I can’t help feeling like it’s something I’m doing, some flaw in my personality or approach. This has happened to me enough times to make me think that I’m getting more than my fair share. Some of them have been guys in from out of town that I have met. That’s not unusual, since this is New Orleans, where people touch down and take off so frequently that I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t expect anyone to stick around. The first one was a rockabilly boy at a Cherry Poppin’ Daddies concert a few years ago. He was the first and last guy to ever write his number on a napkin for me. It wasn’t until 2 days later he mentioned that he was married. He was in town on some temporary work assignment, so maybe he did that a lot. I do not.

The second was a guy named Chris who had shown up at the coffee shop where I was working because he’d heard that there was poetry open mic that night. He had FAMOUS WRITER tattooed on his chest, and for being only 21, he was pretty full of himself. Again he took at least two days. Earlier this year, another guy, Steve, who lives in town and met me through work when he got body repair done to his car, told me first that he was getting out of his relationship, then asked me out for drinks, then told me after asking for my number that he was, sadly, still with his girlfriend, that it just wasn’t ending as quickly as he’d thought. Then it happened again 2 days ago with another guy, Jeff, who I had met through SparkMatch and was in town on temporary assignment from work. Jeff gets the medal; his confession only took 28 hours.

Sometimes I actually just want to be friends with a guy, but when he doesn't tell me he has a girlfriend, I feel like I've been led to believe some alternate truth by omission.

Some of my friends have told me that I might be coming off the wrong way with these guys, that I approach them under the guise of a woman merely seeking to meet new people, to make friends. I wouldn’t say this isn’t plausible. But when a guy gives you his phone number at a concert, or asks for yours, and hasn’t mentioned already that he has a girlfriend, wouldn’t that lead you to think he’s hiding something he knows he should be revealing? When I was told each of these times, my interest pretty much died in anything outside of friendship, though not without residual mixed messages from them afterward. If I make it clear that I am single, wouldn’t the mature thing to do be to share that they are not single?

Maybe they want to have their cake and eat it too. Maybe they’re just pussies who don’t want to be seen as taken when they in fact are just that. They’ve often made lengthy apologies to me, few of which I’ve really believed as being sincere. They say that breaking up a bad relationship is harder than I think, that I just don’t understand what they’re going through. They say, “If only I had met you at a different time.” They try to keep me in their lives even though I feel more than a tad betrayed, misled, and I can’t seem to trust them at all after that.

Deep down, I think these guys are good at heart. I have always found myself in the position of runner up, the girl they would have liked to have met if they haven’t already met one just before me, and that regret of bad timing causes them to not think of how I may be taking their signals. I don’t want to think that they do this all the time, but they probably do. I guess I am assuming too much when I don’t make that question of whether they’re seeing anyone my top priority. I am assuming that I will get truth for truth.

I know women must do this too, but I am not one of those women. I may have been in some weaker moments, but I am not now. I understand that men may think that if they mention a girlfriend, that I will no longer talk to them and if they value my company at all, they have something to lose. I guess they have to have a little more confidence in me than that, because if they don’t I will lose all confidence in them. I am not a fragile woman; I’m not going to shrivel up and die if I can’t have you. Don’t flatter yourself. Just tell me the truth up front and let me decide if I can trust you. There is no chance for anything without trust and respect.

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