Monday, March 17, 2008

Dudefile #11 - The Weekend Away

Hi Dude Whisperer,

I met this guy, "Joe," through mutual friends a few months ago -- as an official set up, not a happenstance encounter. We hit it off, hung out in groups a couple of times and then went on two excellent dates. He's super busy [with a legit reason the DW was asked to edit out] so sometimes it would be a week or more before I'd hear from him, but whenever we did talk or see each other, the conversation and chemistry were both great.

Then he invited me away to the lake with him and the mutual friends (a couple) for the weekend. We had a really really good time: after only two real dates, we spent 48 hours together (including about 3 hours driving, each way, just the two of us), shared a bed, saw each other first thing in the a.m. all sleepy faced and unprimped, and it was still amazing. We had good conversations about big things that are important to us. We slept together (which was also really good) and there was some mild hand holding, and all in all it was great -- I came back from it exclaiming to self, "That was the best weekend ever!"

Then I didn't hear from him for almost two weeks. I'm not one to sit around, so I called/emailed him twice. When I finally heard back from him, he apologized for being so MIA and said he'd been really busy, but he knew that was no excuse for not at least calling me. He came over, told me how amazed he was that I didn't get angry at him, and took me to dinner, where we -- as usual -- had great conversation and I felt really comfortable.

Finally I brought up: "So...can we talk about how busy you've been and get it over with, and then just go on to enjoying each others company?" He laughed and we started talking.

About 2 hours of talking later, both at the restaurant and back at my place, he finally decided: he really likes me, really has a great time being with me, is very attracted to me, but he's too busy right now, he's not the kind of person who can date casually and at the moment he's not able to give me the attention he would want to. Plus, I'll likely be away for 2 months beginning in a few months, and he might have to move away for work next year. If this was two years ago when our lives were more settled he'd be all into it, but it's not so he isn't.

I said: I understand that both of us have uncertain futures, but I think this has the potential to be really good and I really like you and I think we should try it, and cross that bridge when we come to it (fwiw, we both have had successful long distance relationships in the past).

He said: Nope, sorry, just can't do it.

He's 29, I'm 26. This was a few weeks ago and I'm still thinking about it. What gives? Any chance I can romantically show up on his doorstep (or via his cell phone...) and ask for another chance?I firmly believe that if a person really likes someone, they'll make time, even if they're busy. True? Does this mean all of our amazingness together wasn't as amazing from his end, and I'm just not worth it to him?

--He Rained on Our Parade


When the DW was young, he was a really good baseball player. Of course, like every dude since the first caveman who threw a rock just for the fun of it he overestimated his talents a bit, but even by objective standards the DW was really good. So, when high school came to a close, the DW assumed he would play college ball. He showed up for tryouts, played well against the returning members of the team, and waited to get a call asking him what number he’d like on his uniform, where he’d like to hit in the batting order, and if he’d prefer his groupies to be slinky or buxom.

Well, nobody called. No list was posted on a door in the athletic complex. The team simply moved on and began preparing for their season. At first, the DW was utterly confused as to how the team was going to cope without him. Then he rationalized that maybe the team had too many roster spots locked up with scholarships, but maybe next year after a couple dudes graduated they’d find a way to have him. Finally, grudgingly, much much later (like about a month ago), the DW faced the truth that he just wasn’t good enough.

Let’s leave baseball there for now and get to your weekend away with this dude. First of all, if a dude takes you on a trip for two days, out of town, with a couple, he's definitely taking you seriously, or at the very least considering taking you seriously. Hooking up is one thing, but that kind of time commitment is not something a dude forks over just because he’s bored and wants to chat. Especially a dude who, as you mention, finds it hard to call more than once a week.

In fact, you could consider the weekend a tryout of sorts. Did the dude plan this as a tryout? Probably not. And true, you’re not wearing a uniform and competing against a team of other sweaty women throwing a ball around or whatever. Although that would be kind of awesome. But the situation is stuffed full of ramped-up intimacy and the potential for “taking the next step”, as the DW’s writers seem to call it. It’s pivotal. You’re in the car forever together, you’re in the same bed, you have sex, and all the things you mentioned.

So, when you get back and the dude doesn’t call for two weeks? You didn’t make the team. The DW isn't saying it was necessarily a wise decision on your dude’s part, or that it was any one thing you did or didn't do. But, for whatever reason, the dude knew at some point on that trip it wasn't going to work long term. You wouldn’t know at what point he decided, because it would have been like poking himself in the eye with the sharp corner of a Rachael Ray cookbook for the dude to give you the bad news, say, 7 hours into a forty-eight hour trip and have you two spend the last 41 hours miserable and awkward and endlessly hashing over the whys and why nots. The point is that after a trip that intimate, two weeks simply do not pass if a dude is interested. Do. Not. Two weeks didn't even pass for Mr. Superbusy even before you went away together.

As for what came after? The DW suspects this dude felt shitty about not even calling at all and when you prodded him enough that he had to respond, as you should have, he went through the theater of saying it was circumstances and apparently did it well enough that you were let down easier. But that's not when he "finally decided". The DW is 147% positive he knew way, way before then that you two were not happening.

And you really are not happening. Ever. Once a dude says no, especially knowing that he’s giving up a season pass to ski the slopes of Yourunderpants Hills, take him at his word. Whether the reasons he gave were the truth or a load of horseflop, in his head something is making the situation not right and winning him over is simply not going to happen.

So, no. Don't show up on the doorstep. He's not invested in this. If anything did strike up, it would be out of convenience and you would get your heart smooshed even worse later on after even more run-around.

Here’s the good thing about not making the team, though. When the DW didn’t make the college baseball team it was a wake-up call that he wasn’t good enough to play baseball on that level in general. It was a matter of measurable value. College ball. Not happening. Period. Your tryout was with one dude. And for all we know, this “Joe” might be kind of a flaky douchebag with all his “I’m so busy” junk. This wasn’t anything across the board damning about you as a person or as a lay or anything at all. Be exactly the same with the next dude and he might find you the bee’s knees.

Hope the next tryout goes better,
the DW


Anonymous said...

Or, next time, you can be the one holding try-outs.

Greg said...

As a dude myself, the key here is the fact that he went on the 'blind date' or agreed to meet. This suggest to me he is/was looking and it simply did not work out.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - what is the difference between what you suggest and what she was doing? Nothing. She WAS holding try outs. But he bailed first. Whoever is least interested has the power, whether it's the girl or the guy.

And, a girl would not invite a guy for a weekend away if she didn't know yet whether she liked him - which I think is what makes this guy a total jerk.

Anonymous said...

Comment #3, I totally agree with you. A weekend away is a pretty big deal to offer to someone you're not really sure about. Of course, the girl takes it as a sign that the dude is really interested, while the dude just takes it as a free pass for sex. What a douche.

Is it so much to ask that dudes have a little bit of compassion and take ladies' feelings into consideration? According to what I've read on here, yes it is, so ladies, I suggest being very careful about who you're giving it up to. Even the DW constantly stresses dudes' preoccupation with your boobies and underwear. Usually that's all they want, so unless that's all you want to, don't be surprised when they bail.

Anonymous said...

Dear DW:

Can you take a gander at what it was on the weekend that could have changed his mind? This is the type of thing a woman would like to know. How, after supposedly getting along and having chemistry – so much so that a weekend away together seemed in order – could he change his mind that easily? These types of ridiculous flip-flops are what drive us insane. To continue with your baseball metaphor, imagine that you had actually made the team, spent months practicing with the team, then shown up for the first game in your uniform only to be told by a messenger that the coach changed his mind and you’re not allowed near the field. THAT’S how we feel when guys do this.

Also...I find this interesting:
"Once a dude says no, especially knowing that he’s giving up a season pass to ski the slopes of Yourunderpants Hills, take him at his word."

If the woman says no, that’s usually far from the end. Explanations are required, followed by pleas, begging and renegotiations from the guy. Why do guys act like this? Especially knowing that when THEY say no, that’s the end of it.

Anonymous said...

as a woman, i think maybe the dude should not have so hastily invited this woman away for the weekend. but then again, i remember a time six years ago when i started seeing this guy. he was great! he was awesome! we spent lots of time together... and then i don't know. i just wasn't that into him anymore. i noticed his weird sneakers. and he was kind of a baby about things. so i dumped him.

sometimes you just change your mind, even if you have the best of intentions. i think both men and women can "flip flop."

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is one thing to change your mind about someone after spending some time together. It is entirely another thing to just fucking not call for two weeks and hope she gets the idea.

I would hope that the previous commenter AT LEAST filled the guy in and didn't force him to chase her around and pin her down for an explanation. The way the guy in this question acted is completely disrespectful and cruel.

Anonymous said...

Commenter #3:
Showng up on his doorstep (or via his cell phone...) to "ask for another chance" sounds like trying out for the team, rather than being the one selecting the right players to me. Though I think you're right with respect to the initial introductions. said...

Good to see so many comments. “Joe” really got some of you riled up. A couple thoughts…

Re: greg’s comment- The DW agrees that this dude’s interest in a blind date and his willingness to do a weekend away shows that he was legitimately interested in a relationship.

Also, the decision to ask HRoOP out of town for the weekend? Seems more like a lack of judgement, perhaps even of naïve optimism, than a diabolical scheme. There are a lot easier ways to enact some evil Underpants Invasion than this, one would assume.

However, if those notes above make it seem like the DW is making excuses for this dude, read on. The DW agrees with anonymous that the truly unforgivable behavior of this dude is no-call B.S. after the weekend away. Everyone is owed the common courtesy of a phone call and an explanation. Not a text or an email. A call. Or even better, face to face. Period.

What’s also really sh*tty, and the DW should have said this in so many words in the original post, is that the dude, who the DW truly does believe made up his mind that it was no-go for HRoOP during this weekend away, should have been honorable enough to keep it in his pants if he was so unsure he ever wanted to see her again. It’s one thing to sleep with someone having good intentions and then break up. Happens all the time. But in this circumstance? Come on, dude. Just spank it for heaven’s sake. You know better.

As for what changed the dude’s mind? Not to duck the question, but there wasn’t much to read into HRoOP’s letter that jumped out as a general reason a dude wouldn’t want to be with her like if it casually slipped out she was an emotional black hole or a cannibal or something. This might simply fall under individual taste and idiosyncrasies. Luckily, it works both ways, too, that individual taste thing. Why does the DW’s wife like him so much, for example, when so many other less wonderful women would not?

And a final quick note or two about flip-flopping. It seems to the DW that there is a fine line between flip-flopping and simply deciding you don’t like someone enough to continue dating, as the ‘anonymous’ who dumped the baby dude with weird sneakers illustrated. This dude didn’t seem to flip-flop as much as really, really poorly handle his decision making process, if that makes sense. And it’s not only dudes who do it. The DW has been blindsided by women just as forcefully. Early relationships can be brutal all the way around.

bluejacket said...

This has been my experience as well. The reason the world needs a dude whisperer is that guys, when they are done, don't explicitly say so. Even if they're done and never call again, even if they continue to take you out sometimes but have turned really dull and inattentive, or even if they live with you and become a stranger with no concern for you.

Maybe that's just me?

I think taking a short trip implies sex in both parties, especially if none has occurred before. A woman will take the invitation as a signal of securement in a relationship, and one would hope the man wouldn't ask if that weren't a step that was true for him too. But once you're there? You can hardly not have sex. If I was invited, I would say no if I wasn't ready for this step (although I suspect many women are all too eager to take the special trip to relationshipville). I would feel like dogmeat if he never even tried. It is tricky in feminism to unentwine expectations to overt traditional dance steps. Another mere date wouldn't have made the same statement and doesn't necessitate sex.

I think women still want an opportunity to preserve their "self-respect", their prerogative, yet wish to be invited to answer the call of 'if you don't sleep with me, it's over,' like a trip. We are definitely going somewhere literally and figuratively, is not just hangin' out; we're close enough to live together for a short time.

Something happened on the trip, and maybe something happened after the trip. Joe maybe didn't take this trip as casually either when at first he asked, but he saw something that made him not have the balls to call and end hope. Or maybe when he knows it's over, that girl doesn't even need to know; it's a decision to make no further contact or openings for appeal, and she'll figure it out eventually. Why do dudes do that?