When dating, it’s common to get one’s hopes up at the beginnings of a new connection. If things go right at the start, we’re encouraged that the relationship will blossom.
But what if there are hiccups near the beginning? Giving grace is admirable. However, what if there are too many to continue with that forgiving attitude?
Case in point — a recent smart, funny, right-aged and conversationally appropriate man contacted me online. He started with a fun email listing specific details from my profile. I soon offered my phone number and he called. In our chats he shared the conversation, even seeming to listen to my responses.
After a week, he said he’d like to meet me. We compared calendars and agreed on lunch that Friday. Thursday he texted that he was at a client’s site about 20 minutes from my house and he was going to work there late. I told him to let me know when and where we were to meet the next day.
Hearing nothing back from him that evening nor Friday morning, at 12:15 I texted him, “Should I eat lunch at home?” He said, “Yes. I’m still at the client’s office. I’ll call you when….” I interpreted that as “…when I know I’ll be done with this client and we can meet.” I thought it would be that day.
I busied myself for the afternoon, thinking we’d get together for coffee, a drink or dinner that evening. I realize this was total conjecture on my part, but he’d been clear he wanted to meet that day.
At 5:30 I texted him that I needed to plan the rest of my evening so to let me know what he was thinking about our getting together. I got no response.
Monday he texted that he knew he was in trouble with me. He had been working on the client’s problem all weekend. How could he make it up to me?
I was irritated. He didn’t have 2 minutes to call or text me what was happening? I found this highly inconsiderate. Was I not being understanding? Was I being too rigid? I didn’t think so, but on the off-chance I was, I decided to give him another shot. Forgiving doesn’t come easily to me when I feel slighted and know it’s a muscle I need to develop. So I resumed the calls and texts.
He said he’d make it up to me — would I like a foot massage, flowers, or just him groveling? He was trying to be funny. Would I consent to letting him take me to lunch that Friday? OK. I’d give him another chance. I told him when I look forward to something, as I had our lunch, and it doesn’t happen, I feel like Charlie Brown having Lucy snatch the ball from underneath his kick. He said he understood.
He texted me Friday morning to see if I was available for a call. I immediately texted yes, in 10 minutes. I called and left a message on his voice mail. That’s the last I heard from him until Tuesday — Valentine’s Day!!!! — when he texted, “Do you have time for me today?” I had a full day scheduled. And besides, who asks for a first date on Valentine’s Day for that same day? I wrote back, “Since I didn’t get a response to my email nor voice mail on Friday after you said you wanted to get together, I figured you’d thrown me under the bus. It doesn’t work for me when I’m left hanging, with no communication for days.”
So he is gone. It’s sad after you’ve had some initial good interactions with someone then they jack you around. You want to be able to forgive hiccups, but you know if you let inconsiderate behavior go it will just be repeated. You have to take a stand for a minimum behavior that’s acceptable to you.
What’s your experience with dealing with repeated inconsiderate behavior? How many times do you forgive before cutting off the person?
Want to understand other signs of when to move on and how to do it? Get your copy of Moving On Gracefully: Break Up Without Heartache