Question: Hi, Moxie: I have a ? about online “fakers”, e.g. married men lying about their status. I have had a lot of dating experience, both from online and “real world.” Also been married before. My fear is that some of my bad past experiences are coloring my judgement. I seem to be getting a lot of emails from men who “travel for work” a lot, never seem to be able to call, only email me thru the website, etc. I know most of the tricks, but I want to be sure I’m not just getting jaded. Example: Guy emails me, seems to be type I’d be interested in. Says he is in NYC for two weeks as his corporate office is there (he is in some kind of sales where he travels during week). Wants to meet me when he gets back. Ok, great. We swap numbers. He calls me once, I call him once. Nice, brief conversations. He does say that his phone is a work phone and “I can’t text on this phone, they don’t have that feature” or something. My suspicions are raised. Then he says I’m back on Friday let’s meet. But I decide to go away for weekend last minute. So he says ok, no prob, I’m taking my two sons to their grandparents, I will be back next Thursday (this was last week). So again, cool, let’s get together when I’m back. This weekend comes and goes, I forgot about it as I’m seeing other guys, then yesterday, Sunday, an email thru the dating site (most of this was on the site, emails), hey how’s your weekend? I didn’t respond. Today, another email, hey I’m back in town this Friday, let’s set up a def date! Wait, you were supposed to be back LAST THUR. So we go back and forth, emailing, I say look, I think you’re shady, etc., he says no, I’m not, I really am single, want to meet. Then he says, oh, yeah, I just happened to spill coffee on my phone today, so that’s why I can’t call you now. But I am really single! I know this is BS, but again, I want to be sure I’m not just getting jaded and jumping to conclusions. This is only one of several examples similar to this one. Thanks!
I don’t understand. I mean, I do understand the overall question. What I don’t understand is why you care about any of this, since you have other options. Yes, he’s probably shady. There. Suspicions confirmed. Next. I’d have been outta there the minute I read “in town for a couple weeks” or “travels a lot.” Why set yourself up for frustration? He’s not going to be around. Unless that’s what you want. In which case, what’s the problem? You’re as flaky and unreliable as he is. Why are you holding him up to a higher standard?
I’m sorry to sound twatty, but this just feels like a self-created “problem” that only exists because you choose to allow it to exist. It’s good copy. There’s no need to engage this guy at all. You have other options. Yet, there you are, calling him out as though that will make him break down and admit he’s just some dude looking for a piece on the side. You’re both relying on plausible deniability to justify your actions. You’re going to believe him if he insists he’s single. He just hasn’t been able to convince you…yet. That’s what you’re waiting for. So why not just be honest with yourself and avoid all this unnecessary drama? Go have sex with him! Go have drinks with a cute guy and flirt! Do whatever! You’re not obligated to anybody. If he’s cheating, that’s on him. You know he’s probably lying. But unless he comes out and tells you he’s otherwise taken, you’re free to do what you like. Even if he does reveal his true status, you’re still not responsible for other people’s vows and commitments. Personally, that’s not something I wish to get involved with just because of the inevitable headaches, logistics and, you know, being roped into someone’s divorce law suit. It would have nothing to do with feeling guilty. It could be argued that, morally, you’d be wrong for being with a married man. Ethically? I’m not so sure. That’s debatable. Reason #578 why people shouldn’t get married unless they’re truly willing to make the necessary sacrifices. But whatevs. Honestly. I don’t get it. If you want to have sex with multiple people, don’t get married. Why is this so difficult?
The only reason you’re even bothering to challenge him on his somewhat weak excuses is that you’re interested. If you weren’t, none of this would even matter. Your words and actions don’t align. What does align is your preconceptions about men and the men you appear to be meeting. It’s not a coincidence that you’ve had a number of bad experiences. You believe most men are shady. So you assume that most men you meet will end up being shady in one way or another, so why not date them since – in your mind – most men are shady. This just in…not all men are shady. Also? A man not seeking commitment is not necessarily being deceptive. You heard it here first.
Maybe all these “bad past experiences” were actually what you wanted? Maybe it’s not bad luck or bad timing, but that you actually don’t want a relationship? Which is perfectly okay, btw. I just think people would enjoy their love, sex and social lives that much more if they were just honest about what they wanted instead of trying to prove something to themselves or to others. People who enable this type of drama tend to, in my opinion, enjoy the drama. Know what I mean?
Go date. Meet guys. Have fun. Have great sex. Settle down. Don’t settle down. Whatever you do, stop living your life the way you think you should and live it the way you want to live it. Stop with the faux frustrations and drama and just do what you want. If people were to do that, I can almost guarantee you 90% of all the dating dramas we hear about wouldn’t exist. The drama is just what these people who don’t know what they want use to justify why they’re single.