Ladies: If there's ever been anything about men you've wanted to know but were afraid to ask, or wanted a male viewpoint on a certain relationship niggle you're going through, drop an email to us at todger dot talk @ googlemail dot com. We shall pick one out and answer it to the best of our capabilities.
This week's question...
Imo G writes: So I met this guy through a dating site, it was all going really well, we start doing ‘the business’, he constantly says how great I am when we see each other a lot and are always in touch. And then...he doesn't want a relationship, despite me being 'one of the best people he's ever met', and not being able to 'imagine life without you in it'. Then he chucks in the hand-grenade - 'I just don't feel any chemistry; but I really feel an amazing mental connection with you. Lets be friends'. Now, I feel really led-on by this man who is waaay over 21, and therefore old enough to know better, so what I'd appreciate an opinion on is why do some blokes feel they can give you the old flim-flam - and I do believe this guy is sincere in what he says - behave the way they do, and seem surprised when you fall for them.
I think the bloke I met is a self-loathing commitment-phobe, if it helps.
‘Mr Sex’ says: This chap sounds just like me about ten years ago, actually - I was a twat then, an’all.
Your situation pretty much nails the dilemma most men face when they use dating sites for its proper purpose, as opposed to a lucky bag of casual sex - they feel like it comes too easy, things happen way too fast, and they’ve not worked as hard for it as they normally do. It’s like a fast-track courtship – one minute you’re tentatively exchanging e-mails, and before you know it, you’re in someone’s bed, and she’s talking you up as her new bloke. If you’re not emotionally prepared for that (i.e., if you’re male), that’s scary as fuck – particularly when you’ve just come out of a relationship.
The other thing you need to consider is that when it comes to dating sites, men feel far more embarrassed about them than women. Your lot tend to see them for what they are – a fantastic opportunity to meet new people. A frightening amount of us lot, on the other hand, see it as something you do when you can’t get a girlfriend like normal people can, and we inwardly cringe when people ask us in the pub how we met. Not only that, but we’re never more aware of how many available women there are in the area until we’ve been on a dating site, and we’re always wondering if there’s someone more suitable out there. We’re rubbish like that.
But anyway, onto this bloke. Sounds to me like your suspicions are entirely on the money – he’s been telling you things that he thinks you want to hear, has got in way over his head, and is back-peddling like a bastard (whilst conveniently leaving the door open for the odd shag). Nob him off and find someone better, as there’s loads of us – er, them - knocking about.
Sam says: I’d go for a slightly different take. The problem here is that this guy wants all the benefits of a relationship without any of the problems. He starts going at a full-on pace, saying all the right things, gets a shag, gets the lovely intensity, and then bails as soon as there is any possibility of commitment. He is the hot/cold type – he’s hot hot hot and all over you, and then suddenly, with no warning, it’s all over.
The trouble is that these guys have learnt that if they turn it on they get the action and the attention they want, and then bail when the going starts looking serious. You may as well ask; why do men have affairs? Simple - they get the security of a wife and the excitement of a mistress – which makes a weird kind of sense, since generally it’s hard to get excitement from your wife or security from a casual shag. Having an affair is shit, but this way they get to have their cake and eat it too. This guy gets the constant excitement and high of fresh new relationships, without any of that hard work stuff of actually committing. And importantly, internet dating gives him an almost endless supply of women he can do the same thing to, over and over again.
Rather than wondering about why he thinks he can flim-flam you around, you need to be alert to the danger signals that these guys give out. Basically if a guy seems too good to be true, then - like a dodgy sub-prime mortage - they are. Hopefully next time you’ll be able to spot the warning signs before they suck you in.
Readers of TT – comment!