A guy sometimes says stuff that, for reasons completely mysterious to him, hurts a girl’s feelings. It comes out that she’s hurt and he desperately tries to explain. He didn’t mean it. He didn’t think she would interpret it that way. He was just talking. She’s taking it too personally.
He forgets to call, he misses important dates, he get stalled by unexpected commitments. She listens to all of his excuses.
He’s trying to convince her that he had the right intentions. You see, he thinks that relationships are all about moral hazard. He wants her to know that he’s trying hard, but mistakes get made.
And he can never figure out why this isn’t enough for her. But the reason is simple. For her, relationships are all about adverse selection. It’s not his actions per se, it’s what they reveal about his type. She’s perfectly willing to forgive his missteps, she believes him that he’s trying hard and that he didn’t know he was being a louse, but that’s precisely the problem. If he weren’t such a lemon he would know the right way to say things, she’d always be in his thoughts, and she’d always be his highest priority.