Those unkept promises, promises . . .

SINGLE FILE

November 29, 1992|By SUSAN DEITZ

Q: This is one woman's response to the ongoing debate on the so-called "dishonesty" of women who do not call men after they "promise" they would. Men who experience this phenomenon should do a little soul-searching themselves before they blast women for being dishonest.

For instance, when you asked her out, did she say "no," maybe even more than once? Did you then continue to pester her,

assuming she was being "coy," or hoping that persistence would make her change her mind? Sometimes a woman will go on one date with a man just to get him off her back, and may then find herself resorting to the "I'll call you" ploy when he wants to continue the relationship.

I am basically a forthright person. I hate to lead men on, and I prefer to let a man retain his dignity when turning him down for a date, so I try to do so graciously. But when I say "no," I mean it, and am frustrated when men won't accept me at my word. I have been pestered for dates by men who remained undaunted even when I said I was seriously seeing someone. In such instances, I resort to taking a man's number rather than giving out my own. Of course, I never call.

My point is this: If a man cannot graciously accept a polite "no," he should not be surprised at being "deceived." After all, he didn't believe she meant it when she said "no," so why should he believe her when she says she'll call?

A: Your point is on the target. The reluctant woman, who finally succumbs and goes out with a pestering, insistent man, is the one who most probably will let him down gently by taking his phone number and promising to call. And she is the ideal candidate to be bashed by the man later on.

But that man is at least equally at fault, since he is kidding himself about the true dynamics of the relationship: The woman was never eager to date him and had to be pushed into a corner before she would accept his invitation. He kids himself into thinking she plans to use the phone number he provides. So it takes two to create the unkept promise.

Q: How about one more letter from a "Nice Guy"? I've been reading your column for a while and see I'm not the only nice guy being dumped. My last girlfriend left me to go back with the guy who almost broke her nose punching her -- and wrecked her front door afterward. I was the guy who brought her flowers, groceries and did her psychology [class] final for her.

Before her, another girl for whom I bought a car, clothes and jewelry left me to go out with a two-timing, fast-talking, unattractive guy. I took one look at him and couldn't believe she had left me for him.

Every time I meet a new lady she says the same thing: "I want someone nice." They want nice, I give them nice. I get stabbed in the back.

The guys who treat them rotten have all the women. What is wrong with this picture? Everyone says I'm "too nice." But I don't want to be mean, and also, I wouldn't know where to begin to be mean, and I don't feel I should have to compromise my personality.

A: Stay exactly as you are, the way you feel comfortable. But keep in mind that a nice guy can speak his mind and assert himself. But leave the rough stuff to the macho creeps.

There are women who appreciate a kind man and think enough of themselves to know they deserve what he can give. But, are you giving these women too much too soon? Overwhelming them with material treasures in return for their love? Try holding back -- just a bit.

/ Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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