SHOULD do differently. Thus, my answers are ALSO repetitive: take responsibility for your bad choices and then DUMP him.

          Let’s just say I’d much rather my central message to women be “DUMP him” as opposed to “Dear poor hapless women who can’t help but remain with selfish men out of love/fear/inertia/insecurity: I’m sorry men are so selfish. Men should totally change. You’re right to be jaded and mistrustful.”

          Again, it may feel validating, but you don’t learn anything from a sympathetic virtual hug that validates your experience that yes, men can be selfish!

          Could I theoretically do BOTH? Start off EVERY email with validation before dropping the hammer of truth? I suppose. But the thought of it bores me to tears.

          Adult women ask adult questions and, presumably want to hear the truth. If they want candy coating, they can turn to their girlfriends to tell them how unfair life is. I’m going to tell them how every day they’re with a bad guy, it’s their CHOICE. And since no man is forcing you to stay with him at gunpoint, if you’re not happy with his behavior, get the fuck out instead of wasting your life trying to change him.

          Yet, here I am, 10 years and 1500 blog posts later, writing some form of that blog post every other week. Go figure.

  3. 3
    Noquay

    Evan hit it right on the head; walk away and find someone who thinks you matter. Contacting someone electronically is easy and doesn’t mean squat.

  4. 4
    SparklingEmerald

    Clare said “Would I have elected to go and pick a guy up from the airport when we’d only been dating a month and he had been away for two, and then go back to his place to Netflix and chill?”

    Bingo !  That was one of my first thoughts.  Picking up someone at the airport is a major favor, usually reserved for family, bosom buddies and official boyfriends/girlfriends.   He had been out of the country for twice as long as they “dated”.  Personally, I was very leary about even meeting with guys online if they indicated that they had some sort of out of town trip on the horizon.  If I met someone, and they were taking an extended trip before we reached “official couple-dom”,  I would take it as a sign that the relationship is going nowhere, and I wouldn’t hang out as a text buddy waiting for them to come back.   I would be socializing and meeting new men online.  I’d reply vaguely to texts, start taking longer to respond to texts, and then eventually fade away.   I certainly wouldn’t pick up a “non-boyfriend” at the AP, then netflix and chill !  In fact, I think this gives a big clue to his behavior while gone, what a handy way to secure a free ride from the AP  AND some e-z sex after a long trip.

    The OP opened with “I’ve been dating this guy for about three months. . .” but they only actually dated a month.   Problem is, she acted like she was a girlfriend to a guy who didn’t consider her to be his girlfriend.

    1. 4.1
      Clare

      Sparkling Emerald,

      This is exactly the crux of my response to the OP’s letter. Other people are so willing to paint the OP’s guy’s behaviour as selfish, but I think she was just doing too much. Like waaaay too much. In my book, anyway.

      I agree with you that picking someone up from the airport is a major favour. Or at least it is here. This is something I would only confidently ask of my parents or a relatively long-term boyfriend. If I had no other alternative, I’d ask one of my best friends, or take a taxi. I’d certainly not ask a guy I’d just started dating. (Where I live, the airport is nearly an hour’s drive away.)

      I also absolutely and 100% agree with you about guys you meet online who have an impending lengthy trip. These are not the guys you invest your hopes in. You text with them casually and you very much keep the door open for other guys. You have a wait-and-see attitude with these guys. And yes, absolutely, if they text you everyday while they are gone, you hold back and are very tempered with your response and wait and see what they do when they get back. To be honest, like you, I’d probably fade out with a message like “Give me a call when you get back from your trip and we can set something up.” And then wait and see if he does, and in the meantime, put him out of my mind.

      Sylvana likes to paint this as me being hard, but I know it’s not. I know that this is purely about me investing in guys who are investing in me, and not rewarding low effort, and certainly not investing my hopes and dreams in someone who is not even with me. This is about me focusing my energy and effort on that which is present in my life and letting things unfold rather than chasing after them.

      1. 4.1.1
        Emily, the original

        Clare,

        I also absolutely and 100% agree with you about guys you meet online who have an impending lengthy trip. These are not the guys you invest your hopes in. You text with them casually and you very much keep the door open for other guys. You have a wait-and-see attitude with these guys. And yes, absolutely, if they text you everyday while they are gone, you hold back and are very tempered with your response and wait and see what they do when they get back. To be honest, like you, I’d probably fade out with a message like “Give me a call when you get back from your trip and we can set something up.” And then wait and see if he does, and in the meantime, put him out of my mind.

        This is a very mature, cerebral approach. I wonder how old the OP is. Your approach is not something I would have even thought about in my 20s. If I met some guy I really liked and we dated for a month, but then he said he was leaving for two months but stayed in contact, I most certainly would have waited for his return. And if the whole thing then faded out, yes, I would have been disappointed.

        1. Clare

          Emily,

          “Your approach is not something I would have even thought about in my 20s. If I met some guy I really liked and we dated for a month, but then he said he was leaving for two months but stayed in contact, I most certainly would have waited for his return. And if the whole thing then faded out, yes, I would have been disappointed.”

          Me too 🙂 Thank god for turning 30. 35 is even better.

          I’ve kind of settled myself into the journey of looking for a partner. I don’t intend to get pulverised by it.

      2. 4.1.2
        Marika

        My pleasure, Clare. You’re one of those commenters whose posts I can always relate to but you’re just different enough in your approach that I always learn something from you :). I would say you’ve learned (probably the hard way?!) not to stay too long in something that’s not working and you’re better at taking things slowly in the early stages than me. I’m still a work in progress with both of those. But I NEVER get the impression you are harsh or negative or jaded, not at all. So I’m surprised (and motivated to defend you, not that you can’t hold your own!) when people accuse you of such things…which for some reason has happened a few times..weird.

        There are definitely very jaded people on here, and certainly very pragmatic people. The jaded ones add very little to the conversation IMHO, but the pragmatic ones I find helpful, because I’m sooo much more emotional than pragmatic. So I look to them for a kick in the pants when needed. I wouldn’t actually put you in that category though, certainly more pragmatic than me..but I peg you as more bleeding heart with a thickish edge where needed?..Of course, I could be way off. It’s funny, the regular commenters, we know each other..but not. So we fill in the blanks as needed.

        Anyway, congrats on the new beau and be sure to keep us in the loop 🙂 😉

        1. Clare

          Marika,

          “I wouldn’t actually put you in that category though, certainly more pragmatic than me..but I peg you as more bleeding heart with a thickish edge where needed?”

          Yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head. I am a very feeling person with a very logical side. In the beginning, I let my feeling side completely take the lead in dating, and I was just knocked about, left, right and centre.

          Eventually, I think my logical side stepped in and said “This has got to stop.” I also think I’m just too stubborn and strong-willed to let dating get me down. I’m a happy, easygoing person, and I just won’t let dating push me around or knock that out of me. So eventually I forced myself, after a disappointment, to take a short time to lick my wounds and recover, and then to get back out there. And I also allowed the practical advice to filter in and take hold. I think being quite a strong-willed, logical person has helped with this. I’m definitely not one of those people who feels like I know it all, and I regularly ask for feedback from those in my life if I’m feeling stuck in any area of my life, especially dating. I definitely believe in leading with the heart but being practical and common sense.

          Being introverted has definitely also been a help in taking things slow in the beginning.

          But I also have the caring, softer, bleeding heart side and I can let her come to the fore when I’m feeling a bit more safe with a guy.

          I think what’s also helped me ENORMOUSLY is not taking things so personally. I think many of the people on this blog who are jaded take situations in OP’s letters or the way other people are in dating as a personal slight. I’m baffled by this. What a waste of precious time and energy (and an unnecessary blow to the ego).

          Thanks for the good wishes re: the new guy… For once, he lives nearby to me, is not separated (or divorced), and has no kids. I’ve decided to do things differently and take things very slowly, so I’ll definitely let you know how it goes 🙂

      3. 4.1.3
        S.

        And then wait and see if he does, and in the meantime, put him out of my mind.

        But if he did, would you still be interested?  For me, I just lose interest.  But oddly when I do the person seems more interested.  It’s baffling but I can’t help it.  I do give them a chance but my interest gone, baby, gone.

        It is nice not to be hurt by it or to take it personally.  But it also seems like a lot of energy at the beginning for nothing.  I have other pursuits I could put my energy into.  But what can you do?  This is dating.  People here seem to be saying if you can move on without any ire or jadedness with the next person you’ve made it out okay.

        I don’t know if I agree with that.  I don’t have any anger or anything. I just feel . . . nothing.  I’m a lot more . . . distant in the beginning than I used to be.  But that may be because I’m off the web and meeting men in real life.  So there isn’t necessarily that jolt of physical attraction driving things, but a more slower-forming emotional attraction.

        I’m realizing typing this, that I’m okay with this. 🙂

  5. 5
    Yet Another Guy

    I guess I see things differently.  I have women I met online who I have never met in person with whom I routinely exchange text messages.  Granted, I do not text them, nor do they text me everyday, but we do keep in touch (I guess that we are in mutual sexy on standby mode 🙂 ).  I have also had women I met online who would send a crazy number of texts we scheduled a date, almost like the outcome of the date was a done deal.  I just chalked it up to women needing to feel comfortable with a man.  I guess that things are different at my age.  Most people have been married at least one time and have children, so things are lot more casual.  There are not as many dating faux pas.

    1. 5.1
      jo

      YAG, I would agree, and think that things go better that way – when people keep it casual and don’t invest or fantasize too heavily in the beginning. That frees people up to be real and relaxed, and see others more objectively. Serious relationships can still develop from casual beginnings.

    2. 5.2
      Nissa

      This makes me crazy. I just barely started online dating again, and the TEXTS!!  From men I’ve never even met in person: Good morning my lovely, have a beautiful day, hugs and kisses. Good grief!!  Not only is this outside of a relationship, but I have never even MET them – not once.

      This seems profoundly tone deaf (not you, YAG, but in general). I literally went back and modified my profile to add that I prefer meeting in person to texting. No change. Modified my profile again to say “Let’s keep texts informational at least until we meet”. No change so far.

      I found my self wondering if I could photoshop “please no texting until boyfriend status achieved” on my forehead.

      I just don’t get this. I’ve got one guy who wants to chat for 2-3+ hours on the phone, and when offered the chance to meet me in person, claimed he was unavailable over the weekend and then was “taking care of home repairs”. I’m not mad (not much, anyway) but I admit to being profoundly perplexed. I would never put that much effort into texting and calling someone that I didn’t actually want to meet.

      And I don’t really know what you mean, YAG, when you say women who acted like “the outcome of the date was a done deal”. You mean, assuming that you will like her and want to know her more? That’s …not a good thing? I had one friend who said something similar and shocked the heck out of me.  How is that any different from assuming the best until proven otherwise? Isn’t that just assuming, I’m nice and he’s nice, so we will probably get along and have a nice time while we are figuring things out?

      1. 5.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        “Modified my profile again to say “Let’s keep texts informational at least until we meet”. Um, don’t do that.

        1. Nissa

          Okay, Evan, you are right about that – it does sound negative, which is always a poor choice. I’m just tearing my hair out at having the huge disconnect on so many levels.

          Maybe what YAG is trying to say with his words of  the outcome being a “done deal” is what I’m feeling with texts of “hugs and kisses”. It feels like a push, instead of appreciation. Okay, YAG, I will take that one under advisement.

          In the meantime, I’m putting my phone in my purse for the rest of the day. Even I have limits.

      2. 5.2.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @Nissa

        And I don’t really know what you mean, YAG, when you say women who acted like “the outcome of the date was a done deal”. You mean, assuming that you will like her and want to know her more? That’s …not a good thing?

        It is a huge turnoff to me.  Even with slowing things down on the dating front significantly over the last nine months,  I am about to go over one hundred first dates in two and a half years.  Most online dates are one and done; therefore, a woman or a man should assume nothing until you meet in person because it is not real until  the two of you meet in person.  There are so many “projects” and douche bags online that a lot of women have a habit of projecting things forward when they communicate with a guy with whom they can check off boxes.  It does not matter how many boxes I check off if I am not into a woman or vice versa when we meet.   It is all wasted emotional energy.  I exchange more than text message-length messages on a site, hold a telephone conversation, and make plans to meet if the conversation goes well.  I do not want a woman to assume that it is a done deal and start texting me everyday until we meet if we have a good conversation.   I am usually priming the pipeline for my next date after we talk because it is not real until the two of you meet.

         

         

        1. Nissa

          Appreciation post 🙂

          Thanks to EMK and YAG,

          Evan, telling me that I was being negative was correct and helped me reorient. YAG, it was exceptionally helpful to hear your perspective about this, because for the first time I could feel what you were talking about. I was able to stop feeling frustrated about not getting my way, and realize that no means no for men, too. As the beloved Yoda says, Do or do not. There is no try. I realized I was trying to make something happen, instead of gracefully surrendering to the process and allowing for more possibilities than I could see. As a Buddhist would say, I got overly attached to the outcome. I am grateful for this understanding, because as soon as I realized it, I was able to snap back and redirect to myself. I got so out of whack because the process made me deeply uncomfortable and I wanted that to stop ASAP. This reminded me to nurture myself and offer myself the comfort that I was seeking externally.

          Namaste

      3. 5.2.3
        Nissa

        @YAG,

        This makes sense to me. I thought that most men felt this way, that it isn’t real until you meet. But I’m getting the opposite vibe from men that message me. The texts I’ve gotten seem like the kind you’d send a spouse.

      4. 5.2.4
        Marika

        Nissa

        Sorry, but there’s nothing you can put in your profile which will make only the ‘right’ people contact you or for them to toe the line in terms of what you want them to do.

        If a guy 20 years older than you likes your profile, he’ll likely have a crack. Same with the guy 20 years younger, shorter, less educated, less money etc etc than you would like. Someone who sends millions of texts. Or none. It’s just the way it is in the online dating world.

        You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to get people to do what you want and to go against their own impulses and ways of interacting.

        Also..it’s 2018…texting is here to stay. It’s a quick, easy way to contact someone and to say they are thinking of you. If you don’t like it, you can not respond or delay your responses. Is a friendly text really that bad?

        I’ve read many a man’s profile who says things like, ‘only people without baggage should apply’, or ‘anyone normal on here??’, or ‘first date should be somewhere we can easily get away if needed’. Those statements always come across the same way – bitter and a turnoff.

        If you do feel the need to say something, at least make it sound funny and sweet (eg hey, let’s be crazy and old skool and use that green ‘phone’ button on our phones circa 1990..I dare you..;) ).

        But you still need to understand that writing something in your profile isn’t going to change who and how people contact you. And it could deter someone really great.

        1. Yet Another Man

          @Marika

          I would love to know how to prevent women who have never been married and women who have been married more than one time from contacting me.   The former class of women are easy to identify, but identifying the latter class of women before committing to a date is a much more delicate operation.  My best dates are usually with women who have come out of long first marriages.

        2. Nissa

          Marika,

          I agree that there’s no way to get the ‘right’ people to contact us. However, it feels disrespectful to me. It’s like me saying, “Hey, I care more about getting what I want from you than about what you want”. Since I’m careful to not do that to others, it always surprises me when people do it with me. Of course, I just send a polite note saying, “You seem nice, but it’s not a match for me”.

          No, a friendly text from a friend isn’t so bad. Even one from a person I’ve met once isn’t so bad. Flirty comments from strangers isn’t so bad either (I can give it right back). It’s the context of the jump from “total stranger” to “communication I’m receiving in my bedroom.”  That only becomes greater when the words themselves contain an intimacy (kiss, hugs, my sweet) and when they continue in the absence of a response from me. That tells me that this person is not getting the hint I’m sending by not responding…which is a huge red flag.

        3. SparklingEmerald

          When ever I read “no baggage” or “no drama” in a profile, I just nexted it.  At my age, the only people with “no baggage” are people who have never been anywhere.  To me the “no baggage, no drama” people will be fair-weather partners, only willing to stick around during the fun times, and will turn tail and run the moment you hit a bad patch in life. (if you get sick, lose your job, a loved one dies, etc)

          In fact, if I read a profile full of “don’ts” instead of “do’s” would just pass.  I think it is better to state what you DO want, instead of what you DON’T want.  Better to say you want someone in good health or physcially active than to say “No fatties” or “No couch potatoes”.

           

           

        4. SparklingEmerald

          I agree that there’s no way to get the ‘right’ people to contact us.

          Tell me about it. 🙂  I had very few “check boxes” for men contacting me.  Basically, I wanted a non-smoker, within 10 years of my age, who lived within 50 miles of me.  I think that’s pretty reasonable.  I had NO height requirements, (match didn’t allow a “no preference” answer, so I picked the shortest height available for my bottom range and the tallest height available for the top range, I listed no income or education requirements.  I also listed “no preference” for hair and eye color.  (Really, who cares about that stuff ?)

          I had my account set to filter smokers, and people more than 50 miles outside of my zip code to a separate folder.  Men learned how to “beat” the system by listing checking “non-smoker”, to get past filters, then after the correspondence started, they would change their status to “I’ll tell you later” or “Trying to quit” or “Occasional”.  At first I thought I was just somehow missing these, even though smoking status was one of the first things I checked, but then I caught someone red handed.

          So despite my very few, reasonable requests, I had smokers, 20 years younger than me, writing to me from the other side of the country.  Sometimes I would send a quick reply such as “Thanks for contacting me, but I am looking for someone local” and they would write back and debate the issue.  Eventually, I stopped responding.

          I agree, that it is very selfish, to be that FAR out of what I wanted, and contact me, anyway, and then DEBATE the issue with me.  It’s one thing to write if you are one mile or one year out of the range, but c’mon, some of these guys were light years away from what I stated I wanted on my profile.

      5. 5.2.5
        Clare

        Nissa,

        I so hear you. I’ve had men I’ve never met text me “Good morning you beautiful goddess *kiss* *kiss* *kiss*” and even when they don’t get a response, after texting me the same thing two days, will still do the same thing again on the third day! I don’t want to be unkind, but does anything scream desperation quite as loudly as that?

        I have even had a man from Tinder I have never met offer to come and bring me medication and take care of me because I said I wasn’t feeling well. What the….? So I’ve never met you, but you are willing to come into my home when I am not feeling at my best, and be nursemaid? He seemed genuinely hurt when he never heard from me again.

        I am baffled by the behaviour you describe, because I’ve experienced it too. It is such a turn-off. In fact, even if a guy was gorgeous, successful, tall, fascinating, intelligent, etc. this excessive and needy texting would get him nexted by me. Common sense and even being more reserved are starting to become extremely attractive to me.

        That said, I also feel tremendous compassion because I think these people are lonely and feel very much in need of love and company, and are clueless and have no idea how their behaviour is driving quality people away. But, I feel, anyone can change their ways with enough self-awareness, and hopefully they will. I just next them and move on.

        Likewise, I’ve also had guys who wanted to text me every day and unburden themselves about the hectic day they’ve had and the triathlon they’re training for, etc. But then get vague and iffy when offered the chance to meet for a drink. I don’t have time for that either. If I’ve never met you and there is no meeting on the horizon, I don’t care about the triathlon you are training for. Next.

        Like Marika says, you can’t really stop the wrong people from contacting you or from contacting you in the wrong way. You can only filter, filter, filter.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          FWIW, Clare: I’d lighten up about the nature of men’s texts. They’re not sending dick pics. They’re flirting! You should be, too.

        2. Nissa

          @Evan,

          It’s a good point that these men are having the intention of flirting, and the fact that it is so badly received is a reflection of why so many of us prefer other mediums. As you yourself have reflected, the lack of context means intention and meaning are much harder to discern, especially when you don’t know this person.

          For myself, the biggest point is that our phones go everywhere with us. Unlike emails, which we tend to check when we are ready to deal with them or that person, texts tend to be more “in your face”. They come when you are in your PJ’s, when your makeup is off and when you are trying to finish the dishes. The medium itself seems more intrusive, more intimate.

          That’s exactly what YAG was saying about women that assume a relationship before he’s decided he’s ready. While men might decide sex is fine while he’s undecided, women might decide something similarly intimate – texts – are fine while they are undecided because it’s an intimacy they like. It’s helpful to remember that most people mean no harm when they assume you feel as they do.

          For me, the words themselves weren’t that bad, it was the fact that they were coming from someone I’d never even met. I could have much more easily taken them with a grain of salt had I already met these men in person. As YAG said, it was a case of “too much, too soon”.

        3. Clare

          Evan,

          You’re right of course. They are flirting, and it is kind of sweet in a way. My response to these texts is more just a wry smile rather than anything negative. I have certainly never berated a man for sending them.

          It’s good, attentive behaviour of course. The kind you’d want to encourage in a boyfriend, and the kind you’d definitely like in a husband. But I’m an introvert, and this kind of texting intimacy feels weird from a stranger.

          I just move a hell of a lot slower. I understand that that’s just me, and I don’t hold it against other people who are different. I just know my own levels of emotional availability, and I’ve been in relationships with guys who wanted more from me than I was able to give. A more reserved type of guy is a better fit for me. My ability to send and receive lots and lots of hearts and kissy faces over text (especially from someone I’ve never met) is pretty low.

          But to be clear, I don’t hold it against such guys. I think their sweetness and enthusiasm is very nice and will be a great fit for another girl.

        4. Emily, the original

          Clare,

           They are flirting, and it is kind of sweet in a way. 

          I have found that 95 percent of flirting means absolutely nothing, so I always take it with a grain of salt. Sometimes men will flirt with you mercilessly (in person, in text) and then do nothing more.

        5. sylvana

          Clare, Evan,

          I don’t know. I think I’d rather have the dick pics than some of those messages Clare mentioned haha. The first, while nice, were borderline creepy. Even in person, us women can often meet some guys who come across as nice, but give off a very creepy vibe, no matter how sorry or bad we feel for them, because – as Clare mentioned – they truly just want to be loved.

          They might just be really bad at flirting, but once again, the creepy feeling remains.

          And the latter were just time-wasters, trying to use her for emotional support, ego boost, sympathy, whatever. I agree she shouldn’t waste her time with them, since they obviously have no interest in actually meeting.

          Clare didn’t really mention any cases of “normal” flirting texts.

           

        6. Clare

          Emily,

          “I have found that 95 percent of flirting means absolutely nothing, so I always take it with a grain of salt.”

          I put flirting in the same category as joking and teasing, and I take it about as seriously. It’s fun, and it raises a few smiles and a warm fuzzy feeling, but it doesn’t really mean anything.

          This kind of segues into my original points about the OP’s letter… the fact that this guy was sending lovey texts from overseas is nice, but it does not equal plans, or a real-live relationship (which I do value very highly).

        7. Emily, the original

          Clare,

          I put flirting in the same category as joking and teasing, and I take it about as seriously. It’s fun, and it raises a few smiles and a warm fuzzy feeling, but it doesn’t really mean anything.

          Yes, there are people who will do or say anything to get that ding in their drawers! I had one guy shower me with compliments, say all kinds of sexual things, lean all over me, even ask me to do something … and then not follow through. It was a hard lesson to learn. It seems like every time you learn a life lesson, it’s painful. Why can’t “learning” be fun?

  6. 6
    jo

    This sounds like a situation in which we don’t know enough of the story to judge. We don’t know what the content of those calls and texts were while she & her man were apart for 2 months, or even what their 1 month together was like. One of two possibilities: the man’s communications were just friendly, and she read too much into them. Or the man’s communications would have reasonably led her to believe he was her boyfriend.

    So I don’t think we have enough info to judge whether he’s a narcissist or perfectly normal and appropriate. What seems clear, though, is that she needs to back off and adjust her expectations, since she shouldn’t try to change his behavior at this point. It seems that she expected too much, which is driving her disappointment and her letter to Evan.

  7. 7
    Marika

    Yet Another Man

    But that’s the point…you can’t control who contacts you. From what I’ve heard on this blog, women initiating contact is the holy grail for men (who often say they don’t get women contacting them, and many struggle to even get responses to their contacts), so it actually sounds like you have a ‘quality problem’.

    It’s funny, there was a guy I liked in a group of friends and I managed to catch up with him individually. When I had a chance to learn more about him, I was put off by the fact that he’d been married twice (he also spoke very badly of his exes and made it clear he was in no rush to marry ever again). Now he’s met someone and has moved in with her and is very committed and lovey. So that was my bad. I think you have to judge people on their individual merits, not on their baggage or some arbitrary metric. (I also know another man through a charity thing who also had been married twice and is now a wonderful partner to a mutual friend – his bad experiences were a useful learning opportunity).

    1. 7.1
      Emily, the original

      Marika,

      Who would you prevent from contacting you online if you could? No himbos (male bimbos)!  🙂

      1. 7.1.1
        Marika

        Haha, Emily. I’m cool with a himbo! Bring on the sexy himbos!!

        Hmm, in the not too distant future I’ll probably wish more people were contacting me, so I’m just going to enjoy the messages from 20 somethings and 50 somethings and everyone in between for now. And all the texts (which I never much minded anyway). I don’t even mind a dick pic in the mix! 😁

        I could do without the people who turn abusive when you’re not interested, but I’ve learned it’s best just to block them.

        How ’bout you? Who’s on your ‘do not contact’ list?

        Ummm..and where’s Malika to tell us how it’s going with her beau? And Clare, dish!! Stacy, how’s the wedding plans? Mama’s getting clucky/antsy!

        1. Emily, the original

          Marika,

          Haha, Emily. I’m cool with a himbo! Bring on the sexy himbos!!

          I want someone with some mileage on him. 🙂 Not someone who’s test driven every car on the lot. If he’ll sleep with anybody, what does that say about you (the collective you)? (Although I think its completely fair to have a few you don’t count.  🙂  )
          How ’bout you? Who’s on your ‘do not contact’ list?
          No one  who’s never spent any time alone, who goes from person to person, maybe even having people overlap. There should be at least some time to mourn and for self-reflection after a relationship ends.

          And no one who thinks things through (overly intellectual) and then allows himself to feel them in his gut … and his groin. It should start in the groin and move up … (I half-kid.)  🙂

        2. Clare

          Marika,

          Clare, dish!!”

          Haha, I’m assuming about the new guy? 🙂 He’s a 7 years younger than me, but honestly, truly, I get along better with younger men. I’m very much open to guys my own age and older, but it just always seems to pan out that I date a man my own age or younger. (I’m 35)

          He’s very cute, although not my usual type… I’m into tall, brown hair, brown eyes with a little bit of stubble. This guy is blonde, blue eyes and fair, 5’9″.

          It’s far more his mind and his personality which I’m drawn to though. We talked the other night till 2 am, and didn’t remotely run out of things to say. There was an infectious enthusiasm to it. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been able to talk to a guy like that, if ever. He’s extremely bright and passionate about a lot of things.

          Best of all, though, he’s introverted and very self-contained and reserved. Extremely calm. This suits me very well, as the one feeling I want to feel in a relationship is calm. I’m not so big on the gushy stuff, I just want a guy who is relaxed and even-tempered. We’ve agreed we like each other and want to take it slow. Neither of us are in any rush. This is music to my ears because the beginning stages of a relationship usually move too fast for me and make me feel anxious. Wish me luck 🙂

           

  8. 8
    Yet Another Guy

    @Marika

    From what I’ve heard on this blog, women initiating contact is the holy grail for men (who often say they don’t get women contacting them, and many struggle to even get responses to their contacts), so it actually sounds like you have a ‘quality problem’.

    I am convinced that guys who complain about not being able to get dates on dating sites could use help writing their profiles and selecting photos.  Most guys have horrible profiles that scream “low effort.”

    With that said, I am beginning to believe that I have a too selective problem.  I have noticed that I have become more selective during my time on the dating sites.  That is in part due to the amount of fibbing that occurs in profiles (age, old photos, marital status, …).     You would be surprised to discover how many women in their fifties have been married two or more times and have children by more than one man.  It is quite shocking.  If I was divorced two or more times, I would give up dating.  I wrote about the fifty-year-old HB8 woman who contacted me out of the blue who has been divorced four times and had an additional child out of wedlock between husbands.  What man in his right mind would get involved with that woman for anything other than sex?  Sure, she is attractive and smart, but she is a train wreck when it comes to selecting men and/or relationships.  On average, I find that the women who are out long first marriages are easier to get along with and far less jaded than their multi-marriage counterparts and far less self-focused than their never married counterparts.

    1. 8.1
      Gab

      @YAG

      I think you are being too judgmental. After a divorce most people will date again. Some will be so jaded that they will never agree to marry again, though they might engage in LTR. Others will say yes to marriage, and like their non-marrying counterparts, the relationship might not last.

      I think the reason you prefer one-time divorcees of a long marriage is because they are often so deprived of love and attention you don’t have to do much. That was me 2 years ago. I was ripe for the picking… romantic, generous, receptive, excited, and with 15 years of pent up sexual frustration. I picked two guys (3 months  18 months) who had lots of great qualities except the ability or desire to want to remarry. I know when I try dating again I will be a lot more ruthless in culling men who don’t fit my longer term desires. This will be easier to do now that I’ve had some of the needs I’d suppressed in my marriage fulfilled, which will make it harder for men who will be expected to give more than a bit of affection and validation.

      1. 8.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Gab

        I think the reason you prefer one-time divorcees of a long marriage is because they are often so deprived of love and attention you don’t have to do much.

        It is more than that, Gab.  Remember, I am a one-time divorcee who came out of a relatively long loveless/sexless marriage as well.  After they come out the malaise of divorce, most one-time divorcees tend to want a man in their life.  Yes, they are appreciative of a man who treats the well.  Believe it or not, I am appreciative of a woman who treats me well.  On the other hand, women who have divorced more than one time are often so disillusioned and jaded that all they want is what I refer to as a “boyfriend in a box” (BIAB).   I believe that Olongapo <sp?> referred to this type of situation as being an accessory to a woman’s life.  No man wants to come last to a woman’s children, extended family, girlfriends, and pets.  However, that is actually what a BIAB can expect.  A BIAB is basically companionship and sex on demand with no hope of ever achieving more than BIAB status.  In return for being companionship and sex on demand, a BIAB can expect to be required to be monagamous with a woman who places him behind every other thing in her life.  I am sorry, but that dog does not hunt.  No man who is not desperate for feminine company is going to sign up for that deal.  If woman wants to place her man behind everything else in her life, she cannot expect me or any other man to be monogamous to her.  In fact, she does so at her own risk.

        1. sylvana

          YAG,

          I think you truly might have gotten too picky. Not because I don’t understand your point, since I can actually see where you’re coming from. But rather because of what you’re offering in return.

          You have made it perfectly clear that you either want an open relationship, or short-term relationships, since you so easily get bored with your sex partners. Once again, I can relate.

          That being said though, what do you expect a woman to do? Put you and your sexual needs first until you get bored, then move on and put the next man first until he gets bored, then the next, then the next?

          Since open or short-term is all you want, you can’t really expect a woman to prioritize you over family, friends, or other things who/that are pretty much permanent in her life. You will, basically, end up as nothing but a fun distraction for whenever the mood strikes or she has time.

          If you were looking for long-term monogamous, I can agree with you. But, at best, you’re looking for short-term monogamous. A woman would be straight up stupid to prioritize a short-term man.

          Personally, I kind of like the idea of a BIAB. Companionship and sex on demand…count me in haha. But I agree with you again that I wouldn’t expect a person like that to be monogamous. And I wouldn’t be monogamous either.

        2. Emily, the original

          Sylvana,

          Since open or short-term is all you want, you can’t really expect a woman to prioritize you over family, friends, or other things who/that are pretty much permanent in her life. You will, basically, end up as nothing but a fun distraction for whenever the mood strikes or she has time.

          Exactly. Nothing wrong with casual, but casual is casual — seeing each other once a week, maybe, for a couple of hours, and NSA, we’ll see if we want to get together again. It isn’t lots of communication, seeing each other several times a week, emotional support and sex but no commitment. That’s not casual.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @sylvana

          If you were looking for long-term monogamous, I can agree with you. But, at best, you’re looking for short-term monogamous. A woman would be straight up stupid to prioritize a short-term man.

          It is the accessory status coupled with the requirement to be monogamous part to which I object.  I am talking about not being able to see anyone but her, but everything is on her terms.  Even a man with the most modest of options is not going to sign up for that deal.  No woman is that good in bed.

          Sadly, monogamy with both people testing is the only way to go today for anyone who is STD negative.  A condom only offers partial protection against HPV and HSV transmission.  Plus, I cannot climax while wearing a condom, no matter how thin. I would rather take care of the problem myself.  I am vasectomy safe, so pregnancy is not an issue even for women who are still fertile.

          By the way, I am not completely against a long-term relationship.  However, that is going to take the stars aligning for me.

        4. Gab

          @YAG

          It would indeed be unfortunate to end up in a relationship where you are not a priority. I feel the same as you in expecting to come first. I don’t think having children means this can’t happen for me. Their father and I have a very good relationship and we have a 50/50 arrangement. In theory this means I could spend 3 to 4 days with a beau. I just hope that I can meet a man with a similar arrangement. I don’t think I’d be keen to spend all my child-free days with his kids, though some overlap is ok. In my last relationship I noticed that my BF had to cancel a few times because his ex decided she needed to swap child weekends. Appears when you get involved with a parent you’d better hope their ex doesn’t encroach on your plans. Stars need to align!

    2. 8.2
      Marika

      I always say you could take a man who has everything I want ‘on paper’ and I could hate him. Then the opposite guy could sweep me off my feet. My happiest relationship friends are with guys I would never in a million years picked for them.

      YAG, you have a lot to offer. But like all of us, you have stuff people need to put up with. Baggage, attitude etc..You’re going to have to put up with stuff too! It is conceivable that you could marry again and that woman might cheat, or turn cold in the bedroom or etc etc..and you could end up twice divorced. Would that make you a less nice/interesting/intelligent date?

      Like I said, I’ve judged the twice divorced..but now having been divorced and having the same issues in dating I experienced in my marriage, I can see how these things can happen. And I’m active on a dating blog! Most people aren’t.

      I’m trying so hard to implement Evan’s advice of prioritizing how the person treats me, their reliability, fun, comfort, showing up etc, over things like their past or credentials. It’s really, really hard. But I think it’s the only way to go. Particularly if we don’t want to end up in the ‘undesirable’ category we’re judging 😁

      Don’t you find the people out of long marriages have their own drawbacks? Bad at flirting, don’t get the timing of dating, can want a ‘husband replacement’ and not know how to cope on their own (not everyone, but these would be the typical drawbacks of this group).

      1. 8.2.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Marika

        The difference between you and I is that I do not need someone who is good at flirting. What I have found is that women who are good at flirting tend to extend that behavior to men other than their mate. Nothing pisses me off more than the woman I am dating flirting with other men. There is no such thing as harmless flirting when dealing with men because men are opportunists. A woman can be fun without being a flirt. I find women who have been married and raised children to be very good at coping on their own. In many cases, they ran the ship without any help and are grateful to have a man who is willing to do things like play sous chef when cooking and cleaning up after dinner without being asked. First-time divorces who were married for long enough to raise a family are delightful in this area compared to retreads (a.k.a. women who have been married and divorced more than one time). While some women are just unlucky, there is usually a reason why a woman has been married and divorced more than once, usually because they make bad choices. Most have had more than one marriage that did not last more than a decade. Who wants to get involved with that kind of hot sweaty mess? Exes who share parenthood with a woman are for life.

        1. Marika

          YAG

          For some of us, the challenge is figuring out what is best for us and accepting nothing less. You aren’t in that category. For others, well the challenge involves looking at ourselves and what we expect vs what we give and how realistic we are in our expectations. And what we may need to work on personally.

          I was in a long relationship that lead to marriage formed in my 20s, very commitment oriented and with no clue how to flirt. Dating a guy like you after my marriage would have been like a lamb to the slaughter! 😁

          I’m honestly not being cruel…I just think that maybe it’s good to try to see things from the other side.

        2. ScottH

          Retreads?  That’s hilarious!  I never heard that one but I’ll be sure to use it.

          How about run-flats?  All seasons?  Hi performance?  Mud and snow?  compact spares?  Spinners

        3. sylvana

          YAG,

          hang on, I’m confused. Aren’t you forever saying you want an OPEN relationship? So she can’t flirt with other men, but she can have sex with them? Or does the open part of the relationship only apply to you while she stays absolutely monogamous, not even being allowed to flirt?

          Or are you just looking for a short-term monogamous partner who puts you first, doesn’t flirt with other men, but it perfectly all right with it all ending whenever you get bored?

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          Your ability to misinterpret and caricature other people’s personalities from these blog comments appears unparalleled, Sylvana.

        5. Yet Another Guy

          @sylvana

          While most of my relationships are short-term, I am not looking for an open relationship.  I go through periods of first dates without no second date followed by short monogamous relationships.  I no longer have sex outside of monogamy because it is not safe from a health point of view, and even then it is not sure thing unless both people get STD tested including HSV-1 and HSV-2, which are usually not included in a standard STD panel.   Plus, it takes a while to work out the kinks with a new sex partner.   I am not completely against a long-term relationship if I meet the right woman.  I am not a monster.

        6. Evan Marc Katz

          I was the exact same way until I got married, 10 years ago.

        7. Tron Swanson

          I *am* completely against the idea of a long-term relationship…but I don’t think I’m a monster…

        8. Katie

          “Plus, it takes a while to work out the kinks with a new sex partner.”

          That’s the fun part 🙂

      2. 8.2.2
        SparklingEmerald

        YAG – After reading through this string, and going my memory from previous posts, you are looking for  short term monogamous relationships (a string of flings) with  women who have:

        1.  Been married and raised children (you don’t want a never married)

        2.  Only divorced ONCE.

        3.  Has children but NO grandchildren.

        4.  Does not flirt

        5.  Is good in bed (she needs to pass a sexual audition before you will agree to be exclusive, otherwise your “man card” will be taken away)

        6.  Is athletic

        7.  Will make YOU their number 1 priority until you get bored with them sexually (or during the sexual audition period while you are assessing their worthiness for a short term fling)

        Hmmm, ok, and I thought ONLY women had “check-lists”.

         

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @SE

          Lol!   You are right.  🙂

          By the way, there is a difference between athletic and fit.  A woman who exercises several times a week is usually fit, but not always athletic.  An athletic woman plays sports, skis, snowboards, …  It is not a matter of semantics.  I am looking for a woman who is fit or trying to be fit.

        2. Clare

          * Claps *

          And here, Sparkling Emerald, you have stumbled upon the reasons why I absolutely cannot take YAG seriously.

        3. jo

          YAG, I think you missed the underlying point of Sparkling Emerald’s comment.

          SE: I totally got what you were trying to say. But we don’t need to bother ourselves too much with one person in the world, how many implausible and potentially conflicting things are on his checklist. Either he’ll find someone who meets all these criteria (p<0.001) or… not.

        4. SparklingEmerald

          By the way, there is a difference between athletic and fit.

          Yes, you are right about that.  Match.com had “athletic and toned” as a category. They also had “average” as a category, which has very ambiguous meaning.  Does that mean neither skinny nor fat ?  Or does that mean a typical build compared to the general population ?  Or what ?  I would describe myself as “medium build” but they didn’t have that as a category, so I just left it blank, and let the pics tell the story.  I really think I was on the cusp of “medium build” or “a few extra pounds,” depending on individual tastes.  Funny thing is, I am more fit now than I’ve ever been in my life.  I go to group exercise classes 5-9 hours a week,  run my close by errands by walking rather than driving, and take at least one walk, sometimes two walks daily.  Drink green smoothies once to twice a day, and generally eat healthy.  But I weigh quite a bit more than I did in my early 20’s, when I ate mostly tons of junk food, and did not belong to a gym.  I remember the first time I thought I was “fat” was several  months after I had my son.  Now, that “fat” weight is my goal weight, and I’m struggling to get back to that.  Yes, I really wish I was as thin as I was the first time I thought I was fat.  I am quite sure that I am more “fit” now than I was in my 20’s, when I ate whatever and whenever I wanted, and my only “exercise” was walking.  But my weight is no indication of my much healthier lifestyle now.

        5. Yet Another Guy

          @jo

          Either he’ll find someone who meets all these criteria (p<0.001) or… not.

          You do know that most women have lists that result in even smaller numbers than 0.001.  Evan posted a ridiculously small number that he compiled from working with clients.  Let’s say that it had a lot more zeros after the decimal point.  Women have two requirements that pare the size of a dating pool down faster than anything SE listed; namely height and educational attainment level (women who are less than Ph.D.s rarely date down in educational attainment level in the U.S., and even then, a guy has to have at least a master’s degree).  Add income and subjective factors like attractiveness (women find 80% of the male population to be unattractive) to that list, and the percentage of men who meet just those four attributes becomes very small very quickly, much smaller than the number you quoted.   Guys will date women with much less education, and I have yet to meet a guy who has the ridiculous height requirements for women that the average woman has for men.  I have read at least 10,000 profiles on dating sites.  On the sites that allow a woman to specify a height preference, at least 80% of the women have a minimum male height of 5’10”, regardless of their own height.   A male height of 5’10” is an inch taller than the average American man and the 65th percentile for male height in the United States.  A good percentage of that 80% has 5’11”, 6’0″, 6’1″, or even 6’2″ as their minimum height. If we want to talk about limiting factors, male height is a huge one.

  9. 9
    Marika

    So you use the clueless superficiality of women you scorn to justify your own? Is that the adult equivalent of ‘I know you are but what am I’… ?

    1. 9.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Marika

      If that post was directed at me, no, I am not trying to justify my own list.  It is just that a woman telling me that 0.001% of the population meets my requirements is a bit hilarious.  The average woman has a list that dwarfs my list, and that is before shit testing and character assessment starts.  I have also admitted that I become incredibly selective.  However, I do not see anything on my list as being unreasonable, limiting, yes, unreasonable, no.  I do not recall writing that I demand to be a woman’s number one priority, but I may be wrong.  Most parents put their children first, often, even adult children who have their own children.

      1. 9.1.1
        N

        YAG—

        Women have their own list. True that. My girlfriend (early 40s) who recently became single asked me to set him up with single male friends in the city where I live (she’s from LA). I asked what is she looking for in s man. Within seconds she replied- tall, skinny, rich 🙂

        A short list that made me shake my head and chuckle.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @N

          Within seconds she replied- tall, skinny, rich

          I have discovered that tall is relative.  To me, tall is 6’2″+; however, a lot of women consider me to be tall at 5’11.5″ when measured in bare feet.  I do not consider myself to be tall, just taller than average.  I do not notice the difference between a guy my height and a guy who is 6’0″.  I do notice a difference when a guy is 6’2″ or taller.  That is like me standing next to an average height (5’9″) guy.  There is a noticeable difference in size.

        2. N

          Correction:

          * set her up

          * in a man

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