Sunday, November 26, 2006

Update on My Friend Sam....

Ah, back to the real world of work (yes, I'm working some today). I was lucky enough to leave work on Wednesday at lunch, stopping for a delicious cinnamon raisin bagel with cinnamon raisin cream cheese at Goldbergs in Atlanta (which made the extra two hours of drive time as a result of road work/traffic easier to endure). Highlights of the long weekend include: leisurely time with my family, three warm pieces of pumpkin pie with whip cream, elmo-cising with my nieces, a four hour visit with my great aunt, and reading almost half of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe with my niece Alaina (I can't wait to see what happens--I've not "heard" this book since 3rd grade with Mrs. Grisham).

During the holiday weekend, I also caught up with Sam (who I wrote about two weeks ago). The girl ended up never calling Sam back, and he was pretty devastated about it. The day after he called her, his sister ran into the girl, who commented that she needed to call Sam back (so we know that she did indeed get Sam's voicemail message). A week passed, during which the girl was out of town for a few days, and then Sam's brother-in-law ran into the girl. She made no mention of Sam, which, of course, really bothered Sam. I told Sam that I thought he had gotten his answer--clearly the girl is not interested, and he should let it go and get on with his life. Sam said that he was going to call her again if he didn't hear from her within the next 24 hours. I asked him what his objective in calling her was since it was clear that she isn't interested. Sam responded that the girl "owes" him an explanation and official closure; he proceeded to leave her another message that night and has still not heard back. I told Sam that he was setting himself up for an awkward conversation and/or her avoiding his calls since there often isn't really a reason for not wanting to continue to see someone. Sure, I can usually articulate a few reasons, but often it's isn't that the other person isn't the right fit for me. And I see nothing productive in citing a guy's unusually small hands, wearing a scarf in October (in Georgia), incessant complaints about his back pain, or weird taste in movies, etc. None of these things would, in themselves, keep me from dating someone if I really liked the guy. So what's the point in sharing these "reasons" with someone?

I guess I agree that "best practice" in this case might be for the girl to give Sam a return call, explaining that while she's enjoyed getting to know Sam, she's not interested in dating any longer. Most guys seem to appreciate this approach the most, although the "football player" I went out with five or so times told me that he'd rather me just not return his calls than have that conversation. What do you guys think the better practice is? I went out with a lawyer once (although granted we'd hung out one night before our date, talked several times for an hour or so on the phone, and kissed) and didn't really enjoy the date very much. And then he called me the next day and asked me out for three different events, all of which I declined. He then called a few days later to ask me out for a Friday night, and again I declined, telling him I was hosting a dinner party that night. So he calls me again on that Friday night at 9:15. I thought that was weird and decided not to even call him back. A month or so later I ran into him in a bar, and he lashed into me, wanting to know why I'd never called him back. I was so taken aback that I was painfully honest, telling him that I thought it was strange that he didn't get the hint after I turned him down for four invites and that he called me on a Friday night when he knew I was hosting a party. Oddly I've seen him since then, and he's been pleasant.

Anyway, I told Sam I'd ask my blog friends if they thought she "owed" him a phone call back. His family and friends all (except me) encouraged him to make the second phone call (even though she hadn't returned his previous call) and think that she should at least call him back and explain what gives. Oh, and his sister is terminating her business relationship (no big deal kind of relationship) with the girl. This has all served as a reminder to me that I should be conscious of others' thoughts and feelings and that some people take a few dates much more seriously than I do.


Aaron said...

Sadly, Sam should just let it go.

I never thought a girl owed me an explanation as to why she hasn't called -- but any girl that has the nerve to tell me she isn't interested in dating me gets my upmost respect.

Flat Coke and Flies said...

I don't think he should have called her again. But even though it would help Sam feel better to know WHY she doesn't want to date him anymore, some things are better left unsaid. It might hurt worse. But I agree it would be nice if she had common courtesy and would say she just not into him.

Good luck to Sam! She's out there somewhere...keep looking.

GreenLineBoy said...

It's the high road theory. You've always got to be the one to take the high road. She should call and give an explaination. But if she doesn't, he has to take the high road and let it go. Be the better person. He can't hound her and complain as if she's doing something wrong. She's just trying to avoid and uncomfortable situation. But it's in his best interest to walk away with some dignity and just let her go.

Accidentally Me said...

She doesn't owe him anything. They went out twice? I agree, it would be nice for her to formally tell him "I don't think it is a good idea," but the relationship is still young enough that I don't think she violated any social rules by just ignoring him.

Sometimes "I just don't want to," is the reason, and it is a valid one, even if it doesn't seem like it to the receiver.

Anonymous said...

Well they are all correct so there's little to add. Dr. Ridge

Ally said...

Dr. Ridge: I agree.

AM: I didn't like that Sam thought she "owed" him something. Although they went out four times, I agree that no social rules were broken although better practice would have been to give him a ring back. And I'm with you on "I just don't want to" being enough of an explanation.

GLB: I like the idea of the "High Road Theory."

FC&F: I agree that hearing an explanation might hurt worse. I mean, who ever claimed to quit dating someone because he was "too hot," "too intelligent," etc.?

Aaron: I like your approach to the calling thing. She doesn't owe you, but if she does call, she garners your "upmost respect."

ella w. said...

I don't think Sam should call her again. It sounds to me that he is a super nice guy, but inexperienced with women. It's always easier for a girl to avoid calling a guy back than for her to tell him that she just isn't into him. It sucks, but happens all the time.

Jordan said...

In 1950 she may have owed him a callback, but today, no. She clearly sent him an "I'm not interested in you message". Maybe a nicer person would send a quick note to tell them they're not interested, but then someone like Sam (after reading the email/note) would want to know more specifics as to who, what, where, when, how and why. To avoid this type of behavior, some just choose to not reply/call back altogether.
It's an entirely different ballpark had they actually been an item. But they weren't.
Sam (so sorry) needs to get a clue!
And you're right.. there are NO excuses if you REALLY want to be with someone. You'd walk 10 miles in the snow barefoot, backwards. If you had to.

Aaron said...

Jordan: "Clearly sent" is often never "clearly received". I'm sure I've blogged about women dropping "hints". :)

cdp said...

I feel bad for Sam, in that I know what it feels like to be the one who just can't seem to not call. Granted, it's usually when I'm "emotionally invested" in a relationship, but when I feel hurt or rejected, I have the hardest time making myself not call. And I have never understood why, because I know in my head that it always just makes things worse in the long run. I think maybe it's what Sam said, that I just want an explanation. When someone hurts me, I guess part of my reaction is the "who the hell do you think you are" feeling, which probably is what leads me to think that whoever it is should explain themselves. Wow that is a long comment.

I tend to practice the not returning calls technique. But I've had many a guy friend tell me that often times it's just that they really and honestly don't understand that you're not interested until you TELL them you're not interested. A good friend of mine says that on many occasions they just don't get it until you're blunt about it. I don't like confrontation, hurt feelings, or awkward conversations. So the "avoid guys like Mr. Regular" side of me ususally just hits the "send to voicemail" button and hopes they don't call again. I'm kind of a wimp.