The Leading Man and Important Lessons

23 07 2012

I don’t know if it’s just me, or if you’ve noticed too. It feels like things have gotten a bit sloppy around here, and I need to take care of some minor housekeeping. It has come to my attention that there is a loose end I have failed to tie up. Admittedly, in the last two quarters of my MBA program, I was a little frazzled; my blogging became sporadic; and the flow of things around here got a little off. It’s not easy being Superwoman, but I intend to set this blog back on the right track if it kills me.

Sidenote: Actually, when I was a little girl, I wanted to be Wonder Woman, not Superwoman. I think it was the costume, the golden lasso of truth, and bracelets. And what prepubescent girl in the 70s didn’t hope to one day have tits like Lynda Carter?

Anyway, the little discussion that erupted over Man #27, The Flavor Saver made me realize I had never followed up to tell you about what happened with Man #24, The Leading Man. You may recall when we last saw The Leading Man, he was giving me a hug, kissing me on the cheek, and telling me we should definitely go out on another date.

Hooray! The date had been really comfortable and fun. The Leading Man wasn’t one of those guys who made me feel I had to be anything other than who I am, and I definitely wanted to go out with him again.

So, I patiently waited for his call…

I made sure I sent him a text message, telling him I had fun and thanked him for the date…

…and I waited.

He sent me a friend request on Facebook.

Confirmed.

Waiting…waiting…

Pretty exciting stuff.

I commented on a picture of his dogs.

Waiting…

I sent him a message asking him if he ever got that Thai food he had been craving. (Hint, hint.)

No. He hadn’t.

Nothing.

What.

The.

Fuck?

I had a conversation with the friend who had set me up on my date with Man #24.

“What’s the deal? Did he say anything to you guys?”

“No, sometimes we go months without hearing from him. He’s just like that sometimes. Sometimes we have to call him and leave messages telling him to call us because we’re worried about him.”

Oh, for fuck’s sake. And, she and her husband thought a guy who does this would be a good leading man for me in their romantic comedy?

This is why letting friends set you up on dates is a bad idea.

“I don’t know what to say,” she said, “I would just leave it alone and maybe he’ll call you.”

“Yeah, I’m not going to chase after him.”

By that time, I had already had my date with The Karaoke Kripple, determined he was looking for a sugar mamma, and was searching for my date with Man #26. I had 75 other men to date, and time’s a wastin’. There was no sense in waiting around, hoping for another date with The Leading Man.

I’m not going to say it didn’t bother me though. It made me wonder about a couple of things. First, why do men do this thing where they say they want another date and then never follow through? It doesn’t make sense to me. I guess after having dates with a couple dozen men, I can sort of understand how, at the end of a date, a man might not want to deal with the awkwardness of saying, “Well, it was really nice to meet you, but this is the last time we will be seeing each other.”  In fact, I have a backlog of writing I need to do, and, shamefully, I recently did something similar to the date who will become Man #32. I promised something at the end of the date that I knew, in the moment, I would never deliver.

I know. I’m not proud of it, but it happened.

But, like I said, with a little first date experience under my belt, I can see how it happens. However, also because of my first date, 100 date experiences, I can also say how important it is in these situations to take corrective action immediately. It makes no sense whatsoever to lead a person on, and I certainly don’t invite my blog fodder to be friends with me on Facebook.

The other thought that crossed my mind was that, as I had feared, I was no longer the thin, attractive woman The Leading Man remembered from that summer party in 2006. That had to be a major disappointment for him. During our conversation at the bar, he even seemed disappointed that I was dying my hair auburn. I wasn’t even the blonde he remembered. I seriously considered that my extra weight played a significant role in his decision to not ask me out again.

So, you see, even I, super heroine, serial dater that I am, get rejected sometimes. Counter to popular belief, it’s not just me doing the rejecting.

This happened a little while ago now, and I’ve had time to think about it. The important lesson here is not “Oh, boo hoo. He doesn’t like me.” It’s not, “I’m a big fat fatty so I don’t deserve love.” No.

The important lesson is that when a man says he’s going to call and he doesn’t, he’s doing you a favor. The way my date with The Leading Man went down had direct comparisons to my date with The Blues Man. The Blues Man had also said we should go out again and left me wondering what was wrong with me. This time, however, with The Leading Man, I just quietly let things fade away, went on about my business, and didn’t get all heartbroken over it.

This may sound anti-feminist to some, but one thing I have learned in this process is that I don’t like doing the chasing in a relationship. I don’t like the woman I become in that relationship dynamic. I want to be feminine. Please let me be feminine even with my potty mouth.

I’ve had my experiences enabling passive-aggressive men, and it is a thankless job. That shit is hard work, and it’s not worth it. I personally don’t think pursuing a man pays off in the end. When a man knows what he wants, he will go after it, and if he doesn’t want me, there is really no reason for me to want him.

Unfortunately, Seattle, as a city, has a very passive-aggressive personality. Some theorists hypothesize that it is due to our bad weather; we’re all hunkered down, shoulders up, heads down against the rain. But regardless of our weather, the guy for me won’t be afraid to ask me out for a first date and then a second and then a third.

If he’s divorced, he’ll talk openly about what happened in his marriage, but he’ll resist letting his ex get custody of his balls. (No woman in her right mind wants a man who is still letting another woman drag him around by his cojones.) No, the man for me will have his balls. He’ll be ready to be in a relationship. If he’s scared, that’s fine, but he’ll muster up his courage and do his own work instead of expecting me to be his therapist.

So, the important lesson is: Rejection is fine, because I want a man who wants me.  That seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? I want a man who wants me, and I want a man who will wrap his hands around the back of my head and kiss me so I know it.

Ok. I know. In addition to Wonder Woman, maybe I also watched Gone with the Wind one too many times growing up.

Photo here.

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16 responses

23 07 2012
DittoDitto

What I found was that the man who was serious about seeing me again would say something along the lines of: “Would you like to go do XYZ on Saturday?” He gave me a specific time and a specific activity. That is how I knew he was serious. The guy who said: “we should do this again sometime” was saying good bye. It is sort of like when someone says they will call you later. “Sometime” and “later” will always remain unreachable in the future.

23 07 2012
Wilma

Very good point, Dittoditto. The guy who is serious will want to get the specifics nailed down.

23 07 2012
Kathy D

Hey Honey! Even though you already answered your own question (why men — or women, for that matter — say they want a date and then don’t follow through), I’d like to add my own insight as well. I think sometimes they do it for the same reasons that may have caused you to do it with Man #31: most people want others to think they’re nice, and they don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings deliberately.

You know me. You know that I rarely pull punches and most of the time, no one has to guess what I’m thinking because I say it. I call people on their BS (albeit in an as objective, non-blaming and analytical way as I can). This is why I’m single and have been for so long. This is why my parents get their feelings hurt when I set boundaries. This is why my sister’s passive agressive behavior is called out by no one but me, and then I’m the “mean one” because I don’t continue to try to win her favor like everyone else does. Yes, I have integrity; yes, I’m honest; yes, I value being true to myself over most other considerations. But putting principles over feelings can be really lonely place, which is why most people avoid it.

23 07 2012
Wilma

And, that’s why we love you.

23 07 2012
Kathy D

” . . . can be A really lonely place . . .” UGH!! Maybe I shouldn’t do editing. But that’s not why I came back. I wanted to add that I, too, always wanted to be Wonder Woman. Frankly, I still do. Oh, the things I could do with that golden lasso.

23 07 2012
Wilma

I know, right?

Here’s her description from Wikipedia,
“Wonder Woman is a warrior princess of the Amazons (based on the Amazons of Greek mythology) and was created by Marston, an American, as a “distinctly feminist role model whose mission was to bring the Amazon ideals of love, peace, and sexual equality to a world torn by the hatred of men.” [2] Known in her homeland as Diana of Themyscira, her powers include superhuman strength, flight (even though the original Wonder Woman did not have this ability), super-speed, super-stamina, and super-agility. She is highly proficient in hand-to-hand combat and in the art of tactical warfare. She also possesses animal-like cunning skills and a natural rapport with animals, which has been presented as an actual ability to communicate with the animal kingdom. She uses her Lasso of Truth, which forces those bound by it to tell the truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara which serves as a projectile, and, in some stories, an invisible airplane.”

Do you think since I was born in the year of the monkey (animal cunning), got to my red belt in Tae Kwon Do, and am an animal lover I could still BE Wonder Woman someday?

24 07 2012
Cdn Stormlover

Loved this post! Kudos!
“When a man knows what he wants, he will go after it, and if he doesn’t want me, there is really no reason for me to want him.”
Never take away a man’s God given right to pursue what he wants. He will be flattered and may go out with you but you’re not the one he’ll bring home to meet mommy. Let men be men……and continue to be a woman….(p.s. wonder woman rocks!)

24 07 2012
Wilma

Amen, sister!

24 07 2012
DittoDitto

There may be any number of reasons why people use euphemisms. Not wanting to hurt your feelings may be one of the reasons. Not feeling that they owe you an explanation of their thoughts when they have only just met you could be another reason.

My friends and I had a long discussion one night because dating as an adult is certainly different than dating as a teenager. As an adult, many times, we are finding people online or though friends whom we have never met in a real world situation or have met a long time ago. As a teenager we tended to date kids we knew at school, or our friend’s siblings, or some other person who was in our sphere of activity. When you meet someone that you know only marginally (and this is especially true of online dating sites) this person is a total stranger. What they write or say may or may not have any veracity. It is for this reason that we try to maintain a safe distance by meeting them at a public place and testing the waters.

After much discussion we determined that this first meeting is not really a date. When people get together with a total stranger at a coffee shop where she buys herself a cup of coffee and he buys himself a cup of coffee and they each try to determine whether or not they have any interest in the person facing them that is a meeting. We decided to call this a “meet and greet”.

We looked at it this way: if I walk into a room full of people I will see many people. I will talk to many people. I will probably not have an interest in seeing most of these many people again. There is nothing specifically wrong with any of them… it is just that I didn’t feel a connection. When I go home I will tell my friends that I met Joe or Stan or Mike. I will not say that I dated Joe or Stan or Mike. If Mike should ask to see me again and I didn’t feel that there was any interest on my part, I would probably not feel that there was any good purpose to review with him why my answer was “no”. I would probably use a gentle approach and say something along the vague lines of “sometime”.

Anyway, that is the approach that we found worked. It is only to share my experience and certainly may be something with which you disagree.

I found the book He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, (Simon Spotlight Entertainment an imprint of Simon & Schuster, 2004) to be very helpful.

24 07 2012
Wilma

Thanks for the insights, Dittoditto. I totally agree with you. In my recent interview, I mentioned that women shouldn’t get their hopes up about the first date, and this fact that it is just a “meet and greet” is why. You don’t know until you meet face to face if you are going to hit it off or have any chemistry, and yes, in this age of online dating, people are prone to exaggeration in their online dating profiles. Some choose not to be honest about who they are at all, so they really are a stranger until you meet and have a chance to ask a lot of questions to do some fact-checking.

Now that I’m finished with my MBA course readings, I have all sorts of time to read books. I’ll have to check that one out. Thanks.

24 07 2012
Elder Baud

If you were Wonder Woman, I would seriously not want to be a super villain.

24 07 2012
Wilma

Awesome! I’m totally taking that as a compliment.

25 07 2012
The Byronic Man

Our parents tell us “anyone who treats you like that isn’t your friend” and it’s so dumb and annoying… but if you can get to that mindset in dating it’s a HUGE achievement.

25 07 2012
Wilma

Oh, I totally agree. For some reason, I had never thought about that. I heard my mom say that many times growing up too, but for some reason we have a difficult time applying it to our relationships. I’ve recently become a Wizpert on dating and relationships, and it baffles me how many people call in asking how they can get their boyfriend or girlfriend to love them. What??

28 07 2012
Chicago-Style Girl

I hear you. Good riddance if he can’t show he’s interested. What you did with your small reaches out with a text and a comment on Facebook made it clear you were interested in continuing to communicate. If a man can’t step up and take the next step, he isn’t the man for you.

28 07 2012
Wilma

Nope. I’m on to better things. Thanks.

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