Every once in a while, I get to see how I was a douchebag.  Granted, if I’m lucky it’s way way back in my past, but nevertheless, I have been guilty.

What’s really interesting though is when i get to see how it all went down from the angle of somebody on the receiving end of the very douchebaggery that I was in fact guilty of.

To wit: I have a close friend who was crazy insane about this guy she met on the interwebs.  They talked. They laughed.  They spent TIME.  By some miracle of modern transportation and scheduling, there was even an in person visit which consisted of a weekend of sheer, unadulterated (well, probably adulterated…) bliss.  All was well with the world.  During this time, I really didn’t speak to her much because, well, new man, and that’s the way it should be.

And…then….nothing.  Squat.  Communication dried up from him.

I heard back from her a few weeks after the visit.

So apparently the guy went headcase on her.  She started getting the whole “I just don’t know what I want” thing from him, and then contact became less and less frequent.  I hear there was an ex girlfriend involved somehow.  Regardless of all that, he hemmed and hawed for weeks/months.

This whole time, she held out hope that he would finally get his shit straight and MAKE A DECISION.  Eventually shit fell through, and plans that were made never came to fruition.

Here we are, almost three months after the beginning of the weird meltdown and she’s been strung along this whole time on hopes that something good would come out of it.  Now, I’m not sure, but I’d be willing to wager a dollar that there’s a fair amount of resentment that’s been built up by now.

So how did this affect her?  Well, obviously she’s pissed.  As a man, the last thing you want to be is the object of an angry woman’s active and incendiary scorn.  That’s the kind of thing that can get you a well aimed brick to the face.  Further, she was in a state of mental anguish over the whole thing.  Apparently the word FUTURE was mentioned with regard to their relationship.  I understand the “L” word was also spoken.  From all indications, women don’t take that lightly.  And neither should you, men, if you plan on bandying those terms about haphazardly.  You might as well try to juggle dynamite.

Now, I don’t know what the guy’s deal is.  Maybe he’s a basket case.  Maybe he really is in mental anguish because he feels too deeply that it scares him.  Or maybe he’s just a douchebag that enjoys toying with women’s emotions.  Having only heard one side of the story, I don’t know.  Also having only one side of the story, my initial reaction to the whole tortured soul thing is that he should grow a pair and make up his mind.  But again, that’s not fair of me to say because I don’t have ALL the facts.

So rather than condemn him for being a douchebag, I’ll talk about how we can all avoid the possibility of even being perceived as this particular kind of douchebag.

Specifically, it all comes down to this: SAY WHAT YOU MEAN, AND MEAN WHAT YOU SAY.  If you’re into the girl, tell her.  She’ll appreciate it.  Believe you me, she’ll tell you if she’s not into you.  Nobody likes to be strung along.  Nobody likes to be kept wondering.  If you’re NOT into the girl, tell her that too.  She may resent you for it.  She may throw things.  She may tell all her friends, and they’ll call you names, tell their friends, and so on.  All those things could happen, sure, but in the end, eventually, she’ll appreciate it that you were UP FRONT with her and didn’t string her along.  One day, after you’ve come and gone, when she finds THE ONE, she’ll look back on you as the guy who cut her loose so that she could be happy with who she was supposed to be happy with.  It’s a better way to avoid that whole brick to the face thing.  And the slashed tires.  And the 2×4 through the windshield.