Two caveats: I very much believe in ‘He’s just not that into you’. For all intents and purposes, almost all of the men of topic below, they have displayed extreme interest, right up until they magically, like true circus side-shows, disappeared from view.
I also continue to be steadfast in my belief that it is imperative to always be ready and available for the jump. I am a strong advocate of entering into every single relationship with only the best and kindest, most gentle and true intentions. If I can’t start from a position of vulnerability with a man, I just don’t start. Simple.
Here’s the scenario:
Boy meets girl.
Boy pursues girl.
Girl becomes interested in boy.
Boy leads the way, all the way to the cliff and says: “Let’s jump! Let’s do this!”
Girl asks “Really?”
Boy says “ABSOLUTELY! I WANT TO JUMP LET’S JUMP!”
Girl says “OKAY! LET’S! IF YOU’RE SURE!
I MEAN, I DIDN’T EVEN THINK I WANTED TO….BUT….LET’S!!!!”
They back up; they hold hands; they start running to jump.
Girl jumps without noticing that boy had let go of her hand.
She falls to her death while boy looks over cliff and says “Well. I mean. It’s not like I pushed her.”
I have many female friends; more than most people. Binders full, in fact. (JOE!! CALL ME!!) I also have a ton of questions coming in from the advice columns, and regular messages received from you lovely readers. People, primarily women, share (with great trust, for which I am always thankful) their stories with me, and so many of these stories are, at their heart, precisely represented by the above infuriating scenario.
Most recently, this happened to one of my beloved girlfriends, someone over whom I am ferociously protective because she is just so fucking good. She is pure of heart and intention; gorgeous, brilliant, committed, true; true to herself, her word, to anyone with whom she graces in friendship. She is only the most recent of the many women who are falling over cliffs to be hurt, then forced into a body-cast to recover. She too will recover, but f.ck. F.ck, because if he wasn’t going to deliver on all of his promises – and we are talking extreme promises – then he should have kept his big face shut. SHUT.
I might be a little raw out of love for her pained heart, FYI. (The swears ease my pain in her defense.)
More generally, every single one of these women, myself and my girlfriends included are living this on repeat. So many men, impulsively and without a care for the pain and hurt of the women before them, are making promises and demands, not ever coming through, not ever keeping their word.
When did it become alright to throw around promises and words with so little thought?
How and when did we cheapen communication and language to such a degree?
lol! omg! pmsl! etc. ad infinitum
None of the women can be described as thus. None of them have made promises they did not keep, or never had the intention of keeping. THESE WOMEN have been true to their word and had every intention to remain true to their word if given the opportunity.
But not these men.
The women are cross-culture, religion, and age. As are the men. So then, what’s happening? I am at a loss. This is one scenario which is leaving me without words, without explanation.
I very seriously need someone to tell me what is wrong with the men in the above cliff-jump; with the men because I will not fault a man or woman for believing that the person they love / the one who is pursuing them and demanding they pay attention to them / who is making themselves appear as a true ‘candidate’ for the jump they have raised is well intentioned and going to have serious follow-through when it – no matter what ‘it’ might be – was their idea in the first place.
Is it ego? Do these individuals just want to know that they CAN make a woman jump? Are so very very many men this base and pedestrian in their intentions? Am I going to have to shave my head and start yelling “Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash“?
God damn if this is it. God damn because grotesque is the man who is ego-driven. Didn’t anyone tell you that your ego is flaccid? Ultimately, it is an empty limpish little object when its strength is derived not from your character but your manipulation of others. Jesus. (Peace and blessings upon him on this Easter.)
Is it because you think it’s what we want to hear?
Because here’s a hint: Don’t do us any favours. We are really pretty okay without having a whole bunch of (later to discover) empty meaningless words lobbed at our heads. TRUST ME.
Are you without integrity; not a man of your word?
This, I can get behind. The more people I meet the more I am inclined to believing that people are too busy branding themselves the right way, but not putting any work or truth behind that brand. I have a couple of these men in my past, too.
Did you say it and mean it and then change your mind? Maybe you forgot to tell us that you changed your mind?
Here’s another hint: We have memories. We remember you said it and so unless told otherwise, we are moving forward on the assumption that you still God damn mean it, especially if we are still interacting in the same way. If you changed your mind, tell us. Take the time and have the courtesy. We will not fall apart (even if your ego just might after reading those five simple words).
Also, are women doing the same thing to men? Am I simply surrounded by the right kind of women and so don’t see this other side of females?
PS. Of course. If it were meant to be, then it would have been. But before an asshole pulls someone over to the edge of the cliff, there are a MYRIAD of steps, each one of which veers away from the cliff; well-trodden or waiting to be forged.
PS to the PS. I am a hetero and writing from a hetero perspective. Please feel free to share non-hetero experiences in the comments, or flip me a private message.)
Image courtesy of Twitch Film.
maha i think it is ego driven. so many of these guys and just in it to feel good about themselves and like you i am seeing so many of my girlfriends go through this and me too. how do we know which men won’t do this and is it any shock that so many of us are too scared to date and get knocked down again? this is so brutal ugh
I can speak on behalf of my male friends. A lot of the time they don’t mean it and I know that’s not an excuse but as you yourself have said an excuse is differnt from an explanation.
We get caught up maybe more in the moment than women do and we act far more impulsively and then we don’t know how to deal with the outcome so a lot of men just dissappear.
We meet a woman who makes us want to jump off the cliff. She makes u want to be better because we know it takes the best man to jump off the cliff with her. We do everything because we don’t want to lose her, but then we can’t jump in the end because we weren’t ready all along no matter how much we tried to pretend and convince ourself we were ready.
Sometimes it’s just ego. We want to know that we can.
Been there done that myself when I was a lot younger. Now I don’t get involved with a woman unless I know I am not going to be wasting her time.
Sorry about your friend. Sucks but she’s got you.
These guys are just dicks. If women are doing this to men too, they’re just dicks also.
You know a long time before jumping that you have no intention of jumping so don’t fucking go there.
BEST: "God damn if this is it. God damn because grotesque is the man who is ego-driven. Didn’t anyone tell you that your ego is flaccid? Ultimately, it is an empty limpish little object when its strength is derived not from your character but your manipulation of others. Jesus. (Peace and blessings upon him on this Easter.)"
Girls did this all throughout highschool to the nice boys they dated and a little bit in university too, at least in my time. I think the older we get the more likely it is men. There are no consequences to having “empty meaningless words” so unless someone is principled, male or female, they will throw things around to make themselves look better than they are or to feed their ego or whatever the reason.
So sorry about your friend! She’s in good hands with you!
Oy. There’s no easy answer or explanation here. I’ll throw in some additional points and perspectives to consider, in no particular order.
– If / when an explanation is found to why he lets’ go of her hand, *it will not ever apply to all (nor most) men*. When it comes to relationships, both men and women look for the generalisation about the other: “women are cray-zee man!” / “Guys are dicks and jerks!” . We don’t help ourselves with this.
– For some men, there is likely a bit (or more) of ego-driven stuff; the kind described by the poster “Steve” elsewhere in these comments. Here, you (woman) might be able to protect yourself: absence of maturity is usually the culprit for ego-driven behaviour like this. So if your man is emotionally immature, you’re on a dangerous path (but doesn’t mean you have to get off of it). The hard part here: +age does not equal +maturity. Ya gotta determine the level of maturity from different behaviours over time.
– All of us — men, women, hetero and non-hetero — tend to be attracted to a certain type of other human being. I’ve known many close women friends who are attracted to a certain type of man over and over, but that type encapsulates a bunch of characteristics, one of which can be he’s a “non-jumper-hand-let-go-of-er”. Might the qualities that attract you (the general “you”) to a man require the inclusion of the “non-jumper” feature? Maybe.
– Finally, it also happens a lot the other way around, ‘cept it doesn’t look the same at all. Continuing the cliff-jump metaphor from the main text, while the woman ker-splats in spectacular gory fashion at the bottom, the man doesn’t. When he jumps off and notices she’s not there, he twists and turn and scrambles and somehow slows down his fall, but by bouncing violently off the rocks on the side of the cliff, grabbing at thorny branches, bounce, hit, tumble, ow, thump… and somehow lands. “Shit, Jim, that was rough tumble! You okay?” / “Yeah, yeah, don’t worry about it” / “Whoa! that’s a bad limp… sure you don’t wanna get checked out?” / “It’s nothing! I’ll walk it off”.
Problem, Jim’s organs took a beating, he’s got some internal bleeding and a concussion. But he walks off the limp, looks at his externals in a mirror and sees that everything is roughly in place… and seems to carry on fine. But Jim’s not fine. It takes a much longer time for him (and his entourage) to recognize the internal damage done, and then longer still to finally get it checked out and treated. By that time, Lisa’s full-body cast (and wonderful female canuck friend) would have helped her heal.
I was going to conclude by asking rhetorically “is it just the price of the serious relationship?”, but one caveat stopped me. It’s when you say it happens to a same woman repeatedly (correct me if I got this wrong). After a rough tumble and recovery like that (which may span two to five years for some men), a man will likely go through this only once, maybe twice. If that is not the case for the situations that you have witnessed (i.e. the same woman splats at the bottom of the cliff more than 2-3 times), then that needs to be approached and evaluated separately and differently.
Oy again. I wrote much more than I expected to.
OH! P.S. Here’s a shortcut to help woman out in determining the emotional/relationship-maturity of man-specimen in the relationship: observe the first appearance of the “I Love You”.
It should never come early; it should come roughly at a time that you’re kinda feeling it too (+/- 3 to 6 weeks); it should have been obvious waaaay before the words were uttered, through his actions [ indeed, to know this is true, when he first tells you, you may verbally say it back, but mentally you should hear yourself think “I knew it already! Yay!” ]; even for some men, heck, it may never appear or it may make a ve-ry late appearance. All this to say, *any* early utterances of “I Love You” are a Big Red Flag.
Addendum: emotional immaturity goes both ways. If woman is emotionally immature, she will SOOO want to hear the “I love you”, that she’ll ignore its early appearance as the Red Flag that it is.
SO TRUE. I have tons of female friends that go through the same thing over and over. I think it does happen that women leave men at the top of the cliff as well, we’re just not friends with those chicks. Truthfully, male or female, some of it is probably ego. But my concern and suspicion is that it is the more malignant – that it is a lack of integrity, and that true interpersonal integrity is harder and harder to find these days. Quite simply, I don’t think it’s valued or rewarded enough. There aren’t enough consequences when someone chooses to act in a heinous fashion in a relationship. So what? So some chicks think I’m a dick? So some guys think I’m a bitch? People rationalize and use their egos to forgive themselves for hurtful, untrue, and otherwise horrible behavior constantly. Find someone with a good set of morals and a conscience, chances are they’re a keeper. Find someone who is selfish, blames their problems on others, and never owns their own behavior? He or she is a perpetual cliff-non-jumper. I just think this behavior has gotten more and more common. In the old days, you might have to get married if you acted like this. Now, you can shrug your obviously-non-significant other right off and find a hundred more online or at the bar. Emotional maturity and good character are hugely underrated.
Make me f’ing cry. Because I have lost hope. This is my life.
NO!!!! NO!!!! Don’t lose hope. Please don’t lose hope. You only need to hit gold once, Becks. Just ONE time only. Until then, every single one of these men is not even a FOOTNOTE to the story of who you are. Don’t focus on them, rather on the lessons learnt through your experience of them. You are too good and too precious to allow any of the men of your past to be anything more than a footnote. Trust. Love you very much
Emm, a fb like alone can’t express how much I like your last comment. As for your question, I don’t think I can provide much insight, but it saddens me whenever people feel like that they need to present themselves as something they’re not, whether because of expectations left over from traditional patriarchal gender roles, or some other reason. Unfortunately a lot of fakery gets interwoven into something that should be about intimacy and sharing.
“how do we know which men won’t do this and is it any shock that so many of us are too scared to date and get knocked down again?”
Take a read through Mark’s response. He has pointed out some good flags to which we should be paying attention.
Thanks for your insights. I very much appreciate this (and know everyone reading this will, too) –> “Now I don’t get involved with a woman unless I know I am not going to be wasting her time.”
Brilliant. Love your comments. (1) There is a very strong argument to be made in support of immaturity being the driver of one’s ego. I had dealings with a man just like this last year and even though we were friends and I thought that we could be friends when all was said and done – it was impossible. His immaturity level (and that of his friends) made certain of that, and there is nothing – not one thing which he could now do, that would make up for how poorly he treated our situation. And trust me – it didn’t have to turn out this way; on a friend level, I did everything possible to ensure we could remain friends. He just didn’t / doesn’t have what it takes to get past his OWN mistakes. Amazing. (I haven’t written about him yet, but I will. I sort of can’t wait to, in fact. But for whatever reason, the Universe has not yet decided it is time for me to do so.)
(2) No doubt that some of us are attracted to the non-jumpers-hands-let-go-vers (I laughed. Thank you). That is for each individual wo/man to figure out and then to sort through. Definitely.
(3) Excellent continued use of the story. Men are just not 100% hardwired / socialized (WHATEVER!) to discuss their tumbles, resulting in either a prolonged trauma period or – worse – taking it out on the next woman without really understanding why.
TEAM INTROSPECTIVE FE/MALES!
(4) Excellent point on the saying of “I love you”. I would panic if I heard it too early and would (maybe unfairly) auto wonder if he says this so early and cavalierly to all the broads. I have never thought I was the exception to a man’s rule (though I do believe I, myself, am definitely not the norm).
(5) As per the wo/men repeatedly smashing. Definitely not 2 – 3 times per year, but maybe every third to fifth sitch.
LOVE THESE: (1) “it is the more malignant – that it is a lack of integrity, and that true interpersonal integrity is harder and harder to find these days.” I fear that you may be 100% spot on here 🙁
(2) ” I just think this behavior has gotten more and more common. In the old days, you might have to get married if you acted like this.” Equally agree with this point – that in the past, wo/men just wouldn’t have been able to fucking get away with shit behavior. They were held to a different standard all across the board and they had to BE men of their word in order to be respected in their community. Now, that doesn’t matter. You can be an asshole and rationalize it any which way you want to…no consequences…no one holding a mirror up to your shithead behaviour and if they do, you just shrug it off. It is grotesque.
Agreed. And thank you!
great reality check Maha.. fully agree.. i also think steve hit the nail on the head .. for those who go through it more than once, i do not think they ever see it as a replay the second time around… they always convince themselves it is different.. maybe for men they “just want to know that they CAN make a woman jump?” and maybe the women they need the high of the jump so badly, they find justifications to jump fully knowing they will likely be at the bottom alone? just like with a cocaine high, after the high, they have to deal with the low but they again long for the high fully knowing it will be followed by a low.. seems all of us, men and women, need to be reformatted 🙂
BB!!!! HI BB!!!!
Yes, I agree that it is very difficult to see it as a replay; we wish to believe in only the best of those we think of so highly. And when falling in like, we become deluded and often so often often often, we say to ourselves don’t compare this person with that person because that’s not fair. And don’t make this person pay for that person’s mistakes because that’s not fair. It is such a difficult line to walk, and there are so many people without integrity. The alternative is to shut ourselves down completely so we don’t get hurt and that’s just silly. SILLY.
Some, I guess, would rather say “at least I jumped. At least I tried. At least I didn’t curl into a corner and refuse to jump ever again.”
Low or high. 🙂