Jamie Shupak is the Emmy-nominated traffic reporter for NY1, the Big Apple cable network that’s the end-all and be-all on all things Gotham for New Yorkers. She’s also a beautiful, single woman navigating New York’s treacherous dating scene after the painful breakup of a 10-year relationship. In her weekly column she’ll share her war stories and offer her advice and admonitions.
For the past month or so, I'd been seeing someone. We went on a few dates and everything seemed to be going well. In between each rendezvous we had consistent communication, be it a phone call, text, or email. That is, until he decided to go M.I.A. for almost two weeks. I'd like to take this opportunity to talk to this guy. Boys, you'd do well to pay attention here. While each woman and situation is different, the ground rules are always the same, and I urge you to not make the same mistake that he did.
To say I’m broken-hearted would be an exaggeration. I think baffled and bummed would be more accurate.
I did exactly what I told myself not to do—like a boy, like you—because this would be the end result—he wouldn’t like me back.
I was into you, too, right off the bat and for totally unexplainable reasons. Not because you weren’t crush-worthy, but because, well, how do you explain these things? That you called me by a nickname that no guy had been brave enough to use on me before? That you were just as content as I was grabbing a slice from a corner pizzeria on our first date?
Really, it’s even less tangible than that. It was that nervous feeling inside my stomach the days following each time we went out, hoping that you’d call. I hadn’t felt that in a really long time—if ever during this last year of being single—and it both electrified and terrified me.
I didn’t keep my heart palpitations to myself either. If you imagine my recounting of dates like a weekend edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter, you were always the highlight of the week. My friends would put all my other stories on fast forward until I got to the one about you.
They were excited. I was excited. You seemed excited.
I thought all three of our dates were more or less perfect. Then I went in for neck surgery and you called to see how it went. I was delighted to think that you were going to stick around through this. Your subsequent check-ins during the next two weeks of my recovery were even more encouraging.
When I felt better we made plans to go out again, plans that I then cancelled because my grandfather passed away. Again, you called to ask about me, assuring me you were there if I needed anything. After that conversation I thought our next date would be the perfect release after weeks of stress. Once I settled back into work I called to reschedule. You didn’t answer, so I left a message.
Over the next few days, while I waited for you to call me back, I replayed the last few weeks over and again in my head: our last phone conversation, our last text messages, and neither gave any sign of your disinterest.
But you never called me back.
Heart palpitations turned to heartache. And while I never cried or listened to sappy love songs on repeat, I was definitely let down. It’s like when you get in trouble as a kid and instead of your parents furiously hollering about what you did wrong, they only shake their heads and tell you that they’re disappointed. That's worse.
You worked a lot. I didn’t care. You had to move our dates around. It didn’t bother me. It’s funny that whenever this happened you would be nervous that it was going to show up in a column. But as it turns out it wasn’t anything you did that made you this week’s subject, it’s what you didn’t do.
Not only were you not the man I thought you were, but you weren’t a man at all. You’re not into me? You have someone else? You hate my schedule? Whatever it is, be a man and tell me. I can handle it. I found out that my ex-fiancé was in love with his assistant when I saw a text she sent him at 3:30 in the morning when I was getting ready to go to work. Surely whatever you have to say can’t be worse than that.
I think it’s basic human respect that when a woman calls, you call her back. If you think it would be awkward or difficult in any way, then please text, email, something. Even if I go out with a guy once, if he gets in touch with me and I’m not interested, I’ll let him know. Because it’s the right thing to do.
After wondering for the better part of a week if you would call, I stopped thinking about you. I got the memo loud and clear: you just weren’t that into me. But I guess your guilt got the best of you because two weeks after I left you that voicemail, I get an email from you:
i know it's been a few days/weeks since we've spoken. just wanted to apologize for going mia on you. i've just had a bunch of things going on the last few weeks, between work, family, looking for a new job/apartment, etc. ultimately, i just don't think it's the right time for me to be getting into a relationship or taking steps in that direction. i'm sorry for emailing rather than calling. i know you too have been dealing with a lot between surgery and your grandfather, and i trust you are handling it all with lots of strength, support and humor. i still watch ny1 for my daily dose of traffic even though i've yet to drive in this country. but when it happens, i'll know exactly where to go.
so that this email isn't all serious, attached is a powerpoint prepared in 09 of my football injuries. i'm sure you will enjoy. if these surface on the internet or are otherwise circulated, i will cease my efforts in getting you kelly ripa's job, which i still feel should happen.
hope you're doing well and hope we stay in touch.
While I believe your message was genuine, it was too little, too late, to earn back the respect I had lost since that unreturned phone call. I moved on already too. That girl who was baffled and bummed by our courtship ending realized she was something else:
Next week: Jamie talks about summer flings. Do they have an expiration date?