Pepé Le Pew

Pepé Le Pew (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pepe Le Pew, the classic Looney Toones character is a love struck skunk and hopeless romantic.   In every episode he is featured, Le Pew incorrectly believes that a female black and white cat is actually another skunk and pursues her with vigor.  No obstacle is too great for Le Pew as he confidentially skips along after his chosen mate espousing his affection as he does so.  In some episodes the pursued cat might drink a love potion and a turnaround occurs.  The cat becomes enamored with Le Pew and now the skunk is running away as if his life depended on it.  The dreaded turnaround, just when the skunk gets his prey he decides he doesn’t want it anymore.

I have lived this very experience and heard countless stories from female friends who have gone through the exact same thing.  I have never encountered a love-sick skunk, nor am I a cat mistaken for a skunk, but I have dealt with many men who have played out this exact scenario.

A guy will become mildly infatuated with a woman and do anything to get her to go out with him.  Countless text messages, emails, instant messages and phone calls all to win her heart.   Although as soon as the man has the woman literally in his grasp he becomes disillusioned.  She is not the fantasy he had is his head, she is not fulfilling his every emotional and physical need and on top of it this same woman has emotional needs of her own and multiple flaws.  Soon after he has his conquest the turnaround begins.  The same man who was never too busy to send countless emails all day long, and text messages is suddenly busy.  He won’t return calls, he won’t answer emails and he would never think to text.  By now the woman may have become attached and just wonders what the hell happened.

Women call it the classic male “freak out”.   Countless dating advice books tell women to manipulate men to prevent this from happening.  Personally I hate manipulation, partly because I am downright terrible at it, and it just seems like one big constant lie.  And do I really want to “trick” someone into sticking around with me, by constantly making him feel that I have one foot out the door at all times?

I have sat down with my straight male friends to try to figure this out and I get answers like:

“Well sometimes you don’t really know until you know”

“I just get excited by the chase but once I have a girl, I don’t know something happens”

“I don’t know why I do it, I just know that I have done it before”

Talking to men about this might seem like a good idea, but it just leaves me more confused.  So now instead of trying to figure out why some men do this, I do everything I can to prevent it from happening in the first place.  There is a fine line between the genuine real excitement of a brand new budding relationship and a false hyped up hysterics of a Pepe Le Pew type.   The red flags to look out for:

  • He says things like “I have never had a blonde girlfriend before” and he hasn’t even met you yet
  • He talks about things way into the future and you barely know him
  • He speaks in blanket statements – you are somehow supposed to make his life complete
  • He says things like – You will keep me sober – Indicating that you will somehow save him from himself.
  • He is so insecure about your first date so he will call, then email and then send you a text to make sure you are coming
  • He speaks about you as if you are an object – talks more about your physical attributes, hair color, height, weight, etc. than your personality or who you are as a person
  • In general if he is acting head over heels and you haven’t yet met, that is a huge warning sign that he has already idealized you in his head.

Sometimes I feel more like a trophy than an actual human being, as if the man is more excited about showing me off to his friends than he is actually spending time with me.  I have written on this blog so many times before, when something seems too good to be true, or you gut instinct is telling you to bolt, trust that instinct.  Proceed with caution,  don’t get too involved with a man like this until you feel that his feelings are coming from a real place and not some fantasy in his head.  But if this does happen to you, don’t beat yourself up about it.  It seems to happen to all women.  I don’t know why women appear more enticing to men when they can’t have us, but there are things about the male psyche that I will never understand.  Don’t let his temporary excitement sweep you off your feet just so you can later get slammed to the ground when he drops you.   Sure it might feel romantic to have some man move heaven and earth to win us over, but it feels even worse when our love struck skunk turns out to be one scared little mammal who has left us with little more than his lingering scent.

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9 comments on “Dating in NYC: The Pepe Le Pew Syndrome

    1. julietjeske

      As I have said repeatedly on this blog before…I write from a woman’s perspective because I am a woman. If a man wants to start up a blog…and write about the same things…he should TOTALLY GO FOR IT! I do think men and women are wired totally differently though and that men tend to pursue more than women do. At least from what I have found, men tend to freak out when women pursue them, and nearly every woman I know would agree with that. But again, I don’t write about men’s experience because I am not a man! HA! 🙂

      1. Nix

        First time I’ve read anything on your blog. And, as humans, different people are just different.

    2. julietjeske

      Well Nix, if I wrote to please everyone on the planet my blog posts would be boring as hell. Sure you can find men that love it when some woman chases them, but generally speaking they are the exception not the norm. And I could have wasted time blathering on about the female version of the Pepe Le Pew but I just thought it would be a waste of time. My point was so many women go through this, including myself…over and over and over again. It gets old. I have had maybe three guys in a row do this, the last one I saw coming and tried to prevent it, but he talked me into going out with him anyway and the exact same thing happened. Then after it was over he still would contact me only to run away again…I finally put an end to it and told him enough is enough.

        1. julietjeske

          Actually no you were sharing your opinion. A fact would be something like 30% of all men enjoy being pursued by women according to a study. Or 500,000 men in New York city are single. Those are facts, an opinion is something else entirely. And it is your opinion that women act like men, well according to you they do. I would say sometimes they do, but that is also just my opinion and not a fact. In fact my entire article was just my opinion, no facts whatsoever, so you can disagree with it…it’s all good. is just my opinion. But in MY opinion I don’t think men go through this nearly as often as women do, sure women might change their mind early on in a relationship but they don’t actively pursue men in the same way that men pursue women. You aren’t a woman, so you haven’t had a female’s perspective on this…and men have their own set of problems when dating…but I really don’t think they go through this in the same way women do, or if they do it is not as often.

  1. Anders

    Just a thought on this subject. The date format in itself is somewhat formalized, almost like an audition. Depending on how the date came about in the first place, especially if the two have never met in any meaningful way before, it’s like a job interview.
    It’s an acquired skill to be able to turn something that looks like two opposing forces into something that works like two energies working together. I believe that the first thing that needs to happen is that both persons involved in the encounter in a symbolic way needs to come over to the same side of the table and look at the relationship, not the other person but the relationship between the two and decide is this something I want and then say is this something we want.
    The warning signs that you listed, are all such, that if even one of those elements are present the hyped up tension that exist, will destroy every chance to really meet the other person in this way.
    On rare occasions there is a match and then usually both people know it, and it may turn into a more long term thing. If both don’t know and don’t say so my suggestion is move on and be at peace. One can to some extent read the emotional maturity from a persons reactions but then again sometimes our person radar is broken and we make mistakes. I have made them in very critical times of my life and it didn’t turn out well. Now when I know better and think about it I can’t even imagine how I could have warned myself if I now had the power to travel back in time. It is possible that what happened needed to happen. In a karmic way, I guess, even if I’m not sure I believe in karma or destiny but some times life looks like it. Someone once told me don’t listen to what they say look at their aura, vibration and actions. Since I can’t read auras (given that we have such) I will have to rely on feeling the vibe and pay attention to words and actions combined because that says a lot about a person. This was a rather lengthy comment and somewhat off on a tangent but hey, it’s the Internet.

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