"Mirror, Mirror on the wall . . . where did he go, and why doesn't he call?"

How To Say No: Dating, Life And Consequence

Man or woman, being treated like crap stinks. Being taken for granted makes you feel unworthy. And both combined cause self doubt to begin to grow in the dark recesses of one's mind.

All of the above happens a lot in the world of dating, to men and women both. So let's explore the concept of "consequence." Because I think it's one that people fail to realize the value of these days.

When men (and/or women) misbehave and treat you badly, you need to learn to stop trying to carry the weight of a struggling relationship on your shoulders and instead get comfortable saying "no" and letting these guys (girls) live with the consequences of their decisions and bad behavior.

You Need To Take Their Crap - And "Stick It" To Them - Like Glue

And I don't say that with any ill intent, believe it or not. I say that with only good intent - because it's what they need, it's what's best for them. The only way a person grows is by experiencing pain and hardship.

Ever hear the term, "growing pains?" Yea, they hurt. They're supposed to. That's what makes the message stick. That's what makes you a better person. That's how you learn life's lessons. That's what stops you from treating another human being poorly again. That's what stops you from making the same mistakes in life.

This is also how you raise children. You equip them with the coping skills they're going to need in life by letting them experience the consequences of their actions. Because let's face it, life is suffering. Bad things are going to happen. And you need to develop the coping skills to deal with these bad things that happen in life in order to survive them.

And the only way to do that - is to walk through the fire.

When you constantly swoop in to protect your children from anything bad or the consequences of their behavior - you're actually doing them a great injustice. They're not going to develop the coping skills they're going to need in life to be successful at it - and they're going to end up on your doorstep with all their belongings in a garbage bag by the age of 30.

Why? Because bad things have happened that they didn't know how to cope with. So they handled it poorly and ran from it rather than walk through it. Much like you taught them to do by showing them early in life that when bad things happen, you run home to mom (and/or dad) and she (he) protects you and makes it all go away.

So you spend an eternity and your life's savings bailing them out, again, and again, and again, and again. And they go on, making the same mistakes, making the same bad decisions, over, and over, and over again - because they've never learned their lesson. They've never had to live with the consequences of their behavior and it becomes a repetitive, vicious cycle.

Men are much the same, ladies, and constantly overlooking their bad behavior, making excuses for them and tolerating it - ignites this vicious cycle into a blazing inferno.

And guess what? Women are the same. So for any men reading this, this applies to you as well, when you encounter a woman that isn't treating you well. You see, we're all only human. If we were perfect, we'd all be Gods - not human beings.

Step Out Of The Line Of Fire

When you step out of the line of fire, and you let someone suffer the consequences of their bad behavior and decisions in life - you're actually doing a good thing - you're helping them grow as a person and learn valuable lessons in life that will make them better people in the long run.

So if you're man (or woman) is treating you like crap, taking advantage of you, not following through with things, bailing on you or rejecting you or saying he needs space or he doesn't want a relationship - whatever it is he's saying he needs or he's doing - you "stick it" to him, like glue, the consequences of his own actions and behavior.

And you step out of the line of fire - and you make him (her) walk right through it.

When a man (or woman) says they need space, you give it to them. When they stand you up for a date, you make them live with it. When they don't call when they say they will, you make them live with that decision. And when you do that, you're actually helping them and you learn a valuable lesson.

What's The Valuable Lesson You're Learning?

You're learning to say "no" comfortably. Not only are you helping them, you're helping yourself, too. There are many, many times in life when it's necessary, to protect yourself from being hurt and used, to just say "no." "No, I'm not going to tolerate this type of treatment." "No, this is not okay with me." "No, I'm not going to overlook this." "No, I'm not going to bail you out again." "No, this is not acceptable."

Get comfortable with that. Because you're going to need it someday.

Setting boundaries for how you want to be treated in life and in dating is very necessary if you want to have a happy, healthy relationship with someone who respects you. When you let everything be a free-for-all in dating and in life, you get chaos in return. You get depression, suffering, pain, indecision, confusion, desperation and turmoiled emotions. Who wants to live like that? Who deserves to live like that? No one.

When you set boundaries you get health, well being and balance. You get happiness, success, crystal clear vision, strong decision making skills, confidence and respect - you grow dignity, you become enlightened.

I'm Going To Share A Story With You

This is an example of how this is done in a respectful manner to all involved. And I hope that you can see the magic in the message here.

This is a text exchange between a man and a woman. The man set a date for a Saturday here, and then disappeared the Tuesday prior to the date. He reappeared the following Wednesday. Eight attempts at contact were made prior to this response finally being sent:

MAN: "My moms been in the hospital, she's been sick. I'm sorry I've been out of touch. I would like to see you."

WOMAN: Silence, no response

MAN: Sends the same communication 7 more times over the course of 3 days.

WOMAN: Silence, no response

MAN: On the third day says, "Did you get any of my texts or emails?"

WOMAN: On the third day finally responds with this, "Yes, I did. However, regretfully, I'm turned off now. We had a date last Saturday. I'm sorry to hear about your mother and I wish her well. However, that's no excuse to take someone for granted and assume they'll still be there when you couldn't even take 30 seconds of your time to extend the courtesy of a quick cancellation notification. It's disappointing. I value myself and I strongly believe that the man I chose to be with should value me, too. I'm sorry this didn't pan out. I hope your mom's okay and I wish you well. Take care."

MAN: "I understand. I had to take her and I didn't have my phone. Your number was available to me at the time and I apologize. I'm sorry and disappointed in myself for blowing my chance and I deeply regret it. I wish you the best. Take care. And if you ever need someone to talk to, I'd love to at least be your friend. Again, I'm truly sorry."

As you can see from the exchange above, the man is now forced to live with the consequences of his actions and bad decision. He attempted to manipulate the woman by using his mother's illness as an excuse here - and failed miserably at it.

The simple fact of the matter is this: This man was not without his phone for the entire 4 days leading up to their Saturday date.

At some point in those 4 days leading up to their Saturday date, he had access to his phone and 30 seconds to call or send a text explaining what had happened and that he had to cancel. But he chose not to do that. That was his decision. And now, he'll experience the consequences of it and hopefully, he'll learn his lesson and think twice before ever doing that to another woman again. And if that doesn't happen, he'll make the same mistake over and over until he gets it right. That's how life works.

And that's how life works for you too, ladies. If you keep tolerating poor treatment, disrespect and bad behavior from a man - you, too, will keep suffering the consequences of your bad decisions. You will keep being taken for granted, you will keep receiving the same excuses from the man, you will keep being disrespected and you will experience pain, confusion, low self esteem and sorrow - all because of your actions and choices. You will only have yourself to blame.

There's an old saying, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again - and expecting different results."

You see, the woman here, she protected herself while instilling a valuable lesson in him. She is becoming comfortable with saying "no" and looking out for herself. Because had she accepted the less than honest explanation he provided, there's a very high likelihood that he would've disappeared on her again - making the same mistake in the very near future - because he hadn't learned his lesson and wasn't forced to live with the consequences of his decision.

Instead, this woman will feel very good about herself, very proud of herself, for looking out for herself as she should. Had she overlooked this bad decision of his she'd have suffered the consequences for it. She'd have most likely experienced this type of treatment from him again. She would've beat herself up, felt bad about herself and suffered from low self esteem and self doubt.

But instead, she comes out of this bad experience unscathed, proud, strong and dignified.

She remained cool, calm, collected and respectful. She didn't over react, freak out or become emotional. She was very matter of fact in her communication to him. As a result, she received a heart felt apology from him and he showed remorse for his decision. He became accountable for his actions.

When a man uses words like "deeply regret," words men don't often use - it's because he actually does feel that way. And this is a good thing. The woman here won't feel bad for him or make excuses for him because - it's how he should feel. He's human too. He should feel bad and remorseful when he treats another human being unfairly or with disregard. This woman knows that she's also doing a favor here for other women. This man will think twice before treating another woman like this in the future - and taking the risk of losing her.

And you know what? He'll be back. Why? Because once he absorbs this lesson, he'll soon realize that he's only human, and that he hurts like the rest of us. He'll feel guilty, he'll have had plenty of time to think, and he'll do what most human beings that have gone through the fire eventually do - return to set things right again.

That's when, as a human being, you do what I call a "complete 360." You turn 360 degrees in your thinking and in your behavior - you grow from the experience and you change as a result.

In the end, you're a better person for it.

The man now understands the woman's boundaries. He now knows what is and what is not acceptable treatment towards her. He now knows that she values herself enough to look out for herself when need be, and walk away if she has to.

That's strength. Raw, pure, unadulterated strength.

Admirable qualities in a human being. They're the kind of qualities that people respect you for. And when this man makes his attempt at setting things right, he'll have a whole new perspective on this woman. One that includes respect and admiration - and one that will make him treat her with such from that day forward, should she decide to give him one more chance (a month or more later).

When dating, do yourself and the people you're dating a big favor - and get comfortable saying "no."

"What matters most is how well you walk through the fire." ~ Charles Bukowski

That's what matters.

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Anonymous said...

Continued . . . .

Two weeks go by and I still have not heard from him, nor have I reached out to him. My co-workers asked me to join them for lunch at the cafeteria. I went upstairs to look for a table, while my co-workers got their lunch. When I reached the top of the stairs I saw him sitting with a woman. I walked over to a table several tables away from them. I noticed him smiling flirtatiously at her -- the same way he used to smile at me. I felt sick. I felt as though I had been punched in the stomach. I suddenly felt an urgent need to get out of there. I got up and left without turning to look back at them -- I just kept my eyes focused on the stairs and prayed to God he did not see me. I had to leave work early that day, I felt so sick. I missed two days of work because I literally felt weak from the shock and pain rejection. Over the weekend, I noticed he made a comment on my company's facebook page. It was basically an olive branch, so I ignored it because I thought it was pathetic and immature he was using facebook to reach out to me instead of calling or emailing me personally. It has been 3 months since we saw each other and there has been no communication on either side. Part of me feels as though he feels embarrassed and does not want to make another attempt after I ignored his facebook comment. He knows he did wrong, but does not have the courage to apologize. So, he's waiting for me to make the first move. Which I cannot understand because he was the one who blew me off. Any person with self-respect would do as I did and walk away.

I do not want to give him a pass. Treating me as though I were disposable and cutting me off without a word hurt me deeply. So, I took your advice and stepped aside and am letting him walk through the fire. In my past experience, they have always come back. (Even an ex-boyfriend who broke up with me by email eventually came back after 18 months to "see how I was doing.") If you do not accept poor behavior from people, they eventually have to deal with their own behavior and try to set things right. I also believe that difficult situations reveal people for who they really are, and that my silence is really power in this situation. From the pathetic way in which he tried to reach out to me on facebook, and then his silence for the past three months - he has shown me that he is a coward. My question to you, Mirror, is: do you think even cowards apologise?

I am digging my heels in. I will never speak to this guy again if there is no apology simply because I don't think I should reward those who mistreat me with friendship. However, this does not change the fact that I am deeply sad about this and disappointed that he turned out be such a pathetic wanker. Truly one of the worst I have met.

Thanks for your time. I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

Anonymous said...

continued . . .

Just wanted to add some more detail, as it may seem like "him liking me" was in all my head based on what I wrote. Prior to him pulling away, we were in contact on a weekly basis and often saw each other for lunch or after work. It was always him who proposed meeting for dinner. I did not really think anything of this as we had been friends for 3 years. We shared a lot of with each other emotionally as we were both going through divorces. I sensed that he liked me but I was always very cautious. During our trip he was very attentive and helpful. After our trip together, he even gave me a very thoughtful gift from the trip. I did not want him to feel rejected after I did not kiss him -- so I did everything I could to show him that I liked him too. Only after it was obvious that I was starting to fall for him, did he pull the 180 and abruptly stopped talking to me. Such a heartless and classless thing to do to a human being.

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous Sep 20, 4:19 PM,
"do you think even cowards apologise?"

I've seen it, but it all depends on the individual, where they're at in life, and the cards they've been dealt after wronging the other individual. Sometimes, even the cowards learn lessons - if they're smart enough to pay attention. However, if they're selfish, self-centered cowards, chances are they're too caught up in themselves to ever notice the message.

So it all depends dear, on many various factors. Sure, it can happen. But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a coward to learn a life lesson here. Keep moving forward dear, as best you can. Don't sweat this one, let him become someone else's problem ;-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mirror, for sharing your wisdom and giving us the strength and encouragement to walk away from disrespectful people. I will update if there are any developments, but I suspect I am dealing with a selfish and self-centered coward. He will become another woman's problem.

Anonymous said...

Hi- I posted Sept 17 @1:12- have one more quick question. Does NC work if you have never chased the man whatsoever? I see a lot about how we should flip the script on them and how they expect us to come crying. The man I'm dealing with stopped contacting me right after a period on intimacy but not sex. I never tried to contact him after, just waited for him to come to me which h hasn't, and it's been 3 weeks now. Do you think he expects me to chase or is looking for an emotional reaction? Since its long distance the build up to seeing him this last time was huge. I guess I'm just grabbing at something to avoid thinking that he wasn't into me physically, or that he's done bc I turned him down for sex. Anyway, my main question is whether or not a guy will always expect an emotional reaction. Oh and I wanted to throw out there that he is a Cap and I am Cancer :) thanks again Mirror!

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Sep 21, 2:19 PM,
"Does NC work if you have never chased the man whatsoever?"

There are no guarantees in life dear and there's no way to predict how a man will react. It all depends on his level of interest in the first place. Genuinely interested men take action. Half interested men may make one lame attempt and disappear again. And men that aren't all that interested generally disappear for good.

"or that he's done bc I turned him down for sex"

If a man never speaks to you again because you woudn't jump right into bed with him - thank your lucky stars that a shallow, selfish user like that is not in your life. Be glad scumbag men looking to use you are doing the work of disappearing for you dear.

"my main question is whether or not a guy will always expect an emotional reaction"

Many times they do. And when emotionally mature men don't get the reaction they expected, generally, they become intrigued with the woman because she's different from the rest and appears emotionally stable.

When insecure, emotionally immature men don't get the reaction they expected, generally, they move on because they realize that the woman cannot be pushed around or manipulated (as they intend to do with women).

So the moral of the story is: Let the ones who walk away - walk. Because they're not worth having in the first place and they won't treat you right anyway. (They'll constantly push your buttons, upset you and cause you anxiety - because that's what they need to reassure themselves that the woman is interested, because of their low self-esteem.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your help. I think things will become clear to me with additional NC. At day 21 it just feels so hopeless, but I will see it thru! I am mad at myself for letting him get under my skin like this- need to get to a point where I stop thinking about it. (Sorry if this double posts!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Mirror, a mutual friend asked me to give my bf some paperwork while he was away, I agreed and bf said he would pick them up asap, not hearing from bf re papers, i texted him to ask about them and was basically ignored, i text a few more times (getting impatient) to which i get a snotty reply about how he is busy with work and to stop throwing a fit when he doesn't answer straight away, I did not reply for a few hours as i was so shocked by his reply I needed to think about how to handle. Anyway I apologised and asked about the papers, he was very short with me and we arranged he would pick up another day, no talk about us or apology for being short with me.
He did not turn up as arranged and so i told my friend i don't want to deal with the paper thing so you ask my bf if you can send them to him, to which bf got in touch with me instead and wants to pick them up from me on mon.
Im annoyed that he was ignorant in his replies to me then goes on to delete me off instant messenger, and ignores and further contact from me until our friend intervened, so when he comes up to collect papers I now he will be all over me but f**k !! he has put me right off with his behaviour. I understand I annoyed him with repeated texts while he was busy but there was no need for the way he has treated me since and I did say I was sorry! now here is my question..So how do I deal with the situation when he shows up? I want to be mature and show im unaffected by it all but i also don't want to just let him get away with it!!

I was thinking of just being myself as i usually am with him then go MIA or being very matter of fact but friendly then excusing myself to go out or something after he`s collected, then after that, fall off face of earth?? what if he tries to get physical, kiss me etc?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 20 September 2014 @ 4:19 PM again

Mirror, a friend told me he thought that by ignoring the guy who disappeared on me I was letting him off too easily. He thought I should confront him. But I don't agree. I don't think I would get any closure from someone who behaves this way. If anything, I think I would be opening myself up for more disappointment by giving this guy another opportunity to reject me. Another friend also suggested that it was wrong for me to respond to the silent treatment with silence. I am not playing games though. I am walking away from what I perceive as manipulation and someone who could be potentially emotionally abusive. Protecting myself. After all, this guy did not consider my feelings why should I care about his? Do you agree that cutting off someone who has disappeared on you as opposed to confrontation is the best way to deal with this?

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous 20 September 2014 @ 4:19 PM,
"Do you agree that cutting off someone who has disappeared on you as opposed to confrontation is the best way to deal with this?"

Of course I do dear, which is why I advocate it.

Confrontation only leads to more aggression and pain. And for your friends who seem to think confrontation can somehow lead to positive results for you and your emotional state...it may be that they're a bit immature dear. I know they're you're friends and they mean well...but are they truly thinking about what's best FOR YOU - when they're advising you to swing headfirst into an emotional battle? I mean, is more pain and aggression somehow supposed to make you feel better?

It rarely works that way. As a matter of fact, most people regret their words and their actions when they react emotionally in a confrontation - so don't let that be you.

"Another friend also suggested that it was wrong for me to respond to the silent treatment with silence"

So what do they want you to do - bang, bang, bang your head against the wall, attempting to communicate...with someone who has already STOPPED COMMUNICATING WITH YOU? That doesn't make an ounce of sense dear. And if you do that, you'll be giving the guy an opportunity to label you a "crazy chick" and share all your communications with his buddies for a laugh. If he's giving you the silent treatment...why on earth would you keep communicating with him - and talking to yourself (because he's not responding) LOL, ya' know?

That's what many women do dear, they send a plethora of emotional communications that the man isn't answering, then they get slapped with the "crazy lady" label, the guy shares what's going on with others and then everybody has a laugh at your expense because you came unglued. Confrontation only lets someone know they "got you" - because if they didn't, you wouldn't care.

So your job is to appear confident, remain emotionally balanced and as if you're without a care. That gets under people's skin. Confronting them only lets them know they have power over you - the power to unravel you and push your buttons.

And just to reinforce the POWER of SILENCE, here are a few quotes by some very wise people:

"He who does not understand your silence, will probably not understand your words." ~ Elbert Hubbard

"Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence." ~ Leonardo da Vinci

"Silence is true wisdom's best reply." ~ Euripides

"I can hear the roar of women's silence." ~ Thomas Sankara

Lack of self-control and low confidence causes the weakness to cave in to unnecessary confrontation dear. Those who are wise know and understand that silence is actually a great source of strength ;-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mirror! The voice of reason. I can always count on your website to keep me strong. This is hard, and I am miserable but I'm becoming a better person for this. I am so grateful for your words. I feel less alone, knowing that I can always come back here re-read your advice. Without your advice, I probably would have caved and reached out to him like so many people had erroneously advised me to. You are right -- appearing confident and emotionally balanced gets under people's skin. They expect you to be a wreck. It strokes their ego. It's just human nature. But when you keep moving and act as though you couldn't be bothered, it confuses them.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is one of the bestate articles I have ever read! And I have learnt so much from all of the responses too!

I'm not sure if you will see this or have the time to reply,but I'm writing in the hope that you do!

I met a guy around 2 Months ago, online. He asked me out and after a few weeks of chatting we met for coffee. Had a kiss and I left. The second date was dinner. And some kissing and again I left. The third date was coffee and then I did end up sleeping with him. I realise now that I should have waited longer.

He is 35 and always said from the very beginning that he hated texting, but he did text me - most of the time I let him initiate it - the odd time I'd text him first. We texted daily and then he began to call me each night.

This was all grand and we got together a few times in between. We did sleep together a few more times and I staxed at his on a few occasions. He has a daughter who I obviously haven't met, it was way too early days. We had agreed we were just going to see how things worked out. But he would send me photos all the time of him and her, keep me posted with different things they were getting up to, show me old photos and showed me all the presents he had bought her and ask my advice etc.

Anonymous said...

Anyway the last time I seen him was last Saturday (a week ago) and I stayed the night. He was working at his friends taxi depot until 5 am but ran me a bath before he left, wokeep me up with coffee and pancakes when he got home and then cooked me breakfast the next day.

Before I left he suggested cooking me dinner some night. I headed home and didn't hear from him until later that night when I called him. The conversation was short as his friend was there. I barely heard from him on the Monday. I text to say I hoped everything was ok as I hadn't heard. He eventually called me at around 11 pm and we chatted for an hour. He had been out and about and left his phone in the car.

He was more in touch by text on Tuesday until around dinner time. We had been complaining about traffic and I knew he was busy that night so I didn't call him.

Then on wed I still hadn't heard so I text asking if everything was ok. I didn't hear back and got worrid so called him at 11 am. He answered and turns out he had sent me a message but I hadn't got it. I kept the call short and he said to call him when I finished work. We had planned to meet up that night. Then I got the message through and responded. Asked him to send me some photos of his newly painted hall as I was excited to see how it looked. Also asked him if I had done something to annoy him. He responded with ????? And I said I just thought I'd ask as he was a bit off. He said I'm fine with a smiley face so I said ok ill leave u to it. Let me know if you still want to do something tonight. I heard nothing until around 4 pm when he text to say sorry hm but he had to have his daughter stay that night. I said no worries. Called him later that night. No answer. I text and asked him to call as I'd had some bad news. No call. And I called once more - no answer.

I text him the next day around lunch just to say that I was worried that I hadn't heard from him and hoped he and his daughter were ok. I said if he felt like chatting to get in touch. I heard nothing and called him that night. No answer.

I sent my final text on the Thursday night. I said I knew I had contacted him a few times and I didn't want to assume anything but that I could take a hint. I said if he wasn't interested then it's fine but I'd appreciate an explaination as to why I hadn't heard from him that's all.

I still haven't heard. I know he has seen my mesages as I was using WhatsApp. I feel like I have ruined any chance i might have had by texting or calling too much. I'm also confsed and really hurt as he seemed so keen and I just didn't expet this from him. We weren't official so he could have told me he had met someone elate or didn't think we should keep seeing each other. I hope you can give some advice. Sorry for such a long post.

Love from Belfast xx

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

I think you'll find a lot of answers if you read another piece on this site, where this is written:

"This is based on a dating theory called "The Rubber Band Theory" which concludes that this is part of the male intimacy process - getting close, then pulling away to think, remain independent, feel manly and not get too caught up in HIS emotions. Men do this to maintain a nice, healthy balance.

I’m telling you ladies, if you send one text, make one phone call – you’re going to BLOW THIS. He’ll be gone in sixty seconds. He’ll instantly know there is no other man on the scene and his attraction for you will disappear in a flash."

There's a lot more to that. Too much to post in this comment...but read the full article here as I think it will shed lots of light on your situation for you:


Anonymous said...

Great post, thank you mirror.... I wish I read this post three months ago

Anonymous said...

First off I love your blog, your wisdom is profound and compassionate, to us trying to navigate the waves of a uncertain relationship with this frustrating behavior. Here is my question, I have been put through the ringer with appear disappear, as much as my heart breaks to walk away I can't take it anymore. He surprised me for Christmas on the 23rd with a perfect date, bought me unexpected presents etc. He went out of town the next day, texted me on Christmas Day, then nothing. That sinking feeling came roaring back as the days went by I was missing him and I couldn't bear to not hear from him on NYE so when it was after midnight in his time zone ( EST I am PST) and didn't hear from him I texted him, he sent me a brief Happy NY, and I asked him how it was there, it took him about half an hour to reply with the temperature. I didn't respond. He did not call me on NY Day and I still haven't heard from him (6th), I don't know if he is back in town or not or what. I can't take this behavior it is causing me too much pain. He has been doing this throughout, sending me mixed messages, being loving with me but disconnected and distant inbetween. We have been seeing each other for 7 months, and are not sleeping with other people, How do I break this off. I want to tell him this isn't working for me but I keep reading about no contact and but I want to tell him that this is not okay with me and won't be tolerated anymore and I am done. The silent treatment doesn't really work with this guy, he isn't a player type, he is a engineer type. I know I have to come to terms with saying good bye to him finally get it through my thick skull, if he wants me he has to earn it. Just not sure how to do it. Thank you for any direction you can point me in.
Done Girl

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Done Girl,
"How do I break this off. I want to tell him this isn't working for me but I keep reading about no contact but I want to tell him that this is not okay with me and won't be tolerated anymore and I am done."

It's not necessary to SAY it dear - it's only necessary to SHOW it (through actions of never responding or contacting him again).

If you "talk" to him about this, all that does is give him the opportunity to confuse you further and buy himself more time with you by TELLING you everything you want to hear - while he then runs off and does whatever he wants. It's a waste of time, and it only gives him the opportunity to string you along.

"The silent treatment doesn't really work with this guy, he isn't a player type, he is a engineer type"

Well, it only works to send the message that's meant to be sent if you don't respond, and never contact him. If you're responding and contacting him, then no it isn't going to send a message. No contact means not contacting him, AND not responding to him. And based on your comment, you ARE contacting him (NYE) and you ARE responding to him - so NC really isn't being used here, ya' know?

And when a man disappears and he contacts you again - he needs to PROVE he's genuinely interested by repeated attempts again and again, with you NOT responding to ANY of them until he either apologizes, or asks to "talk" in some manner. If a disappearing man reappears and you don't ignore him and you let him walk right back in the door, then you'll never know if he's genuinely interested or not.

A DM should be ignored until HE figures out what the RIGHT thing to do is - if he's not apologizing and he's not signaling a need for a "talk" - then he gets NO response whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Mirror, what do you think is behind the disappearing act? This behavior is so sociopathic that I think there must be some serious psychological issues at play. For example, could it be about control? Meaning they try to control you by destroying your self-confidence because they are so deeply insecure. I can't think of how any normal person would find this acceptable to do to another person. It's incomprehensible to me.

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous Feb 20, 4:55 PM,
Well, the disappearing act does have some sociopathic behavior associated to it, in that, if you don't experience guilt, regret or your conscience nagging at you for treating others so dismissively. . .then that's a lack of empathy and sympathy for others, which yes, is a sociopathic trait.

But there are probably a lot of other things/causes for it as well. Things like lack of social etiquette, cowardice and fear, ego and selfishness, flat out manipulation with bad intent (to make you insecure which in return, actually makes you easier "prey" so-to-speak) - and technology.

Bare in mind, this is a relatively new phenomenon. It's a "sign of the times" in that it signals where we, as a society, are headed. . .which is to a life full of communicating while hiding behind devices and thereby, not being forced to bare witness to the emotions and hurt your actions are causing others.

All this technology has "desensitized" us as human beings.

We are now, as a species, entering into the very early stages of desensitizing ourselves to the emotions of others, particularly the visual emotional cues - which by the way, happen to play a HUGE role in overall communication between us as a species. Body language (non-verbal) communication is said to account for 75% to 90% of ALL communication that takes place between individuals.

Remove non-verbal communication from the mix and what you're left with is a society that is becoming used to observing only 10% to 25% of the communication cues available to them - leaving the whopping 75% to 90% that TRULY matters. . .out of the mix entirely.

Hence, the slow evolution into "desensitization."

Twenty more years of this, and people aren't even going to "feel" for one another as they once did. Because they're going to have evolved to such a place, and been environmentally exposed to an existence where, visual emotional cues are a thing of the past. So when you do see them, no one is going to know what they mean or how to deal with them. And chances are, as a result, they will simply be dismissed and no longer a part of the overall communication process. And once you become detached from the emotional cues of others, you'll start to detach from your own emotions as well.

Because we will no longer be utilizing any of the non-verbal communication tools that Mother Nature gave us.

This process will unfold slowly as generation after generation is born. Meaning, the previous generations will retain some of this stuff. But as we move further and further into relying technology and emoticons to communicate our feelings for us, and we become detached from using our own skills to convey and interpret them - you will start to see that the new generations that were brought up with this being a normal way of life. . .are going to be "different" in a way. A little less "in touch" with their emotions. And then their kids will be the next leap further into that, and then their grandchildren will be the next leap - and so on.

Cont. . .

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

In otherwords, people are going to be very different sixty years from now - approximately 3 generations from now. This is just the beginning. I can honestly tell you, just 23 years ago when I was in my early 20's - the disappearing man didn't exist. The phenomenon didn't exist. Sure, people broke up, things didn't work out, etc. But they did not handle those situations as people nowadays are now handling them.

And it's odd because I've found that my generation, Generation X, has one leg in each era. I know folks who rebuke technology entirely. Most of my very close friends - they don't have Facebook profiles and very rarely text. (Yes, I have friends that don't have text plans. And you youngin's out there are probably like, "WTF?" LOL). They pick up the phone and call you, or stop by to visit. They find technology aggravating and useless. I hear this a lot, "Why would I spend ten minutes typing a message one letter at a time like an idiot, when I can just call you? One takes ten minutes and one takes 2 seconds - I'm not stupid." And they have no use for Facebook to share photos, let friends know where they're at, etc. - because they actually TALK to their friends and VISIT their friends and spend time WITH their friends. They have absolutely no use for a device screen and frankly, just don't get what all the fuss is about.

But then there's that other half in my generation that have jumped on the bandwagon wholeheartedly, fully embracing technology. So it's really an odd experience because you've got one half that's very grounded and another half that's zipping into the future.

But if you ask me why all of a sudden in the last 10-15 years or so is there now a "disappearing man" phenomenon - my #1 answer would be. . .technology.

Even good people do bad things when they think they can get away with it - and have a tool to aid them in doing so.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Mirror. I didn't think how technology has played such a big role in this disturbing phenomenon. I am a generation X'er as well, and remember love letters, people calling or asking to see you in person (even the douchebags). But those memories seem to be of the distant past (when I was in my 20s). I didn't have a FB account until this year and I only begrudgingly set it up because I started a business and needed an account for my business. I belong to the other half of generation X'ers who shun social media. Up until I moved to Europe ten years ago, I never sent sms messages.

Thank you, Mirror, for your wise insight. I truly hope you write a book one day on this disturbing phenomenon.

Tiff720 said...

Hi MOA... So I'm currently in a relationship now for about 9 months. We're soon to be married in April. Well I have this delimma with self and how to deliver (say) set the STANDARD without getting too emotional. My guy and I were talking the other night and the conversation got heated to the point when he yelled at me. I paused and got quiet for a little longer that I should have allowed and told him to call me back. Though he called me later on that night and apologized for yelling at me and I mentioned to him that I should have listened better. But, I know I should not have said what I had said when he had called to apologize. In my mind while he was yelling, I wanted to let him know that when he yelled at me, i find it being disrespectful, but I could not get it to come out. However, I was kindof heated from the conversation and held my tongue from saying some hurtful things instead of what I wanted to say just so I can cut into feelings. I know I know it may sound kidish and I don't/didn't want it to be that way. This is something that I have been battling with for myself in how I communicate. I have a bad temper at times so to show that I am working and improving on my communication sometimes I pause or go silent because I'm trying to figure out the right words to say that will not only put blame on someone but to get/set my standard across... So when I talked him today about how his yelling made me feel. He cut me off and said that he apologized. I responded with a yeah, but when you did yell at me i found it to be disrespectful. So I did get it out but while I was talking it out with him, I find my self crying as always. I'm very very sensitive and emotional and I do have it balanced but I just don't like hurting feelings....

That being said, can you offer me any tips and suggestions or recommendations on how to handle again.

Much appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I just think men are showing their true colors through technology. My last date who is in his late 30s I found out that he is into Bdsm (he is a misogynist),and hits on teenage girls on social media. Isn't that a treat for me? Of course I was his next victim, so I ran to the hills. You can find out some horrifying things about these men online. Technology made things harder, but it can work in your favor if you're smart and realistic. Be careful who you deal with, investigate as much as you can and NEVER think that you can change a man already emotionally damaged. Safe yourself from the grief and pain and never ever settled for less that your deserve.

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

"I was kind of heated from the conversation and held my tongue from saying some hurtful things instead of what I wanted to say. . .and told him to call me back"

Honestly, that's the best thing to do in those situations where you feel your emotions may intervene and create more negativity or deliver a mixed message. When someone is yelling at you, you do not have to stand for that - you do not have to sit there and take it. . .because THEIR emotions are now entering the picture. If they can't speak calmly and rationally, and instead they become emotional and start displaying anger or a raised voice - take ACTION as you did, and end the conversation. It can then be continued once both parties calm down.

If you do that, then the person who's raising their voice knows that they cannot treat you in that manner because the consequence to doing that - is no access to you, as it should be.

"So when I talked him today about how his yelling made me feel. He cut me off and said that he apologized."

Well, that was wrong of him - IF you were NOT being emotional at the time and you were communicating clearly and calmly. Because whether or not he apologized - he still needs to hear you out. That's part of the "work" that relationships require. And he has to do the work, too. He can apologize, you can apologize - and both of you can then share feelings safely and each party should hear the other out in a calm, rational, logical manner.

Now, if you got emotional and started yelling during this conversation, then I can understand why he might cut you off in that situation. Because it works both ways, ya' know? You have to remain non-emotional and he has to remain non-emotional if both of you want to be heard clearly.

And if you think that you'll cry or become too emotional during a conversation, if the feelings are still too raw - then don't force yourself to discuss it right away. Instead, take a few days to yourself to balance your emotions out if need be. Two, three or four days of silence and not communicating with one another isn't going to kill anyone or damage the relationship in any way if it's truly a strong, healthy relationship, ya' know?

So if your feelings are still too raw - don't have the conversation yet. Don't deliver the apologies yet. Instead, take some additional time for yourself. And once you think you're ready to communicate without any of those things possibly happening - then you communicate.

Because that's the time that healthy communication between both of you will actually happen and real resolutions will actually be the end result :-)

Anonymous said...

What boggles my mind with the story, is why the man did not bother CALLING at all and just resorted to texting 8 times?? It's such a cop-out on his part and very lame. He seems like a coward and his words, insincere because anybody can text anything they want but they wouldn't necessarily SAY those same things on the phone or in person. I personally am so sick of texting!

Anonymous said...

Ladies, I just wanted to share my story with you to give you some encouragement. Last June 2014 when my DM disappeared on me and stopped answering my texts and emails, I was devastated. I found Mirror's blog and immediately cut this man out of my life. We were never in a relationship, but we were both coming out of divorces and became close. Nothing physical, not even a kiss (though he tried). Our friendship/relationship was rather more emotional. So when he decided to abruptly stop talking to me, I was deeply hurt. I felt used and humiliated.

Fast forward nearly 9 months later. Yes, ladies it can take this long. Don't be hard on yourselves. Be very caring and compassionate toward yourselves but above all else do not contact these losers. No matter what you do -- DO NOT CONTACT THEM and cut them out of your lives. Anyway, 9 months later I have managed to emotionally detach myself and see this guy for what he really is. I have lost all respect, and frankly don't care if I never hear from him again.

This is where Mirror's advice to us rings so true. By cutting these guys off you emotionally detach yourself so you can see the situation for what it really was. Many of your have asked whether Mirror thinks your DMs will reappear. Well, the good news is once you have emotionally detached yourselves, you will no longer care whether you hear from them again. You will no longer want validation from these guys because you will get validation from your own strength and empowerment through cutting them off. That, ladies, is true power.

I believe that most people, know when they have wronged someone (unless they are sociopaths). In my case, I know in my gut that my DM feels embarrassed and bad about his behavior. I know he wants to apologise but does not know how to and that he does not have the balls to approach me. I'm seeing that I flipped the script when I cut him off. He probably did not expect that. My silence called him out on his pathetic behavior. Now he's the one feeling bad about himself. People ultimately hurt themselves with their poor behavior. This guy's Mr. Hyde/Dr. Jekyll act had nothing to do with me. It was all him. He created the negativity and drama all on his own. My silence forced him to live with his decisions.

Thank you Mirror, for empowering us, being patient with us and for your time. You have helped me more than you know.

loretta said...

I've probably read this entry 10 times at least. I still need to figure out how to clarify a boundary with a man I dated almost a year and who never wanted more than a casual relationship with me, although he became very attached. He recently expressed his need to be free to date others. I was dating but not intimate with anyone since I met him, but knew eventually I would want to find someone with whom I could have a mutually fulfilling relationship. Meanwhile, Casual Guy and I began a serious writing project together a few months ago about which we are very intent to finish and sell. It requires us to be together weekly, and we have an excellent working relationship. He wants to not only finish this project, but work on future projects with me; hence, keeping me in his life for years.

I can't do NC on him, or disappear from his life as long as we are working together. I have, however, changed the rules and we now meet at my house (we always met at his house), I don't discuss his personal life, he can't get drunk (like he could at home if he was so inclined), and I have home field advantage! I have not responded to his goofy texts and emails that he sends late at night, which used to be a fun thing we did. No more. I don't initiate any contact with him unless it is to remind him to bring something to our meeting, and I don't act upset or fazed by his rejection of our romance. He knows I have other men who want my time and he seems slightly jealous but he's too afraid to do anything more.

I guess my question is how is he going to have any consequences of losing me if he continues to get to see me weekly even on a professional basis? How can he miss our relationship if he gets to have me in his life in this way? Will he miss our dating times together? We had a blast. He cannot replace me, but he says he can't sustain romantic relationships. He's now dating an "old friend" who is aggressively chasing him.

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

"I guess my question is how is he going to have any consequences of losing me if he continues to get to see me weekly even on a professional basis?"

He won't - and I honestly believe that going from lovers to friends very rarely ever works in the long run.

"He wants to not only finish this project, but work on future projects with me; hence, keeping me in his life for years."

I would not agree to any future projects. I'd finish this one - and then take future projects on as my own. Otherwise, this is eventually going to get very "sticky" - attempting to navigate a professional relationship that's been tainted by romance and emotions. It's incredibly difficult to walk that fine line between those two worlds for any extended period of time - eventually, cracks will begin to appear and the relationship may likely fracture. The only way this is possible is if BOTH parties are EXTREMELY mature individuals.

So if that's not the case - I don't recommend agreeing to any future projects with him. Because if he's even slightly immature, he may attempt to make you jealous, he may attempt to "trigger" you emotionally into a reaction of sorts, he may attempt to "guilt" you for a reaction (to push your buttons and reassure himself that you still care), he may pout if he's no longer a priority once he's backed into "friendship" territory, he may become resentful and act out if he still expects you to be committed, and make commitments, to him in a "relationship" way - when the reality is that he's now just a friend and there are no commitments, he may cause trouble and interfere if you eventually begin dating someone else - there are just way too many things that can eventually happen - and most times - usually do if given enough time :-(

loretta said...

First of all, thank you very much for responding. I know how busy you are, I ran a blog for many years with 400 plus comments a day, so I realize the workload.

Funny, he already started pouting! Ha! And it was his fault for making the choice to start seeing another woman (who is on the rebound very fresh from an abusive relationship, and she'll discover he's not much of a pillow to fall on, plus he's turned off by her pursuit of him, as you describe in many of your articles).

He is playing games, but I'm hip to his tricks. On my end, I can act like Audrey Hepburn and get this work done in a very professional style. I have done the lion's share of it, and I'm not giving up on it. When it's finished, we'll see what happens with it. If he wants to continue to work together, I believe if we have a successful result with our project, he will be fine with the arrangement.

He won't interfere with my future love life; I'm sure of that. He'd probably feel relieved if I found someone else; he'd definitely feel less guilty. What I worry about is when his current rebound relationship goes POOF (which it will), he will try to woo me back in out of loneliness and boredom. I will have to be really strong to resist that, since he has forfeited any future romance with me, as far as I'm concerned.

Plus, he's got a drinking problem and booze always takes first place in his priorities; which was one of the main reasons I didn't allow myself to get serious about him. I have 21 years of sobriety. It was an odd coupling. We are kind of soul mates that can't be together but are destined to make a difference in each other's lives, and I hope he can manifest one of his dreams with this work we are doing.

Thanks again. Your stuff is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

MoA, you're amazing!!! I'm screenshoting everything I find helpful to keep me level-headed when I get emotional.
I would love for you to help me out if you could, cause I'm desperate and feel utterly loss, at a turning point in my life. I'll try to give a bit of a background.
I've been with my bf for 4 years in a long-distance relationship, both now in our late twenties. It was always passionate, bit of a dramatic relationship (he's Aries, but so is my sister, so I didn't have much problem handling his outbursts cause I lived that temper for so long, my sis kind of prepared me for dealing with him. :)) He was always caring and supportive, but he had his flaws, could be very difficult at times but I overlooked those because I thought I knew that deep down that's all an act, and in real life matters - he's there for me and loves me deeply.
So, here's what happened... I went to see him (his town is 3 hrs away), everything was fine, until tomorrow... I said something about his musical taste, a completely silly thing, and then he EXPLODED. Said he had enough, started throwing my things on the floor, clothes, rings, my bag, make up, telling me to get the fuck out, "You got 2 minutes". I should have left but I was in shock and I guess I had enough of his outbursts and messed up - my ego got the best of me so I didn't leave, I told him I will get out when I'm good and ready, not when he tells me to. He started shouting even louder, and started shoving me to the door. I never felt that I was in danger but I couldn't believe that after 4 years he would act like that, I told him "will you please stop, if you don't stop now you know you'll never see me again, just let me get my things and I'll leave" but he wouldn't hear it... So basically, he threw me out. Picked me up and put me in front of the door then locked them behind me. It should be a no-brainer, right? Dump him and never look back. But here's the thing...
We've been through a lot. My mom passed away 2 years ago. He never left my side, stopped everything and came to be with me for whole 2 months. I don't know what I'd do without him. But there are a lot of other problems, too. His mother hates me (thinks I'm going to "steal" him, she hates that I'm from a different city, etc.) so he had to deal with that stress and pressure from her for almost 3 years, but has always told her that he would not give up on me and she has to respect that. Recently he was diagnosed with Crohn's disease which made him more aggressive, hot-tempered and irritable. I've been there for him every step of the way but he really had difficulty accepting that he would be ill forever, since it's not curable. Doctors said it's cause is primarily stress and he thinks it's cause of his mother and her shitting on me constantly and telling him to break it off. On top of that, he's very sad and upset about us not being able to move in together since we both can't find decent jobs that will allow us to finally take a step forward and stop being LD. He sometimes blames me for not trying hard enough, cause I'm still in college (my mom's battle with cancer took it's toll and I had postponed studying and college all together). I feel like we've been through so much and I wanted to spend my life with him.

Anonymous said...

Since that day, it took 7 days of silence for him to finally text and say how incredibly sorry he was, he didn't understand what had happened, he thinks it's cause of Crohn's, he's taking some new corticosteroids as medications that made him aggressive towards everyone, it all got to him at that point, every problem we had and the dead spot we are in not being able to move on, etc. He just wanted the pain to stop and to end it. He sent me texts and called me for 15 days, I didn't reply. He was a mess, wanted me to give him a chance to say he's sorry in person. So finally after 15 days I caved in after his plea to come to my town, so I responded I didn't want to see him. After I broke the NC rule, he was so happy and kept texting me even more, saying he will come whenever I say he should. He would wait however long it takes me to decide what to do, he wants to be with me, all his bottled up unhappiness was gone and he realized he'd rather be with me and try to work than be without me. We've been texting occasionally about plans to meet and talk it out. It's all fine and dandy, but... Am I wrong for even wanting to talk to him in person? We still haven't seen each other, it's been over a month. At times I just wanted to disappear and never speak to him again, or do something to show him how I felt that day. Like, make him come to my town then tell him to leave after I give him his stuff back. It was a huge trauma for me, I don't want that kind of unacceptable behavior later on in my life, in marriage, with kids! There's no guarantee that he won't snap again (he says he won't, he wouldn't dare risk losing me again)... But the humiliation is overwhelming.
What should I do? Should I even talk to him in person or just tell him that it's over for me, it's unacceptable and see if he tries to make things right? Should I tell him I need time to think, go NC, I will let him know what I've decided? I don't know what to do anymore. I know I need to take a stand but not really sure how. I won't in any way forgive him immediately even if I see him, but I don't know if he even deserves the second chance. I feel like now going back to NC after occasional texts and plans to meet up would be silly, but I don't know... He needs to know how fucking much he hurt me and disrespected me. I TOLD him that, he agrees and understands, but how can my actions show him that rather than my words?
Thank you in advance and sorry for lengthy post, this has been one of the worst times in my life. My "future husband" kicking me out like some sort of a lesser being, after 4 years of love and massive support....... it's the worst.
Emma L.

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

"Should I even talk to him in person or just tell him that it's over for me"

I don't think you've made a decision about him yet, therefore, it makes no sense to meet with him yet. What good is meeting with him, when you still haven't processed your feelings from this event and reached a firm decision on how you feel about him, ya' know?

Don't force yourself into a conversation that you're not ready for - simply because he is ready.

"I don't know if he even deserves the second chance"

That's why I'd hold off on this meeting. Your feelings are unresolved as of yet, which means that meeting with him is pointless - because you're still not going to know which direction you'd like to go. Additionally, if you meet with him before you've had a chance to process how you feel about all of this. . .it leaves you open to his influence. Meaning, he will be able to influence your decision, and you may get pulled back into something you don't want to be pulled back into. Or you may be pulled back into it before you're ready, which means that additional problems will soon follow as a result of you feeling pressured.

"how can my actions show him that rather than my words?"

The action of not meeting with him until YOU are ready, and until you've processed how you feel about what transpired, should be enough to send a message that this has really affected you on a deep level.

Abandonment is no SMALL issue for women, or for any living creature for that matter. Heck, dogs are even deeply affected by it and suffer lifelong trauma as a result of it. So don't dismiss this as something minor if it's affected you majorly.

When someone signals to you that they can easily toss you aside like a bag of trash - trust is broken.

And as we all know, trust is HUGE in relationships. It's crucial to the very survival of the relationship. He has broken your trust in him. And I suspect the reason you're unsure now of how you feel about him is a symptom of the fact that you now lack trust in him, as anyone on the receiving end of that type of treatment would.

Baby steps will be needed to slowly build that trust back up again. So don't make any hard and fast moves, or hard and fast decisions until you're absolutely ready. Ignore any pressure he's placing on you. He's only seeking to make himself feel better by doing that, and attempting to relieve himself of any guilt he's carrying as a result of his own actions. And if he's blaming this on the medication, that's fine. But that will in no way make this any different for you. You're still now facing having to resolve your feelings about him and having to rebuild trust in him. He has to be responsible for his actions, and you have to be responsible for yours - and there's really no way around that.

Anonymous said...

(From March 30 2013 @Mar 30, 2013 10:05 AM,
"he continues to mention that women approach him every day to go out with him, but that he's not interested and only wants to go out with me."

This sounds very odd to me. Who is trying to convince of this - you - or himself, LOL? Because it sounds like insecurity and overcompensation, having to repeatedly remind you that you have "competition" of some sort. That's a tactic that men like to use to make a woman feel insecure, so she'll chase him. Don't fall for it.)
OMG. I had guy Tell me 4 times about how woman make passes at him and don't know when to stop (and he was quite proud when he said it) and he also proceded to tell me about how he know he's a good catch. *thump*. All I could think was, who is he saying this for--me or himself?? I have to say I was quite shocked at all of this because I really thought this guy was different. Turns out, he's the worst I've ever encountered.

Anonymous said...

Hi mirror, I need your help.

I've been dating my boyfriend for a year now. He's as sweet and caring as one can be. However, our relationship lacks sex. Not that we don't do it, just not enough. We are on our first year and this should be the stage where we can't get our hands off each other. When I do bring it up he said that I'm too horny. He's always tired and sleepy. As much as I love him I'm scared of what will happen to us once we have kids or 5 years down the road. I wouldn't want to be in that kind of relationship. I know he would do just fine. What should I do? Am I crazy? I know you keep saying if it's not making you happy then don't stay. I'm happy on every levels except that. I don't want to let a good man go and I don't know how to bring it up and talk to him.


The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

"I don't want to let a good man go and I don't know how to bring it up and talk to him."

Why don't you open up the topic for discussion, without approaching it directly? Meaning, start a conversation about "needs" - asking what his are, and if you're fulfilling them, and then move towards discussing your own needs after he's shared.

With any luck, after you've inquired about his, you won't have to ask because he'll then pose the same question to you, and he'll ask if he's fulfilling yours, at which point you don't complain - instead, you start with something like, "You make me very happy. But if I had to pick something, a bit more physical intimacy would make things even better."

And then you let him question you about that, and you "share" - you don't complain or lay blame, you simply share your feelings and what's on your mind - after he's done the same for you first ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hello, I see these comment are a few years old. I had a concern that was on my mind lately. Recently in the past two years of my dating life, I have liked two guys in the meantime. (I'm pretty young still)
I see where I royaly screwed up with the first guy. He never pursued me, gave no compliments, we never hung out besides at his friends house for sofa dates. Then he would disappear for about a week and come back in pretense that he wanted to get to know me to see if we could be in a relationship. This was on and off for a year straight. I finally cut him loose. He then cursed me out via Twitter, subliminally, for 7 months straight, and it finally stopped last month when he entered a public relationship with a new woman over Facebook. She has met his family, and they go on dates. But this isn't the only girl whom he has let meet his family, and hang out publicly on our on and off non-courtship.

The second man, has also done nothing to pursue me, he won't even approach me, he just stares and smiles from afar and this has been going on for a year straight. When I talk to him he seems completely disinterested, he's never around me to try to pursue me or talk to me even though I see him twice a week at meetings. When I ignore him, he starts staring again. Up until recently I figured he just wanted an ego boost and nothing more.

I can't help but feel like guys think I'm not worthy enough to get to know, although I'm a great person.

I'm thinking I should set a time-limit to how long I wait for a guy to get it together? Because I don't realize until I've been dragged in the dirt for so long, that I'm humiliating myself.
I feel that I fall to fast, because all the guy did was stare.... I don't know what is the best position to be in, and what is technically considered pursuing, to a guy. I've never been in a real love relationship, and I've never been taken on a date, besides to the movies, when the guy was upset that I wanted a large soda

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous Nov 20, 8:06 AM,
"I'm thinking I should set a time-limit to how long I wait for a guy to get it together?"

NEVER wait on a man to "pick" you:


If a man hasn't asked you for a commitment - you're single. It's that simple.

If a man has asked for exclusivity when dating and you've agreed, then 6-8 months would be enough of an investment. Men generally fall in love around the 4-6 month mark, so if you're 8 months into it and he's not expressing love for you. . .it's time to starting moving on.

"what is technically considered pursuing"

"Initiating" is pursuit. If a woman is contacting a man, calling him, texting him, asking him out. . .if SHE is the one taking "action" versus the man, then she's the one pursuing.

The only way a woman can know if a man is genuinely interested - is to see if HE pursues HER ;-)

Anonymous said...

Dear Aphrodite, thank you as always for your wonderful advice. I've been following your words to the letter for the past three years and they've changed how I approach dating, how I value myself and saved me a great deal of heartache in the process. Should be required reading for everyone!

I have a relatively simple question. I went on two really nice dates with a very compatible guy, we're both spiritually in line, have professional careers and a similar outlook on life, from initial indications. We seemed to really hit it off, and he was a gentleman on both occasions. After the second date, he mentioned he wanted to get together the following week and would be in touch. He's terrible at messaging so I don't expect a lot, but he waited three days and then on the fourth sent me a text to apologize for not calling/messaging and asked if we could talk the next day. Since he apologized, I said he could call me the following day. He didn't and in fact I didn't hear from him until five days after that he sent a second message to again apologize and ask if I was free to talk now. I didn't respond. I just wanted to get advice on what to do next. Should I wait five days? And what kind of a message should I convey to him to drive home the point that I don't tolerate that kind of treatment? I love your advice, although sometimes I struggle to figure out how to put it into practice.

Thanks for any advice you can offer,


The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

". . .sent me a text to apologize for not calling/messaging and asked if we could talk the next day. . .I didn't hear from him until five days after that, he sent a second message to again apologize and ask if I was free to talk now. I didn't respond. Should I wait five days?"

That's up to you. You can either mirror him and wait the 5 days to respond, or you can wait to see if he contacts you again, since you've only had two dates with him and he's kinda' flaked out on you twice already afterwards about following up since then.

Seems there might be a bit of a pattern developing here, so I'd keep things in perspective. Don't issue him the benefit of doubt (he's a stranger, he hasn't earned it yet), steer clear of making excuses for him when he does this (because 15 minutes of his time to invest in this isn't going to wreck his day), and don't be tempted to do the work for him to keep this afloat.

Men go after things that they want - and if this man wants you, he knows where to find you, and he'll follow through ;-) And if he doesn't do that, listen to what his lack of action is saying about him. Don't waste your time waiting around on him to decide about YOU. Instead, YOU make a decision about HIM (whether or not he and/or the situation is capable of making you happy) and you move on from him if need be.

loretta said...

@D above - I have encountered that situation several times, even recently with guys I was communicating with and who seemed eager to meet, and then POOF. Then, they reappear and apologize. Instead of ignoring them, I give them slight encouragement - I say, Hey, no problem. I had a lot going on! Indicating I am busy, and that I wasn't chewing my arm off waiting for them. The most effective tactic I have used for a new guy who has fallen into lazy habits is to respond to him relatively soon (not mirror him, because if you ignore him he may think you aren't interested in him, which if the case, ignore him!), HOWEVER, when he asks to see me, I have made other plans. (Even if I haven't)

When he weakly returns and says, "Sorry I didn't call/text, blah blah," I say, "Hey, nice to hear from you - no problem, I was really busy..." and see what he does. If he hints around to get together, be noncommittal until he makes a firm request. Then, apologetically tell him, "Gosh, I'm sorry. I have other plans. I wish you'd given me more notice - I'd enjoy seeing you!"

If he doesn't make another firm date in the near future, he's just fiddle farting around and you are spared any further energy. When I do that, the guys worth meeting ALWAYS make a date right away - they say, "When are you free?" And I tell them.

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

If you decide to take the route that Loretta is suggesting, just be careful that you don't continually reel in a half interested man in doing so, only to find that 3 months down the road, he hasn't really changed one bit and you have to keep reeling him in to garner his attention time and time again.

Generally speaking, genuinely interested men don't continually disappoint a woman they're actually interested in a relationship with (by flaking out on her repeatedly).

Anonymous said...

Dear Aphrodite and Loretta,

Thank you so much for your perspectives! I have decided not to get back to him, at all. He can deal with the consequences and, if we're lucky, learn a valuable lesson. It isn't good enough for me for a guy to treat me like this from the get-go when I'm -- truthfully -- totally awesome. Good riddance! I made this decision upon reading your follow-up piece on the disappearing man Dating a Disappearing Man, Reached Your Limit?. What a brilliant and uplifting article, should be read by every young lady caught in the dating game searching for a gentleman. At the end of the day, a gentleman who is worth my time will will show his colours from the early days of the relationship.

My best wishes for a wonderful New Year Aphrodite, really wish you all the blessings you deserve for empowering so many women with your brilliant perspectives and advice.


brokebuthappy said...

Dear Aphrodite,
I have been reading everyone’s stories on your site for months now and thought I would share my story as well. Would appreciate some insight into my situation.
I am an Aries woman and he is a Cancer man– in case astrology matters – I’m in my 30s and he is about 10 years older than me. We first met about a year ago through a community activity and attraction was instant. Nothing happened initially, especially because he seemed an extremely shy person; well, I am not too shy (being an Aries) but I decided to let things run their own natural course. We talked casually, however, it was not until 5 months later that our chats became deep. He’d been divorced for about 6 years, had kids that lived with his ex (now remarried) but he often drove to spend the weekends with his kids. He confessed his former wife had been the only one he ever had sex with. Fast-forward, I had to move to another town due to work commitments for several months – during which we only had one email exchange. Before I left, he promised he would wait for me. To my surprise, he did that. He had been patiently awaiting my arrival so that we could resume our blooming romance. Very early on, he told me upfront that he was not the one to take charge in a relationship (seems his former wife took charge of everything and he would just adjust) and that he wanted a woman with initiative – oh well, he didn’t have to say it twice to an Aries, hahaha…So I initiated a few things here and there but also made clear that he had to play his part – which he did to some extent. I would let days go by and not contact him until he contacted me first. But when he would do so, he would be very indirect by asking me if I needed help with X or Y implying we could meet to get job A or job B done. He was a true gentleman, opening and closing all doors, carrying all grocery bags for me, etc. If I had a headache, he would give me a head massage .…anyway, it took me a while to get used to his style. We would talk for hours on all topics on earth and shared a fatal physical attraction to say the least; the kisses were passionate and intoxicating… yet I made it clear I was not going to sleep with a man unless I was sure he was right for me. He replied that this only made him respect me more. He ended up spending two nights at my place; he was passionate and would spend hours kissing and cuddling. He started calling me his girlfriend, he would take me out for lunches and dinners and then drop me home and see me at the door; he often drove me to places (I did not have a car then) in spite of himself being a busy man. I once mentioned over dinner the possibility of me getting a promotion and having to move to another city. I then added that no matter what things could be worked out. He was still the sweet man I knew until a week later when suddenly, he started acting more distant justifying he had too much work; I noticed the change but waited out and mirrored his behavior – He didn’t contact, I didn’t contact…it went on for a few weeks when I thought enough was enough. (I know, the impatient Aries). His hot and cold behavior was driving me nuts to the point that I struggled to meet my deliverables at work. I wrote him a friendly, polite message saying that the change in his behavior made me uncomfortable, something went wrong between us for reasons unknown to me; I then wished him well. He responded “ok, fine” but wanted to know what changes in his behavior I referred to; my message was unexpected and he never saw it coming. Later on, he would explain that he too felt a profound connection between us but intentionally chose not to contact me knowing how busy and stressed I was at work.

brokebuthappy said...

Fast-forward, we bumped into each other about two weeks later (NC period); he appeared low and depressed; he confessed he had been missing me a lot and appeared to want to work out the misunderstanding between us. Then half an hour later, a silly incident happened (will spare the details) for which he put the blame on me (a bit unfair…). I then politely asked him to meet that evening to talk things out calmly. He agreed but said he only had half an hour for me after which he would leave regardless of where we were standing in the conversation. (I thought it was quite rude, but anyway…) We met, we ended up discussing for two hours and he accused me of playing games. I was stunned… As I resolved not to use harsh words in our communication, or say things I would regret later, I kept a positive tone. I read cancer men need a lot of reassurance, so yeah, for the first time ever, I came forward and said that I genuinely liked him (did not use word “love” or feelings; just “like”) and I was ready to work things out between us if that was mutual. He then verbally attacked me saying that my actions do not match my words and that things would never work out between us…To cut it short, regardless how hard I tried, this man didn’t move an inch and I soon realized there and then it was all in vain. He told me I was a wonderful woman, that he felt the spark with me but could not understand me. So that was it… It broke my heart but I did not make a scene; calmly I said I would cherish our wonderful moments, we hugged for the last time and I left him standing there. I never tried to make contact afterwards but our workplaces were close-by and we bumped into each other several times. We then exchanged a basic line of “hello, how are you” and parted ways. I took pains to avoid him and he noticed it. One morning, I took a different route to work in order to avoid him (we used to meet and talk a lot on the way to work before) however, a few minutes later, I noticed him catching up with me on this new route; he suddenly acted pretty surprised to see me and gave me a pissed-off look when I said I was a slow walker and he should walk ahead. Another time, I was waiting for a friend outside the office– he appeared out of nowhere, glanced at me curiously and looked as if he wanted to say something. But nothing came out of his mouth and I said nothing. Exactly a week after he dumped me, I started getting calls from one unfamiliar (but local) number – about 15 calls in four weeks; when I answered on a couple of occasions, there was silence at the other end; I had not dated any other man in years, hence the probability of an ex calling from a local cell phone number is pretty low. I am trying not to get my hopes up…
From what I’ve heard (through common acquaintances), he is lonely, works overtime including Sundays, does not date anyone… There’s not a single day when I don’t think of him and miss him…I keep rerunning our story in my head but I am still confused as to what I have done wrong. I never tried to chase him after he dumped me because he treated me badly for no reason. Deep down, I know he is not a bad guy, but then, why?? I am sad because I know he is extremely shy and even if he would like to mend things, the chance of him actively seeking me out is minimal. Aphrodite, what can be done? Please shed some light on this drama. Just for the record, I didn’t have sex with him.

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

This man, whom I believe is already insecure, seems to have become very insecure at the mere mention of a job transfer. That's when his behavior changed, and I'm not buying the reason he provided for that. He, himself stated that he " intentionally chose not to contact me" - yet his reasons for it are not convincing. I feel the real reason he did that was the job transfer. And I also feel that's why he ultimately stated this as well "that my actions do not match my words."

If you read between the lines with him, he said that right after you said "I came forward and said that I genuinely liked him and I was ready to work things out between us if that was mutual."

In his mind - you're moving soon. And he's thinking that if you really liked him and wanted to be with him, you wouldn't be taking that action. I believe he then became insecure over that, feeling the relationship would end right there.

"what can be done?"

Unfortunately, nothing at this time. I believe he needs some time to think this through, think about his reaction to something that "might" happen, and then decide whether or not he wants this. And if so, HE has to DO SOMETHING about that, not you. You've already made your wishes clear to him, and he refused you. If he's now thinking otherwise, then HE needs to make HIS wishes clear to YOU.

I gather that this man somewhat uses excuses to place the burden of the work to keep a relationship afloat onto the woman. On top of that, he seems to struggle with clear communication. He needs to be able to communicate how he really feels, and what's really bothering him, if anything is to be resolved.

And these are all things HE needs to do, not you. He made the choice to walk away, not you. And if he's so shy he's unable to do so, he's not only not going to have a relationship with you, unfortunately he'll be unable to have a healthy relationship with anyone. Communication is key. He's going to need to learn to do that on his own, or he's going to risk his happiness by continually claiming he's too shy to be assertive. He may not be comfortable with taking charge all the time - but there are times in life when it's necessary to do so. . .and this would be one of those times for him.

Anonymous said...

Dear Aphrodite,
I have been reading your words of wisdom and taking them to heart after a difficult experience with a man I recently met online. He was the first person I had ever met online, through a dating website that I joined a few months ago. It had been two years since my bitter divorce from ex husband of 11 years was completed, and I was finally ready to date again. Let me rephrase that-- I was craving sex after not having been intimate with anyone for almost four years, and that is pretty much what I was looking for. Honestly, I do not have much time or energy for a relationship, since I have three elementary-aged children and a full-time demanding career. I certainly do not want to bring anyone new into my kids' lives. I just wanted to feel like a woman again, to be held and kissed. So this nice man found me on the dating site, we exchanged emails, then talked on the phone, then agreed to meet for a drink one Saturday evening when neither of us had our kids for the weekend. I was upfront with him about being the first person I would be dating since my divorce, and that he was the first person I had met online. When we met, we really clicked. We talked for hours over two drinks then dinner, and when we left the restaurant it was pouring rain. I shared my umbrella with him, and halfway down the street he turned to me and kissed me. It was very powerful. I melted, and decided to take him home. It was everything I needed and wanted. We laughed and talked for hours, I sent him home around 1am, and he called the next day asking to meet me, so we got together again that afternoon. Due to my busy work schedule, I did not see him for the rest of that week. He was away on vacation with his kids the following week, so we did not see each other for two weeks, but during that time he would call and text constantly. Anyway... so we were ecstatic to see each other again, and had about 5 or 6 great dates over the course of a month. I found myself falling for him. We live an hour apart, and we talked about the challenges of having a relationship with the distance and our busy schedules.

Anonymous said...

The next time our kids were both away was on a Tuesday, and he asked me to come to his place. It was nice, but it was then that I began to feel that we were both very self-conscious...the sex was good but neither of us climaxed. We slept next to each other for the first time lightly and fitfully. The next morning there was no passion, and we said goodbyes rather casually. It was the first time he did not try to make plans for another time to see each other. He also did not call me that evening for the first time in the month since we met. I was devastated, but I did not call. I sent a text that said "good night" and he did not respond until the morning to say "good morning". Later that week, on Saturday during a phone conversation, I become needy and asked him if I had done something to upset him, or if his feelings had changed. He began to pull away emotionally, saying nothing was different, and acting mildly annoyed that I would need emotional reassurance. We made a date for Monday evening, which he then cancelled on Sunday morning, supposedly due to work issues. I knew what was happening... but did not understand what I had initially done to cause him to pull away. However, knowing that we slept together so quickly, and that he was my first partner in so many years, I suspected that it was just too much too soon for us both, and I felt like pulling back too. I didn't answer his calls for the next two days. We spoke briefly on Tuesday night, then I did not hear from him at all on Wednesday or Thursday. Friday morning I sent him an email to say that I had decided to move on and meet other men who might be a better match for me, that it had been great fun getting to know him, and that I wished him all the best. He responded later that day to say thank you, he wished me all the best as well, and to please keep in touch. I am sad but I know I did the right thing. Part of me hopes he will contact me again but I will not reach out to him. If it was something real (aside from just sex and temporary infatuation) then I am sure we can start again-- more slowly-- at some point. I wanted to just get your feedback on what I did, as I am now thinking that maybe I was too harsh and he might think I just dumped him by email. However, I did not feel that my needs were being met emotionally, and I panicked. I would rather walk away than get more involved and be hurt when I express vulnerability. What do you think? Thanks in advance, I hope you can respond.

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous Aug 22, 12:59 PM,
"I am now thinking that maybe I was too harsh and he might think I just dumped him by email"

You can't dump someone that you've made no commitment to in the first place - there's no commitment to break ;-)

"I did not feel that my needs were being met emotionally, and I panicked."

But remember -- you did not want him to fulfill your emotional needs, only your sexual ones.

The problem is that very often, once a woman becomes sexually active with a man, she develops emotions for him. And that's because women bond emotionally via physical intimacy while men do not do that to the same degree as women. (This is why casual sex for men is much easier than it is for women - they're better able to keep their emotions out of it.)

"I would rather walk away than get more involved and be hurt when I express vulnerability."

Well, when you're entering into a strictly sexual friends w/benefits situation, honestly, you really can't be vulnerable. Instead, you have to remain emotionally detached. Otherwise, it can quickly become a very complex and overwhelming situation to navigate successfully.

I think what may have possibly happened here, although I could be wrong, is that this man expected a casual friends w/benefits situation. When sex happens immediately on the first date, that's what most men assume - "Okay, she's down for this and she can't be expecting anything more, otherwise, she would take things slower. She's moving fast, so this must be about sex - so we're good, she's cool with this."

That's the unspoken conversation that's taking place through your actions. While those are not the words coming out of your mouth -- that IS what your actions are saying to the man, and that is how he'll interpret them.

So I think that's what he expected here - a fling or a brief affair. And I think he may have realized that you began somewhat secretly expecting "more" from him -- because that's what your actions began conveying to him "we talked about the challenges of having a relationship with the distance and our busy schedules" - "I sent a text that said "good night" - "during a phone conversation, I become needy and asked him if I had done something" - "He began to pull away emotionally, saying nothing was different, and acting mildly annoyed that I would need emotional reassurance."

Cont. . .

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

So the "relationship talk" takes place first. After that, he knows "more" is already being tossed around. This places him on guard. That evening, you text him goodnight as you would text a boyfriend or someone you're in a relationship with. Again, he's sensing "more" is expected (friends w/benefits generally don't do that type of thing - they go home and don't speak again until the next hookup).

So at this point, he knows "more" is coming and he begins putting on the brakes. You sense he's put on the brakes so you confront him about it. He's annoyed that this has suddenly become a bit more involved than he had originally thought it would, and he's annoyed that "more" is now being expected of him (and he has to tend to your emotions now by providing the "more" that's now expected of him - reassurance and support).

It sucks - but this happens a lot. It's one of the main reasons I'm not a big advocate of casual sex for women. Because I honestly do not believe there's any such thing as casual sex for women. Sex, yea. Casual, no. It's only a matter of time before the intimacy creates an emotional connection for the woman. And men know this. It's the main reason they'll sleep with a woman and then disappear after 3-4 times - they do that because they know come the 5th, 6th or 7th time the woman is going to expect more from the man. She's going to expect him to begin acting like a boyfriend who keeps in touch, contacts her regularly, asks to see her regularly, etc.

So men who do not desire a relationship pull away right before that speed bump shows up in the road. They bail when they sense "more" is expected :-(

I suspect that's what happened here. I suspect he thought this would amount to sex, he realized after the relationship talk that the speed bump was coming and "more" was headed down the pike. . .so he opened the car door and bailed out onto the highway :-(

Don't beat yourself up, it's happened to all of us at one time or another. Look at it this way. You set out to get one certain thing, and you got it. You accomplished your mission, ya' know?

You didn't set out to become one half of a relationship. . .so there's no reason to beat yourself up or mourn the fact that that didn't happen. Stay focused and keep moving forward and this too shall pass ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hello Mirror. I have been dating a man for about 2 months. We have met each other's friends and families. I feel like our relationship is growing into something long term.

I have noticed something odd and need your opinion. These days, whenever I am really understanding about him having to cancel a date or cook him nice meals, shower him with affection, he seems to take me for granted. Such as not calling me back or not until the next day. Same thing happens sometimes with texting. It's like a "I don't care" attitude. If I bring up why he didn't call or text back, he apologizes profusely and does the same thing again!

As well one day I sent him 3 texts and got no response whatsoever until the next day. I asked him about it and he said "I never got your message". About 2 days later, the same thing happened over text. He never got my message. Low and behold it happened a week later, tells me the same excuse that he never got it. Is this just BS on his part? Why would he be saying he never got them? It's very weird. It all started happening when I was there for him a lot more. I lost my job and was able to be home more often.

What can I do to get him to appreciate me more?

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous August 24, 11:56PM,
When you're "too nice" it tends to invite poor treatment. Men become complacent, they know they've got you right where they want you, and they stop trying anymore. Instead, they begin to coast along taking you for granted.

Cease using words to communicate your unhappiness and instead - take ACTION.

Mirror his behavior. If he takes a day to respond, then you take a day to respond. If he doesn't respond at all, then the next time he contacts you, you don't respond. If he doesn't respond till the next morning, then neither do you. If he claims he didn't receive your text, then you do the same.

This does a few things:

1) It levels the playing field to make sure that you're not investing more of yourself into this than he is.

2) It signals to him that if he wants your attention, he has to give you his attention.

3) It signals to him that if he wants to be your priority, he has to make you his priority.

Action is the language of men. They know immediately what those actions mean and you don't have to say a word. This is called behavioral mirroring and it WILL level the playing field for you.

Do NOT invest more into this than you're currently getting out of it. Do NOT be "too nice" because it tends to invite poor treatment. Do NOT rearrange your life and your schedule to accommodate a man. Do NOT make yourself overly available to a man. Do NOT over communicate your emotions verbally to a man (or the relationship starts to feel like work and a real downer to them).

If you want him to appreciate you more, then YOU have to appreciate YOURSELF more. . .and show him how you expect to be treated through your ACTIONS and not your words. If you want him to appreciate you more, cease "do, do, doing" for him and instead, make yourself scarce to him (so that he begins to wonder where you're at, who you're with, why you're not answering, etc.) It's a psychological fact that "uncertainty" creates strong romantic attraction (it's working on you isn't it LOL ;-)

Cease making yourself available to him and cease responding immediately, and cease "doing" for him. He's not your husband, you don't have to cook for him. You're dating him and HE should be taking YOU on dinner dates. He's got it way too easy already and there's no need for him to try anymore as a result, ya' know?

If you want his attention, you need to somewhat run away from him (the Law of Scarcity). You have to pique his curiosity and provide a challenge to him. If he has to wonder where you're at, who you're with and why you're not answering. . .then he's thinking about you non-stop (you've got his attention ;-)

Anonymous said...

at Anonymous August 24, 11:56PM: Yes, Listen to MOA. Everything she said in her last response is true. I was in a situation where I was just too, too nice to the guy. And as a result he just took it for granted. he was also one of those that would take his time answering text messages (or wouldn't answer them at all). So I finally turned the tables. I went no contact on him. Which really got him going. and then I would (and still continue) to mirror him. It really does get their attention and makes them think about what they are doing.

ScorpLover said...

Hi Mirror,
Thanks for your insightful post. Six months ago, I began dating a Scorpio male I'd met online. I'm a Cancer female. I admit, I was guillible and went to his house for a first meeting to watch a movie and pizza as he cried in tears on the phone because of his Uncle's sudden death. He was very affectionate and cuddly. Although he tried to have sex with me, I declined. From that day forward, he has called me every single day. Second date, I gave in, movie and dinner at house. This never changed. I know I know. During the next month, he still called but didn't want me around as in visiting him. During the third month til the sixth month, I literally stayed overnight at his house repeatedly. We still weren't committed. We've only kissed once. Yes once. He never cuddles with me or displays any type of affection. We've had sex in only one position the entire time. Yes. He's an obese man. I'm small as in in shape.

He did take me out for my birthday. He will not introduce me to his family. He constantly asks about mine. He's 36, and I'm 38. We're both strong professionals. We love 30 minutes apart.

Lately, I've been sensing that he's talking to other women by phone. His profile is still active. I've seen him texting late at night and there's a regular phone caller now. After expressing to him my concerns and lack of exclusivity, I went into no contact and have been for 10 days. He has contacted me regularly during NC and said that he likes me a lot. This is not enough for me. I feel as if he's just not that into me as keeps me around to simply have company. He did ask a few days ago to talk. I've ignored him.

Question. Should I move on with my life or give him a chance to talk to me? Do I respond now or wait til the 30 days is over?

Thanks in advance for your help.

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

"Should I move on with my life or give him a chance to talk to me?"

Well, the choice is yours. However, you've already invested 6 months of your life into this man, with very little result. Think about it. He's only kissed you ONCE in that entire time, yet he has sex with you regularly. There's something VERY wrong with that. He's treating you like a prostitute. I'm sorry. And I do NOT want you to feel bad about yourself. I'm telling you this to help you, not to hurt you. And you need to realize that that is a reflection on HIM, not you. He's responsible for his own actions. And if he treats another human being poorly, then that's on him. So please understand that and do not beat yourself up over this, or him. He's not worth it.

This man isn't making you happy. He's not fulfilling your needs. And he's emotionally unavailable to you. So why even consider attempting another go-round with him, ya' know? He is who he is. And no amount of your assistance is going to change that. So you either have to accept him for who he is, or decide that you deserve much more than what little he has to offer you, and take control of your own happiness by moving on from this man and leaving him in your past.

"Do I respond now or wait til the 30 days is over?"

Me, personally - I would not respond ever.

But if you're still considering it, give yourself the 30 days first. It will help you gain clarity to see this man for who he truly is. After the 30 days are over, you can then make an informed decision for yourself once you've gained clarity and a new perspective ;-)

sahara said...


I am seeing this guy since a month or so, having drinks in a bar and also a propper dinner invitation (he paid).
We once kissed in a club, but no more than this.
He contacted me nearly every day, and the last 2 weeks even every day. He tells me aobut his life and asking me about mine.
Last weekend we went to a party (both separately) and again together the whole evening, when he said it is awkward for him to be friends with me when he likes me and we seem to have a connection.
Some time later we kissed again and couldnt let each other go.
And as the evening continued he became quite drunk.
We went to my place and he was sick (threw up) and fell asleep.
Once he woke up we just talked and talked about life and things and hugged and all, but no sex.Spent the whole day in bed, eating and talking.

Late afternoon, just before he left he started the "talk" asking me about my expectations from all this.
Me: I have no expectations yet, I was just getting to know you. You seem to be a very nice guy. But I wouldnt start a casual fling.
He: I cannot offer you a relationship right now as I broke up with my ex 1,5 months ago (after 8 months).
Me: Ok. Fair enough.
He: Just wanted to be open and honest with you.
Me: Ok. Fair enough.
He: So can we be friends then?
Me: No, we cannot be friends. If you cannot offer more, than our needs are not matching. I wouldnt therefore accept a friendship.
He(looked hurt): But I cannot offer more, I just left the other relationship.
Me: Dont unload your shit on me. I am not your therapist. And dont bring your ex up in my house.
He (still hurt, apologized): So you dont want friendship with me? Will you not even be civil to me when we meet somewhere?
Me: I will say hello to you.
He (looked very hurt and confused): Is it ok if I leave in 15 mins?
Me: You are free and you can leave whenever you like.

He abruptly got up to get his stuff collected. I remained seated.
Just when he was about to leave, I checked the house again, so he wouldnt forget things there.
He looked confused, hurt and unhappy. And left.

MOA, can you tell why he did all this? Why was he hurt when it was him not wanting more? Do you think he will come back? I am pulling no contact on his ass now.

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

"can you tell why he did all this?"

That I do not know. But one can assume he's got some emotional issues going on that he needs to work on.

"Why was he hurt when it was him not wanting more?"

I suspect he thought you liked him so much that you'd settle for what little he had to offer. And when you didn't, it shocked him.

I also suspect that he thought he'd eventually be able to work the friendship he suggested into a friends with benefits situation. And again, he was shocked when that opportunity was removed from the situation.

I don't think men understand how INSULTING it is to be offered their "friendship." Just for the record, that's rejection. Rejecting you as a romantic partner. It hurts, it's embarrassing (particularly when they're already becoming sexually involved with you), and it makes you feel bad about yourself.

I do not understand why they think women they are romantically involved with are supposed to go along with this, and be happy about it. And it works both ways. As a woman, when you tell a man you want to just be friends, you need to realize that in that moment, you risk losing him as someone special in your life.

If people are NOT ready for a relationship, then they have no business dating. It's really that simple. You're out there messing with peoples emotions when you're not even ready to share yours.

If you're not ready for a relationship, but you'd still like to spend time with someone - you need to openly address the situation BEFORE jamming your tongue down their throat or jumping into bed with them. You need to find someone that wants the same thing you want.

It's not fair to participate in that with someone who wants more - only to turn around and ask them to settle for less.

"Do you think he will come back?"

Most of them do. But that doesn't always mean it's because they want a relationship :-(

The Wild One said...

"There is no magic pill dear. You HAVE to walk through the pain. They only way past it...is to walk through it. The best way to get rid of the pain is to feel the pain - and go beyond it. When you do that, the sun does shine again dear :-)"
Thank you for this. I'm looking forward to seeing the sun shine again some day soon.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your words of wisdom. I've learnt so much. Stuffs I wish I knew in the past. But I'm ready to face the future armed with the new knowledge.

Unknown said...

Hello, I’m not sure if you still respond to this blog or not as I see most of these comments are from long ago. But, I have a situation that I could use some advice in. I have long standing interest in a man with whom I’ve had a pretty consistent text relationship with. First Facebook messenger until he asked me to text him. I have known him a bit longer than when we started talking and getting to know each other more. We never really got together/hung out/date. Several times he’s offered his help with this or that, mostly car stuff because he’s a mechanic at a shop. A few times he has come to my home to help with car or something else. Recently, we hooked up a few times. And although this isn’t ultimately what I solely want, I feel I have conditioned him to only see me that way. I haven’t been very clear or firm with boundaries or what I want/expect. I can’t tell whether he cares for me/likes me or even has respect for him. I have gotten mixed signals more often than not. I feel a great connection with him and I would assume he does too to continue initiating contact with me? I was last with him Saturday and spent the night. I have not heard from him since leaving his house Sunday morning and I’m somewhat upset by it because I feel it’s distasteful to not contact someone after being intimate with them, but, then again I don’t know if I’m just overthinking it because again, there was no discussion about what this means for either of, no talk of not wanting a relationship, etc. he’s told me in the past that he doesn’t do one night stands and my fault, I never questioned it. Any advice for me? I really care for him and I’ve tried giving him the benefit of the doubt because he’s going through a lot, living with and being his father’s caretaker. Father was diagnosed with als.

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

"I feel a great connection with him and I would assume he does too to continue initiating contact with me?"

I hate to say this but - he may, or he may only feel a singular connection to you. And by that I mean, the connection doesn't necessarily have to be an emotional connection on his part. A sexual connection only is enough to bring a man around again and again.

If he's expressed to you that he feels emotions towards you (i.e. has feelings for you), then that's not the case. But if that hasn't happened, you cannot assume his connection to you is an emotional one :-(

"I have not heard from him since leaving his house Sunday morning and I’m somewhat upset by it because I feel it’s distasteful to not contact someone after being intimate with them."

It is. It's indicative of a lack of character. However, in this day and age of hookups, it's become common. Because women permit men to treat them disrespectfully again and again, while still making themselves available to man even though he's not fulfilling their emotional needs.

The harsh reality is that if women did not "reward" men for this poor treatment (with more of their time, emotions, sex, etc.) -- men would be forced to up their game. As women, we need to be accountable for our part in that.

"he’s told me in the past that he doesn’t do one night stands and my fault, I never questioned it."

That doesn't mean he doesn't participate in casual sexual experiences though :-(

"I really care for him and I’ve tried giving him the benefit of the doubt because he’s going through a lot"

That's great -- but what's he giving to you in return for that?

You've invested emotionally into him. You've granted him access to your physical body as well as your spiritual self. You've given him the benefit of doubt.

But the real question is, What are YOU getting out of this in return?

Is this enough to make you happy? Is it enough to fulfill your emotional needs? Is the relationship reciprocal, or one-sided? Does he "take, take, take" from you while giving nothing in return?

Those are the things you need to think about.

Cont. . .

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

Instead of thinking about him, and focusing on him and what he wants and what will make him happy -- think about yourself. Your happiness is important, and you're the only one that can see to it that it exists.

YOU are the caretaker of your own happiness.

Are you looking out for it properly? Are you guarding your heart? Because a hefty investment on one person's part alone does not make for happiness. You can't solely be the one investing into the relationship and expect it to make you happy.

You're here questioning things, which tells me you're feeling unfulfilled - and that's 100% within your rights to feel that way.

So now you have to decide. . .is this the RIGHT man for you? Has he shown you that he can make you happy? Has he shown you that he's willing to fulfill your emotional needs? Is he investing in the relationship in equal measure?

If the answer is no dear, then it's up to YOU (not him) to do something about that. It's up to you to decide whether or not this is the right man for you. . .as he is today, not as you might idealize him to be.

You can't say, "If he just did this" or "If he only. . ." Because you'd be creating "ideal" scenarios that aren't likely to manifest. Instead, you have to be very realistic and ask yourself, "Is this man, the way he truly is, the RIGHT man for me. Can he make me happy?"

If the answer is no, you'd be wise to cut your losses now before you experience heartbreak. You could tell him that you've given the relationship a chance, but you just don't feel like it's progressing as you'd hoped. You think he's a great guy and you'd love to be with him. But it's a committed relationship that you truly seek. And if he's not ready for that - that's fine. But he can't expect you to continue fulfilling his needs, while he does not reciprocate and fulfill yours. And for that reason, you feel it's time to part ways.

He may then inform you that he DOES indeed have feelings for you. Or he may not. But either way, your focus is on YOU and YOUR happiness. And you make that clear to him so that there are no hard feelings. You make it clear to him that he cannot expect you to permit him to use you sexually, while he does nothing to progress the relationship.

If you take control of the situation like that dear -- you'll feel very empowered and that will unveil your true path ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Mirror, I have been a searching on your site for a few months now. You give some really great insight. I was wondering if you could help me. Here's my dilemma, I have been on a dating website called Zooks for about a month. I have not met any of the guys face-to-face that I have spoken with; however, I have 2 upcoming meetups this week with different men. We have to have options, right? So I know it is/was around the holidays that we've have chatted. There has been a few days of no conversation with one of the guys but he did send me a holiday text and a text the following day asking about how I was doing. I ignored the text for one whole day. I don't feel that I need to respond to every text that comes through. Also, this guy told me that he is talking/dating other women as well. Okay, I understand that he is trying to make sure that he is finding the best person for him. Well, so am I. I appreciate his honest and I told him that I am also dating others as well. Even though, I am not. (I am trying to meet different guys to potentially date and have fun, but its hard) ... The guy either reach out to me by calling or sometimes texting. The men are about 10 years old than myself. I'm am shy of 40. Its been a long while since I have last dated. My question to you is, is it appropriate for me to call the guy at any time? Especially since we have met online and never met. Should I call a man after our meet and things seem to go well and he asked for a date? This new dating life is so confusing to me. At this point in my age, I should be able to catch all of the BS. I am very quick to write a guy off for one little action they present that does not fall into my standards. So I am venturing into something new hoping to get better results. I am looking for love. Love that is committed, serious and would lead to something more. I don't think that is too much to ask. I just want to make sure that I am protecting my heart and not falling for a man's BS. Because I swear they are the initiators of drama no matter there age.

In my mind and according to your many posts, you mentioned that if a guy is interested in you, he would pursue you no matter what. When is it good for a woman to call/text a man beside their birthday? When is it ever a good for a woman to call? HELP!!!

Tiff720 said...

Hi Mirror,

I met a guy online about 2 weeks ago. He has been calling me daily, at least 3-4 times a day. He shared with me that he is looking for an exclusive relationship. That he is looking for someone to eventually marry. After last night call, he said he'll call me in the morning. Welp! I haven't received a call. I know life is going on. But, I am a person that takes people for their word. To me a persons word is their EVERYTHING! And when someone doesn't keep their word even for something as simple as they'll call at a certain time. I am disappointed and I began to push myself away. I wear my heart on my sleeve so I over analyze EVERYTHING!. We hit it off and are planning to have our first date in the next couple of days. Now I am feeling a bit off-putting because this is not showing me that he is a man of his word or do you think that I am being a little too rigid? He finally called me in the afternoon but then I had to rush off the phone because I was in between things. Usually I get a call in the early morning but not today out of the 2 weeks that we have been chatting over the phone. I feel that it is kind of odd and I am not sure how to feel about this. Then when I was checking out my dating profile, I noticed that he was "actively online". The dating process these days SUCKS!!! All I can do is guard my heart, but I am not good at that since I wear my heart on my sleeve. I know I need to step back and pace myself and observe his actions.

Mirror- what advice do you have for me? Please help. Should I bring it to his attention that I take a man for their word. I expect for them to call when they say the will or show up when they say they will...

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous Nov 26, 12:51 PM,
"My question to you is, is it appropriate for me to call the guy at any time?"

No. If you begin to pursue HIM, then he cannot PURSUE YOU.

The only way a woman can know if a man is genuinely interested is to see if he pursues her. When a woman takes the lead role, the masculine role (initiator, leader), she ultimately only creates confusion for herself and the man.

She will have no way of know if the man is responding because he's genuinely interested, simply wants sex, or is just being friendly. And she risks diffusing the man's interest in her by taking over his role. Men like to lead, they like a challenge (hence their love of sports), and they like to "win" things (including women).

When a woman begins pursuing the man, she takes all the fun out of dating for him.

As well, you don't want to appear desperate for male attention by initiating it. When a woman chases a man (yes, men perceive pursuit by a female as chasing), they tend to view that as "desperate."

More on that here: http://www.aphroditeastrology.com/2012/09/how-what-when-to-text-men.html

"Should I call a man after our meet and things seem to go well and he asked for a date?"

No. Your job as the woman is to exercise your feminine power, by remaining in your feminine role (submissive, power of choice). And to let him exercise his masculine power, by permitting him to remain in his masculine role (leader, initiator).

His job as a man is to pursue that which he desires (which may be you), in an effort to prove himself genuinely interested and worthy of your time and attention as a potential mate. That's his power.

Your job as a woman is to exercise the power of choice. You can choose to accept his advances and proposals, or you can choose not to. That is your power.

When males and females remain in their traditional gender roles -- there is NO CONFUSION. Both know exactly where they stand with the other because each is taking the appropriate steps in their role.

You KNOW the man is genuinely interested and worthy of your time and attention when he's pursuing you.

And he KNOWS you're genuinely interested in him as a potential mate because you're choosing to spend more time with him by accepting his proposals and invitations.

Cont. . .

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

If men and women swap those roles, and the woman becomes the aggressor and takes on the masculine role, forcing the man into the uncomfortable feminine (submissive) role - that's when the confusion begins. Neither know where they stand with the other because there are no clearly defined roles that give them insight. Additionally, the woman may give the man the erroneous impression that she's desperate for male attention, and doesn't have any other male options (so she's 100% focused on aggressively "landing" this man). . .which can lead to nothing but a mere hookup and disappearance that quickly follows :-(

"I am looking for love. Love that is committed, serious and would lead to something more."

Then you need to follow the path that actually leads to love and commitment, and steer clear of the path that leads to brief flings and superficial hookups.

The path that leads to a healthy committed relationship is one that follows traditional mating rituals (i.e. formal dating with the man leading the relationship). The path that leads to an unhealthy brief fling or hookup is one that does not follow traditional mating rituals (i.e. woman pursues man, man takes her up on her offer, uses her sexually, then disappears when something better comes along or the woman starts signaling she expects "more" from him).

Relationships require certain stages of growth to develop into a mature committed bond. In all these stages the man leads, and the woman chooses whether or not to submit to his lead. Each remains solidly in their natural gender role.

The first stage is the "get to know you" stage. This takes place over the course of several months. The second stage is the "feeling" stage. This takes place when the man begins to express that he has feelings for the woman and she expresses the same. The third stage is the "sex stage" when the relationship is cemented via physical intimacy. This takes place when the two consumate the relationship and express their feelings for one another physically. The fourth stage is the "next level commitment" stage. This takes place when the man asks the woman for a commitment and the woman agrees to enter into one with him.

If any of the above stages are skipped or zipped through, the momentum of the relationship can be broken. Rushing to the finish line amounts to cheating at the game and ultimately a failure follows.

Which is why people that skip the "get to know you stage" or attempt to speed it up or shortcut it quickly end up skipping over the second stage of "feeling" and land square in the middle of the "sex stage" only to realize the "next level commitment" stage is never going to take place. . .because there are no real feelings involved between the two. They sped through the get to know you stage and entered the "sex stage" without any feelings being built between one another. In the end, there are no feelings, there is no glue holding the relationship together - so it disintegrate prior to ever reaching the "next level commitment" stage.

If you want a relationship - you MUST follow the path that leads to it (traditional mating rituals) and remain in your natural gender role (man leads, woman submits). If you want a hookup - you can skip the traditional mating rituals, forego your natural gender role, and aggressively get right down to sex LOL.

Cont. . .

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

Think of it like boarding an airplane. If you want to go to California, you don't board a plan headed to Spain. The plane to Spain isn't going to land in California (relationship territory). There's a very specific route that must be taken to reach California.

Mother Nature shows us the value of traditional mating rituals every single day. It's a females job to "vet" men and qualify them as worthy of mating - because offspring can be produced from the union. And Mother Nature wants to ensure that any offspring produced actually have a chance at survival. You don't want to produce offspring with a deadbeat that never proved himself worthy of mating in the first place and proves himself unable to care for and provide for his offspring.

In nature, not every male wins the right to mate.

Male deer, bucks, fight each other in front of the females during the rut every Fall to win the right to mate with them. Females only mate with the winners. The young males that have lost go without and stray away to gain strength to fight next year for the right to mate. As the older male buck weaken throughout the years, the young stronger buck eventually get the win. That's Mother Natures way of ensuring the bloodlines of offspring remain strong to ensure survival of the species.

I hate to say this, but human females need to stop rewarding men that haven't proven themselves worthy of mating with access to their bodies, and take a hint from Mother Nature LOL ;-)

Male Bowerbirds in nature go so far as to build female Bowerbirds a house to mate in LOL - one that even includes their favorite color blue. If birdy-boy doesn't do the work of building the house, he doesn't get to mate.

A man should work at the chance to mate with you. He should prove himself worthy before receiving that reward. And he does this by exhibiting leadership and showing his ability and willingness to provide for the woman even in small gestures. And as woman, it pays for us to LET them do that work.

More on the benefits of traditional courtship here: http://www.aphroditeastrology.com/2013/02/courtship-dating-benefits.html

"I just want to make sure that I am protecting my heart and not falling for a man's BS."

If you remain in your femine role (submissive, power of choice) and let the man remain in his masculine role (initator, leader) - you will ALWAYS know EXACTLY where you stand with the man. Men that don't take the lead instantly show you they are not worthy of your time and attention, and they're not genuinely interested enough to do the work of winning you over. Men that take the lead instantly show you they are worthy of your time and attention, and they're genuinely interested enough to do the work of winning you over - thus giving you the power to choose to submit to their advances.

Cont. . .

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

"In my mind and according to your many posts, you mentioned that if a guy is interested in you, he would pursue you no matter what."

Sort of - he'll pursue you through half hearted efforts (hitting you up once in a while via text, calling every blue moon late at night and inviting himself over to your place, etc.) Men that are genuinely intereste will NOT disrespect you in those ways.

"When is it good for a woman to call/text a man beside their birthday?"

Never - sort of. Meaning, never during the dating stages. Only after the fourth stage, when the man has asked the woman to enter into a committed relationship and the woman has agreed.

During the entire dating phase, it's critical to stay firmly planted in your femine role (submissive, power of choice) and permit the man to remain in his masculine role (leader, initiator) - so that you know exactly where you stand with the man at all times, and you're letting him actually enjoy dating you (pursuing you, facing challenges to win you over, etc.).

Once a woman takes over the masculine role during the dating phase, the man's attraction for her can diminish quickly. She removes the fun of dating from the experience for the man, and he begins to feel pressured by her advances which are generally deemed as masculine, aggressive actions.

Heterosexual Men are attracted to submissive, gentle, receptive feminine energy. If they were attracted to aggressive, dominant, forceful masculine energy they'd switch teams and date other men ;-)

Ever hear the old expression "use your feminine wiles" - your power lies within your femininity (not your masculinity). Feminine power lies in persuasion (not force and aggression). As in, "Clever talk or tricks used to persuade someone to do what you want."

Women who remain firmly in their feminine role with a man genuinely attracted to them is what led to the old expression, "It was impossible to resist her feminine wiles."

I'm sure you've heard of sexy "Sirens" before as well. That expression also refers to the power of feminine wiles (persuasion). They did not chase or pursue in order to have their way. Instead, they were said to "lure nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island."

As in, "My subtle feminine ways are so intoxicating to the male species that I will lure you to wreck your boat on my shore, ensuring that you never to return to the sea full of potential females ever again" LOL ;-)

"When is it ever a good for a woman to call?"

In an emergency. If a change of plans is necessary. Or any time after the couple has entered into a committed relationship.

Besides, you have so many male options and you're so busy responding to them all that - who has time to obsess over one man, vying for his attention anyway LOL? (That's the mindset of a confident woman - whether it's true or not ;-)

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

"Now I am feeling a bit off-putting because this is not showing me that he is a man of his word or do you think that I am being a little too rigid?"

He's disappointed you - and you're entitled to your feelings about the matter. If this man isn't making you happy PRIOR to you even dating him, then you need to think about that.

"Should I bring it to his attention that I take a man for their word. I expect for them to call when they say the will or show up when they say they will..."

No. That will only lead to a confrontation and likely end badly.

All you need to do is process your feelings about him recently disappointing you, and then proceed accordingly.

If you process those feelings and you're okay with them and make peace with yourself over it, then you proceed with him.

If you process those feelings and you're still feeling some kind of way over the disappointment, then you know it's not worth your time and energy to proceed.

Either way, all you need to do is make a decision for yourself based on what this man has shown you about himself, and then proceed accordingly.

A confrontation isn't necessary, and won't lead to anything but hard feelings and defensiveness. If this man was trolling the dating site talking to other women instead of calling you, he's not going to admit that to you or tell you about it if you confront him anyway.

The decision about what to do is yours, and you can base it on the man he's shown you he is. That's all you need to do.

If you give him the benefit of doubt this time and it happens again, then you know he's not behaving as a man that's genuinely interested and you can move on without regret ;-)

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