Ask Dr. Nerdlove by Harris O'Malley

Was I Wrong To Call Her Out For Lying?

DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I need your help with this girl.

So typical text game. I met her through my friends. She messaged me on Facebook saying that “she was told to contact me” she instantly said that I looked handsome blah blah blah etc. We ended up texting and everything went great. I worked my way from face pics to nudes within 4 days.

Note: I haven’t met her yet but we Skyped a few times.

So we were planning on meeting this past weekend. she lives four hours away in South Carolina and I live in the western part of the state. We were to meet in Charlotte because we had mutual friends we were going to meet with anyways. I ask the night before to see if we were still on for the day, she never responded. We text almost everyday! She didn’t text back for four days. We were in contact everyday. I did the right thing and never text back and was waiting until she texted me.

So she texts today that saying how horrible her week has been and her phone messing up. Me, being the stalker that I am, saw that she posted a snapshot of a text convo on her Instagram. I ignored her text. I knew she was lying. I had to study anyways. She texts back again four hours later. This is where I went wrong.

She texts “HEY”

I text back “I didn’t believe your excuse of a messed up phone because you were active on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. so you’re lying. You could have followed up with a yes or no response via numerous other options. Im not mad, i just feel obligated to call you out.”

This happened hours ago and she hasn’t text back. I f

ked up. I want to get with her soon. How do I successfully recover from this without seeming desperate?

Frog King Horny

DEAR FROG KING HORNY: So I’m going to be perfectly blunt here: you screwed the pooch on this one.

Now I’m going to start with the obvious: it’s really not cool that she flaked out on you without so much as a phone call or a flimsy excuse, especially when your upcoming date required a not-insignificant amount of travel on both of your parts. It’s s

tty behavior on her part, no question.


She’s not the one who wrote me, you did. And frankly, you’re not exactly covering yourself in glory either.

I have no idea why she flaked; I don’t have her side of the story. If things had been going as well as you said, then it’s a bit odd that she would suddenly “forget” that she had all of these ways of getting in contact with you to let you know that she wasn’t going to make it. But if I had to lay odds, I’d guess that she had second thoughts at the last minute on meeting up with someone she really doesn’t know all that well, especially when there are clear expectations – explicit or otherwise – of sex. I’d be further willing to bet that she didn’t know how to back out with any grace and ended up just not saying anything with the hope that it would all pass without comment and everybody could just move on and that it would blow over.

Keep in mind:  a) that’s speculation on my part and b) I’m not here to excuse what she did.

But again, that’s not the point. The point is that you handled it badly. So badly, in fact, that I’m not convinced that there’s a point to trying to fix things. You’re asking me for the right things to say to undo what you did when what you NEED to be asking is whether you can borrow my flux capacitor or the keys to the TARDIS in hopes that you can go back in time and smack the phone out of your hands before you made some truly stupid decisions.

I sympathize with you in as much that you wound up getting ghosted and left with just PornHub for company; that’s annoying and frustrating. You feel cheated and betrayed by the fact that she lied to you about it… that’s understandable.

“Calling her out on her bulls

t”, however, is counterproductive. What, exactly were you expecting to happen? Did you hope that, after you vented your righteous anger at her, she would beg your forgiveness and promise you an around-the-world in exchange for getting back in your good graces? Because that ain’t gonna happen.

Y’see, calling a girl out for flaking may make you feel righteous in the short term and it’ll get you lots of headpats from your buddies for “putting that b

ch in her place”, but it’s a lousy way to get laid in the vanishingly unlikely event that you ever see her again. Just between you, me and everyone reading this column, let’s be real: this is more about lashing out at someone who hurt you than making something productive happen. I mean, unless you were raised in a VERY small, insular and specific subculture, you HAVE to know that the number of women out there who get their engines revved by being insulted by relative strangers are so minimal as to be functionally non-existent.

I will concede one theoretical exception: if this had been part of a routine of boundaries-testing behavior on her part. Establishing that this is behavior that you wouldn’t put up with – in a calm, rational and non-accusatory manner – would be appropriate… but it would also ideally be what you say right before you deleted her number and moved on to someone who didn’t act like that.

But that’s not what happened here.

But let me be charitable for a moment. Let’s assume that you called her out with the idea that this would actually make a difference.

In that case, you’re 100% correct. It totally will make a difference.

It’ll make sure that you won’t hear from her ever again.

No woman is going to respond positively to being called out for flaking on someone. Women aren’t Mr. Myxytlplk; catching them out isn’t how you change their minds and get them to go out on a date with you. When a woman flakes or ghosts on you, it’s a sign that she’s not really interested or is having second thoughts about wanting to see you. You’re already working from a losing position when this happens, and getting angry at her about it isn’t going to improve things.

In fact, calling her out on it is going to put her on the defensive, and that’s not a good place to be if you’re trying to sleep with her. Calling her out and then scolding her with “Oh, by the way, I totally cyberstalked you and I know you’re lying because I have evidence” is just going to drive the stake into the heart of whatever sex might have happened, then cut off it’s head, stuff communion wafers in its mouth and burned the body at a crossroads for good measure. You’re not going to “shame” her into shaping up and correcting her wicked ways; you’re not her boyfriend, her BFF or anyone else in her life who might have some moral authority, you’re just some dude she’s been flirting with online. If she was THAT worried about your opinion of her… well, she wouldn’t have flaked on you in the first place.

So yeah, I don’t think you can expect to get up in there any time soon.

For future reference: if someone’s going to flake on you, it’s generally a sign that you haven’t built up enough attraction or interest with her before arranging a date. Without seeing the transcripts and what-not, I can’t point out exactly *where* it happened. However, if she ignored you for four days following when the two of you were supposed to hook up, I’m willing to make some guesses.

I’ve had more than a few occasions where I’ve inadvertently screwed myself out of guaranteed sex because I was horny as hell and I didn’t know how to take “yes” for an answer. I pushed too hard, came on too strong and scared any sex away by generally acting like a horny idiot, thus jawing defeat from the snatch of victory. And frankly, I suspect that’s what happened here.

Now, if you had wanted to discuss the matter with her with an eye towards there actually being a next time, here’s what you should have said. “Listen, I know you weren’t having phone problems last week. If  you’d changed your mind or were having second thoughts, I really would rather you have actually told me instead of acting like this; it’s insulting to the both of us. I still want to see you, but frankly, handling it like this really wasn’t cool.” Calm. Reasonable. Establishes what you expect and what behavior you’re not willing to put up with, without jumping down her throat. And, critically, it doesn’t put her on the defensive or validate her decision to flake on you in the first place.

Freaking out at someone flaking on you isn’t going to help. It just makes you seem immature and lack confidence… or any other options. The only acceptable response to someone flaking on you is to not let it bother you and just move on to someone else. There are other women out there and the vast majority don’t play these sorts of games. Most flakes aren’t because of nerves, they’re because the flaker has decided she’s got better things to do and doesn’t have the courtesy to call you up and cancel. Being willing to put up with that sort of behavior just means you’re more likely to attract it in the future.

When you suspect a flake is imminent, the only real way of pulling out of the nose-dive is to preemptively flake on her. Then when you get in contact afterwards, you are all apologies: “Oh man, I’m so sorry, this thing came up last minute and I totally owe you an awesome dinner for this and I hope you’ll let me make it up to you.” This puts the ball back in HER court and makes her somewhat more likely to go out this time because now she’s the “wronged” party and you “owe” it to her.

Please notice very carefully that I say “somewhat”. You have, at best, a 40% chance of this working. If you’re lucky, it buys you some time to do a better job with the flirting and rapport building… although to be perfectly honest, I don’t know why you’d want to go out with someone who flaked and lied about it, but hey, your milage may vary. Maybe she’s just that good in bed.

As for this girl… yeah, you’re pretty much done. Your only option if you want to salvage the incredibly minuscule chance that she will ever talk to you again is to apologize for being a jerk to her (without the “but you deserved it” subtext – maybe she did, maybe she didn’t, but it’s not going to help either way) and see how she responds.

If she does decide to keep talking to you… well, you’re going to have to dial it all the way the f

k back. You’re not picking up where you left off, you’re starting from zero, and you’re going to have a serious uphill climb to get back to where you were in the first place.

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