Author Topic: Actually, we aren't together and we never have been  (Read 7676 times)

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sweetonsno

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Actually, we aren't together and we never have been
« on: February 07, 2012, 04:03:35 PM »
This is related somewhat to the pre-rejection question, but there's a second layer.

I attend a wine tasting on a regular basis. A couple of years ago, a former classmate ("Carl") walked in. I greeted him and chatted with him. After that, he started coming in frequently as well. I figured out pretty quickly that he had a little crush on me. I wasn't interested in the least, so I was polite but not particularly friendly.

The problem is that he's been implying to other people (or even, apparently saying outright) that we are, or have been, dating. I consider this a serious overstepping of boundaries. However, as he has never said this in front of me, I'm not sure that it's right of me to call him out on it.

The reason I know this is that other people at the wine tasting have been asking me if we're together, or asking how he is. I do not see or speak to him outside of the tastings. Aside from when I first saw him and greeted him with a hug, I haven't had any physical contact whatsoever. Basically, I can't see any reason why he might possibly think that we were dating, or even that I was interested, other than wishful thinking.

If this was just a crush, then I'd continue to do what I have been doing: focusing on other people at the tastings, encouraging him to date/pursue other interests (if it comes up), talking about my love interests, keeping conversation mostly superficial, etc. However, if he's actively telling people that we're dating, that's a problem. I object to starting false rumors on principle, but this seems even worse, as if it continues, he could actually put off potential partners.

So, e-hellions, what is your advice?

Edited for html

rashea

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Re: Actually, we aren't together and we never have been
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2012, 04:19:41 PM »
If I saw someone at a wine tasting and one of them was sort of being "friendly" with another, I might wonder if they were together too. It doesn't sound like he's telling anyone, unless you have mroe evidence of that.

I think I'd just tell people that you aren't together when they ask.
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Vermont

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Re: Actually, we aren't together and we never have been
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2012, 04:47:20 PM »
1. (in response to "are you seeing him")
"Oh, Carl and I aren't d@ting--we're old friends. "

2. (in response to "How is Carl" questions)
"Don't know--I haven't seen him since the last tasting.  How's that vintage of bean dip?
If they say, "But I thought you were d@ting," go back to #1.

If someone tells you, "But Carl said/suggested/implied that you were d@ting," then you go to #1, but you also need to have a talk with Carl.

WillyNilly

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Re: Actually, we aren't together and we never have been
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2012, 04:54:22 PM »
Well what did you say when the others made the comments and asked the questions of you?  You could have cleared it up right then.

Classmate: So how's Carl?
You: Hmmm, not sure, I only ever see him here at these classes and its been a while
Classmate: Oh, I thought you were dating...
You: dating?  No I only met him here and have never socialized with him outside of here. We have never dated.

If anyone ever says to you he told him you two were dating, I'd call him out on it.  In class.  it can be a private conversation but it should happen publicly.  And you should be direct and specific "Mary told me you told her you and I were dating.  Why would you say that?"

sweetonsno

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Re: Actually, we aren't together and we never have been
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2012, 05:46:57 PM »
Editeer... that's exactly the problem. He apparently has been saying/implying that we're an item. Sample conversation:

Mark: How's your boyfriend?
Me: What boyfriend?
Mark: You know, that guy who comes in here, what's his name...
Me: You don't mean Carl, do you?
Mark: Yeah, him.
Me: He's not my boyfriend.
Mark: Really? I thought...
Me: No. I never see him outside of the tastings. Did he say that we were
Mark: Well, um... yeah, he kind of did.

And WillyNilly, we graduated more than ten years ago, so calling him out in class isn't an option. I only ever see him at the tastings.

I guess what I'm really asking is how to broach the subject with Carl. It seems like a strange thing to say out of the blue, and I'm not sure how it might come up in regular conversation.

bah12

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Re: Actually, we aren't together and we never have been
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2012, 06:10:47 PM »
So, if someone actually told you that he said you were together, why can't you call him out on it?

"Carl, my friend Mark told me that you said we were dating.  Did you tell him that and if so, why?"

If Carl denies it, then you just correct the misconception when it comes out.  If he doesn't, then have "the talk" with him.

sweetonsno

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Re: Actually, we aren't together and we never have been
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2012, 06:18:05 PM »
Thanks... I'll bring it up with Carl if anyone else asks about it. I just hate hurting people's feelings.  :-[

lellah

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Re: Actually, we aren't together and we never have been
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2012, 06:26:43 PM »
Thanks... I'll bring it up with Carl if anyone else asks about it. I just hate hurting people's feelings.  :-[

Yeah.  This guy has kind of earned having his feelings hurt a little.  What's he trying to do?  Socially pressure you into going out with him?  Using your reputation to boost his own?  Warn off other guys until he gets his nerve up to ask you out?  None of that is laudable.  None of that is even acceptable.

And he's lying about you.  Maybe he's not telling everyone you eat children for breakfast with toast and juice, but the fact remains that he's lying.  About you.

It's your dating life and your reputation.  Take it back like a snatched purse.

Ceallach

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Re: Actually, we aren't together and we never have been
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2012, 07:39:21 PM »
So, if someone actually told you that he said you were together, why can't you call him out on it?

"Carl, my friend Mark told me that you said we were dating.  Did you tell him that and if so, why?"

If Carl denies it, then you just correct the misconception when it comes out.  If he doesn't, then have "the talk" with him.

I agree with this.    Obviously don't come off accusatory (e.g. "Why did you tell people we're dating?")  but more mystified and wanting to clear up whether he did say that to people or not. Make sure you ask it outright as bah has stated (did you tell him that) not just beating around the bush.  It will be interesting to see how he responds. I suspect he'll deny it.

And don't feel bad about telling people you're not dating. It's the truth! And it's not a hurtful truth, it's just fact.

"I'm not sure who started that rumour, but I barely know Carl, he's an old college friend. How about that beandip?"
"I only see Carl at these events, we've never dated.  How about that beandip?"
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LifeOnPluto

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Re: Actually, we aren't together and we never have been
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2012, 09:26:19 PM »
I suspect Carl is going to deny ever telling people you are dating him. I reckon he'll claim that the third party must have completely misunderstood the situation, etc. In which case, you can say "No worries, mistakes can happen" and move on.

On the off-chance he says "Actually now that you bring up the subject of dating, would you like to go out with me?" you can politely turn him down and ask him to be careful not to imply to anyone that you and he are dating.

blarg314

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Re: Actually, we aren't together and we never have been
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2012, 09:39:48 PM »

I would react more strongly if someone asks you about your boyfriend.  "Boyfriend?  But I don't have a boyfriend!"  "Carl?  Oh good grief, no!  I barely know the guy."

For Carl, I'd back off, and go to polite but distant. Don't be rude, but don't really respond to his conversational overtures. If he pushes it, then laugh and say "Oh, people have been assuming we're dating, and I don't want to give the wrong impression. It might scare off eligible guys."

The only time I've experience something like this was with a guy who was nice, but fairly young, socially awkward, and very inexperienced. The novelty of being friendly with a woman was unusual enough for him that he greatly over-estimated the nature of the relationship. If he doesn't fit in that category, I'd be kind of wary about him, because implying to people that you're dating someone who you only interact with in public social situations is getting kind of creepy.

dawbs

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Re: Actually, we aren't together and we never have been
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2012, 08:35:13 AM »
IMO, this is not a 'worry about hurting feelings' sort of situation, so much as it's a "Ha, I'll use her niceness/desire-not-to-hurt-feelings as a bludgeoning tool to bully her/manipulate her into doing what I want"

IN the words of Admiral Ackbar--It's a trap!  The desire to not hurt someone can be used and abused and this sounds like a classic case of this.  My hinky meter is off the charts

Embrace the inner anger (and there should be some--this guy deliberately put you in an embarrassing situation and is trying to force your hand) a bit here and remember, you're not hurting him so much as he laid himself down on the railroad tracks and hoped you'd self-destruct the train rather than run him over.


suekel

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Re: Actually, we aren't together and we never have been
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2012, 09:20:12 AM »
Thanks... I'll bring it up with Carl if anyone else asks about it. I just hate hurting people's feelings.  :-[

Yeah.  This guy has kind of earned having his feelings hurt a little.  What's he trying to do?  Socially pressure you into going out with him?  Using your reputation to boost his own?  Warn off other guys until he gets his nerve up to ask you out?  None of that is laudable.  None of that is even acceptable.

And he's lying about you.  Maybe he's not telling everyone you eat children for breakfast with toast and juice, but the fact remains that he's lying.  About you.

It's your dating life and your reputation.  Take it back like a snatched purse.

Great analogy!  I agree that if others are saying he has implied you are a couple, you need to nip it in the bud with him.

Twik

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Re: Actually, we aren't together and we never have been
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2012, 09:48:37 AM »
If I saw someone at a wine tasting and one of them was sort of being "friendly" with another, I might wonder if they were together too. It doesn't sound like he's telling anyone, unless you have mroe evidence of that.

I think I'd just tell people that you aren't together when they ask.

Well, if all it takes is being "friendly", the world would be awash with a lot of wild passionate affairs that aren't actually happening. I think it's highly presumptuous to assume that any man and woman within 3 feet of each other who aren't obviously hostile are dating. (In fact, the very face that she gave him a hug when he arrived should be a big clue that they are not actually together.)

I once attended a business lunch with myself and two male colleagues. I was seen by a friend, who wanted to know how long I had been with my (married, much older) colleague. I was extremely offended.

To the OP - if you want to be cruel, you could, each time it was mentioned, do a spit-take and giggle "CARL? You think I'm dating CARL? Oh, that's hilarious! You're so funny!"
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 09:50:40 AM by Twik »
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weeblewobble

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Re: Actually, we aren't together and we never have been
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2012, 09:51:14 AM »
IMO, this is not a 'worry about hurting feelings' sort of situation, so much as it's a "Ha, I'll use her niceness/desire-not-to-hurt-feelings as a bludgeoning tool to bully her/manipulate her into doing what I want"


I tend to agree with this. I rank it right up there with a co worker who makes outrageous claims to the client/boss in a business meeting, i.e. "Oh, sure we can complete this incredibly complicated project with the ridiculous feature you requested by impossible deadline!  No problem!" because they want to impress said client/boss.  You know this is impossible, your co-worker knows this is impossible, but he is counting on you not saying anything because you don't want to make a scene and embarrass him. Only, after the meeting, you're the one left with the dirty work.

And in this case, it's worse, because he's trying to force intimacy with you that you haven't agreed to. The dirty work is being put on the spot and explaining your personal life. That takes it to a near-creepy level.  I would vehemently deny dating him to whoever asks, (i.e. "Carl?  Where did you get that idea?  I barely know the guy.") and if it's appropriate to the event, show up with a significant other or close friend willing to appear as such (you don't have to lie, just blur reality a little.) It puts Carl in the position of having to defend his lie and you don't have to say anything.