Is Your Love Life Like An After School Special?

Name: Elle
Question: I have a situation with a man (I’ll call him the “busy guy”) that I met in August. We had about 4-5 dates before things got “rocky” to say the least. He was on summer recess from college when we met and he also works full-time. He told me everything up front, including how he’s just getting out of a nasty relationship with his ex who cheated on him, got pregnant by the other guy, and unexpectedly abandoned him for the other guy…Come to think of it the busy guy is carrying a lot of emotional baggage and doesn’t seem to be over a lot of women he’s dated in the past…

Anyway he told me up front that things would become really hectic for him once school starts back in September and that he’s not looking for a serious relationship right now…He even told me to date other men…

I was crushed by that since I really liked him…Plus I thought that we were starting to get serious given all the futuristic talks we had about marriage, how to raise our children, etc….He showed me his family album of pictures and told me so much about his family that I feel like I’ve known them all my life. We even discussed having unprotected sex with each other (after we both got tested together of course).

But I did respect his wishes and continued to date him and other men. A few weeks ago I was on a date with another man and we attended at party. This “busy guy” was also there which was strange because he never parties in Manhattan and he doesn’t know where to go in the City (I usually tell him where all the hot spots are). I couldn’t help but think that he was following my Foursquare check-ins on Facebook and decided to show up at that party…

I was standing on the dance floor holding hands with my new date and the busy guy walked up and literally snatched me away from my date and gave me the biggest bear hug ever. I really didn’t know what to do so I gave busy guy a hug back then pulled away from him so we could have a quick conversation. Instead, busy guy pulled me closer towards his body and started rubbing my waist and back and admiring my body. All this happened in front of my new date who just stood there dumbfounded.

We chatted for awhile then busy guy left and said he’ll be back later to dance with me…But later never happened because my date whisked me upstairs to the VIP area and wouldn’t let me come near busy guy for the rest of the night.

Meanwhile, busy guy texted me and asked me where I’m at so he could dance with me. I could see that he was looking all over for me. Finally busy guy looked upstairs and saw me dancing with my date. We were standing on the balcony overlooking the downstairs dance floor where busy guy was standing looking enraged and heartbroken. Busy guy stood there in the middle of the dance floor for at least a half hour just starring at me and my date dancing!

Later that night I texted busy guy and told him I was in upstairs VIP and asked where was he at but all busy guy did was reply back “Yeah I saw you up there…”

A week later I texted busy guy again just to say hi and to tell him that I missed him but he never texted back. He usually texts back within a couple hours.

I really like busy guy but I think he’s angry with me because he saw me out on a date with another man, which is crazy because he told me to date other men in the first place! I haven’t heard from busy guy in 3 weeks now…But busy guy hasn’t deleted me from his Facebook page yet so maybe he’s just “busy”.

What should I do or say to get busy guy to talk to me again? Or should I just let him go?
Age: 35
State: NY


You have futuristic talks with Busy Guy? Like, about how robots were eventually going to run the world and stuff?

I’m sorry to open with snark, but this story is all kinds of ridiculous and melodramatic. Put a boom box in Busy Boy’s hands while he stood in the middle of the dance floor watching you on that balcony and it would be like a mash up of Say Anything and She’s All That.

Elle, the guy doesn’t want you. He told you as much. Now you’re creating a storyline in your head of how this guy just couldn’t let you go and was following you around the city with his heart in his hands. Unless you were staring back at him for those 30 minutes, too, you have no idea what he was doing. Sure, maybe he glanced up at you a few times. But stood their watching you for half an hour? Monitors your Four Square check in? (Ok. I’ll give you that one because I actually had that happen to me once.) You need to stop watching so much TV.

You were on a date with someone else and completely disrespected that guy while you played out some After School Special in your head. You know why he didn’t respond to your texts? He’s not interested. But rather than pay attention to all the warning signs that this guy is hand delivering to you, you’ve decided to pursue him anyway. Not sure that anything I say here will resonate with you. Personally, I’d let this guy go.

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31 Responses to “Is Your Love Life Like An After School Special?”

  1. jaclyn Says:

    When a guy says that, “he’s not looking for a serious relationship right now…He even told me to date other men…” that is your cue to stop returning his calls or texts unless you are looking for a FWB situation. He was very clear, and very honest that either he’s not interested in you or he’s not interested in being in a relationship now. And that is exactly the point in which any contact should have ended unless you wanted a FWB, which is highly inadvisable when you have strong feelings for the guy.

    You also should apologize to the poor guy you were out on a date with when Busy Guy grabbed you.

    • Howard Says:

      Part of growing older and wiser is learning to love those who love you. And of course, learning to be ambivalent about those ambivalent towards you. All the rest is just noise. Doesn’t matter what happened at the club or VIP or any of that stuff. This guy is not feeling you. You actually know it, but you refuse to accept. I know it’s tough on the ego. Get over it! Some people are never going to be crazy about us, no matter what we do. It’s that way too for even so-called super hot famous people.

  2. The D-man Says:

    Holy cow, I assumed this was from some college student, but you’re 35?!

    • PhillyGal Says:

      That was my thought exactly. She also clarified that Busy Guy is 34…so they are both equally immature. She said she met him in August and he advised her to date others by September. So when did she have time for these deep talks about marriage, children and having unprotected sex? I mean it doesn’t sound like he’s done anything to lead her to believe he was serious about her. This whole party situation was unnecessary drama. Just like a petulant child, he wanted to play with you because he saw someone else playing with you. The moment you become available, he loses interest. It is all the oldest game in the book.
      I think you really need to evaluate what you are truly looking for and also decide how you want to be treated by others. Some maturity in terms of relationships is needed as well. Then maybe you’ll be able to meet someone worthwhile.

  3. Matt Says:

    Disregarding the balcony stuff, which may or may not be accurate, the fact is that busy guy was extraordinarily rude and pushy even though he could clearly see you were with someone else. He’s a douchebag; he’s a douchebag likely pushed into douchiness by his previous baggage, but that does not excuse his appalling behavior. Kick him to the curb.

  4. VJ Says:

    “Is your love life like an after school special?”

    YES! There’s not a lot of definitive action. As with most soap operas of the type, there’s plenty of ambiguous messaging being misread by almost everyone. Further there’s lots of ‘starts & stops’ built into the drama to better accommodate the commercial messages. Worse, though the drama is written mainly as a wish fulfillment device and dream of, by & for women almost exclusively, yet they seemingly have little recognition of the definitive roles they might play in such a drama. There’s just a limited number of ‘set pieces’ and plots. This is unlikely to be one of those easily ‘romantic ones’ where everyone comes out cleanly & happily in the end. So a really crappy after school special too. Old Yeller the dog dies, and life barely moves on. So lots of needless drama, & very little resolution for the time spent & dedicated on the subject. But for the sake of humanity, or your sanity, leave to dog at the pound, or refuse to be engaged in the drama anymore. Cheers, ‘VJ’

  5. Kurt Says:

    Why is a 35-year-old woman dating a kid in college?

  6. K Says:

    It sounds like the guy saw her check-ins and decided to show up and try to hook up with her that night. He was probably really DTF for whatever reason and also is young and immature so acted inappropriately once he got there. The fact that he told her to date other men, and that she hasn’t heard from him in the 3 weeks since this party incident, pretty much makes this a non-issue. He’s not interested in anything, maybe not even the occasional hookup anymore.

  7. Elle Says:

    Wow I come here for advise and I get bashed? An after school special? How “professional” of you to say that Moxie..Like I have time to make up fairy tales in my head. My story is accurate but if you don’t believe it Moxie (and anyone else), then so be it. And for the record, yes, the busy guy is 34 and yes he is in college pursuing a second career…

    • wishing u well Says:

      Listen – the lack of common sense you are showing at age 35 is what is astounding. A man who tells you a dramatic story about why he doesn’t want anything serious and is advocating that you date other men? The red flags don’t get much brighter than this. At 4 to 5 dates in, it’s important that you manage your emotions and expectations better while dating or you are going to keep crashing and burning. At 35, it’s expected that you know this by now, as this is not your first approach to dating. You don’t need advice as much as you need to get out of denial and accept the reality of the situation. The guy wants something different than what you do. Point blank. Move on. It’s apparent that you aren’t even clear headed enough yet to keep him on the back burner while dating others, so you need to cut this dude off completely so that you can get your head straight. The only way that you should continue to date this guy (and I use that term very, very loosely) is if you can accept the fact that he will drift in and out occasionally for a simple booty cal, if that – and nothing more. Not liking that status? I didn’t think so. Be true to yourself and what you are looking for in a dating scenario. There are always new people to meet. Anyhow, I wish you well.

    • Vandellish Says:

      Yeah, it’s tough love but remember to focus on substance over style Elle. Study the message itself and not how it’s being delivered. This guy doesn’t sound very cool at all and you seem to be on the brink of awarding his bad behavior.
      I don’t think Moxie was saying that she didn’t believe your story, I think she was saying that YOU must be a bit twisted to give someone the opportunity to semi-stalk you and then act surprised when they do it. To the outside world it sounds like your subconscious wanted to make this guy jealous. Still the lesson here should be not to post your whereabouts and/or future plans online. This situation could’ve been much more dramatic.
      Also, even you have to admit that it first sounded like the guy was much younger than you. Just lose this guy as well as the urge to hang out with men that don’t want ALL of you.

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Elle, remember the first time you submitted a letter?

      You should be well aware of how I/we roll around here.

      File that under: I forget nothing.

  8. John Says:

    “I was standing on the dance floor holding hands with my new date and the busy guy walked up and literally snatched me away from my date and gave me the biggest bear hug ever. I really didn’t know what to do so I gave busy guy a hug back then pulled away from him so we could have a quick conversation”

    Elle- This comment pretty much sums up your immaturity. You completely disrespected your date. You dont get snatched away from holding someones hand unless you want to. And if you did, then you could pull back. You could have acted pissed but you didn’t. If you did and the busy guy still tried to snatch and bear hug you, that would be akin to assault. And in a club other guys would be pounding him. But you seem to have been snatched away willingly. And to make matters worse you hugged him back! If someone hugged me after forcefully pulling me away, I would just let my arms hang down to my sides coldly.

    So when you describe an event like this and you see nothing wrong with it, then people are going to give you little credibility. I feel bad for your poor date. He deserved better. I hope he didnt pay your cover charge and spend a lot of money on you, because after that incident, you are definitely not a keeper.

    • Speedy Says:

      Indeed, the allegation quite a serious assault took place and nobody did anything is barely credible.

      I suspect this woman may also in the past have been a victim of what we might call ambient quantum field effect, a concept as yet unexplained by physics but well known phenomenally to many of us wherein a sentient being is robbed of all agency and that in contradiction of the Newtonian model, events transpire that are retrospectively found to be without a cause (“It just happened”).

      File under: At the very least, own your own shit.

  9. LaMotta Says:

    I don’t know about after school special, but both Elle and “busy guy” seem extremely immature in handling all this.

    Busy Guy wants no commitment but wants someone there to vent to and be an outlet about his traumatic recent-past relationships which he’s still smarting from. He doesn’t really want Elle but he doesn’t want anyone else to have her either — the height of immaturity.

    Elle wants Busy Guy to be her One True Perfect Guy despite all of these obvious flaws and his immature behavior, which is in itself immature on her part. Combine that with her failure to properly separate her dating from Busy Guy and you have a recipe for endless, pointless drama.

    I think both need to just walk away.

  10. Vandellish Says:

    A few things here:
    1. Busy my azz!
    Anyone who has to be described as ‘busy guy’ should not be on your priority list of people. A person is never too ‘busy’ for anyone that they like. NEVER. I’m a 38 and I’ve only used the word ‘busy’ with women that I wasn’t really into.

    2. Should’ve Been a Rude Boy Burial!
    I agree that you and ‘busy’ were very disrespectful to the other guy. ‘Busy’ guy needed attention and you seemed to give him a bit when you really should’ve checked him for absolutely fkn rude behavior.

    3. You HAVE to know better!
    Anyone that tells you to go date other guys and then follows you and tries to ruin a date has some serious issues within. Get rid of this buttmunch and don’t fall for needy guys like this.

    Why does it seem like you should be more into your actual date that night? He’s already exhibited
    a cool quality when he didn’t get too fired up when ‘busy’ guy acted like a 5 year old. If he likes you
    and is a good guy you may have already gotten lucky and don’t even know it.

  11. VD Joe Says:

    Does anyone but me see the potential for these two star-crossed lovebirds?!!?!

    “What should I do or say to get busy guy to talk to me again?”
    He already gave you the gameplan. You should clear out time in your schedule (2 weeks at the minimum) and follow his 4 Square feed. Just show up – wherever he is, whatever he is doing give him a huge hug. I bet his heart melts a little upon seeing you.

    Remember he hasn’t see you for weeks and absence makes the heart grow fonder. Are you ready for the love and future plans he is about to shower on you? You should practice your faces in the mirror and rehearse your responses with friends.

  12. Sean Fleming (@flemingsean) Says:

    I’m new to these parts, this is my first comment on any ATWY SIngle post.

    Like most people, I read this with a little surprise, to put it mildly. There are clearly a lot of things about the whole story that indicate problems that go beneath the surface.

    But come on people…. let’s not beat up on Elle. That’s not cool. How many of us would open up to the extent she has?

    By your mid-30s it’s perfectly easy to have had some serious emotional damage inflicted on you by previous relationships, and that can really cloud your judgement.

    Elle… time to consider what you want out of life and how to get it. Ask some difficult questions (of yourself, I mean) and think about making some changes. Consider the importance of roles and responsibilities… what do you want/expect and how can you communicate that to whoever you are in a relationship with. And, of course, vice versa.

  13. mindstar Says:

    “Plus I thought that we were starting to get serious given all the futuristic talks we had about marriage, how to raise our children, etc….” Is anyone else a little surprised that they’re talking marriage/kids etc after only 4-5 dates? Another example of the drama of their relationship. Like others here I was expecting the OP to be 19-21 years. That she was 35 and engaging in this high school level behavior just proves the accuracy of Moxie’s post title.

    • LizM Says:

      “Is anyone else a little surprised that they’re talking marriage/kids etc after only 4-5 dates”

      I’m not at all surprised. This kind of thing happens all the time (sadly even for some people in their 30’s)

      Elle, he cast you as the woman of his dreams before he even knew anything about you. It is sad to say, but the person he was having those conversations with with was the fantasy girl he made you out to be. You are guilty of the same thing. You didn’t know much about him either. He rain full speed ahead, got caught up in everything (likely fueled as much by lust), and then 4-5 dates down the road he realized that he jumped too far ahead (and maybe already realizes that you aren’t the woman he wanted you to be).

      So, he backed up the truck. He isn’t interested in you as a serious contender. He still thinks you’re hot, though, and wouldn’t mind having a casual relationship with you. He has put you on the back–burner. He’ll stir the pot every once in a while. Maybe he knew you would be there because of your four-square check-in. Whatever the case may be, he didn’t have anything else going on and probably figured he could get some attention from you. It was harder than he was counting on, and more trouble than it is worth to him. You may or may not be hearing from him again.

      I know this sounds a bit harsh. It isn’t. It is just pretty common. As others have said, I am surprised at your age. Not just because your comments and story sound immature, but because I would think you would have learned some of these things by now unless you spent your twenties and early 30s in several long relationships. You sound like someone who has been on the market for a very short time.

  14. Michael Says:

    ****sigh**** This is EXACTLY what us men have to put up with – chicks like this. She is the classic example of why nice guys finish last. The guy she was with seemed like a good guy, dare I say a “nice guy,” but nonetheless she is still into him. I mean, he was totally disrespectful to have gotten physical with you in front of your date, but you didn’t give a shit about your date you nonetheless wanted to have a “quick conversation” with “Busy Guy.” And in fact you did chat with him while ignoring the guy that was paying for your evening out. And this guy was such a schlub that he “whisked [you] upstairs to the VIP area and wouldn’t let me come near busy guy for the rest of the night.” And when you were upstairs with your date you were STILL LOOKING AROUND FOR THE OTHER DUDE, and you texted him as well, all the while out with another guy.

    Look, I don’t hold you responsible for “Busy Guy’s” actions. However, I hold you responsible for yours. If you were with me and went off to chat it up with some guy that crashed my date with you and if you did anything but tell him to get lost date would have been over forthwith I would have left you there on the spot.

    Take this as a lesson my male friends out there, this is classic exhibit “A” as to why you cannot be a “nice guy.” I’m not saying that you should be like “Busy Guy,” but there are lessons one could learn from him on how to build legitimate attraction. #1 – talk about your future with the girl they love that. #2 – be your own man and unafraid to lose her. #3 – don’t be like the door mat that was an excuse for her date. Because after all of that, she did not mention her date but is just concerned that “Busy Guy” is mad at her; wants to know how to get “Busy Guy” back; and is still waiting for “Busy Guy” to return her text.

    All I can say is I admire “Busy Guy” he has game. So tell me my male counterparts, who would you rather be anonymous date guy or “Busy Guy?”

    • The D-man Says:

      I wish I could upvote this 100 times. Elle was terribly rude to her date, and seems to somehow blame him for whisking her upstairs!? I hope she at least offered to buy him a drink between texting Busy guy.

    • Matt Says:

      “All I can say is I admire ‘Busy Guy’ he has game. So tell me my male counterparts, who would you rather be anonymous date guy or ‘Busy Guy?'”

      Personally, I’d rather be the guy that doesn’t act like a dick so no, I do not want to be like Busy Guy.

      • Joey Giraud Says:

        Anyone who owns a dick shouldn’t be ashamed to act like one on certain occasions.

        • Matt Says:

          I disagree. I’m a fan of The Golden Rule. And having been on the receiving end of cockblocking douchebaggery, I know that it’s not nice, so I’m not going to do it because I didn’t appreciate when it was done to me.

          • LostSailor Says:

            Which is why you fail…

            • Vandellish Says:

              C’mon now LostSailor. Not only do we not know a damn thing about Matt’s life but the word ‘fail’ in itself is a very relative term.

            • Matt Says:

              If by “fail” you mean “does not compromise his morals”, then yes, I fail, and I am proud of that.

              • LostSailor Says:

                Matt, it’s not a question of “morals.” No one is saying you have to hurt anyone, lie, or otherwise compromise your beliefs. What it does mean is that sometimes you need to stand up for yourself. Anonymous date in this scenario was a doormat.

                Busy Guy at least had game, even if it might have been over the top and misapplied (though I’m sure others will endorse it). And the thing is, it worked. Elle was on a date with another man, yet was fairly obsessed by Busy Guy. You can be forward without being a douche.

                But if your morals, which really don’t rise to the level of morals, are more important than getting dates, perhaps you should stick to dating in church…

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