Drunk Texts – Avoid the unhealthy pattern
I was wondering through the tales posted on badonlinedates.com the other day and came across this problem. I thought I’d borrow it to illustrate how some people get caught up in unhealthy patterns of relationships and how to take a step back to get some perspective.
I met a guy on an online dating site a few months ago. We messaged each other a number of times and really seemed to hit it off. We exchanged numbers and texted a lot over the next few weeks and decided that after a couple weeks of this we should finally meet up. We had a really good evening of chit chatting with the TV on in the background. All seemed to be going really well.
While the chatting had been going really well, one night before we actually met face to face, I got a series of LONG text messages around 3 am basically saying that I’m a great guy but he’s scared that he’ll hurt me, I’m too good for someone like him. I’m a light sleeper so the texts woke me up. He admitted that the conversation was fueled by alcohol so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and responded by saying not to worry and to just enjoying getting to know each other. A day or two later our daily chit chats continued.
Then, one day, they stopped. He just stopped responding to my texts. Then again in the wee hours of the morning, I got more long texts on how he wouldn’t blame me if I stopped talking to him, he’s not worthy of someone like me, he hates how he’s treating me, etc. This time I didn’t respond till the morning because I didn’t want to encourage a long conversation at 3am when I had work the next day. So I wrote back the next day acknowledging his messages and saying again that when sober, I think he’s a good guy and it’d be great to talk in person again and go from there. No response…so now I’m waiting till the next time I get long, booze fueled text messages early in the morning…I just have a gut feeling that this isn’t done yet, but I’m certainly not pursuing it any more. Can you tell me what’s going on?
In looking at this pattern, it is clear that the guy is very ambivalent about being in a relationship. He either wants to pursue something with him but can’t find the nerve or opportunity to ask directly (and so he drops hints to see if the other person takes the bait or the lead,) or he wants to be polite or keep them hanging on without having to make any commitments or obligations.
This type of behaviour really amounts to stringing people along, and that might be nice for those who are preoccupied with keeping their options open, but it actually makes it worse for both people in the long run. When dating, both men and women often prefer a polite and sensitive not interested to an impolite and insensitive I might be interested, but give me some time to think about it.
While there may be many reasons for someone to act this way, most of those who engage in this type of behavior really haven’t grown up yet. They’re immature and often act like they’re still in high school. They thrive on the challenge of wooing you until you fall for them, but as soon as they think they’ve got you, they get bored and move on. It doesn’t matter how fabulous, hot or smart you are, they still get bored because it’s not about you. It’s about the thrill of the chase and you are the prize for a moment or two.
It could also be that they’re just not ready for a fully committed relationship. Maybe they like you a lot but they may not be able to decide if you’re The One. Rather than making a decision, it’s easier for them to string you along until he knows for certain. His ambivalence is a result of his indecision. Like when this guy texts and messages at 3 in the morning just to make sure that the other guy is still interested, only to drop away when he’s finished checking.
One of the worst reasons for acting this way is for ego gratification. These people actually get a thrill watching you suffer over their inconsistent and rude behavior. It makes them feel powerful to know they can treat you badly and then pick up the phone and still have you available whenever they want.
While it’s not possible to really know the exact reason why this guy is acting so hot and cold, it is clear that the other guy doesn’t need to keep responding, unless he secretly likes this type of chase behavior to feed his own ego. But that’s a story for another time.
Ali Goldfield, Psychotherapist