How Honest is Too Honest?

I met David in December. We had two fun little dates; there was physical chemistry, good conversation and enough laughs to keep me interested. He was quite sexy actually and very good looking; I liked him, even if I thought his kisses were subpar. I could always fix that later…

Right before Christmas he went home to visit his family, and he’d be gone for at least a month, since it was a long ways away. I can’t say I was pining for him, but we stayed in touch. He would text me every other day or so to ask how my day was going, or to tell me what he’d been up to. Just little messages here and there to keep him on my radar. It was nice, and I suspected he liked me.

A week before his return to New York, he started planning our reunion. The texts became more frequent and more specific: “I’m back next weekend. Let’s get together. Will be nice to see you again.” I was on board but I kept warning him about the debilitating jet lag that was bound to consume him. After all it was a 24-hour trip and he needn’t rush into anything. But it didn’t deter him. He was determined to see me the minute he landed.

Then the “but”s and “if”s and “maybe”s started. “If I am awake, can I come to you?” “But we will have to play it by ear because I might be a total zombie”. “I’ll have to see how I feel because right now I need to crash”. “Definitely up to hang out tomorrow though at some stage”. “I’m starting a freelance job tomorrow. Can I text you after lunch and let you know how I’m doing?” “Let’s stay in touch and hopefully we can catch up later”. “Maybe I can come over?” “I am still working here but I’d like to see you. I’m just worried if we arrange something I’ll pass out”. “I’d say come over now but I’d be a terrible host”.

This went on for days. It was exhausting. I was very agreeable and patient the entire time though, playing nice. But it bothered me immensely why he wouldn’t just pick up the phone and call me. Surely this would make things a lot easier. Then I got this text the following Monday:

David – 8:43 AM: Hey Natalie. So just wanted to apologize for my silence. Been a crazy week since I got back. for various reasons. Jet lag, work, and also met someone through a friend literally the day after I got back. And I like her a lot, and wanted to see where it goes. I think you’re great… just wanted to let you know what happened. It might come to nothing, but I’d like to give it a shot.”

Well I’ll be damned.

Natalie – 10: 29 AM: You know how ridiculous this is, right? After ALL your texting and your pressing to see me, for weeks, ensuring you stay on my mind and claiming my time, you drop the ball.

But I had to respect his honesty I suppose. In New York it’s all about ‘first come, first serve’. And I didn’t make it to dinner on time…

Natalie – 10: 29 AM: I appreciate your honesty though and I wish you all the best with your new endeavor. Fingers crossed!

He didn’t answer until the next morning.

David – 9:08 AM: Thanks, not sure if anything’s going to come of it. It’s only been a week… Was more a way of explaining why I’ve gone missing. Although work has been a big factor too.

Last night’s date with his new target must have gone awry.

David – 9:44 AM: So maybe I’ll be free by the weekend and we can hang out, ha.

Wow, what?

Natalie – 9:45 AM: I hope ur kidding….

David – 9:45 AM: Haha yes.

Was he though? It sounded like he was keeping the door open and betting on two horses. Why he thought I wouldn’t be hurt by his dumping me, and making jokes about it, also eluded me. Are we friends now?

Three days later I was in my seat at Jason Wu, just as the show was starting when I got this message:

David – 1.21 PM: So my attempt to be honest backfired. Turns out this other thing hasn’t really happened… I was just trying to let you know what was going on with me. Anyway, if you don’t want to see me again I’d understand… But it’d be a shame. Happy Valentine’s Day in advance.

I think I shrieked when I read this. Not loud enough to disrupt Jason’s show, but certainly sufficient to make the guy next to me jump. The nerve! What a way to make me feel special! So am I to settle as his back-up? And if he’s trying to redeem himself, why not pick up that goddamn phone and call me? Speak to me? I hadn’t heard his voice since the last time we met in December!

David – 1:49 PM: I’m having dinner with some friends on the East side later. Not sure if you’re busy but if you’d want to meet up later, I’d love to.

I thanked him kindly for his reconsideration, but “No, thanks.”

It got me thinking though: how honest do you have to be? David and I had only met twice, and I had gone on plenty of dates with other men while he was away. I didn’t tell him about those encounters because nothing had happened. As long as I had no serious romantic feelings for anyone else, I didn’t think I needed to share my private life. I understand why he told me about the other girl – he wanted to be honorable and not date two people at the same time – but it was too much, too soon. If he hadn’t said anything, who knows… We may have been happy, and I could have showed him how to kiss more proficiently, which is a valuable contribution to any relationship.

On the flip side, when is the right time to ask: “Are you dating other people?” It’s quite a common mistake to think you’re exclusive. You may be fully committed on your end, but as long as you’re not 100% sure the other person isn’t planting seeds elsewhere, do you just sit back and assume? How can you be subtle about it? Will you sound insecure if you even bring it up?

Anyways, it’s a shame about David. He was nice, and I totally get where he was coming from, but he was sloppy and it showed a cowardice side. He treated me like his friend, not someone he wanted to fall in love with. I felt disrespected, not only because he changed his mind, but because he was so casual about it. He sheepishly replied later, after I had given him an opening to call me: “I haven’t been myself lately” and that he was “just trying to do the right thing” but it’s not enough for me. Man up, David.

February 19, 2015

Leave a Comment

26 Responses to “How Honest is Too Honest?”

  1. avatar

    Really funny! Not offering dating advice, just a little life experience after being married 30 years..friends first, lovers second and honesty is really good for a relationship.

  2. avatar

    Omg as funny as that was to read it is also equally and utterly appealing. I think you need to come visit and meet some normal men. I swear I am going to start looking for a match for you. That guy is a dick. A class utter dick. This is like a movie scene of a shit movie. Move on and be glad you did not waste more time with him. It has nothing to do with honesty and how much is too much, it has to do with basic character. Of which his is poor and lacking

  3. avatar

    Great story! And I’ve been there. He wasn’t treating you as a possible love interest. You were being kept on ice…on hold….until what might be better did or didn’t happen. He has tried to say he has been to honest — to me– comes off as totally nassisstic. He only cares about his feelings and guilt. Not yours. Don’t ever think about “what if’s”. You’ve dodged a bullet!

  4. avatar
    The Other David - Reply

    Lame. And to think that I send you the occasional email to stay on your radar even though I’m not on your radar (just teasing :))!!

  5. avatar

    Although David’s candor may seem appalling, it’s also a symtom of modern life, Facebook, Twitter where everything no matter how insignificant is commented on in a chain of mindless unending chatter. My favorite story is Justine Sacco who got fired for her tactless tweets. Unfortunately unending commentary can be carried over into personal relationships via texting. I like of privacy and saving honestly and intimacy for when they count. A chain of self indulgent babble is neither intimacy or honesty. I really enjoyed an irrate YouTube video of a patient tapping their therapist who fell asleep. I felt more sympathy for the therapist. I think David was a babbling indescive dunce. You went out on dates but didn’t talk about it and tactfully so. As for me as a man I think of a relationship as a mutually evolving experience which develops as it happens. A kiss isn’t a contract but should be enjoyed for what it is and if it leads to others.. Rilke described a relationship as two solitudes coming together.

    • avatar

      “Although David’s candor may seem appalling, it’s also a symtom of modern life, Facebook, Twitter”….

      No, morality is not relative. This david guy was not a hapless artifact of slavery to modern technology. This is a man coldly treating people like objects. He is a person who is choosing to treat another person like an object, showing litlle or no empathy to how the other party might be affected by his actions. A classic sign of narcissism.

      This guy wasn’t really interested in Natalie because he really isn’t interested in anyone, just himself and “options”…sounds like the classic over-40 man who has never been married and has no interest in settling down.

      There was an agenda with texting, and that is creating false intimacy without the risk of rejection. You can text anything to anyone and not mean an inch of it. It’s not hard, really.

  6. avatar

    Natalie, “On the flip side, when is the right time to ask: “Are you dating other people?”

    You ALWAYS assume, esp. in NYC that men ARE dating other people. Unless you have a conversation about this, and both parties have agreed to it, a man is seeing other ppl.
    This guy sounds like a pathological narcissist. He acted in a very aggressive and almost violent manner after he established a connection with you. He texted and texted until he “secured” you and then he went cold and casually told you he’d met someone else.

    No one does that to someone they are truly interested in. That makes me think he is narcissist testing your boundaries. This man would go hot and cold until you’re hooked on the highs and lows.

    You are SUCH AN AMAZING CATCH. Anyone who doesn’t treat you as such is a loser not worthy of your attention. I mean I feel like you should date men who are art collectors, well-to-do men with a degree of refinement.

  7. avatar

    I can’t believe grown ass men act that way. Seriously sounds like something a school age boy would do. Good choice on not calling him again. Hopefully he learned his lesson on how NOT to treat a lady.

    • avatar

      sadly, grown women act the same way. when you date, you have to be open to who you are and that’s to yourself, not many are. move on girl.

  8. avatar
    shesaidsomething - Reply

    It’s not about honesty, love. It’s about him testing the “dumb” waters (which thankfully you passed because you have some integrity).

    Delete everything (including his next text).


  9. avatar

    Nat, he’s a total lame, he sounds like a scared teenage boy. Grown people that actively date should have a good command of dating diplomacy. Rejection is protection, if he can’t maneuver through these preliminary stages, he certainly cannot handle the complex nuances of full on relationships.
    Natalie you complain he didn’t pick up the phone and call you, but why didn’t you call him? I find with men you need to model behavior, so they know how you roll. Good story!

  10. avatar

    This story sounds like something that happened yo me. It is comforting to know I am not alone!
    Honesty is a great quality but you deserve to be #1!

  11. avatar

    Hi Natalie, Have a look on this page from a lovely tomboy in Bangalore, India: the way she manages her search for love and marriage is quite new (speaking of India…) yet inspiring for western girls; isn’t it?

  12. avatar
    Loulou - Reply

    Ugh!! Welcome to my world. I hate being single after my 7 yr relationship went bust. You’re so right, and these guys need filters.

  13. avatar
    Christine - Reply

    Having being there, he is a player and don’t waste your time on men like this. A man that is really into you would want to see you no matter what and will make it very obvious.

  14. avatar
    Raquel - Fashiongrillblog - Reply

    Bahahaha! This dating tab of your blog is slowly becoming my dating bible! xx

  15. avatar

    I’m literally about to fall asleep at work having completed everything for the day. And I would like to say thank you for waking me up! This story was interesting to read! Loved it! 🙂

  16. avatar
    Scarlette - Reply

    Haha bloody funny that’s the life the risk we take who cares if he decided to see someone else at least he told you.. You didn’t say anything when you were casually dating and still texting him..what did the guy owe you anyway … I would say better to stay honest and you could of given it a shot at least you know he would never lie to you right?

Post Nav