Intuition doesn't account for circumstances.
August 13, 2012 11:57 AM   Subscribe

I've been dating a great guy who happens to be a celebrity. Now he's wrapped up in a movie and I'm trying to figure out if wants me to kiss off or stick around.

Ok, so I'm not in love with the dude because it's only been four (lovely) dates, but I like him and want to continue dating. And while I'm wary of the celebrity thing, he's come across as down-to-earth and sincere each time we've spent time together.

We were talking about venturing to a museum this week, but today I got an email from him in which he stated that he just got a part in a movie that's shooting almost everyday until mid-September. He said he was excited but totally overwhelmed, then said he hoped all is well on my end.

I figure there's little hidden meaning behind his message -- he wanted to let me know why he won't be available to hang out. BUT he also didn't express a desire to see me when things die down. So my question is … is this an update, or an update and a brush-off? If it's a brush-off, fine. Rejection sucks but I can take it. If it's not, how do I respond in a way that indicates I'm still interested without putting pressure on him?

Of course, I have a PhD in Overthinking Things. Maybe it's really as simple as this: if he wants to see me again, he'll make it happen. Or are there special rules for dating super busy people?

I promise not to put my life on hold for this guy. But I did feel a connection, and I'm pretty sure he really liked (likes?) me. We haven't slept together, if that matters.

(Anonymous because I doubt he's on AskMeFi, but if he is he'd be able to tell who I am based on my username. And probably the content of this question, but hey.)
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (43 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Movie shoots can be notoriously long and draining. Long days, no days off, and then there's the time afterward to deal with everything else. He might be brushing you off, but honestly, it's probably that he's being a little bit self-involved because of the big opportunity right now, and he doesn't know when he'll be able to see you next.

Be cool. From what I understand about celebrities dating "civilians," the most important thing to them is someone who can roll with it.
posted by xingcat at 12:01 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

If you've only been on 4 dates, he may not have felt comfortable appearing to assume that you would wait around 4 or 5 weeks. You should reply saying something like 'oh that's great, I hope it all goes well for you! Sounds like you'll be pretty much offline for a few weeks, but do {call/email/whatever you guys use for contact} and let's go out again when you're not so busy.'

Then let him either get in touch again or not.
posted by jacalata at 12:02 PM on August 13, 2012 [83 favorites]

"Dear ____ person i'm dating.

I've had a really good time so far and I'm really psyched for you to get this great part!

I just wanted to check with you whether you'd like to continue seeing each other after the movie wraps, and keep in touch in the meantime. I really dig hanging out with you and would love for things to progress, but I understand how time-consuming a movie shoot can be. Maybe we could figure out a schedule?

But really, I just want to go to the premiere.

posted by softlord at 12:03 PM on August 13, 2012 [8 favorites]

jacalata's got it.
posted by scody at 12:05 PM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

I had a friend who was dating a very famous person and the better part success in their relationship was his ability to be cool with their dissapearance every few months as they went on tour, shot a movie, whatever.

Just send him an e-mail saying "Hey! Good luck. If you're free at all, let's say Hi, otherwise maybe I'll see you when you're done with the shoot?". Let him know you're into it but that you understand the demands on his time.
posted by GilloD at 12:05 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Don't ask, even in jest, to be invited to a movie premiere. Actors have very little control over that stuff unless they're Tom Hanks or Jennifer Lopez or Meryl Streep or Will Smith.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:05 PM on August 13, 2012 [12 favorites]

After sending a message like those suggested by jacalata and softlord, you might also want to send another "just thinking of you" message if you can figure out when the movie has wrapped, if you are able to do so, otherwise maybe towards the end of September. That way, if getting back in touch with you has slipped their mind in the busy times, it's kind of like a little bump back to the foreground. If they don't contact you after that, though, it's time to let it go.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:06 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Just tell him you guys can do it when he's better rested. But don't expect anything.
posted by discopolo at 12:07 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

If he wants to see you again, he'll make it happen.

I'd definitely write back to that email though and tell him that you're happy for him and excited that he landed that role. Then ask him when a good time would be to grab a celebratory ice cream cone together. When said ice cream cone consumption occurs, in-person, tell him that you're really enjoyed the time you've spent with him and are looking forward to more. Tell him that you know he's going to be super busy, but you're hoping that you can continue dating him.

Celebrities are people too, and people need supportive and caring environments. Even though you just started dating, letting him know that you're there through all of this will make you one cool, very datable, highly awesome chick.
posted by floweredfish at 12:07 PM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]

I really like softlord's message, the only thing that I'd omit is the movie premiere part.

Oh, and the one special rule that I can think of when dating or trying to befriend busy people is do not come across as insecure, too sensitive, or needy.
posted by livinglearning at 12:09 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Jacalata and Softlord have good answers. I'd maybe try not to shut the door on hanging out.

"I bet you'll be crazy busy, if you need someone to bring you Chinese takeout after a long day on the set, I'm there for you. Otherwise I can't wait to see both you and the movie once it's done."
posted by pseudonick at 12:09 PM on August 13, 2012 [8 favorites]

You don't know if it's a brush-off or not. At the very least, it's nice and considerate of him to let you know why he's disappearing. And the fact that he mentions an end date sounds fairly positive. I'd keep it very simple and say thanks for letting me know, I had a really good time on our dates, hope to hear from you when you get a chance. Then maybe ping him with a "This made me think of you" and a link type of email around the end date he gave.

(Normally I would say less is more and to omit the second email, but a month after four dates is a really awkward amount of time and someone-- celebrity or not-- could feel like it's been too long to get back in touch.)
posted by BibiRose at 12:22 PM on August 13, 2012

Be chill, he's about to go into a cocoon and work. Send him an email back telling him how happy and excited you are for him, and that you get that he'll be wrapped up doing his deal with very little time to check in. Leave it open ended, and as you planned to, get on with living your life.

If he get's back in touch, awesome! If he doesn't, hey, it was fun while it lasted (and aren't you glad you didn't sleep with him?)
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:22 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

He's about to be working 12 t0 14 hour days, and he will find out what time his call for the next day is the evening before. Basically, he has no idea when he'll be free next. I doubt that he is brushing you off.

Where is the movie shooting? If it will be shooting locally, Pseudonick has the correct approach. But keep in mind, when you're in the early stages of dating someone and getting to know them even low-key nights can take a lot of energy. Which he simply might not have until this project is over.
posted by thebrokenmuse at 12:32 PM on August 13, 2012

Hey! As someone who works in the entertainment industry, I call bullshit on the no days off, 12-14 hour days. The crew works 12+ days - actors don't do that very often because their overtime is astronomically expensive. However, they like to complain in press junket interviews, so people think that they work ridiculously long hours.

If he's not the main actor, he will have several days off each week. If he's in almost every scene, he'll work every day (hours may be long). He might have some days that he's on hold for production and can't make plans, but isn't actually working.

I think that if he wanted to see you, he'd make an effort to see you.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 12:38 PM on August 13, 2012 [8 favorites]

And as a PS to my last post: Is he going on location? That would make a big difference. (i.e., if he's going to be in Louisiana for three months, and you live in LA)
posted by ablazingsaddle at 12:39 PM on August 13, 2012

I had a non-speaking part in a movie-shoot and was on set from 5am to 10pm for weeks on end. Try doing that AND having lines to memorize!

Send him a reply wishing him luck and suggesting you go out for dinner once shooting is done so you both can catch up.
posted by furtive at 12:40 PM on August 13, 2012

Let it ride for a while. Check in after a week or two, preferably about some issue you guys have in common. The key to dating is a light touch.

If it is Robert Pattinson, he's on the rebound, so that plays into it.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:42 PM on August 13, 2012 [21 favorites]

Hey! As someone who works in the entertainment industry, I call bullshit on the no days off, 12-14 hour days. The crew works 12+ days - actors don't do that very often because their overtime is astronomically expensive. However, they like to complain in press junket interviews, so people think that they work ridiculously long hours.

If it is a mega celeb, then he might not get overtime and will be a contract employee without overtime.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:43 PM on August 13, 2012

I work in the entertainment industry too, and while what ablazingsaddle is saying is correct, even if an actor isn't on set for 12-14 hours a day, that doesn't mean that they aren't spending that much time a day memorizing lines or working with a trainer or dialect coach.
posted by thebrokenmuse at 12:49 PM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]

It sure sounds like a brush-off to me. I would send an email reiterating that you'd love to get together when he is done shooting, but I don't think you'll hear from him again.
posted by Wordwoman at 12:49 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

I hate to be know-it-alling all over the place, but if you had a non-speaking part, you were a lot cheaper than the main actors. They don't work as long as the background actors/extras.

Who knows, maybe he's shooting a James Cameron movie and they have all the money in the world and he's dealing with a crazy auteur director. More likely, he's working long-ish days (8-12 hours), two to five days a week. If it's a crazy movie with a lot of overnight stuff, then yes, he's basically undatable because he's working the graveyard shift. And if he has to get super ripped, then he's working out like a fiend. There are other considerations, but if he didn't spell it out for you, don't waste your time coming up with ways in which he's not blowing you off.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 12:53 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

I agree, this sounds like a potential brush-off, but it's really a toss-up. I think jacalata's answer takes just the right approach--breezy, confident, and interested but not clingy. I'd send one email (one!) with the above, then leave the ball in his court.
posted by anonnymoose at 1:07 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Another vote for jacalata. I don't know if it was a brush-off or not but that is the way to handle it.

At the very least, he won't be in control of his schedule until mid-September. I wouldn't offer to visit him on set because he might not know when he'll wrap on any given day.

And of course actors get to choose who they invite to the premiere, but I wouldn't ask for it... that's presuming too much on your relationship.
posted by tel3path at 1:09 PM on August 13, 2012

I got an email from him in which he stated that he just got a part in a movie that's shooting almost everyday until mid-September. He said he was excited but totally overwhelmed, then said he hoped all is well on my end.

If this is actually what he said, this doesn't even mean he doesn't want to see you until after the movie is done. I mean, yes, it could be a brush-off, but it could also be a guy who likes you telling you what's going on with him. I mean, there's really no way to discern what's going on beyond what he's telling you except to either ask him or wait to find out. It's a classic form of miscommunication when one person hears "A" and assumes "A, but not B." This is a situation where maybe he'd specifically say he wanted to see you more, but he might not have any idea that you're assuming if he doesn't specifically say it, you're brushing him off.

In other words, he could easily be assuming that you'll either fit something in around the shooting schedule or get together after, or he could be brushing you off. Tell him you hope to see him after, and if you feel like it, drop him one friendly, EXTREMELY short note sometime between now and then to remind him you're thinking about him, and see what he does. Worst-case scenario, you've shown your cards that you didn't "get" the brush-off instantly, which ... whatever, life is too short to worry about that, I think.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 1:12 PM on August 13, 2012 [7 favorites]

My assumption would be that how you handle this will probably be a big factor in whether he decides he wants you to kiss off or stick around. This is a part of his life. It isn't likely to go away. If you cope well with it, that would likely be reason to stick around. If you don't, hey, who has time for such drama?

When I was very ill, how a man dealt with that piece of my life was often the make or break for the relationship. Men who were understanding and accommodating and did not make an already difficult situation worse got more of my time when I was again able to give it to them. Men who acted like I was just blowing them off and had a tantrum and wasted what little time and energy I could afford to give them eventually did get dumped.

So my advice would be that since you can't tell which it is, assume it is simultaneously neither and also potentially either. Then keep an open mind and open heart and let his future actions tell you what the answer is.

If you happen to get with someone else before he gets back to you, assume it was not meant to be. If he drops you a note and you are still free, then see where it goes. No big.
posted by Michele in California at 1:17 PM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

This doesn't sound to me like a brush off at all, and I suspect that if he wasn't a celebrity that neither you nor most of the people answering this question would be so quick to assume that it is.

He didn't even say that he couldn't see you during shooting.

Write back and tell him that you're really happy for him, and you are sure he will be busy with shooting but to get in touch when he has some time.
posted by amro at 1:21 PM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

"OMG that is so amazing! I'm so excited for you! When do you start shooting?

I'm doing great, just chillin."
posted by Dragonness at 1:37 PM on August 13, 2012 [5 favorites]

I also think it sounds like a brush-off. The timing is just weird. If he is filming every day for the next month, and is a celebrity, then I would assume he has a major role in this movie. Movie leads aren’t cast the day before shooting starts. Something just seems off.

I would send the “Congats! Call me when you come up for air” email and see what happens, but not count on hearing from him again.
posted by aviatrix at 1:40 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't know anything about what actors in the movie industry do, but I work in production on still shoots and a very common topic of mutual complaining among my busy male friends is that dating is hard because a lot of people don't "get" it. You often don't know where or what the call time for the shoot is until the day before (or a few days at most). You have no idea when you'll be done, but it's at minimum a 10 hour day and you usually have to be at work before most people get out of bed for their 9-to-5s. It makes scheduling anything hard, you can't commit to anything in advance too strongly, the work is often exhausting, and you often to have to cancel on people at the last minute. Sometimes you get a job where you just disappear for a week or two because of the hours. I can't count the number of times I have bought a ticket to a concert and then couldn't make it.

No matter what you do or how carefully you explain this to new friends or people you are dating, a lot of people will assume you are flaky or brushing them off. But this is how it is, so when an issue inevitably comes up after meeting someone how they handle it is the biggest factor in whether I pursue it further. If it's going to be A Big Deal every time I have to be on set late then it's never going to work because it'll probably happen again next week. If you can roll with it though, that is rare and worth calling back.
posted by bradbane at 3:28 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

jacalata has it, IMO. It's pretty much worthless trying to debate it back and forth as to what his intent was and what his schedule will really be like without context, but this response says "I like you and I'm cool with what you do" without saying "The door is wide open whenever you feel like walkin' on through it, stranger!"

Which I think is the appropriate balance to strike 4 dates in, celeb or no.
posted by sm1tten at 3:50 PM on August 13, 2012

My take: You guys are focusing WAY too much on the celebrity/actor angle.

He's a guy, you're a guy/gal, you've been on a couple of dates. He indicated that he's hoping you're well and that he is going to have a project that will keep him super duper busy for the next few weeks that he is excited, but overwhelmed about.

You don't have that much invested, just a couple of dates. Tell him you're totally excited for him, mention a museum opening/exhibit that sounds cool opening at the tail end of September/October, suggest you reconnect later in the fall. Then, later in the fall, touch base, lightly saying you would enjoy catching up/etc.

If you hear from him and it is awesome, great. If you don't, you don't. Don't focus too much on it. Take a friend to the museum that you'd planned to go to with him. You'll be great.
posted by arnicae at 4:27 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

I don't think it would hurt anything - or be especially painful to you - to say something like: Hey, that's awesome news! Break legs etc. Let me know if you want to get coffee when you resurface.

There's no humiliation in that response if he is blowing you off, but leaves the door open in case he assumes you're going to blow him off.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:30 PM on August 13, 2012

he just found out that he's going to be in a movie that is going to be shooting every day til mid-september? is he replacing someone who dropped out? otherwise, it does sound fishy to me that he wouldn't have been cast long before this.
posted by violetk at 6:22 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, hon. I'm so sorry.

That is absolutely the language of a blow off. Of course, he's leaving the door open. Expect a booty call, or whatever, in the next few months.

I don't know why you'd want to reply with anything other than,"Congrats on the role. Good luck!" and nothing else. All the fishing about for a date down the road seems lame and kiss-ass-ey. Don't do that.

When he contacts you about hanging out again, think twice about saying yes. You can do much better than this dude and you just don't need crap like this in your life.
posted by jbenben at 7:20 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

"When he contacts you about hanging out again, think twice about saying yes. You can do much better than this dude and you just don't need crap like this in your life."


I am sorry that the actor bit you and it got infected, or whatever, but you're making a crazy lot of assumptions based on weak data.
posted by klangklangston at 8:11 PM on August 13, 2012 [11 favorites]

Wrap party is the key indicator. If he invites you to the wrap party, its a real thing.

If he doesn't, you had a good time, he had a good time, maybe you'll run into each other again...
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 8:20 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

I agree that you can't tell from this note if it's a brush off or not.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:22 PM on August 13, 2012

This may sound ridiculous (I have a postdoc in overthinking, myself) but I think the fact he said "on your side" means it's not a brush-off. Only with people you have some sort of a relationship with is their a "thing" that exists - a thing with two sides, your side and his side. With people you don't have a thing with you'd just say "I hope all is well with you."
posted by hazyjane at 10:44 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Casting, even for name stars, often does happen at the last second. Even, in my experience, after filming has begun. Not fishy at all in my opinion.

Ask him if you can visit him on set. If he says he can't make it happen, believe him. You'd be surprised how often I've had to say no to actor requests.

i don't think any of this reeks of a blow-off.
posted by jindc at 11:44 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sorry, I agree with jbenben; it reads like a blow off to me too. If he was feeling it, he would've written something like "...looking forward to seeing you when my schedule eases up a bit." The fact that he pointedly did not, and is being purposefully vague, does make it seem like he's leaving the door open for a booty call as well. (I also think he would've called you in person if he still intended to see you afterward.)

"Congrats and good luck!" is the perfect answer to such an email or, if you're feeling a bit peckish, "How nice for you! Be well."
posted by LuckySeven~ at 1:33 PM on August 14, 2012

Ask him if you can visit him on set.

Please don't do this.
posted by scody at 1:53 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

jacalata for the win. He's just like anyone else that you had 4 dates with, then something comes up (roughnecking, crabbing in Alaska, etc.). You just don't know. Don't put all your eggs in one basket but leave a door open. Go on and live your life.
posted by Vaike at 7:00 PM on August 14, 2012

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