Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“Does He Just Want a Booty Call?”

I’m back in the dating scene, after a 20-year marriage. Met an equally-educated professional online. He contact me, and we met for drinks. There was electric attraction and chemistry immediately! He said he contacted me because we’re in the same field of work, have the same level of education, and he found me attractive (not necessarily in that order!). After meeting on Friday night, he called Saturday and said “So, when can I see you again?” He suggested Thursday evening, so I told him I would check and let him know. (The need for a week night stems from his unavailability that weekend, and he let me know what he had planned.)

That was a month ago. Since then, he’s texted, called, and messaged me online several times. Most recently, we discovered that we have the same group of friends, although I’d been out with them when he wasn’t involved in the activities. Both of us were pleasantly surprised to see the other at a recent event, and I could tell that he was glad I was attending. One friend noted that she thought he was interested, because he stopped paying attention to a female friend that he had dated a year or so earlier. Also, his best friend was there, and they were making comments and laughing–like, an inside joke!

Here’s the rub: His ex-wife died several years ago. He opened up to me with some pretty emotional details and let me know that he is “emotionally fragile.” When I asked for his definition of that term, he replied with “scared” and “I have the same fears as everyone else.” In conversation, I asked him what he was looking for — a “filler girl?” He reminded me how busy his schedule is (and I do realize that if he wanted to see me he would make the time) and said, “Maybe that’s why I haven’t had a meaningful relationship for the past 7 years.”

There has been no sex, but we have played around a bit. He mentioned in his last message that he wanted to “Please me, as well.” He wants to let things “evolve,” and I really think he sees more in me than some of the other gals he’s dated. He has no problem getting girls — he’s very well known in our community. I wouldn’t classify him as a “player,” because I’ve seen some of his emotions come out. Granted, this could be something he tells all girls, but I don’t think so.

I don’t want to over-analyze things, but I’m wondering if the fact that he seems to have told his best friend about me even before I met him (the friend), called to make sure I got home from the mutual event safely AND to reiterate that the gal he sat with was just a friend (which our mutual friends corroborate) and that I’m not chasing after him could mean that he’s interested in me on a deeper level? In a recent chat, he mentioned how much fun he’d been having “playing around” to which I responded with “I enjoyed it too, but there’s more to me than that and I was just hoping you were interested in the total package.” He explained that he didn’t just want me for a booty call and wanted to make sure I knew he was interested.

It’s confusing. If I think he isn’t a player and could be starting to have feelings for me on a deeper, emotional level, I’m willing to give him a chance. Your translation of this “manspeak” is appreciated!! — Back in the Game

Wait, did you go out for that second date or not? You said you’d have to check your availability and get back to him. Well, did you? And did you two go out? If you never got back to him, then there’s your reason right there for why he hasn’t pursued you more. If you did go out with him and you’re just waiting around for him to ask you out, my suggestion is to quit waiting and MOA.

Come on, you’re a grown woman who’s probably at least in her 40s if you already have a 20-year marriage under your belt. (And in that vein, can we please cool it with the “girl” talk? Women in their 40s should not be referring to themselves as “girls” and men in their 40s shouldn’t be trying to get “girls.” It’s insulting). Quit wasting time on a guy who has already told you in so many words that he isn’t looking for a relationship. When a guy who goes out with lots of women says things like, “I’m scared,” and “I’m emotionally fragile” and “I haven’t had a relationship in seven years,” what he means is: “I’m perfectly happy and content keeping things simple and casual, and while I think you’re cool and wouldn’t mind ‘hanging out,’ I have no interest in a commitment of any kind.” When a guy tells you in so many words that he doesn’t want a serious relationship, and his actions back that up — i.e. he doesn’t make any time to see you — listen.

This honestly isn’t the big puzzle you want to believe it is. If the guy were interested, he wouldn’t let a month pass without seeing you. I’m not sure what you’ve been telling yourself to believe it’s possible he’s just scared or whatever, but I promise that isn’t the case. He EX-wife died several years ago and you actually think he’s still so broken up because his EX-wife died that he’s unwilling to go on a third date with a woman he might actually like for fear of getting hurt again? No. That’s not it. He just isn’t that into you. Really. Yes, even though your mutual friend said he stopped paying attention at a mutual event to some woman he used to date because you were there. Yes, even though he didn’t want you to think you were “just a booty call.” And, yes, even though he made a point of letting you know the woman he was out with was “just a friend.” He’s still not all that into you — not enough to pursue a real relationship with you, anyway. If he were, he wouldn’t have let a whole month pass without seeing you. Time to MOA.

One more thing: if a guy ever, EVER says something along the lines of, “I enjoyed “playing around with you” before you even go on a second date, he’s not interested in the “total package.” Most gentlemen won’t risk making women they’re really into feel as if they’re only interested in the sex if what they want is the “total package.” A guy might smile and say something like, “I had a lot of fun with you the other night,” — wink-wink — which is fine, but to actually say,” I enjoyed playing around with you”? No. Move On Already. That guy just wants to drop your panties, end of story.
***************

You can follow me on Facebook here an Twitter here.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

111 comments… add one
  • Budj

    Budj September 18, 2012, 9:09 am

    Yea – pretty clear unspoken words here on the part of the guy. Everything he threw out were little lead lines to suggest he isn’t interested in a committed situation and was letting you respond (wrongly I would add) to it. Wrong not in what is right for you, but wrong in that wasn’t the response he wanted to hear…and therein lies why you haven’t been on that second date. Dinner, fool around, bed >> dinner, fool around, feel guilty because other person wants more, then bed for a guy not looking for anything serious.

    Frankly I think it’s shitty that this guy isn’t respectful enough to be up-front about it. He is kind of walking an inbetween line of being cryptically straight up about it, but still trying to find loopholes to not feel bad if you weren’t assertive about your commitment expectations… While trying to save his own guilty conscience he is sending out very strong mixed signals…

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      Rangerchic September 18, 2012, 9:13 am

      I agree…I kept thinking the entire time reading the letter why is she even waiting for him or going out with him. With a 20 year marriage over maybe she should enjoy him for the moment and just have fun. But if she is looking for something serious then she is barking up the wrong tree.

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  • JK

    JK September 18, 2012, 9:10 am

    WWS.
    And really, if it weren´t for the 20 year marriage I would have thought LW was in her 20s, the language of the whole letter was just so… young.
    Games at any age are silly, but once you´re a full grown adult they´re just sad. LW stop analyzing everything so much: he was whispering with his friend? OMG!!! He must REALLY like you!!! That sounds like something a 12 year old would say.
    And if a guy is into he will want to spend time with you, no matter how busy his schedule.

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    • JK

      JK September 18, 2012, 9:12 am

      ps Wendy I LOVED the newsletter today, I felt totally identified by it.

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        ktfran September 18, 2012, 9:54 am

        I concur! I forgot she’s sending those out on Tuesday and was pleasantly surprised. It made for a good read on the bus ride into work this morning.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle September 18, 2012, 9:56 am

        @Jk–I also loved the newsletter today! I feel like Wendy secretly knows what is going on in my life. I’m supposed to meet a friend later that I got into a catty text-fight with over not making time for each other (we were both accusing each other of not making time, basically) so this newsletter was prescient!

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      • katie

        katie September 18, 2012, 10:05 am

        yes i agree. it was awesome. and sampson had the quote of the week! yay!!

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      • avatar

        lemongrass September 18, 2012, 11:11 am

        You mean I wasn’t the only one who thought “omg, I’m just like Wendy!”

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    • katie

      katie September 18, 2012, 9:21 am

      i agree so much about the language and the games- its dumb at any age, but its not accepted past… what, 25?

      im sure though that the LW is liking having those school-girl feelings about a crush again after 20 years of marriage. and, also, assuming that she got married young, she probably didnt have a lot of time in her teens/twenties to have those “young love” feelings. those feelings arent necessarily bad, its just that she needs to look at the whole situation with a little more maturity, and express herself better. they say that falling in love feels the same if your 16 or 65, but i would hope that the 65 year old would conduct herself with a little more maturity about the whole thing.

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      • JK

        JK September 18, 2012, 9:27 am

        Exactly! The feelings are fine, it´s the other stuff that isn´t.

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    • Jess

      Jess September 18, 2012, 10:26 am

      awwh, I think that’s a little unkind. I think the “young” sounding language is lack of experience. LW is only JUST learning the laws of the dating scene (and let’s face it, they are myriad and complex!!!). Most of us spend our 20s figuring them out. Since LW presumably married then, it’s not surprising that she’s “behind” on these things.

      My mom married at age 19 and is still happily married to my dad (I know! Imagine the therapy I require being the child of happily married people –what naively high expectations they set for me!). BUT, when I’ve tried to talk to my mom about dating nuances over the years, wow, she is clueless. But blissfully clueless. And I am happy for her that she is clueless. You know what I mean?

      P.S. In case my sarcasm goes missed, I was kidding about my need for therapy (mostly!).

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      • avatar

        lemongrass September 18, 2012, 11:13 am

        I’m seriously hoping there is other things I can send my child into therapy for that doesn’t involve a broken marriage. I’m pretty committed to the future therapy but I’m not sure I’m committed enough to get a divorce.

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      • JK

        JK September 18, 2012, 11:23 am

        Jess, when you get a moment please repeat that thing about love that you said once that I loved so much, I always think about it, but can´t remember your exact words.Thanks. 🙂

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      • Jess

        Jess September 18, 2012, 12:01 pm

        Hmm, give me a hint! Was it the metaphor about love being a rare bird? That’s one I like to peddle around a lot. But maybe it was something else?

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      • JK

        JK September 18, 2012, 12:07 pm

        Yeah, that one!!!

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      • Jess

        Jess September 18, 2012, 12:27 pm

        Oh! Well, I say that real love (the good, deep, lasting kind) is like a rare bird. You don’t see it often. You have no idea when it might appear. There’s no point in searching obsessively for it. And it’s not good to sit around, feeling sad, and waiting for it. What you can do is busy yourself by building the best looking nest around. Make your own life full and attractive so that when love does happen to fly by, it might just choose your nest for landing.

        Really the metaphor started with LUCK not love. Luck is something you cannot predict but you CAN attract. Since love and luck are related, somewhere along the way I blended the two. But you get the idea.

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      • katie

        katie September 18, 2012, 12:32 pm

        can we make a DW bird? i like this.

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      • Jess

        Jess September 18, 2012, 12:38 pm

        Dear Wendy is like a rare bird. If you coax it with thoughtful, polite questions, Dear Wendy will sing you a wise and helpful song. If you blast it with confusing, misguided, hopeless questions, Dear Wendy will poo upon your head.

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      • JK

        JK September 18, 2012, 12:41 pm

        That has to be the best description of DW ever!

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      • katie

        katie September 18, 2012, 1:19 pm

        we need a bird mascot. this just proves it more.

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      • Moneypenny

        Moneypenny September 18, 2012, 1:17 pm

        Love it! This should be in the running for quote of the week!

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      • Jess

        Jess September 18, 2012, 12:27 pm

        P.S. I probably said it more eloquently last time!

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      • JK

        JK September 18, 2012, 12:28 pm

        Thats fine, thanks!!!

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      • Moneypenny

        Moneypenny September 18, 2012, 1:16 pm

        Aw, that’s sweet about your mom! My parents are also still married (38 years), but married at 27. (I am now older than she was when she got married.) I will talk to her about dating experiences I’ve had and she just can’t believe some of the things I’ve dealt with. I guess dating nowadays is different than it was in the 70’s!

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    • avatar

      Amanda September 18, 2012, 10:38 am

      WJKS! If I hadn’t read the 20 year marriage part, I would have thought the letter was written by a 15 year old. LW, you’re approaching 40 or are already in your 40s. Please take some time to develop your communication skills because you currently communicate like an immature teenager. You are far too old for that. Take some time to grow as an individual and hopefully, in the future, you will attract someone wonderful who will want to spend time with you.

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    • avatar

      cporoski September 18, 2012, 11:01 am

      This seems super harsh. I will tell you, the dating scene in your 40s it very much like high school. I am willing to bet that she lives in the suburbs and the dating scene is very small in that environment. Everyone knows everyone and talks about everyone. It is just the way it is. She is new to this and it is tough to maneuver. She met a guy and he showed up to a party with another girl and she has friends in her ear saying that girls is no big deal. It is tough to put yourself out there again. She is rusty and all the rules of dating have changed since the last time she dated.

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      • avatar

        Back in the Game September 18, 2012, 10:26 pm

        Thanks, cporoski! I am the letter writer and, yes, I’m just back in the game! For Amanda, I actually have a graduate degree but never realized I was such a poor writer. I write the way I speak–that doesn’t make me ignorant. I get it already–MOA!

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  • BriarRose

    BriarRose September 18, 2012, 9:16 am

    Yep, it’s time to leave this guy behind. If a guy wants to see you, he makes it happen, end of story. He flat out used the words “playing around”…that’s not code for “I can’t wait to embark on a super-serious relationship with you”. I understand how hard it is to get back in the game after a marriage, and these first few experiences are definitely confusing and unnerving. Use it as a learning experience. Remember, everyone comes into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Figure out what this guy’s reason was (could be as simple as helping you dip your toe back into the dating world, plus a good ego boost) and embrace the knowledge and experience you gained, and move on to someone else.

    I do have to say though, that I’ve been hearing lately that we aren’t supposed to refer to ourselves or our friends as “girls” and I have to admit I certainly do that and didn’t realize it was perceived as derogatory, and am curious for more on this topic. I never have liked the word “woman”as it seems to convey something overly formal and serious, and I feel there’s really no female equivalent of the more casual “guy”. I don’t mean anything bad when I say, “a girl I know”. To me, that is expressing a female close to my age, rather than someone older than us. We call each other our girlfriends, go to a girl’s night out, etc, so I must admit to being genuinely confused by this. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but Wendy seemed to take it very seriously so I’m curious.

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    • avatar

      Rangerchic September 18, 2012, 9:48 am

      I agree on the “Girls” thing. We have a “girls” night out…I guess we could call it “ladies” night out but I don’t ever think to use that word. I’m 36. I don’t think it is derogatory at all. Maybe it is a regional thing – I live and am from northwest Arkansas.

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      • avatar

        ktfran September 18, 2012, 10:09 am

        Yeah, the girls thing doesn’t really bother me either, depending on context.

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      Christy September 18, 2012, 10:21 am

      I don’t like it in the context of a relationship. My girlfriends, girls’ night out are both standard phrases that are inclusive–we are girls, we are having girls’ night out, you are my girlfriends. (Personally I wish we wouldn’t call platonic friends girlfriends, but that’s just because it can lead to confusion when I’m talking about my *girlfriend*-girlfriend. But that’s clearly my own bias.)

      I just don’t think it’s acceptable to call someone you’re dating a girl or a boy. You’re dating an adult who should be able to make solid life choices. If you were dating an actual boy or girl, that would be different (and likely criminal).

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      • MackenzieLee

        MackenzieLee September 18, 2012, 12:48 pm

        i’m totally straight and i agree 100% about the “girlfriends” thing. I just call my friends my friends or if i want to specify that they are female maybe “the girls” but girlfriend is someone you are dating. It’s actually a huge pet peeve of mine when my mom says she’s going out with a girlfriend….maybe that’s my own issue though

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      Riefer September 18, 2012, 11:48 am

      Actually I agree with Wendy that it’s insulting, because it’s been used for a long time to infantalize women. Think of the “girls” in the typing pool. My mom’s a nurse, and they are always referred to as “girls” by the doctors. She’s 65, she’s hardly a girl. Old maids used to also be called girls all the time, regardless of their age, because I guess they “failed” at becoming a woman. My brother talks about the girls at his work, most of who are older than him. It’s just messed up.

      It’s too bad the term “gals” never caught on, because now we don’t have a term like “guys” to use casually. Personally, I just use the term guys to refer to everyone. Like if I send an email out to a bunch of female friends, it starts “Hey guys”. Anyone have a better suggestion? I agree that women sounds formal, and ladies often seems odd as well. And sometimes sleazy, coming from certain guys.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster September 18, 2012, 11:08 am

      I think what Wendy is refering to as insulting is LW making the dating scene of people in their 40s sound like the diary of a 12-year-old girl; it’s not necessarily some sermon on referring to women as girls. I thought it was just a prompt from Wendy that drives home the message: you are an adult engaging in relationships with other adults, please behave like the adult you are if you hope to have an adult relationship.

      LW’s language choice- “player” “playing with” “girls”- needed to be addressed so that LW will snap out of it. Like everyone mentioned above, LW’s fresh on the dating scene after 20 years off of it and is just a little rusty. And as such, she needs to be reminded that the women and men that she socializes with in romantic and platonic settings are not girls and boys giggling into their hands from across the gymnasium.

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  • avatar

    SuzyQ September 18, 2012, 9:28 am

    I like Wendy. Right on. I’m a woman in her 40s and I can tell you from years of dating and waiting by the phone: if he wants to see you, he will. And if he wants to see you, you’ll know it. He won’t make you guess.

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  • avatar

    bethany September 18, 2012, 9:28 am

    I don’t understand why it’s so hard for some people to accept that not everyone wants to be in a long term, committed relationship. Not all men want to be monogamous. Not all women do, either. If you are looking for a long term, committed relationship, then make sure that the person you’re into wants the same thing. It’s really not that confusing!

    Look at George Clooney. It’s no secret that he doesn’t want to get married again. He practically shouts it from the rooftops! So the last girl he dated (that Italian woman), made some comment to the press about how she hopes to get married within 2 years or something, next thing you know they’re broken up. He was upfront about who he was and what he wanted, and she thought he would change his mind.
    Newsflash- Not gonna happen.

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    • katie

      katie September 18, 2012, 9:32 am

      preach!!

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    • JK

      JK September 18, 2012, 9:33 am

      WBS! Except for George Clooney, I just know that if he ever met me he´d change his mind about marriage. 😉

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    • avatar

      lemongrass September 18, 2012, 11:20 am

      Can I add to your comment with all deal breakers? Some people don’t want: kids, pets, to live in the city, to travel, to whatever and that is OKAY. But if they don’t mesh with the life you want- walk away, don’t try to change them! Or yourself, if it’s a serious issue, you’ll just resent them.

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        Caris September 18, 2012, 1:18 pm

        quoted on my facebook 😛

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        lemongrass September 18, 2012, 1:35 pm

        Oh snap! I don’t think I’ve ever been facebook quoted!

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  • MackenzieLee

    MackenzieLee September 18, 2012, 9:30 am

    I’m most worried about the fact that some who is at least 28 (assuming she got married at 18 but she is probably more around 40s) still refers to women her age as girls.

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    • MackenzieLee

      MackenzieLee September 18, 2012, 9:31 am

      just read wendy’s reply and realized she said that too. OMG OMG OMG OMG i had the same thought as Wendy!!!

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    • MackenzieLee

      MackenzieLee September 18, 2012, 9:39 am

      Damn 38…..math just isn’t happening for me today

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        SuzyQ September 18, 2012, 10:15 am

        Coffee. ; )

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      • MackenzieLee

        MackenzieLee September 18, 2012, 12:52 pm

        i need to start drinking that

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  • avatar

    spark_plug September 18, 2012, 9:36 am

    Ugh, I “dated” a guy once who opened up to me very quickly about not growing up without a dad, his mom’s emotional issues, a tough childhood, etc. I felt very special. SURELY, he’s telling me these things because he sees a true bond with me. Nope – he was just telling me them to let me know a head of time how messed up he is. It’s a disclaimer. It’s like, “hey you can’t get mad at me for hurting your feelings for weeks, months or years – I told you I was messed up!”

    No serious relationship I’ve ever had come from discussions of fear and tribulations. When you like someone, you try to put the best foot forward not display the mess that your life is on the table. If you like someone, you won’t take that chance in the case it sends the other person running. And it should send your running.. very fast. Aim higher, next time.

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    • JK

      JK September 18, 2012, 9:41 am

      You make a good point.
      That part of the letter actually reminded me of SatC, when Charlotte hooks up with he widower, only it turned out he´d been saying the same thing to several other women. Or the very first episode of Friends, for that matter. Hmm… do I watch too much TV?

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      • avatar

        bethany September 18, 2012, 9:43 am

        YOu can never watch too much Friends.

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    • katie

      katie September 18, 2012, 9:44 am

      i think that is a great point. i remember one late night when me and jake were trading our ridiculous family stories… i had always thought he had a mostly awesome family -not perfect or anything- but i had no idea the skeletons that were lurking… and we had been together over a year already, and had been living together for a little while too.

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      • JK

        JK September 18, 2012, 9:51 am

        Yeah, Arturo told me about his family stuff after a year as well (and I did NOT see that coming either)

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    • avatar

      spark_plug September 18, 2012, 9:48 am

      Also wanted to add that sometimes someone can like you and not want something more. Don’t take it personally. Take it as a sign that someone finds you charming and attractive but the fit isnt there. Use it to boost your confidence and move on to someone who finds you charming, attractive and has the right fit.

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        SweetPeaG September 18, 2012, 11:57 am

        I was trying to think of a way to say this exact same thing, spark_plug. Thanks!

        This guy could think the LW is the bee’s knees! He might think she is sweet and funny and think she’d be fun to hang out with (for more than just sex). But, he might also know the situation isn’t the right fit for a relationship. There can be a million grey areas!

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    • MackenzieLee

      MackenzieLee September 18, 2012, 9:51 am

      I agree with that so much. I have a really similar experience. If you are bringing up your issues on the first date then you are either uses them as a disclaimer or attempting to use the other person as a crutch.

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    • avatar

      GTR September 19, 2012, 12:18 am

      At a bar one evening I watched a very good looking guy telling his date, “I’m a really terrible person,” over and over again… while buying her drinks and giving her gentle caresses. She, in turn, was all over him.

      When he stepped away to go to the bathroom, I wanted to go over and tell her, “Honey, once he’s banged you he’ll dump you, and if you complain, he’ll remind you that he said he was no good, and since you didn’t listen it’s your own fault.”

      She would’ve ignored me, but I regret that I didn’t at least try.

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  • avatar

    ktfran September 18, 2012, 9:46 am

    Something I’ve learned as I’ve grown older, LW, is that any time you start over analyzing any kind of relationship, it’s time to MOA. No relationship is worth that kind of stress. If someone was truly into you, you would know it.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle September 18, 2012, 9:50 am

    Guh, I’m so glad Wendy brought up the “girls” thing. That usually doesn’t bother me, if it’s thrown in here or there (I even do it sometimes) but the phrase “he could just be telling all the girls that!” shouldn’t be uttered from someone in her middle years about a man in a similiar age range.

    LW, you don’t need a translator. If you want to see where this goes, fine, but don’t be disappointed when you discover that the guy loses interest after sexing you. He very well could be interested in you romantically– maybe you are ~*different & special*~ to him– but still, I’m pretty sure he’ll forever do this “I’m scared” dance with you, despite that.

    Tangentially… I think a lot of LWs who write in with basically this same question are thinking so black-and-white. “Does he want an exclusive relationship? Is he falling in love with me? When can we get married?” or “So does he just want in my pants, or what? Is he a manipulative, heartless jerk who doesn’t give two shits about me?” Um, it’s not always either/or. Men can be confused as well, & just want to see where things are going before thinking in “committment” terms. Alternatively, they might only want sex from you, but still care about you in some way.

    HOWEVER none of that is meant to give you hope, LW. It’s meant to help you stop latching on to things like “he called to make sure I got home from the mutual event safely” as evidence he wants a relationship. Unless a person is a thoughtless douchebag, he’ll want to know you didn’t fall into a ditch on the way home. Someone who makes a habit of “get home alright?” phone calls isn’t going to stop & think “Oh, wait, I’m only interested in her as a booty call. Who cares whether or not she made it home?”

    Anyway– I can’t tell you what this man in particular is thinking. I do believe needing to remind someone how you’re the “total package” is a sign that the other person isn’t seeing things that way. But if you’re interested enough to just let things “evolve” without it taking up your entire headspace (maybe date other men, too?), then go for it (I have a feeling this is what you’re going to do, anyway)

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    • avatar

      SweetPeaG September 18, 2012, 12:15 pm

      Perfect response!

      Men can be confused too! Yes, yes, yes! He might not know what he wants!

      But, as you stated, this shouldn’t give the LW hope. This should not lead the LW to think “Oh, poor guy. He needs me to help him realize how great we’ll be together! I can fix his broken heart, bla bla bla”.

      Whether he is confused or not, it is not the LW’s job to clarify things for him. He needs to come to that on his own. She should MOA if she wants a relationship now becuase whatever his reasons and whatever his intentions, he’s not putting the effort out there at this point in time. That’s all the information she needs.

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  • avatar

    MJ September 18, 2012, 10:22 am

    LW, there is no “manspeak.” I spent a good part of my 20s believing there was some secret code that, if I discovered it, would help me figure everything out.

    But nope. No secret code. No man language. It’s really very simple. If a guy likes you, for the whole package, he will want to spend time (outside of the bedroom) with you. (And you with him.) He won’t object to text messages–in fact, he’ll respond promptly!, he will invite you to his place, he will ask about your day. That is the only code you need to be able to decipher.

    While it’s super fun to discuss what it all meant with your girlfriends, you need to have clear eyes and a good grasp of what you’re truly looking for. If you’re not getting what you want, MOA.

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    • JK

      JK September 18, 2012, 11:27 am

      So true. Most of the time guys are a lot more straight forward than women with their words and actions.

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  • avatar

    j2 September 18, 2012, 10:26 am

    I offer a different “take” on this.

    Per the LW, there has been no sex, despite the time and opportunities for the guy to make approaches for it. This seems counter to Wendy’s, “That guy just wants to drop your panties, end of story.”

    My interpretation is that the guy sees the LW as a platonic acquaintance only. Maybe they are TOO similar, and the guy has realized that he wants DIFFERENT. Maybe his time with LW actually clarified that element to him. You know, vive la différence and all that. If so, how could he explain that to LW? Realistically, it would be far simpler and easier for him to simply play it now as the LW has described he has been doing.

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      *HmC* September 18, 2012, 11:20 am

      You make a good point, though I didn’t think Wendy was implying that the guy is necessarily a panty dropper after sex. I think (and I could be wrong) that she was simply saying that the guy wasn’t interested in a relationship with the LW. Anyway, whether he’s only interested in a platonic friendship, or only interested in sex, he doesn’t seem to want what the LW wants so it doesn’t really matter either way.

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      • Diablo

        Diablo September 18, 2012, 11:54 am

        I’ve been married a long time, so my take may not be valid either. I was in my 20’s when I was last available to date. But while I would always be willing to spend plenty of time with women outside the bedroom, and was always interested in the women I dated as people, not booty, if any person explicitly or implicitly let me know that I had to be prepared to make some kind of serious commitment prior to any physical intimacy (ok, I mean sex), that would be a dealbreaker for me. I mean, this is modern times ain’t it? My pattern was always, see a woman a few times, get to know her, if there was chemistry, sleep with her (I’m not using her; she’s not using me; we’re just doing something fun together), and over a period of time you’d know if there was a serious relationship. I don’t think that’s wrong or shameful. Maybe he just got the vibe that she was asking for some level of commitment after one date and no sex. That would never happen with me, and believe me, I’m a nice honorable guy who’s been married for 2 decades, not merely a horndog. Either way, it’s fine if the LW doesn’t want that, but no one has to be blameworthy in this.

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        *HmC* September 18, 2012, 1:46 pm

        I am one of those people that would require some form of commitment prior to sex, and things have worked out well for me also, so I don’t think there’s any one perfect way to go about things. I don’t think I’m obligated to sleep with men prior to commitment just because it’s “modern times”, and the men I’m compatible with are fine with that so it’s all good. I do agree with what you (and others) have said as far as this particular guy- that maybe he’s not in or out, but neither yet, just feeling things out. I don’t think I tend to give that idea enough thought. Maybe he’s just not in… yet.

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        ktfran September 18, 2012, 3:47 pm

        See, I think your last line, and the gist of Diablo’s post, needs to be remembered by a lot of people, including me.

        It’s ok to feel something out. It’s ok not be all in right away. You don’t have to know after the first or second date. Or even the third. That’s what dating is. It’s getting to know someone and see if you’re compatible for something long term. That’s what scary about it. You just don’t know. But you can’t control everything, especially someone else’s feelings, or pace, or what they’re comfortable with. Just know what you’re comfortable with – whether’s it’s when to have sex, texting vs. talking on the phone, how often you go on a date – and if you’re not comfortable, find a new person to do it all over again.

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        *HmC* September 18, 2012, 4:23 pm

        Definitely agree with what you’re saying here… I basically think that you have nothing to lose by going slow, and a lot to lose by going too fast, so I’m a slow mover myself. I think my only issue with what Diablo said is that if a girl wants any kind of commitment prior to sex, then that’s a deal breaker. Which implied to me that he must have sex prior to commitment or the non-relationship must end. Which is actually fine if it did/does work for him. I want commitment prior to sex, but that doesn’t mean I rush commitment. Optimally, I do prefer to wait and go with the flow before things get serious, it’s just that part of that “flow” for me does not include sex.

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      • Lili

        Lili September 18, 2012, 5:29 pm

        I go back and forth on this a lot actually. Logically, I think waiting is the better option because it lets you feel things out without all the hormonal surges that sex brings. BUT I also think that if its the right person, when the sex was had will make no difference. Like, the guy who is in the right place won’t just automatically discount a girl who goes home with him the first night. So i guess my comment is just saying, I agree with you both.

        How was the karaoke Bday party Hmc? Mine was awesome. But now I’m all nervous waiting for a guy I met to call. Sigh.

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        HmC September 18, 2012, 5:44 pm

        Yeah, I think if it’s the right person it usually wouldn’t impact whether things work out. For me I think I look at it as more… I’m not comfortable sharing that part of myself with someone if we aren’t willing to commit to each other first. So, it’s not that I’m trying to impact whether it works, it’s more that I’m protecting my feelings if it turns out to be wrong. And for me that takes a bit to figure out.

        Omg it was SOooO fun! More people came than I was even expecting, and they were tentative at first but after about 30 minutes (and a couple rounds haha) shit went off! My most conservative friends were belting it out and proclaiming what an excellent idea it was after all.

        Don’t be nervous waiting for a guy to call! Occupy your mind with something else…

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      • Diablo

        Diablo September 19, 2012, 12:16 pm

        First, I would never think that anyone, including my wife, was obligated to have sex with me, ever. I’ve always been grateful for anyone who would. (Thanks, you quite small number of wonderful women!) I also would never have a schedule, like, sex by third date or I’m done. All I’m saying is that everyone has their own expectations. For me, I’m very open and positive about sex. The type of person who would want to have sex but not do it because some kind of social contract wasn’t yet satisfied wouldn’t be right for me in the long run. Because for me, if you want to do it, do it. If you won’t, why not? To me, the only reason to have sex, now or then, is you want to. Not because you can use it to secure some advantage, reward good behaviour, etc. Wouldn’t make sense to me or fit my values. That being said, of course we all want some reassurance, so maybe that is a better word than commitment. You want to have sufficient evidence that the person is someone you actually like, that there is at least potential for a real relationship as opposed to just booty call. Everyone needs some level of commitment, and I only ever one one one-night stand, where I wasn’t really friends first, and it wasn’t a good thing, because there was no real passion. But for me that attitude of someone who wants to have sex but will withhold it until he or she is sure there is some kind of long-term seriousness just wouldn’t be the right type for me. Not saying this is true for everyone.

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      • Diablo

        Diablo September 19, 2012, 12:20 pm

        “had” one one-night stand…

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  • avatar

    redessa September 18, 2012, 10:32 am

    So on a tangent here, I’m curious. If there’s an age at which girls should be called women (and I agree there is), is there also an age where guys should be called men? My 9 yr old refers to the other boys at school as guys and here we have a 40+ yr old man being still called a guy. Obviously there’s a cutoff for using the word boy, but where’s the cutoff for guy?

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      jlyfsh September 18, 2012, 10:36 am

      i don’t know i don’t think that the equivalent to girl is guy, it’s boy. i wouldn’t refer to a 40 year old man as a boy. i guess in my mind the equivalent to guy is gal. and i’d use gal to refer to someone in her 40s. maybe that’s just me?

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster September 18, 2012, 11:44 am

        I think you can be a guy pretty much forever.
        For ex:
        Old man: “Hey. Look at that old guy sitting on the park bench over there.”
        Early 20’s – middle age: “Look at that guy standing over by the bleachers/bar/produce aisle/subway entrance.”
        Any age: “I’m going out with the guys. See you later.”

        Is there even an equivalent for guy? Do you really use gal? I’ve never heard that, except in old movies. Is it a regional thing?

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        jlyfsh September 18, 2012, 11:48 am

        not a ton, but sometimes when i’m talking to a group of people i might say something like alright guys and gals…but, it’s not a all the time thing 🙂 i think my grandmother uses it fairly often and that’s where i got it from. and i agree guy is kind of a timeless term. i’ve heard people talking about babies and say my little guy and then like you said an older man calling another man a guy. it just doesn’t mean the same thing to me as boy.

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        redessa September 18, 2012, 4:30 pm

        I do think lady can be used for any age from teens on up. “the old lady driver, ladies night at a bar…” But it’s not always used quite the same way guy is. But I also don’t see older men calling each other guys either. My grandfather would have said “feller” (fellow). I get that there’s a distinction between guys and boys, I just tend to think of guys as younger men. Maybe it’s just me.

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    jlyfsh September 18, 2012, 10:40 am

    i want to know if you went on the second date as well! i think that it’s hard being a 40 something and learning to date again. my mom is in her 50s and dating. her current ‘guy’ seems nice but he’s still learning to date. he divorced his wife 14 years ago and is just now starting to re-enter the dating world seriously.

    that being said, it seems like the guy you went on a few dates just isn’t really interested. if he was he’d be making more of an effort to see you. there would be no games being played. time to be an adult and either ask him if he’d like to go out on x day to dinner, lunch, whatever or MOA.

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  • avatar

    iseeshiny September 18, 2012, 10:51 am

    I’ve found my life to be a whole lot simpler when I just take what people say about their feelings at face value. You don’t need a decoder ring to decipher “I’m emotionally fragile and have a busy schedule” that is followed up by no dates. Just believe him when he says you’re looking for different things.

    The best part about this approach is it works not just for people you are dating but for any relationship in your personal life. When my mom says, “No, I don’t mind at all,” I tell her “Okay!” and no longer stress about whether she minds or not. When a friend says “I can’t make it this weekend, I’m really tired,” I tell her “Okay!” and don’t spend four hours wondering if she secretly hates me. Assuming the people you care about are constantly lying to you is a) exhausting and b) disrespectful. Assuming they are telling you the truth means that if they are being passive-aggressive in an attempt to manipulate you into doing what they want they are a) jerks and b) disappointed, because that trick doesn’t work anymore.

    I have so much more energy these days.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle September 18, 2012, 11:10 am

      Wow, I think I need that middle paragraph imprinted on my brain. I’m a terrible over-analyzer IRL.

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        iseeshiny September 18, 2012, 12:10 pm

        I was too! Like there was a point when my chosen superpower would have been mind-reading. And I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting more selfish the older I get, but I just kind of… turned it off. The caring what other people think. And if I got to choose a superpower it would probably be super-healing instead, because I just don’t care what my coworkers think of me, or if so-and-so is mad at me for something I could only have avoided by being a mind reader. The upshot of this is people have learned they need to be upfront with me, and they know I’ll be upfront with them.

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    • katie

      katie September 18, 2012, 12:05 pm

      PREACH!

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        iseeshiny September 18, 2012, 12:12 pm

        I got a preach!!!!!!! I’m super excited, you have no idea!

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    • MackenzieLee

      MackenzieLee September 18, 2012, 1:01 pm

      I love that. The only one time i’m going to make an exception is if people tell me they are okay when they are. As in someone is sick and doesn’t want to let me down for plans so they show up looking like hell and clearly in need of a nap but insist they are “okay” or need a hand or something. Otherwise I think this is so spot on

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny September 18, 2012, 1:26 pm

      Yes!!! I love this comment. I do this *all the time.* I’ve been trying really hard to not take everything so personally because it just makes me worried and paranoid for no reason because it’s actually 99.9% NOT true.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster September 18, 2012, 12:45 pm

      You know why this comment is so awesome? Because even though I *try* to do this, sometimes my brain refuses to cooperate. And now I’ll have this to refer back to every time my brain is being a dick to me! Thank you!

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    • avatar

      haggith September 18, 2012, 5:34 pm

      i’ve just quoted you in Facebook; that’s exactly what just happened to me! a friend of mine accused me of not contacting her anymore. when i apologize and tell her that i’ve been superbusy (doing all the paperwork to buy a house, balancing my marriage and my phd studies/research/work, dealing with an schizophrenic relative living with us, and three dogs) she doesn’t believe me and think there’s something “hidden” in my not contacting her. she told me she won’t contact me again and i made it easy for her and deleted her… i don’t think i have time for drama right now

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      • avatar

        haggith September 18, 2012, 5:36 pm

        … though i have time for dear wendy 😀

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        iseeshiny September 19, 2012, 3:38 pm

        Wow, any two of those things would probably have me incommunicado for a while, let alone all of them at once plus an unfriend demanding my time and energy and making things all about her. Good call.

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  • avatar

    AndreaMarie September 18, 2012, 11:04 am

    LW, now that you’re new on the dating scene here’s a lesson you need to know going forward. Men don’t give coded messages that you are meant to take away and decipher and manipulate his words/behaviors to be what you WANT them to be. Not only take what they say but more importantly, what they do. This guy has given you the message several times. He’s “emotionally fragile”, scared to get into something, and most importantly, the biggest flag of all, has not been in a relationship in 7 years!! Those words mean, I am not interested in a commited long term relationship. Whether its due to said emotional fragility or he’s just not interested in a serious relationship at this point in his life.

    Not only did he tell you this, he should it with his actions. He hasn’t followed up on asking you out. If he wanted to make a relationship with you a real part of his life he would. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t think you’re attractive or fun etc. He’s just not interested in dating you fo reals. Just take the event you ran into him as an example. You say you have mutual friends, and he knows that. So why did he call you before the event and ask if you were going? Or ask to meet up for dinner or something before?

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  • avatar

    *HmC* September 18, 2012, 11:14 am

    One basic principal of dating that I have learned is that if you find yourself over analyzing every minute detail of a potentially budding relationship, that relationship is probably not going to come to fruition. I have a tendency to over analyze, but even in my experience, if I was doing it right when I met someone it was because that someone didn’t have very strong feelings. If you find yourself clinging to details like “but he called to make sure I got home alright” or “he stressed that she wasn’t his girlfriend” or your friend telling you that she thinks he’s interested (what does she know anyway, and of course she wants that for you because she’s YOUR friend!) or the fact that he specifically told you he didn’t want a booty call, then it’s probably because your gut doubts his intentions and you should listen to your gut. Really, when someone is interested in you for a relationship, the feelings are too powerful to be aloof about. It is obvious, too obvious to question.

    And about him telling you that he wants you as more than a booty call… that’s something that a lot of people say, and even mean at the time, if that’s what they think the other person wants to hear. I mean really, if you sense the other person really likes you. telling them flat out that you just want a booty call is hard. A lot of people aren’t even self aware enough to realize that’s all they want. That’s why you have to look at actions, not words. And chatting online with you, and not pursuing more dates? That’s all you need to know. Plus, all that warning about him being fragile? Yeah, that’s him lowering your expectations of him. Maybe at another time he could have been a good boyfriend for you, but he isn’t now and that’s all that really matters.

    Throw this fish back, and keep looking online, and in other places. There are men out there who actively want relationships.

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  • avatar

    Lindsay September 18, 2012, 11:15 am

    You’re overanalyzing this. Trying to ascertain his interest in you based on him having supposed inside jokes with a friend or not paying as much attention to a woman he used to date or “showing emotions” is something that girls do in high school before they realize that they can use words. The only actions you should be gauging what he says to you and how much of an effort he puts into seeing you. From what I can tell, he evaded the conversation about what he’s looking for and gave you some vague answer about being afraid and not having a serious relationship in the past few years, without actually telling you that he wants things to go forward with you. And as Wendy said, he also didn’t try to make plans with you. Someone who wants a relationship with you will say things that back that up and will make time to see you.

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  • avatar

    Sarah September 18, 2012, 12:36 pm

    Wendy, spot on. Ok, *warning* my tailbone(ass) is still hurting and I’m really hormonal today (I’m not even kidding, a car cut me off this morning and I burst into tears) so I’m crabby.

    “I don’t want to overanalyze things”

    It feels like you do. This entire letter was just analyzing everything this dude has said to you and what he could have said to other people and what he means when he says things to you and what he’s really saying when he’s not saying things etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc.

    But the reason you want to over-analyze things I think is because a.) You’re newly back in the dating scene, and b.) his actions aren’t gelling with what he’s telling you and with how you want the relationship to go.

    So, to that I’ll give you my mom’s three best bits of advice (even though only one applies)

    1. Marry in haste, repent at leisure.
    2. If you’re hungry and you don’t want a piece of fruit, then you’re not really hungry (which always used to piss me off because CARBS mom, I want delicious terrible CARBS.).
    3. Pay attention to what he does, not what he says.

    3 is the one that counts in this case. Do yourself a favor and stop trying to Beautiful Mind code read everything he’s ever said to you. Is he acting in a way that makes you think he could get serious? Is he asking you out as much as you want him to or making enough time for you? If the answer is no, then it doesn’t matter if its because he works a lot or because he tells women that he works a lot when really he’s just keeping his options open for other ladiez.

    If he isn’t making enough time for you, then start dating other men who will. You’ll know you’ve found the right guy when you wont have to guess if he wants to date you, he’ll just…date you.

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    • JK

      JK September 18, 2012, 12:39 pm

      Your mom sounds like a wise woman. 🙂

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    • FireStar

      FireStar September 18, 2012, 12:48 pm

      clearly I took too long to type – I feel like I would like your mom. Except for the fruit thing… unless someone is going to wash and peel them for me. Fruit stolen from my husband always taste better.

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    • avatar

      Caris September 18, 2012, 1:52 pm

      nice rules 🙂

      and yes, sometimes you just want carbs lol

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  • FireStar

    FireStar September 18, 2012, 12:45 pm

    You know what is best? Judging people by their actions. Words are easy – people can say whatever they want – what they think the other person wants to hear; what they think makes them sound good; what is really a disclaimer coached in the semblance of emotional intimacy (!) Judge them by what they DO. Does he make time to see you? Set up dates with you? No? Then he doesn’t want to. For whatever reason – and who cares what the reason is? Maybe he is truly decimated by the loss of his ex wife 7 years ago…even though he has a dating profile…does it matter? From your perspective – his motive don’t matter. He doesn’t make time for you. The end. You know what the response should be when someone tells you they are very busy and their schedule is just too tight to date? “Sorry to hear that – call me when that changes”. Don’t let him waste anymore of your time. There isn’t going to be some declaration that *I no longer want to see/text/phone you with romantic overtones*…you have friends in common – not gonna happen. He doesn’t have to end this for you. You do. Backburner him my dear – like he has already backburnered you. Be polite and friendly if you run into him and spend your time looking for a man who wants what you want and ACTS that way.

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  • avatar

    ele4phant September 18, 2012, 12:51 pm

    Are you maybe pushing a bit to hard?

    I agree with Wendy and most of the other commenters that his words and actions seem to indicate he’s not interested in something serious, but reading your description of your actions, I couldn’t help but think “Whoa, slow down there.”

    When you start dating, you truly do want to let things “evolve”. Enjoy one another’s company. Get to know each other. see if there’s any chemistry. Don’t push for anything serious right out of the gate, and don’t spend over analyse things. If it becomes apparent that what he wants doesn’t line up with what you want, well just move on without all the hand wringing and worrying “What is he thinking?!”

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark September 18, 2012, 1:23 pm

    Eh, this letter was boring, dreary and hard to follow… Frankly, I didn’t think the guy came off half as disinterested as some of the others here did. But yes! — she definitely IS an insecure and most needy mess. Why all the drama after one fucking date? We get it — you’re dragging 40 and clearly desperate — but for the love of Pete, hide it a bit better. Most of us do.

    Why is it that so many LWs either hopelessly OVER or UNDER analyze things here. It’s like they either gloss over the most obvious of details — “Oh, he’s a drug dealer in prison with a drug problem and kids he doesn’t care much about… BUT does he love me? Cuz that’s all that matters…” Or else we get this fucking mess of a letter… “He and his buddy laughed! Oooooh, he must have told him all about his growing undying love for me! Me! ME! It’s not like they are best friends with years of inside jokes between them, right?” Ugh, what’s next? Reading tea leaves?

    Meanwhile, I just don’t get it all the bootycall angst. Why not go with the flow? After a failed twenty year marriage — why be so desperate to enter another one? Seriously. Just go get fucked by the guy (WEAR A CONDOM!) a few times and see what happens. (AGAIN, WEAR A CONDOM!!!) Look, if anybody needs a some no-strings sex its this LW. She seems to have the sexual maturity that I had when I was a closeted and confused virgin at 16…

    Oh, and LW — stop watching CLUELESS and DAWSON’S CREEK on dvd. It’s not helping you at all shape your view of male/female relationships…

    That said — the whole GIRLS debacle here strikes me as kind of pointless. Hey, I’m 40ish and my friends and I STILL have BOYS night out. (GASP!) We have BOYS weekends, too! (DOUBLE GASP!!) Is this because we don’t expect society to take us seriously as human beings? Are we somehow holding back all men everywhere by using the term “boy?” Is this a grave insult to misunderstood males of the world? Eh, hardly. BAH! Are women’s psyche’s REALLY this fucking fragile? Being so oversensitive to a silly word choice is hardly a sign of either strength and or maturity… Frankly, it strikes me as precisely the opposite.

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    • avatar

      ktfran September 18, 2012, 1:45 pm

      I think this is one of my favorite BGM responses ever.

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    • LM

      LM September 18, 2012, 2:42 pm

      BGM, you’re my hero and you rock!

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    • theattack

      theattack September 18, 2012, 2:46 pm

      Love this response! Honestly I was really surprised to read all the responses to this letter. Maybe I just didn’t read it carefully enough, but I didn’t think there was very much drama or game playing going on other than her over analyzing everything. It sounds like they had a good date together, messed around some, and reconnected at a party where he took interest in her. Not sure if I missed some major detail here, but it seems like a completely normal situation that she can either go for or not.

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  • Lianne

    Lianne September 18, 2012, 1:28 pm

    Thank you, Wendy. Just reading that letter was exhausting. I can’t imagine being involved in all the drama!!!

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  • LM

    LM September 18, 2012, 2:41 pm

    I’m a bit late to this one, but here is my input. LW, WWS plus…

    Regardless of what they say, men will always have a line and they will always use that line. This man has “opened up to you” because he wants something from you – your lady bits. You have stated several times that he is not a player… who are you trying to convince, yourself or us? You’ve gotten out of a 20 year marriage, so why are you so eager to jump back into a commitment? Enjoy your singledom and get down with your bad self! And by that I mean, go out with friends, go out on a couple of dates – but nothing serious, do something for YOU that YOU want to do. And really, if this man wanted to be with you, or any man for that matter, he’d make time for you, regardless of commitments.

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  • Tracey

    Tracey September 18, 2012, 2:48 pm

    A few days ago, the following quote came up on my calendar: “I have often depended on the blindness of strangers.” That kind of applies here. Don’t be the blind stranger this guy depends on to get laid. If he were interested in you, he would be more attentive and respectful towards you. And don’t blind yourself. You’re back in the dating game, so why would you want to settle for someone who isn’t willing to make time for you, no matter how electric the initial attraction.

    Open your eyes. You can, and should want to, do better. Keep it moving and you’ll see there are many better prospects out there. And you’ll see that it’s probably best to also develop your own personal interests and friendships so you don’t have to keep looking for a man who doesn’t want to appear before you. Good luck, LW. All will be well.

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  • avatar

    llclarityll September 18, 2012, 3:08 pm

    I think Wendy was too harsh with this lady, and a lot of the commenters are, too. Imagine NEVER dating for 20+ years. 20 years (at a minimum, we don’t know how long after her marriage she waited to enter the dating scene, nor do we know how long she was “off the market” before getting married).

    This woman likely forgets how to date, may have never dealt with anyone like the guy she’s talking to, and may largely have no experience in dating much, period. Dating when in 2012, I’d imagine, is very different than dating in 1980.

    I’d cut this lady some slack on the ‘long, boring letter’ as so many have called it. She’s explaining her situation, she’s obviously puzzled and confused, and needs advice. She’s clearly a novice at this so let’s be compassionate here!

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    • BriarRose

      BriarRose September 18, 2012, 3:51 pm

      I met the guy I eventually married in 1997 (back when we all had pagers) and split up in 2010. I was practically a kid when I met him, and an adult when I was thrust back into the dating world. I was a mess. I had no idea what was going on, what to do, why men were acting the way they were….it was confusing and hard. The LW will find her sea legs, eventually, and probably cringe a little (as I did) when she thinks back to how things were when she first started out. It’s a process, and I agree, some compassion is in order here.

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  • avatar

    Violet September 18, 2012, 3:29 pm

    “And in that vein, can we please cool it with the “girl” talk? Women in their 40s should not be referring to themselves as “girls” and men in their 40s shouldn’t be trying to get “girls.” It’s insulting.”

    THANK YOU, Wendy.

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    CSP September 18, 2012, 3:37 pm

    LW, I agree with BGM up top. Why do you think you need to have a full out relationship? why not just go with the flow and have fun. If you want something serious, I recomend Steve Harvey’s book, Act like a lady and think like a man. Great book. They say that men always have a plan. A man without a plan is not that interested. But there is a place in the world for a fling so why not just date him, don’t sleep with him, and date other people at the same time. Enjoy dating.

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    • Tracey

      Tracey September 18, 2012, 4:53 pm

      After reading Steve Harvey’s book, please read Jessica Valenti’s book, “The Purity Myth.” She talks about how women (and men) need to stop measuring a woman’s worth by the number of sexual partners she takes, and how women can learn to explore their sexuality without shame. That way, plan or no plan, a woman can take responsibility for her own pleasure without falling into the “will he or won’t he call/love/hurt me” trap.

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    Sue Jones September 18, 2012, 7:33 pm

    So… what do YOU want out of a relationship at this point (any relationship)? Can he fulfill that? Does he want what YOU want? If not, MOA. It could be that he isn’t ready or available for a real relationship, but you need to have that conversation with him. Even if he’s a great guy, the timing could be off enough that you may want to keep yourself open and available for something that is a better match on all levels.

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    Meredith September 18, 2012, 7:38 pm

    Ok I’m having to LOL a little, the letter read like my 9th grade diary, but honestly I think it’s cute and endearing that the LW is excited/giddy. After the ending of a 20 year marriage I’m sure it’s refreshing to feel this way again. BUT…yeah he is not that into you. He’s putting in just enough effort to see if you’ll bite and sleep with him. I’m sorry to be harsh, but it’s true. That book He’s Just Not That Into You is a worthy read and I’d recommend picking it up. It’ll help you navigate the pitfalls of the dating world. It’s normal to be rusty after 20+ years out of the dating game. The general rule is, if a guy is super interested in you, you’ll know it, he’ll never leave you guessing. He won’t play games, he won’t talk in circles, he won’t be flighty. He’ll be calling you asking you on dates, sending you flowers, cards, telling you how much he likes you, how beautiful you are, etc. When my husband and I first started dating, i was away at college about 2 1/2 hours away and he worked nights and weekends. Instead of being too busy to take me out, he did everything possible to get shifts covered, to take time off, etc to see me. When his car broke down, he caught the train to come see me. I never had to guess if he was into me, I knew because he told me, and then told me again, and then showed me. It will be the same thing for you, when the guy is actually really into you. Good luck!! The dating world is tough but can be lots of fun too 🙂

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    Leyahn September 18, 2012, 9:00 pm

    Oh, just have sex with him already! Really, LW, you know you want to. You don’t need to have a “relationship” nor be in love to F*** his brains out.

    I figure you are in your 40s –

    I am in my 40s – dating is a pain in the ass. All the men in our age bracket are either married and looking to fool around, divorced, widowed, or, perpetual players.

    So, you decide what you want. If you want a “relationship” leading to bells and whistles and another huge white dress, ditch this guy. If you want to have some fun with no strings, then stick with this guy.

    The emotionally fragile line is just crap. You can’t fix him or save him. He does not want that. He wants to have fun and is using his dead wife as a seduction tool. Um, yuck.

    I do wish you luck – it is hard to begin dating again after 20 years. But, keep your wits about you. If you both run in the same social circle you really don’t want to get labeled as a good time girl who falls for an easy line.

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