Cultural Exchange and Ghost Stories

Now that I’ve reached a certain level of awareness of Israeli culture, I’m able to be somewhat useful as a translator of American dating culture. Diva asked me about a guy who’s Israeli but his family is from Canada, and who studied there. We talked off and on for two years and finally went on a date a few weeks ago. He vomited a lot of flattery but since the 23rd has been ghosting me. I suppose he’s too Israeli to fully block me, but is American enough to go silent.

Diva was completely baffled. She’s never seen this kind of behavior from someone one actually went on a date with. She’s seen dudes with legit mental illnesses freak out and block women who made a move that was misinterpreted. That even happened to me once with the dude who was at a very intense university and taking both weed and Adderall. What triggered him was me liking one of his videos on Instagram. It wasn’t much of a something, but I had to actually do something to set him off. Diva had never encountered a dude talking to someone for years, then being all mushy and sending day-in-the-life photos one day and then going silent the next with no explanation.

I informed her that it’s an American thing. Americans and Canadians are very polite and will say all sorts of wonderful things to your face, but there are things they do when they’re really invested that he simply did not. He said the right things, but then he disappeared.

When I explained things to Diva, I could hear her gagging on the phone. She said that she will never date an American if that’s how it is. It’s like walking around with a calculator until a point is reached that one can relax and understand that he’s not planning to bail. Their word is meaningless until then, and this is considered acceptable.

Israeli men however, are usually honest to the point of being tactless. The question all along was whether his word bore Israeli weight or American weight. It’s not that all Israelis are honest or all Americans are deceptive. Just that the norms are different as well as the priorities. So when they lie they’re going to lie about different things or the agenda will be different.

In any case, my heart will go on. Weakness kind of selects against itself at this point. He wasn’t even really making the cut as a friend, or wasn’t interested in doing so, and I suppose me mirroring his emojis gave him the impression that I was emotionally invested when I was just reciprocating his expressions.

As always, I never tell a guy what can truly hurt me until he’s been solid with me for 5+ years and sometimes not even then. I only show them what could disqualify them. Ghosting is one of those things like when an enemy kills themselves so I don’t have to dirty my hands.

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