A Different Kind Of Cruelty

4 Jul

I didn’t get quite as many suggestions for topics as I hoped so here’s a post based on something that happened to someone I know.

*Please note that this was written almost as a one sided account, based on the feelings related to me, in order to stir up some healthy debate.


Cruelty. It takes on many forms. It is inflicted upon animals and human alike yet what is televised and reported in the news are only those that are of a ‘serious nature’. Is everyday cruelty not serious enough? The cruelty of being led on only to be rejected? The cruelty of someone dangling an object of your desire within an arm’s reach yet never being able to touch it? Doesn’t that count as serious? Maybe not.

To some however, that rejection stings. The hope of achieving something only for it to be snatched away. In some way, that’s just life and a lot of us are forced to deal with it but other times, it is just plain mean and nasty.

Take this girl I know for example, let’s call her Sarah. She had met a man at a bar and had been texting as well as e-mailing back and forth with him for about two weeks. He seemed decent enough and she was willing to take a chance on him after he had asked her out for coffee. She wasn’t exactly excited or thrilled beyond belief that she had a date but neither was she unhappy at the prospect.

Twenty-four hours after the invitation to coffee was sent, Sarah frantically prepared for her date. Just to be sure, she sent the man a message to confirm their meeting point.  This was the reply she received:

“I’m sorry but you’re too nice for me. I’m really sorry but I’m just not ready for all this. I have a lot of stuff to deal with and you shouldn’t have to be put through that.”

Now, Sarah, who wasn’t at all desperate or excited for the date, started to tear up. The man she had been conversing with had played her for a fool. He had given her the hope of possibly meeting a nice genuine guy and did a complete 180 on her. Doesn’t that sound cruel? What could have possibly happened to have suddenly changed his mind about Sarah in twenty-four hours? There are two possibilities:

1) He was a coward who couldn’t man up and be honest enough to tell Sarah that he was not interested; or

2) He had found someone else in the meantime, possibly during a day time date before his scheduled coffee date with Sarah that evening, and could not be bothered telling the truth, quite possibly to protect Sarah from being hurt.

Well, she got hurt anyway.

Both options clearly show the deceptive and game playing mind set of this young man. Could he have not been honest with her and mentioned that he had met someone? Couldn’t he have sent her a message earlier in the day to let her know beforehand? That, I believe is cruel behaviour that should never be inflicted upon any person. Why? Because Sarah spent that night questioning herself. Was she really too nice? What did that mean? Does the fact that she’s a decent human being mean that she will never find love? Because she’s too nice? Will she be alone for the rest of her life? Is she ugly? Was it her? That is exactly the kind of questioning that leads to heartache and pain, because that is when we start to question if we’re good enough. Our self esteem goes out the window and self doubt kicks in, which is replaced most often by self-hate. The mind games and deceptive conduct of human beings occur in such small ways that often it is too isolated to acknowledge. Unfortunately, it does happen and is by far the worst form of cruelty, in my opinion, because self hate is often the last straw before someone completely loses themselves.

What do you think? Would you approve of that man’s behaviour? Was it acceptable? Would you, as women, doubt yourself after receiving that kind of message and finally, would you accept it?




23 Responses to “A Different Kind Of Cruelty”

  1. Anonymous July 4, 2012 at 22:52 #

    On the facts given I don’t think there’s any reason not to believe this guy. Things happen and hey, he’s probably saving her a lot more heartache. There are a huge raft of answers – limiting it to ‘too coward’ or ‘found someone else’ seems a little short sighted?

    • throughawindshield July 4, 2012 at 23:31 #

      Hi there. Thank you for bringing this up. I wrote this based on the feelings related to me and thought it would be interesting to use this to engage in some healthy debate.

      Yes, I agree with you there. Things do happen and often last minute. There are a range of possibilities and he should be given the benefit of the doubt. However, I would have imagined that, at the very least, he could have informed her beforehand as it seemed as if he had already made the decision not to see her.

      What are your thoughts on his comment about her being “too nice for him”? Would you agree/ disagree that she was, in a way, led on?

      I’d be interested in reading what others think about this.

      • Anonymous July 5, 2012 at 11:42 #

        Judging by the fact that he did ditch last minute, it’s reasonably foreseeable that she is too nice for him :p

      • throughawindshield July 5, 2012 at 14:30 #

        You sound like someone I know 😉 Are you saying that he decided against my friend because she was too nice? Does that mean that women who are genuinely good hearted and nice are unattractive? Or that good women are easier to lead on and hurt? On the other hand, my other interpretation of your comment is that yes, she is the sweetest person I know and that guy was definitely not worth her time or effort.

    • Fargo. James July 5, 2012 at 01:37 #

      Short-sighted? You must not have dated anyone before or you would have the common sense to not use these words to describe the author of this blog. When a person leaves you hanging after leading you on for a long period of time, this does not mean that the author is short-sighted for depicting the hurt and anger felt by her friend. Ironic, as it really shows who is truly short-sighted here.

      Back to the topic, no one is able to tell you why the person did what he did. It’s over now. Don’t strain yourself. Though I must say that the overly simplistic method in which he dumped Sarah shows a lack of effort, nor an interest for closure. “You are just too nice. Good Bye.” simply does not amount to good effort to rectify the end of the relationship to begin with. It is very likely that he does not actually hold the relationship with any kind of importance, which may very much be in contrast to what he portrayed to Sarah seeing that they were in continuous contact for some time. She seems to just be taken along for a ride, in case of a “rainy day” maybe?

  2. Anonymous July 9, 2012 at 18:55 #

    If he took a whole two weeks to ask ‘Sarah’ out on a date after meeting at a bar….to be brutally honest it was probably just a case of “he’s just not that into you”. Admittedly, his cancelling so late was a touch rude and inconsiderate, but in no way indicates a personality defect or warrants you calling him ‘deceptive’. If she wasn’t particularly excited at the prospect with a date with him in the first place, then I don’t see why she is so bothered. This seems like a pride/bruised ego thing stemming from low self-esteem which isn’t the guy’s fault. He doesn’t owe Sarah an explanation. If he changed his mind about wanting to go on a date with her, he can tell her as much and leave it at that. He wasn’t Sarah’s boyfriend ending a relationship. He wasn’t even a guy she was casually dating for a period of time. This was a first date, and as such, a simple cancellation with no explanation would have sufficed. Most girls would have been a little bothered but if they were secure and had decent self-esteem, some random guy cancelling on a date wouldn’t have caused them to question their identity and whether they were “too nice”.

    • throughawindshield July 9, 2012 at 20:08 #

      Hi, thank you for commenting and joining in on this debate.

      I agree with you that it could be a case of ‘he’s just not into you’. However, I believe the real issue here is the selfish act of leading someone on. Leading someone on for two weeks and then merely saying “you’re too nice for me” at the very last minute does not seem like a cancellation and is more than just a ‘touch’ rude. If it was me, I would have been quite ticked off at receiving that kind of message at the last minute. Just to be clear, the guy did not send the text on his own volition. It was a reply to ‘Sarah’ AFTER she sent him a confirmation text, minutes before leaving her flat. No, she wasn’t excited and she probably would not have felt bothered by it had he sent the message on his own, even if it was at the last minute. Imagine if she hadn’t sent the text. He wouldn’t have ‘cancelled’ and she would have taken the time to go to their meeting place only to find out much later that she was stood up, time she could have spent doing something else. Take into account that to get to their meeting place, she could have needed to spend money on transport or at the very least think of the petrol consumption if she drove. No, he doesn’t owe her an explanation for cancelling but he did owe her some form of a cancellation.

      Deeming her feelings as a pride/ bruised ego thing seems a little insensitive considering that the fault here was very much on the guy. Assuming that what she felt is based on low self-esteem seems equally harsh as you may not know ‘Sarah’ as I do, if you even know who she is. I may have low self-esteem at times but ‘Sarah’, who is a close friend, may be the most secure person. How quick you are to judge a person. She could simply have been frustrated at being led on and played for a fool. Her questioning herself was a direct result of this guy’s behaviour. Perhaps it triggered a moment of low self-esteem. Don’t we all have those moments of self-doubt? Even the most secure of women often question themselves. I could go on about this issue but I think that you should read “Here Kitty Kitty … Grab The Dating String and I’ll Lead You On” by Single Dating Diva, which I have reblogged here on the 5th of July. Being led on like that and wasting someone’s time, leaving them confused and unsure of what is going on is selfish and rather ‘deceptive’. As the dictionary defines, deceptive behaviour is “giving an appearance or impression different from the true one; misleading”, which is exactly the case here.

      • Anonymous July 10, 2012 at 19:14 #

        He was not necessarily deceptive. He may have been interested initially, hence why he gave Sarah a true impression of his feelings and texted regularly. But over the two weeks, these feelings of initial infatuation could have worn off. This is common and normal in the dating world. I do not think he owes Sarah an explanation since they have no long standing history. Only two weeks of interaction based on texting. It wasn’t ‘leading on’ per se if he wasn’t making any grand promises of a relationship or something more stemming from engaging in a ‘get to know you’ type text interaction. While an express notification that he was not interested would have been admirable, I do not think he is as awful a person as Sarah makes out for giving her the explanation that she was “too nice” and admitting he had personal issues. It’s not that ‘too nice’ girls aren’t date-worthy, but perhaps, he’s simply the kind of person that doesn’t appreciate that kind of personality, or isn’t compatible with it. And he judged this from the impression he gleaned of Sarah in the two weeks of interaction. In my honest opinion, the charge of ‘leading on’ can only be laid if he led her to believe he sincerely liked her.

        How deep can the level of like/leading on be after two weeks of mere text communication? Admittedly, pretty low on Sarah’s end too, since she wasn’t really excited to see him either. But probably not unexcited enough to cancel as he did. Yes, he was rude and inconsiderate, but I do not think changing your mind last minute about a FIRST date after two weeks of texting is something to demonize a person for. Especially if they provided an explanation. If you speculate his explanation isn’t the truth, then that may not be fair either. Take his words at face value. It isn’t that Sarah is too nice for the world, or for other compatible guys to appreciate, just for this one. It doesn’t make her, nor him, a worse person for it.

    • throughawindshield July 9, 2012 at 22:29 #

      Maybe this guy should be given the some benefit of the doubt. I just feel some notice of cancellation was required. If his intention(s) were to lead her on then that would be cruel and at the very least not pleasant for the other person involved. Looking at his execution and choice of wording, it does lead to some level of doubt about his integrity, especially because he had two weeks to decide if he was going to see her or not. He also asked her out 24 hours before she sent the confirmation text. While anything could have happened to change his mind in that 24 hours, it seemed that he did lead her on up to that point of the text message.

      • Fargo. James July 10, 2012 at 11:15 #

        If he is not interested, why bother contacting Sarah and organising a meeting place, only to cancel for reason of “You are too nice” at the last minute? This is a cut and paste case of leading a person on. The only natural responses for a person to feel in this case is hurt and anger, no matter how high the self-esteem. Claiming that a person has low self-esteem from feeling hurt arising from this is complete and utter rubbish.

      • Anonymous July 10, 2012 at 19:35 #

        @Fargo James: Yes, it is a natural response to feel a *limited* degree of hurt and indignation. But to feel an excessive amount of hurt that brings you to tears and causes you to question the worth of your personality, and whether you are in fact “too nice” is unfortunate to read.

        He was probably interested enough to ask her out initially, but had residual doubts about it. It’s normal to feel both apprehensive and interested when you first meet someone you think you might like to get to know more. But by the end of the two week period, he probably simply came to the conclusion that he wasn’t that keen on Sarah anymore. And that’s fine. It doesn’t show bad character. He was perfectly entitled to text her for two weeks then have nothing come of it. That’s not ‘leading on’, that’s life, and human nature.

        One guy’s negative opinion about Sarah’s character shouldn’t be received as an indicator of her ‘actual’ character by her – this was a guy she had only vaguely known for two weeks!! If Sarah really knew herself and had faith in herself, she would realize his judgement of her is that she was ‘too nice’….for HIM, and by his standards. But not by her own. And it shouldn’t lead her to consider conclusions such as she is too nice to be dated 😦

        Texting for two weeks is hardly a cut and paste case of leading someone on. Leading on in a cut and dry case would require more deception than was at play here. If they had dated regularly for a month and actually met more than once in person, and he had expressed feelings for her and she the same, and they had both agreed they were headed towards a relationship….only for him to bail – that would be an example of leading on. But to casually text a girl for two weeks, ask her out, then change your mind and cancel last minute only when she asks to confirm, is at *most* a cut and paste case of rudeness.

  3. Kelina Taai July 10, 2012 at 21:42 #

    Speaking of demonizing, you seem to going to a lot of trouble to angelize him and justify his actions. No one is talking about an *excessive* amount of hurt, but hurt nonetheless. Your speculations on what the person may be thinking at that time is irrelevant, unless you are the person himself. I prefer to let his actions do all the talking if you don’t mind. Now if he wasn’t interested at all, why bother organizing a date? This is an indication to take the relationship to a higher level. Two weeks constant communication and then a date? They sure as hell are not planning to be soccer buddies that’s for sure.

    Afterall, why would he continuously text her for weeks after meeting her? If he is not interested, he would let her know from the start by either telling her or not calling/texting back, instead, he pursues this relationship for another two weeks, and let alone arranged a date. Girls are not a trial-run for guys. There is no two-weeks free trial in a relationship. Treat a person as such, and they will be hurt. This is human nature. From his actions, it’s clear as day he is leading her on.

    • Anonymous July 11, 2012 at 11:59 #

      @Kelina Taii: “There is no two-week free trial in a relationship”. Yes – Correct. But this wasn’t a ‘relationship’. Nowhere near it. They weren’t dating. They texted for two weeks. That’s not even solid grounds to call it a friendship! What people in passing owe to one another on the grounds of decency, and what people in a relationship owe to one another are very different benchmarks of behaviour.

      I did not say he wasn’t interested at all. What I said is that he was probably interested enough to text, but not interested enough to actually go through with dating her. He did not ‘pursue’ a relationship with her. All they did was text – they didn’t go on any dates.

      You claim that it is irrelevant to speculate what a person may be thinking at the time, unless you are the person himself. Well, to be fair, the author of the blog speculated too! She speculated that the real reason he cancelled had to be one of two reasons, either a) he wasn’t interested or b) he met another girl.What do you have to say about that?

      I think it’s only a fair, and probably accurate, assessment to conclude on the facts that he texted for two weeks but never followed through on the date that: a) he was initially interested and b) it wore off during the two week period. That was all that I ‘speculated’. I haven’t made any outlandish speculations at all, as you would like to have others believe.

      Dating IS a trial-run! That’s the whole point of it. Girls should have a healthy enough degree of self confidence so that a rejection after two weeks of TEXTING doesn’t knock them down, bring them to tears, and cause them to question their personality flaws (which may not even be there to begin with and are based on some random guy’s two-week judgment through text messaging). I’m not saying that any of this excuses the guy’s obviously rude behaviour in cancelling so late. But for you to try and justify wallowing in misery and painful self-questioning because some guy cancels a date is unhealthy and unnecessary, and isn’t the right attitude to have when it comes to dating.

      From his actions, it’s clear as day they were TEXTING. We don’t know the content of those messages. It’s not clear as day that he was leading her on. Or is that a speculation you’d like to make now?

      • Kelina Taai July 11, 2012 at 19:03 #

        As I said before, it is normal for Sarah to feel hurt and a little self-doubt resulting from his actions. That’s all. No where in my posts have I tried and justify wallowing in misery and painful self-questioning as healthy. Don’t exaggerate what I said to suit your argument. It appears we are on the same page on this issue, unless you are trying to say that Sarah shouldn’t feel any degree of hurt at all from this.

        You were speculating on what he was thinking and how he came to his conclusion. That is pretty outlandish.

        From the facts, he texted her for two weeks, organised a date, cancelled during the date for reason of “You are too nice” and ended the relationship abruptly. And for Sarah to feel what she felt, the content of those messages can reasonably be implied to be quite serious, unless proven otherwise. He ain’t texting her rugby scores if that’s what you are getting at.

    • Anonymous July 11, 2012 at 12:12 #

      You say that if he is not interested, he should have let her know from the start by either telling her or not calling/texting back.

      This is a very strict proposition. You can’t and shouldn’t simplify feelings as a black and white case of either interested/not interested translating to call/not call. People lose interest over the course of time. Relationships fail or fail to start. Why would he continously text her for two weeks? He was obviously somewhat interested to do that. Texting shouldn’t commit you to having to go on a date with someone though. That’s very much an opinion of entitlement you have going on there!

      You also said “no one is talking about *excessive* hurt”. Umm, I think “starting to tear up” and questioning “is she too ugly” and reference to “self hate being the last straw before someone completely loses themselves” is clearly evidence of excessive hurt being felt?

      • throughawindshield July 11, 2012 at 19:39 #

        “That is exactly the kind of questioning that leads to heartache and pain, because that is when we start to question if we’re good enough. Our self esteem goes out the window and self doubt kicks in, which is replaced most often by self-hate.”

        “Self hate” here is in relation to the cruelty of others in making you question yourself and your self worth. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about this situation per se. Who’s to know what emotions Sarah felt. Maybe there were other factors that led her to start tearing up? All I know is that she didn’t appreciate his rude behaviour and felt that he shouldn’t have acted so enthusiastic about meeting if only to cancel. I agree with you though, that interest does fade and it was just a texting relationship but what sort of texting did they engage in? What was said? Perhaps some people have differing views of what constitutes leading on. As I mentioned in the post, this was purposefully written in a biased manner in order to hear what others thought and you clearly picked up on this by giving us insight from another point of view.

        I was merely trying to show that the questions Sarah asked herself was the kind of questions that leads to self hate. Note, that this is a blog mainly about bullying and how we treat others. It is not a blog about dating and what constitutes a ‘relationship’. I do appreciate your comments though. It certainly has given me some insight.

  4. Angeline Wee (@Greenbellz) July 10, 2012 at 21:44 #

    First of all the author is talking from the point of Sarah, as she is her friend she would obviously be speaking from Sarah point of view, she is just the messenger,why are you shorting her? She has done nothing wrong at all, she is just looking at things from Sarah point of view. While i do understand that your looking at things from the guy’s point of view, i think its best to at least put your feet into the other the opposite sex shoes and see how she feels.
    Its pretty obvious that you have been lead on and at end up being hurt hence you are trying to shoot everyone down and i cant tell you, you are not going to get anywhere by putting your hurt on on other and let others feel what you have felt cause for all the author care is to put a friends view across and for other jerks to read ad try and feel the hurt. You on the other hand, wanting everyone to feel what you have gone through but seriously i dont see anyone caring about it. Its the authors blog so please let her have her say and say whatever she wants, after all she has the copy right to it all, and she can take u down legally.. 😉
    Secondly, first of all put yourself into another persons shoes-and in this case Sarah shoes,a girl. Although 2 weeks might not be a long time to some people, someone like Sarah would have thought that its a while, i mean text-talking for 2 weeks is a long time, in my opinion and that it should at least show or meant something. To you it might not but to Sarah it is, she is a girl after all and if she is those that don’t normally get attention and suddenly now got all the attention for sure she would have some sort of feelings for the other party. Am not talking about relationship feelings, but of those like how friendship is being build, short as it could be, there is at least still some emotion involved. Lets face it, you are not her and you would not know how she felt at that time, she could have related to the author that she did not feel anything, but seriously do we really know? Do you think the author really know how Sarah felt at that time? No, no one knew at all, except Sarah. For the record, i think that he is actually cruel to put Sarah all through this and then when the time comes just cancel the meet up, and that still Sarah has to text and conform the meeting time and place, what if she has driven all the way there? A good 30-45 mins and only to be stood up?
    There is no harm in putting yourself into the opposite side’s shoes once in a while to see how the other person feel! 🙂

    • throughawindshield July 10, 2012 at 23:50 #

      Thanks to all who commented. There are obviously two sides to every story. Lets try to keep this objective and respect that everyone is entitled to an opinion. That was why I wrote this post in a one sided manner in the first place. I wanted to see what different people thought and I have enjoyed reading what everyone has had to say. You have all brought up some very valid points 🙂

    • Anonymous July 11, 2012 at 12:22 #

      @Angeline Wee: exactly.There is no harm in putting yourself in the opposite side’s shoes. I’ve put myself in the guy’s shoes. And I’ve put myself in the girl’s shoes and said that no guy is worth shedding tears over if he’s so rude as to cancel last minute, and you only know him through texting for two weeks and one night in a club.

      So why be aggressive towards me for putting myself in the opposite side’s shoes?

      To say no one cares about my opinion and because it’s the author’s blog, and that she should ‘take me down’ is just plain immature. The author herself said she appreciates two-sided debates. You obviously don’t, so it’s close minded people like you who need to consider the opposite side’s feelings really!

  5. Fargo. James July 10, 2012 at 22:51 #

    Whether days, weeks or months is enough can be argued ad infinitum. It is subjective for everyone. One shoe does not fit all when it comes to relationships. I for one and I’m sure many others as well, wouldn’t like to spend two weeks invested in a relationship that was doomed from the start. Especially if the inevitable sense of disappointment and hurt can be easily resolved from the beginning or during the relationship, not to wait after organizing a date.

    Sarah is obviously interested in taking the relationship to a new level if she agreed to the date. It is fair to say that from his actions, the same can be said as there had been no indications to Sarah otherwise. The mere lack of effort to inform Sarah otherwise within the weeks of constant communication do qualifies as leading her on.

    • Anonymous July 11, 2012 at 12:17 #

      If it’s subjective for everyone, then the guy should be entitled to the ‘shoe’ of “I don’t owe her very much since we only texted for two weeks and we haven’t actually even started dating, nor are friends”.

      It’s not the guy’s fault that Sarah was invested in the ‘relationship’. By my opinion, albeit a subjective one, two weeks of texting isn’t a RELATIONSHIP at all. Nor a friendship even. If Sarah felt differently, and everything is ‘subjective’ as you point out, then how can she blame the guy for feeling differently and holding himself to a different standard of behaviour based on their [lack of] history?

      • Kelina Taai July 11, 2012 at 20:37 #

        As I said before, the nature of the text messages is the issue here.

        From the facts, it can reasonably be implied that he held himself out to Sarah as being interested and even goes a step further to organised a date. Thus the same test of general subjectivity will not apply for him here. He actively engages Sarah in a relationship for two weeks and even asked her out on a date. His actions outed the excuse of “not being interested” from the get-go. Afterall what is Sarah or any other reasonable person to derived from his actions? That he merely wants to be soccer buddies?

  6. throughawindshield July 11, 2012 at 20:47 #

    Thank you to everyone who has commented. Though I appreciate the comments, this has gotten a little out of hand. The main issue of this blog is bullying, not to discuss the issues of what constitutes a relationship. Similarly, this comment feature isn’t about attacking each others’ view points. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I set this up with the intention of a peaceful debate, not attacking each other on a personal level.

    In order to maintain the integrity of this blog and to place focus back on the main theme of the blog, I will be disabling the comment feature for this particular post. Please focus on the main issue of the blog and respect each others’ viewpoints.

Comments are closed.

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