So a funny predicament happened this weekend. I had met a new guy recently and to be honest, he intrigued me. I am not naïve with men – I write a column on sex and dating because of what I have experienced. A gracious shoutout goes to my learning curve twenties! So it is safe to say I can back my sh*t up when it comes to sussing out men. Until three days ago.
He was cute and chivalrous and made an effort. A plus re: the lethargic guys we seem to deal with, unfortunately. He contacted me the minute he left the party and called me the next day; standard. We saw each other immediately — and his expertise of prosciutto and smoked Gouda cheese was kind of attractive. He cared about what wine I wanted, and how to make an impression. Unfortunately as pleasant as that seems, a rougher part followed suit. After a few texts later we had another date planned. I appreciated his non-callous way of being modern-day gent possessing a country -boy causality.
Next date was my place, with a twenty-minute drink break on my deck spent deciding what the plan was for dinner. Niagara Falls, Canada side followed by dinner and possibly some entertainment later. After what was starting to turn into a magnetic, flirtatious evening was abruptly cut short when a cocktail waitress planted a deadly seed:
“So, you guys are soooo cute together; how long have you been boyfriend and girlfriend?”
Him – Instantly recoiled and visibly uncomfortable.
Me – Instantly mortified and I knew it was done.
What followed after was a classic turnkey in the early stages of dating – something dumb happened and he got spooked and disappeared. When someone has been ‘Duped’ it means they got burned; the wool pulled out. In lamens terms, it’s when you are in the early stages of dating and all of a sudden it’s over before it began. Something happens and he’s insta-freaked; skittish. This always sucks, especially if you’ve slept together already.
After the fifteen deep sighs, I realized that I had to say something to clear the massive elephant in the room. I agree the buzzed waitress likely made a misstep; however when you are on a PDA filled date in a sexy club, the question of relationship shouldn’t be foreign. These are moments that should be laughed off, not to literally flinch at. As predicted, we were over before we started. We tried to squash the awkwardness with some more white wine but the mood was killed. He got spooked, and a silent ride home followed suit.
The brutal moment when you realize you just have to cut your losses and walk away. Most of the time, (unless you pull a classic no-no) the guys that just bounce likely weren’t interested in investing their time in you, period. Men that dupe you typically have the maturity and attention span of a fifteen year old. They don’t/can’t use their words and think that slinking out the side door without as much as a hint of an explanation is okay. Nor do they have the chops to be honest, communicative, and respectful. Just you know, basics for an adult relationship. What makes it tricky is when you think they have Sunday in Bed potential, not just hickeys and hangovers.
Ultimately when you’ve been duped, the best thing you can do is to just block and delete. It never feels good to be indifferent to somebody, and when people treat you as if you are disposable to them it’s best to just hit the bricks. While you can’t really predict when or if you will get Duped (hence the name) you can learn how to spot the guys that likely have it in them. Mentioning how busy he will be next week before dinner has even arrived doesn’t scream Be My Girlfriend. Discussing how he wants to take it slow as he is getting dressed and leaving at 1am is even worse. Next time that scruffy guy you see at Starbucks all the time or that friend of a friend who is hysterical comes your way, try to get a feel for his track record with chicks. If he has cartons of milk that last longer than his last few relationships, or has elusiveness to him, it’s best to relax into it, and generally let him make an effort for you. Guys that are going to go away or lose interest quickly just won’t put in the time, and likely already have a few people on the backburner.
As for my strategy? After shaking my head and venting to a girlfriend, I was actually grateful he showed his true colours sooner than later, and I was able to shake it off quickly. After all, when someone shows you who they are for the first time, believe them.