There comes a time in everyone's life where they meet someone groovy who is seemingly available and become excited at the possibility of a new romance. But sometimes that turns into a Bad Romance.
You know the signs. Someone is giving you the greenlight in every major way, then uh-oh, pump your brakes! It's over before it began. Such is the [unfortunate] tale of a friend who contacted me a few months ago asking me what to do in its aftermath.
At the time, this lovely girl had met a guy a few weeks prior through a mutual friend. They'd hit it off swimmingly. Having been du(m)ped before, the girl was cautious and let him take the lead from their communications (quite frequent) to his invitations to visit him in his town, a few hours away from where they'd met. This wasn't her first time at the rodeo, so when over the course of three or so weeks when he kept in touch by text (nearly everyday, sometimes multiple times a day) and phone calls (sometimes just to say hi), she thrilled. Then finally the invite came. He wanted her to visit and promised her a dinner out and invited her to a work event, where, surely, she would have met his co-workers. He confirmed a few times and she bought a ticket, to which he replied, "good." She was excited to finally rekindle the night of their auspicious first meeting and she was glad that the few weeks prior had allowed them to learn more about each other. As they'd had substantive conversations, she was pleased that he wasn't just after just getting in her knickers and she'd opened up to him, confiding things that would have normally taken her months to disclose. But she felt valued and respected so she'd spoken freely.
Two days before the visit he randomly called to say hello, as he was in her city having dinner with friends. He was excited about a work accomplishment–that had brought him to her city–and was about to celebrate. But he'd just wanted to say hello. She was further pleased that he'd called just for this reason and hung up with a smile on her face. As luck would have it, she later found herself out with a girlfriend in the same neighborhood as he. She dropped him a benign text seeing if he could say hello. He could and he did. "He was nervous in a cute way," her friend would later say. Hugs and handshakes abounded and there was talk of her pending visit 48 hours later. He eventually left and she and her friend effused over his charms and handsomeness. Roughly ten minutes later, a bomb in the form of a text populated on her phone from him.
"I'm seeing someone else in my town and need to make that a priority. You can't come visit. Call me to discuss. Sorry," it read in all its sorriness.
She and her friend were dumbfounded. Not only had her friend had such a favorable impression of him in a short period of time, but the poor girl was out the cost of a non-refundable ticket, to which he simply told her the next day to contact the airline for a refund. (Yeah, right. That works.) The idyllic weekend they were to have would be no more. She responded coolly, saying there was no need for discussion. There was nothing to say.
Guaranteed, none of us have reached adulthood without something similar happening to us, and unfortunately, these occurrences are largely out of our control. We've all been on the receiving end of major dick moves like this that put on grand display someone's cowardice, and we've all had to bounce back and keep on steppin'. But she was terribly confused–who could blame her–and wanted my advice on what to subsequently do.
My first bit of advice...don't shed a tear over someone who had exhibited such insensitive and inhumane behavior. Although they were not officially a couple, or actually dating yet, he'd done a good job of expressing great interest in her and by extending the invite for a visit, and confirming it more than once, it's easy to see how she thought there was real interest there.
I also told her to take out her frustrations at the gym. Nothing like lifting, kicking or punching something to relieve some aggression. Turns out exercise has greater benefits beyond just health, as she would later tell me after sweating herself into oblivion.
And I would be remiss if I didn't authorize her to tie one on just a wee bit. A good buzz never hurt anybody when trying to get over a sting.
But I think the best tip I gave her was to ask early next time if the guy is seeing anyone else. She hadn't thought this necessary because he had been so present and open with her, but it's a question that we have to ask regardless. You know what they say when you assume...makes an ass out of you and me, and indeed she had been made into the brunt of his joke. (Joke in the sense that he'd had the gall to insert a smiley face into his text when he commented that the person that he was seeing was a woman (insert face) as previously he'd mentioned a friend who was gay when he'd joined her and her friend at the bar.)
The big lesson? Ask early. Within your first or second communiques.
It made her shutter to think that he'd been carrying on with his real object of affection at the same time he'd been speaking to her in the manner that he had over the prior weeks. I told her to just be grateful that he showed his true colors early before she got too involved. Thank God for small favors, I said.
Live and learn, as they say. She eventually bounced back nicely and is now dating someone worthy of her time and who has not exhibited such asshole-like tendencies. I am happy for her and wish her and all of you love, luck and success as your navigate this minefield called dating.