Bruce had a similar experience. Following a spirited and flirtatious chance encounter with Melissa on the plane ride home from a business trip, he called to arrange the dinner date they had discussed having the next week. Bruce called as planned. Six days and four unreturned phone calls later, he gave up, feeling defeated and confused by Melissa’s unresponsiveness.
Both Emily and Bruce attempted to do what most of us do when life hands us mysteries like the ones described above. They tried to make sense of something that made no sense to them at all. Their attempts to solve the mystery of their disappointing romantic experiences revealed a great deal about them. Emily, a successful business entrepreneur with a solid sense of herself, is a positive thinker, an optimist by nature, and someone who reasons things out in a thoughtful and rational manner. She reacted to Walt’s behavior with a mixture of bewilderment and disdain for his failure to follow through as promised. She felt that it was “his loss,” that perhaps he was-for reasons unclear-afraid to pursue a romantic partnership with her, had problems with intimacy, or simply was not mature enough to handle himself any better than he did.