Dating Mistake 101: Reading Too Much Into What They Do/Say #atwys

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Lucycos-girl-computer-laptop-mdn

Comment: I recently met someone who works at my local tourist centre. He was a genuine and interesting person, we talked for about 10 minutes, and I couldn’t get my mind off of him. So after a few days I bit the bullet and messaged him on facebook.

We sent messages back and forth every couple of days for about a week then he asked me out for a drink and we met up in person. We talked for 2 to 3 hours. I wasn’t getting a vibe of him being interested so I didn’t push it. He also explained to me that he’d recently broken up with his girlfriend of several years, but quickly changed the topic (that puzzled me at the time because I didn’t talk about my own relationship past at all). We had an awkward goodbye. He said “I’m sure we’ll do this again sometime” and I took that was a subtle rejection. I honestly didn’t think we’d keep talking.

But we still talk on facebook 3 months later, although we haven’t met up since – this time messaging every four to five days. I tried to kill the conversation a couple of times by writing shorter responses to see if the conversation would naturally fizzle out. But he continued to reply and ask me questions. I never reply to him straight away – I take as long as he takes e.g. he takes four days to write, I take four days to write back.

I’ve moved on from this guy as I have been going on dates with a couple of people from online dating and keeping my options open(have to admit that I’m still secretly intrigued by him though).

I think I’ve accepted this ship is never going to sail, but I’m a bit confused about why he’s still talking to me if he’s not interested in seeing me in person? What are your thoughts?
Age: 24
City: Edinburgh
State: Scotland


He also explained to me that he’d recently broken up with his girlfriend of several years, but quickly changed the topic (that puzzled me at the time because I didn’t talk about my own relationship past at all).

This wasn’t a random comment. He mentioned his recent break-up to let you know he wasn’t looking for or interested in pursuing anything serious. He was letting you know that you shouldn’t read too much into the interaction. So much for that. It’s possible that that drinks date wasn’t even a date. Not to him, at least.

I’m a bit confused about why he’s still talking to me if he’s not interested in seeing me in person? What are your thoughts?

I’m going to take a leap here and assume you’re the one initiating these conversations. I say that because you were similarly proactive when, after talking to this guy for ten minutes, you contacted him via Facebook. Ten minutes isn’t very long to exchange Facebook details. Either that was the fastest Facebook Friending in history, or you went to Facebook to find him. If he gave you his number or email, I would think you would have contacted him that way. For the record, and I’m speaking generally here and not directly to the OP, trolling through Facebook to find someone you just met isn’t wise. If someone wants to stay in touch with you, they’ll give you their contact information. If they do do that, keep all communication restricted to that form of contact until otherwise stated. Meaning, if someone gives you their email, send them an email. Don’t take the email and plop it into Facebook search engine to find their profile and shoot them a message that way. I mean, you can look them up on Facebook. Just don’t let them know you did that. It makes you look way too invested. Same goes for when you exchange phone numbers. Unless someone tells you to call them, assume that they gave you their number so that you and they could exchange texts. Don’t just call someone.

Why does he still talk to you? To be polite. To be friendly. Because you persist in emailing him. There are a plethora of reasons why he responds that have nothing to do with crushing on you.  You’re trying to piece together clues that reveal he’s just too scared to date, or not ready to date, or whatever. Nope. He’s not interested in dating you. He’s just being kind by responding to you.

Someone who takes 4 days to reply to an email isn’t somebody I would expend much effort on, anyway. That’s another way  people behave when they don’t want to come out and say they aren’t terribly interested in staying in touch. Take the hint and move on from this guy.


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54 Responses to “Dating Mistake 101: Reading Too Much Into What They Do/Say #atwys”

  1. D. Says:

    An alternative analysis, assuming the OP’s characterization of the facebook messaging is accurate (wherein he continues to reach out to her, and she really has sent back closed-ended messages). Could be that he’s interested, but not enough to really make an effort. Like, he might be attracted, or think that you seem “good on paper,” but isn’t ready to date.

    The thing is, whether it’s “too scared to date yet” or “only wants to bang you, but still wants to think of himself as a ‘good guy’ who wouldn’t do that” or whatever, the bottom line is the same as Moxie’s bottom line: he’s not interested. Or at least, he’s not interested the way you want him to be. Just let it fizzle — including “being rude” and simply taking longer and longer to reply, or not replying to a message at all. I’ll bet the first totally unanswered message he sends you will not result in a follow-up.

    • Greg Figueroa Says:

      He’s not interested in what she wants. A guy has the agency and presence of mind to ask someone out. He hasn’t because he doesn’t plan to for whatever reason. Some guys do like to have conversations. It’s the same way I don’t automatically assume that a conversation with a girl will lead to anything.

      People have to stop projecting their interest on to others.

      • Lucy Says:

        Thanks. Yeah I wasn’t trying to read much into it. In fact, have pretty much made up my mind about his lack of interest. I think I’ll do what’s suggested and take longer and longer to reply.

        Oh well at least I gave it a go. True, I did look him up. I was going to leave it and a friend suggested taking a chance so against my usual instincts, that’s what I did. Although makes me feel like a complete weirdo. hehe

        Thank you. I never projected my interest onto him though. You are wrong. I just said in my message that I sensed his disinterest early on. I was thinking that conversation would completely close off (in fact I was expecting it to). I just prefer when things are clear cut.

  2. Selena Says:

    “I think I’ve accepted this ship is never going to sail, but I’m a bit confused about why he’s still talking to me if he’s not interested in seeing me in person? ”

    Because a lot of people use Facebook this way? It’s a pleasant diversion when one has time on their hands. A low impact way of giving/receiving attention without expectations of ever getting together.

    Some of us enjoy blogs for the same reason. ;)

    • Lucy Says:

      Yeah you’re right. I’ll try and not invest at all in our conversations. I don’t feel like I need something from someone. I’m happy enough keeping things friendly conversation if that’s as far as it goes, but I certainly wouldn’t try and initiate another meeting with him or be over keen…which is what I have been doing when I reply to him.

  3. Yvonne Says:

    She may also be on the backburner. In other words, she’s someone not high on his list whom he “might” possibly want to hang out with again, so he doesn’t entirely burn the bridge.

    • avery_t Says:

      Men almost never find themselves in this type of predicament (or speculation), because women tend to be very clear about interest or lack of it. If a woman is into a guy, she will shower him with attention (aside from maybe initially playing hard to get). But if not, she may be quite harsh about why she rejects him:
      – I don’t date broke ass guys.
      – I like tall guys.
      – You’re too old, creep.

      Sometimes, she may say “let’s be friends.”

      Women seem to derive energy from rejecting men. Men derive nothing from rejecting women. It’s squandering a resource.

      men almost always feel like they know where they stand with a woman.

      When I see couples walking around NYC, all the women look like they’re in love. Sometimes the men do. But the women almost always look totally enamored. It doesn’t matter what the guy looks like. I always wonder how ALL those women (all those couples) can be in love. What are the odds of all of them, being madly in love? My sense is that women fall in love with their own choice. If a woman picks a man, it means he’s amazing, because she has picked him. That’s sound logic, right? Women area always correct in their choice. This is very narcissistic. Women are natural extremists and natural fanatics (they DO tend to use more superlatives in speech than men do). For women, love is always fanaticism. Women seem to see ALL of a man’s flaws or NONE of a man’s flaws. Women either are madly in love with a man or he disgusts her. I mean, there seems to be very little middle ground. Maybe it’s because women ache for a movie type romance. They love the relationship as much as they love the man they are in the relationship with.

      Men, in my experience, tend to be more levelheaded. Shakespeare is full of male characters who joke about getting married not due to love, but due to the need for sexual companionship.

  4. Lisa Says:

    What types of conversations are you having w/ him and what types of questions is he asking you? Who hit up whom for the facebook friending?

    If you want to be REALLY proactive here, just ask him. If you have a humorous personality, it’ll be easier. But just throw something out there like, “do you ever think about us…being together?” I mean, embed it into some context or make it sound cute or something. But ask. You don’t have anything to lose; it’s not like you see him every day. And if the answer is no, I’m sure he’ll be able to come up w/ a thoughtful, diplomatic way of saying that over the next four days before he responds.

    Whatever he says, accept it and don’t waste another minute wondering.

    • Lucy Says:

      @Lisa – I don’t want to expose my vulnerability to him like that. Our interactions are not quite friendly enough for that. I mean we aren’t that friendly with each other. I think his actions do all the talking with out me having to say that. Nahh my stomach is doing turns just thinking about that haha

      Our conversations are just laid-back friendly really, if I’m being honest. He started off by asking me more about questions about me but we talk mainly like I do with friends. He’s a good person I think, so I can understand why he wouldn’t want to bluntly say he wasn’t interested. I kind of knew it after our awkward meet up haha. Makes me cringe ’cause I made an effort to look nice and was probably obvious. Then I thanked him for taking me out for drinks. And he said something along the lines of “Well this was fun. We have some interesting mutual friends”.

      haha so yeah doesn’t promising does it? I actually messaged him on the premise that we already had mutual friends (we went to university together and we already knew each other by sight but hadnt talked much).

      I wanted to initiate to see how it worked (as all dating advice seems to suggest it’s a bad idea). In hindsight, I could have left it as it was. But nothing ventured; nothing gained.

      • Lisa Says:

        What do they say? “Nothing beats a failure but a try?” Not sure that that even makes sense. LOL But yeah, if you don’t think there’s much hope, then trust your instinct. And don’t waste anymore time worrying about it.

        You seem like a really sweet person so I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before you find your groove…w/ dating and friends. Time and taking the occasional calculated risk…like you did here.

        Good luck!

  5. D. Says:

    On a related note, I think it’s worth noting three things that have come up repeatedly in recent submissions.

    First: all the analysis of the other person’s behavior can be great for explaining or gaining insight or just making yourself feel better…but in the end, it doesn’t matter a whole lot whether they’re not into you because they’re recently out of a relationship, or if they’re not into you because they have a policy of not dating co-workers/women who’ve dated their bros/people who aren’t Red Sox fans/whatever. The end result is the same: they aren’t into you. The “why” is ultimately irrelevant, and often a waste of time.

    Second: several submissions lately have noted how awesome/amazing/perfect the other person seems to be, yet they also have some fatal flaw (e.g., hasn’t asked them out, is recently out of a relationship and “shy”, lives in another state, etc.). I don’t know if this would help anyone else, but I found it helpful when it finally dawned on me that “perfect, except for…” is not “perfect.” If this other person were really right for you, you wouldn’t be talking about how everything would be wonderful “except for blah blah blah.” Relationships take work, but early dating isn’t about completing the Trials of Hercules. That shit only happens in romcoms. You know what happens in the real world when you try to overcome structural problems that exist from the outset of a relationship? NOTHING GOOD. Don’t get hung up on “perfect, except for…” when “except for” is something genuinely serious…like their lack of interest in you.

    Lastly: very often, these stories seem to involve folks who are waiting around for the other person to make a decision about how they feel, instead of the OP being proactive. This approach can lead you to basically spend your time waiting around to be disappointed, which in turn can leave you feeling like you’re perpetually at everyone else’s mercy. This is not the case. You can always simply decide you aren’t getting what you want out of things and choose to walk away. You can find someone who actually digs you, instead of pining after someone who doesn’t and hoping that maybe one day they will.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      **I don’t know if this would help anyone else, but I found it helpful when it finally dawned on me that “perfect, except for…” is not “perfect.”**

      I do find that helpful. I mean, I “get it,” I’ve touched that hot stove before, but always helpful to have a quick shorthand reminder.

      I recently met somebody on OKC that I felt, “Perfect, except for…” about. Very well educated, we had lots in common, had a blast hanging out, he was very complimentary, I actually really felt heard and appreciated as an individual…but he’s allergic to cats and very much not over his divorce (to the point that I was kinda playing therapist…although he did warn me of his emotional state before we met up).

      I can see why it’s tempting to dwell in the, “Perfect, except for” twilight state. Dating can get pretty damn discouraging and a feeling of connection can be pretty rare. But yeah, if you can’t hit the ground running with the person “as is,” you’re wasting your time. Also I wonder if some of these pining people are fully cognizant that the person isn’t available and that’s oddly part of the appeal. They don’t want to get hurt so they like pining from a distance; there’s nothing for them to get wrong in a relationship if they’re not actually having one. Maybe they see themselves as “works in progress,” too.

      • D. Says:

        Some of that stuff can be managed. The cat allergy, for example, depending on its severity. But things like lasting fallout from a divorce or relationship? Yeah, that’s some heavy lifting early on. Nothing wrong with playing it out, but best to take it day by day rather than “OMG this is IT!!!” right off the bat.

      • C Says:

        Perfect except for not being over a recent divorce doesn’t usually work out well. The problem is that the person we are attracted to when we are emotionally wounded and recovering is often not the person we latch on to when we are emotionally healthy. The transitional girlfriend usually gets the short end of the stick getting faded on when the guy feels good again.

        ” Also I wonder if some of these pining people are fully cognizant that the person isn’t available and that’s oddly part of the appeal. ”

        As for D’s comment about women pining for and overanalyzing the guy who say they are unavailable…one of the problems is that the guys are being subtle (likely out of kindness) about their disinterest. When you say, “I’m not ready for a relationship right now”, the women hear “Oh, ok, so you’ll be ready for a relationship in 6 months and I just have to wait”. Very similar to a girl trying to spare a guys feelings and saying, “I’m sorry I go out with you because I have a boyfriend”. She is saying, “Not interested”. He hears, “I’m interested but the boyfriend is an obstacle”.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      “The end result is the same: they aren’t into you. The “why” is ultimately irrelevant, and often a waste of time.”

      The “why” is not always ascertainable but that doesn’t mean it’s not extremely relevant and important. It is important. Because, often, the “why” is something that a person can change to improve themselves. For example, you may be under the misimpression that a girl won’t date you because she “doesn’t want to ruin your friendship” or “doesn’t know what she wants” because she told you that. When the real reason is that you dress like doofus, or you could lose some weight.

      Of course, it’s easier to accept that she really values the friendship, or that she’s really confused about what she wants, or that he won’t date co-workers- because then it’s not your fault. Phew! But, you know, it may be your fault.

      People are learning the wrong lessons from these situations. In fact, there’s a whole body of men out there who legitimately believe that a woman wouldn’t date them because he’s been “friendzoned,” through no fault of his own, and she values the friendship too much.

      • Chester Says:

        DMN brings up an interesting point. The real reason a person rejects you in many cases could be something you can easily change to improve yourself. This is so true.

        When we listen to our friends, Our male friends give us reasons whey they didn’t ask a woman out and women give us reasons why they didn’t go out with a guy, but those are rarely conveyed to the person. The reason is more people would be offended and retaliate rather than take action to improve. And the person giving the real reason would be seen as a jerk or b*tch for being harsh.

        I had a girl I was dating who told be I was getting fat around the mid-section. I was happy for the candid feedback, but when I told others my girlfriend inspired me to reduce my wasteline, several women said they thought she was a bitch.

        Candid feedback is just not welcome many times.

        • Lucy Says:

          I read a post on the blog ‘The Rules Revisited’ which suggested that women ask their male friends or exes for feedback on how they could improve their chances with the opposite sex. What do you think of that? I’m tempted to try this.

          No one fully understands how they come across to the opposite sex either. I once started talking to an older guy in a pub (he wasn’t hitting on me, just friendly chat). And he said that I should sit back a bit and let men come to me more. He told me that approaching a guy in public, which seems friendly and casual to me, might come across as more desperate to a guy. He told me that the only guys who are worth it, are the ones who come to me. The subtleties are fascinating. I’d value more insight on what comes across as ‘too strong’ to a guy which I haven’t realised. I’ve approached guys before so I can be fearless, but judging by what this guy advised, it might be a waste of time.

          Currently I’m trying my best to resist any temptation to message this guy and have been successful so far. I even looked back at our conversations and it’s getting a bit dull…sort of drifting into nothingness – he’s really alive and interesting in person , but not so in his messages. I’ve gone off him a bit. I think I liked his looks and a superficial idea of his personality, but that we actually don’t gel that well really.

          • DrivingMeNutes Says:

            If my female friends ask me for advice on what they’re doing wrong, which they occasionally do? I sit them down, pour them a drink, and lie to their fucking face.

            You’re never going to get an “honest” answer especially from a friend that cares about you. The good news is most people with a modicum of deductive reasoning skills and experience can figure this out for themselves.

            Here, I’ll start. I’m fat and a little bit old for my desired age group. I do okay but If I lost weight and aimed lower I’d probably do better. Ok, your turn.

            • Lucy Says:

              I don’t know about that. I have dispensed honest advice in the past, because I’d rather help someone and be liked less than put up a pretence. My friends don’t tell me fully like it is but they do give me an indication of what they think.

              Well probably the biggest turn off of me is that I don’t have a job, I’m probably a bit passive and reserved in nature (which I’m working on)…I could do with becoming a more well-rounded person as well.

          • Chester Says:

            DMV’s response was blunt but accurate and more entertaining than my reply….
            Lucy, it is great that you are adhering to the advice that guy gave you but many women don’t want to hear this and many guys know that most women don’t want to hear it. Why would they risk losing a friend?

            I’ll give you great advice right now on how to double your dating opportunities:
            The max a woman should weigh is 100 lbs plus 5 lbs for every inch over 5 feet. So 5′ => 100 lbs; 5’2″ => 110; 5’6″ =>130; 5’9″ =>145. Every 10 lbs over this cuts your dating opportunities in half. Every 10 lbs closer to this number doubles your dating opportunities.

            We’ll see how popular this feedback is to the female readers here.

            • Nicole Says:

              Such a flashback! My aunt gave me this exact formula for knowing what I should weigh when I was around 14 years old. (She added “plus or minus 10% for bone structure and muscle mass variations” which confused me no end, as someone with both tiny bones and thick soccer thighs.)

              I have no idea if that formula really matters in finding dates, but it’s the reason that even though I can wear a size 2-4, I still think of myself as 5 lbs overweight.

              I would imagine any guy who’s actually restricting himself to women that size or smaller is really limiting his options. But, in dating it really does seem like most of the guys are chasing the same few women. (And vice versa!)

              • D. Says:

                I’m sure Nate Silver will chime in on this formula some day. seems to constantly be trying to find content.

                On the other hand, maybe not, because this one sounds pretty ridiculous.

                Attraction is fluid, personal, and not mathematical.

                • mindstar Says:

                  True it’s fluid and personal but there are some maxims that generally apply.

                  Women, as a group, generally prefer tall, successful men who are older than them and have a degree of social status.

                  Men, as a group, generally prefer women who are not obese, are younger than them and have pleasent personalities.

                  This is the broad view. Individual targeting will vary but will usually still be within these parameters.

                  • D. Says:

                    Yeah, but…so what? I mean, I don’t disagree that there are various cultural norms for what counts as “attractive,” but look around. I’d bet you’ll regularly see people who don’t meet those cultural standards in happy couples.

                    My point isn’t that general standards for what counts as attractive don’t exist, but rather that they can’t be expressed in some mathematical formula, and even if they could, individual taste often trumps those norms anyway. Plus, they aren’t even consistent from culture to culture.

                    I just think it’s kind of pointless for people to try to adhere to or quantify norms like this with mathematical precision. Focusing, for example, on one’s weight-to-height as Nicole’s aunt described won’t solve someone’s problems merely by virtue of meeting the standard, and deviating from it won’t doom you to lonely life.

                    While it’s fine to generally strive to be your best version of yourself, it’s also important to recognize (A) that there are limits to how far you can take that, and (B) that you aren’t trying to make EVERYONE like you, but rather only the people you want to be with. If you can do that, who cares if you don’t meet Nicole’s aunt’s formula or avery’s or anyone elses?

            • Lucy Says:

              haha interesting. I currently weigh 137lbs. However I think because of my bone structure and cause I’ve got junk in the trunk, I get away with this. I think I attract a certain type as I don’t have a conventionally attractive body type. My measurements are 33-26-38.

              But yeah I agree – always the same few women. I’m not dissing on other women but I could never be an aesthetic ideal of being more slight in build – my body is more like Beyonce’s than Kate Moss. ha I wish I looked Beyonce too. :)

            • avery_t Says:

              men like flat stomachs and toned abs. men like fitness. in my experience, 2 t o 4lbs per inch over 5 ft added to 100lbs almost guarantees a flat stomach and abdomen definition.

              It’s not about the numbers. It’s about the flat stomach. Women get hung up on the numbers. They should spend more time looking at the women men lust after. men don’t look at fashion magazines. Men lust after movie stars and professional athletes.


              • ATWYSingle Says:

                Rational, sane, stable people know they’re never going to date someone of movie star caliber. That’s why they’re called fantasies.

                I really wish you’d stop commenting here. Your comments make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

                • avery_t Says:

                  Fair enough. I will stop. I’m not a docuhebag. If you say “stop,” I will.

                  I have a huge inheritance on the horizon. I’ll be able to set aside 200k per year just for escorts.

              • C Says:

                Avery, you are truly your own worst enemy. Glad you got a bunch of money from your dead grandma and can now afford hookers. I’m sure they will be very impressed with your flat abs and PhD.

  6. C Says:

    I wouldn’t blame the LW for initiating all of the contact. I’ve met maybe 2-3 guys who just really, really like to text women….yes, even women they aren’t dating. I don’t get it but there it is.

    I’ve mentioned him before. I went out with one guy I met online last spring about a 1/2 dozen times. He stopped asking me out, but continued to text me. After a couple of months of texting, I got bored and stopped initiating but he’s a nice guy so I continued replying to his texts.

    For the better part of a year now, this guy has been initiating nothing more then friendly nonsense every 1-2 weeks (i.e. “Hope you are having a nice weekend!”, “Did you go for a hike?”, etc..). I even told him that I’m moving to another state to be with my boyfriend and thought that would be the end of that, but he is undeterred and continues to text me regularly.

    I dont know what he gets out of it, but its all pretty funny.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      I think a lot of guys are like that, they just love female attention, or the illusion of it. I had an online friend say, “So weren’t we gonna meet up for a drink?” I said, “Umm, I live like 1000 miles away, so…” I was just one more female giving him attention and he couldn’t even keep it straight who I was. Way to make a gal feel special. That kind of thing is mostly harmless, but it’s annoying and a waste of time.

      • C Says:

        That must be it. Its funny when they don’t want to meet up but they want to text endlessly. It provides me with amusement so I don’t really mind it.

  7. LostSailor Says:

    Moxie’s right, Lucy, move on, at least in your head. You say you’re doing online dating to keep your options open, but you’re still “intrigued” by him. It sounds like you’re really just treading water.

    Moxie’s also right that the only significant thing he’s told you was the only thing you should have “read something into”: the break-up comment. But, then again, you really already know that. In all your account of your conversations and texting, it’s the only specific thing you mention.

    I agree with D’s noticing a recent trend in submissions. women who are living out to varying degrees non-existent “relationships” in their head. D’s right these are women who are waiting around for the other person to make a decision on how they feel, when the reality seems to be the other person has already made that decision. Guys can do this, too, and I think the ubiquity of social media interactions is fueling the impression that something is happening or potentially happening when actually nothing is really happening.

    The important test in these situations is to look to what a person does, not what they say. If they’re not taking action, they’re likely not interested. The hard part is to learn to move on.

    I also second Selena’s comment about why people might communicate or continue to communicate without any action toward romance. That one is easy; they’re not romantically interested. A lot of people indeed use Facebook that way. It’s not malicious.

    I’ve frequently bantered in comment thread on friends’ posts with people, including women, that I don’t actually know. Sometimes, depending on the subject of the original post and subsequent comments, that banter might edge on slightly flirty. It doesn’t mean anything.

    I once even dated a “friend-of-a-friend” I traded snarky barbs with in that mutual connection’s comment threads. She was coming to town and suggested a drink. One thing lead to another and we started dating. It didn’t work out because it was a long-distance thing that I don’t really do, but it ended on good terms and we still sometimes trade snark on FB and she sometimes messages me for cooking and recipe tips.

  8. Lucy Says:

    Thank you Moxie and everyone for the advice. :) I was mainly looking to decide whether I should just take longer and longer to reply or just cut him off completely. I don’t really like cutting people off that much but then it’s getting me frustrated.

    Someone said something about being a “work in progress”. I think that’s quite true. I live in a small town and I hardly meet anyone I haven’t known before (he just moved to the area) that I’d like the idea of dating, so I guess it makes me overinvest. I find online dating hard because talking to more than a few people at once makes me feel emotionally overwhelmed.

    I’m actually quite proud of myself for how much restraint I’ve shown. I could have chased him more and made myself feel really bad. I also haven’t revealed too much to him up front, and I used to do that with guys all the time and look like a mess. By telling them stuff, like what I mention below.

    This guy is connected to my past as he was friendly with my ex-boyfriend of 7 years ago. No one knew at the time that my boyfriend had been physically abusive towards me. So yeah I’m glad I’ve kept that one a secret.

    • C Says:

      Your still doing it: overanalyzing, overinvesting, becoming attachd to a guy who isn’t there.

      He doesn’t care about you. He isn’t thinking about you. You are just there to yap at on facebook when he has nothing better to do. He cant even pick up the phone and call you because you aren’t worth the effort to him.

      You can talk to him or not talk to him. It really makes no difference.

      I hope I’m not misreading this but you sound very lonely. If I’m right about that, please try to build up your social circle or take some opportunities to visit your family or old friends. You are way too attached to this guy who literally cant be bothered to cultivate any level of friendship with you. It doesn’t matter whether you talk to him or not because he doesn’t exist in your life in any real way and never will.

      • Lucy Says:

        Hey thanks. Well I’m not so much lonely, just feeling at a loss right now with being an unemployed graduate and wanting to get out of my small town. I’m not friendless but I would like to make some more friends. It’s hard though because most people aren’t on the lookout for new friends. But I’m going to take the initiative more and ask people to hang out.

        I find that finding new friends is a lot harder than dating for me. I’m not too shabby at getting dates but building new friendships is really hard. If anyone has any advice about this, I’d appreciate it. I’m a good person and a loyal friend so I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to be friendly with me. I do do a lot of volunteering so this helps a lot with my mood.

        I’ve sort of ditched one friend because she never makes any effort to get in touch with me and I don’t want to be chasing her.

        I was hoping to be friends if nothing else, because, as I said, making new friends is a goal of mine, but yeah I guess you are right about that.

        I would just like to meet more people who value me, whether they want to be friends with me or more. :)

        Thanks for your comment.

        • Damien Says:

          I was in Edinburgh about 5 years ago. All people talked about back then was how much the economy sucked. It probably still sucks, especially with this Scottish referendum coming. Edinburgh also felt like a tough place to be socially unless one were in a hot job in the city centre. Even those jobs seemed to be going nowhere, as that was the feeling I got when I met those people.

          So being unemployed and starting out only makes it worse. That’s a common place to be for all recent grads these days in western economies.

          When I was at that point in life, I didn’t have many friends either. I was just struggling and focused on getting a career started. Dating was tough for a guy in that position. The only peers in my group that were getting it on were a couple hot looking dudes that were toy boys for some cougars, and the kids who came from well-to-do families. Things didn’t pick up until I got a steady job in my late twenties.

          I think things are still the same these days. Stick with a career focus and build self-aware attitude in the meantime. Maybe go abroad and get a job like that. I knew guys that taught in Japan or did resort work or international development work. They were going nowhere at home, but abroad, they came across as cool. You meet great friends as coworkers in that scenario. The ones in education and entertainment were dating and getting laid a lot. Not so for the two guys in international development. Those two still had minimal social lives, but then one of them went to do an MBA, and the other continued that path. Both those dudes are making the most money these days.

          • Lucy Says:

            Thank you. I like your ideas. I’ve always wanted to try out working abroad. I would just not know where to start – would even go as far as United States or Australia maybe.

            Since I am young, I am free to explore. :)

            I think you’re right about things picking up more when I’m more sorted. I think my mindset about my life at the moment, is what’s stopping me from getting into a relationship at the moment.

      • ATWYSingle Says:

        He cant even pick up the phone and call you because you aren’t worth the effort to him.

        That’s indicative of absolutely nothing. The act of picking up the phone and calling someone to chat these days is relegated to family and close friends and significant others. Random acquaintances don’t pick up the phone and call each other.

        Your comment reminds me of me in my earlier days of this column. Needlessly harsh and brutal.

    • Yvonne Says:

      So you were a teenager in a physically abusive relationship. That is a significant trauma to have gone through and worth talking to a therapist about. I hope you’ve done so, or will consider it.

      • Lucy Says:

        Hi Yvonne, I’ve never had therapy for that. All I have done is work through things on my own but it has taken me years so far. I did get therapy for depression I was experiencing. As an offshoot of that therapy, it helped me move on from that past relationship.

        Might be an idea though. I do carry around a lot of false beliefs about men, just based on that experience. I find that I get hooked to guys that are toxic to me, but I’m working through it.

  9. Wolfy Says:


    I totally get wanting to build more connections and valuable friendships with people who care about you as much as you do them. However, I get the vibe that you have self-esteem issues, and maybe this is coming off when people befriend/date you.

    No one wants to be around someone who needs others to find value or a good time. It’s a bit needy and little scary for some. I promise, once you get the “I could care less” mind set, because you know you have it going on and can have fun regardless of others, people will start flocking and keeping in touch with you.

    Best thing to do is find out what really interests you or want to try and start doing those things. If your region has meetups or groups, that might be a good place to start.

    • Lucy Says:

      Yeah I’ll do that. I’ve seen a few meet-up groups and I also regularly volunteer with 4 organisations. I’m finding new things to get involved in all the time.

      Recently my problem has been that, having grown in confidence, people still think I’m the same person I was before, and that can be kind of annoying. It’s a bit complicated. Not a self-esteem issue. But I do have mild social anxiety which I have done a lot of work on (I have no problem being chatty with new people but certain situations trigger it). With social anxiety your self-esteem can be perfectly okay but it takes some time to warm into particular situations. I am usually fine once I get going but unfortunately first impressions always count.

      And I don’t need people to find value in myself. I’m doing perfectly fine thank you very much. Sorry but I don’t like when people make assumptions about me without even knowing me. I don’t know where you got that from. This is what I mean – I get this a lot with people I know from the past who still think I’m the same person I was 5 years ago. And I call them out on it.

      Just because I’ve been unfortunate enough to meet jerky people, doesn’t mean I have low self-esteem. It’s just bad luck. Dating those people did temporarily lower my self-esteem however..

      What it is about a person that convinces others they have low self-esteem when they don’t?

      • Lucy Says:

        P. S. I do appreciate that you were giving me some advice, and I appreciate you taking the time for that. But you don’t know me, you don’t hear my innermost thoughts, so how can you possibly know what my self-esteem is like?

        But I would be interested to know, how I can present myself better to look more confident. That tends to be where I go wrong. I’m a naturally reserved person.

        Thanks :)

  10. Wolfy Says:

    Recently my problem has been that, having grown in confidence, people still think I’m the same person I was before, and that can be kind of annoying. It’s a bit complicated. Not a self-esteem issue. But I do have mild social anxiety which I have done a lot of work on (I have no problem being chatty with new people but certain situations trigger it)

    The great thing about new people, you have a fresh new start and you’ll be able to be judged as you are now, how you choose to present yourself, and you can implement the lessons you’ve learned along the way. This is able bit more difficult if you live in a small town where everyone knows each other in some way.

    Both, the withdrawn nature of a anxiety disorder and when you are being a chatty Cathy, have the same effect. People will sense that you are not at ease with yourself or in social settings. The most attractive thing a person can be other than confident, is being at ease.

    You are right, I don’t know you, but I can only make general assumptions with the limited information I have from a couple of paragraphs that were presented. Better to see someone in the flesh and interacting with others, but that’s not a possibility so we do what we can. Here to help.

  11. Speed Says:

    Hi, Moxie
    Just want to wish you a Happy Father’s Day. As a person who lost both his parents, I can relate. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are different for people whose parents have passed. It’s a little painful because
    everybody is celebrating the day with their parents but mine are gone.

    However, I think this can be a time for reflection and honoring memories of lost parents.

    Thank you for opening up this space on this day.
    Again, Happy Father’s Day to you.

  12. Tinker Says:

    I like you Lucy. Sounds like you are taking the right steps and you will be ( and are) just fine. Wishing you the best.

    • Lucy Says:

      Aw thank you Tinker. Everyone here is great. I’ve learnt a lot from this thread. I’ve asked for advice here before, and without the quality of that advice, I’d still be a bit behind. But I have made some progress. Moxie tells what I don’t want to hear so it’s brilliant for me.

      I liked Lisa’s advice because she pointed out how I can be too passive with men. So I’m going to take that away with me and remember it, apply it to situations so there are fewer instances where I waste my time pursuing the wrong people.

  13. jane Says:

    Echoing the previous comment, you sound like a great girl – I’ve read some of your comments and replies here and I cant imagine you’ll struggle finding another guy. You took a chance…good for you. A lot of people never get the balls to even do that. But the point is that if he was remotely interested he’d be matching your efforts and upping them – Im amazed you have the patience to keep writing to him this long because I would have been bored after a week or two of him not escalating things. And who really wants a guy who is only “meh” about us?

  14. koriclewa Says:

    I’m going to have to disagree with your Facebook theory (Concerning whether or not it’s appropriate to reach out to someone on FB before they’ve given you their contact info). One of the most amazing things about Facebook is that it has provided an option/non-pushy method to contact people when we didn’t necessarily get their contact information. Mostly I mean this for networking and career purposes. For instance if I attend an event and I meet someone and we chat and then I shoot him a Facebook message, I am now more on their radar more consistently than I would have been if I waited until the next time we ran into each other at a function. Now the same rules might not necessarily apply to dating of course but a Facebook message isn’t that personal or invasive anymore. It’s a convenient way to create an online network. A friend online is not the same thing as a friend in person. I think we all know that. As I said I don’t think the same attitude applies to dating, but I do think it falls somewhere in between your theory and mine.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      As I said to someone else recently, Dater X has been driven into the ground at this point. I also said that I think it’s time for me to just back away from it, because it’s devolving into a grudge match. I can be rabid at times, especially if I feel that something damaging is being sold to female readers as healthy or acceptable. (i.e. Jessica’s marriage.) She’s baiting people and she knows it. Now I just feel like she’s *trying* to piss people off. I can’t take anything Dater X says seriously at this point because I don’t know if what she’s saying is even the truth.

      My take is Dater X wants the opportunity to ride off into the sunset with a boyfriend so she can prove everybody right. If that’s the case, so be it. As long as it means that the column will end then I’m fine with backing away from it. Of course, I’m not making any promises. I don’t like the idea of publicly flouncing because most times people go back on that and end up looking foolish.

      What bothers me about the passive aggressive tweets is that the attitude is really disingenuous. Don’t act like you’re not complicit in the growing hostility in the comments by insisting upon running the column and please don’t act like you don’t benefit from them.

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