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December 16, 2006

When he says "I'll call you"

One of my pet peeves (it seems we have a lot of them after all) is when someone says they are going to do something and doesn't. I know that most people in the world probably don't like that, so perhaps it's not fair to call it a personal pet peeve... It particularly bothers me when it applies to phone calls. I'm actually not a high-maintainance girl to date. I don't require constant attention or a lot of phone calls. What I do require is that if you say you're going to call me... that you actually do it. I require this of all people I associate with - friends, coworkers, dates, everyone - and I think all people should feel the same way.

I will point out that there
is a difference between not returning a phone call and not calling when you say you will. Both are annoying, but not returning a phone call right away can be forgiveable because there are sometimes extenuating circumstances. However, once you say, "I'll call you", you better fucking do it. If you extend a time-frame to that, you stick to it. If you don't, then you don't get to call me again.

I had to learn the hard way not to accept this kind of behavior. I've had quite a few friends and boyfriends over the years that just didn't get it. I've had friends who never called
anyone back, so I don't always take it personally... but I don't cater to it either. Once I realize that a friend has this habit (and can't break themselves of it), I just stop calling them. I will speak to them when they call me, but they have to make the first move because I refuse to call them first, if I know they won't call back. When it comes to a potential 'suitor', I won't tolerate it at all because he hasn't proven to me yet in any other ways that he deserves to be in my life. He has to earn the right to know me and interact with me. Not calling is the #1 way to not achieve that goal.

I once ended a four year relationship over this. Obviously you don't break up over just a phone call... we had plenty of issues going on, but ultimately the last straw was the time he came home three hours later than he said he would, without calling. I didn't care what he was doing (he claimed he was helping his family with something and that may or may not be true, but I could care less). It was just the utter lack of respect of not calling to check in. I knew at that point, that I was never going to completely trust him and that he was never going to treat me the way I deserved.

It's more than just the lack of a phone call... it's the way of thinking. It's a lack of consideration and a lack of respect. If he can't even call me when he says he will, how I can trust that he'll do anything he says he'll do? If he can't show me that small amount of respect, how can I expect that he'll do anything for my sake? If he can't take 5 seconds to let me know what's going on, what makes me think he's ever going to take time to think about how any of his actions affect me?

Just last night we were out at a bar, when I noticed a missed call from a guy I met recently. (We had discussed earlier the possibility of his meeting me that evening).
His voicemail said he was getting out of work and if I wanted, he would come meet us for a drink or two.

So I called him right back but there was no answer. Now that's one of those things I don't understand. He just called me 2.0454636 minutes ago. How far could he
really have gotten from his phone in that time, that he wouldn't be able to answer it now? I left him a message telling him where we were and to give me a call and let me know when/if he was coming.

About 45 minutes later, he hadn't called. I tried him again and got no answer
again. After an hour and a half (!!!!) I called again and said, "It's been over an hour, so don't even bother coming out at this point. I'm not calling you again."

He called the next day (today) to apologize and explain. Apparently there was some kind of "emergency". I told him, "you still could have called to tell me that. That would have been the considerate thing to do". Since this was his first offense, I've decided to forgive him. Forgive, but not forget. I made it a point of making it crystal clear that this is not the sort of thing that I tolerate, so in the future it best not happen again. (I wasn't as big a bitch about it as I may sound right now; I'm simply paraphrasing with attitude. It's my blog and I'll vent if I want to).

I usually forgive a first offense, if I receive an apology and at least an attempt at a good excuse. Then I make the mental note of "strike one" (and you only get two strikes in this game). The first time, I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he really had no idea that it was disrespectful and inconsiderate to not call. Once I've explicitly made it known that it is not okay, if it happens again... there's no coming back from that.

I may not be the most sought after woman on the planet, but I do okay... so I don't feel like I should have to work that hard for every new guy. If he doesn't feel the need to make an effort, neither do I and that ends that.

I'm still waiting to see if this is going to become a habit or if it was a one time thing. I really don't get the impression that he's an asshole, but I guess only time will tell. The good news is that he has already called twice today. He ended our last conversation with "so I'll call you", but we'll see about that.


Anonymous said...

It might be rude and inconsiderate to not call or not return a call. But I know someone who is very, very, very controlling and if she calls you, she wants you to call her back right away. Guess what? I do not call her back. She is the boss of anyone she talks to. I cannot stand controlling, bossy people.


RE: anonymous

1. Not returning a call is annoying but not always rude/inconsiderate. It is once you say you're going to call, that it becomes rude/inconsiderate if you don't.

2. We wouldn't call a girl like that back either because we don't associate with people who are that controlling/bossy.

3. Why anonymous? ;-)

Arabella said...

I know this was written like 2 years ago but i have to add to the whole phone call issue things. I think this goes hand in hand with the "I'll call you but not really" deal so i'm gonna throw it out there and get it off my chest. my guy i'm "together" with (you know the stage right before he asks you to be his gf) says "Somebody's on the other line hold on 1 sec"...like 5 mins later im like Eff this i hangup. 20 mins later this prick calls back and was like "oh sorry a random chick from some party called my but i dont even remember who she is...i was tryign to figure out who she was and she said she knew who you were. Do you know a Kelly Ballard by any chance? Oh she wants me." I went A wall. Luckally for him i'm not a jealous persn and what he said didn't really bother me as much as the fact that he made me wait on the other line like his bitch or something while he talked to some fugly hoe. I mean honestly, is it that hard to click over and tell me he'll call me back or maybe, if he really liked me as much as he said he did, tell that dumb skank hes already talking to somebody. Hes hott and fun to talk to but i think that crosses the line...i'm nobody's bitch.

Anonymous said...

Random Google search over "he says he'll call and he doesn't" got me to your blog.

I'm bad with call backs when it's on my call phone, because often times, I don't even hear the phone ring, and it's hidden in a bag or something. And I know I drive people crazy with this.

But yes, it bites when someone says he (or she) will call, and he doesn't. In my case, right now, not only is (was?) he supposed to call, we were supposed to get together later this evening. I admire your stance on this issue. I may have to adopt it.

Anonymous said...

wow...loved your attitude, I agree with what you said. It is inconsiderate and disrespectful. I just had that happen to me yesterday with my guy and I just told him how I felt. I am sure he is turned off, but I am as well. I can't respect someone who is not going to respect me...plain and simple!

Anonymous said...

this really does remind of a guy. I mean I kind of like him and he admitted to me he liked me. But he said he'll call but didn't. That kind of made me mad. I didn't wait for his call or anything but i did occasionally check. Maybe he had a reason but c`mon, you could at least call and say, I can't talk or something.