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Fool me twice, shame on me

Posted Dec 08 2012 8:26pm

I’m channeling Britney, with an “oops, I did it again” experience this week.

I’d hit a dating dry spell of late with the men I’ve been encountering being too geographically, economically, or intellectually unsuitable. In a moment of weakness, I saw a man online who’d flirted with me 8 months ago, but then mysteriously cancelled an hour before our first encounter. He never called to explain.

When I reached out, it was more to see if he could justify his behavior rather than my wanting to kindle the brief spark we’d had. He responded to my IM and apologized profusely for his vanishing act. He seemed sincere, and while his excuse was weak, I found myself enjoying our exchange.

Shortly, he asked if he could call me to chat, and I said yes. I was surprised he still had my number in his address book. When he called, he said how much he’d beaten himself up for flaking on me. Being naturally a bit skeptical, I was not falling for this hook, line and sinker, but also I tend to be a forgiving person (often too much so). (See “ Are you too tolerant? “)

He made me laugh. He spoke intelligently. He seemed sincerely contrite. He asked if he could take me to lunch or coffee. I buckled and agreed to meet him for a late lunch the next day at a restaurant he chose half-way between our homes.

After we hung up, he emailed me the restaurant’s name, address and phone number as well as some recent pics of himself. We also had a brief IM conversation that included the following. He said he’d lost his cell phone and had ordered a new one which was to arrive within the next 2 days.

Me: Since you’re cell-less right now, what if I have to reach you en route tomorrow?

Him: If I don’t hear from you, I will be leaving my name with the hostess and she will give me any messages in case you call. I will also call you before I leave my home to let you know that I am on the way, and when I arrive at the restaurant. Either way, we won’t lose connection, and if you need to cancel or get hold of me, you may call the restaurant. I won’t lose touch with you ever again….

The next morning, I emailed him responding to a question. I heard nothing back via email, call or IM.

Going to the restaurant’s website to get directions and I noticed it was only open for dinner, thus leaving us in the lurch at our appointed time. Unable to reach him, I waited for the call he promised as he was leaving home so we could decide a plan B. I wasn’t going to get dolled up and drive to the restaurant before I heard from him as we might agree to another venue. Plus, he’d previously cancelled at the last minute so I needed confirmation he was going to show up.

He didn’t call to say he’d left his house, nor that he’d arrived at the closed restaurant, nor to see why I didn’t show up (assuming he did show up, which I doubt he did).

If I hadn’t noticed the hours on the restaurant’s website, I would have spent time getting ready, driving 30 minutes to the restaurant, then waiting for his presumed no-show. It’s been more than 24 hours since our appointed time and I’ve heard nary a peep from him in any form.

What could possibly go through a man’s mind to make it OK to say you’ll call then don’t, then not to call or reach out to see what happened ? Or to call and say you can’t make it? Or to set a date you have no intention of making? This is not only rude, but mean.

Yep, I did it again. I fell for his sweet talking. Shame on me.

However, I don’t understand what he could possibly get out of this behavior. Does he have a personality disorder that enjoys the playing with his prey, like a cat with a bug, but not the actual completion of the “catch”? If he was a scammer, he’d find a way to keep me on the hook until I gave him what he wanted. But what does a man like this want? Just to know he can get a woman to agree to meet him? Sounds pretty sick to me.


While this guy has me flummoxed, I have learned a lot about midlife men. I share what I know in Embracing Midlife Men: Insights Into Curious Behaviors . Get yours today!

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