are you there god? it's me, margaret. any chance you could return my text?

In this adapted excerpt from my latest ebook The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship , I share my tips for kicking the virtual relationship habit, which is when you’re too reliant on texts, instant messenger, email, Facebook, sexts et al and making loaves out of crumbs…

Shorten your meeting time.

The amount of time between meeting someone online and meeting face to face should be short. The longer it is, the greater the fantasy. There is no need to go through this pre-vetting process by having long drawn-out and misleading conversations via text, email, and even phone, without setting the date. You’re not a hotline for stroking the egos of strangers. Dating is a discovery phase – use dates to discover before you invest into having these lazy communications with someone you hardly know. Shortening this time period will save you a hell of a lot of pain and illusions.

It’s time for a lazy communication diet.
You’d be amazed at how quickly you’ll see how things really are when you opt to pick up the phone instead of texting or emailing, or opt to meet up instead of spending your days chatting.

Take at least a 3-6 month break from dating sites.
If you have a string of virtual relationships over an extended period of time, a 12 month break to reconnect with the real world is highly recommended. Don’t go back on dating sites until you’re ready to have hide of rhino and be the Columbo in your life.

If you have an extensive history of virtual relationships, I’d take a year’s break. Delete your profiles so that you don’t feel tempted to reconnect with those who track you down or to collect attention.

If texting, email, IM, and dating sites didn’t exist, and it was, for example, 1998, what would you do in the same situation?

Accept that texts, emails, etc., are not the bread and butter of a healthy relationship that requires regular and increasing human interaction; they’re the crumbs.
In an otherwise genuinely effort-filled relationship, these means of communication are fine, but otherwise, they are a deluding and unproductive use of your time that stunts communication.

If you’re not touching them more than you’re having lazy communication with them, this is not the relationship you think it is.

Stop being so words-focused – if you haven’t got actions and a relationship to match, you’ve got nothing but words and hot air.

If it hasn’t progressed into a face to face, bonafide relationship after a month of this contact, cut it off.

It won’t be over because you forced a meeting; it’ll be over because it was dependent on not meeting and you were both passing time.

No sexts, no arguing, and no discussions via text and email.
People who are in a relationship don’t have to rely on sexting to have a sexual relationship. It is completely inappropriate and quite passive aggressive to argue or attempt to have a meaningful discussion via text or email – face to face or voice to voice. If you want to clarify points post-discussion or argument by text/email, that’s one thing, but the truth is that mature, available adults don’t use these means to have meaningful discussions about meaningful relationships. You must learn to communicate on a level with people and face your fear of conflict and rejection.

If you are transitioning from a breakup, divorce, etc., deal with this first.
Stop using these involvements as a distraction. Texts, etc., are not going to get you over your breakup or provide you with the better relationship that you deserve.

No long distance relationships.
One to three hours travelling is do-able as long as you have the means to regularly make the journey. Some people are not cut out for long distance relationships – Dreamers fit that bill. The lack of face to face interaction and the distortion caused by it being long distance, which adds a tension that wouldn’t exist otherwise, is too dangerous for you. If the distance becomes too much and you spend more time thinking about the relationship than living it, let it go.

Be careful of being with people who spend a lot of their time travelling.
Certainly in the early months, this is a vulnerable hotspot for you and leaves you too wide open. You need to be with someone who you can see regularly both during the week and at the weekends. This isn’t to say that people who go away are unavailable – this is about you. Until you’re in the position of being real and fully accountable, it is dangerous to have relationships that give you an excuse to have too much alone time with your imagination and a legitimate reason to engage in crumb communication.

Accept that sex with primarily virtual contact isn’t a relationship; it’s a booty call with some window dressing. Nuff said.

Don’t create new ‘rules’ to justify the lazy communication.
Most Dreamers, especially Virtuals, have come up with all sorts of justifications for their behaviour based around modern dating. If you think that people are forging long-term relationships, getting married, having children, building lives together, by spending most of their time emailing, texting, IM’ng, and waiting around, think again. Nothing has changed – in order to create a mutually fulfilling relationship with love, care, trust, respect, and shared values, that has progression, consistency, commitment, balance, and intimacy, you both need to be in the real world, seeing each other regularly and putting in genuine physical and emotional effort that matches your words. It does not matter that texting, dating sites, Facebook or whatever exist – it’s only someone who wasn’t intending to commit and has found new means to make it easier to make a big deal out of crumbs, who will rely on these means.

If you feel like you want to keep a safe distance, you probably shouldn’t be involved.
You’re going to get to know someone by getting up close.

Respect your current relationship and no matter how innocuous you think it is, don’t entertain inappropriate interactions with people outside of your relationship.
If you couldn’t show your communications to your partner and they, in fact, have no knowledge of the person’s existence, it is inappropriate.

Sort your problems out.
Every person who is in a virtual relationship has problems that, instead of solving, they avoid by seeking attention and making a big deal out of crumbs. This is how you end up with bigger problems than what you started out with. Sometimes we do need a distraction in order to gain perspective so that we can approach a problem with renewed vigour and focus; having a virtual relationship is not a means of doing this.

Bid farewell to your exes, especially the ones from long ago.
Unless they add genuine, positive, out in the open and respectful value to your life, cut ‘em off. This will mean grieving the loss of them, but you’d be surprised at how short this will be when you can grab back the power for your life and you realise that you’re letting go of the best thing you never had so you can focus on experiencing the best thing that you can have in your future.

The ex from long ago that screwed you over or married someone else when you think you were so much better – let them go.
They have made their choice and they’re really not that special. Stop waiting around on the off chance that they might call you up after they’ve seen the light or tap you up for the role of the Other Woman (or guy). Stop stroking their ego, sending nude shots, or waiting around for them to send you dumb texts about the weather or your shared favourite sports team. It’s all bullshit.

Your thoughts?

The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship is now available from my bookshop along with with Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl.

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196 Responses to Tips For Avoiding Text, Internet & Other Lazy Communication Based Relationships

  1. tired_of_assanova says:

    Fantastic.

    The fantasy relationship touch test:
    1. Distance in space or time (i.e. lives more than 1 hour away or works night shift)
    2. Crumb communication
    3. A moderating excuse
    4. Can’t physically touch them (not just see) on 3 different days of the week over a period of weeks.

    Be explicit about going on a DATE. Many people have “friends first then see where it goes” attitude, sometimes I think this is just like being set up for the bait and switch.

    • BGirl says:

      tired_of_assanova:

      I second “going on a DATE!” The number of guys that I have come across who wants to ‘chill’/come over my house (or me to theirs) and “watch movies” after only a few texts of them first meeting me has got me wondering if asking to go out on a date, in public is wanting too much!

      • Tinkerbell189 says:

        Isn’t is so annoying/aggravating when they do that?? It freaks me out when someone I have barely met wants to “watch movies” at their house! One, because watching movies at someone’s house is just a kiss, zip and a hop away from having sex WAY too easily. Two, because inviting someone over to your home is very personal and should be something you only do with people you have known for a good amount of time. I wouldn’t pick a guy off the street and say come to my house, so why would it be ok to invite someone over you have only talked to online?? Most guys I talk to online say Hey I’m not a serial killer or something like that….but I think HOW DO I KNOW THAT?? Haha

      • Eve says:

        This – I started to wonder if it was me!! The point is also this – they MUST get women who go for these crumbs otherwise they wouldn’t try it on.

        Do I want to come round and watch dvd’s?
        Um, what’s your last name?….

        No, NO and NO

        • tired_of_assanova says:

          The AC asked me to come over and maybe watch some DVD’s sometime. Of course it was to get him laid…

      • tired_of_assanova says:

        I know, tell me about it! So many guys now sh*t themselves when you PHONE them, others go pale at the word date – what is the world coming to?

        • Stephanie says:

          I met my ex AC online and we exchanged numbers and met up within a few days, which at the time was very exciting. We had 2 really good dates and he invited me over on our 3rd date. He dressed it up nicely by cooking dinner, buying wine and watching DVDs. However, on reflection it was probably only an opportunity to get laid. After what was a really nice evening he started blowing tepid and I couldn’t work out why, I thought it was going somewhere. I kept blaming myself, I still do to a certain extent. I actually said to him the following day, “you don’t know my surname”.

          I stayed over at his place one night again the following week, in between there were crummy texts explaining how busy he was. Then nearly 10 days went by and he invited me over again (although we went to the cinema this time) only because I said I was confused about the situation. After that he went from blowing tepid to cold, ignored me, invited me out again, stood me up, then disappeared! The reason he gave me for standing me up and making me look like a tit was pathetic.

          During our short time together I was constantly checking my phone for texts and missed calls. It was awful. When I called him for the last time and asked him what was up he was so passive and calm, which confused me even more.

          Urghh.

          • Stephanie says:

            One more thing, he was always busy at weekends, and I only saw him during the week although he did have his children on alternate weekends. But what about the weekends when he didn’t have them? He was always busy allegedly helping friends out.

    • tracy says:

      I see this line sooo often on OLD profiles…yes, being ‘friends’ with your partner is important, but what I think this REALLY says is “I’m going to fart around with as many people as I can until I find Ms. Perfect”

  2. Elle says:

    Brava! One of your BEST posts.

  3. SM says:

    I met a guy last weekend while out with friends. We chatted on Monday and he said he liked to get fun emails, he sent me an email asking me to name 5 things about myself. Since I had spent 4 hours with him when I first met him and this smacked of dating website stuff, I just ignored it. I felt he had enough interaction when we met to determine if he wanted to go on a date or not. Well he called today and asked me out for Saturday nite, I accepted but have a few reservations. First he’s only called me from his work number, but he has my personal cell, second he’s only called during the day and not in the evening. So I find myself wanting to be cautious because I’m not sure what this means. He’s calling tomorrow to firm up plans, I thought maybe I should mention this to him, is that a good idea? He’s followed through on calling when he said he would. He’d asked me when we first met if I’d like to see a movie with him (we discussed our love of going to the movies) and he never bothered me about not answering his email.

    • titi says:

      SM, you are WAY overthinking it. You’re analysing the hell out of it. It’s been just o-n-e date. Why are you investing so much of your attention and thinking in a person you saw just once? I understand, you don’t want to repeat the pattern that caused you so much pain, but the solution is not in being so scared it paralyses you, so that you cannot even go out on a second date without constructing stories in your head about someone’s unavailability… and you’ve seen this person just ONCE. Are you sure you are ready for dating again? Relax. No one here can validate your feelings. If you wanna go out with him, then do it, if your gut tells you something is wrong, ditch him. It’s quite simple. If you decide to go out with him, and it tuns out he’s a weirdo, just move on.

      • SM says:

        Thank you titi. You’re right, my gut’s not telling me anything, its my head that is analyzing it. I just didnt like the he said he liked to get and receive emails, so I prejudged him based on that.

        • Allison says:

          SM,

          He didn’t say that was his exclusive mode of communication.

          Girl, you need to chill. This guy has done nothing wrong, and yet you have already made some undeserved assumptions. Please DO NOT ask him any questions.

          Have a good time, and most importantly. RELAX!!!!!

        • Sue says:

          I disagree with titi, SM. I would wonder if a guy had another relationship if he only called me in the evenings. I would ask him about it. Why waste any more time if he has a relationship?

          • Allison says:

            Sue,

            She hasn’t been on a date, yet. She will appear paranoid id she starts interrogating him . I would see if a pattern develops to see if there is a problem.

            We can’t overanalyze.

    • Late Bloomer says:

      SM – he’s called you and asked you out for a Saturday night date. Focus on that for now. On work nights I might run errands, go to the gym, etc… and get home after 9 pm. I still go by the Larry David rule for phone calls — not past 9 pm, then only if it’s good news. So go out, and have fun!

      p.s. – glad you didn’t respond back to the “joke” 5 thing e-mail. Or that he didn’t ask you to forward your response on to 10 others. Go out, enjoy, stay in the moment, and have a blast! You’re aware and if your’re spidey senses go off, you know what to do.

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      SM, I recently had an attack of the butterflies with someone I thought I might hit it off with. Went for one date and then they went dark. I was told to calm the eff down and I did (eventually). I think it is just a transition phase thing and you’re just trying to be cautious and be all perfect about it because you don’t want to wreck things and want to make a break and have something good.

      A good piece of advice I got in this situation was ‘let it unfold’. Think of a fern frond as it uncurls – you can’t pry it open and force it, and why the hell would you want to? Let beautiful things unfold slowly, there’s probably not enough information collected to make a solid decision on it yet.

      PS: I have flushed the second date. Tried to do the texting thing but I cut him off with “I’m not a texting person” and I phoned all the time. He went cold and started to distance himself veeeeery quickly, and out started dripping all the work excuses. Yep! Boundaries in operation and working *BEAUTIFULLY*.

      - FLUSH!

      • Little Star says:

        TOA, I admire you for being strong and using your boundaries, well done!!! I think I am different, as I prefer texting and met guys who usually want to talk on the phone (except my AC)…maybe I have a complex as I am foreigner and have strong eastern European accent:-(

      • SM says:

        Thank you ToA, that is exactly what I’m doing. I’m trying to be cautious (something I havent done in the past), I’m trying to make good decisions and I’m trying to be aware of what is going on around me- something else I’ve not done in the past. I will take yours and Late Bloomers advice, I will let it unfold and enjoy myself. LB-thank you, I do know what to do.

      • tracy says:

        That’s the way to do it!!!

      • SM says:

        Well does anyone want to know how it ended? I figured you guys are right and I just need to chill. Sooo, I figured well he’ll call me from his personal phone today to firm up plans (not his work phone which is the only number I have). So he calls from a Private Number, I dont know who it is so I let it roll into vmail, he just says he’ll call me back but never leaves his number. He then proceeds to call 4 more times from the Private Number (I’m at the nail salon getting hands done and cant pick up), he doesnt leave a message and since I dont have a number for him other than work, I cant call him back. I’m sorry but that smacks of something weird, I’m not analyzing it but I dont like it so FLUSH.

        I’m just telling a story here of my journey to healthy dating by paying attention to my instincts, prior knowledge of shady situations and not thinking every man that asks me out is the last chance saloon.

        • titi says:

          You have your boundaries working, congrats! Now that he exhibited some very shady behavior, you just hit the flush, and that’s it. We cannot choose who we will meet, but we can choose whether we want them in our lives. So, I believe the key is in trusting your gut, not overanalyzing, and just moving away if it hurts. There’s no damage if we don’t invest ourselves in something that actually exists only in our heads. He was acting like a weirdo, you received that feedback and withdrew, that’s great. People actually show us from the beginning their true nature, and we just should be careful enough to see these hints, as you were with this guy. It was actually just a good opportunity to exercise setting your boundaries:-). Wish you more luck with some other guy next time!

          • SM says:

            Titi thank you! That is exactly what happened. I did get a weird vibe when he would only call during the day from his work phone and never once offered his number and then tells me he likes to do a lot of emailing. I dont have to explain why I did what I did, I was the one who met him, spoke with him and had a handle on the situation.

            • Polly says:

              Good work SM better to go with your instinct on these things. If he won’t give you his personal number that is a bit odd. I remember someone saying – Grace maybe – always go for the most obvious explanation rather than look for reasons. When all is said and done it is your decision to make and you’ve done that x

        • tired_of_assanova says:

          Well he tried calling you. Perhaps you should call back?
          Why won’t he give his proper home / mobile number. Ask questions ‘do you have a partner/person you are seeing regularly’.

          Discovery phase.

          • titi says:

            She doesn’t have his phone number, so she cannot call him back (it’s Sunday). Even if he’s not married/in a relationship, his behavior is shady and immature, as he doesn’t even respect her enough to give her his private number (she did that BEFORE they went on a date). SM, I was wondering, what was your overall impression about his behaviour yesterday? Did he seem genuinely interested in getting to know you, did he make some inapropriate comment etc? Did you *like* him?

            • SM says:

              Titi I did like him. He was fun, smokin hot and had a good job. What threw me was when he said he liked to send and receive a lot of emails (we met in person not on the internet). Then he proceeds to send an email with a funny pic of him, when I didnt respond within two hours (I was at work and told him I was slammed), he sends the email wanting to know if I got the first email and then asks me to tell him 5 things about myself. It smacked of internet dating to me. So I ignored it, that was Monday, then on Tues he calls and chats, finds out I’m out of town Wed and Thurs for business and says he’ll call when I get back to get together, which is what he did from his work phone. I’m already wondering why this dude doesnt call me in the evening when we are both not working so he calls and his number is hidden and doesnt offer a number, my suspicions were confirmed. For whatever reason this guy doesnt want me to have his personal number. I dont know what that reason is but I dont like it and didnt want to go out with him.

          • SM says:

            Tired, cant call him, only have his work number and he’s off on the weekends. Since we both frequent the place we met and I will assuredly run into him again, I did send him an email to his work address-the only one I had. I was respectful and just told him I was put off by the fact that he only called from a Private Number and never left a message with his a number I could call him back on, that I had given my personal number in good faith and I expected him to do the same. I’m telling you it may not be the case but it looks like he’s hiding something.

            • sushi says:

              SM,
              you are absolutely right to be concerned and are not overreacting. You gave him your number because you want him to be able to contact you and he has not extended the same courtesy. Very basically wrong behaviour. You are rightly taking it at face value and unless he comes up with his private number and ” sorry did not realise my number was set to private” -which I doubt will happen, flush him and don`t look back. Those emails sounded really immature too.

            • Late Bloomer says:

              SM- didn’t see your responses (all of the chronology) till after I posted. Yes, something is amiss. Six calls, no call back number or mutual exchanges of mobiles. Glad you sent the e-mail. Shows action on your part. Respectfully, getting your point across.

        • Allison says:

          SM,

          I disagree.

          He probably thought you were blowing him off.

          • Allison says:

            I don’t seem able to utilize the editing option, but I would like to add a point:

            It kind of sounds like you never really wanted to go out on a date with this man, and were looking for any excuse to get out. Perhaps, a break from dating until you become more comfortable returning to the dating world. Just a thought.

            • SM says:

              Actually I did want to go out with him, he was smoking hot, had a good job (verified) and was fun to be with when I met him. But seriously, my radar went off when he wouldnt give me his personal phone number and he had mine. Then when he called no less than 6 times from a blocked number, my spidey senses went off the radar.

              • Rose Red says:

                SM
                Well done!!!
                This dude was trouble, he wanted to string you along and with the blocked number he is either married or living with another women.

                I would NEVER date a guy who didn’t give me his personal number and I will NEVER again allow a man to manage me with text, as a matter of fact, I got rid of my cell phone and only use a land-line, hows THAT for old-fashioned!
                Good for you girl!!!

        • cc says:

          sm-
          wait a sec.

          this guy is trying to get a hold of you. yes, it is a little weird that he’s calling from a private number and would rather keep calling than leave the number … but you already know his work number. does it matter which phone he calls you from?

          listen, i would never encourage you to override a gut feeling, our guts are nearly always right. but i’m concerned you’re being too, sorry, rigid about this.

          if you like the guy, i say give him a chance. he’s actually pursuing you. i’m not sure what’s bad about that….

          • Mymble says:

            SM
            FoR what it’s worth I agree with you.
            I find it really odd that he wouldn’t give you his personal number, and I would tend to suspect that he has a partner and doesn’t want to get unexpected calls/texts. At work, obviously, coast is clear so he doesn’t mind you having that number. Can’t think of any other reason, but you have told him what the problem is so he can sort it out if there’s a misunderstanding.

            • SM says:

              Right on the money Mymble. That’s exactly what I thought, he has a partner and is protecting himself. My not be so but sure does appear so.

        • A says:

          I don’t know….some people automatically have their numbers set up to show as ‘private’. He did in fact try calling you back, so maybe with the initial message he assumed he would be able to reach you later and so didn’t bother leaving his number/asking you to call him back. I’m not in the situation so maybe there is something that you are picking up on. If you do speak again I would explain that you could not answer the phone, and that you were not able to call him back b/c he never left his number, then ask him for his cell number so that it will not happen again–see what he says. If you ask him point blank and he doesn’t give it to you, then that is a bit weird.

        • Late Bloomer says:

          SM – That’s disappointing, regardless of last chance saloon, etc.. At this point, my radar would be up. He obviously wanted to firm up plans and take you on a date (be it a simple first date, and something you were looking forward to). However, four calls with no message and a blocked call back number, that’s puzzling and you may never know the reasoning or real situation. He could be hiding something, or he might have not realized his number was blocked when he was calling you (that’s happened to me before and sometimes I don’t leave call back #s from the cell, since it’s there).

          While I think you wanted to go on the date, it appears to me that part of you was “testing” him. I’m not sure if your phone was available during the manicure when the other calls came through… I’ve “tested” before and it’s always backfired. Flush or no flush – what’s played out doesn’t bode well for you feeling comfortable and secure in the context of getting to know someone new. For whatever reasons.

          Having said that, he might call you again. Regardless of the flush situation, if he does call you, I would bring it up. It doesn’t need to be accusatory (i.e. what are you hiding? Why do you always call from work? ). More like “When your calls came through I was at the nail salon, etc… I was looking forward to our date and wanted to get back to you. But it was a blocked number, and you didn’t leave a call back number so I had no way to reach you.” Simple, direct, and calm. More for you, and as practice. Boundary building/enforcing. If he is above board, you can take it from there. Your BS detector is on and you have a good head on your shoulders. You DO know what to do. The likelihood of you wanting to date someone (where it’s difficult to mutually communicate on a very basic level and who may be hiding something) low. Perfectly understandable.

          • Late Bloomer says:

            SM – I also wanted to mention a book that I recently read called “Attached” by Levine and Heller. It’s the only resource that’s come remotely close to helping in the way that NML’s material has for my growth. The book centers around the attachment styles we tend to bring to romantic relationships. By recognizing our “style,” it’s easier to understand why we might overanalyze something, especially based on our upbringing/life experiences and romantic past. Some of us (me included) have a “sixth sense” for danger and the uncanny ability to pick up on subtle changes/actions from others. While these perceptual changes are often correct (i.e. they are actually there), the intent behind them may not — and we can take it too personally, sometimes leading to behaviors and thoughts, which may not be the best strategies. I ‘m not saying this is your case, but the book has been helpful for me.

            There are also some great tools on communication and perspectives, and while it’s still a journey, I’m seeing progress.

            • SM says:

              Thank you LB. When you wrote in your first post that I knew what to do, it was calming to me like no other. I’ve really been working on myself for a while but sometimes I get a little tense when dealing with this type of stuff. But after your first post, I was calm, cool, relaxed and looking forward to the date. I think he knew his number was blocked which is why he called so many times, he knew I couldnt call him back. I am definitely going to look for that book.

        • yoghurt says:

          D’you know what, SM? I think that life’s just too short. If you can attract one smokin hot bloke then you can attract another, and preferably one without sticky question marks hanging over him.

          Fwiw, I think that you’ve done right in explaining why you didn’t want to see him again. If it was a simple mistake and he’s really interested, he’ll make amends to you in some way (or just reply with “Oh sorry, my number’s xxxxxxxx”). If it wasn’t and he’s not, then you’ve missed out on being messed about by a numpty. Either way = win.

        • Anon says:

          Yep, he lives with a woman or has a girlfriend and doesn’t want you calling him back or knowing his number to call late at night. He would rather call you 4x than leave a number, like a normal man would. ha. Dodgy.

          • A says:

            Putting aside what was happening with this guy in particular, how would anyone expect to get away with not giving out his private number in the long term? Are there actually guys out there who are this stupid? Sure, he could call from his work number a few times without arousing suspicion, but after a date or being asked for it point blank…come on. What excuse could he possibly come up with for not giving it out that would allay suspicion?

            • I feel compelled to comment because the whole thing with this private number guy has been rolling and rolling and rolling.

              He’s just not THAT special.

              SM knew him for all of a hot week. She has gauged the situation, exercised her judgement and on that basis, chosen to opt out. That’s it. It’s no biggie. Some of you might have chosen to give the gold plated “benefit of the doubt” and I’d lay bets some would even have been with someone with a private number for weeks, months or even years.

              He’s just not THAT special.

              Even the amount of attention and debate he’s being given is disproportionate to the situation at hand. It is the fact that in particular as women, we would spend so much time deliberating over a virtual strangers actions and even suggest that one may have blown a ‘chance’ by having some standards, that lets many of the people who seek to get a lot for little, get away with it.

              Let it be. SM has judged the situation and acted – that is *enough*. SM – don’t question your judgement; roll with it.

              The fact is, even he in the cold light of day, would realise what an odd situation it is and you cannot be blamed for drawing a conclusion from it. If he has any basic levels of empathy and wants to rectify things, he can knock himself out. He hasn’t put his best foot forward nor has he even matched you in exhibiting basic levels of trust – you know that shit that we all have to show up with as standard in dating. It is not you giving off the wrong messages here – it is him. You’re not some woman without a life sitting around waiting for his call – you were busy when he called. All this cat and mouse, things on his terms, private number and no message bullshit – it’s just excessive.

              He’s just not THAT special.

              He’s just some guy you met that you could have gone out with but you didn’t. To feel bad about it, is like going into mourning for not winning the jackpot in the lottery at the weekend.

              • grace says:

                Natalie
                … when you didn’t buy a ticket.

                • *clutching my sides laughing* Grace

                • Natasha says:

                  Grace, you have me dying laughing too!! I was once in a similar situation (guy asked me out via text and I’d already made plans…TRAGIC.) and one of my girlfriends went on (and on) that I should have called him to follow up because he probably felt rejected and I probably missed out on The Catch Of The Century (to steal a phrase from you Nat!). SWEET JESUS. I met the guy once. He texted an invite that I couldn’t (and due to the text-ural nature of the invite, didn’t really WANT to) accodomodate. Ironically enough, it turned out that he had a rep as a raging pile of assclownery. Sometimes “winning the jackpot” equates to “not going out with a moron.” Am I right?!

              • SM says:

                Thank you Natalie! I dont feel bad at all and I’m not second guessing myself. However, I do feel really strong like all this stuff is finally paying off for me. Sorry I didnt mean to hijack the thread with my issue :-)

  4. shelly says:

    Hey Nat….I totally agree with you on this one…BUT….Every guy I meet whether online or out in the real world….that asks for my number texts and doesn’t call! It drives me crazy…What do I do about this…I tell them upfront that I don’t text and would rather talk on the phone and they text anyway…It’s gotten to a point where I don’t answer their texts period…your advice on this? Thx!

    • Groundhog Day says:

      I also have experienced this problem, i either solve it by 1)telling them to call and not text …. 2)if they still text, just ring them back! and talk for 5 mins then say ur off and can they call next time. Basically do not engage in their texts. i text sometimes if its something like “im running late” or “sorry cant chat right now call back at __” but otherwise i genuinely just dont engage in it, they soon get the picture =)
      Hope that helps
      x

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      First time they text – “Just so you know, I’d love to hear your voice and so please call me if you can”. When they text, you can text back “PHONE ME” or you can phone back. Drives them nuts and you can get more information from the tone of voice. You can pick up lies MUCH better!

  5. rosenfire says:

    Day-um! I need to have this post tattooed on my forehead – backwards, of course, so I can read it when I look in the mirror.

  6. Fearless says:

    “Are you there God? It’s me Margaret…. any chance you could reply to my text?”

    Hilarious! Thanks for that.

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      “Are you there God? It’s me Margaret…. any chance you could tell me if assclowns go to hell?”

      • happy b says:

        They are sent to the land of Baggage Reclaim :)

        • runnergirlno1 says:

          I loved the tag line too. Natalie, where do you come up with this day in and day out. You are one brilliant person and one darn great writer. Happy Mums day to you.
          May I add, “God, it’s me Margaret, will you pick up if I call otherwise why are you texting me? Do you need to get laid?
          TofA, yes AC’s go to hell. And if they are Catholic they spend some time in purgatory before going to hell.
          The 1998 comment still has me laughing. What would we do if it was 1998? Phones had cords and there was only one phone per household. Okay, I’m sounding like an old fart now.
          Thank you Natalie, I’m always in awe as how you can sift through the shit. The only texts I now receive and respond to are my daughter’s. Sometimes, we are in the house while texting! She bought me a vanilla-lavender candle which is putting me into a deep, deep sleep. Nite. It’s a serenity candle. The kid knows me.

          • Lizzy says:

            Are you there God? It’s me Margaret by Judy Blume was one of my favourite books when I was a teenager, thanks for the reminder Natalie, only on BR! Happy birthday Runnergirl xx

  7. dancingqueen says:

    loved the comment about traveling: The guy that I just broke up with travelled all week, every week and we only saw each other on the weekends. He was really sweet and for the most part a good guy but that got old and I felt like it added a really artficial component to our relationship…..I could not keep either weekend night free because we saw each other so rarely and between that and the 45 minute drive for either of us either way it got to be too much….next time I want someone closer by who travels less!

    • Stephanie says:

      Some of them use travelling as an excuse. My AC said from the get go and on his dating profile that he travels a lot for work. He doesn’t. He travels occasionally.

      • dancingqueen says:

        No I know he did really travel that much because I knew him through a freind who was his former employee, but with that said Stephanie I think that you are on to something; a guy who travels all the time-even if he really does-is basically asking for a very difficult time trying to find a true partner….Not many people can handle that, unless they had that time, prior, before the traveling gig, to bond with someone. I just felt like, in the end, that I was kind of being expected to work around his schedule and he did not really step up to fighting for things so I just basically said “Okay, well that doesn’t work for me” and we broke up….of course now he is posting about me for the first time EVER on Facebook…..about how he misses me…..so that, again, I took as a sign: when a guy posts about you for the first time AFTER you break up then maybe they can’t be real or down to earth *sigh* I am not broken-hearted but am a bit disappoineted and I am feeling a bit over this all…..I just want to meet a normal, down to earth man who wants what I want;0! grr…

  8. Tess says:

    Ditto, a great one! To the first point, every man I’ve communicated with more than once on a online dating service has done this very thing. They email and email and email, never wanting to actually meet. The last one seemed really interested, so we did the ritual online posting to one another, and finally after several weeks, I got so irritated I made a casual comment that it would be fun to talk sometime- he never even acknowledged my comment, and after another week of the same bs and his never wanting to go on to the next level, I just stopped communicating with him. Is it me? And why pay to be on a service if you never want to actually meet and interact? Oy.

    Your other points are like an “a ha” for me. I’ve been through a rough relationship recently with an A/C, one I’m still grieving, but I’ve tried to move on. Several men have been interested but I can’t seem to get close to any one. I find that I’m the texter and prefer to keep them at arms length, this way, and on a couple of levels, I guess afraid to get too close. It’s frustrating for the guy I’ve been talking to now I know though I’ve told him I’m not ready for anything serious at this point. Your comments on stopping waiting around for the A/C to come back – deep down I know this – but it’s difficult to be with anyone else. Lots of work to do on me still but it is lonely.

    Thanks so much, this one really got to me-

    • grace says:

      Tess
      If you don’t want to email back and forth and if you don’t want a text relationship -then don’t engage.
      Sift through the chaff – quickly. If no date is set up within, say, ten days, then move along. It’s not you, there are a lot of people with a lot of bad habits out there (and here).
      If you don’t want a text “relationship”, stop the texting. I got a text from the excrush. My heart actually sank. But all it said was “See you Weds. God bless.” I didn’t reply – I’m that allergic to texts even in a situation that is harmless (provided I stay grounded in reality).
      We avoid reality because we are afraid of it, but reality is solid ground. You can put one foot in front of the other. Which you can’t do when you’re floating about in the ether of your imagination, avoiding hard facts and being puffed about by … texts, IM’s, facebook or whatever insubstantial bit of wind comes our way.

  9. Tracy says:

    Thing is that you give over your person and power to “virtuals”. It all seems to start out quite innocently…a friend request on FB? I have only had one experience since my marriage ended, but, after 17 months! (what was I thinking?) of texts (thousands), excuses and basically lots of lying on his part….I moved to a different home (we lived in the same neighbourhood!), blocked him on FB and changed my cell number. Changing my cell number was so therapeutic!! Take your power back. Cut every avenue of communication off. And you will find yourself smiling and truly feeling happy with you and your life
    again in no time :) Truly.

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      What do people think of “white” lies like:

      “I can’t come out tonight/you can’t come over/we can’t go out because I have a friend coming over (and they don’t, they just don’t want to see you then).

      “I have a lot of work on/am working night shift/work at 4 am” etc…

      • Tracy says:

        Hi,

        You know, I don’t really think of these lies as “white” . They are just lies. Trouble for/with me was that I “believed” he was telling the truth. I didn’t imagine why or that he would have any reason to lie to me. I didn’t lie to him. Natalie’s repeated message that “actions must match words” was where I started to put 2 and 2 together. If someone really wants to see you, they will move mountains to see you. If they feel the need to manipulate you with lies, they don’t deserve you. The person that will hold my hand will earn it, with honestly and integrity.

      • Fearless says:

        Tired,

        I don’t think I have ever been straight up with a guy I didn’t want to see or spend time with/or date – I never once said I don’t want to see you tonight because:

        I can’t be bothered
        Don’t want you to start expecting stuff that I won’t be giving you
        I’ve turned you down twice already why don’t you get it yet?
        When I’ve got nothing/no-one better to do I might send you a text/email
        I’ve have had my fill of you already and now you’re boring me
        I fancy someone else and am trying to follow that up
        I am seeing someone else tonight; I wish you would go away.
        You really are a pest
        I’d prefer you understood that you are not to call me – I’ll call you.
        I don’t feel like having sex tonight
        I am sick of you pushing me for more than I want to give
        I don’t like you anymore.

        Boy, don’t I sound like a bitch! I think I probably was if I wanted rid of a guy who was trying to get me to see him (for the first time – or for a second or third time). In my younger days when I was out and about all the time getting asked out on dates and hit on, we didn’t have mobile phones or email then – but I know for a fact that I would have used this means as the easy way of keeping someone at arms length and or pass on my excuses or to just ignore their texts. As it was (having to use the telephone or speak in person face to face), I would just do the following if he called me up and I didn’t want to see him:
        Not answer the phone
        Get my sister to answer the phone and say I’m not in
        Make an excuse e.g. am busy/am working/have other plans
        Start ignoring him to be sure he gets the message

        Sometimes we just want people to take the hint without having to spell it out. (I have, though, never ended a full flung relationship without being as honest and gentle and straight as I felt I could be – but I see now that my treatment of some guys was quite rude and hurtful and must have left them wondering WTF)

        Aside from your point, Tired, I think that all this modern texting/email/internet type of faceless, distant, stand-offish communication is now so normalised for us that women now are failing to see it for what it often is: A hint.

        If the bulk of his communication is faceless, distant, stand-offish – it is a hint. And the quicker we take the hint the better, instead of making excuses for it and thinking it’s a sign of progression/interest…

        • grace says:

          fearless, toa
          I agree – we may not like the way he or she is choosing to deal with it, but if they’re avoiding you they don’t want to see you again. You could spend all your time and energy getting beat up about it, or re-divert your efforts towards meeting someone who will leave you in no doubt that you’ll be seeing them again (which includes a date, a time and a place, not a stupid text about the weather/football/ your underwear).

        • Stephanie says:

          Fearless – I have to admit you are right. This is my experience too. The AC gave me every excuse in the book via text and over the phone, but I chose to ignore it and/or believe it. If only I had taken the time to see the light early on and just take the hint, I would have saved myself a lot of grief. In the distant past when I was getting hit on all the time and had my pick of various guys, I would fob them off in the hope that they just got the message although the majority of them I had not slept with. But now I’m grown and have experienced real rejection, I just wouldn’t do it.

        • Little Star says:

          Fearless, hilarious!!! Haha, my ex AC sent me message once, that his brother moved with him that was why I could not visit him….HE loved coming to my place, but was very careful about his place. These ACs always find some unimaginable reasons for not calling or meeting you…I am so glad that I finally flushed him!!!

          • dancingqueen says:

            TOA: I know that Nathalie says to co-pilot but until I am in a solid relationship where we both have honestly discussed things and I know that we have both agreed to see only each other ( and I feel that I can trust them, also, when they say this) I actually let them initiate the bulk of the dates the first month or two. I let them know that I want to see them, but I let them do it.
            You will find out very quickly who is not stepping up and then you can just flush.
            If someone says they can’t see me because blah blah blah then I wait for them to tell me when they can see me….if they don’t I would say something like ” Look I have to be honest, I have this weird feeling that you are making an excuse not to see me….thus I get the impression that you are not that into this….We can just not see each other and each move on, its no big deal, right? Nothing personal but I don’t need you doing me any favors”.
            I know that sounds blunt, but if you say it in a pleasant way you will be surprised how blunt you can be without seeming rude:)

            • SM says:

              Dancing, I do the same thing. I let them do the pursuing the first few months. I let them know I’m interested and may suggest things but thats it.

  10. MovingOn says:

    OMG! I broke up with a guy 2 months ago & he keeps sending me dumb texts about the weather. I just keep ignoring him. I don’t get it & wonder when he’ll stop.

  11. Peter says:

    Absolutely the best, down-to-earth post you have ever, ever written. This text should be mandatory reading before you could even sign-up for any type of site; it should be incorporated into what we teach our children. Hey God, you must be there, and speaking through someone like Natalie ;-) .

  12. Astrid says:

    Sigh – my 3 1/2 year long distance thing ( had the great start in which he rung twice a week but degenerated into just texts between 2-3 monthly visits) with that man was just the work of my imagination – no wonder I don’t understand how he reacts – I am paying more attention to whats going on in my head than to what is going on in the real world. Thats cause in the real world he likes me as a kind of friend, likes having sex with me…and that it. In my head it was so much more exciting – texts allows you to imagine what you like to a point. Doesn’t really feel that great – in fact is kind of depressing facing up to reality of not meaning much to someone when you had convinced yourself of something better… NEVER doing this again. I feel like an idiot.

  13. Broadsided says:

    Very well stated – I take the main point as: “In an otherwise genuinely effort-filled relationship, these means of communication are fine, but otherwise, they are a deluding and unproductive use of your time.”

    Even my last future faker guy, I thought I got to know him via E mail before letting my guard down on our first re-date (long story). But he was a journalist and was very good at with words and at “saying the right things well”, which in retrospect anybody can do, and which may or may not mean anything. You are so right, nothing takes the place of face-to-face, intimate contact with someone…..and time.

  14. Deb says:

    DEAD ON, Natalie. Every single point. Technology has made dating and relationships a whole new game, and frankly, I miss the days when every family just had ONE phone per household, and if you wanted to reach someone, you HAD to call that line or go to that person’s house…or, hell, even write a real letter! On paper! With yours own hands and pens with ink and envelopes and stamps that had to be licked and sealed and taken to a post box! The thing is, WE are the “learning curve” generation, which is why so many of us who read your blog and books have fallen prey to online predators using us as Fantasy Fodder with NO intention of ever having a relationship. I’ve had to learn all of these points the hard way, and to see it all put into words so astutely just drives it all home! Thanks again for another brilliant, revelatory post, Natalie!

  15. Anna says:

    This was perfect timing for me. I just got dumped (because he disappeared) by a guy who I had been seeing for a few months who was the ultimate lazy communicator. I had almost broken it off twice before because of this. He traveled for work and claimed he could not call me because he worked until late at night and then wouldn’t want to wake me up at night. I didn’t see him for three weeks because he was traveling and couldn’t call me during this time (apparently). He texted me nonstop and said it was all he could do. When I told him I didn’t want a relationship where we saw each other once a month, he responded with long texts full of excuses. He did eventually call me a few times, but I just couldn’t create a relationship with someone whose actions did not match his words. Despite barely seeing him, he claimed to be very interested in me. When I saw him he was all sweet talk and excuses. In the end though, I think he disappeared on me because he realized I was serious about no sex before commitment.

    Your post rings so true — especially to beware of people who travel a lot and not to make new rules for lazy communication. He almost had me convinced at some points that he HAD to text me and couldn’t call. In fact, he attempted to convince me of this over text, rather than calling! In the end, I’m glad to be rid of him, though I wish I had been the one to dump him, and I think it was rude of him just to disappear on me after 2.5 months.

    • grace says:

      Anna
      He IS rude. He IS a numpty but disappearing is to be expected in text “relationships”. If all he does is text, let’s not expect the courtesy of him meeting us in person to break it off. It ain’t gonna happen. Remember that and save your thumbs.

    • Danielle says:

      Smells like a man with a wife/girlfriend. I’d think yourself lucky you got out of that one!

  16. James says:

    Thank you Natalie, this post has really made me think – and take action too… I know I need that 12 months out – gosh that’s a hard prospect – but I dont want to give or receive just crumbs!

  17. Marianna Miaow says:

    Natalie, everytime I read your posts I am struck by how genius you are. I mean that, it is a rare genius! You get across really complex issues in a totally readable way. The light and humourous style of writing you have totally belies the depth behind them. How do you do it?! I honestly think you change many lives with your work, I for one will never be the same after reading here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

  18. teachable says:

    Here’s a minor win on this one for me. A couple of yrs back (b4 xAC reappeared after his 17 yr absence) I made contact with a man on a dating site & we met IRL twice to get together & play music (we’re both musicians & were not tied up with other musical projects at the time & I was toying with starting something up after a long break from the industry).

    He then lost his license for a long time on account of a drink driving offence. Having in the past, worked for a crim law community legal centre I knew from the length of time his he lost his licence for that he must have been a serious recidivist which clued me in immediately that he must have a problem with alcohol. I casually mentioned this one day to him & he denied it. Instead he admitted being a ‘reformed gambler’. He sounded sincere enough in telling the story of this but two bits of info for to know never in a million years would I be interested in dating this guy. I’ve kept him as a fb friend though due to the musical side of things (I also now wont do any serious musical projects w him either as w.out a licence he’d be a burden to work with. I may though use his musicanship if I need someone of that instrument to record on say one or two tracks in my home studio – hence still on fb)

    Anyway, every once in a blue moon he sends me single word (or near enough to it) fb messages. Stuff like ‘boo’ or ‘hey’ or.’how you going’. Mostly I ignore them but sometimes reply equally as short ie ‘good thanks. hope yr well’.

    I was starting to get annoyed with this recently when he sent a message saying ‘good stuff ‘teachable’. I had no idea what on earth he was referring to so mirrored his BS back @ him & replied ‘huh?’ to which he replies, ‘Oh I dont know why I said that’. Followed by ANOTHER ‘how you going?’!!!

    This time I replied stating ‘it’s prolly easier if you just call if you really want to know that & the urge strikes (yes!) to which he says, ‘well I would except I have 4 different numbers for you’ (ie I changed home & mobile numbers after xAC). So then, I replied ‘Ok here is my number (insert home number so I can screen his calls if I feel like it) & ended it with a suitably short, ‘cheers’. I don’t really want to hear from just now as I’m now ill & unable to work on anything let alone a musical project (he knows I’m ill) but what’s the bet he doesn’t call?! ie 99%…

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      I was starting to get annoyed with this recently when he sent a message saying ‘good stuff ‘teachable’. I had no idea what on earth he was referring to so mirrored his BS back @ him & replied ‘huh?’ to which he replies, ‘Oh I dont know why I said that’. Followed by ANOTHER ‘how you going?’!!!

      RAT DROPPINGS!!

      Don’t reply to this crap or if you do, phone back and cause an inconvenience. I have friends that do this and it drives me INSANE. Seriously!

    • A says:

      I’ve never experienced this in a ‘romantic’ setting, but I did just receive a one word text from a friend recently (who I have not spoken to in months): “Sup?” He has done this kind of thing before…..I ended up ignoring. It’s a university friend, but if we have not spoken in a while and you’re actually curious about what I’m up to, you can phone, or send an email of a few sentences, no? Or at least send a full sentence text.

    • Sue says:

      Hope you feel better, teachable!

      • cc says:

        teachable-
        i’m still giggling darkly over the fact that he gets caught as a recidivist drunk driver so he instead confesses to being a (new information) *gambler* – omg…doesn’t he hear himself? forget the addictions, here’s why i think you should adopt NC with him – he’s an idiot!

        hope you’re doing ok and feeling better.

  19. grace says:

    I read the tagline, laughed, and remembered a verse from the bible. I say remember, it’s engraved on my heart:
    “And the world became flesh and lived among us.”
    If the Creator can make the effort to show up in person, so can your textbuddy.

    • SM says:

      Amen Grace!

    • cc says:

      amen grace.

      here’s another take on the same thing – we all here know how far we’ll go, how much we’ll do for someone we care about. so, we need to make sure its quid pro quo.

      in other words, if someone isn’t giving to us as well as we know we can give to them, then they aren’t for us. seeya, buh bye, move on. its actually really simple.

  20. LIFE GOES ON! says:

    Another great post Natalie! :) Everything you’ve said is so true! texting and phone calls became the standard form of communication in my relationship. He was always too busy or to involved with himself to pick up the phone or drive to my house (10 minutes away from where he lived) to sort out the issues we had, instead he’d tell me that he’s going to gym and he can’t see me now or “you should be more understanding and wait ” needless to say this pissed me off heavily, because I prefer sorting out any issues right then and there, but because he never made the time during the week, I’d have to wait until the weekend, that’s if he was able to see me. I resorted to arguing and fighting with him via text messages and he didn’t like it, so he would ignore me and then speak to me when he thought that the fight was over. I know that I shouldn’t have sent him text messages regarding the issues in our relationship, but at the time I was so angry and I let my emotions get the best of me and I felt like sometimes I needed to say those things right then and there because he was always too busy to see me.

    Another thing I noticed, was how the duration of our phone calls changed. When we first started out, we would speak for hours and by our 3rd year, our longest call was 5 minutes. I found myself not knowing what to say to him or what to talk about anymore, it was awkward to say the least. But I could say so many things to him via texts and IM’s and I see now that it was one of the many reasons why our relationship was never able to progress in the way it should’ve when it came to resolving conflict, it lacked that personal connection and it did little to help our relationship.

  21. sumumu says:

    Agreed about people who travel too much…I was involved with an airline pilot for six months, during that time we could go three weeks without meeting, not because he was away on flights for that long, but because in between trips he would not make an effort to meet me even for a few hours. while he was away he would not call or text, and when I suggested it would be

  22. sumumu says:

    nice if we could speak once in a while when he was away for trips that could be up to five days for cross continental flights, his flippant reply was that it cost him too much to receive calls on his mobile when on international roaming. That plus his apparent lack of interest in spending time with me when in town, except to have sex, made it clear we had no future and he was not interested in developing any form of emotionally intimacy.

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      There are unavailable people and then there are unsuitable people. Someone who has a demanding job is incompatible *anyway* regardless if they’re EU or not.

      He just wanted to spend time with you as an unpaid hooker/escort.
      NML is right. Free unpaid escort services is what we are, with cooking and cleaning to boot!

      • grace says:

        sumumu
        A pilot’s call plan would allow them to take and receive calls internationally. They’re treated well, they’re not allowed to fly more than x hours a week and are given full recovery time between longhaul flights (shorthaul is more of a slog). He’d have a free/discounted flight allocation to give to friends and family. He could have flown you out if he wanted to.
        Unless s/he’s on a manned space mission, most people have time for a relationship.
        WE, though, and I take Nat’s point here, are probably not the best partners for those who are away a lot. We’re too keen to make excuses as it is, without him already having one so conveniently to hand. If they’re away a lot they should be making MORE effort, not less!

        • dancingqueen says:

          Okay I have to laugh about this comment; do you know that, in the States, we had a Congresswoman who got shot and her husband, an astronaut, let off his life-long career of flying in a shuttle to be by her side? Okay so if even an astronaut can find time to date, we can assume a pilot can lol! With that said, there was one annoying specimen during my internet phase, who pursued me online and was a pilot. On his profile he said that he was “Looking forward to meeting his future, third, ex-wife” lol! and gag……super eww! I really enjoyed getting that third email after the other ones that I had not replied to so that I could say with reason ” Yes, I did get your email so and so….. Get a clue. I didn’t reply because your profile is narcicisstic, boring and immature and that is why I haven’t responded. Get over yourself” I know that that is mean….but I don’t care. You could tell he was a huge ass and I felt like he needed to be put in his place:)

        • stella says:

          manned space mission – i need to pick myself up of the floor. that is hysterical. i have dated 2 pilots – you are right – if they want to see you – they will see you. although, they turned out to be gigantic AC’s, too. anyway, i digress. a man will do anything to see you know matter how busy or important he might be if he wants to. period. i don’t know why we read so much into nothing. myself included. i guess hope and ridiculous, wishful thinking spring eternal…thanks natalie for helping me to understand the difference much better.

          • RadioGirl says:

            dancingqueen,

            I had to laugh at your description of the pilot’s profile as “narcicisstic, boring and immature” – I was in a relationship with an airline captain for a year and he was indeed all of those things :D And stella, yes if they want to see you they will make the effort regardless of how busy their job is. Mine gave me access to his online rota and I sent him weekly updates of my rota (I work some unsociable shifts as a sound engineer for a national broadcaster) so that we could plan our time together. This worked fine for the first few months, and we saw each other a lot and phoned regularly. Then, when he started blowing lukewarm, he used his work as one of the excuses not to be able to see me quite so much, even though he only worked part-time and still often had days off that coincided with mine. In the end, I was making all the effort to drive over to stay with him and he rarely bothered to come over to mine any more. And to add further to his insulting behaviour, he started accepting last-minute overtime WHILE I WAS STAYING WITH HIM – not just the odd little half-day internal UK flights but 12-hour shifts comprising 4 flights to and from European destinations every weekend!!! This all happened so gradually and insidiously that I didn’t really notice the deterioration, but did know that I was feeing more and more down as time went on. And all the while, the phone calls were decreasing in frequency and duration and I was just thrown the odd text moaning about his lack of money or that he was tired. So many women (me included, obviously) fall for the uniform and apparent mystique and glamour of airline pilots, but as Natalie always reminds us – THEY’RE JUST NOT THAT SPECIAL. When all’s said and done, he was actually just an arrogant and emotionally unavailable jerk who chased me hard for a few months but had made me a very low priority by the end of our year together. 14 months later, I feel well shot of the loser.

  23. sumumu says:

    The fact that he was away so much, and I felt invested due to having started a sexual relationship much earlier than I was comfortable to do, meant it took me six painful and self esteem destroying months to wake up and accept his emotional unavailability/AC behaviour which I hope I would have realised much earlier if he was home based.

    • cc says:

      sumumu-
      it sounds to me that, in addition to being a total ass, he was also probably married. THAT would explain the brevity of the time he was willing to spend with you, even guys who want only sex aren’t that time-strapped.

      but don’t fret over it now. you’re wiser and will not spend yourself on someone like that again.

      (hugs)

      • Lilia says:

        A stewardess acquiantance has told me countless stories about how pilots maintain several relationships – especially the married ones – because their lifestyle makes it so much easier for them than the regular 9 to 5 bloke.
        Of course, it would be unfair to think of all of them in those terms, but I´d just keep my eyes extra open if I ran into someone who travels so much.

        • RadioGirl says:

          Because I used to belong to a gliding and flying club, I have been acquainted with many airline pilots and other airline workers over the past 20 years. I would say that a good two-thirds of them are – ahem – rather flighty (pardon the pun!) and have lives that are littered with broken marriages and relatively short-term EU relationships. There is something about the itinerant nature of the work (and also the “bird-pulling” glamour of the uniform, the foreign travel and the aircraft etc) that draws many immature and emotionally unavailable types to it, male and female. My ex used to point to a jet flying overhead and say “What do you think the guys are talking about up there? Women!!” and laugh – and I used to delude myself that of course mine was different (!). I do agree that not everyone working in the airline industry is like that, I know of some very decent and stable people who are pilots and stewardesses too, but in my personal experience they are a minority in what can be a rather shallow and image-conscious business. With such long-standing personal knowledge, I should have known better than to get involved with an airline pilot myself – I believed all the fast-forwarding, future-fakery and flattery and thought that he might want to finally settle down in his early 50′s and make me the exception to his rule. I was wrong.

  24. Tanzanite says:

    Brilliant post .

  25. Lyz says:

    Sort your problems out. – OMG!!! This is/WAS ME!!!!! (and Im nearly 45!!!)
    Every person who is in a virtual relationship has problems that, instead of solving, they avoid by seeking attention and making a big deal out of crumbs. This is how you end up with bigger problems than what you started out with. This happened to me! My goodness I was avoiding my problems – it couldn’t be more true!!
    and Natalie you’re right it’s all Bullshit (all this texting) I’ve learnt thehard way

  26. Lyz says:

    friends first attitude is no good. I agree it is like Bait and Switch.
    I had this attitude – NEVER AGAIN – ask for the realtionship up front and be in the reality of it
    I agree that most guys S**T themselves when you ring
    my last internet date over a yr ago did this when i rang his no after travelling back home from his place (long way) he NEVER answered b^^^^d but ‘apologised’ and put 2 kisses in his text
    I had a friend who did this constantly,. i kicked her to the kerb also as we were trying to have a converation thru text and when I asked her to call/pop around the dynamic changed. BINNED!!!
    FLUSHED !

  27. A says:

    Sometimes phone calls can be the form of lazy communication. In my case the EU loved to talk all about himself on the phone. He called me every day….in fact the first time he ever called me, we (mostly him) talked for many hours. But in hindsight it all seemed like a bit of a ‘cheat’ too, I think he was trying to foster a sense of intimacy quickly. Once we were seeing each other there were times where I would think to myself, “seriously, you just want to talk to me on the phone for an hour? I live a five minute drive away, why don’t we just DO something?”

  28. teachable says:

    LOL ToA. I actually DID ph him (briefly – 5 mins max) about a week b4 the aforementioned rat droppings, giggle, appeared. It was 1 am at the time & he was posting on his wall w me on fb. If I’d been thinking I’d hav said, hey, just call next time then (we were both up as otherwise wudnt dream of calling @ tht hr). Anyways, after I got off the ph I saw he’d posred that he was feeling sad. Hence, I realised what he was after – free armchair therapy! (which he DID NOT get but would hoped for from me knowing my prof background). SO, I ignored his I’m sad comment & gotten on with my own life – not a second thought about him (until posting as an example here).

    I dated another guy years back (only 3 / 4 dates) who used me for free phone armchair therapy (& man, he was hard work – lol) & then dumped me unceremoniously by TEXT (for what reason, I’ll never know). Worse, a year later this guy texts me wanting something else from me (ie he needed musicians for a music night he was running – reset button anyone?) & to my great delight I told him how hurtful it was to have been dumped by text with no idea why after being used for free armchair therapy & to take a hike! Needless to say we’d never had sex or even kissed! i.e prolly WHY he dumped me! Ugh. Yuk!!!!

  29. Ivy says:

    Thank you for this post! I, for one, had been in this situation for soooooo long. Think 5+ years? The next relationship I’m going to have, I would NEVER settle for anything like this! Keep this up Nat! I think every woman knows what lazy communication is, its just some are too scared to face it. ;)

  30. Forever Alice says:

    Natalie,
    This post is spot on and it may not have come at a better time. Guess what, I went out with my boys for swimming and the whole time that I swam on my own, I was just thinking of this particular issue.
    I met a guy online nearly 3 weeks now. He made the first contact, well written and I replied. after that, we started chatting for a while. with time , I realised that he was always on the site at certain hours in the evening in the hope that I would be online then. Any time i logged onthe site, he would hijack all my time to ensure I dont chat with any other guy.

    He added me a friend on face book and this apparently has turned out to be for real the virtual relatioship you are talking about. If we are not chatting on the dating site, he will chat me up any time I’m on face book usually after 9 in evenings after Kids are in bed.

    The guy is quite stimulating in words but rarely does he want to call— guess what? he does not have much credit…OMG!!

    At some point; he send me a video call but I declined to register . I suspect he has been using video calls for other girls he has been chatting with. Every time we chat, he wants to get so much details although I’m quick to change the topic. His main focus is how many kids I’m gonna give him. Today while we were chatting, I told him that we should’nt really be dwelling much about babies and future coz we are only getting to know each other and we have not had time for face to face meet up.

    I have fallen victim of being too considerate and too nice and this makes guys take advantage. I’m happy that I’m more aware of what is happening and do not want to invest so much time on virtual relatioship. The good thing is that I have an exam looming ahead and this serves to distract me so that I constatly review myself.

    I’m so glad that your post came at the nick of time.

    Once again thanks Natalie and anyone else that have shared their comments.

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      One of the most painful things I had to endure was sitting at the psychologist and having to recite everything and finally realise that everything was the text/IM/facebook/skype illusion that it was. There I sat saying ‘on IM he said blah blah blab’ and over facebook he said ‘blah blah blah’. There were many others I am sure and it felt like I was fighting against multiple other people that I couldn’t see just to see him.

  31. GinaMarie says:

    (“Hello God…”) you hit it nail on how I was so hungry to hear back via text to get my ego strokes, attention, etc… meanwhile, it really wasn’t anything at all but a self-fulfilling prophecy of me chasing after people who weren’t available for me, in turn proving that I must be doing something wrong.

    I’m just going to speak my mind and heart for a second, ha ha. I have been in crappy dating situations, if you would even call them “Dating” experiences a few years ago with as Nat describes “Mr. Unavailable”… to be honest, I’ve never had a healthy relationship with a man. It started off with him in what I perceived to be an excessive amount of unrealistic attention (which deep inside knew was phony) and then I was textin’, “Hey God… where are you?”… and waiting eagerly for the crumbs of attention, most likely because I must have done something wrong.

    Fast forward to 2012. Yes, I’m odd – I haven’t dated anyone in a couple of years… well I’m not odd, but I never went through the healing and I want a healthy relationship. I just didn’t feel it was the right time to jump on dating sites, I wanted to fall in love with me and my life and attract that, yes I’m different, yes I’m somewhat of a loner but eventually I will come out of my shell. I have recently went on dating sites. I met one person and I heeded red flags and didn’t continue to see him after the second date. I’m also deploying overseas in November so realistically, I have a lot on my plate. I’m into finding genuine, real love and feel when it’s meant to happen, with my intent, spiritually it will come. I’ve come a long way thanks to Nat’s blog, and my will to get with it after all that hurt that was inflicted before all these unavailables put a spotlight on everything I needed to heal, and yes I was unavailable too.

    It’s funny now because I simply will not put up with text message crumb communication and I don’t receive it. Most of the men I have spoken to called me but I also eased up on it too because I know my boundaries. I don’t get pissed if someone texts me, I’ll just tell them to give me a call or i may shoot a quick text to them, but the difference is now that I know that majority of our conversation will be in real time and I just don’t put up with unavailables because I am available. Thanks for letting me share.

  32. Sarah says:

    hmmm – don’t really agree on this one. I have long term exes who are the best friends in my life now – they are like family and I regularly stay with them and their new partners, in fact wrote a reference for her to get her into PG art school recently. Don’t keep the negative exes anywhere close, natch. And the ones that have treated me with disrespect – won’t get anywhere close again. Equally not sure about the texting diet – I’ve a lot of overseas friends that don’t like the phone – and without whom I’d have not got through my last awful break up. Skype was a lifeline, a total absolute lifeline. That communication was no less communication because it was in the written form online… as indeed this blog is. I get the kind of issue around men who won’t meet up and I applaud any attempt to get into the real world fast to assess what they’re up to.. and to see if you actually get on face to face. But can’t get behind this notion that electronic communication isn’t communication.

    • grace says:

      Sarah
      I have friends and family all over the world, who I have been very loyal to but, recently, I’ve had to redivert my energies to making friends on my doorstep. I do feel a bit sad about it but emails, phone calls and yearly meetups are not enough human contact for me (and that’s saying something – I’m the archetypal lone wolf). I’m not saying electronic communication is wrong, but it’s not the same as seeing someone in the flesh. It should be like a condiment rather than the main meal.
      Electronic communication has its place but we all need friends in “meatspace” too. In the romantic context, electronic should only be a small part of the relationship. Some of us *cough* have had “relationships” that have been at least 90% text. That’s what Nat’s warning about, rather than keeping in touch with old friends via Skype.

  33. Carol says:

    I haven’t read all the comments on this post so I’m not sure if anyone’s brought this up before. I also just feel the need to vent.

    I don’t text at all. I’m almost 40 and for most of my life texting didn’t even exist so I don’t see the point of it. I also can’t afford the extra cost my cell phone carrier charges for it so that kills any interest. I routinely tell people that I don’t text and yet they respond by saying they’ll text me, as though they didn’t hear a single word I said. The other common response I get is people arguing with me about my choice and how I’m wrong for not texting. That bothers me to no end since I see texting as lazy communication no matter if it’s dating or even just a friendship.

    In the last couple of years I’ve noticed an increase in people whose entire relationships appear to be based on texting. I’ve heard people say that it’s just the way people communicate these days, that all the younger people do it, that it’s builds the relationship etc etc. They usually get pissed off when I tell them it’s lazy communication.

    What I’d like to know is why do some people think it’s ok to completely replace face to face or even telephone communication with texting? Am I that wrong for refusing to text? Am I really being that old-fashioned?

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      It’s not because they like you, it’s because they’re BORED and have nothing better to do!

    • A says:

      It’s your choice if you would prefer not to text at all. It does seem to come in handy at times for short messages that don’t necessarily warrant a conversation–for example, if you’re meeting a friend and want to warn them that you’re running five minutes late, if you see something that you think a friend or S.O would like and want to snap a picture on your phone and text it to them, etc. I think a lot of people use it in a limited way such as this and stick to actual conversation the rest of the time.

    • dancingqueen says:

      No you are not: I rarely text except to say that I will be late etc. I actually had a 4 month relationship with no texting so it can be done; I just told the guy that I did not want a text plan.
      But then after we broke up I got one: you can use it easily and it is not itself “evil” you just have to be texting with like-minded people who do not use it to keep others off:)

    • Silverbee says:

      Carol, I’m just as old-fashioned as you. At 61 years old, I’ve just bought my first cell phone, and although I like talking on it I will be damned if I’ll ever use the texting features for anything but some kind of dire emergency. Frankly, I consider texting to be to real communication as “reality” shows are to actual real human life. It’s no wonder men and women are finding it impossible to have worthwhile relationships if this is the only way they’re willing to communicate.
      I talk to people I care about face-to-face, or on the phone. I rarely email, and if anyone mentions texting I just say I’m too old and stubborn to learn how to do it, so forget it. There are some real advantages to being a senior these days.

    • cc says:

      carol-
      i have to clarify something here.

      people who prefer text exclusively over voice or in-person communication are indeed being lazy, and actually, EU. however, texting when properly used, as dancingqueen says, is not lazy, it is *efficient*, particularly in the era of smartphones. but no, texting is not a replacement for real communication. notice the people who think it is are too young to understand the difference.

      if i may – (tiptoes on egg shells) – it feels like you and everyone you’re talking to is being, well, a little rigid – you because you don’t like texting, they because they do. why bother telling a texter that, in your view, texting is lazy? that’s just as inflexible as texters getting mad at you for not texting.

      no, you don’t have to become a texter if you don’t want to. but please see that there are good sides to every form of communication. the idea is to not abuse them or think that they are the answer to everything.

      • Carol says:

        Thanks for the replies.

        I do realize I’m being pretty rigid myself. I usually only complain about it being lazy communication when someone keeps insisting that I “need” to have it. (I have some work to do on my communication skills as well. )

        I realize there’s nothing wrong with texting as a means of communicating something quickly when a whole conversation isn’t necessary (ie. running late for something). Unfortunately that not how most people I know use it. :(

      • Lilia says:

        The way I see it, texting can be really useful when you want to send some brief information and you don´t want to interrupt the other person. Like in my case, I will text my ex husband (with whom I have a very positive, civilized relationship) if he might be in a meeting and I need him to pick our kids up somewhere later on.

        However, texting does NOT work when you´re just flirting with a new man, getting to know someone who might become a love interest, or have already slept with the guy. It completely distorts all communication. Last year I thought I was getting romantically involved with a friend, and that his long texting sessions were an indication of interest. Suddenly, out of the blue, he texts “do you want to see my penis?”. I believed he was joking and replied something like “lol”, so then he believed I was into cybersex and conducted the rest of the “relationship” online. It was a complete waste of time… if you except the fact that I got some photos of his c*ck… but then, of course, what use is that to me?

    • SM says:

      I think texting is fine when used for short messages but not as main forms of communication. The last AC I dated acted like I was a weirdo when I told him I didnt have conversations over text and this guy was 40. He said he and all his friends do it, that should’ve been a red flag right there because while I was dating him, he received so many texts that I started getting PTSD from the sound of the buzzer going off so many times. Turns out he was running his other ‘girls’ via text when he was with me.

  34. Sandra81 says:

    The long distance relationship part is the trickiest, and the most difficult. Not only as far as the means of communication are concerned, but also because things unfold slower than normal. On the other hand, you can’t say no to a long distance relationship, if you think the guy is worth it. What IS important though, is that you have to consistently plan your live meetings, and evaluate things in terms of the progress that is being made with each live meeting. Everytime you meet, there must be some steps ahead being made towards growing closer. ;) Yep, I’m in a long distance “discovery phase”. Things don’t happen particularly fast, but I feel like I made much more progress than I did in the same amount of time with various EUMs living in my city. :D

    • Dithy says:

      Thank you for this comment, Sandra. I’m probably in the most healthy relationship of my life and it’s long distance. I’ve dated enough EUMs and AC (only one of those thankfully) to know that this guy is not at all emotionally unavailable. We have seen each other consistently for about 4 days at a time once a month for 7 months and are in other contact on a daily basis. We’re getting to know each other slower because of it but neither of us is in a hurry. I’m quite enjoying this discovery phase and while we talk about one of us relocating “someday”, we’re both content with the way things are right now – there is no future faking, both of us are on the same page and I have no doubt that even if he is not the right guy for me forever and always, he’s certainly the best man I’ve ever dated so far. I’m sure at some point, one or both of us might decide that something has to give but if we’re happy now, whether other people would be able to handle it or whether other people think it’s “weird” is irrelevant. I don’t think anything is “wrong” if both parties are happy.

  35. NeedtoBeFree says:

    Gosh…this texting thing is so tailored to meet the needs of EUM. I think its a BIG red flag if the majority of communication is via text. I have been on dating sites in the past and had the same text/email relationships that went nowhere. However I did get bored very quickly and ended the game. I think if I were to meet someone new in the future, I would let them believe I hardly use my phone! And just now, the ex AC has just texted me that he’s missing me and can he come for a ‘chat’…NO BLOODY CHANCE!!! Arghhh…nah, ordered a pizza instead!

    • SM says:

      I’m glad you said that. I too get bored after a few emails if there’s no phone or face to face interaction. I even get bored if I speak to a guy more than twice on the phone without a date planned. I lose interest fast if they dont plan a meeting. I am a phone talker and I have a lot of friends and family that I like to talk to, but not someone with whom I dont already have a relationship.

  36. teachable says:

    I agree A. ‘sup’ does NOT deserve a response (romantic context or not)!

  37. On leaving Sugarland says:

    I have enough trouble trying to stay out of my head when people are standing right in front of me: my imagination is great when it comes to churning out ideas and solving problems, etc, but in my relationships it always gets me into trouble, and being a romantic…my romantic relationships …uh, stokes the flames….

    Yes, sadly, …what I sometimes confuse with reality and/or truth and/or intimacy…”it’s all bullshit,” and sometimes painfully so….

    So, I don’t “do” online or text relationships anymore, and I don’t give out my number; I ask for his instead, and if he says “no,” fine, end of discussion (no need for him to explain or me to question) because I respect his choice, but I walk because I respect my choice as well; which is, I think if a man really wants to spend time with me, he will–period.

    Nice post Natalie.

  38. posyzadok says:

    I love the bible quote, Grace “And the word (text/email) was made flesh (actually came to see you in person) and dwelt among us (got to know you properly, as well as your friends and family, and behaved in a courteous and sensitive manner to others! You can’t dwell among other people if you aren’t at least considerate).

    If you want to see an example of how a man should treat a woman, refer to the Bible, and read the book of Ruth in the Old Testament – if he can’t treat you in the way Boaz treats Ruth, get out!

  39. Reality says:

    After one longterm AC and then one recent short term AC…. I decided that I am opting out of textual non relationships that eff with my head. So I cancelled my cell phone and put in a home phone line. The new line only costs me an extra $4 a month. Cancelling my cell phone is saving me over a $100 a month. I know now who my real friends are, I’m more attentive at work and honestly I feel so much more peace and contentment.

    Life is just too short to engage in this BS.

    • Rose Red says:

      Hi.
      I canceled my cell phone too!

      I too feel more at peace and calm, no more drama of men trying to manage me by texting.

  40. tracy says:

    Oh, this so speaks to me. When I first started doing OLD, I got sucked in immediately by a guy who emailed me with very long, thoughtful messages every day for a month. I kind of started pushing for a meet and he always had an excuse for why it wasn’t possible. When we finally met, I got the sneaking suspicion he was still married, a suspicion I ‘investigated’ after our first ‘date’ was followed up by a “I don’t see us as dating, but I would love to continue the emails” email.
    Eject.
    Recently, I had a four month “relationship” with a guy who couldn’t see me often, he had ex- and kid issues, but he texted a zillion times. He would NEVER call, or if he did it was when his kids weren’t around…he didn’t want them to know he was dating, as he was in a custody battle with the ex and I think he was trying to play himself as the more “virtuous” parent. He was appalled when I said that texting was not relationship building and broke it off.
    Needless to say, I haven’t heard one single word from him since.
    From here on in, no texting unless you are stuck in traffic.

  41. lo j says:

    As I read through this, I saw just how unavailable I have been in the past, blaming the other party all the while. Very enlightening! Loved delayed meetings, loved lazy communication., and loved long distance. Certainly keeps one in the fantasy.

    • happy b says:

      lo j, me too. When I feel so hard done by about the ex-AC, I think how I ended it by text, and that was after he’d left a *voice*message that communicated crumbs and was a crumb too far. Really muddies the waters to see this post. Did they just happen to be the modes of communication, or does it say more than that?

  42. miskwa says:

    I agree, I hate texting. I believe it was invented so that academic types such as myself would have something to do while stuck in interminable meetings, not to run relationships. Same goes for facebook: communication at its shallowest. However, whaddya do if the long distance option is your only hope to find a healthy relationship for a long time until you can leave the area for good? Hate to whine but although I am far more self sufficient than most men, I don’t wanna be alone for 8 more years or settle for someone that is not right for me. I admit I do collect attention on line; often it’s that or no attention for long periods of time. However I do not take most of these guys seriously and it is nice to have discussions about the issues that matter to me; something I cannot do where I live/work.

  43. pinkpanther says:

    I just tell them straight away I”m not much of a texter, and that I prefer to talk unless it’s a “10 minutes late” kind of thing. I work it into the conversation naturally and good humoredly, within the first few dates.

    After that if they text, I don’t respond. I may call the next day or two and say hi, I just ignore the text altogether. If they don’t catch on, well problem for them.

    I”m in an age group where this isn’t seen as too eccentric.

  44. Teddie says:

    There is something about phoning that is felt to be awkward and intrusive, more so for younger generations apparently.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/fashion/20Cultural.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

  45. Sue says:

    What if your sister wants to mainly communicate with you via text? Even though I have told her I’d prefer phone calls. She admits she prefers text to conversation. Seems to want to rush off after few minutes majority of time when I use to call her. But, she finds time to call friends. Very frustrating. She calls me when she is upset about something and wants to vent.

  46. Polly says:

    Sounds like you are having a really difficult time Teachable – but it also sounds like you have the strength to come through x

    • Teddie says:

      Would be a shame if you’d miss out on the degree! What is this prime-minister thinking! You’re an amazing lady, Teachable!

  47. FedUp says:

    When people ask me if I’m on facebook and I answer not really, I rarely use it. Coz I’m in my 20s people look at me as if I’m from another planet. I do miss the days when you had one home phone and your crush would make you a mixed tape. When I say these things, other people my age ask how do you keep in touch with people? As if facebook is the only way. I’m not joking.

  48. titi says:

    I don’t mind texting if I actually FEEL and KNOW I have a REAL connection with that person. For example, me and my best girlfriend text each other often, when we have some interesting idea to share. Then we discuss it as soon as we meet. But in some cases, when I don’t feel a real connection with that person, texting just make me feel more alienated. It’s like simulating a friendship/relationship that I don’t feel.

  49. Jms52638 says:

    One word – Love!!!
    As in “Love” this post.
    As in thank you for continually showing me how to “Love” myself.

  50. Polly says:

    My ex lazy relationship type person was the king of the emailed word and I lapped it up for ages – I thought it meant he was thinking about me all the time rather than just that he was sitting watching tv or doing some work and passing a bit of time. I even used to feel particularly special when he would send me that hugging emoticon in gmail. I’m almost embarrassed to admit to the levels of delusion I was suffering! I hate those bloody silly hugging yellow faces now!

  51. Pam says:

    Men who use text or email as their preferred mode of communication instead of at the very least voice communication , in my opinion usually have something to hide..probably another woman or two,who they are stringing along as well. Could be an ex..who they are still involved with if they have kids with them..or alternatively some one just like yourself who does their best to give them the benefit of the doubt of their being over loaded with work commitments etc etc etc. The only truth in most of it ..is , that they are LIARS ….hiding behind their mobiles or PC. The IT era , allows a lot of males to continue and grow into nothing but accomplished professional…liars , who are absolute cowards in reality. They don’t have the decency to treat women with respect …I refuse to indulge in this kind of communication , albeit I was once mucked around by a guy in that way …..for a long time. The worse part of that being, he told me in an email the afternon after having stayed the night at my place ,and left the next morning for work. This was someone I knew for yrs not a couple of months !!! It’s so much easier for someone to do that , or even lie in a text or email, if they’re that way inclined …they will use text and email abundantly. There are women who do this too …With that particular man I did still need to communicate with him because of a working relationship being involved. I told him that I wanted to only communicate with him re- work related stuff, amazing !!!! he then deliberately ignored the emails I would send ….that were strictly business related..not nasty..not sarcastic…not even personal…just strictly Business…and business that required his response ….what a sad joke ..in the end I was able to change that scenario..so as I didn’t have to communicate with him any more….after talking to many friends who have been on dating sites ..seems a lot of these men …just want someone to send BS talk text messgs , very sick and disrespectful behaviour….so come on ladies..if we don’t indulge them…they may well and truly get the messg, and begin to treat women as we deserve to be treated !!!! meaning personal voice calls inbetween .. personal dates / and meetings, which are face to face…

    • Teddie says:

      It is very difficult if there is a business relationship involved, because, in the end, as all relationships, it requires a certain amount of positive emotional energy in order to subsist; how do you keep up the positive emotional energy flowing if you’ve developed resentments and without being a harem member?! A pretty fine line to walk, I’m struggling with such an issue right now and it’s a very shitty place to be in, I mean, when NC is not a option.

      • Anon says:

        Teddy- quickly try to find some one else, asap, so that is where the positive energy will come from, it wont be fake, you’ll be happy and excited about some one new..and if you look in any direction, you can probably find some one better than the ex….

  52. He is Not that Special says:

    WOW, I so needed to hear this! My last relationship, the guy that USED to call me all the time, stopped calling and only communicated through FB Chat. The last guy did the same thing. It was then that I realized that I was wanting someone that doesn’t want me. I never got over this guy because other people’s lies tore us apart, but now, I realized that he was NEVER INTO ME to begin with and I am wasting time blaming myself about something that he could careless about. I keep hoping that one day, he will reach out to me and want to start over and rekindle our romance, but that is NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. For two years, I held on hoping and praying for the off chance that he would realize that I am the woman for him. In reality, he WON’T and even if he one day did, he DOESN’T DESERVE WHAT I HAVE TO OFFER!!!

    NO MORE. I let him go and I am moving on to a GREAT LIFE and there is a GREAT GUY out there that I will run into one day!

  53. teachable says:

    Cc

    I agree. They’re a bit pathetic these guys hey. In terms of self delusion I mean. I have no probs with leaving him on the backburner re music though. I will be needing someone with his skills at some point (but will work with a few different people, & he best, if at all, would only have a very minor role to play).

    Florence Nightingale has well & truely retired. I almost break out in hives at the mere THOUGHT of anyone having those sort of massive red flags, & after xAC (who turned out to be absolutely PUTRID) I actually feel physically ill & like vomiting! Hence, no dates for him & feel repulsed by those issues. Safe to say he’s a no brainer!!

    Ugh.

  54. teachable says:

    Hi Forever Alice,

    Sounds like you got a bit of a doozey there. i.e. Is tht guy FOR REAL? Talking babies (when you aready have children) & have NEVER MET?! I’m gobsmacked (& it sounds like you were too!) He sounds like a dating site / internet troll. He prolly gets web cam sex off some of the other females he video chat with!!! Noooo!!! Glad yr spidey senses are working! :)

    Thanks Polly. I appreciate yr kindness. I’m having a fully blown ‘breakthrough’ (as opposed to ‘breakdown’). Having spent two decades working in the social work field (3 yrs full time college educated with an additional 2 years of uni already completed & umpteen specialist professional dev training seminars re trauma, attachment, sexual assault, crim & family law, with a specialist focus on law reform, research & policy, working with homeless youth & their families & women & children who are survivors of D.V), I sometimes read my own story & feel sad for what I experienced as a child. It’s like there’s three parts of me. The trained professional with years of personal therapy under my belt who understands intellectually my situation in an academic & therapeautic sense. Then there’s the little girl inside who was so deeply taumatised & wounded by so many things in my childhood. As many do, I was very fortunate to be able to ‘take my lemons & made lemonade’ & my personal insight makes me very good at my job (when I’m fit to work that is – which right now I’m not). And finally, there’s me the Mother, grieving the loss of my murdered unborn child on Mothers Day, not to mention the difficulties with my adult Son & knowing that the chance of more children – which I always wanted if I found & kind & decent man to marry, is fast slipping away, due to my age (42).

    I think I need to give myself a BIG hug & remember I haven’t been brought this far in life, only to be let down now. I have to believe there’s hope for me yet. Maybe not of children (I’m taking 2 years off from dating whilst I go through the court case, regain my health, sort out if I’m keeping my house in suburbs or selling up & relocating to an inner city apartment & re-establish my career)

    *big girl panties on* The Buddhists say life is about suffering. There are also those who have things FAR worse than me. In my line of work – I know that for a fact. I draw great inspiration from their many stories. x

  55. teachable says:

    SM I agree with A. Some people do have silent numbers, for all sorts of valid reasons. If you think you’ve acted a tad prematurely (which perhaps you don’t), you could just ask him point blank for his home contact number. If he gives an excuse for not giving it you then I’d agree maybe something dodgy there. That said I wouldn’t give my private home number to someone I didn’t know yet & tend to give only my movile number at first in case they turn out to be a stalker. You’re the one in the situation so maybe your gut’s already told you somethings not right? If that’s the case, that’s fine too. Plenty of fish & all that. Best of luck with your dating endeavours going forward. T :)

  56. teachable says:

    Sorry SM. Didn’t see yr last post. In that case trust yr gut. ‘He’s off on weekends’ also rings huge alarm bells. Sounds like u were right to flush. Our gut is rarely wrong.

  57. teachable says:

    I too would be interested in the book Attachment Late Bloomer. I will look into getting it (& NML still waiting to hear if I can yr ebooks for smart phone download so I can read it in bed?). Back to Late Bloomer, we just never know how many other people might be helped, inadvertently, by what we post here. Thankyou for mentioning that as I too have difficulties in the area you describe & the dynamic is very similar (based on feedback from a couple of platonic friends in fact with whom I’ve experienced some difficulties). See, I knew there must be hope for yet. Trying to stay positive here, despite being a glaring obvious train wreak here atm. lol

    • Late Bloomer says:

      T- it’s a fabulous book. And I’ve found with the knowledge gained from BR over the past year, the info really hits home. It’s also based on lots of academic psych research on attachment, but translated into “real life” so easily applied. The info has also been helpful for non romantic relationships too. Book web site: http://www.attachedthebook.com. I’ve also used the audio book. The guy that reads it: boring as dirt. But you get used to it and the material still sticks.

  58. teachable says:

    You go He Is Not That Special! AWESOME stuff! x

  59. FeelingUsed says:

    I have been reading Baggage Reclaim for over a year, but this the first time I’ve left a comment. I think Nat is absolutely amazing, and all the comments all of you leave help me realize I am not as utterly alone as I feel at times! I have been living on crumbs for so long, that I am pretty much starved, so the crumbs pretty much looked like a delicious cake! That was before Nat and you all helped me come to my senses!! :) Thank you so much! I went NC 5 days ago, I’m so sad and missing him like crazy, but I know that I deserve someone who cares about me enough to be honest, and not constantly looking for someone better…he is constantly on dating sites, he says just to chat, but he has met up with a few of them. He says they are just friends, but I don’t think I would have found a condom in his pocket, if that was true! Even though I know he is no good for me, it still hurts! I hope I start feeling better soon, and start loving myself and life again.

    • Marianna Miaow says:

      Feeling Used, I just wanted to say well done to you! I read a lot of hurt in your post, but you have really done the right thing, that litany of offenses you listed right there says it all. You deserve MUCH better than this yukky creep. By going NC you have already shown that you love and care about yourself. And no – you are not alone! Better times FeelingUsed, better times coming your way x x x

    • Polly says:

      It hurts more when they are not good for you. But not as much as staying with them. And it gets better when they are out of your life unlike when they are in it when it gets progressively worse. I was in your position when I found BR. I celebrated 6 months NC this weekend. It feels very very good. You WILL start feeling better soon. Keep busy and do lots of stuff and it will start working – guaranteed!

    • ixnay says:

      So proud of you!

    • runnergirlno1 says:

      Feeling Used, I’m glad you posted. Yeah, it’s a total bitch but you are NOT alone. It was totally amazing for me when I realized I was settling for crumbs. If he is constantly on dating sites and carrying condoms in his pocket, he is on the prowl. Plenty of friends do the deed. Run as fast as you can from this dirt bag. Do what ever it takes to stay NC and you’ll start feeling better soon.
      No dude carries condoms in his pocket unless…
      It hurts but at least you are not married to him and trying to raise babies while he’s on dating sites and carrying. Get out now. I am sorry for your pain. I know it. You can do way better if you opt out now.

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      …he is constantly on dating sites, he says just to chat, but he has met up with a few of them. He says they are just friends, but I don’t think I would have found a condom in his pocket, if that was true!

      Of course they are just friends, just friends which give him a blowjob and slip him a piece. That’s what my AC would say – ‘I’m seeing a ‘friend”. FLUSH!

      My heart goes out to you. Sexual rejection is one of the harshest to recover from and having or knowing that they’re screwing someone else is just THE WORST FEELING ever. These guys have no shame. As grace would say, NUKE HIM.

  60. Hannah says:

    Every time I think I am above certain ground rules, I end up getting burned. Case in point: I had read another article on this site about how I should not rely on text communication. I started dating a guy I met from a dating website (my first time), and we went from talking on the phone to constant texting throughout the day. He had long shifts, would always text me good morning, and we’d text throughout the day. I figured this was fine since we didn’t get to see each other often, maybe 2 x’s a week or more if he was off work for the weekend (but I would remember the article I read on this site, and yet I ignored it). One thing that stood out was that he was exceptionally flirty and flattering in texts – telling me he really liked me, that I was special, how pretty I was, etc, etc. When we saw each other, he rarely communicated these same words in person except to compliment me on my looks. I even asked him why he didn’t but he shrugged me off. I figured “Okay, he’s shy.”
    Long story short, he went from saying through text that he really hopes we continue forward even if it was so early on (about 2 months) to telling me he was leaving the country for his job and couldn’t see me anymore (to his credit he told me in person).One week later he’s defriending me on FB and now publicly in a relationship with a girl who “just a friend”, but one I suspect was his ex-gf who came back into the picture.
    Hopefully I have learned my lesson and that is to not settle for these crumbs of a communication, because one can truly shape a relationship any way he likes with good command of the English language. And then I’m left feeling like I got robbed. “If you’re not touching them more than you’re having lazy communication with them, this is not the relationship you think it is.” TRUTH.

  61. teachable says:

    Thanks Little Star. Im very sorry to hear of what happened to you but am very glad that you were able to tell someone & so quickly. It’s taken me 27 years to tell anyone other than my therapist (starting with the police, then my sister & one Aunt). Obviously such things ppl in all sorts of ways, so therapy on & off when needed is never a bad idea. Because I’d already dealt with these issues at depth I didn’t have any *major* trust issues until xAC showed up. After the crap he pulled, I certainly do now though! Oh well. We live & learn. Plus I’m not remotely fit to be dating atm so too easy! lol Take care & hugs x

  62. Summer says:

    I love Baggage Reclaim. So much of what Nat writes about I can see in my own life. Thank you Natalie for opening my eyes.

  63. Summer says:

    I think my biggest problem is that I have low self-esteem. So I’d rather “put up” with an “assclown” then be alone. Its very sad that I do this. I always think everyone else is “better” than me. When I get dumped by a guy (or cheated on) I always look and look at the other women and wonder “what has she got that I don’t? Is she that much prettier than me, richer, better personalitly??? We women waste so much time.

    • yoghurt says:

      Hey Summer

      It’s GOOD that you’ve realised that – it shows that you’re learning from your experiences, painful as they might be. Now it’s a case of doing something about it. I remember, though, that whenever people said “you need to improve your self-esteem” my response was “oh yeah, I’ll just go and buy some in a chemist, shall I?”

      It’s taken me until now and a fairly grim set of events in my life to realise that low self-esteem is a CHOICE. It’s sad and it’s not fair that we grew up believing that we weren’t worth anything for whatever reason, but we don’t have to carry on living as if we believe it.

      You don’t have to question yourself when someone (who clearly isn’t very nice anyway) dumps you for someone else – they’re the one with the manky soul. Instead question why you chose to hang around with and invest in someone not-very-nice in the first place. You don’t have to hang out with not-nice people. You don’t deserve to be treated badly. Nobody – even the most annoying, unattractive, socially inept person in the world (which I bet you’re not) – deserves to be lied to and have their trust betrayed. You don’t have to waste that time, you don’t have to give yourself sh!t for someone ELSE’S manky behaviour and you don’t have to ‘put up’ with ANYTHING.

      You can choose how you feel about yourself, and the first step towards feeling good about yourself is to start faking it until you make it. Act like someone who deserves better and, gradually, you’ll start to feel like someone who DOES deserve better.

      It works, I promise – I might be stuck in a manky set of circumstances right now but it’s been worth it to offload all the CRAP that I used to believe about myself. Seriously – believe that you’re worth more.

  64. Ollie says:

    Thank you! Not that special indeed! My ex still tried to instant message me, text me, ask me how I am doing ask me how my cat and bird is doing etc,etc stop tossing me breadcrumbs stop stroking that ego it’s over! You broke up with me remember? You cheated on me remember? We are not chums, we are not anything! Just stop! I do not respond to his lousy instant messages and why should I stroke that ego? Stop focusing on me and start focusing on the girl you left me for and stop tossing me breadcrumbs! I am not your property! On Skype last night ( Ignored) how the cat and bird was again and if I had a beau. Why he even cares about my cat and bird if I have a beau is beyond me….. Clown…….

  65. natslayer says:

    I agree with this post up to a point. I am in favour of meeting up, but also think it is important to get a feel for somebody online first and meet up only when you feel comfortable – call me over-cautious, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

    • grace says:

      natslayer
      I think that’s fine but we mustn’t get too comfortable with the virtual world. There needs to be a time limit.
      And some people are just no good at texts/emails (very good female friend sends flat and boring texts/emails but is great fun in real life) or TOO good. You meet them and even if you wouldn’t normally give them the time of day, you’re remembering the nice emails etc and not registering what’s in front of you. That’s how I ended up with the abusive ex. He seemed so harmless in his electronic form. Read that wrong. We did a lot of msg-ing before meeting in real life but I wasn’t really meeting him, I was meeting the image I had of him in my head. Of course that had the added dimension of distance.
      I don’t do online dating but if he sounds reasonably sensible and there are no redflags or penis pictures, then I think it’s best to meet sooner rather than later. Of course, we still need to be in the discovery phase, rather than getting over-invested in I HAD A DATE/two dates/ I’ve met a man! (note to self).

      • Anon says:

        Just some thoughts- today, tomorrow I may feel differently. I have not been online, because of all the negative feedback I hear- married men, predators, cyber attention junkies, EU, harem builders, etc, etc….it seems exhausting, and I am already tired of dating. But which option is more of a spirit deal breaker of chronic disappointment. Truth be told, many of my urban friends are not meeting any one in Real Life either, and we live in a great zip code of a major city and work important jobs at Big Company. Social pressure to be in a couple is chronic. They report comments like “it must be tough being single at your age, are you trying x,y,z, can I set you up with so and so?” I’ve been told “You are way too attractive to be single” by (married) co-workers, and people at the gym, church, bars, setups, volunteer groups and all those other “real life” places to meet people. And, yet, time is passing, and passing…. To quote Evan Mark Katz, a professional dating coach, he is pro online, (for older women- college age kids are meeting people on campus or at bars) because it creates a possibility where there was none- after you have exhausted your Real Life possibilities; he states “So as I see it, you have two choices: quit online dating and make a supreme effort to go to as many parties, coffee shops and adult education classes as possible OR try to find a way to avoid the worst of the online daters.” True enough .It shouldn’t be this hard, but it is this hard, people give up because it feels like a second job. Stay on your toes and quickly filter out the legions of non-possibles. I guess this is reality nowadays. Adjust your expectations (? ) if you Absolutely Cannot go on like this for one more year) or stay on the tiring hamster wheel of dating (if you can keep keeping your hopes up). Never in the history of human events have people been single or dated for so long, to quote Liz Wurtzel, “the solace that there will be others is little relief, when there have already been more than enough.’ Tee hee hee, at least it can be fun to read and blog about it, one of the few escapes of living it.

    • A says:

      I guess you could always have a phone call before meeting up to see if anything sounds ‘off’ about the guy….and of course make sure that you meet up in a public place where you can easily and safely exit if need be.

  66. Pam says:

    @Teddy…It is excrutiatingly difficult at first .I went through a lot of anger and pain in the begining ,then I decided to get even.How…by being positive and happy, if I have to be in his vicinity , fortunately there is always others ,I don’t have to be on my own with him. So I make sure, I feel and look good ( for my sake ..not his ) if I’m going to be in the same room, at the same time, at the same table. It’s funny but since I’m being kind to me , it is working.and it shows in many ways ….yet .he actually looks haggard and I just think ” “What a loser “..I’m not attempting to claim credit for him looking that way..( ie: he’s missing me ) but I know he musn’t be travelling the best.and he doesn’t have my friendship any longer, nor love or support to fall back on……he occassionally makes an attempt at conversation…I’m always polite , if he does that..but I give him the shortest answer I can muster..smile politely and then say see ya..I don’t give him any opportunity to get any personal information or chat from me. You will get there too..if you have to….I assure you he’ll be more taken aback by your non-chalant attitude toward him, than he would be by any anger. And this isn’t about pay back ..it’s about looking after you…:)

    • Teddie says:

      This is certainly sound practical advice, thanks Pam! Yes, I came to similar conclusions and am doing my best to follow this course.
      Best thing of course is to keep one’s bits out of one’s bread and butter in the first place, a bitter lesson I learned the hard way.

  67. laura says:

    i discovered this website a year ago, when i was seeing a typical E.U guy, so i ended that…it took about 5 months to fully end, due to random txts from him asking if i was ignoring him, and me jumping to conclusions’ ohhh he misses me crap’….anyway in january just gone my mate set me up with a guy she knows. we started dating, i was constantly checking for any red flags.we had nothing in common but got on really well.

    Anyway,i ended with him last friday.he lived an hour away from me, could only see me at the weekends and in the week everthing was based on bloody txt message.it was fun to begin with, but after 5 months i just felt how on earth can we progress with txting being the basis, and i felt so bloody lonely in the week.
    a year ago, i would have dragged the shit outa the reltionship, scared of starting again, however i bravely told him i was unhappy, i was fed up of it being a one way compromising street, an unemotional one at that due to him telling me he doesnt believe in love and having the inability to feel an empathy.so i walked away, telling myself i have alot of love to give and im not wasting it on someone who doesnt believe in love and i only saw at the weekends, who lives an hour away.yeah i miss the company at the weekends and my phone txting off the hook, but its shortlived and not enough to build a life around.

    for the first time in my life i looked out for number 1.feels bloody strange…and i have this website and my friends and family to thank for that….so cheers baggage reclaim….its hard work, but so rewarding :) :)

  68. Harriet Bond says:

    This is SO true! I wrote a blog about internet dating in 2010 (it is still available to read on the Harriet Bond website; http://www.harrietbond.com) and for that, I actually went on some dating sites to test the water. As a single woman, I had nothing to lose… except…. my dignity!! Actually, I came away from it with a hell of a lot more dignity: these sites actually made me think: ‘Oh my god, I am SO much better than this!!!’ I took my profile off after a couple of months, mainly due to pure, unadulterated BOREDOM! Most of the men on there were looking for an ego boost and certainly weren’t interested in meeting up… they just wanted to ‘chat’ ad nauseum (and believe me, I was completely immersed in nauseum by about week 2!). I realised rather soon that I was not attracting anyone who was interested in meeting up or actually forming a meaningful relationship. It was also a real eye-opener how many men are on there to test out the waters and after only a few messages start asking you where you live and if you live alone…. all that sort of crap! Luckily, I am way beyond taking scraps, but these dating sites are really dangerous for those who are in the first vulnerable stages of post-breakup, or those women who don’t have the confidence to say categorically ‘get lost’ (or something a little less polite, in my case!). A very interesting article: you are right, all healthy relationships share a common factor: they have participants who actually communicate face to face or voice to voice. Unless we want to be robots, talking and looking at each other and interacting in all of those subtle, non-verbal ways you do when you’re in someone’s company, is really the only way to make a genuine connection with someone!

  69. teachable says:

    Great stuff Laura! Well done! x

    Yoghurt – I couldn’t agree more. Self esteem IS a choice & I really liked your post on this. I would add that we are 100% responsible for choosing which thoughts about ANYTHING to entertain & which one’s to let go. (i.e. We can’t control getting a particular thought – but we can & do choose which ones to believe & continue thinking about & which one’s we dismiss)

    That said, IMO, this only the case for those who realise it is so. Hence ‘choice’ only exists once we realise there are 1. other alternatives & 2. that we have the power to ‘choose’ between them.

    Some people have been treated so badly from such a young age, by almost if not all, of the key influencial people in their lives, that they don’t don’t realise that there is alternative way of viewing themselves. (AKA ‘ I was told I was crap all my life by everyone so I believed it as they ALL agreed so they MUST be right). There’s an old saying, that we ‘don’t know what we don’t know’. Until people from such backgrounds meet someone who mirrors a positive view of themselves to them, instead of the negative one, based on logic, the ‘low self esteem version’ is all they have of a model of themselves, because this is all they’ve ever known. A person at this stage of development has not yet developed the power of choice, as they don’t know what healthy self esteem IS, let alone that it EXISTS, thus effectively has no choice.

    Once we meet someone who challenges our negative self view though (often a therapist, teacher, or for some, this site even), & who gives us positive feedback about who we are, the realisation that we’ve been fed poison starts to emerge, & alternative ways of seeing ourselves start to exist (because this is now modelled to us). IMO it’s not until this point that self esteem as a choice starts to exist.

    I just wanted to add this to your wonderful post on this topic.

    • tina says:

      great insight… i believe this too. rock on luv. T

    • yoghurt says:

      Yea, teachable, those are all really good points – I was wondering if I could shoehorn something similar in but I was aware of the word count!

      The bother is that mostly you don’t think that low self-esteem is low self-esteem, you think you’re being ‘realistic’ or ‘honest’ or whatever. And conversely, you accept all criticism of you as valid because it’s criticism. Of you.

      I went round and round with this one, it drove me mad. Eventually I had to say ‘right, it’s perfectly possible that I AM the most annoying and socially inept and unattractive person in the history of the world. But it doesn’t matter. Even annoying people don’t deserve to be lied to, manipulated, used or hurt’. And then the more I stopped acting as though it WAS okay to lie to, manipulate, use or hurt me (and starting hanging out with nice people who were nice to me), the more I realised that I’m perfectly alright really.

      Some more thoughts, seeing as the opportunity’s here… I used to think that high self-esteem meant a) thinking that you were perfect and b) having everyone like you all the time. It doesn’t – it means accepting yourself as imperfect (do you expect everyone else to be perfect and brilliant all the time?) and accepting everyone’s right to not like people sometimes, including yours.

  70. tina says:

    Hi… i liked this post. pointed. I have developed a new system for keeping me away from mr. eum and their texting ways. Since I dealt with a few eums in my time, And the the last being an 8 year MESS. Ok that came to a end in jan of this year. and so i said no guys for a while. BUT saying that just made them flock to me and yes the past 4 have been EUMs. I am quicker to spot now. a few dates and i say RED FLAG so because i STILL ADMIT i have issues and need to get my self esteem back to its proper level, i label these guys in my contacts as 1. Mr. hot and cold 2. Toxic Assclown 3. Questionable (he is 56 divorced great dr. but he has his issues SO he gets that name) It is fun when the phone rings and I see Mr. HOt and cold or my fave, Toxic Assclown. I don’t read the texts i don’t answer the phone and Lord knows in a moment of weakness I don’t want to pull up Toxic Assclown and give him a ring. It is a little method that seems to be working right now as my protection… thanks ladies. Ciao T

    • pinkpanther says:

      tina,
      Naming them seems like an excellent idea, puts the red flags right in front of your face so it’s impossible to deny.

      I’ll borrow this method myself
      thanks

  71. c says:

    Hi guys, I wrote an email to my friend of 13 years who had mistreated me in many way as an eu friend who after years started “loving” me and proceeded a hot/cold roller coaster ride that I forgave over and over. I finally wrote an email yesterday in 3rd person as if it was him writing it to me, I got everything off my chest and in the open and it is done now. I will be hurting but wanted to share what I wrote, sorry so long:

    Remember the card you gave me entitled “FRIEND”? I have taken the time to consider our friendship over the years, and I personalized the message for you. I wrote it as it would be from you to me. It sounds a little more like us when I put the words in.

    from: Him
    to: me (but actually written by me)

    My good friend, my friend who I love and miss so much, my friend that I want to stay in my life forever, this is how I will treat you after 13 years to ensure that you do so:

    Up and leave and disappear from your life as if you never existed and ignore your texts and emails after 2 years of daily lunches, happy hours, countless emails, secrets shared and texts, (after all I am busy with my life so you just need to accept that).

    When I come back I wont be honest with you or apologize I will just press the reset button knowing you’ll be so glad to accept me back I wont have to take responsibility for any hurt or confusion I caused you. Thank you for not making it dfficult, now we can pick up where we left off.

    I will after 7 years of friendship, not introduce you to my fiance as someone who is an important part of my life.

    I wont invite you to my wedding and I will tell you in the endzone of the Steelers game when your having fun, that the wedding is a few short weeks away, just to see your surprise and to let you know I have not involved you in the planning or my excitement about the upcoming big day. Sorry about your hurt feelings but I only gave out the invitations to the closest people in my life, its all I could fit in. Sorry you couldnt be there after all those years.

    I will pull you closer in by telling you how much I love and care for you, as long as I have time but dont start expecting it too often or show it back too strongly as out of love, I will be forced to pull away and start distancing myself from you. I wont be able to tell you sorry for your confusion or hurt either…I am busy and know…

    • Outergirl says:

      Very well put “C”, I just hope you did not actually send it to him.
      Went through something very similar so I know how it hurts.

  72. susan says:

    texting/FB chat/skype seems to be the way everyone wants to do it and it drives me mad. the last 5 people i have dated have chosen this as the primary medium to communicate through. including arranging dates, and ending things.
    i find it insulting and have chosen to respond in kind. in other words, if someone can’t give me the time of day IN PERSON then I’m not going to give it to them. All this ”i don’t have time to meet you/there’s no privacy at my house so i can’t phone you” BS…well there was plenty of time at the beginning when you thought you wanted me so what’s changed!?!
    I am becoming more and more disillusioned with this. Women make it too easy for men in this way, and I for one, am not puttin’up with it no more;)

  73. TwinFlames says:

    I had an online ‘relationship’. I was the one who didn’t want to meet him. He kept trying to push me, but I always said no. But, I’d have to say we were both AC/EU’s because …well, I play games, and so did he, but I didn’t lie to him. I told him that I just wanted to be “pen pals because I didn’t know this guy, and I didn’t trust him…. But, yep, he was an AC who seduced me with Shakespeare, but it was unexpectedly mixed with “won’t you play with my ding-a-ling.” And, when he said he wanted to meet me, he was only talking about skype-ing me…nope, I never did that, thank God.

  74. Brenda says:

    I feel under the “illusion” it would somehow hurt less to get “rejected” online, But you know I think it hurts even worse – because then you really did not have a “fair” chance to be known and vise verse, Long distance things can work out with some people, it happens, but you have to be able to meet.. and all too often they are hiding something.. another woman they are seeing in person.

  75. NK says:

    What Natalie said about starting ‘meaningful or conflict’ conversations by text or phone or email.

    Guilty as charged. I have done this more times than I care to admit, the last time I did it I tried to rectify it by turning up at his house the next day after sending a long text. He looked at me like i was his stalker. Now he turned out to be shockingly mean, BUT I know that, that text I sent him would of been a red or amber flag to any guy. I really need to admit to myself that I can’t express my feelings or concerns to guys faces easily – I’m written form fine! speaking, I get all tongue tied.

  76. Jody Malone says:

    Hello ladies-I’m so happy I found Natalie’s book “Mr. Unavailable”. It has opened my eyes to the real world of my very own Assclown. My story is a long one that began July 31, 2008. I met him on an online dating site (IS). We met in person within the first month when I stayed at his home for 2 days-He’s a U.S. military man and was living in S.Cali at the time (I live about 400 miles away near San Francisco) and a few months later I stayed with him one other time for 4 days (I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve actually only had “physical” contact with him on two separate occasions for a total of 6 days). The entire relationship has been a Long Distance Cyber Nightmare! A one-sided relationship of me chasing dangling carrots, believing in un-kept promises, surviving on bread crumbs and WAITING, WAITING, WAITING for that next phone call, text message, or email. Not to mention the hours and hours of online chatting-He is a master of yahoo chat (probably an expert “Master-bater” as well). It has been on-again-off-again for the last 4 years-I’ve gone the ignoring him route too many times to count, only to give in to his out-of-the-blue popping in, my addiction of him, and the fantasy that he will finally be the man I’ve been waiting for. He should get an Oscar for his Future Faking! Over the past four years he has moved from S. Cali to South Korea to Seattle and is now deployed to Afghanistan all the while making promises that we will be together when he gets to this place or that but nothing has ever materialized. It’s been a theme park romance of Merry-go-rounds, roller coaster rides and I even got to see an Assclown to boot. Well this girl has had enough! “Stop the ride I wanna get off”! He’s been in the Middle East since May of this year, I WAS writing (emails) to him everyday. He responded several times and he actually attempted to call me twice from there but his calls from over seas were made in the middle of the night (Calif time) and of course I was sleeping. The dumb ass never let me know he was going to call….It has been almost 1 month since my last email to him and I’m ready to start the NCR. I wish I could say that I”m on day 22 of NC but I can’t because I’ve been WAITING for him to reply to my last email since July 5. So today will mark day one of NC.No more waiting and/or responding. I can’t keep lying to myself about his true intentions-After reading Mr. Unavailable it’s all there in black and white and its as if Natalie had a birds eye view of my life over the past four years and was speaking directly to me. xo

  77. runnergirl says:

    Welcome Jody Malone. I’m sorry you went through 4 years of AC/EUM online grief. I felt the same way after reading Mr. U and the FBG. Natalie has this uncanny brilliance of knowing. It is all there in black and white. After I read Mr. U, there was no going back. Congratulations on going NC. You may be surprised at how much time you have to tend to you, instead of organizing your life so you can respond to some random text message. No more waiting and no more lying. It is liberating. Since you are probably going to have some time now, download Natalie’s Dreamer Book. It’s totally fabulous and a great companion piece to Mr. U. The only way we can maintain an “online relationship” is through dreaming!
    Stop the ride and the dream. I wanted to get off too. And the dream became a nightmare. Good for you girl. Keep coming back to BR.

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!