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Men Behaving Badly: When A Woman Must Put Her Foot Down

Updated on May 18, 2017

I once agreed to go out on a date with a man I had met at my local library. When I first met him, he seemed rather sweet and he wasn't bad looking either, though he was by no means handsome. He had a “blue collar” look about him which wasn't particularly impressive; nevertheless, since I am more interested in a man's heart than anything else, I decided to consider the idea of dating him.

He mentioned that he had been a military man and that he often visited this particular library after looking in on his aging mother. He seemed like a truly genuine person. Prior to leaving the library, after our first meeting, he handed me a folded note asking me out to lunch or dinner. He included his phone number. Three days later, I called him with the hope that he might be a nice man to get to know.

I felt an inner twinge of something “weird.”

The first time I called---No answer. When I first heard his voice mail message, I remember feeling a twinge of something "weird." All it said was, “Leave a message,” spoken somewhat gruffly. No name. No phone number---nada. "Okay," I thought, maybe he’s the private type or the strong silent type. No need for concern. I’m not into strong silent types in general, as I much prefer men who are open and friendly. But hey, why not keep an open mind, right?

He called me back later that day. We had a truly nice conversation. He seemed like a decent guy, but....there was one thing that was “off.” He mentioned how he believes that partnerships are 50/50 and how the last woman he had dated, long-term, was “selfish.” “Uh, Okay," I said. I figured we could explore this “50/50 selfish thing" another time, once we got together for lunch. I made the decision to tuck this nugget of information away for future reference since there was something about his bringing up selfishness that bugged me. In any event, we made plans to speak again the following Tuesday at noon, since I had family plans until then.

I didn’t have to wait long before more clues into this guy’s true personality came to light.

Unfortunately, for me.
Unfortunately, for me.

Remember---he had promised to call Tuesday, at noon, to make lunch plans. Instead, I saw him at the library just before noon. He smiled, but left soon afterward without saying goodbye. Hmmm. He then called me later that day, at 2:30 pm, yet he did not leave a message. Strange. I chose not to call him back. After all, he hadn’t left a message about our having lunch.

Nevertheless, because I am a reasonable person, the next time he called I decided to communicate my feelings about his not calling at noon, nor leaving a message when he called at 2:30. I simply told that it is important to me that he call when he says he will call and that I view calling "on time" a form of respect. He agreed, but further stated that he had called earlier on that Tuesday, but that his calls do not always connect when he uses his cell phone at the VA, where he had an appointment for his weekly physical therapy that day.

He didn't call when he said he would.

I then replied that there were no missed calls on my cell phone, reminded him that he had seen me at the library and that he could have said something to me at that time. I left it at that. I decided not to throw in the towel even though my instincts were telling me that this man was not reliable. I told him we could make plans for another day.

He called a few days later. During the course of the phone call, he revealed that he is a very affectionate person who loves to hold hands and kiss. Once again, I began wondering why he was telling me this before we’d even had a date. I had an uneasy feeling in my gut, which was further amplified by his asking me if I’d like to have dinner with him at a casino in a nearby town. He said he would pick me up at 6 p.m. I told him that I always drive my own car on first dates and that I preferred to have lunch--not dinner.

Listen to your gut, ladies!
Listen to your gut, ladies!

This was another red flag. I had already mentioned to him during our very first phone conversation...and quite clearly at that, that I always drive my own vehicle on first dates. Nevertheless, he had chosen to ignore this information (which most people understand to be a basic rule of thumb for first dates). My other concern was that the casino was a good 40 minutes away from my home.

By this time, I figured he was hoping to make a late night of it at the casino and “why drive home all that way when we could just spend the night.“ Of course he didn’t say so, but my gut told me this was his plan. Also, in an earlier conversation, he happened to mention that he had coupons for free meals and hotel stays at the casino. I put two and two together and figured where he was going with this and thus decided that there was no way I was going to be his cheap date, much less his sexual partner at this early juncture.

He wants me to be his cheap date? I don't think so!

But once again, I gave him another chance to redeem himself. (I KNOW! Shoot Me!) After all, he hadn’t done anything absolutely awful, though his dinner suggestion showed a lack of awareness or something..... Anyway, I decided to give this guy one more chance to act like a gentleman instead of someone who was only interested in taking me for a “test drive.” By now, I had serious doubts about this guy and was basically “turned off.” However, for the sake of thoroughness, I decided to communicate my feelings even more clearly (that is not to say that I hadn't already tried). Anyway, I figured further clarification on my part might be the way to get this man to get a clue. I gave it my best shot. We practically had a knock down, drag out fight---verbal, of course. (No, I did not resort to foul language.)

However, even after all of that, this man apparently understood nothing about basic manners and decency, even though he claimed to understand fully!

In total, we had about a dozen conversations, many of which were pleasant enough. For example, he told me that he attended church twice a week and that he visited a local "holy" site every three months. He further stated, "I've thought about you every day since the first time I first saw you." “I believe we have so much in common.” "I find you very attractive.” "I like everything about you." Yet, in reading between the lines and noting that he almost always failed to call when he said he would, my only choice was to surmise that "talk is cheap," and that he'd rather bed me than properly date me.

Right around his fifth call, he actually asked me if I would be interested in going to a bed and breakfast with him for the weekend!! Huh? I couldn't believe it!! I told him in no uncertain terms that I do not have sex with men I hardly know, much less on first dates and that, "I respect myself too much to do so." He assured me that he understood and that he “doesn't sleep around either”

The guy was clueless.

"Excuse me? You want me to do what?"

Never before had I encountered a man who was so blatantly disrespectful of my feelings—not since I was in my 20’s (a long time ago). Apparently, this man honestly felt that he was entitled to sex on a first date. I can honestly say that I believe he was still carrying around some serious baggage from the last woman who was supposedly “selfish” and who allegedly didn’t understand the meaning of 50/50. This guy was beyond ridiculous. Seriously.

By this time, you may be wondering why I even gave this man a chance in the first place, and I can’t say I blame you. In truth, I usually have good instincts. In fact, I did have misgivings about this man, beginning with our first telephone conversation, when he stated, “This is 2014 and everything is 50/50." I deduced this may be code for “It’s OK to have sex right away, since we are no longer stuck in a 50’s mentality and therefore, women no longer require being courted, besides which, I am not into taking the time to pursue women.”

Believe it or not, I did have this thought or something similar, but I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt anyway.

As it turned out, I my gut had been dead right all along. This man had no basic sense of reality, not to mention etiquette or decency. None whatsoever. Furthermore, he couldn't have been more wrong about the whole 50/50 thing. I mean, how can a couple even begin to keep count of who is doing what? Are they supposed to make a list of Do's and check then them off until they reach the required number? How unromantic. Real life just doesn't work that way.

This man, whom I almost dated, was not at all a good man. He hid behind a thin, albeit very thin veneer of altruism and goodness which was entirely manufactured.

Just say "No."

You go, girl!
You go, girl!

Honestly, with very few exceptions, I have always made a habit of saying "No thanks" to men who act like idiots right off the bat. I can only surmise that something in me wondered whether I had always been too hasty to pass judgment on men in the past, and so I thought I would give polite and clear communication a chance---even with this apparently clueless man. However, I learned that my graciousness made no difference with this man. If anything, he was further emboldened to ask for more! In fact, this unbelievable man actually called one last time to say that he “realized what kind of person I am and that he was no longer interested."

His message was almost laughable. Here was a man who was so self-centered that he seriously thought I was the one with the problem. What a creep.

I can see why so many women suffer from discouragement in the world of dating. If you spend enough time around enough men like that, you will most certainly begin feeling badly about yourself. Egocentric men are highly manipulative. They can make you feel as if you are not doing your part, unless of course, you are willing to compensate them with "uncomplicated" sex.

Make no mistake; a selfish man will erode your self-esteem even if you had entered into the relationship with a secure sense of self worth. Within a short amount of time, it's as if his egoism steals a bit of your spirit---and that is exactly why these men need to be avoided like the plague. Your spirit isn't up for sale and no one has the right to tamper with it.

Confident women are no more immune to being fooled (initially) than anyone else.

Three-quarters of men say they feel guilty taking a woman’s money when she offers to chip in for a date, and about one half of women think the man should pay if his income is higher.

Researchers found that 16 percent of men say a woman owes him sexual activity in return for paying for dates, but this climbs higher in the case of younger men; 21 percent under the age of 25 believe in this kind of sexual quid pro quo. The less a man earns, the more likely he is to think that sex should be a payment for a date.

Roughly one third of women say that chipping in for a date lessens the pressure they feel to have sex with the man, although only 22 percent of women under the age of 25 feel that way.

While I was thankful for the experience I gained in dealing with this horrible man (because it helped me to understand what so many women are experiencing in dating these days), at the same time, I felt discouraged. Something about this experience had poked a little hole in my self-esteem and I hated the way it felt.

On the other hand, it was encouraging to know that being “nice” to men who aren’t particularly nice themselves is not only a waste of time, it is also demeaning. Thus, the point was driven home to me how important it is to keep listening to my gut and to continue to use a man’s actions as a barometer for understanding who he really is, rather than who he claims to be.

I further learned that no amount of graciousness will help you when communicating with a self-centered man. The only thing these men "get" is your firmly putting your foot down by either calling them on their bad behavior or by simply letting them know that you know where this is going and that you're not even remotely interested. In every instance, women must walk away from disrespectful men.

All too often, when the arrogant man says he is into equal rights, what he is really saying is that he believes sex should come easily to him (that's his version of equality) and that women who insist on being treated like real ladies suffer from feelings of entitlement. That's pure garbage. The truth is the exact opposite---courtesy is always required for any healthy relationship.

In my case, I was So not wrong...
In my case, I was So not wrong...

The following is a list of four important pieces of information to keep in mind if you are dealing with a man who disrespects women:

1) Nip his sexual innuendos in the bud.

To my credit, I did ask this man to clarify himself when he began talking about his “affectionate nature.” Needless to say, he denied that he gets physical on first dates. Yet the truth was that sex was the only thing on his mind. Consequently, if a man begins talking about affection and/or sexual matters right away, just know---he will be a problem. Such men do not respect women’s feelings. Frankly, they just don't get it. You must put your foot down with them and let them know you are not interested in discussing these matters so early on in the game. Frankly, he has no business “going there.” If he is more interested in your body parts than the whole of you—that is not OK.

2) Do not ignore your feelings of anger if he does not call when he said he would.

Your feelings are telling you that something is wrong. Since you've done nothing but expect to receive a call in a timely fashion, LIKE HE SAID HE WOULD DO, you are right to feel miffed. In saying or doing nothing, you are allowing this man to do more of the same. At this juncture, you have every right to let him know that his not keeping his word is a deal-breaker.

It's OK to call 'em like you see 'em.
It's OK to call 'em like you see 'em.

3) A real man does what he says he is going to do.

If he fails to utilize even the most basic manners in his dealings with you, then you are free to move on. You are not required to “talk” or “be reasonable.” He doesn’t understand reason. He only understands getting what he wants—namely sex, and with very little effort at that. If you encounter such a man, just say goodbye. If you have already given him your phone number, ask him not to call again.

4) Always put your foot down when men act badly.

No woman should allow herself to be compartmentalized into nothing more than a few body parts. Women are so much more and we must never be afraid to say so. In dating, it is always smart not to have sex until you are ready. A man who isn't interested in taking the time to know you will not stick around anyway. He is too lazy, tired, or self-centered to take the time to actually date you, much less treat you like a lady. Just like the man I almost dated, he will do the disappearing act as soon as he realizes he is not going to get what he wants. That's fine. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Frankly, if more women would say, "No" more often, men might begin to realize that they have to put some effort into dating. And by the way, forget the 3-date sex rule. That's just some random rule someone created which has no merit whatsoever.

Have you ever had a man you hardly knew ask you to spend the night on a first date?

See results

My point is this: If you get a bad feeling about someone you are dating or have just met, do not ignore your feelings. Your intuition is there to help you. And again, I cannot stress how important it is for women to wait before having sex with a new partner. Waiting to have sex is the single most effective way to determine whether a man really cares about you or not. The man I almost dated realized he wasn’t going to get anything from me, so he left of his own accord. He showed me who he wasa weak man who is has no idea how to treat a woman.

No one should excuse the man who acts badly. If a man refuses to treat you well, he is not worth your time or your graciousness. Of course, not all men act this badly, but if you encounter a man who behaves like an idiot, your responsibility is to "let him know and let him go." He has, in effect, forfeited his right to enjoy your body---ever. Furthermore, you have every right to let him know that.

The truth is, selfish men usually remain selfish unless a dramatic life changing event occurs in their lives to possibly knock some sense into them---but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you. Your reason for speaking up (if you choose) and letting him know a thing or two is for your benefit, not his, since he has little or no understanding of basic decency. In putting your foot down and speaking clearly and articulately, you are restoring to yourself that bit of self-esteem that he stole from you. After all, every woman is responsible for nourishing her soul and this is most easily accomplished by saying something, anything, even a simple but firm "goodbye and don't call again."

Honor yourself. Honor your gut feelings. Read between the lines. His actions will tell you everything you need to know. Always remember that if he is respectful, then and only then does he have the right to spend time with the special woman that is you!

Always.....Savvy

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  • savvydating profile image
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    savvydating 11 months ago

    Hi Laurinzo....There exists certain types of women who ask men to spend the night. When she does this continuously, she is exhibiting reckless behavior. She may also be a bit of a control-freak. Most always, she is insecure about her femininity. I am not surprised you have found them scary. It is best not to get too involved with these woman, as you have discovered. Generally speaking, these women do not have their stuff together. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

  • Laurinzo Scott profile image

    Live To Write 11 months ago from Phoenix, Az.

    I have never had a man ask me to spend the night... and I have never been the man to ask to spend the night; however i have had women offer... especially in my older years and i always wonder if she may be some what scary... and 9 of 10 are just that SCARY!!!!

  • savvydating profile image
    Author

    savvydating 17 months ago

    To a very significant degree. The 60's sexual revolution was devastating for romantic relationships. Women suppressed their natural instincts to say, "No, not yet," in an effort to be "equal" to men....without stopping to realize that her natural instincts are higher than the male. And so now, we have a culture of men who want instant gratification. This has devastated the dating scene for many women. Yes, other factors contribute to this lack of chivalry, but hard line feminism has not helped. Men and women are distinctly different. We would be better off to honor those differences instead of fighting against them. Thank you for asking, and thanks for visiting as well, Tamara!

  • tamarawilhite profile image

    Tamara Wilhite 17 months ago from Fort Worth, Texas

    To what degree do you think feminism pushing women to be as sexually promiscuous as men wish them to be is undermining chivalry and the ability to wait until committed to have sex?

  • savvydating profile image
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    savvydating 2 years ago

    Anonymous....Obviously, no one is referring to royalty and "covering puddles" in this hub. Chivalry is just another way to say, "Showing respect and politeness, especially toward women." (According to Merriam Webster) Some women complain about conservative attitudes because they have are confused about the word "equality." In any event, you and I agree that "small and thoughtful gestures make all the difference."

  • profile image

    Anonymous 2 years ago

    Your random facts box states, "According to a 2010 Harris poll, 80% of Americans say that women are treated with less chivalry today than in the past." If this is true, then why do women have complaints about conservative attitudes of the past and how they were treated?

    Men and women must be in relationships which they truly enjoy and where anger and bad blood can be quickly diffused by both parties. It pays to keep the ego at home and let pure logic take over.

    And the much desired chivalry factor was in the days of yore reserved for women of royal origins -- picking up her kerchief or Sir Walter Raleigh-like covering of a puddle with one's cloak for the queen to walk over.

    Confusing chivalry (which arises from entitlement) with politeness (which arises from high self-esteem and is a basic human need) does not help women or men either. Men and women should be interdependent, independent and stop expecting sops. Small and thoughtful gestures make all the difference, sops, gifts and bribes don't.

  • savvydating profile image
    Author

    savvydating 2 years ago

    Dawth,

    Your last comment was so strange and disrespectful, I had no choice but to delete it. But, if nothing else, you've provided a good example of a 50/50 guy, and why he should be avoided like the plague. I can only hope that you will somehow find peace of mind one day.

  • savvydating profile image
    Author

    savvydating 2 years ago

    Lol. You're a funny one.

  • mckbirdbks profile image

    mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

    I am good - trying to be creative on a weekly schedule presents its problems but it beats yardwork.

  • savvydating profile image
    Author

    savvydating 2 years ago

    Thank you, dear mckbirdbks. My week is going very well indeed. My modern life is busy, but I am happy. I appreciate your thoughtfulness in dropping by just to say hello and how are you. :)

  • mckbirdbks profile image

    mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

    Hello Savvydating, I hope you are having a wonderful week. As you know modern life can be very stressful.

  • savvydating profile image
    Author

    savvydating 2 years ago

    Oh, DarthW....whatever am I going to do with you? A little chivalry goes a long way! It makes a woman feel happy and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You should try it sometime. My guess is that you're the guy who is inadvertently picking out the "bad girls," which is why you are so dissatisfied with women in general. Personally, I would never date a man who expects me to pay half all of the time. What a turn-off---especially if he asked me out. Anyway, I've told women repeatedly that they have to "step up" if they want to meet a worthwhile man, and the same goes for men. There is no such thing as 50/50. It cannot be. What if one partner gets sick and has to quit their job because the cancer treatments are too debilitating. Would you then kick her to the curb? I would hope not.

    As for feminism, I am not a hard-core feminist of the 60's variety. I believe in marriage and fidelity, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. Another thing is: most women do not earn equal pay. If she does, and she wants to pay half, that is OK. But really, WHOEVER ASKS for the date is the one who should pay. Besides,when all is said and done, the woman is the one who has to raise children and miss work when they're sick, and clean and buy groceries, pay the bills on time, and schedule doctors appointments and stay up all night with sick children. That's not "equal" but women do it, because they feel the importance of taking care of such matters. Every 50/50 guy I've met has been a selfish idiot, who had either never been married or couldn't maintain a relationship with a woman, unless she is a doormat. Gee....I wonder why?

  • profile image

    DarthW 2 years ago

    While I agree with many of your points on being sensible in whom you date (although we could debate endlessly that women actually seek out "bad boys" when dating, and generally freely "give up the goodies" to bad boys more frequently than chivalrous,nice guys who are willing to pay for dates, and are kind) this is the second article I've read where you mention that a man expecting "50/50" these days is somehow silly, and in this case "selfish"? How in Hades is that selfish? It's the new age of feminism. I don't mind a woman earning equal money if she's doing the same job as I, but why is it problematic if I also expect her to pay her half on dates, mutual vacations, etc. When things get serious, and she moves in she will most certainly be paying her half of the bills. That's feminism ladies; If you earn equally, you pay and take responsibility equally too. "50/50".

  • savvydating profile image
    Author

    savvydating 3 years ago

    Hi Nell. I've done the same. Generally, I cut them off pretty quickly if I sense a guy is a bozo. Needless to say, I was chagrined to find out that giving this guy a chance didn't change things. But hey, I got a good story out of it. Lol. Thank you for the vote up and sharing... you're the best!

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

    Hi, yep I have met a few too! unbelievable! I tend to be the kind of person who only gives one chance, so I wouldn't have tried once that gut instinct kicked in, in fact I probably lost out on a lot of good guys just because they were not that 'good' on the first date! lol! voted up and shared, nell

  • savvydating profile image
    Author

    savvydating 3 years ago

    How thoughtful of you to tweet it! I'm happy that you found the hub interesting enough to share. I think that sometimes it helps to write about a true life experience.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    I stopped by here and tweeted this hub so interesting and great thinking.

  • savvydating profile image
    Author

    savvydating 3 years ago

    Right, billybuc? I thought this song would be a good one, even though it's a hundred years old. Well, I have to say that I have met some truly respectful men along the way, but I felt it was important to share this story in the hope of helping the women who regularly have trouble recognizing the "yahoos." In many of my hubs, I always try to remind women that it works both ways. Sometimes, she has to step it up, too.

    In the end, intuition is nothing more than our experience combined with that voice in our solar plexus, which rarely leads us astray. I'm glad you agree!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Wow! A song by Lorrie Morgan. Talk about a flash from the past. :)

    Great information. I wish I could defend my fellow man, but unfortunately, quite a few behave poorly. Then again, I have seen the same things in some women. In the end, trust your gut. It is rarely wrong and we would do well to listen more closely to it.

  • savvydating profile image
    Author

    savvydating 3 years ago

    Hi DDE. Thank you so much for dropping by even though you are on vacation. I trust you are enjoying your family time. For sure, it is unfortunate when anyone decides to behave badly when dating, or in any situation for that matter. One can only hope that, one day, such people will get tired of being lonely and decide to make some positive changes. But I won't hold my breath. Lol! Thank you for the vote up. I appreciate it, pretty lady.

  • savvydating profile image
    Author

    savvydating 3 years ago

    Hi there, mckbirdbks! I have to say, I'd love to hear more about the date of decades ago and the lessons you have learned. I can only assume you are referring to the lovely companionship you have sustained with your spouse. Please do write about it sometime. And yes, tenderness and knowing when to say nothing is one of the most beautiful forms of non-verbal communication that any person can practice. I look forward to your next nugget of wisdom, my friend.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Some men are tolerable and others the opposite. Behaving badly is just how they choose to be. Great points made here Voted up.

  • mckbirdbks profile image

    mckbirdbks 3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

    Well, they don't call you Savvy for nothing. Now about this battle of the sexes thing, pull up a chair, I know all there is to know about this subject. Why just several decades ago I had a date and what I learned then could fill several volumes. Why I cannot explain how far some compassion, understanding, tenderness and just plain keeping quiet at the right time will go. Of course to keep going, I don't talk much.

    I guess that is enough for one lesson.

  • savvydating profile image
    Author

    savvydating 3 years ago

    Lol! You're a doll, Frank. I have to say, I've known my fair share of "bad boys," but this guy made my bad boys look good. The bad boys I had known were somewhat trainable and not angry... they actually loved women, unlike this creep I almost dated.

  • savvydating profile image
    Author

    savvydating 3 years ago

    Hi FlourishAnyway. Yep, you're right. This man lacked even the most rudimentary knowledge of etiquette. However, I have noticed a trend that is occurring in America...where men do not think they have to pursue women. They somehow equate this with equality. Strange, but true.

  • savvydating profile image
    Author

    savvydating 3 years ago

    Thanks, breakfastpop. He Was Awful. Yuck! Thanks you for your votes up; you know how much I adore you are never afraid to call a spade a spade.

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 3 years ago

    This creep sounded awful from the beginning. Always, and I mean, always, trust your gut! Up, interesting and useful.

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

    There are too many options out there to tolerate inappropriate and disrespectful behavior. Interesting story. His social skills seem to be sorely lacking.

  • Frank Atanacio profile image

    Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

    well, sometimes behaving badly makes ... wait I have no excuse LOL great read savvy---