What Happened to The Suitor?

6 11 2011

I don’t know if anyone has been wondering what happened to Man #22, The Suitor, or not, but I will fill you in on the latest and then ask you to weigh in on my perceptions of how things transpired after our first date.

When we last left The Suitor, he gave me a kiss goodnight and wanted me to text him when I arrived safely at home.

I did.

While on our date, I had told him that I was just getting back out there and not really looking for anything serious, and he had agreed that this was where he was currently at in his dating adventures as well. I had also warned him that I am terrible at texting. I try to warn everyone that I’m really not into texting. I would rather get to know someone face-to-face.

I have also had all of this cancer stuff going on, so I’ve been a little pre-occupied, to say the least.

Anyway, in the days that followed the date, The Suitor found random reasons to text me. Nothing specific, just random things like, “[did I] like chocolate covered macadamias.” I DO happen to like chocolate covered macadamia nuts, but the question was still kind of random. I took it as a sign that he was thinking of me, participated in brief texting volleys, and didn’t let it annoy me.

Not too much anyway.

Then one morning I was jarred awake by an incoming text message just before 6 a.m..

WHAT

THE

FUCK?

Are you fucking kidding me???

Who does that? Why would someone think that after one date they know me well enough to text me at 6 o’clock in the f^&%ing morning?

I ran the scenario past one of my colleagues and he told me it was my fault for having my phone on at 6 a.m.. What he doesn’t seem to understand, however, is I have teenage sons. I have to leave my phone on, because I never know when I might receive a call from emergency personnel or law enforcement. (Not that this happens on a regular basis, mind you, but you never know.)

Now, I don’t know about you. Maybe I’m old school, but I grew up in an age when you didn’t call someone before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m. at night. Generally, I still try to stick to these rules.

Am I wrong in thinking that The Suitor’s 6 a.m. text seems sort of disrespectful? Ok, so it’s not a midnight booty call/text, but it seems similar.  Also, considering my recent experience with the Italian Sausage only wanting to text about stroking his c%&* during early morning messages, I was afraid I was in for the same scenario with The Suitor.

Anyway, this time, I let him know I was annoyed. He apologized. Apparently, he was in Chicago on business and had forgotten about a little thing we call time zones. I accepted his apology, but, to be quite honest, I had a hard time getting past it. I don’t like being disrespected or taken for granted. I also don’t like it when guys play dumb. If you’re going to play dumb, I’m going to assume that you ARE dumb. And, as I’ve stated before, I like my men with intelligence.

Whew! I feel like I’m ranting. It feels good to get this off my chest.

Anyway, some other random texting volleys followed, and then there was a long pause where he must have realized that he was the only person initiating the text messages. The ironic thing is that I would have gladly accepted another invitation for a date had he thought to pick up the phone to ask me out.

Then one day, a few weeks ago, while I was sitting in the hospice facility with my uncle, I received a text from him that read, “Haven’t heard from you in a while. Don’t know if you’re interested in going out again but I feel like I’m bothering you.”

I responded, “Sorry. I have been extremely busy helping my uncle who is in hospice because of his prostate cancer.”

The purpose of this message was two-fold. First, I was legitimately busy and wanted to let him know the reason why. Second, it was sort of my way of letting him know that the world did not revolve around him, and dating him was not particularly forefront in my mind at that moment. In other words, “My uncle is dying. This is no time to get needy with me, asshole.”

He responded with a text saying, “I’m sorry to hear that. If you need an ear, let me know.”

Maybe dealing with my uncle’s cancer has made me cynical, but, although the thought of The Suitor lending his ear seems nice, I just couldn’t imagine calling him to talk about my uncle’s cancer or anything else for that matter. I barely know the guy. It felt like an attempt to build false intimacy to me. If I need to talk to someone about anything as serious as the stuff I’m going through with my uncle, I’m going to turn to my family, my friends, or my wacky therapist, not some guy with whom I’ve had ONE date.

He probably meant well, but I just felt overwhelmed by the thought of trying to develop a relationship in the midst of prostate cancer and pain meds. I told him, “Thanks,” but left it at that. That was a few weeks ago.

Then we jump to last week. My uncle is now at home, with a hospice team coming in once per week to make sure that his pain is managed, and I was there to help out as much as I could. One afternoon, while my aunt and I made a quick trip out for groceries, I received another text from The Suitor.

It was again saying that he had a really nice time, but he didn’t want to bother me and didn’t know if I was interested in him, so he was going to let me be.

I deleted it without responding. Call me a bitch. I have too much going on in my life right now to spend my time texting someone. The Suitor obviously had my phone number. If he really wanted to ask me out again, he could have done it with a phone call. I probably would have gone out again, but I’m not going to text someone just to stroke their ego.

So, am I just way too bitchy about all this texting stuff? Maybe it time for me to get with the times and start texting a million times per day. I’m curious to know what the guys think about The Suitor’s 6 a.m. text message. Also, am I the only woman who finds the whole, “I don’t know if you’re interested line,” to be a major turnoff?

I think the bottom line is that I just can’t take on any more work right now, and The Suitor started to feel like work.

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27 responses

7 11 2011
ElderBaud

Deactivate weapons systems. Secure from red alert.

The 6 am thing struck me as kinda thoughtless but not fatal. The “if you need an ear” comment, well, what else is he supposed to say?

My opinion: too harsh on this one. You can’t expect him to perfectly fulfill your expectations without ever telling him what those expectations are. You have a particular reaction to texting that might be out of line with what he thinks of as acceptable. But at the same time, he might be totally willing and able to switch to your preferred mode of communicating if he had been told what that was. That whole business of communicating needs and compromising for your partner is a lot of what good relationships are all about.

But I don’t know. Perhaps your bar of acceptability is a guy who naturally fits all of your expectations right out of the box, with neither communication of your needs nor compromise of any kind needed from you. You can set that bar, but I would predict a long, frustrating, and discouraging search for such a guy. Don’t just accept whatever walks in the door, but give the poor guy a realistic chance.

All that said, however, it sounds like the whole business with your uncle has put you in an emotional space that’s not really compatible with dating just now. And that’s okay, too, as long as you recognize that it might be as much or more you than him.

7 11 2011
mydatingprescription

I think there were probably a few things going on here. The stress of caring for my uncle, the fact that I didn’t find The Suitor physically attractive enough to ignore many flaws, and the fact that I have a low threshold for texting all contributed to my the low placement of my bar of acceptability. However, I was VERY straightforward with him about my hatred of texting, and I still think a 6 a.m. text is rude.

7 11 2011
pandora

I also think you were a bit harsh with the guy. Texting isn’t always ideal…but frequently the only way someone can. I know I can’t chat on the phone while at work, on the go, etc. It shows that he was simply thinking about you. Not a bad thing…but it doesn’t sound like you are available emotionally or otherwise at this point. I’d go a little easier on this guy.

7 11 2011
mydatingprescription

I don’t think I was attracted to him enough to give him a break. I had decided I would possibly go out with him again because he was a nice guy. At my age, I recognize the value of a nice guy. However, when he showed himself to not seem as nice, he didn’t have the looks to cause me to make excuses for him.

7 11 2011
Separated Dad

Hi MDP,

I’m sure lots of people will jump in to support you, so I’ll be contrary and play Devil’s Advocate for a moment. Hopefully this won’t upset you. Emphasis: hopefully!

He sent you random texts about things. Sounds like a nice thing to do, to find out a little more about you in a low-key way.

The 6am text is not as bad as it seems:
– First, sometimes people do forget time zones so this alone may cover it and limit the WTF element. It certainly eliminates the “disrespectful” element.
– Second, in the more general sense, most people switch their cell phones to silent overnight and accept landline calls for emergencies (if you have both phones). Or people have their phones set to ring for a phone call but make no sound for a text msg.
Going forward, however, if he did it again without checking in advance whether or not your phone is on silent overnight, then he’s an insensitive or unaware bozo.

When he said to you, “I’m sorry to hear that. If you need an ear, let me know” he was letting you know that he understands your position and is taking a back seat. He gave you a chance to talk to him if you want to, but left that decision up to you. Sometimes people search for the support of family, sometimes a semi-stranger can provide a distance and perspective that is hard for someone ‘on the inside’ to provide.

When he followed up with you, he gave you the easy out. He was being considerate. Had he called you to ask for a date, you would have felt more pressure than receiving a text message. It’s much easier to rebuff someone via text message. I think the “I don’t know if you’re interested” flows with this theme. If you were interested in him, but busy with grief and/or illness, it gave you a chance to say, “It’s not about you; I just have other stuff going on.” If you weren’t interested in him, it gave you an easy way of just blowing him off.

Overall: Other than him (probably accidentally) texting you too early in the morning, it doesn’t sound like this guy is pushing too hard or rushing you. Most of the other paths he might have gone down could easily have led to you being more upset than you are, mostly because of the place you’re in right now.

Regarding texting, it’s a personal preference. It’s just one arrow in the modern quiver of communication. Because of the asynchronous nature of it, it can be less intrusive than a phone call. It can also become *more* time-consuming if handled poorly. Perhaps good communication of your preferences between you and any suitor minimizes the misunderstandings and allows a communication flow that works for both of you?

7 11 2011
mydatingprescription

For the most part, SD, I agree with what you are saying. I think the current state of things with my uncle definitely contributed to my impatience with The Suitor. I don’t necessarily think The Suitor was a bad guy for texting the things he did. However, one of the purposes of this post, for me, was to examine how modes of communication such as texting, chatting, or emails, open the door for miscommunication. I wrote the post based on my reactions to the texts that were sent. By asking for feedback, especially from guys, it is verifying what I suspected, which is that he probably didn’t mean any harm and was giving me the space to deal with my family issues.

That said, seventy percent of communication is nonverbal, and texting is a poor substitute for a real conversation and seems sort of passive-aggressive if a man is really interested in getting to know a woman.

7 11 2011
Separated Dad

I’d like to as I think someone else mentioned, how he might reasonably be expected to figure out which modes of communication work well for you without particular clarity on your part if you have specific preferences.

I get that you told him that you didn’t like texting, but “Grey” (do you know her?) has been over much the same ground a few months ago is now a convert.

She found that it just turned out to be useful when she originally thought it was horrible. It’s not a substitute for verbal communication (and it’s non-verbal accompaniments), but it’s not entirely useless either. As far as I can tell, most people who are dating seem to mingle texting, talking by phone, Skype / FaceTime / video chat, meeting in person, IM, and e-mails. Each has its own value in a busy world and its own limitations. Eliminating some of the options that didn’t exist when we were young and dating…not sure that’s a viable long-term expectation.

In summary, finding someone who works well with you doesn’t mean the other guy is “wrong” but only that he’s not that compatible with you. I’m certain that there are people who are compatible with your communications preferences. I’m equally confident your expectations will change quicker than you expect. For “The Suitor” it matters not as he wasn’t what you are looking for anyway.

7 11 2011
Allison Peacock (@Allison_Peacock)

I’m going to go against the flow and speak from a deeper place. I don’t think you were harsh ENOUGH with this guy up front and that’s what drug it out. So often we don’t pay attention to all the little signs about what a man and his energy are all about.

I can’t TELL YOU how many men I’ve crossed paths with in the past few years that you could have easily been describing with this post. It’s a sickness. It’s a laziness. And it’s lame.

Now that you have arrived at the “ignoring his text” stage I think you can admit that a guy that doesn’t – excuse me – but have the ba**s to pick up the phone and extend a direct date invitation, but rather thinks a cell phone and texting are intimacy-building tools is not a guy worth spending your energy on. Period.

Sure, you can baby him and see if he grows out of it. Or not. I’m at the “not” stage personally.

I think the only way to attract what you truly want and deserve is to chop the head off of that which shows up that isn’t. Well done.

🙂

7 11 2011
mydatingprescription

Thanks, Allison. I think you’ve hit on one of the underlying things that irked me about the whole texting thing in this scenario and others. The 6 a.m. text seemed rude, and I could have possibly cut him some slack (maybe) if his apology seemed sincere. But you’ve hit the nail on the head with the fact that he would not pick up the phone to have a proper conversation seemed passive-aggressive, lazy, and lame. I’m looking for a guy who knows himself, knows what he wants, and isn’t afraid to go after it. Something tells me a man like that won’t waste hours of his time and mine texting random bullshit if what he really wants is a date or a relationship.

7 11 2011
Separated Dad

Re: “I’m looking for a guy who knows himself, knows what he wants, and isn’t afraid to go after it”

Speaking from a guy’s perspective, this set of attributes is also known as “pushy asshole” or “arrogant prick” when received by someone who likes someone to be a quiet gentleman. What I mean is *not* that you have odd or unacceptable expectations but that finding someone who responds to you in a way you appreciate is a crap shoot. Under almost identical circumstances, the same guy could come across very differently to slightly different women. It sucks to be a guy sometimes!!

7 11 2011
mydatingprescription

I prefer being with a man who will take a masculine role so I can be feminine. A man can be a quiet gentleman and ask for what he wants without being an asshole about it. If by quiet gentleman you mean a man who sits back and lazily expects the woman to do all of the pursuing in a relationship, I’m not interested. It sucks being a woman too. Guys say they want a woman to be feminine and then they don’t step up and take the lead (or they text a hundred times without asking for a date.) For me, the last thing I need in my life is more work and with 78 more men to date, I’m not going to pursue a man.

You’re right that it’s a crap shoot finding someone with whom you’re compatible. When I first started this prescription, I got blasted because men thought dating 100 men was a ridiculous number. Having just finished my 23rd date, and basically trying to remain open to the possibility of romance with each one (should it spark), I can see that I could be well past 100 dates before I meet someone who is worth a long-term relationship. Since, according to doctor’s orders, I’m not supposed to be looking to get serious, I feel no pressure to settle as I’ve done in the past.

7 11 2011
Allison Peacock (@Allison_Peacock)

P.S. BTW, I’m not sure the 6AM thing was the big deal. It happens. I think the big deal is that he placed an emphasis on making HIMSELF comfortable over your comfort. You clearly told him your thoughts about texting right up front. So what was he communicating to you to focus the sum total of his efforts at reconnecting with you THERE? Just sayin.

7 11 2011
Kat Richter

I’m with you on the inappropriateness of early morning texting but I have to agree with the other comments. He seems like he was trying to be considerate and caring, but he just wasn’t doing it in your preferred medium (i.e. picking up the phone and calling you). Did you think to maybe just CALL HIM and say, “Hey, I’m not into texting so I thought I’d give you a call?” Guys can be dumb… you may have told him you weren’t into texting but he would have really “heard” you if you had tried calling him.

7 11 2011
mydatingprescription

I did consider calling him, however, when he sent his texts, I was sitting in the hospice facility with my uncle. Had I had more private time that week, I probably would have called him and said something like, “Look, I thought I mentioned that I hate texting, so knock that shit off! I’m busy.” I had told him on our date that I didn’t like texting, so it seemed like he really didn’t care about my communication preference.

7 11 2011
JJ

Despite his “I’m just getting out there and not looking for anything serious” comment – this guy is NEEDY!! I agree that he sounds like a very nice person but with all you have going on with a new job, your aunt and uncle and, not forgetting the EMBA program, you don’t need another man to take care of.

I think a nudge away from you is what he needs. You have two boys at home to look out for, you don’t need to add a man who obviously is looking for someone right now who can be at his beck and call. (And if the “nudge” doesn’t work, then by all means cut to the chase and take the more direct approach). it generally works well with this type of fellow 😉 Good luck!

7 11 2011
mydatingprescription

Thanks, JJ. You’re right. That was another thing that stuck me as odd. When I said I wasn’t looking for anything serious, he agreed that he was in the same space. Then, his actions post date seemed to convey that he was interested in WAY more than I am interested in at this point. Thanks for the reminder to take care of my more important priorities first. 🙂

7 11 2011
Kathy D

You know, I’m with you on the “no contact between 9pm and 9am” thing and as I don’t even have a cell phone, I DEFINITELY don’t understand the “texting as substitute for real communication” thing. However . . . I agree with most of the folks here that you are being way too harsh with this guy. You acknowledge participating in a “texting volley” after telling him you’re not really into it — maybe he thought you were really into HIM and therefore making an attempt to join the texting revolution. Ultimately, though, the first thought that went through my head after reading this was, “If this were Blues Man, she wouldn’t give a sh*t if he texted her at 2am and then showed up at the hospice.” I think you really need to consider that you may not be interested in The Suitor, but because you recognize his positive qualities you feel like you have to quantify why you aren’t interested. If you don’t dig him, you don’t dig him, no matter how much he seems to dig you. I say do the right thing and let him know that instead of expecting him to figure it out, ’cause you know how that feels and it ain’t good.

Love you!

7 11 2011
mydatingprescription

I think the harshness was partially due to the fact that I wasn’t totally gaga over this guy. I think I was trying to find value in the fact that he was a nice guy, and was hoping more attraction would develop if we spent some time getting to know each other more. My participation in the “texting volleys” was primarily and attempt to not be rude, however, communication in relationships definitely does not work if one person is trying to avoid being rude while thinking that the other person’s actions are rude or inconsiderate.

7 11 2011
Kathy D

Yeah, I think people (but women especially) tend to feel guilty if they don’t like a nice guy who likes them. Guilt makes you do weird things. Who am I kidding? Guys don’t care if they don’t like a nice gal. Sorry — I just lost my mind for a minute there. 😀

7 11 2011
mydatingprescription

So true.

You are a commenting monster tonight! 🙂

8 11 2011
wowmom

Well, you know that I don’t have texting and from what I see with people in general even when sitting trying to have a conversation…. a lot of folks are ALWAYS texting… and I wonder if they even think about the time etc because a text is something that can lay there for days and not be responded to where a phone call means actually having to communicate verbally and audibly. As you well know… I like talking WITH people… That said:

Now, as to the man with the pink carnation. I had to go back and read #22 so I knew who we were discussing….

First of all, I think you’ve had so much loss in the last year…
1. stbx
2. watching uncle lose his quality of life and other things …..
and if dating someone, there’s always the chance that if it doesn’t work, there would be more loss. At this point you’ve been getting yourself into a better place than what stbx had you in when he departed.

Remember this is a man you are dealing with and as your StepDad will tell you they can be a bit dense sometimes and like to be told and more than once for some things to sink in and if you don’t tell him what you prefer, he isn’t going to know. Then if he does just the opposite well, then he’s not listening. A lot of men are so used to the “female games that women play on them, that when they meet someone like you …it will take a bit to realize you are very feminine, however, you do not use the feminine whiles to land a man….” So, one has to spell it out. You did tell “the suitor” that you did not care for texting… hmmm, probably needed to hear it again in that slow deliberate way…

ALSO….. being a man, (most men like the chase ya know, even if it’s only briefly) You aren’t calling him and pursuing him….. the fact that you are dodging texts, another date etc at this point… Since you had said you didn’t want anything serious and were just getting back out there….. being a guy…. your lack of interest to him may indicate that he has to try harder. I don’t think the man is being needy….he’s probably just becoming more determined because you are elusive.

Now, alllllll that said…… If you aren’t that in to him…. and there are plenty of other fish in the sea, and you are very busy with your studying, friends, family, etc…… if you want to have another date… fine… but if you don’t…. fine too. Remember my old “NEXT” motto…cause I’ve been to that rodeo and your stepdad was probably about 150…. and a few of the guys you meet may simply be a friend if you even have time to do that….

I do like however, how this blog brought out some good feedback from both the male and female perspective.
ok….. I’ve rattled on long enough. You may delete or cut any of this you wish!!! love ya girl!!! chin up! hugs, Mom

8 11 2011
mydatingprescription

Thanks, Mom. I made some good points that I hadn’t considered, and you’re right about the comments. I often tell people if they don’t read the comments, they are missing half of what goes on on this blog. I do appreciate getting feedback from both sides. I think this blog has been much richer since I put it out there for more male readers, and I appreciate everybody’s opinions.

10 11 2011
Chicago-Style Girl

I find that people who need their ego stroked and constantly want validation never get enough validation. If you’re not the type of person that’s up for constantly validating another adult (which you don’t seem like), you did right by moving on. He would always want more validation than you’d be comfortable giving.

12 11 2011
mydatingprescription

That has been my experience as well. If I man doesn’t have decent self-esteem at the start, no amount of mothering and nurturing him is going to fix it. Like my mom said, “I’ve been to that rodeo.” I spent six years in a relationship with someone who constantly needed validation, and did it ever end? No. Would he or could he have done the same thing for me? No. I guess I’ve probably just explained where my impatience with this guy really comes from. Thanks for your comment CSG!

13 11 2011
George Bush

I think you’re right on with your responses and attitude. At least that way the well meaning guys will get the hint that you’re a bitch sooner rather than later. The normal guys in the world are better off and you’re sure to home in on that asshole dude that don’t give a fuck without wasting much of your precious time. Good job. And I agree about talking to your therapist – sounds like you’re on the right track.

15 11 2011
Separated Dad

Dear “George”,

I doubt you’ll ever get to read this since you hid your name/blog.

It’s not clear if MDP voluntarily approved your comment or not. Either way, I think it’s completely disrespectful. She is discussing a difficult situation where miscommunication is often a cause for problems in a dating scenario. She has solicited comments from both men and women, for and against her own position. She has accepted with equanimity the ponderings of all of us.

Then you come blundering in with your asshole approach and presumptions. Anyone can swear or attack. Can you reflect? Can you analyze and dissect? Or are you merely on a darker path?

17 08 2012
Are You Trying to Make Me Like You? « My Dating Prescription

[…] this is how straightforward I have become. Rather than let these men fuck it up on their own I like to give them a warning. I’m a busy woman, and I don’t have time to play with my […]

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