Dear Auntie Seraphic:
Two and a half years ago I met a wonderful European guy through an exchange program. We talked a lot and despite a few language mishaps, I thought we had a lot in common. I was supposed to go to visit his home country (not staying with him) but a long story short, that didn't end up panning out through no fault of either of ours.
Now we're occasionally in touch, mostly via emails. The last time I had a phone call from him was New Year's the year before last. I am still interested in being friends, but I don't know if he is. I feel like I'm always the one asking the questions that keep the emails going. I'm still interested in him. Is this too long? He's not taking up my every waking thought, but I do use him as a yardstick when considering new guy friends. Help?
Confused in California
A year and a half ago I met a wonderful European guy after he invited me to stay at his place in Europe. We talked a lot and despite a few language mishaps (like my calling Scotland "England"), he asked me to marry him before I left. He called me on the phone almost every single day until we were married seven months later. The last time I had a call from him was just now.
I'm not reminding you of all this to rub it in, but to show how European men act when they fall in love with a lady who lives far, far away.
My first impulse was to say, Confused, go to Europe and visit Mr. European instead of just sitting around wondering, "What if?" But then it occured to me that this guy could be French. Or Italian. Or one of a dozen nationalities of men who have a good time on vacation and then gradually forget the girls they met while practically kidnapping the women they actually want to marry.
When men are the caffeine in the cappuccino of life, they are practical and active. They know what they want and they try to get it before some other man can take it away from them. If your European friend was That Into You, he would be calling, emailing and visiting you whenever he could afford to. To quote Greg of HJNTIY fame, he's JNTIY.
So you shouldn't be that into Into him. Forget him. Scrub him from your mind. Ditch his sexy European imagine into the gutter at the side of the road. Break up with him right now by taking out his photo or whatever souvenir you're hiding from me and burning it in the back garden or bathtub.
As the acrid smoke swirls upwards, say, "You haven't called me since January 2009, you foreign bastard. You almost never write and you definitely never visit. When I couldn't make it to Europe, you could have offered to come here. But did you? No, you lily-livered cheese-eating surrender monkey, you did not! So I am hereby washing you right out of my hair, and calling up my friends to say that from now on I'm going to keep my eye out for a brace or two of red-blooded American men to be friends with."
The sheer futility of using some neglectful European as a yardstick when most Europeans use metric just goes without saying. Meanwhile, the first litmus test for the charm and smarts of any eligible man is that he shows up, unbidden, at your door, in your in-box or on your answering machine.
Grace and peace,