Why Don’t Guys Just Cut Things Off Instead of Fading?

Name: Lucyscorned-woman

Comment: I am super annoyed by this guy’s texting habits!!!

We’ve been on 2 dates since mid-October (he lives in Boston and I like coming over, since the scene in Providence sucks), and until now I haven’t cared very much, but my no 1 prospect dried up, so I moved him up the food chain. Which unfortunately means I’ve started to care. As usual, he’s a better prospect than No 1 (5’5, 10 years older, unathletic, non-douchey, has a couple annoying quirks, but wealthy, educated, and not ugly, so I’m in), but even better prospects are ephemeral. His sporadic contact worries me.

I found him on cupid while I was out of the country, and contacted him first. We wrote each other every week, or every other week – I’d say pretty involved emails about our lives/interests, the tradition of which has carried onto the phone. We exchanged numbers once I got back, and he immediately wanted to meet (K, dirty secret – I was in Boston in the summer and my profile still lives there – but I told him eventually, and he was cool with it). I had to settle in first, so we met a month later. In the meantime he’d send me a text every once in a while to ask how I was doing and tell me what he was up to; once again, I’m used to guys texting me a lot in the beginning stages. The frequency of his texts would only pick up when we were discussing meeting up in real life. Another thing – he usually texts really late at night, apparently because of his work schedule, but in his line of work being inconsiderate is pretty much a prerequisite.

So last time we went out a couple weeks ago (I’m busy on most weekends, so I couldn’t come down earlier), he gave me a very expensive spin about town, and I stayed over at his (kept my panties on, but did some of that high school stuff because, well, you can’t tell the guy you’re staying over and not do anything). He didn’t take me out to brunch the morning after, though he did make me coffee and walk me to the station, then texted me to see how I got home. I thanked him for the good time, he thanked me back (icky, I know). Nothing for a few days. The next thing he texts me feels like a blow off: sorry work’s been crazy, I haven’t had time to text, how’s life, hope to see you again soon. I’m cutting my losses and wondering why people don’t have the balls to Just. Cut. It. Off. if they’re pulling the Fade. But I text him back, we banter about life a message or two, then he leaves my last message unanswered until I give up and text him a happy thanksgiving on Thurs. (if he’s interpreting, it looks like a mass text, and if he’s not, then he doesn’t care enough anyway). He replies the same day, not at night, and we banter about Thanksgiving, and then he asks me out the following weekend. I respond saying I don’t know, what does he have in mind, and here I am, still waiting for a response. His behavior has changed, and that doesn’t bode well for his interest – should I toss him?
Age: 25
City: Providence
State: RI

You could toss him if it will make you feel better or if it will allow you to tell friends how you threw him back and not vice versa. However, the reality is that he lost interest in you first.

There was a sign that things would end this way. Want to know what it was? When you revealed that you lied about where you live and he was “okay” with it, that was a red flag.

We’ve talked about lying and fudging details before. Misrepresenting where you live is one of those lies that people aren’t typically thrilled about. It’s not like you live in Medford, a 20 minute drive from Boston, but said Boston. You live a distance away that involves a good 90 minute or more commute. That’s a game changer. It’s similar to a 42 year old woman saying she’s 37. Yeah, it’s only 5 years difference, but getting pregnant at 42 or 44 is a hell of a lot more difficult than getting pregnant at 37 or 38. Game changer.

I’m not sure why you really care about this other than it’s a bruise to your ego. It doesn’t sound like you actually liked him. You liked the idea of dating someone “in the city” who could provide a lifestyle or experience that you can’t get in Podunk, Rhode Island. Here’s the deal, love. He doesn’t have to settle for you. First, he apparently makes quite a bit of money. Second, he lives in a metropolitan city full of educated women with high earning potential who are more on his level. It’s like people from Long Island or Jersey insisting upon dating people who live in Manhattan. Two different worlds, baby. Two different worlds. Want someone who will take you on an expensive ride around Boston and then buy you sex brunch? Move to Boston.

Like you said, he sent you a message that you interpreted as a blow off message. Therefore, he did tell you. He just wasn’t explicit. And you knew what he was doing. You just didn’t want to accept that. So you manufactured a mass text and sent it out to him hoping he’d take the bait. What you wanted was an opportunity to act aloof and to possibly cut him off first. Here’s how you do that: you don’t respond to the initial blow off text.  But you did. Therefore, you set yourself up to be blown off again.

Do you see how you created that situation from the start? This isn’t about him not sacking up and being honest. When you said you didn’t know if you could see him, he said screw this and bailed. Nobody wants to go out and spend money on someone who acts like that.

He was moderately interested at best and then little by little lost interest. And..scene.

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28 Responses to “Why Don’t Guys Just Cut Things Off Instead of Fading?”

  1. Marysol Says:

    I agree with everything moxie said, except for the ppl from NJ leaving in different worlds than people in Manhattan part. Many ppl from lets say Jersey City, work in Manhattan which means they spend most of their day in Manhattan. They may just rather live alone in a nice apartment instead of living with 3 roommates in the city. That doesnt make it a different world. I lived in NJ and in Manhattan (moved from NJ to my NY boyfriends condo) and actually had serious relationships with men from Manhattan and Brooklyn while leaving in NJ. That way of thinking is very close minded and is probably one of the reasons 40 something year old NY women are still single. Expand your horizons ladies. You may be surprised.

    • GI_JANE Says:

      I think Moxie is referring to the stereotypical lifestyle that New Jersey vs. Manhattan people live (think Jersey Shore vs. Sex and the City), so she is right.

      • Andrew Says:

        I think Moxie was referring to the Jersey suburbs. For example, there’s a big difference between someone living in say Hoboken or Jersey City trying to date someone lives in Manhattan then somebody from one of the suburbs and say Bergen or Essex County try to date someone from Manhattan. Someone who lives in Manhattan isn’t likely going to want to go schlepping out to the suburbs every weekend when there’s little or no train service. Also, if you think about it, Hoboken and Jersey City are closer to most parts of Manhattan than most parts of Brooklyn and Queens. Everyone’s got their own dating comfort zone as far as how far they are willing to travel, it just a matter of whether or not the person wants to adjust that.

      • C Says:

        I’ve lived in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and have relatives and coworkers in long island as well as NJ. Does anyone live like characters from Sex in the City and Jersey Shore? Who spends their entire day hanging out in cafes with girlfriends, going to parties, and working a few minutes a day writing an advise column and can still afford a large condo and shopping at high end stores? trust fund babies maybe but who else? most of the people i know who live in manhattan work like dogs and spend money cautiously and contiously even if they make 1/2 a million per year.

  2. jaclyn Says:

    The answer to your question of why he didn’t completely fade is that he is putting very minimal investment into the possibility that you might come back to Boston and have sex with him. You need to move on and focus on men who are more interested in developing a relationship with you. If Providence is too small of a dating pool for you, then you do need to consider moving to Boston or a nearby location where highly educated single professionals live (like Jersey City and Hoboken, but I don’t actually know if similar towns exist near Boston).

    • GI_JANE Says:

      With you 100% Jaclyn.

      Guys have done this to me all the time. Put very minimal investment, and because I was SOOOO into them (or so afraid I wouldn’t find someone like them/lonely), I would eat it up and make excuses for them like;

      1. He has a business/job that requires lots of his time.
      2. He’s usually more considerate then this, something must have come up.
      3. He’s used to women coming on to him, I should make things more obvious.
      4. Maybe I didn’t show enough interest, I should try harder.
      5. Maybe I misread his last text, let me text him just to make sure.

      And all this thinking for him did more bad then good. Eventually I realized the truth and the truth was; I should of walked away a lot sooner.

      • GI_JANE Says:

        Also, I find that walking away is a lot harder for some of us then others. Usually people that have abandonment issues, we hang on to every little crumb like it’s our last meal.

        • jaclyn Says:


          I completely understand what you are going through, since I was exactly the same way. I have significant abandonment issues also and wound up getting too attached to end my short and long term lousy relationships (I waited until my boyfriends finally pulled the plug, even though I should have broken up with them much sooner).

          What I did to protect myself was make a rule that if a guy didn’t demonstrate significant interest early in a relationship, and show that he was interested in a serious relationship with me I just cut him off and moved on to the next guy online. The long term relationships I had all involved men who clearly demonstrated interest early – men who asked me out for a second date on our first one, or men who called quickly after early dates to set up the next one. A text asking to meet up this weekend is good; a text asking “hey what’s up” that never leads to specifics about a date could be a guy just putting minimal investment looking for sex.

          • C Says:

            Just curious…..sure if you hear from a guy once a month and all he has to say is “what’s up?” That’s not a great sign. But is it so bad if in the world of multi-dating a guy pings you just to say “hello” because you are on his mind without the underlying intention of asking you out?

          • jaclyn Says:

            Its a good question C, and I’m sorry that I’m probably not the right person to answer it. I’m 36, and stopped dating in 2009 when I met my husband. So I wouldn’t say I am capable of giving advice to people as to what is acceptable in terms of pre-first date behavior now, as societal norms keep evolving quickly in dating. My previous comment meant that I would want to see a guy demonstrate sincere interest after a first date, and follow through with a specific plan for a second date within a reasonable timeframe if he was really interested in a serious relationship – otherwise I would think he is not interested in a relationship or that I’m not the kind of girl he wanted to date seriously.

        • fuzzilla Says:

          I agree – and yet sticking around/making excuses for the “crumb tossers” keeps you (the royal “you”) in a cycle where you feel perpetually abandoned. It’s almost like giving yourself homework for how to deal with abandonment rather than finding someone interested who doesn’t behave in ways that make you feel panicky (and yes, I’ve done it a million times).

      • Andrew Says:

        Both sexes are guilty of this. I’m sure we’ve all at one point made excuses for a man or woman that we are into engaging in douche bag behavior when in fact that’s all they were….excuses. The trick is to be able to spot this behavior quickly and immediately move on. Otherwise, we end up wasting our own time and missing out on dating other people who might actually be interested.

        • GI_JANE Says:

          Jacklyn, Fuzzilla, and Andrew: Andrew: It can be hard to spot them right away because in dating we chronically singles are bombarded with “your too picky”. So when we find someone who we like/attracted to and even REMOTELY likes us, it’s hard to tell quickly if you should stick it out a little more or quit.

  3. BTownGirl Says:

    I live in Boston and, let me tell you, the dudes here have options…lots and lots of options. Aside from the fact that it’s a metropolitan city, we have about a zillion colleges here and you know what that means? A never-ending supply of freshly-graduated 22 year old ladies joining the dating scene here. Oy vey, if you want one of these successful dudes, you can’t say “Weeeelll, I’m busy most weekends…” It’s funny, because a lot of my girlfriends grew up and settled in Rhode Island and they are all married to great guys who are the same! I say the OP should either move to Boston if that’s where she wants to settle or give some more attention to the guys of RI – there are a lot of gems there, if she looks.

  4. BostonRobin Says:

    Another Bostonian here and… hate to tell you, but this is a very “small” town at heart, perhaps because of the river on one side and the harbor on the other. It cuts things off and gives us an almost islander mentality. So you can have people living in certain *neighborhoods* who won’t date someone who lives on the Green Line or perhaps “over the river,” for instance. Two or three miles could be a dealbreaker! Providence might as well be Amish country. In fact, trying to pull up an image of the town and I swear I remember seeing a buggy last time I was there… :)

  5. Separated Guy Says:

    This is one of those posts which makes me shake my head in disbelief.

    OP is “super annoyed” at how her second choice is behaving? This is the one she’s going out with only with because first choice is gone and no other choice is available. If she’s more into him then maybe he’ll be more into her. Often feigned sincerity is easy to see through.

    Also, you don’t put yourself sleeping in the same place as your date if you expect your panties to stay on. Sure, a gentleman should be OK w/ this, especially on a first date especially if OP traveled from another city, but still this was a situation setup by her misleading. When OP plans to sleep over and doesn’t put out it’s yet another sign that SHE isn’t that interested. OP should’ve contacted a girlfriend from when she lived in Boston and made arrangements to crash there or any other sort of plans.

    And if the response to a second invitation out is ” I don’t know, what does he have in mind” after she felt he showed her a nice time the first go around it just screams “maybe I’m interested if the offer is good enough.”

    Before OP decides to get annoyed she should figure out if SHE is really into this guy or not. If she shows some real interest in him then maybe he’ll show some real interest in her.

    • D. Says:

      Yeah, but it’s pretty clear she isn’t interested in him. She’s bored and he’s there, but that’s it. What’s bugging her is that she isn’t getting he validation she wants from him, and if this minor-leaguer that she deigned to call up to the majors is giving her the same “Meh” she’s giving him, what does that mean for her future in Providence?

      My guess is, if he was ever all that interested (and I’m not convinced he was), he lost interest after that night on the town they had.

  6. D. Says:

    You’ve been on two (2) whole dates. There’s nothing to cut off. This is all about the OP’s bruised ego and perhaps a bit of additional discomfort with the fact that her options have narrowed considerably by moving to Providence.

    From this story, the OP never seemed genuinely into the guy, and seemed to view him as a “plan-B” kind of option. Turns out…he viewed her the same way. Nothing in her behavior, or for that matter his, suggested that either of them was really over the moon for each other. My bet is, even if the guy had paid more attention and been more into her, the OP would’ve ditched him when she got bored (which she would’ve) or when she found something better (which she might or might not have). Only trouble is, you can only ditch someone when they keep coming back for more.

    News flash for the OP: you were HIS back-up plan. He’s not that interested, and is putting in “minimal maintenance” effort so as not to close a door if you happen to want to get together and maybe sleep together down the road. Not interested? Great. Stop reaching out to him. I’d bet he’ll do the same pretty soon.

    • Nicole Says:

      Agree completely. She was emailing and texting him while hoping her #1 guy would work out… He was probably doing the same thing. And when finally met in person a couple of times, it wasn’t great enough for him to move her to front-runner status.
      Because she didn’t sleep with him? Because she lives in Providence? Because she didn’t even try to hide that she was using him for his address and his money? Probably all three, but it doesn’t really matter. He decided that whatever she brought to the table wasn’t worth the effort.

      Also, to the OP… I always wondered why so many men were worried about being played and used. Your letter cleared this up a little. Never knew women like you really existed.

      • D. Says:

        To be fair, people do the back-up-plan thing not infrequently, or they’ll casually date someone without the expectation or desire that it will progress. I have no problem with that, assuming people are at least cognizant of the other person’s feelings and don’t intentionally string them along. I’m not certain that’s what was going on here, at least not consciously.

        Not everyone we date has to turn into the great love of our life — and in all honesty, most won’t. Fine and dandy. There’s nothing wrong with just going out and having a bit of fun. But that’s different from wasting someone’s time. Basically, I see it as wasting someone’s time when you know that what each of you wants doesn’t match up, but you’re still gettin’ yours in the meantime without regard to the fact that they aren’t gettin’ theirs.

        But as I said, I’m not even 100% sure that’s what was going on here, at least not consciously. I suspect the OP was simply…bored and figured “what the hell.” And that’s fine, particularly if the guy’s on the same page. In this case, if he wasn’t early on, my guess is he soon got to “Eh, what the hell. Somethin’ to do” as his mindset re: the OP. So far, so good.

        What’s galling about the message is the crocodile tears/”How dare he?!” attitude. It’s apparently fine for her to be only half interested, but it’s not ok for him, too? And let’s be honest: if she wasn’t just looking for attention and didn’t feel a sting to her ego, would we even have a letter here today? Probably not, because she’d probably just say “Whatever. I wasn’t that into him anyway” and move on. Which is what she should be doing anyway. Either that, or accept that this is just gonna be a long-distance, occasional, casual thing and enjoy it for what it is.

        • Nicole Says:

          I think this letter bugged me from the start, because she focused on the guy being wealthy and educated instead of, I don’t know, an interesting person or fun to talk to. Combined with the “he didn’t take me too brunch” it comes off as trying to use the guy despite being only marginally into him.

          There’s nothing wrong with dating someone even when you know there’s no long term potential… But I can’t really get behind the idea of dating somebody you don’t even LIKE just because you don’t have anything better to do.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      I agree; I usually do agree with you. It’s interesting to me that her not being that interested didn’t immediately leap out at me; I read it as an, “I don’t want to get hurt” false tough girl bravado. Or that she’s interested and hurt and is pretending she’s not to preserve her ego. I mean, either way, she needs to move on and not spend any more energy on this guy.

      (BTW, things are going swimmingly with me & the divorced dad; #fuckyeahbluecollarcountryboys).

  7. Howard Says:

    Let’s start really easy peasy here. Men fade for a number of reasons. The number one reason is the same as the reason women have for friend zoning a guy or not taking a guy’s call nor answering his texts.
    There see no long term possibilities with that person, and they just want to avoid confrontation.

    It’s a human being thing, this cutting contact, not a male thing only.

    Let’s get to the OP, and it’s time to get hardcore. This guy could easily play the entitlement card, but it’s the OP who reeks of entitlement. Her anger is about that, and nothing more. How dare he fade on her? After all, she deigned, in her munificence, to move him up her pecking order of potentials?

    Her tone is nasty and condescending. She’s damn lucky this guy was nice. Most men, including me, would not be so nice.

  8. mindstar Says:

    I predict a lonely life for the OP is she maintains her entitlement princess mindset

  9. jane Says:

    Yikes. This letter was hard to read, its all over the place. What she wants: a guy who will jump through hoops for her and give 100% effort while she readily admits he was her second choice and put in zero effort until #1 disappeared. This guy doesnt sound like a huge prize either (though we only have OP’s experience with him to go on) and both of them have a hard time being honest apparently. Just cut to the chase, neither of you were all that interested in each other and yep, its about your ego’s here not the potential relationship lost.

  10. Grizzly Says:

    What really got me was the unavailability. Minimal email contact at first, a month while settling in, busy most weekends…..it usually helps to actually be in each others presence. If she put in a little effort, something more might have happened.

    Notice the time he broke off contact. He takes her out on a “very expensive” date and all he gets is “high-school stuff” (what, did she hold his hand and kiss his cheek?)……..then he starts to cut it off. He can easily go and fine a girl every bit as good looking or better who will actually be around and enthusiastic.

    Anyways, texting him back the way she did when he asked her out around Thanksgiving was kinda low-class. He’s offering to do stuff for her, but she seems to question if he’s good enough for her.

  11. C Says:

    he didnt reply because he wants a fun date not to serve as an event planner and financier for a bored chick who thinks she can do better. a dating coach friend of mine explicitly tells men not to entertain women who want to know what activity you are proposing before agreeing to a date. as he put it, a woman should be excited about spending time with a man, not excited about having ‘something fun to do’.

  12. Lucy (OP) Says:

    Thanks everybody for the input, but false alarm, phew. He’s taking me on vacation next month, all expenses paid.

    How’s that dust taste back there? :)

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