Pathological narcissist wonders why woman won’t return his call

This morning, a friend emailed me a reminder of just how pathologically arrogant people can be, with a heaping helping of gender dynamics on the side:

The story is this:  a girl was out with friends having drinks on King St (in Toronto ).  This guy approaches her and won’t leave her alone -saying how cute she is. She finally gives in  and hands the guy her business card to get rid of him. The attached  is an MP3 file of not one, but TWO voicemails this guy left. This goes down  in the history books – especially the second voice mail.
After hearing them you can clearly see why she didn’t call him back – instead she called in to the Z103.5 morning show & had them play this on the air.Ladies: He is out there… :)

I’ll relay a few snippets, but you really should click over and listen to the voice mails to hear his tone of voice. He sounds not so much confident as bored while he explains for a total of four-and-a-half minutes what a “catch” he is, and how he’s “approached by six or seven women a day” but he’s “very picky about what” he likes. She’s “very elegant” and he “couldn’t take his eyes off” of her, and her “friends were very jealous, even if they say they weren’t.”

On the second call, he wonders why she hasn’t returned the first one. Perhaps she just doesn’t understand that he’s “a complete catch”, and in fact “one of the few men in the city that has nothing wrong with him” (Toronto has over 1 million people), so he gives her a deadline to get back in touch with him or else she can “forget it.”

But, being a thoughtful soul, he acknowledges maybe there’s another reason she’s not calling back. Perhaps she was “abused in childhood” or her “mother has cancer, and you’re going to chemo” or maybe she’s just “extremely frightened.” For a second there, you think he’s getting warm, but no: he means frightened of intimacy. Oh. Never mind.

Then he says “nobody hands someone a business card and says ‘call me’ and then doesn’t return his calls. It’s very passive-aggressive – you should actually look that up: passive-aggressive personality disorder.”

Yeah. Now he’s dispensing psychiatric advice. In a slightly menacing tone.

And this apparently reminds him to mention that if she’s on any sort of psychiatric meds, he’s not interested. “But if you’re psychologically normal [his emphasis, not mine] and you haven’t called me because there’s been some horrible thing that’s happened in your life which prevented you, that’s fine.” The “that’s fine” is said in a very gracious tone of voice. Total 180 from the slightly menacing tone. People who can master an emotional U-turn in mid-sentence are not, in my experience, actually belabored with the complexity of any emotions beyond simmering, self-indulgent rage.

Clearly, in his mind, there are only two reasons a woman wouldn’t call him back: she’s been swept off by a tornado and lost her cell phone, or she’s insane. Because he is such a catch.

It’s hilarious – or maybe it’s just that I had to laugh in order to cope, because I know firsthand these guys are out there – but it’s also scary. This man may or may not be prone to physical violence, but he clearly:

  • Feels entitled to force his way into a woman’s life, using her socialization to play nice and not make a scene to his full advantage;
  • Believes that no matter how he bullied her into giving him her number, the giving of it constitutes the start of a relationship and immediately imposes certain obligations upon her;
  • Attempts to isolate her from her friends (“they were jealous, even if they say they weren’t”);

These are signs of an abusive personality. All this guy had to do was get into a public place and refuse to leave this woman alone until she appeased him, and boom, he’s in her life. Just like that.


  1. The Other Patrick says

    The first call, I had to smile throughout: what a douche! And the beginning of the second call, with the deadline, I smiled too. But then it got scary when he became so personal. The first call was mostly about how awesome he was and how peculiar in his choice of elegant women, how he rolls and so on, pretty self-absorbed. The second call sounded more deranged – who would bring up cancer

    I agree, that’s not just a douchebag, or even a jerk. He’s got issues. If that is a typical experience for a woman, wow.

  2. The Other Patrick says

    Oh, on the original site, I’ve found both claims that that’s a marketing gag for a soon-to-be-released comic, and that this guy is the guy behind the calls: Dimitri the lover of the “Toronto Real Men” who also has this flyer â�� and googling “Toronto Real Men” certainly makes it seem to be real enough. The idea that this guy dishes out dating advice… and the flyer itself… I don’t know. The internet has broken me so that I can’t decide whether that’s satire really skirting the edges of sanity, or whether such an a** truly exists.

  3. Pocket Nerd says

    Creepy. So creeeepy.

    As a man, I’ve never received this kind of “high-pressure sales pitch.” If I were to get messages like those from a woman, it would still make me a little nervous. Even knowing I have both physical strength and societal privilege on my side, I’d think the person obviously isn’t right in the head. I’d wonder what she might do next. At the very least, I’d consider changing my phone number and avoiding the place where I ran into her.

    I can’t imagine how it would feel to get phone messages like this if I were a woman.

  4. Pocket Nerd says

    “Pick up artists,” huh? And here I’ve been wasting my time thinking women want love, respect, and partnership; now I know that all I really need is a monstrous ego and a superficial veneer of charm over a deeply psychopathic misogyny!

  5. The Other Patrick says

    To me, pick-up “artists” mostly get by because they are not hampered by rejection (they just move on to the next woman), so they are bound to find a woman willing to have sex sooner or later, and the only women they “score” with are also women who are just looking for sexual release. I doubt they are a good lay, self-centered as they are – and as Dimitri shows, they (can?) have a serious mysoginist or even abusive streak. But they offer casual sex, not relationships.

    Still, Dimitri is a court case bound to happen, it seems.

  6. says

    Holy shit, that guy needs some serious professional help.

    I consider it very likely this guy is an NPD, in which case, there is no professional help.

    f that is a typical experience for a woman, wow.

    Well, this guy is pretty extreme, but this sort of thing happens to a lesser degree not infrequently. For example, I am not someone who’s spent a lot of hours in bars over my lifetime, and when I have gone it’s always been to see a band, but once when I was with some friends and we were chatting animatedly to each other, this guy came up to me and said hello. I said hello back and went back to my friends’ conversation. He attempted to start another conversation with me, and trying to be nice, I tossed him a little side and returned *again* to my friends. Now, why didn’t I just tell him, “I’m sorry, but you’re interrupting our conversation, okay?” or something? Because (a) women are trained to “hint” and “be nice” and (b) part of the reason dating is such a vomitous nightmare is that *everybody* is supposed to hint and play games instead of saying straight up what they’re thinking. It really is the worst possible combined circumstances for the person of lesser social status.

    Anyway, then the guy started yammering on at length about something that made it very clear he was planning to hit on me, so I turned to him and said, “I’m really just here with my friends, and we’re trying to talk, okay? Thank you.”

    He went away and left me alone. Obviously, this was a much less trying experience than the one related in the post. And yet, even in a bar where approaching strangers is normal, I wonder why he thought he should break in on an animated conversation? It’s not like we were clearing our throats and struggling to think of another topic we hadn’t yet covered, you know?

    It’s worth mentioning, too, that I was far from the best-looking woman amongst my group of friends, let alone in the whole bar, and I’ve always been told I’m “intimidating” and “unapproachable”. And I *still* found myself the target of unwanted attention. That, I would say, is a fairly typical experience for women.

    I do also have experience with men just like the one in the post, just not in a dating context.

  7. Pocket Nerd says

    Heh. Well, I was being sarcastic, as I hope was apparent from context.

    Contra his claims that he’s “very picky” and only pursues “psychologically normal” women, I suspect Dmitri and guys like him find most of their successes with abuse victims, the emotionally damaged, and the deeply insecure. The trope that “most women secretly like jerks” is a myth, at least in my experience.

    Of course, it’s a different story if you’re just angling for a hot night or a weekend of passion, but still… I suspect that level of arrogance and woman-hatred would put off a lot of women who otherwise think he’s cute enough for a hook-up.

  8. says

    Ah, okay, upon reading Charles RB’s second post links, which actually quoted the word “narcissistic” from a psychiatric eval, I’m calling this one. This guy is definitely a case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Misogyny is actually one of the symptoms of that disorder.

  9. Pocket Nerd says

    I’ve read that article, Jennifer, and I had it in mind while writing my comment above. It’s actually one of the posts that first drew my attention to THL.

  10. Charles RB says

    Ah yes, “Dimitri the Lover”. He’s part of Toronto’s “seduction community”, so he’s probably doing this a lot. He used to work as a physician until he was fired for coming onto patients during house calls; he blames this on feminism, and runs a PUA group called Toronto Real Men which he says fights against the scourge of feminism.

    I’m not making this shit up.

    And then it turned out he’d tried to break into a female officer’s dorm (REPEATEDLY) while in the Canadian army and was stockpiling weapons in his room. And during his medical work, he was noted to get drunk and high on the job, masturbate while making obsessive phone calls, and was considered untrustworthy.

    I didn’t make that shit up either.

    (He’s not really called Dimitri)

  11. The Other Patrick says

    (trigger warning, I guess)

    I must say that however badly reviewed the film was on the internet, I enjoyed “Observe and Report” for that reason. The film laid bare (to me, at least), just how deeply disturbed the typical “romantic comedy heroes” are, especially of the Apatow films. In O&R, the protagonist *is* disturbed, he’s taking medication, he has power fantasies – and in the course of the film he commits date rape, grievous assault and kills somebody. And in the end, he’s the hero. Ha ha, isn’t it funny? He even gets the girl! I think all that disturbing stuff was on purpose, but even if it wasn’t, as I said to me it destroyed that myth.

  12. says

    Yep, IIRC, a lot of reviewers agreed with you, Patrick – that the screenplay intended the disturbing stuff to be disturbing, which was potentially good, but (a) the marketing treated it like it was all good clean fun and (b) the date rape scene was certainly a potential trigger and a half for some people.

  13. Charles RB says

    “Pick up artists,” huh?

    There’s an interesting disconnect going on: the wank- er, artists themselves say how these methods TOTALLY WORK ALL THE TIME. A number of guys will claim they work great as a confidence booster and help shy girls feel comfortable approaching girls.

    Except whenever women talk about them or tactics used by then, it’s always about how disturbing and creepy it is. But this seems to pass the guys by.

  14. says

    Speaking as a) someone in Toronto and b) someone familiar with this guy–even before getting to the clip I knew exactly who you were talking about–he’s becoming quite famous, and, as such, is getting more and more desperate about his picking up. The first person I know who was “picked” by him was in a club, and he didn’t seem too out of place. Slightly weird, but not terribly creepy. More funny than anything. Six months later and he tried to pick my sister up, _while she was out on the street_, trying to do her grocery shopping, and didn’t take the hint that she wanted to be left alone until her boyfriend stepped in.

    My point is that this guy has a screw loose and as women in Toronto are becoming aware of him–and we talk and compare things like this; imagine that–he is becoming more and more aggressive. So we’ll probably hear more about him in the future. Unfortunately we have to wait until he crosses a legal line before we can do anything about him.

  15. says

    Unfortunately we have to wait until he crosses a legal line before we can do anything about him.

    That’s seriously the most depressing part of the whole thing for me. =/

  16. Scarlett says

    In the hostel I was staying at in Prague, there was this guy who would basically harass all the women in the lobby area: you’re so pretty, have you thought about being a model, can I have a photo taken with you? He’s just move on immediately to some OTHER girl in the foyer when he inevitably got rejected and got called several times by his latest victim that he’d been overheard feeding the same dumb line to other girls. I couldn’t believe the audacity or stupidity.

    (And not to excuse him, but I think he was Mexican or from somewhere in S/America. His accent sounded vaugely Spanish. Maybe someone told him ‘American girls are easy, this is what you say to make them go to be with you’?)

  17. Charles RB says

    If it was Prague, couldn’t he have been from Spain? Easier to travel to and from, you can stay on land.

  18. says

    Scarlett, speculating on where he’s from reads as unconscious racism to me. Adding that it might be interpreted as an “excuse” didn’t help, either. 😉

    That said, I’ve heard other stories like that, and it always boggles my mind. It’s like, how stupid does he think we are?

  19. Scarlett says

    Sorry, definitely didn’t mean to come across as racist. English clearly wasn’t his first language and it made me wonder if he’d picked up from somewhere that crap like that actually worked. Which def didn’t excuse him. Even if he lacked the understanding of English to know how stupid he sounded, surely he would have grasped that regardless of the language you use your lame pick-up lines in, it’s beyond stupid to use the same line over and over in the same smallish room where women have been overhearing you use said same dumb line on half a dozen women before them?

    And Charles, you’re right. I think it was his shirt supporting a S/American football team or something – I remember his acccent and something about his clothes that made me think X S/American country but yeah, Spanish accent, Prague, MOST LIKELY SPAIN.

  20. Firebird says

    In the midwest where I live (Missouri and now Tennessee) I have observed female coworkers get picked up by men our grandfathers’ age. This is women in the 18-23 age range and men in the 65-80 range. They will insist on phone numbers and ask why you aren’t married and try to get you to go out to dinner with them. One coworker finally made up a phone number; the man came back (these situations are generally within retail settings) and asked why she gave him a fake phone number. Another felt she had to make up a story about a fictitious fiancé to get the man to leave her alone.

    In customer care call centers I have had female coworkers tell me they have been proposed to on the phone. I’ve been given a veiled invitation as third party in a marriage at a fast food restaurant by a middle age man. I’ve been invited to Istanbul and other world trips on the phones in customer care call centers. I’ve been asked out to dinner multiple times and questioned why I wasn’t married by customers at the store. Like Jen says being cultured to deflect and be nice combined with being socially the second class can be manifestly awkward.


  21. Charles RB says

    “One coworker finally made up a phone number”

    Once, I read a number of accounts by “PUAs”* about how they got/saw others get phone numbers all the time with these methods. Then, I saw an account by a woman about she gave a fake number to one so he’d fuck off.

    And I laughed and laughed and laughed.

    * I hate that term because Pua is the first name of the Red Ranger’s actor in Power Rangers Ninja Storm. I like the Red Ranger. :(

  22. Fraser says

    A 20something friend of mine got an e-mail on a dating site from a fiftysomething guy to the effect that he was delighted to meet a working woman since he was unemployed, but as soon as he got a job at the DQ, he’d be moving out of mum’s basement. He was not apparently joking.

  23. SunlessNick says

    I suspect Dmitri and guys like him find most of their successes with abuse victims, the emotionally damaged, and the deeply insecure.

    He did say that it was “fine” if horrible trauma or abuse had happened to this woman, making her afraid or anxious. Only if she needed meds of some kind was he backing off.

  24. says

    I didn’t know what PUA was either. :)

    While perhaps the main reason we women feel compelled to play nice and avoid making a scene is that we’re conditioned that way, another reason is that we’re aware men are conditioned and permitted by society to feel entitled and lash out in rage when they don’t get what they want. And if a man’s bullying you to give him something, wouldn’t you assume he’s not the sort who’s overcome that conditioning and chosen to be a better human than that?

    He did say that it was “fine” if horrible trauma or abuse had happened to this woman, making her afraid or anxious. Only if she needed meds of some kind was he backing off.

    Yeah, this is probably just rank ignorant prejudice against people perceived as mentally ill, which a narcissist like Dmitri would inherit from his society since he is basically just a robot acting on society’s cues. But I really *want* to believe it’s an unconsciously calculated way of filtering out women who are *dealing* with their depression instead of letting it impair them.

  25. Pocket Nerd says

    While perhaps the main reason we women feel compelled to play nice and avoid making a scene is that we’re conditioned that way, another reason is that we’re aware men are conditioned and permitted by society to feel entitled and lash out in rage when they don’t get what they want. And if a man’s bullying you to give him something, wouldn’t you assume he’s not the sort who’s overcome that conditioning and chosen to be a better human than that?

    To paraphrase Margaret Atwood, “Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.”

  26. Anemone says

    I thought it was Gavin De Becker who said that, more or less word for word.

    The bit about a fake phone number reminds me of when I was being harassed by a man at my convenience store job. He came back in again when I was back in school, and my boss told him I was in an MSc program. That was the last of him. (He thought I was a lot younger.)

    The verbal equivalent of bear spray – which magic phrase is most effective?

  27. Real Woman says

    These voicemails are merely viral marketing for a new movie about the notorious seduction guru Dimitri The Lover. The producer is Brad Goodman, one of the guys that worked on Borat, Bruno, Religulous. They are totally fake. I know because I follow Dimitri The Lover’s twitter here:

    [Link deleted by admin]

    Also, check out his banned animations here:

    [link deleted by admin]

  28. says

    You responded quick – I just approved that like two minutes ago! 😀

    I let that through because it kind of makes the point that narcissism in men is considered a virtue in American culture. But then I thought I should just delete it, only you’d already responded, so I compromised by deleting all the links so we can point/laugh/discuss without sending traffic to ’em.

  29. Pocket Nerd says

    You responded quick – I just approved that like two minutes ago!

    I have fast hands. I was a lonely teenager…



    … what?

    I’m also amused at this creepy little fellow who seems to assume any woman not interested in him must have something wrong with her… It’s like something from a sketch comedy show.

  30. Charles RB says

    “These voicemails are merely viral marketing for a new movie about the notorious seduction guru Dimitri The Lover.”

    Damn it Hollywood, quit with the horror remakes!

  31. says

    Obvious Spammer returned under another username and demanded to know why I’d deleted those links when some people might want to know about the film. I’d like to address that now, even though it was spam.


    How stupid do spammers think we are? I mean, seriously? Of course, if these fools work in film or advertising, they really WILL think we’re completely stupid and just clay waiting to be molded into holding whatever opinion they want to feed us.

    To paraphrase Rhett Butler, spammers should be shot, and shot often, and by someone who knows how.

  32. Pocket Nerd says

    Well, Jennifer, remember the film’s likely target demographic. Likely Google is too sophisticated a technology for them; these troglodytes are probably still at “bang rocks together, make fire”…

  33. Charles RB says

    If it’s viral marketing, why did the voice messages come out over a year ago? Or is it viral marketing to link people to old stuff that actually happened?

    And when I google, I don’t find information about the film. I find spam telling people it’s viral marketing for a film but nothing on the film itself. Like, say, an official film website, or announcements by studios. The film is going to be released within “a few months”, they said last month: well where’s the fucking studio marketing then?

    It’s like watching Gordon Brown talk about economic recovery, only less credible. And that’s pretty damn non-credible.

  34. Charles RB says

    re Biku: if the spammers are acolytes of Dmitri, it’s probably the former. He might have told them “I’m going to be in a film!”, and they lapped it up.


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