Lout Bailed Out Without A Word
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Dear Christine,

How can a grown person in his/her mid-40s end a relationship without telling the other party that it’s over?

The guy I was dating (Fred) was telling me one day how much he cared about me, and the next day he vanished into thin air. He won’t answer his phone, emails, or door. We knew each other for two years before we started dating a couple of months ago. He told me I could trust him. He spoke of mutual honesty and respect.

I’m 37 and have been divorced for four years. Before Fred, I hadn’t dated in a year and a half.

We got along great—except for one instance when he had told my daughter and me that he was coming to see her play soccer. When he didn’t show up, I was worried. The next day, when he told me he’d bumped into some friends who talked him into going to a casino, I was angry. That almost ended the relationship. But I apologized for going off the deep end, and Fred apologized for not calling. I gave him a second chance because I had a gut feeling this guy was the “real deal.”

We had been seeing each other once a week and talked on the phone for hours each night. Then one day he left me a voicemail from a payphone, stating that his phone was broken and he’d call me as soon as it was fixed. That was four weeks ago.

I feel like I’m a poor judge of character to be duped like this. And I’m embarrassed that I didn’t even deserve the respect of a “thanks but no thanks.” I would’ve preferred to have been dumped by e-mail or phone message than the “you don’t exist” method.

I realize now he’s a coward. It’s a shame that I won’t trust other men because I’ll wonder if they’re all liars, like Fred.

Thanks for listening. I hope you’ll print this so the people who do the dumping via silence realize they do more damage than they think. -- D – LONDON, ON

Dear D,

Unless Fred is dead or in jail, you’re right in saying that he’s a coward. I suspect he’s found someone else, which could explain where he was on soccer day.

But I’m not concerned about him; my focus is on you.

It worries me that you bought into his nonsense and apologized for “going off the deep end” when it was he who blew off you and your daughter without as much as a phone call. You’re better off without someone who would have you questioning your own judgment when you were clearly justified in your concerns and anger.

As for respect, you did—and do—deserve more respect than you got from Fred. Thanks to him, you’ve already suffered some heartache. Don’t let his actions (or lack of actions) make you so cynical that you can’t open up again. It’s scary, but with a combination of caution and openness, in time you’ll trust again.

In the meantime, focus on your daughter. His disappearance was surely confusing and hurtful to her as well.

Take care, and don’t be so hard on yourself.

Dear Christine,

Why does my boyfriend get so mad when I ask him what he’s thinking or if something is wrong? -- CONFUSED – PORT HURON, MI

Dear Confused,

Because men hate it when women assume they’re constantly in deep thought. Most guys will tell you they simply aren’t as deep as you’d think. He could be thinking about what colour he’d like to paint his dream car…how much he likes boobies…or wondering who came up with the idea to put pineapple on pizza. Quizzing him constantly will only drive him farther away.

Maybe he just feels like a little quiet time. If that’s true, you have to give him his space.

If he’s off in his own world all the time, it may be an indication that the relationship is in trouble. But once in a while is no big deal.

Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? E-mail Christine at: single@keynotebooks.com

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