Sometimes I get flummoxed by how people behave. I wonder, “What would motivate someone to…” or “How could they possibly think that this behavior is acceptable… or “Doesn’t she have a clue how this would affect her reputation?”
I’m even more flummoxed with people’s — okay, men’s — behavior in dating. I’m sure women do bizarre things, but I’m not as privy to those.
For example, two years ago a nice-looking man kept coming up at the top of my matches on Match.com. After a month, I emailed him a note, mentioning the things we had in common. Nothing. A few months later he comes up as the #1 match on YahooPersonals. I again launched a salvo, different than the first. Over the next year, I sent two or three emails just to see if he’d respond. Nothing.
Eight months ago, I saw his picture — the same one he used in his online profile — in a Realtor’s ad. He worked 3 blocks from me! Soon after that I was at a friend’s business club. Everyone introduced themselves to the group of 150. I heard his name and thought, “I must introduce myself to him by my online handle and see if he has any memory of my emails.” By the time the introductions were over, he’d left.
I emailed him a short note, “Sorry we didn’t get to meet at the club” to his office address. I shared non-judgmentally that I’d emailed him from the dating sites, but hadn’t heard back, and that he worked in my neighborhood. He responded perfunctorily.
Was I being a stalker? Not really. The emails were short and infrequent. It was clear he had no interest in me, but it became a game to see if he would respond. However, the last email told all. It’s easy to ignore someone when you don’t run in the same circles. But I could have easily become a business asset to him if he’d had a more pleasant response to my email. I regularly hear of people wanting to move out of or into my neighborhood. Might he have benefited from another person sending him leads?
Now whenever I see his ad or sign in a yard, I think, “I’d never refer that guy any business. He doesn’t know the basics about how to treat people.” After all, how hard would it have been for him to respond to any of my dating site emails? Not hard at all. But then when he found out I was at his club and in his area, he could have said something like, “I’m seeing someone right now, so am out of the dating market. But if you’re willing, I’d love to have coffee just to get to know you and see how we might help each others’ businesses.” Networking 101.
So if your profession puts you in front of the public, know that your actions have repercussions beyond the dating world.