Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why he's fading fast and I'm over it slowly

After about a week of silently observing the fastest slow fade known to man, I decided enough was enough. Under normal circumstances, for a guy I wasn't sure I was particularly into I might have just let it drop, but for someone I would have to continue to see occasionally in a professional capacity, an exception had to be made. There was a pachyderm in the room, and I was determined to blast it into obscurity, or failing that, at least poke it gently and ask if it might like to leave. 

So what's up? I texted the man formerly known as my Not-So-Secret Admirer. It was his day off, and just moments prior he had confessed that he was doing "absolutely nothing." It seemed like the right time for a little talk. Do you not like me anymore? I continued, putting it all out there. 

Actually I very much do, he responded a full thirty minutes later. What's new with you? 

I was just picking up on some signals and wanted to clear the air, I replied.

I don't do signals, I just say what I think, he said, forty minutes later. That said, I felt really bad about you catching shit about me last week.

Ok, I said, waiting for him to elaborate. 

An hour later, he still hadn't volunteered any further information, though after his last statement it really seemed like a follow-up was necessary. I had a few pointed remarks I was dying to make regarding the communication skills of a guy who supposedly "doesn't do signals" and "says what he thinks," but I held them in. And you know? I thought. He probably honestly does believe that about himself. Just like all guys, e.g.: "Deep down I'm a really good guy." "I don't play games." "There's nothing wrong with my breath." Delusional, the lot of 'em.

Instead I sent him another, pared down version of the text I really wanted to send: I guess I am still unclear as to what you are saying.

I'm not willing to let u get shit because of me, he replied.

Ok, I said. But again he ignored this, the universal signal for "please go on," or "tell me more." And that was all he wrote.

My reaction? Well I'm glad he was able to use my awkward conversation about him with my boss as a convenient excuse. Otherwise he might have had to tell me the truth. Or, you know, at least come up with a different excuse. Now, I know some of you may be tempted to take him at his word, and a commenter on the last post even predicted something similar. But honey, this ain't my first rodeo. They never tell you the truth. 

And honestly, I was ok with it, for the most part. Until he posted this to Facebook today: 
They got rid of Shatner as pitchman for priceline? That just ruined my day.
Shatner...not on Priceline? That ruined his day? 

And then, flames...flames on the...side of my face...

Does he also have strong feelings about the Travelocity gnome, I wonder? Did he shed a tear for the Taco Bell talking chihuahua? What does it take to get to this guy?!

That just ruined his day? That makes two of us.         


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Can I ask: why do you try to have serious and important, communicative, conversations via text? I'm not trying to be judgmental, I just think you'd probably get some better responses if you tried to talk in person or at least in an actual phone conversation. At the very least, you wouldn't have to sit around waiting 40 minutes for the next (vague) response. Forgive me if I'm being blunt, but it just kind of seems like you're trying to make it look like you don't care too much, that you're not invested enough to have a real conversation - which would be fine if it were true, but the truth is you do care and do want to be taken seriously.

    Anyway, I am really sorry you've had to deal with all these guys and I really hope you do find the real thing someday soon. In the meantime, have you read Susan Walsh's blog "Hooking Up Smart"? It's about all things dating-game. Not saying you need to take a hint, just saying I think it's a great read. Here's a good place to start:

  3. Mrs White! In the library! With the candlestick! Or something like that. Hilarious. My sister and I often quote that line...

  4. "OK" is my least favorite "response" from a man. My husband does it all the time. In email. On the phone. In person.


    Really? I'll up you one letter:


  5. Okay. I debated about this because I like you but you don't know ME and I don't want you to think I'm a bitch. But it IS just the internet so I guess we'll both get over it. Do you think this guy is oblivious that you're not into him because of his weight? Because I bet he's not. I bet he knows you just want to be friends, and this whole getting-in-trouble at work thing is a convenient way for him to save face while ducking out. You don't have to be attracted to fat people; I get that people have preferences. But you seemed to have disdain for him because of his weight, while finding him otherwise attractive and nice. I know you're thin, and maybe it's really easy for you to stay that way. But being fat isn't a character flaw, and there's NO CHANCE this dude doesn't know he's out of a lot of people's preferred weight range. Maybe he thought he could win you over with his personality (or that you weren't ashamed/grossed out by fat dudes) and now he's seeing that won't happen.

    I just kind of got the impression you thought you were doing this guy a favor by even being his friend when the poor thing thought he had a chance with you. If *I* got that impression way over here, he probably did too.

    Maybe only date guys you actually really like and want to date? Instead of going out on dates Just Because? And I'm with the other commenter who said maybe you should save these convos for not-texting. I have the same problem--I HATE the phone. Hate. But it would force these guys to like, actually talk to you instead of just putting the phone down and waiting til they feel like it.

    Okay..done. Sorry if it was harsh. I hate seeing you do the same thing over and over and wonder why it keeps happening. And I could be wrong, but hey! Couldn't hurt..I think!

  6. Erin--My sister and I do too! I love sister shorthand.

    Allisonian--I'm confused. Did I not just mention a couple posts back that the last couple guys I dated in Mythaca were "chubby and bearded," and that I guess that means that I "have a type?" This guy happens to be clean-shaven but I clearly wouldn't (and haven't) turned someone down over a few extra pounds. Attraction is a complex process based on much more than just weight, and it can grow and change. I went into this with an open mind, and he was growing more attractive to me, the more time I spent with him.

    There may be some truth to what you're saying and I'm not discounting that as a possibility, but you're making it sound a lot worse than what it is.

  7. I don't do signals either and here's the fucking truth: you're a fucking mess, i mean first you don't like him and then you sorta do and then you think he's becoming more attractive? i was all for fucking the guy over but that was when you weren't into him and now that you might be you seem a bit hurt by it all? and what the fuck happened to asking for what you want? you have a question ask it don't just text "ok" and wait for a response, fackin hell, and you wonder why all these relationships or whatever you call them resemble Groundhog Day? egads... i still love you though, you provide me with endless amusement it seems..,

    as for not sending signals i always tell women, i'm a selfish bastard prone to bouts of moodiness and silence and i'm blatantly honest to a fault (almost) unless of course i don't feel like having a fucking argument and then i just sneer and say nothing and i leave the room, house, state, planet etal... now i'm gonna go watch Love Boat re-runs.

  8. I have to agree with the person who said you shouldn't text stuff that you think is important. From reading your account, I have no idea what response you were looking for from him, and I bet he didn't either. He told you that he liked you very much, but it took him too long? Maybe he is not a person who has his phone with him every second.
    It seems to me from what I have read that you don't want to be the girl who gets treated badly anymore, which is great, but you may have gone too far the other way and have unrealistic expectations. I have been mostly-happily married for 18 years and my husband is still pretty clueless about picking up on vague questions, or even thinly veiled hints. Most times with men, you need to be very direct in a face-to-face conversation with proper eye contact. And even then, there will be misunderstandings due to the different communication styles of men and women. Such is life.
    If you really were starting to like him more, don't write him off based on a couple text messages. Or his Facebook status update. It isn't fair to him, and it is self-sabotaging if what you really want in your life is a committed relationship.

  9. When people reply "Ok" to my texts or messages, I assume they don't really want to talk to me right then or they don't like what I'm saying. There's no inflection via text, so "Ok" is definitive, "I get it, the end".

    I don't even know what more he could have said in response. You should have diffused his fear (or excuse) of you "catching shit" by saying that you didn't really get in trouble, blah blah, still friends, blah blah, etc. Without you engaging in the conversation, there is nothing to elaborate on. Looking back, you never say how you feel, or provide info from your end, aside from noticing distance. You have to be more open to get the validation you need. I get that you're trying to protect yourself, but you're still getting hurt all the time, so your current defenses are obviously faulty.

  10. You don't really like the guy, but it ruins your day that he doesn't like you anymore? Why do you need him to like you? Shouldn't you be happy that you don't have to ruin what could develop into a good friendship over awkward unrequited feelings?

    Also, you definitely need to stop texting people these things. It's such a bad habit. I should know, I do it too. Things never come across quite right on a phone screen.

  11. I can totally understand why you're not going to pick up the phone to ask someone if they like or anymore or not, but at the same time I know you know that there's a greater propensity to lie via text message then in person or over the phone. If you were to ask that question over the phone, you'd hear whatever in real time. He'd either immediately say, "But I do" etc... or he'd pause awkardly or stumble through words or say "I don't know" or whatever. He probably took 40 minutes to answer because he was thinking about how to play it. Granted there are some people who don't have their phones attached all day, most people in our generation do. If you've spent time with this guy, you'd know whether or not he keeps his phone close. All that said, I think this may be a case of becoming interested because he seems uninterested. Everyone likes the attention of someone flirting with them, but you have to ask yourself if you realy like the guy or just the attention.

    I never got the impression that this had anything to do with this guy's looks so I think the commentor who suggested that is way off base or confused.

    Also, I take "OK" as "we're done here." But I also hate when people use ellipsis in text messages. It's very hard to read tone in a text message so it's basically going to get interpreted based on the receiver's mood when reading it.

  12. I agree with everything Reve said. You really didn't give him much to go on and texting has no tone of voice to give clues. In my experience you need to be very direct when communicating with guys. They don't know that you like them because they once told you they like the color red and today you worn a red bow in your hair and pointed your feet towards their desk.

    With my sisters I can communicate oceans of meaning with a raised eyebrow at dinner. I don't think I could communicate the same depth of feeling and shades of meaning with my husband if I had a thesaurus and an entire day.

    Facebook has become so public I only share my most public of thoughts there. So it is unfair to judge someone by what they post there.

  13. I wouldn't gauge his affinity for you based on a Facebook post. I wouldn't update my status with anything personal, and no one I'm friends with does either.

  14. omg everyone pretty much OTM already... girl, i've been reading a looooong time, and you need to start figuring this shit out. you're in your 30s now, you've had a lot of free internet advice, but still you do the whole guys-are-awful OR there's-something-wrong-with-meeeee. i mean, seriously, get a clue and realize there is nothing wrong with you as a person, and nothing wrong with men as a group, but you seem totally clueless about how to go about operating in relationship, even a relationship that isn't yet an actual relationship.

    you either over-analyze what the other guy must be thinking/feeling or you totally fail to see what he is obviously thinking/feeling.

    1. he clearly likes you
    2. he clearly realizes you don't like him quite as much
    3. he feels mortified that you got in trouble about him at work
    4. he's backing off to give you the chance to ease out of it, because of the work thing
    5. you need to tell him if you like him enough to keep seeing him, and reassure him that your boss isn't gonna stop you dating who you wanna date

  15. Sorry..I don't memorize your blog or anything, I just thought I remembered the chubby and bearded type, and I guess my impression was that "I guess I have a type" was said kind of mournfully like, "This is the type of guy I attract" as opposed to the type you're attracted to. My bad!

  16. I am betting this is the part I remembered, just..yeah. "I will give you everything you ever professed to want in a man except, haaa, yeah, you will never, ever in a million years be attracted to him! Mwahahaha.."

  17. Jesus Christ, people, calm the fuck down. Don't you come here for your daily dose of schadenfreude? You should be thanking me for providing you with the opportunity to feel all morally superior. Comments remain open for now, but I'm feeling cantankerous, so no promises.

  18. And it come down to... your self-esteem Rachel.
    That is what you need to work on before you even start to date.

    You are cute, very smart, articulate, but somehow, you need others to validate your qualities.

    As such, anyone who likes you get your affection. Even the guys you don't like on the first place.
    You start to like them because they make you feel good about yourself.

    You're getting really good advice from your readers, you're very lucky. But I think you can listen to a ton of advice, that will get you nowhere without building strong foundations first.

  19. Since I commented the most I guess you might be directing that at me. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. I've been reading your blog for a long time and I REALLY relate to you and I guess I feel like pointing things out to you is almost like helping my past-self. It totally sucks to read criticisms about yourself, but where you're wrong is the schadenfreude aspect. I don't read you to take joy in your misfortunes, I read because I'm hoping THIS will be the time the guy was the right one. Your friends and readers want the best for you I'm pretty sure, and going, "Poor Rachel! I don't know why this happened again!" doesn't really help. So even if I was off-base with the weight stuff (which on re-read I'm not sure I basically said chubby and bearded isn't good enough and you would prefer tall, dark, and handsome,'re allowed to have a type, but some of your readers might be fat and take offense to the way you disparagingly remarked about being chubby), I think I was still on point as far as the whole he-probably-knows-you-don't-dig-him-and-is-trying-to-save-face thing. Damn I hate hyphenating.

    Okay seriously. Sorry if I hurt your feelings, again. The blogger/blog-reader dynamic is a weird one.

  20. Alisonian--It happened to appear right after your comment but it wasn't directed at you. It was a feeling of general frustration and if it was directed at anyone in particular it would be a Sir Kono and a certain Anonymous WHO LIKES TO ADMONISH IN ALL CAPS.

    And I think you're fixating on the wrong thing. I clearly (as I mentioned) don't have a problem with a little chubby. Short is the problem. Hence the wish for TALL dark and handsome. Duh. If any short readers are offended by this you can feel free to let me know.

  21. Ha! Sorry, man. Thanks for writing back. I forget sometimes that just because I feel like I know you, that feeling isn't mutual. If you want to go give me advice or make fun of me, I keep a tumblr. masquesoporfavor dot tumblr dot com

  22. I'm a guy, I've been following your blog for some time now and this is the first time I've felt strongly enough to comment.

    My reaction after reading your post was also that you'd completely misinterpreted your interaction with this guy. The commenters above (particularly Reve and the two anonymous posters after) have already written pretty much everything I wanted to say so I won't rehash things too much, but:

    • If I'd received those "Ok" texts I, too, would have naturally assumed you were trying to end the conversation. I also wouldn't have known what you were expecting in reply, or assumed that you were expecting a reply at all.

    • Unlike women, men do not naturally communicate using indirection and innuendo. What we mean is the literal meaning of the words we say. So here's what we know: This guy likes you, and he feels bad you "got in trouble" over it. He probably thinks he is doing you a favour by backing off and was waiting for a bit of validation from you before pressing any further. But instead of validation all he got was a couple of terse "Ok"s, so now he's convinced backing off really is what you want him to do.

    If you communicate to this guy directly that you like him, I think you could easily find yourself in a relationship with him.

    But from my own experience with women, I strongly agree with Erin that this is a case of your becoming interested only because he seems to be losing interest in you. I never got the sense from your earlier posts that you were genuinely attracted to this man. I predict if you "make up" with this guy and he starts giving you attention again, you'll immediately lose interest and be back where you were before.

  23. lolzy sorry for the yelling in caps, but SERIOUSLY!!!! the martyr/masochist aspects of some of your posts are because i *don't* feel the schadenfreude!

    it's just that so often it seems like good things are within your grasp but you choose to have a tantrum and throw your toys around.

  24. Jaysus, what did i do? can i start texting you vague replies to your posts then, things like "Ok" or "not so much" or "WTF", if you are afraid of the answers then don't ask scary questions, right? i mean really i was still coming down of last nights drugs when i wrote that, but sincerely from the bottom of my petrified and shriveled heart, i did not mean to upset you, i'm all about the shooden frood.

  25. hey am i gonna get kicked out of the Dairy? whoops Diary? i've been kicked out of bars and parties and jobs and homes and retail stores and apartments but i've yet to be 86'd from a blog, and yes i'm high again but that doesn't mean i love you any less no does it, just don't tell the boss.

  26. Kono, Kono, just like a father or a brother or an old friend or a tall, hairy lover, my momentary annoyance does not change my love for you. (I would say the same for you, Anonymous, if I had any idea who you are.) No hard feelings, pals.

    But really tho Kono, I don't remember asking any "scary questions," and tho I know I've got the whole "why" trope going it's not always a call for unsolicited advice, especially when it starts, "here's the fucking truth: you're a fucking mess." No, YOU are! And now we're just name calling. See?

    Anyway, let's kiss and make up, you know the "dairy's" doors are always open.

  27. Facebook status updates are exactly for frivolous bullshit, and I'm sure that didn't ACTUALLY ruin his day. He was trying to be funny, and how you would expect him to communicate his true feelings for you over his FB status update, I have no idea. I mean, really, come on. Nobody expresses their true feelings and life struggles on FB. I certainly don't. I mean, from my posts you would think I was obsessed with stupid shit I overheard on public transport and Project Runway. Frivolous shit in my life.

    And I gotta say, a healthy person knows when someone isn't interested in them and ends the relationship. My guess is that's what he's doing. Otherwise, he'll spin his wheels forever with you, flirting and chasing something that won't ever happen and miss the opportunity to have a real relationship (with kissing!) with someone else.

    I'm totally, 100% on his side on this one.

  28. I have so much advice to offer that you don't want. I don't think a reader who doesn't care would take the time to comment (except for the really harsh and unhelpful ones). I'm sad. OK.

  29. There's a difference between advice and OMG YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG.



  30. Defensive much? Yeah. People want honesty but not the truth.

    Forget the harsh comments. But maybe you should be harsh with your yourself instead, sometimes its the only way to self improvement.

    P.S I think you're only person I've heard of who thinks "OK" means "please, elaborate". I mean come on, its only one more letter than the worst response ever- "K".

  31. Don't shit where you eat. Lesson learned. (Am rooting for you and wish you success in all aspects of your life.)

  32. the annoying thing is that it seems like you're doing it wrong on purpose - like you don't actually want to be happy, so you set out to make things go bad: you keep hanging on to guys who are clearly not interested in something serious, or you immediately give up on guys who clearly ARE.

  33. Anonymous is now just stirring the pot.

    I don't get the anonymous thing anyway. You can just as easily put a name in, something to distinguish one anon from another. Blah.

  34. I am wading in late...and in the minority. In my opinion, given the situation, if someone was wanting to be your friend (male or female I do not think it matters)and if they were concerned about you getting in trouble (or being called onto the floor for a discussion) with the Bossman, I would have thought that the conversation would have been something along the line of...I hear you were spoken to by the Bossman, let me talk to him and be sure he understands no confidential information was betrayed...

    His silence, or at least his lack of standing up and taking some accountability himself is him saying he does not want to be even friends, let alone anything else. He sure used the conversation with Bossman as an excuse to drop any attempt at friendship like a hot potato...

    I really do not think you deserved the harsh comments on this one.

  35. Not related:

    How to Make Doritos Consomme?????



  37. I believe I told you several years ago (when you were a proper Bostonian and unknown to the Internet at large) to get rid of the text message business. You need face-to-face time to communicate. Anything less is pointless and frustrating.

    Please. Don't thank me.


    (Never Wrong in D.C.)

  38. I think it's unfair to tell us your reader that we' only after a dose of shadenfreude.
    I can help but care. Although I don't know you!

  39. Since I only read this blog intermittently, I'm not completely understanding of all the hubbub. However, the comment that Jade made about Susan Walsh and Hookingupsmart-- worst advice here. That woman is so much utter BS, it's unbelievable. She is certain she knows what every woman thinks and feels and needs, and every human interaction is simply a business transaction. Dont even go there. The commenters there are even worse- practically every commenter (mostly male) is a complete and utter douche.

    The other advice-- it seems like most have your best interests in mind. I just don't know enough about your blog/situation to have a good opinion about how on target it is. But good luck! I know relationships are hard!

  40. I don't like all the attack comments here. Everyone saying "get it together" needs to realize that different people do things differently. The kinds of awkwardness described here are exactly the personality traits I happen to find attractive in a woman, although I might be in the minority. (Favorite female tv character - Bones by a long shot.)