Kyle needs to talk.

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I’d had a lot of time over the last few months to try to figure out, without overanalyzing, what the fuck Kyle’s deal was. I didn’t doubt his interest in me – he had the intention to see me / date me – however in practice it completely fell down.

Bottom line, dating me was not a priority. I would have bet he wasn’t dating others, so I didn’t get the sense he had other women that came first. Of course, being the last wife in the harem holds no appeal to me. It was harder to accept that even if I was the only one he was interested in, his behavior was still uncool.

I get into dating trouble with three behaviors / habits – first is I tend to judge people based on their intentions instead of their behaviors. Someone intends to call me but doesn’t? I give them a pass. It’s hard for me to take the behavior at face value.

Second is my desire to understand which will often drive me to interact with someone long after their expiry date. Someone treats me badly and I still want to understand why, I keep going.

Third is my need to have someone fess up to bad behavior. I want them to explain it or at least admit it. Every time someone ghosts or does something shitty, my instinct is to get them to face it. It’s futile.

Kyle is a perfect storm for me. Dating behavior aside (for sake of argument) he’s one of the first men I’ve met who genuinely seems like a good match – intellectually, career-wise, family oriented, attraction, etcetera. This is so incredibly rare I’ve absolutely given him more latitude than I otherwise would.

And please don’t give me platitudes about how there are other men out there who will be a great match. I know this is inherently true but I’ve also spent three years meeting men and I know how rare some of Kyle’s characteristics are.

Now, obviously since I’m not a priority and he’s not treating me well, it should all be moot. I’m working on that.

My intellectual curiosity got the better of me over the weekend and I decided to see what would happen the Sunday night when we were supposed to have our second date. I expected him to bail and I worked my way through letting him go once and for all.

Sunday late afternoon I texted “So what’s the plan?”

A few hours later he replied “I don’t have a plan”. We went back and forth a few texts and I finally said “can you please call it will be faster”. When he did, he said he was dropping his son off at his ex’s, then he had to stop at his parents, and then he was coming back into the city.

There was a pause. When he didn’t say anything about getting together, I said “So Kyle, what were your thoughts on get together this evening?”

There was a long pause. Inside I was laughing – not hurting – and just wondering what the fuck was coming next.

So I said “okay, what’s up Kyle?”

He said “well, when I come back into the city, I’m going to come by your place. We need to talk.”

My inner voice said “are you fucking kidding me?” And my outside voice said “okay then, what time?”

We settled on approximately 9:30pm. I called a friend, because the ridiculousness of a guy who I’ve had barely 3 dates with telling me we need to talk was hilarious and mystifying.

I knew I’d done enough processing of Kyle’s behavior and my needing to move on because intellectually I was in a good place. Super curious, but fully expecting some amount of bullshit.

I took a shower, had some dinner, did some work and some writing. Nursed a glass of wine. 9:30 came and went. No text, no knock on my door.

No. Fucking. Way.

At 10pm I sent a text asking him what his ETA was. No response. I knew he was with both his ex-wife and his mother, and while sometimes you can’t send a text in that situation, this was ridiculous and given it was nowhere close to his first time not communicating, I was livid.

And mad at myself for even putting myself in the situation yet again.

At 10:30, I decided to get into my pyjamas, turn off most of my lights, and finish the blog post which was in progress. Once I finished, I was going to try to sleep and hopefully not turn the situation over and over in my head. I’d lost enough sleep over that man.

41 thoughts on “Kyle needs to talk.

  1. I’m frustrated and angry for you! I feel the same way….earlier this month when the guy would not tell me why he continued lying or wouldn’t answer me is when I lost my cool. All I request is basic honesty, but if a guy makes plans with you and then bails and does it again it’s not worth the time. Ditch Kyle he’s a waste.

    • It has never worked out when I’ve tried to get someone to “fess up” to bad behavior. I find it so interesting that it’s something I want… And now I’m way better at letting it go, but my instinct is to want to get them on the phone and berate them until they concede 🙄

        • I do love to create order out of chaos with everything, I organize and sort, etc., so I suppose it would be natural for my brain to be happy when it can neatly sort things and put experience in their appropriate cubby.

  2. Ann, I’m sorry he’s done this to you yet again. Please don’t drive yourself crazy wondering what he wanted to talk about had he had bothered to show up. Not worth it! Men like this (And yes I’ve had a few “Kyles” cross my path) are just not worth it if they are not considerate of your time and feelings. If they are behaving this way now, they would likely continue to even if it did turn into something more down the road. HUGS!!!

  3. I know that there is more coming….but at this point I’d have to suggest you delete every sign of him and go help your mom recalibrate her “magic 8 ball”!

  4. WTF. And a cliffhanger “we need to talk.” That always gets me in trouble because I am more curious about what was the subject of the talk was then trying to fix/solve any issues.

    • I was perplexed because “we need to talk” implies some kind of commitment of time and effort, which he hadn’t been showing to date. And certainly we hadn’t gotten close enough to warrant any kind of in person breakup – while nice, it didn’t fit with the other stuff I’d experienced from him. So I spent a couple fun hours wondering!

  5. Omg, I’d be deleting him. So not worth the mind fuck. But, of course, he’s either gonna show up really late, or call again. Am I close? (You don’t have to answer that. I’ll wait. )

    • Well, for a while I thought he was. I still think he is, if his behavior seems to be transitory… I can’t imagine it is, because it seems like such a basic lack of courtesy, but I suppose if someone is in a really bad place, it’s possible. I’m not going to engage with him unless something changes.

  6. The next post is bound to be interesting. I can’t really understand why you would continue giving him chances. People are their behaviors, not their intentions. He clearly has lovely intentions but he is someone who leaves you hanging. Repeatedly. He is not deserving of anymore effort on your part.

    • I would say there has been little actual effort on my part for a while, but far too much emotional crap to deal with. At some point reducing my expectations so much just means I’m cynical and closed off, and I hate to get to that point. But here we are 🙂

  7. It’s the same old story over and over…..some guy treats you badly and you allow it. I think you should reassess your self esteem and your relationship with your father and figure out the root of this and how to overcome it. It may sound cliché, but the proof is in the pudding. If you keep allowing this sort of treatment and behavior from those you are or may become involved with romantically, then maybe you aren’t as ok with yourself as you think. This comes from a place of encouragement so I hope you can take it in that light.

    • Not sure what you’ve read of my posts but my self esteem is very secure and I’ve done a lot of work on my relationship with my father. There have been a number of men who treated me badly and I’ve walked away. So I can absolutely say Kyle has been the exception – not that it’s good, but it’s not the norm for me any more and I’m very proud of that.

        • Since we got back together in the fall, Tony hasn’t been emotionally distant and he has treated me like a priority. He follows through when he says he will, he’s expressive, and his actions reflect his intentions and his emotions. His problems with going back to his wife And the challenges in our relationship as a result of that aren’t the same kind of issue I had with an emotionally absent father. If anything, ironically, Tony has been an amazingly stable and supportive force in my life for the last several months.

          • You get involved with men who are not truly available to you, in one way or another. I do think that is related to your abandonment issues. If your relationship with Tony is a totally ok thing for you, then you have set the bar and it is what you will continue to get from other men rather than what you say you really want. A person’s actions are much more important than them ticking certain boxes. If the follow through isn’t there, it doesn’t matter what boxes they check.

          • I won’t debate Tony (but remember he was available to me in chapter 2 and I broke up with him when I realized he wasn’t) but Fox, the Giant, Johnny Id, and the man who is gone from this blog were all very emotionally available. It’s not accurate to imply emotionally unavailable men are the only ones I get involved with.

  8. You’re humble and courageous to list what you think are the three things that get you stuck with Time-Wasters. I’m not you, so I don’t know if they are right. I can only resonate. The last point – the one about needing to hang around long enough to get the Time-Waster to admit they did you wrong; yeah, lots of energy can be sunk on that one. Have you found that you get payoff, and when you do, that it is worth it? I think that there are two reasons why someone in your shoes would need this. One, would be if you don’t have the self-assurance to fully believe that this is unacceptable behavior and thus need the validation from the errant party that this is so. You seem incredibly self-assured and I doubt you need that kind of validation. I guess reason One, clause a, is that thing you said about intentions vs. behavior. Until the errant party can _say_ or _own_ that they have done something wrong, you are going to deep down hope that they are capable of doing the right thing, even though their behavior demonstrates different. Reason Two is that you want the satisfaction of watching them realize that they are wrong. You want them to learn a lesson from this. You want this to be a teaching moment for them. I am afraid that few people are really receptive to this, especially at our age. It’s not our job to teach others how to behave. All we can do is manage how their behavior impacts us. Certainly, it is our societal duty to do all we can to do prevent someone from causing harm to themselves or to others, but once someone is past the age of 25 or so, they will only change once they internally desire to do so. Sometimes, the threat of loss can motivate change, but in the case of flaky men in the first few months of dating, realistically, losing you isn’t a grave loss. They will learn more if you just walk away and don’t give them an outlet for their shoddy behavior. All of the above has been a hard one for me to learn. I get stuck most on Reason One. I can’t say that I have mastered it, but repeated behavior (or lack thereof) truly speaks louder than words. The only way I can get someone to behave differently around me when they are being less than decent is to disengage.

    • Thanks for the insight – I haven’t spent a lot of time yet thinking about why I need it… It’s been a journey to just figure out that I want it. It’s not the validation, you’re right. My self esteem is very intact. But I suspect you’re onto something with your reason two. I will ponder 🙂

      • Glad that was well-received. I don’t want to overreach!

        It’s definitely frustrating that this guy seems perfect for you in all other regards, so I await the latest installment of the Kyle saga with great interest.

        I also thought a little more about what I wrote. Let’s say you do get a chance to express your frustration over mistreatment in this case or in any other case. By all means, you should express yourself! I know when I have been on the receiving end, when the plaintiff tells me how they feel in light of my behavior, rather than make the conversation about how bad my behavior was in absolute terms, it penetrates deeper. “I was really hurt when you did this.” or “I made a choice to prioritize you, and then when you failed to come through, I really felt like a fool for a while, and realized that I let down other people whom I could have dedicated my energy to.” Talk about it in terms of your experience, not in terms of how people “should” behave, and say that you need to put your energy into relationships where the desire is reciprocated. It’s not going to happen here. I dunno. I just know that it gets through better to me, but I am also really terrified of letting people down. It appears that in the post-modern dating world, there are countless people who are numb to the feelings of others and just are looking out for themselves. They may have compelling reasons – difficult pasts, etc., but its not your job to help them out of this unless they are paying you therapist’s rate.

        If they can apologize in a no-holds barred way – that is, they offer an apology that isn’t conditional (ie, “I’m sorry you feel this way,” is NOT ACCEPTABLE – because it is conditional on your feeling. They need to say, “I’m sorry I did X.”) – they can summarize what they did wrong without giving excuses, they can summarize the impact that their behavior had on you, again, without throwing in any conditional statements, they can summarize what needs to change, and then apologize again, then its ok to give them another chance. But, maybe only one more chance.

        • Very good advice, thank you. I did write out an email or speaking notes that I could use with him (after the conclusion of the next post) and showed my Mom who was good in pointing out similarly what you said – it’s ultimately about how I feel and the impact on me… I can’t assume intention on his part to hurt me. I don’t think he intends to hurt me and I don’t think he realizes the impact his behavior has…or doesn’t want to face it.
          And you’re right, if he was to really show some movement in behavior and understanding of the impact it had on me, I may be inclined to continue. Not holding my breath!

  9. I think I have the same 3 reasons that keep getting me into trouble and love how you articulated that above. Good food for thought.

    So that leaves us with: why is it more important to have answers than to be treated well? Because that’s the way I see it with Kyle. You are continuing to pursue (even if it’s a lot less, you still do all the initial follow up) and he continues to act horribly.

    • I need to set one thing straight – I have not been the one doing the initial follow up for a while. And with him it’s really been because he checks all my boxes, minus (obviously) the prioritization 🙂

        • Given his good qualities and what I (still) believe to be transient behavior, I made the conscious and deliberate choice to not block him and to be responsive when he reached out to me. I don’t regret that choice even though I wish things had been different.

      • But it’s NOT the prioritisation that’s the problem. I can’t believe you can’t see that.

        It’s that he treats you shit WHILE not making you a priority.

        ‘Not a priority’ is not ‘standing you up over and over’. That’s being an arsehole.

        ‘Not a priority’ is ‘not being able to see you because he’s got other things on, and saying so like a grown up adult human being who respects you’.


        • Oh, I do know that and see that – absolutely. His behavior has been atrocious, full stop. No excuse whatsoever. I can understand the de-prioritization given his work schedule, absolutely… But as you say, it’s the booking dates (proactively!) and then failing to follow through or even cancel in advance like a grown up that I won’t put up with again.

    • You’re quite right, and I am honestly perplexed that an otherwise seemingly grown up, considerate, caring dude has treated me with such a lack of common courtesy and seemingly either doesn’t understand that he’s doing so, or doesn’t want to face it. Either way, it’s total bullshit.

    • Just realized you were quoting (I think) the subsequent post? What I said was I won’t say I’m completely done with him…and that’s because I’d be lying to myself and everyone else if I said that. I’m done reaching out, he’s gone from my phone, etc etc, but if a few weeks or months from now he comes back and is contrite and apologizes and there is a real difference in behavior, I would give him a chance.

What do you think?