(The Root) —
"My friend introduced me to a nice guy, and after several dates, I decided I really like him. But then I received a call from a woman claiming to be his girlfriend and asking me who I was to 'her' man. I confronted him about what happened, and he said it was his 'crazy ex' and she's jealous that he's moving on. He assured me there was nothing to be worried about. Since then I haven't heard from him and I've called multiple times. (He's not in mortal danger. He's updating Twitter and Facebook.) I don't know what's going on. Could she really be a crazy ex trying to sabotage his relationship with me, or is he really committed to someone else?" —W.P.
Years ago I was in a particularly messy dating situation that I was trying to explain to, of all people, my personal trainer: "See what had happened was … " I was driving myself bat-crap crazy trying to ignore my common sense because that would have meant walking away from a guy I really liked.
He didn't like me all that much. He said he did, of course, but his actions showed me something different. My trainer listened patiently to my Cirque du Soleil contortions of the truth to paint "my" beau in a better light, then told me flatly: "Lie to anybody else, but don't lie to yourself."
I quote that smart, charming and wise hunk of a man from long ago because I see you bending backward like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix over a story that you want to believe is true, even though the evidence blatantly says otherwise.
You met a great guy. Sometimes it can seem as if they are hard to come by. And it sounds like you want to hold on to the great possibilities of what could have happened between you. But he's not who he presented himself to be — no matter how nice he was or who introduced him to you or how great those first few dates were.
That woman who called you? She isn't some crazy ex (though they do exist, but far less than the degree to which they are scapegoated). Her actions might make her sound a little off, but she's more than likely his lady and very much current.
Here's how I know: She called you. Crazy exes aren't left alone with unlocked phones, and sometime after he left you, he wandered over to her and got comfortable enough for her to go through his phone and take down your number. If she was really the crazy ex he claims, he wouldn't be hanging out with her. No, not even for sex.
That he's been ignoring your calls indicates that you are low on his hierarchy of importance. Even if there is no crazy ex, when he stops picking up the phone, it's like a big blinking light at midnight on the Vegas strip: He's just not that into you.
What's likely happened is that when he discovered that his girlfriend had found about you, he had to scramble to make things right, either to keep the peace or because he genuinely cares about her. His reasons for being MIA matter less than the bottom line: He likely can't call you because he's tied up — figuratively, of course — trying to get back into good standing with her.
I know you liked him, so accepting that might hurt. Don't make the mistake of many women by allowing his careless treatment of your feelings to define how you think of yourself. Also, don't let his behavior define your ideas of men in general. Some are pretty great. Others aren't so much. Try to judge each one on his own merits — or, in this case, the lack thereof.
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor to The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.