Yeah, I Take It Back. This Is NOT What It’s Supposed To Be Like.

I am typing really hard. Just so you know. 

The university where I’m trying to get a job is in the middle of a kind of public relations clusterfuck right now. (I had censored that word a little, but then I remembered we all know I swear in this blog. Much more than I do out loud in actual life. See? You get extras!) I’m not in PR at the moment, but I do have some level of knowledge about it, so the woman who would be my immediate supervisor called me at 10:00 last night looking for some free advice.

It’s possible I didn’t really let her ask me the question she wanted to ask because we just sort of got into the conversation, but suffice it to say we talked for 30 minutes about how to staunch the bleeding. And I don’t love giving free advice (apart from “hire me”), but if it’s going to help nudge them in the correct direction vis-a-vis my employment, I’ll throw them a bone. She had told me, without prodding, that she was sorry the process was taking so long, that everyone really liked me and wanted me on the team, but that they weren’t sure which position to slot me in. Not a great sign, since if it’s not the one for which I interviewed, it would be the one below that… $2,500 below that, and a rather significant $2,500, at that. And if you’re calling me to help save your ass from the mess you’re currently in, then maybe you should hire me for something indicative of the fact that you need me to save your ass. 

I had talked with her on the phone on my way home from work. Pulling into my parking spot at 11pm, I had not yet heard from Rick. The night before, I had heard from him rather late, but the exchange had been fine. I was still pissed, though, about being blown off on Friday. But, since I had an update on the employment situation, and only because of that update, I decided to reach out. 

“Just finished a 30 minute conversation with Joanne. She called asking for help with this fiasco. Apparently I’m a consultant now.”

His response was…

…wait for it…

“Congrats! Tell me about it tomorrow. I’m out of it right now. :-)”

Are you freaking KIDDING me. Period. Not question mark.

By “out of it,” do you mean “high?” Or “drunk beyond conversational ability?” Because, um, the possibility of my getting hired at this university is kind of a major point of interest between us, and you’ve been lobbying for it for weeks, and just yesterday you asked if I had heard from Joanne. And now you want to tell me you’re too “out of it” to move your fingers around on a keyboard?

If I hadn’t laughed out loud at his douchenuggetry I would have been furious. I might still be. I reserve that right. And I will, in fact, NOT be telling him about it today. Because I will not be speaking to him today. Not really sure when I’ll resume that, actually.

So, let’s review:

First six weeks of dating: everything is great. Everything is so different from my previous experiences that I think I might have found a truly good guy now. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

Seventh week: slight intensification followed by perfectly acceptable conversation about taking things slowly. We are in complete agreement.

Eighth week: Still pretty decent, but definitely less great. One plan to see each other cancelled.

Ninth week: Haven’t seen him in three weeks. Substantially less great vibe. Actually verging on sucky. One possibly attempted blow-off that I thwarted because it didn’t even make sense, followed 24 hours later by an actual blow-off. Four days later,a huge blow-off. 

You know what? I think we’re done here.

So here, dear readers, is where you come in. I’d like to ask for your opinion on how I handle this. I’d love to set up one of those poll thingies, but I don’t know how and I don’t feel like figuring it out right now. Instead, I’ll give you numbers by the options I’d like you to choose from, and you can just comment with the number of your choice. Plus, of course, anything else you might like to say. Mmkay?

  1. Ignore him. Don’t answer any communiques from here forward. 
  2. Option 1 with the caveat that he can be answered if he realizes on his own that he owes me a huge apology and actually provides it. 
  3. Call him tonight and suggest that we end this attempt at dating, since it seems he is not truly interested at this point.
  4. Call him tonight and tell him off. Who cares if we might wind up working together? Who cares that we have to be at a governor’s award luncheon together in three weeks? He made his bed.
  5. Set fire to his car. Leave a note: “Tell me about this tomorrow. I’m out of it right now.”

Aaand… GO!


29 thoughts on “Yeah, I Take It Back. This Is NOT What It’s Supposed To Be Like.

  1. My vote is #2 with a very icy response from you. Don’t give him the satisfaction (if he even realizes what an ass he’s being) of contacting him just yet. Act as if you are way to busy to be troubled with his nonsense. If he doesn’t call in a few days, then I would drop him like a bad habit. It’s not fair to you to be waiting and hoping when he’s not giving you the time of day. No matter how much it hurts (and I know it does), don’t let him know that. I think in your mind you’ve already decided you deserve better. If this is how he’s going to treat you in the ‘honeymoon’ phase of the relationship, what’s it going to be like a year or two in? It’s his loss and I’d make sure he knew that when you decide to speak to him. I would eventually tell him how immature he has been…. whether it’s in a week, two or a month. If he wants to be treated like an adult, he needs to have the balls to be an adult and speak his feelings, not just blow you off.

    • this reminds me of a pin I’ve seen on Pinterest…. If it’s important to you, you’ll find time. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse. I know we are busy, some more than others. But he can’t be that busy.

  2. None of the above. Personally I would just play it cool. I don’t think he’s over his last relationship yet. He may be really confused/terrified about feelings he has for you. He may even feel some guilt. It’s too soon. Which, if you think about it rationally, is true. In some ways he said that when he said he’d like to take it slow. I’d give him space. I wouldn’t call him. I wouldn’t pressure him to get together. I wouldn’t even suggest getting together. I wouldn’t allow myself to get angry. I wouldn’t act angry when he does call. I wouldn’t act angry if and when you do see him. Give him a chance. If you don’t do that, I’m afraid you’ll back him into a corner and he’ll shut you out. He’ll call it off and it will stay off. It’s not easy to do. I know that. I have been in this very position. I speak from experience when I tell you, you can easily screw this up. You got off to a good start. It seemed like there were genuine feelings and interest on both sides. So it is worth investing the time. It will most likely take him longer than you’d like it to take. But if the outcome is the outcome you want, it will have been worth the wait. And if it’s not, well pressuring him or stomping off and giving him the cold shoulder wouldn’t have helped the cause. Sermon over. Best of luck with it.

  3. In my fantasy world I’d go with #4 — but in the real world I’d go with #2. While I don’t think he’s over his last relationship yet, I still see him as a douche for the way he’s treating THIS relationship and you. At the very least he needs to figure out himself that he’s not ready for ANY relationship, even if its slow. You should not have to tell him that, and you should not have to be treated with such disregard OR have to tell him THAT! It was a nice try, on his part, to have that grown up conversation not to long ago about taking it slow — but it falls quite flat with his follow up, and looks a little lame in hindsight. Good luck though. (And let me take this opportunity to say, while I don’t comment often, I’m still reading your writing faithfully :))

  4. I’m with fransiweinstein on this one! (Who ever thought that would be a sentence I typed? Sounds like a great title for a novel, doesn’t it?)

    Seriously. Sounds to me like he’s putting the brakes on, in keeping with your “let’s take it slow” talk. It’s one thing to say you’ll take it slow, it’s another to do it without modifying behavior. Sounds like he’s trying to force some slowness by being less available. It’s one way to achieve the mutually agreed upon goal. Try to go with the flow and don’t worry that his feelings have changed about you.

  5. Option 3. End it. Life is too short, and better to be single than not going somewhere you want to be, especially after having given it a fair shot. Good luck on this and the gig.

  6. Option 2, or some variance thereof. You don’t have to declare that you’re going to ignore him; that’s too deliberate. But don’t invest any more time or emotion in the relationship until/unless he instigates. And that means don’t wait around, either.

    I hope this works out the way you want/need it to, and I’m sorry for your pain.

  7. I have to agree with fransiweinstein. He is not over his previous relationship and probably very confused at his feelings for you. I’ve Always found that given time things have a way of working themselves out.

  8. Yes, I agree with a lot of what the others are saying as well. A variation of #2.

    I wouldn’t be calling him…give him some room on the outside chance his commitment-phobic self is suddenly running scared that this could be leading into something.

    BUT if he reaches out to you, hear him out. I wouldn’t let him get by with treating you badly though. The dismissive, apathetic attitude needs to stop right now. You deserve better.

    So this leaves you in the position of
    1. If you don’t hear from him, just move on.
    2. If you hear from him he needs to sound like he is TRULY into you and interested in this working.
    3. If you hear from him and he sounds less than enthused or uses words like “out of it”…be firm and tell him he needs to move along. You aren’t looking for an immediate commitment but you are looking for someone that wants to spend time with you. Buh-buy, buddy.

  9. My thoughts lean sort of towards #2. Just let him be for a while. Let him reach out to you. You get to be the one who responds cooly. And at that point, ask him what is going on. Remember how you said you’re done with guessing what other people are thinking? It’s time to talk honestly about how you are feeling and how he is feeling – if he opens the door again. That’s not to say the ball is in his court. That’s saying that it’s okay to open up and see if there are other balls to play with. That suddenly turned into a horrible analogy, but I hope you see what I mean.

  10. Very hard to advise from a distance – I guess you really know your own mind even though you look for guidance – just wish you the best of luck – you will make the right decision –

  11. Number 2.

    If you haven’t seen him in 3 weeks now, don’t put much more effort into it- UNLESS there’s a huge reason/excuse by the offending party (in the hospital, a parent died, *I* died) and then still take it all with a grain of salt.

    I know I haven’t commented or kept up with your blog in the past year (!), but it seems like there’s a lot of change happening in your life. Maybe it’s time to focus on you right now? (I’m doing it…)

  12. I’d go with #2. But I really like Franzi Weinstein’s comment. And DON’T expect him to apologize. Guys HATE to say they’re sorry, and girls say it all the time. It makes everybody crazy. Treat him like a friend and colleague. He may be worrying that he’s promoted you too much at his place of employment and it might not be comfortable if you do get the job – whether the two of you are still on or not. Stand up tall. Say once an hour – either to yourself or out loud, “I’m terrific.” The guys who did the yo-yo thing with me always came back when I ignored them. But I ultimately realized they weren’t worth the grief, anyway.
    It all depends on what you want. Do you want to get married and have kids? Find some nice – maybe not very exciting – guy, and appreciate him for what he’s worth. Do you want to stay single(“Single Cell”)? If so, don’t try to establish an exclusive relationship. Flirt, date around, enjoy yourself, don’t take anything too seriously.
    And get over thinking there’s anything “it’s supposed to be like.” It’s not “like” anything. It just is what it is.

  13. Hmmm. 2a with a touch of 3: Respond matter of factly as if you assume the dating thing is over (which you should probably do anyway until he shows some sort of intention). Leave the ball in his court. Perhaps contract someone to do 4 anonymously (joking). I have to say, your woman commenters are pretty tough on guys. I actually got a frowny face from Elyse because I said there were some very good frogs which I though was pretty funny. And true. Good guys do apologize but sometimes it takes time for us to figure out we need to. It’s very possible he thinks that “go slow” justifies his neglect. Perhaps the next time he texts disinterestedly, you could text back, “Is this what you mean by going slow? Just wondering.”

      • Interesting. For a long time, when I’ve needed to have a difficult conversation with someone, I’ve decided what I have to say, then asked God to provide an opportunity. It’s not passive-aggressive if you are willing to have the conversation that follows … it’s just raising the subject at hand.

  14. I say don’t call, and take your time replying if he reaches out. You’re allowed to be pissed for now. It does seem that something has shifted and that what each of you is after isn’t quite the same anymore. In some way, you have to let him know that if y’all are going to be dating, it’s not okay to blow you off. And if he’s going to blow you off, then you’re not dating. But you may want to cool off before you have that conversation.

  15. Okay, I hope all y’all get to see this sort of universal reply! What I failed to make clear previously is that I never reach out to him. Part of what ensured for me that he really was interested was that he always initiated conversations and dates. So for me, there is no behavior change at all if I choose option 2 or a variation thereof… and so far, that’s what I’ve been doing. He has reached out each day so far, always to ask me if I’ve heard anything from the university. The other day I deliberately told him that I know I’m not going to hear their decision until at least the week after next – Joanne told me as much. I told him that to see if he continues to reach out. Funnily enough, he still asked me each day if I’ve heard. I take that to mean he’s trying to maintain contact in some minimal way so I know he’s still interested (since I’ve told him I appreciate hearing from him because it lets me know he’s still interested)… but he is so caught up in his own head right now that he’s forgotten how to talk to me about anything else.

    I have completely pulled back on anything he could infer as “pushing,” even if it’s not the intention. That also means I’ve pulled back on flirting. But so has he. I think the state capital, where he’s spending so much time right now for work, is his planet Krypton, given its associations to his romantic recent past. On top of which there’s this ugly PR disaster with the university and some recent family health news that is weighing on him. Plus The Ex is having surgery next month. And he’s looking for a new place to live (!!!). It’s a lot on him right now, and I’ve always understood that, so as Fransi suggests, yes, it is too soon, and I know that. I hoped I could be a slow burner of something positive and uplifting for him in light of that.

    The debate for me becomes one of knowing when I’m being insulted and when it’s just a matter of slightly ham-handed self-preservation on his part. I am loathe to allow another man to “mistreat” me without my standing up for myself. But I’ve known Rick for two years and I know him to be a good guy. So for now… status quo. I don’t reach out. I respond if he does. I don’t push. He still tells me he’s busy – even on weekends – probably as a preemptive dodge.

    Can’t wait for the awards luncheon where I get to be super-uncomfortable sitting between him and my mother who insisted on coming.

  16. #1 accomplishes all of the above- you’re done- no need to further invest anything into it. Period. If at some point years down the road he realizess he didn’t respond to you- let him contact you and then decide if you want to “formally” end it. He was probably on a date……………..

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