Dear Dude Whisperer,
I met a really great (or so I thought) "dude" on a dating site. On our second date he decided to tell me that he (Queue intense music-bum bum buhhm) has a wife...that he has been separated from for only two months! And he says "I really like spending time with you but I know you want a serious relationship and I don't...I understand if you don't want to see me anymore....blah blah blah...I'm a big dumb jerk" ( I added that last part. He didn't really call himself a jerk. Though he might have been thinking it.)
So anyway, I decided that I really liked him and wanted to give him a chance....I thought maybe he was just a little scared being single again and that once he realized I wasn't a psycho (like his wife!) then things would be good. He told me the horror stories of his married life....how his wife would yell and throw things a lot, that she stopped being intimate and sharing a bed with him in the last two years of their six year marriage. He said he kept trying to make it work and that she was never happy.
She moved out a few months ago and according to him they have only seen each other once since then to do their taxes...pfft, whatever! So anyway, other then the married thing, I thought this guy was pretty great. He makes me laugh. He cooks for me. Compliments me. He is a great lover. He shows just the right amount of p.d.a. He holds my hand. Gently steers me away from puddles. Gives me messy chocolate croissant kisses in front of his favorite neighborhood bakery. Introduces me to his friends while fondly gazing in my direction....And lots of other adorable, gushy stuff that really seemed sincere and sweet.
We have been seeing each other for over a month now. He started calling me his "girlfriend" after a few dates. I stay at his place on the weekends. He stays awake talking....and other stuff. ;-) Things are great......BUT he's still seeing other women from the dating site!! He has been really open and honest about this but it makes me feel crappy. But I didn't want to give him an ultimatum just yet. I wanted to try and stick it out and be understanding....But I just couldn't take it anymore! It was driving me crazy! I was jealous! I started to wonder "When is he out with other women?" "Is he intimate with anyone other then me?" "Am I not good enough!?! It seems like he's looking for someone better!?!"
So I decided a few days ago that I should talk to him about it.....
I told him how I felt. And he said that he was in a "weird place" in his life, that he was "confused", and didn't know what he wanted. He said he wasn't ready to stop dating other women....even though he thinks I'm "great" and a "wonderful person" etc.
So we both decided to end things....I was more heartbroken then him I'm sure. And he said some pretty insensitive things at the end of the breakup, like "You're right. I am no good for you." "No offense, but I just never saw us being together long term...". THEN he suddenly said "Why don't we go for a bike ride this Saturday? We can go to the park! I'll come to you!"(I live in another borough then him. And you know how much NYC men hate to travel outside their borough!)
I was in a state of shock! Was there something wrong with his brain or didn't we just break up 5 minutes prior and now he was trying to make weekend plans!?!?
The icing on this breakup cake was that right after our conversation we shared an awkward last kiss before he hoped on a train to meet another woman for a date!!!!!!!! (Maybe that's just the icing in between because as my luck would have it....there's more layers!)
I have spent the last three days crying at the mere mention of his name, eating serious amounts of chocolate, listening to sad and then bitter love songs, and smoking way too many cigarettes in the rain while rambling on the phone to my friends about how much I am going to miss him.....and it sucks!
Today I was feeling a bit better. I resisted shedding tears. I didn't eat as much chocolate. I even cracked a couple smiles. Things were looking up!
And then he called me....
I didn't answer. He left a message.
"Hi. It's me. I hope you're well.....I just wanted to say that I had a great time with you on Friday!....I always have a good time with you........(his tone changes and he clears his throat) But I have been thinking and I don't think it's a good idea for us to see each other anymore. But I'd really like to talk to you in person about it...So give me a call back. I'll be around".
WTF does that even mean???
What I really don't understand is why he would want to see me "in person" to tell me he doesn't want to see me anymore!?!?!?!?!
I only responded by text saying "Got your message. I agree. Good luck to you". My friends told me that was the best way to respond. Simple. To the point. Without being emotional. And I felt ok about it.....And then he sent me a response nearly eight hours later that said "Ditto. Thanks...."
I guess what I don't understand is....what is going on in this dude's head??? Does he like me? Does he not like me? Is he actually hurt? Or just trying to make himself seem like less of a jerk? Is he getting some sort of enjoyment out of calling and texting me just so I can be reminded of him and feel worse?? Is it possible that he realized that he screwed up what could have been something great with me? Or that he just doesn't know what he wants?
Maybe that's too many questions. I got a bit carried away...I'm just hurt and confused and thought maybe you could make some sense of all this craziness. :-(
"Shipwrecked and stranded on Confusion Island"
So, over the years the DW has seen commercials for toilet paper that have cartoon bears and friendly shopkeepers and smiling neighbors. The commercials call it 'bath tissue' and talk about its plush plies and superduper absorbing powers and soothing comfort. The stuff is like magical tufts of cloud. Smoother than unicorn fur.
But, really, when you take toilet paper back to your own bathroom, it's just something you hold in your hand as you wipe poop from your @ss after you pinch a loaf. That's it. And we all know it's gonna turn out that way. All that dancing cartoon bear junk is just something advertising companies do because it's a better marketing strategy than calling their product Low Grade Paper For Sh&twiping.
And so yes, this may be a slightly less artfully ingenious analogy than usual, but why are you trying to put cartoon bears on this guy? Because here's your product once you strip away all the advertising. Married Guy Who Is Openly Seeing Other People. You can try to sell that to yourself any way you want, but at the end of the day, dude is still married and dude is still seeing other people. Dude has said in so many words that he is not interested in anything serious even though you might be. Really, the DW has to say that there's not a lot for him to untangle here.
Look, is the DW saying this dude is acting like a prince? Not exactly. He shouldn't be calling you 'girlfriend', first of all, when he has no intention of treating you as such. And, it's a little tacky to talk sh&t about his wife so much. And sure, there's probably other stuff in there to criticize.
But, at the end of the day, the question has to be asked- how much should reasonably be expected out of this dude? Divorce is confusing and messy and painful and makes everyone going through it not exactly the best dating material. F*ckbuddy material, maybe. Knock yourself out if you want some of that Dude Hasn't Had A Good Ballrattling Bone in Six Years extra enthusiastic f*ckmania action. But don't try to date the dude before his papers have even gone through. The DW would say exactly the same to a dude friend about boning, but not dating, the wife.
And that's kinda it. All the other details about who called when and texted this and that are essentially meaningless. There was little doubt about the outcome of this escapade way back on the second date when dude revealed he was 1) married and going through a divorce and 2) not into anything serious. If you don't get up from the table and walk away at that moment, dude figures you're in for a whole lot of bone and he's gonna hang around as long as that keeps up.
Here's to your next dude being less married and more open to a girlfriend,