Scarlett Harris tries not to let her bad dating experience influence the way she sees all the other men in the world.
My friend April’s catch cry seems to be, “All men are assholes.” I refuse to believe this, but sometimes certain people can make it mighty hard.
A month or two ago I met this guy. We exchanged flirty eye contact and eventually I got up the courage to add him on Facebook—today’s equivalent of courtship’s first step. Flirty Facebook messages followed, and we eventually hooked up just before Christmas.
While I made no secret that I was into him, he was a little harder to read. However, when he approached me at a party, kissed me, and invited me back to his house that night, I figured it was safe to assume that he was into me, too. He whispered sweet nothings into my ear, told me I was making him crazy with some of the things I’d written to him (I didn’t think I’d written anything out of the ordinary, but to each their own), and led me to a secluded corner of the party for more of the same. Again, safe to assume he was into me.
Then, after a couple of emails the next couple of days about how we were each feeling (physically, not emotionally) the day after the party, nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
I’d even asked him if, after Christmas, he’d like to catch up for a drink to get to know each other better. A date, I believe the kids call it these days. No reply. Come on, dude, you’re 30. Call a sister back. Even just to tell me that you had fun that night, but that was all it’d amount to. We’re not in high school anymore.
And it wasn’t even like I’d gone back to his house like he’d asked. Maybe then it’d be understandable that all he’d wanted was sex and then decided to drop me like I was hot. But I went home with my friends and he went home with his. One friend suggested maybe all he had wanted was sex, and when he knew he couldn’t get that from me on the first date kiss, he figured I wasn’t worth the effort. (Full disclosure: I am.) But, again, JUST TELL ME! Is it really that hard to end a ten-second email saying thanks, but no thanks.
What makes it even more awkward is that I work with him. Not in the same department, but close enough so that I see him several times a week. And he’s nice as pie: smiles, says hello, asks how I am. I smile curtly and respond; we’re adults, after all, even if he hasn’t really been demonstrating this.
Why do some men insist on acting this way? And, I’m sure, a lot of men would assert that women act hot and cold, too. I’ve certainly been guilty of it in the past, but, as I mature, I prefer to tell people straight if they’ve upset me or if I’m just not that into them.
Even one of the guys I’ve spoken to about my dilemma boiled his actions down to his Y chromosome. I just don’t believe this. I know plenty of men who are the polar opposite of this trope; then again, I know plenty of men who uphold it, too. I suppose, despite what pop culture, bogus science, and years of socialization have told us, it’s really all about the individual, no matter whether they come from Venus or Mars. Douches come from both planets.
After writing this piece for my blog, The Early Bird Catches the Worm, a couple of weeks ago, I received an email from the subject of the post apologizing for his actions, or lack thereof, thanking me for calling him out, and recognizing that, despite some personal issues which he filled me in on, he should have simply called me back. So, to him I say, thank you for restoring my faith in humanity and showing me that you actually don’t give men a bad name.
This post originally appeared here.