Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Beware of Flakes

My sweet neighbor is one of the most beautiful women I know. She wears vintage clothes and quirky hats, owns her own business and is smart, funny... and stuck on her ex for way too long. So when a charming, handsome man walked into her shop one day, she was excited when he asked her out and they started dating earnestly.

Last week I asked her how things were going. They broke up. It was mutual, but he did say that he had so much going on with his business that he couldn't devote the time and commitment that she deserved - to really date and get to know her. Sounds honest and respectful doesn't it?

Yeah, I've heard it too.  More than once.
A couple years ago, a man I met on a dating site gave me that spiel after three or four dates.
At the beginning of this year, I heard it from another guy... big project at work, taking classes toward his masters degree... truthfully, he actually fell off the planet, and I heard this explanation later.

My gut says, all these guys are flakes. Why are you on a dating site if you're not really ready to date? Rule number one in dating, BE AVAILABLE.
In truth, maybe these guys are ready to date, and the whole, "my life is just too busy right now" is the new, "I'll call you".  It's what they say when they don't know how to get out of the situation.

That's flaky. If you're really looking for love in your life, you're not going to let a class or a heavy work load get in the way of building a relationship with someone you think could be your future.
You're just not.
So saying your life just got too busy is a cop out.  It may be true, but the whole truth is you weren't really interested. That's okay. But at a certain age, be man enough to just say that.

The reason I think it's flaky is because this M.O. Is unique to my generation... my age group.
Some of my friends think it's unique to Menver. (That's Denver for the uninitiated. A city in which the male to female ratio is so skewed, that men have no sense of urgency to lock in a mate.)

Yeah. Because in my parent's generation and generations before and after... men were going off to fight wars, but they were getting married the day before they shipped out... or on shore leave.
They weren't waiting for just then right time, or just the right girl. They weren't waiting to finish up a big project (World War II) before they were going to fall in love and make a commitment.

But they also didn't have an endless Internet source funneling eligible women into their inbox either. Tomorrow was immediate. Not some far off future in which anything could happen and an endless supply of potential women to do it with.

But there's another flaky feature to watch out for...

Another friend of mine has just returned to dating after a divorce. She honestly took a couple years to heal, before putting her heart out there, so she's serious about being ready for love.

She called me the other day to get my opinion on what to do about a guy who made tentative plans with her. It was now the evening of the plans, they had settled on the day and the place, but not the time to meet. At this point she was two hours out from a reasonable date start time, and no word from the guy for confirmation. Warning bells sound in my head, but she teases me about being jaded, so I don't say the first thing that popped into my mind... "He's a flake, forget about him. Don't waste your time or energy."

She decides to text him, an hour later, nothing. Then I tell her he's a flake. When a guy doesn't lock in the whole plan in one conversation, he's not going to. He's hesitating. I dunno, maybe they get some kind of kick out of making half- baked plans. Maybe they send a friend to survey the date site and see if the woman turns up.

The first guy who flaked on me that way, turned out to be an ex-convict! I learned quickly.
My point is... just see a flake for what he is. Don't be too hurt. Don't invest any more. No more energy. No more hope. No more time. He's a flake. If he's going to redeem himself, let him do it on his own. It's on him. Not you. Just a little dating advice from someone whose been dating a long time.