Kyle says sorry not sorry.

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As I wrapped up my blog post, my phone pinged with Kyle’s ring tone – he said “be there in 10 minutes”. Geez, really?

I decided to not change out of my pyjamas, I didn’t want to make any more effort.

He knocked on my door about 20 minutes later – 90 minutes after he was supposed to show up – and I said “hey sorry for being in my pyjamas but I figured you weren’t showing up when I didn’t hear from you.”

“Yeah Ann, sorry about that, I ended up talking to my Mom for a longer than I thought. Needed some advice from her.”

He declined a drink – not even water – and we settled in on my couch. Small talk ensued until I got tired of it and said “so, what’s up Kyle?”

The short version? He apologized.

He said he fully thought he was ready for a relationship when he went on to Bumble, and when we went on our first date. He said he thought his work schedule was going to let up somewhat and he would be in the city more. But obviously that hadn’t happened.

He said he was only in the city and kid-free maybe three nights in the last month, and while he intended for it to change, it hasn’t happened yet.

He said he really did want to focus on one woman because he knows he doesn’t have time.

He explained that trying to date me, and realizing he doesn’t feel “present” even when he’s with his son, has made him realize he is not in a great place. He’s been grumpy and not himself, and he needs to make a change in his life.

The reason he was late was because he had a long chat with his Mom about everything to get her advice.

He wanted me to know that it wasn’t personal. He likes me and wants to date me. He knew trying to date him was like “banging [my] head against a wall.”

Yup.

I told him of course it was personal and yes, it had been very frustrating. I asked him whether he wanted me to stop reaching out and he said no (of course; what else would he say?!), and whether he needed to take a break and he said no.

I didn’t challenge him on anything; I didn’t think it was the time. I didn’t tell him how he’s failed at basic consideration and courtesy. There wasn’t any point. When I pointed out a couple of things he got very defensive so I knew he just needed to come over and say his piece so he could again feel like a good guy.

That was pretty much the end of it. We made out on my couch for a while – I figured if I wasn’t going to see him again I could at least get a little pleasure out of it – and we retained our sex-free status.ย It’s too bad; there’s great physical chemistry.

Before he left he mentioned he didn’t know his travel schedule yet the night we were supposed to have our third “date”.

After he left I sent a simple text that said I appreciated him making the effort to come by. He replied with a you’re welcome and good night.

The next day, I cancelled the hard-to-get dinner reservation I’d made for that date, knowing full well it was never going to happen. I again deleted him from my phone (somewhat useless since I easily memorize phone numbers).

Of course, I heard nothing from him all week. I wasn’t surprised at all. I reached out once to inquire about a work-related matter we had discussed, and then quickly realized it was futile as I didn’t want to yet again be waiting. I sent a follow up text to “never mind; I’m good” (totally flakey, I know, but I was sincerely hoping he wouldn’t reply) which started a brief text conversation where I finally said:

“…so kinda like a date where were are supposed to see each other goes by without any communication from you, it doesn’t feel all that great to wait and hear nothing. Actually it feels rather shitty. So call it self preservation I guess – it’s far better for me to have zero expectations and be surprised than to expect and hope for something and be disappointed. I’d rather associate you with positive rather than negative feelings.”

He was petulant in his response and I realized in addition to his shitty dating behavior toward me, he also can’t handle any criticism whatsoever. Insert eye rolls here. When I told him later I shouldn’t have let my frustration be expressed in text (which I do believe – it’s pointless) he was completely ungracious in his reply.

::

I won’t say I’m completely done with Kyle; if I choose to believe this behavior is driven by the situation versus his core attributes, then I’m open to seeing him again if the situation (and his behavior) is different.

I won’t waste my time trying to figure it out. I have no way to know for sure and ultimately it doesn’t matter. I tell myself the intention doesn’t forgive the behavior. It’s an important lesson I’ve been learning.

But I won’t text him proactively again. I unfriended him on Facebook (he requested it in the first place) several weeks ago. I’ve stopped looking at his Instagram activity because it doesn’t matter. His texts are deleted and archived.

While on vacation with Liam this week, I’ve practiced not focussing on thoughts of him. It’s worked decently so far. I know better than to try to force thoughts to go away – it has the opposite effect – but when I start down the mental path wondering why he’s been this way, I instead focus on the men who aren’t this way.

And I still haven’t reopened any dating profiles, and nor do I have the desire.

33 thoughts on “Kyle says sorry not sorry.

    • Thanks Caroline – a mental switch has been flicked finally. Of course I hope there’s some magical transformation and it proves out that the shitty behavior was a exception… But I can honestly now say I’m not holding my breath for that.

  1. His petulance pisses me off. It’s a manipulation tactic. He gets pissed off when he’s called on his shit so that you stop calling him on his shot and he gets to ignore the issue because it’s “over” when you stop addressing it. It’s either that he’s extraordinarily childish or extraordinarily manipulative and I don’t like it. ๐Ÿ˜›

    • It’s funny, the petulance was a what put me over the top. I though – shit really? You’re going to be a douchebag about bailing and justify it because you’re having a rough time but then be childish when I dare say the impact it has on me? Come on! My gut tells me he’s a bit insecure and he just can’t face any thought that he’s a bad guy. So yeah, those things are not good.

  2. >I wonโ€™t say Iโ€™m completely done with Kyle; if I choose to believe this behavior is driven by the situation versus his core attributes, then Iโ€™m open to seeing him again if the situation (and his behavior) is different.

    Ann, you do need to say you’re completely done with Kyle. His “situation” has absolutely ZERO bearing on his inability to do the basic minimum courtesies toward another human being such as responding to simple texts which take precisely 10 seconds to do. Add to that his defensiveness and petulance when criticized, and he’s shown you exactly who he is already.

    People use their “situation” as an excuse to hide behind to justify their character flaws when they show you who they really are. Happens all the time. So you already have the answer to your question. His behavior is driven by his core attributes, not his situation. Abandon all hope with this one.

    • Josh’s response is bang on. I’m failing to see any redeeming qualities in Kyle. He stands you up, makes minimal to no effort, can’t handle hearing about how things impact you and is childish in his response. What exactly is attractive about this guy’s basic personality????
      So you’re not going to “waste time” on figuring out if he is a douche bag or just in a difficult spot but you’ll waste more of your time by giving him more chances?? I am so confused.

      • No I’m not wasting any time on him period. I was simply trying to be honest by saying if he came back, apologized and acknowledged the impact on me, and if the conditions and his behavior had changed that I would likely give him a chance. I know the chance of that is very very very slim. But I don’t believe in being all full of bravado when I know if those conditions were met I wouldn’t say no.

    • Josh, while I agree with you that many times people use their situations to justify bad behavior, I also know – with others and myself – there are times where we do things that may be out of character given the things going on in our lives. I’m not debating Kyle (the lack of basic courtesy is outrageous, and I also don’t know him well enough to say what’s what), but I know there are times where I’ve done things I’ve looked back on and thought “shit, that really isn’t what I’m all about”. Sure, it means I have that tendency in me, but I wouldn’t want my entire character to be judged on a true exception, as you have above.

      • Ann, I didn’t judge Kyle on a “true exception”. Someone’s inability to perform even the most basic courtesies such as taking a mere 10 seconds out of their life to respond to texts or letting someone in a timely manner know they can’t make a date or be late isn’t a true exception, it’s a reflection of their fundamental level of consideration and courtesy. And most importantly, it wasn’t one-time behavior, it was a pattern of repeated behavior from him.

        We all go through shit and tough situations in our lives. But that’s not an excuse for rude and inconsiderate behavior over and over again toward others. You behave badly once–okay, maybe it was an out of character moment. You do it over and over, it’s not the situation, it’s you.

        • I actually wasn’t debating Kyle’s behavior with you, which is why in my comment I said it wasn’t about Kyle. I was saying there are times in people’s lives where they behave badly – maybe more than once – and it’s still an exception to the norm. I’ve been in those places and I’m sure others have as well.

          • OK, but this thread and discussion is about Kyle’s behavior, not anyone else’s. Therefore, by saying hey, sometimes people behave badly repeatedly and it’s still an exception, it sounds like you’re making allowances or excuses for his behavior as justification for leaving the door still open with him. Or are you not?

          • You maybe missed that sentence in my comment – it actually wasn’t about Kyle. Your response got me thinking about me and others – you were making a blanket statement about everyone and I think there are exceptions.

          • I didn’t miss what you said. There are always exceptions to every rule. But to be clear my original comments were with regard specifically to what you’ve written about Kyle and his behavior. And based on what you’ve written, I absolutely stand by my assessment where he is concerned.

    • At first for sure that was most of it. Now it’s the main reason I think there is perhaps a very small chance he may come back and things will be different. They don’t happen often with her and as far as I know she’s never been wrong. But if things don’t change I’m not entertaining him any more.

      • GOOD!! Mom’s premonitions have a powerful pull….but…..I’m glad you’ve accepted that they are not infallible.

        If you are contacted again, I hope you accept only impeccable behavior and manners before agreeing to see him again. (even if the CHEMISTRY is as good as you say)

  3. ARGH! How frustrating. But, one thing is clear – he has shown you his true colors, so its up to you whether you want to keep investing in hope that there is still a side of him that you don’t know – that his behavior is born of circumstance, rather than the circumstance fitting his innate personality. I’m glad that you can at least stop taking any kind of initiative right now. I would recommend holding firm – if he does approach you, try to his the “reset” button by being charming and seemingly present in the instance, let him know that you still feel unresolved about how he heard you in the above conversation, couching everything in “I felt” statements versus “You did” statements, then sit back and watch whether this unleashes Reactive Kyle once again, or whether he can actually hear you this time. Reactive Kyle emerges again, then… do what you need to do. I’m sorry that there is no motivation to be distracted by other dating. I don’t see that as a sign that you are hung up in an unhealthy way on any of the recent characters. Online dating sucks!

    • Thank you. There’s zero benefit to me to doing anything other than holding firm, as you suggest. It’s not even like I get great dates out of it and then silence… I just get promises followed by nothing, or bullshit.

  4. Josh was spot on. Kyle is a douche. 90 minutes late because he was talking to his mom? Ridiculous lack of common courtesy. I wouldn’t have bothered to open the door. He’s not ready to date anyone. He needs to spend some time with a therapist and learn to toughen up his thin skin.

    Ann, oftentimes you seek answers and closure, but frankly I think the answers are plainly there — these men aren’t for you because they aren’t treating you with the respect you deserve — that’s the only answer you need. The Why behind it is irrelevant.

    Nothing but loving thoughts and hope that you find a man who deserves you.

    • I think my response to you may have gotten eaten due to shitty wifi in an airport… I was wondering why the transition from Kyle to speaking about “these men”… were there current others you had in mind that you think I’m doing something similar with?

      • It sounds like you’re leaving the door open. Also consider the fact that you’ve dedicated how many blog posts now (6? 7?) to a man who you went on what, two official dates with and never even slept with?

        And to be honest, your statement about “if” Kyle came back and apologized and went through certain motions you’d give him another chance, it sounds like you still haven’t fully learned the lesson, because we all already know how that will end.

        In fact, I’m going to go ahead and throw this prediction out there. Kyle will text or call you again when the mood strikes and is convenient for him. You will give him another chance and get your hopes up again, only to discover yet again that his character flaws aren’t situational, they’re inherent. So from the cheap seats, the only question will be how masochistic you want to be.

        • The number of blog posts is no measure of anything other than my wanting to take my time in exploring all this, because I haven’t in a while. It matters to me to explore it fully and accurately.
          Predict away, Josh.

  5. Ann, the last time I commented was about trying a bit of space in your speeding relationship with HWSNBN and I wasnt able to read for several weeks there but I have a fair idea of how that went down. I got hooked myself right around then.

    Kyle’s characteristics sound so similar to the guy I’ve just wait/wasted the past half year on. There’s that draw in the recognition of quality and stunning potential that keeps you spinning mentally while he spins new stories, but the facts laid bare are ugly, frustrating, and eat away at the strengths you have and your ability to run your own life freely and well. Or that’s what I’m coming away with, for what its worth. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I’m sorry to hear you dealt with something similar. The un-kept promise – whether emotional or tangible – sucks, period. I’m sorry that it impacted the ability to run your own life, and I completely understand it. With Kyle I was able to course correct pretty early, but I won’t deny it still felt shitty.

What do you think?