A man once tried to pick me up at 35,000 feet. I suppose I should say he did pick me up, since his line of holding my hand and whispering, “I’m scared” on the plane led to us making out for 45 minutes in Terminal A of the Newark, New Jersey airport after touchdown.
This guy was really into some New Age-y thing called the Jovian Archive and told me that I was, like, his exact match, which he knew the moment he saw me “when it felt like a strong wind guided him” to speak to me. He was tall and handsome, which probably helped him get away with dropping such a ridiculous line, and I dutifully lapped it up.
We texted nonstop after parting ways at the airport, and one rainy afternoon (because it always happens on a rainy afternoon), he told me we’d have the most amazing sex because he knew exactly what I wanted because he could read me so well. I was unconvinced, but never gave him the chance to prove it. He turned out to be a bit of a snake, and the whole thing ended before it could really begin. In my last text to him, I instructed him not to contact me again.
I wish I could say this was an isolated incident, but it wasn’t. It has happened to me, you, and everyone we know: A dude’s mouth is moving, and he’s saying all of these fantastic things, but the truth is, he’s just trying every trick in the book to sleep with you.
One of my friends, newly single from a years-long relationship, started dating a guy who seemed charming and always at the ready to take in an art show or whisk her to dinner. No pressure, he told her. I know you’re just out of a serious relationship. No rush.
But then, on an unsuspecting rainy afternoon (again with the rain), he persuaded her to let him upstairs, convincing her that they’d just be taking refuge from the storm for a little while. I wish I could say that he really was patient—that there really wasn’t a rush—but this was very soon into their courtship, and once they slept together, he ghosted on her.
I feel as though we always think that more naïve women are the poor schmucks who got suckered into something, and that that kind of thing could never happen to a smart girl like me! But these women —myself and my friends—are cautionary tales. I’d consider us all to be smart and capable people, further proof that it can happen to anyone.
It’s deceptively easy to get caught in the crossfire of lovely but ultimately meaningless words.
Here’s my PSA to you: if any man under any circumstances starts saying things that feel too good to be true, run. You can save yourself lots of hardship and even heartache when you notice he starts laying it on too thick.
Or doesn’t keep his word and pressures you before you’re ready. Or starts reading your aura. That one isn’t just a red flag, but a crimson one with fireworks and a bullhorn.
It’s tempting to see these scenarios through, because what if this guy’s for real? What if he really does want to jet off to Miami or Paris or Ibiza with you, what if he really does want to take your photograph in some oh-so-beautiful light, what if he really does think you’re amazing, stunning, and the most beautiful girl he’s seen in his entire life? He probably does think and want all of these things—for one hot second. But then it’s onto the next conquest.
The real ones—the guys who mean it, who actually want to find out what makes you you — aren’t just gold-plated. They’re 24 karat, and they want to stick around long after you get off the plane.