Author Topic: Letting a Friend Down Easy.  (Read 11381 times)

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blarg314

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #45 on: December 04, 2013, 09:04:15 PM »

I agree with PPs.

He didn't listen to a word she said. He has zero interest in taking no for an answer, and is trying to argue/browbeat/guilt her into dating him. His response to any of her reasons was "No, you're wrong and I'm right." That's a HUGE red flag, and even if you're madly in love/lust with someone is a reason to run away really fast.

The only sensible option now is to cut ties with him. I 100% do not think a healthy friendship is possible now. If she tries, she will be telling him that she's okay with the way he is behaving (and from the OP's description, I don't think she has the ability to both enforce reasonable boundaries *and* interact with him.). Don't answer his emails, don't answer his phone calls, if necessary, avoid things like the wine bar where he can easily corner her. At a group event - warn a friend or two that he's been harassing her, to help run interference. If he tries to push it further, I think a good stock response is

"I'm not interested in a relationship with you. I am no longer interested in any sort of interaction with you. Do not contact me again."

If he pushes it further, or escalates (starts stalking, shows up at her place, email/phone bombing) contact the non emergency police  line (or emergency, if he's standing outside her apartment right then) and ask for advice.

I will add two comments for future use.

First, if you turn down someone's romantic advances, it's a really bad idea to get pulled into discussing and defending your reasons. "I'm not interested in you that way" is *always* an acceptable and sufficient response. If you agree to discuss it, it tells them that it *is* up for discussion - they can change your mind through argument.

Second, one of the easiest ways to get involved in unpleasant or dangerous situations is to ignore or rationalize all the signs that things are off. If someone doesn't respect your right to say no to a romantic relationship, it doesn't *matter* whether they're malicious and doing it on purpose, or they're really a nice person under it all, or they are clueless socially and don't know any better, or they're horribly lonely, or you're the only person they will ever love. What really matters is that this is a person who does not acknowledge your right to say no, and regards what they want as much more important than what you want.

That doesn't mean you need to mace anyone who asks you out more than once. But it does mean you mentally flag that person as problematic, and carefully watch their behaviour and your own responses, so that you notice if things escalate or they don't back off, and respond appropriately.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #46 on: December 04, 2013, 09:13:33 PM »
Great advice Blarg, especially your first point about not discussing why you're turning them down.

Some guys can get really persistent. A guy at a bar once asked my friend for her number. She refused, and he became a pest. He kept hanging around us, asking my friend things like "But what have I done wroooooong???" "Did I say anything? Did I do anything?" "I can't understand why you won't give me your number." Then he moved onto questions like "Are you secretly married - is that why you won't give your number?" and "Are you a [L-word for a woman who likes other women]?" He acted genuinely puzzled; as if there was a huge mystery behind why my friend didn't give him her number. And he was determined to find out.

My friend tried to be nice about it. "No, you haven't done anything wrong. It's me, not you. No, I'm not married. I guess I'm just not feeling a connection".

But he wouldn't let the matter drop, and in the end, we actually had to leave the bar just to get away from him. 

Raintree

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #47 on: December 05, 2013, 03:45:49 AM »
My sister, Elly, had one in high school. A couple years older, constantly asking her out, she constantly said no, nicely at first, but then he would try to cajole and convince, and one day he said, "I'm not going to give up on you Elly."

For some reason this 30-year age difference also really wigs me out. I realize this really has nothing to do with anything (she is not interested, period) and I know that some couples do have significant age differences, but a three decade gap is not the norm and OP's friend has already stated she has a problem with it. To me, this puts the guy even more into some la-la fantasy land.

Another Sarah

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #48 on: December 05, 2013, 05:48:50 AM »

What part of "no" is this guy not getting?   

The part where Jenni keeps on having a long conversation about her feeeeeeeeeeeelings.

Women who are not interested in a man do not normally spend time analyzing or having deep discussions with him about their emotions, desires, goals, plans, or values.
That is relationship talk. 

Every second she spends talking to him about their relationship, is reinforcing his belief that they are IN A relationship.  He may be skeevy, or manipulative, or patronizing, but he is not delusional.

Jenni needs to stop mumbling "no, really, but...", woman-up and LIVE her no.

I think this is a bit unfair. The problem to this point was that Jenni hadn't told him her feelings. She hadn't actually said no, because she was uncomfortable doing so, palming it off on already having a relationship, then when she became single was looking for advice on how to let him down easy.
Being clear and telling him, "no I don't want a relationship" is not reinforcing the relationship, it's drawing a line in the sand.
Now she has a position from which she can state "I told you I'm not interested." Any further date-like interaction on his part can be called out as boundary-crossing.

I agree she shouldn't have gotten drawn in to discussing "whhhhyyyy don't you like me?" but most people of this type are very good at controlling conversations like this, and she knows not to let it happen again.

My previous post was based on the idea that she wanted to remain friends with this guy. I think he's now forfeited that right by being uber-creepy and unwilling to accept her answer, and I agree with everyone - disengage



gingerzing

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #49 on: December 05, 2013, 09:29:07 AM »

Some guys can get really persistent. A guy at a bar once asked my friend for her number. She refused, and he became a pest. He kept hanging around us, asking my friend things like "But what have I done wroooooong???" "Did I say anything? Did I do anything?" "I can't understand why you won't give me your number." Then he moved onto questions like "Are you secretly married - is that why you won't give your number?" and "Are you a [L-word for a woman who likes other women]?" He acted genuinely puzzled; as if there was a huge mystery behind why my friend didn't give him her number. And he was determined to find out.


Why is it that if you don't want to go out with some guy (or give your number to some random bar guy) that the L-word comes up?  Almost as often as the "frigid witch", <word for girl that sleeps around> or tease. (often all four in the same breath.)   
In college, I found my spine for this type of guy (not the 30-year old, but general persistant ones who then dropped the L or called me the other stuff*. 
"Nope.  Not a L/S/T/F.  Mainly you are just a jerk and I have standards."


(*also got called a racist because I wouldn't date a Purple guy who's friend was dating my roommate.  Laughable since I have a couple Purple cousins. )

Yvaine

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #50 on: December 05, 2013, 09:32:29 AM »

Some guys can get really persistent. A guy at a bar once asked my friend for her number. She refused, and he became a pest. He kept hanging around us, asking my friend things like "But what have I done wroooooong???" "Did I say anything? Did I do anything?" "I can't understand why you won't give me your number." Then he moved onto questions like "Are you secretly married - is that why you won't give your number?" and "Are you a [L-word for a woman who likes other women]?" He acted genuinely puzzled; as if there was a huge mystery behind why my friend didn't give him her number. And he was determined to find out.


Why is it that if you don't want to go out with some guy (or give your number to some random bar guy) that the L-word comes up?  Almost as often as the "frigid witch", <word for girl that sleeps around> or tease. (often all four in the same breath.)   

They have to think you're a lesbian because otherwise they have to admit it's them you don't like. Thinking you just don't like any man that way is less threatening.

weeblewobble

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #51 on: December 05, 2013, 12:45:44 PM »
My sister, Elly, had one in high school. A couple years older, constantly asking her out, she constantly said no, nicely at first, but then he would try to cajole and convince, and one day he said, "I'm not going to give up on you Elly."
.

To which she said?

weeblewobble

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #52 on: December 05, 2013, 12:50:40 PM »
Update!

Jenni didn't have to bring anything up to Max, he asked if he could talk to her yesterday.He said he was feeling such sadness because he knows she is not ready for a relationship now but he is the best for her.He knows what she wants and needs and would treat her better and love her more than any other man she knows.

She said the age difference was too much when all was said and done and there would be no relationship romantically..he ended it  with "well let's think about it"I told Jenni to cut ties! She may see him at the wine bar, but her friends do own it so they will have her back if he bothers her.

RED FLAG

He knows her better than she knows herself?  He is what's best for her?  Well, since he's made all of the judgements and decisions for her, I guess she should just let him conk her on the head with his club and drag her back to the cave.

There is no, "let's think about it."  She has given him her no and he refuses to hear it.  So they are no longer friends.  She needs to avoid him like a really annoying telemarketer.  seriously, there is so much wrong with his thinking, I doubt very much she is safe around him.

Raintree

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #53 on: December 05, 2013, 10:36:35 PM »
My sister, Elly, had one in high school. A couple years older, constantly asking her out, she constantly said no, nicely at first, but then he would try to cajole and convince, and one day he said, "I'm not going to give up on you Elly."
.

To which she said?

I am not sure; I remember her talking about it but this was over 30 years ago. Knowing her, she probably looked at him in exasperation and repeated that she wasn't interested. But I don't know. I just couldn't believe (back then) that a guy would say that after being told "no" already in no uncertain terms.

weeblewobble

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #54 on: December 05, 2013, 11:15:40 PM »
Believe it.  It took me giving a former guy friend the cut direct (which was super-awkward considering we had a ton of mutual friends and worked together at a student organization) in order to get him to grasp that I was not a damsel in distress, waiting for him to rescue me from my unhappy life.

RavenousEdenFleur

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #55 on: December 06, 2013, 01:06:52 AM »
I spoke to Jenni a bit the other day and she is wracking her brain and feels bad about her role. She feels like she should have never accepted any invites or gifts, she is younger and has only been in one other relationship so she was truly thinking she made a new friend, who could be more of a mentor and friend!

Last night she got home from a date with someone she really likes and had a good 30 paragraph email from Max filled with poetry quotes and song lyrics and talking about his melancholy over her not loving him back and how they can bond in their poverty and history of abuse (Jenni is not impoverished and I don't personally know about the abuse...not sure what that is about) and how can they not be together when he loves her so much.

She talked to her friend who owns the wine bar they frequent and they said she is came alone or with others they would look out for her if Max was there and not on his best behavior.She is really uncomfortable around him now.

mrkitty

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #56 on: December 06, 2013, 01:17:03 AM »
I spoke to Jenni a bit the other day and she is wracking her brain and feels bad about her role. She feels like she should have never accepted any invites or gifts, she is younger and has only been in one other relationship so she was truly thinking she made a new friend, who could be more of a mentor and friend!

Last night she got home from a date with someone she really likes and had a good 30 paragraph email from Max filled with poetry quotes and song lyrics and talking about his melancholy over her not loving him back and how they can bond in their poverty and history of abuse (Jenni is not impoverished and I don't personally know about the abuse...not sure what that is about) and how can they not be together when he loves her so much.

She talked to her friend who owns the wine bar they frequent and they said she is came alone or with others they would look out for her if Max was there and not on his best behavior.She is really uncomfortable around him now.

Uh...she has every reason to be!

She needs to run fast and run far from this guy. He is very bad news. Your friend needs to hang on to those emails...just in case.

In the meantime, she needs to write him a letter or email expressing in no uncertain terms that she is NOT and NEVER will be romantically interested in him, and that by ignoring what she already told him, he has forfeited her friendship, too; that he is to leave her alone from now on.

I'm not kidding. That's creepy, what he did. She needs to get away from him. I don't know if she should keep going to that bar, (I probably wouldn't for a while) but then again, she shouldn't have to change her life or routine because of some creepy guy. But personally, I'd feel reluctant to go there for a while.

In any case, she needs to make it clear that there will be no relationship. Period. No discussion. And in writing.

Edited to add the following: and then no more communication with him again. Ever.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 01:19:00 AM by mrkitty »
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Raintree

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #57 on: December 06, 2013, 01:34:47 AM »
I spoke to Jenni a bit the other day and she is wracking her brain and feels bad about her role. She feels like she should have never accepted any invites or gifts, she is younger and has only been in one other relationship so she was truly thinking she made a new friend, who could be more of a mentor and friend!

Last night she got home from a date with someone she really likes and had a good 30 paragraph email from Max filled with poetry quotes and song lyrics and talking about his melancholy over her not loving him back and how they can bond in their poverty and history of abuse (Jenni is not impoverished and I don't personally know about the abuse...not sure what that is about) and how can they not be together when he loves her so much.

She talked to her friend who owns the wine bar they frequent and they said she is came alone or with others they would look out for her if Max was there and not on his best behavior.She is really uncomfortable around him now.

Uh...she has every reason to be!

She needs to run fast and run far from this guy. He is very bad news. Your friend needs to hang on to those emails...just in case.

In the meantime, she needs to write him a letter or email expressing in no uncertain terms that she is NOT and NEVER will be romantically interested in him, and that by ignoring what she already told him, he has forfeited her friendship, too; that he is to leave her alone from now on.

I'm not kidding. That's creepy, what he did. She needs to get away from him. I don't know if she should keep going to that bar, (I probably wouldn't for a while) but then again, she shouldn't have to change her life or routine because of some creepy guy. But personally, I'd feel reluctant to go there for a while.

In any case, she needs to make it clear that there will be no relationship. Period. No discussion. And in writing.

Edited to add the following: and then no more communication with him again. Ever.

I agree with this. That email he sent her is creepy and not normal guy behaviour. She shouldn't feel bad for accepting invites/favours etc in the past, because she thought she just had a friend; perhaps even was a little naive, but now that she realizes what's going on she can cut all that off. I agree to send him the email as Mr. Kitty describes above, and then she has a record/proof that she has actually told him to stop contacting her. And don't delete anything.

Amara

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #58 on: December 06, 2013, 02:14:39 AM »
If she contacts him at all she should make it short and blunt: Leave me alone! Then cut direct.

And she needs to forget her guilt. It's worse than useless to her, it's making her re-think her role in this and giving him the opening he needs. I have no doubt he knows this. That's why he is still pushing; he sees her guilt and is using that to his benefit.

Jenni really needs--and I mean now--to cut him off at the knees. There is nothing else that will work. I'd also agree that she needs to stay away from the bar for a while. It is nice of her friends to try and help her out, but given the latest update I am convinced Max will not believe them when they say she doesn't want to see him. He'll believe they are wrong and are keeping him from her when what she wants is him and may likely up his efforts, possibly into the stalking stage.

This is way beyond someone being interested in her. If she refuses to recognize this, she will find herself in deeper and deeper.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 02:16:47 AM by Amara »

mrkitty

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #59 on: December 06, 2013, 02:28:59 AM »
If she contacts him at all she should make it short and blunt: Leave me alone! Then cut direct.

And she needs to forget her guilt. It's worse than useless to her, it's making her re-think her role in this and giving him the opening he needs. I have no doubt he knows this. That's why he is still pushing; he sees her guilt and is using that to his benefit.

Jenni really needs--and I mean now--to cut him off at the knees. There is nothing else that will work. I'd also agree that she needs to stay away from the bar for a while. It is nice of her friends to try and help her out, but given the latest update I am convinced Max will not believe them when they say she doesn't want to see him. He'll believe they are wrong and are keeping him from her when what she wants is him and may likely up his efforts, possibly into the stalking stage.

This is way beyond someone being interested in her. If she refuses to recognize this, she will find herself in deeper and deeper.

This. SO much this. Everything Amara and Raintree said is so true.

Jenni just needs to drop her guilt right now and write this off as a learning experience. Now that she knows his true intentions, there is no reason to continue any kind of relationship, since he made it clear he won't respect her boundaries.
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