23 September 2009

Boy Karma Bites

By: Jessica B.

Oh karma’s a b*tch, trust me.

And I got to thinking about karma, especially when it comes to guys, while I was recently closing up some matches on Match.com in prep for my  little dating break.

While I’m moved on from the disappointment about JohnBoy not working out, I couldn’t help but wonder if part of the reason it didn’t also didn’t work out was bad boy karma coming back my way. I’m not saying this is main reason why it didn’t work out, but maybe it was a small piece.

I feel like karma bit me on the a** with JohnBoy because while he and I were hanging out I was unintentionally an awful b*tch to another guy on Match. Again, timing was bad with this guy but I relished in my “bad girl” activity more than ever before.

So here’s what happened. The guy’s name is Dave and somehow we got to talking on Match and then on instant messenger because it was easier to talk that way at night compared to trading e-mails. But after a rocky first IM chat (with some odd “screener” questions from him), I got to be a little more interested/focused on JohnBoy and Dave kind of fell to the back burner, especially after he said he is unemployed and only half looking for a new job. I know, it’s not fair to put him on the back burner because of this, but I did.

He would IM me constantly at work, asking to chat and say hi (even though he knew I was fully employed) and then started e-mailing me all the time too because I was psuedo ignoring him. Yeah, I knew I was doing it, stringing him along, and I knew it was wrong, but I still did it. I’m an awful person.

And the entire time I was doing it, I knew I had to close up that match, friends told me to do it too but I didn’t. Why? Mix of lazy and distracted. Both are lame excuses too.

So after the whole JohnBoy thing imploded last week and Dave started becoming more aggressive and slightly mean on IM, I knew I had to close it up, and I did, including within my “no thanks” message a simple apology for not being more honest with him sooner. Fortunately, he’s stopped IMing me at night (now that he’s not on my buddy list anymore) but still, the karmic guilt about how I handled this lingers on.

Normally, I’m not like this with guys, but for the first time, it felt kind of nice to have that little bit of control over one, instead of always being on the reverse side. Maybe that’s why I kept it going too.

I’m not proud of my actions but hopefully by admitting them here and realizing that this may have had a karma-like effect on me, that little bit of guilt will go away and I can start fresh when I’m back from my break.

So phew, my soul is unloaded.

Have you ever done this with another guy, string him along and dangle the “I might still be interested” carrot in front of them? Or do you find you’re on the flip side of that coin too (like I usually am?) Or maybe I’m crazy in my theory on this?


  1. Faith says:

    I totally know what you mean! I am certain that bad boy karma was to blame for my most recent disaster of a relationship – with a guy from your very own Chicago! I got divorced in the past year and I’ve suspected that at some point some schmuck would break my heart as a result of my choosing to end my marriage (long story, as they all are, but it was my choice)…and, yep, it happened and it sucked!
    I’ve never been a carrot dangler, but do realize that sometimes it’s necessary to keep a couple of guys on the line per se until you “know” if either of them is right for you…again creating the opportunity for bad boy karma, but unfortunately that’s just how dating is I guess.
    And, I’ve loved reading your stories! You are totally real and you make me laugh! Keep ’em coming!

  2. MinD says:

    I tend to like attention, which is a bad thing in actuality. And I’m a flirt – naturally, not forced, so I don’t even realize I’m doing it. Thus, I’ve led quite a few guys on and always felt guilty afterward. But it was never intentional, so I could only feel *so* bad.

    I doubt it was karma out to get you. Perhaps a strange turn of circumstances. Maybe.

  3. oh no says:

    did you ever hear of the phrase in business that if you treat someone well they will tell 3 or 4 people, but if you are nasty they tell something like 55 people? imagine this when you are nasty to someone then imagine all the bad karma it creates — I believe as you get older, even the tiniest slight can have big consequences if it was intentional.

  4. Miss Grace says:

    I’ve been on both sides. Either way is shitty, so I try not to be in either place, but there you go.

  5. Em says:

    I too, used to be a dangler until this year. I’ve just gotten burned to the point where I got bombarded by the notion that it’s ok to be mean every once in a while. Because let’s face it: men rebound quicker, and they do the same thing to us :)

  6. yuka says:

    I never admitted this to anyone before but yes, i’m guilty of dangling the carrot quite a several times. I think it’s because i had a very bad experience with a guy who did the same thing to me many years back. I felt so bad because the other guys didn’t deserve to be treated like that.

    But if it comes to online dating, the guys should be mentally prepared to accept rejection. Besides, i’m sure they do keep their options open too. It’s a human thing.

  7. Lil' Woman says:

    I’ve been on both ends of the carrot dangling stick … :(

  8. Kate says:

    I’ve been on both sides. My dangling of the carrot wasn’t normally about control, though … it was me not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings. Which was stupid because I think I hurt someone’s feelings more by not being up front in the first place. But shit happens when you’re young, you (hopefully) learn from it and you try to do better the next time. I wouldn’t beat yourself up about it.

  9. Rachel says:

    While I’ve complained numerous times about numerous guys and their “mixed signals” I’m definitely guilty of stringly guys along. Like Erin, when I was in college, I wouldn’t tell guys I had a long-distancy boyfriend.

  10. Kyla Roma says:

    I don’t think that you’re a terrible person for not being 100% interested in someone who doesn’t share your drive and motivation. There is no way I could see you with someone who wasn’t 110% as passionate as you are about work, or is at least totally immersed in something equally as defining.

    I could see this being a “Oh poor guy!” situation if you met up with him and were dating him, but exchanging messages here and there doesn’t constitute dating in my mind and having an unanswered e-mail correspondence with him totally doesn’t get you bad karma.

    I give you a total pass on this one, especially since you sat through a whole date with that weird guy who was all about drinking and partying. If anything the universe owes you one. =)

  11. Elle says:

    Been there, done that. And while I’m not proud of it, sometimes these guys really can’t take a hint. I know there are the occasional crazy-stalker girls out there that sometimes won’t leave a dude alone, but I think guys tend to be much more aggressive when it comes to actually pursuing and it can get not only excessive, but down right scary!

  12. SoMi's Nilsa says:

    I was very black and white in the dating world. Either I liked a guy. Or I didn’t. I never had it in me to string a guy along, because it never felt right. And I’d never want someone to do that to me, so why would it be ok to do it to them?

    It’s funny, because in telling us about these recent dates, you’ve just displayed two very different sets of expectations. On one hand, you want the guy to take initiative, to figure out plans, even to pay for the first date (a more traditional mindset). Yet, on the other hand, you want some level of “control” over the guy (very non-traditional). Maybe you’ve got the secret recipe, but from where I’m sitting, it’s hard to see how you get to have both.

  13. Paula says:

    I was a bit of a cow to my first boyfriend (and basically was mean to him until he asked if i wanted to break up – which I did!) and i’ve had bad boyfriend karma ever since.

  14. Jackie says:

    I am definitely a carrot dangler. I don’t think it’s that wrong though, I know a lot of guys who do it.

  15. Andhari says:

    I’m guilty of this yes..got several karma coming my way because of this as well, believe me I know how unpleasant it is.

    Maybe this is why I’m all casual and friendlylike with new guys, I try not flirting until I’m sure I like the guy.

    And I think you’re being reasonable when you’re not into a guy for being unemployed. I don’t see anything wrong with that, just close the chapter right there next time. It doesn’t make us mean, we’re just being smart.

  16. Lollygagger says:

    Live and learn, right? And I think you gotta do what gotta do! I wish I had more communication with guys to tell you my side of the story ;) But if I’m not interested I usually don’t put any effort in to communicate. But hey, maybe part of you was interested and it’s good to explore those feelings imho.

  17. jenn says:

    oh my – you’re not a horrible person. we all like to feel wanted, and you just got caught up in it. it is nice to feel like you have the upper hand and have control over the situation. plus…2 boys who wanted you at once? a dream situation!

    what you did wasn’t malicious or even mean spirited…you were just keeping your options open. you know…in case. :)

  18. thegirlin3k says:

    I’m guilty of the same thing! I think with online dating sites, it’s almost to be expected. We all know that there are hundreds of potential matches out there, so the likelyhood that any one of us is only emailing/communicating with one person on the website is not a reality. Still, it’s a huge dilemma. You did the right thing by being honest with him. I need to take a hint from you!

  19. Erin says:

    When I was in college (and doing long distance with my now-husband) I wouldn’t tell guys I had a boyfriend “back home” until after a few dates. You know, just in case they turned out to be better than my other boyfriend.