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Throwing the bait, but never reeling in the fish


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A bunch of us are genuinely confused about a particular guy in our friend/acquaintance group. We'll call him John.


John's an attractive, intelligent, successful 31 y.o. guy who constantly pulls the same game on every lady he encounters: meets girl, talks her up, says he's interested, engages in lengthy email exchanges, makes plans to meet, then totally bails with apologetic excuses (illness, work, forgetfulness), never to be heard from again or only in piecemeal amounts.


All of the girls he has done this to are educated, attractive, intelligent and well-spoken. They all look incredibly different and have unique things to offer. None of them have ever hooked up with him or even had him make a physical/sexual pass. Supposedly, he was engaged years ago but no one has ever heard of him dating. Aside from this flirty run-around, he seems pretty normal.


Anyone ever encounter someone like this? Are you someone like this?

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Doesn't matter who John runs into; if John has a problem, then John has a problem and it won't matter who cute or educated the female half can be. Obviously there's something troubling John and he needs to figure out what it is. Or maybe a good friend like yourself and a few others can sit down and ask him about what's going on.

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hi there,


I am quite literally John! Not your John, but A John nonetheless and I sound a lot like your John too.


I know a few of my mates think I'm gay - that's kool, whatever, I don't mind at all... they're wrong though.


I'm just a very shy bloke who hasn't had a good experience and is scared. None of your lot know the ins and outs of the engagement story. Could be she left him and he couldn't take it, or he could be a poor sod whose been mentally and emotionally abused by her and finally got away...


The list goes on but of course you know that. In my personal situation I spend 99.9% of the time really happy to be free and single. When I do get the urge to approach a girl within 10 minutes I am walking away feeling relief.


I posted lately about a woman I liked, turns out shes married. I gotta admit, as I type this, drinking my tea, looking round my room: I feel relief, like I'm safe if I don't approach her. I don't mean safe from rejection or embaressment - I mean safe from torment, from suffering.


In my personal situation I do not envisage giving my heart to anyone ever again. I really do hope I can get a relationship going etc but I know it's gonna take me a time before I'm ready.


I didn't mean this to be about me you know, but I can only speak from my personal experience and how I feel right now, every day. And as I said, your John sounds like me John. Just please, please, please don't assume he's gay - as I said nothing wrong there at all, but I find it rather insensitive that people can't grasp the notion "maybe he just isn't comfortable".


take it easy

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John sounds like a guy with very low self esteem, or confidence. He feels confident getting to the point he does, but then bails before he has the chance to be 'shot down.'


Basically, he sounds a lot like I would act if I were to get past the initial stages. I have a fear of being embarrassed, so I probably would act a lot like that.


There's also the possibility he's a virgin, and he is embarrassed about it.

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Thanks for all of the theories!


I hope that if any Johns ARE reading this and are truly the kind to bail because of fear of some sort of failure, that they turn it around and go through with it. If the girl is willing to meet for a drink or dinner, clearly she has some interest so the luck is on your side from the beginning.


My question for the similar blokes: if you do keep in contact, do make plans, and then suddenly disappear, what would you want the girl to do to make you at ease enough to actually follow through?


Admittedly, the gay thing has been considered by a few folks, but just as a what-if, not anything anyone would ever really assume or bring up to him. The end of the engagement also wears a big question mark, so the second poster is spot-on about baggage possibly playing a role in John's inadequacy. But why waste time with all the emails and phone calls and false promises if it amounts to nothing? Seems to be one thing to get a phone number and be polite but then never make contact, but to go through all the trouble seems to suggest something. I know at least 5 women who have experienced John's antics--I am sick of listening to the same story! I want answers!

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