News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • September 26, 2017, 11:52:55 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Politely ignoring an admirer?  (Read 13952 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

SoundsSaboona

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Politely ignoring an admirer?
« on: April 27, 2015, 10:03:18 PM »
My parents' neighbors have a son who moved back to Home State from the US East Coast a few months ago. As I understand, the move was a result of breaking up with a long-term girlfriend. He bought the house directly behind his parents and is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

I'm at my parents' quite a bit, and have seen the guy in passing a few times, maybe said a quick "hello" once or twice, but I've never had any lengthy conversation with him or even introduced myself. Neighbor Guy sent me a Facebook friend request shortly after moving in, and without giving much thought, I accepted it. Almost immediately, he sent me a PM that boiled down to him admiring me from afar, shouldn't we get to know each other better, and what makes SoundsSaboona tick?

One of my many quirks is that I'm hopelessly awkward around men who show unexpected romantic interest in me- I have no idea what to say to them (think Raj from The Big Bang Theory). I'm also an extremely private person who has to slowly warm up to others. While that may be coloring my reaction, the message was way overfamiliar for my comfort. Right or wrong, I didn't respond to the PM. All was quiet after that, but when I'd see Neighbor Guy working in his yard or in his parents' driveway, I'd get a vague sense of discomfort.

A day or so ago there was another Facebook PM. I got as far as "You're really hard to stop and talk to!" before my skin absolutely crawled. I closed the message without reading and put Neighbor Guy on the restricted list. It may be an overreaction, but I'm trusting my instincts on this one.

Obviously, I don't care to engage him, but am I rude to give him the cold shoulder via social media? What's worse, I'm planning on living with my parents temporarily before purchasing a house. Apart from using stealth mode to avoid Neighbor Guy, how should I handle him? His parents are good neighbors to my own folks and I don't want to alienate them by telling their son to get lost.


Raintree

  • Member
  • Posts: 6811
Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2015, 10:52:47 PM »
May as well just defriend him now, and if he stops you and asks why, say, "Oh, I prefer to keep my friends list to people I know well IRL" and  try not to engage.

gellchom

  • Member
  • Posts: 3678
Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2015, 11:07:01 PM »
I can understand your feelings, and of course you have to trust your instincts.  But I also think that this guy is new to the area (at least new after being away awhile), so he may just be trying, perhaps a little too hard, to meet people, friends as well as women he is interested in, just to get back into circulation, which would explain adding everyone he meets as a FB friend.  He may not be creepy at all, even if he has no appeal to you.

You certainly don't have to date him!  And if, as it appears, you definitely aren't interested, you should even be sure not to lead him on (not that you have been).  But you can still be friendly in just a neighborly way and you can certainly be kind.  I think you know how to let a guy know you aren't interested without making him feel bad about himself for trying.

It will ultimately be more comfortable for you, too, if you don't have to basically hide from this guy who lives right there.  So the next time he seems to be making overtures, maybe try to say you are flattered by his interest, but you aren't interested in getting to be "that kind of friends" or whatever feels like the right wording. Be nice, but be clear.  It won't be the easiest or most comfortable conversation you'll ever have, but once it's out of the way, everything will be a lot easier than continuing to dodge him.  If he says anything about your having acted standoffish, you can explain that you are just the kind of person who needs time to get to know people, so he came on a little strong for you.

PastryGoddess

  • Member
  • Posts: 6303
Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2015, 11:36:29 PM »
Gellchom,

I would disagree, if he has not made any overt romantic gestures, there is no need to "get in front of them".  Since we don't know exactly what he wants from the OP.

I would say to just be non-committal and stay polite, but not too friendly.  If he does do something overt, then yeah, deal with it then.  But right now, just step away.  And yeah, defriend him on facebook.   

sweetonsno

  • Grammando and Cupcake Lady
  • Member
  • Posts: 1766
Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2015, 11:55:18 PM »
If he was direct about wanting to get to know you in a romantic sense, you should be direct about your lack of interest. You don't have to be mean, but I do think you should be honest. "I'm not interested in dating anybody at the moment" is both honest and impersonal. It doesn't insult him in any way, but it does make clear that you don't reciprocate his feelings.

If you're reading between the lines a bit, it's possible that you were overreacting. If your parents think he's okay, he's probably just trying a bit too hard. If you run into him at your house or his and he brings it up, it might be a kindness to just tell him that he came on a bit strong and made you uncomfortable. (This does take some cojones.) Be specific and objective: "It made me really uncomfortable when you told me that you've had a crush on me forever/that I'm the most beautiful woman in the neighborhood/whatever he said. Because I don't know you, the comment felt way too familiar. I'm not interested, so I thought it best to not encourage it."

If you think your parents might encourage him or facilitate a meeting, give them a heads-up that you're not interested. I don't think you need to do this unless you catch wind of him trying to get your information or wrangle an invitation for when you'll be around, but if they mention him to you, I think you can say something about it. Again, don't say that he set off your creeper radar, but you can say that he sent a flirtatious message and that you're not interested.
You have just begun reading the sentence you have just finished reading.

EllenS

  • Member
  • Posts: 4654
  • I write whimsical vintage mysteries.
    • My Author Page:
Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2015, 12:11:36 AM »
It is absolutely not rude for you to ignore him, and if his messages make your skin crawl, the most logical thing to do is unfriend him immediately. You don't "owe" him an explanation, or a certain level of friendliness, and you have not done anything rude so far. 

If you are likely to encounter him in person a lot (as you described passing outside) or might be at a social event together via your parents, sending him a message along the lines of "just so you know ..." before unfriending, could save you some awkwardness waiting for him to figure it out, but it's not a right/wrong issue.  It would also be more polite to prepare a neutral statement along the lines that sweetsono suggested, than to wait until you are feeling so tense that you risk overreacting to ordinary in-person conversation. 

That said, I also don't think he's been rude by approaching you.  From what you posted here, it doesn't sound like he said anything impolite or inappropriate. FB is a means of communication and he used it for its intended purpose.  It just didn't appeal to you, and that's okay.  No harm, no foul.

atirial

  • Member
  • Posts: 3372
  • just 'plane mad
    • Tirial & Errror blog
Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2015, 02:57:04 AM »
If he was direct about wanting to get to know you in a romantic sense, you should be direct about your lack of interest. You don't have to be mean, but I do think you should be honest. "I'm not interested in dating anybody at the moment" is both honest and impersonal. It doesn't insult him in any way, but it does make clear that you don't reciprocate his feelings.
Unfortunately there are problems with that line. If you start dating someone else in the future, he's likely to get upset. I'd make it specific to him. He hasn't been put off by a lack of response, facebook restrictions, or the fact she's avoiding him so any friendly gestures may be misinterpreted.

I would disagree that he was not rude - telling a woman you've barely spoken to that you've been admiring her from afar is creepy outside a dating site, and the OP's quotes show a degree of entitlement to her time that comes across to me as slightly off.

Also, let your parents know, it allows them to head off any awkwardness with his parents by letting them know you aren't interested. If his parents are encouraging this, it might reduce the issue. 

LeveeWoman

  • Member
  • Posts: 4284
Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2015, 05:47:47 AM »
My parents' neighbors have a son who moved back to Home State from the US East Coast a few months ago. As I understand, the move was a result of breaking up with a long-term girlfriend. He bought the house directly behind his parents and is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

I'm at my parents' quite a bit, and have seen the guy in passing a few times, maybe said a quick "hello" once or twice, but I've never had any lengthy conversation with him or even introduced myself. Neighbor Guy sent me a Facebook friend request shortly after moving in, and without giving much thought, I accepted it. Almost immediately, he sent me a PM that boiled down to him admiring me from afar, shouldn't we get to know each other better, and what makes SoundsSaboona tick?

One of my many quirks is that I'm hopelessly awkward around men who show unexpected romantic interest in me- I have no idea what to say to them (think Raj from The Big Bang Theory). I'm also an extremely private person who has to slowly warm up to others. While that may be coloring my reaction, the message was way overfamiliar for my comfort. Right or wrong, I didn't respond to the PM. All was quiet after that, but when I'd see Neighbor Guy working in his yard or in his parents' driveway, I'd get a vague sense of discomfort.

A day or so ago there was another Facebook PM. I got as far as "You're really hard to stop and talk to!" before my skin absolutely crawled. I closed the message without reading and put Neighbor Guy on the restricted list. It may be an overreaction, but I'm trusting my instincts on this one.

Obviously, I don't care to engage him, but am I rude to give him the cold shoulder via social media? What's worse, I'm planning on living with my parents temporarily before purchasing a house. Apart from using stealth mode to avoid Neighbor Guy, how should I handle him? His parents are good neighbors to my own folks and I don't want to alienate them by telling their son to get lost.

Please, listen to your guts on this.

EllenS

  • Member
  • Posts: 4654
  • I write whimsical vintage mysteries.
    • My Author Page:
Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2015, 06:38:02 AM »
Neighbor Guy sent me a Facebook friend request shortly after moving in, and without giving much thought, I accepted it. Almost immediately, he sent me a PM that boiled down to him admiring me from afar, shouldn't we get to know each other better, and what makes SoundsSaboona tick?

--snip --


Look, I'm not saying OP should date the guy if she's not interested, but she made it clear those were not his exact words.  I can think of several different ways this general message could be delivered -- some creepy, some not creepy at all.

I mean, when did it become rude to ask to get to know someone better? She's not interested, she put the kibosh on it, and no more has been said.  Maybe I'm missing something, but I kinda thought that's the way it's supposed to work.  Once she unfriends him, he won't be sending any more messages. Obviously if his behavior changes, my perception will change, but I don't think he's done anything rude at this point.

I think it would be infinitely creepier if he ran inside his house and hid whenever he saw OP show up at her parents' house.

Another Sarah

  • Member
  • Posts: 965
Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2015, 06:46:36 AM »
Maybe I'm misreading but I don't think you've actually told him that you're not interested, is that right?
In that case, a lot of guys who aren't good at social cues might continue to message, thinking that no response is not the same as a "no". I think you need to draw a line under this by politely messaging him with a "Sorry, but I'm not actually looking for a relationship and I won't be able to meet up with you."
Then any other messages can be responded to with "I already gave you my response. I won't be changing my mind."
But you do need to spell it out, otherwise it will just hang over you and get harder and harder to resolve.

just saw this and edited to add
I would disagree that he was not rude - telling a woman you've barely spoken to that you've been admiring her from afar is creepy outside a dating site, and the OP's quotes show a degree of entitlement to her time that comes across to me as slightly off.
Unfortunately there is way too much cultural precedent to call this rude - secret admirers, love from a distance and the like have been romanticised for centuries in stories, books, and in recent years on TV and film. You can't really blame him for thinking OP would be OK with his asking to get to know her better, only for not backing down if she tells him she's not.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 06:55:20 AM by Another Sarah »

EllenS

  • Member
  • Posts: 4654
  • I write whimsical vintage mysteries.
    • My Author Page:
Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2015, 06:53:11 AM »
Maybe I'm misreading but I don't think you've actually told him that you're not interested, is that right?
In that case, a lot of guys who aren't good at social cues might continue to message, thinking that no response is not the same as a "no". I think you need to draw a line under this by politely messaging him with a "Sorry, but I'm not actually looking for a relationship and I won't be able to meet up with you."
Then any other messages can be responded to with "I already gave you my response. I won't be changing my mind."
But you do need to spell it out, otherwise it will just hang over you and get harder and harder to resolve.

I think ignore and unfriend will do the job (or should do the job with a reasonable person) if OP doesn't want to say anything directly. It just takes a little longer, because if he only tries to message her twice in the course of several months, it could be a while before he realizes he's been unfriended. 

Knowing she's made her position clear could give OP some piece of mind and relieve her tension, but it's a question of personal style.  I also don't think saying "I'm not interested in dating at the moment" is problematic.  When she is dating someone, that will be a different moment.  It's not as if polite demurrals are legally binding or have a time committment attached.

Another Sarah

  • Member
  • Posts: 965
Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2015, 07:01:50 AM »
Maybe I'm misreading but I don't think you've actually told him that you're not interested, is that right?
In that case, a lot of guys who aren't good at social cues might continue to message, thinking that no response is not the same as a "no". I think you need to draw a line under this by politely messaging him with a "Sorry, but I'm not actually looking for a relationship and I won't be able to meet up with you."
Then any other messages can be responded to with "I already gave you my response. I won't be changing my mind."
But you do need to spell it out, otherwise it will just hang over you and get harder and harder to resolve.

I think ignore and unfriend will do the job (or should do the job with a reasonable person) if OP doesn't want to say anything directly. It just takes a little longer, because if he only tries to message her twice in the course of several months, it could be a while before he realizes he's been unfriended. 

Knowing she's made her position clear could give OP some piece of mind and relieve her tension, but it's a question of personal style.  I also don't think saying "I'm not interested in dating at the moment" is problematic.  When she is dating someone, that will be a different moment.  It's not as if polite demurrals are legally binding or have a time committment attached.
You're right, it should. I think this is more for the OP's peace of mind - but also on the offchance that he is creepy, having an actual "no" on record means she can just redirect and redirect (and speaking on an extreme worst scenario basis as someone who was basically stalked when I was younger it means she can show his parents that she has been crystal clear about her response/intentions if he won't leave her alone and she needs to escalate)

shhh its me

  • Member
  • Posts: 7526
Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2015, 08:01:23 AM »
Maybe I'm misreading but I don't think you've actually told him that you're not interested, is that right?
In that case, a lot of guys who aren't good at social cues might continue to message, thinking that no response is not the same as a "no". I think you need to draw a line under this by politely messaging him with a "Sorry, but I'm not actually looking for a relationship and I won't be able to meet up with you."
Then any other messages can be responded to with "I already gave you my response. I won't be changing my mind."
But you do need to spell it out, otherwise it will just hang over you and get harder and harder to resolve.

just saw this and edited to add
I would disagree that he was not rude - telling a woman you've barely spoken to that you've been admiring her from afar is creepy outside a dating site, and the OP's quotes show a degree of entitlement to her time that comes across to me as slightly off.
Unfortunately there is way too much cultural precedent to call this rude - secret admirers, love from a distance and the like have been romanticised for centuries in stories, books, and in recent years on TV and film. You can't really blame him for thinking OP would be OK with his asking to get to know her better, only for not backing down if she tells him she's not.

    Firstly I think it depends a lot on the entirety of the PM.  Secondly this wasn't from an anonymous person or a person with no cause to know OP or her name.  That I agree would be creepy , " Ms. Smith I see you watch your dog each morning and have been admiring you from afar.~ your secret admirer" tacked to my door  I'm with you , totally creepy.   "Hey , I see you doing what looks like fun stuff at your parents. When we talked you seem cool. I'd like to get to know you better. "  From; Bob Jones, you're parents neighbor, on FB PM after I accept aFB  friend request. Not creepy at all maybe unwanted but not creepy.   

I would actually be more crepped out by the follow up of "You're hard to stop and talk to." 

Lynn2000

  • Member
  • Posts: 8322
Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2015, 08:12:25 AM »
Maybe I'm misreading but I don't think you've actually told him that you're not interested, is that right?
In that case, a lot of guys who aren't good at social cues might continue to message, thinking that no response is not the same as a "no". I think you need to draw a line under this by politely messaging him with a "Sorry, but I'm not actually looking for a relationship and I won't be able to meet up with you."
Then any other messages can be responded to with "I already gave you my response. I won't be changing my mind."
But you do need to spell it out, otherwise it will just hang over you and get harder and harder to resolve.

I think ignore and unfriend will do the job (or should do the job with a reasonable person) if OP doesn't want to say anything directly. It just takes a little longer, because if he only tries to message her twice in the course of several months, it could be a while before he realizes he's been unfriended. 

Knowing she's made her position clear could give OP some piece of mind and relieve her tension, but it's a question of personal style.  I also don't think saying "I'm not interested in dating at the moment" is problematic.  When she is dating someone, that will be a different moment.  It's not as if polite demurrals are legally binding or have a time committment attached.

This is where I land. Absolutely, listen to your instincts and don't feel you need to engage in lengthy conversation with the guy or let him into the house when you're alone or anything like that. But, I would also send him a direct message that you aren't interested. Facebook would be good--it's the way he contacted you before, it's in writing in case you need that later, and it lets you compose your thoughts first. If he later says anything in person, have some lines ready about "not being interested in dating anyone right now" and so forth (which I also do not consider problematic).

I would also let your parents know. Depending on your relationship with them you may or may not want to discuss the "creepy" feeling, but at least tell them that the messages were exchanged, you aren't interested, please don't give the guy any info about you, let you know if he's going to be around their house, etc.. Between the two sets of parents being neighbors, I can easily see someone thinking it might be a good idea for "the two young people to get to know each other" and try to encourage that, not knowing you've already put the kibosh on that. Safety concerns aside that would just be awkward, for both you and the guy.
~Lynn2000

EllenS

  • Member
  • Posts: 4654
  • I write whimsical vintage mysteries.
    • My Author Page:
Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2015, 09:23:59 AM »
I think Lynn makes a good point about the parental involvement. There's always the possibility that one or both sets of parents thinks NeighborGuy asking OP out is a great idea.  Who knows? Possibly he only made contact because his parents encouraged him.  Two messages and zero in-person approach in several months doesn't sound like he's put a lot of effort into this.

Since your primary point of contact with NeighborGuy is through your parents, telling them that he made a move and you aren't interested, can let them know not to encourage him.  They may even be helpful in letting it be indirectly known that this isn't welcome/isn't going to happen.


Sorry, this topic is locked. Only admins and moderators can reply.