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Author Topic: Politely ignoring an admirer?  (Read 14857 times)

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Zizi-K

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Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2015, 09:26:29 AM »
I don't know, from your description I can't see where he's done anything overtly creepy. I think you could have handled the initial volley in a much better way, in a way that wouldn't make you feel like you now have to creep around your own home (your parents' home) just to try and avoid him. Not responding to his message took it from "kind of awkward" to "really awkward." I mean - this wasn't a stranger off the street - it was the son of your parents' neighbors, who they have presumably known for years. It wouldn't be so hard to respond: "Thanks for your message. Unfortunately, I'm not really in the market to meet new people right now and I'm not interested in getting to know anyone right now. Sorry, best of luck."

I actually disagree that silence is a "clear message." Your instincts may be telling you to avoid him, and that is something to pay attention to, but not responding is just avoidance. Silence does not express your own desires and agency in the exchange. Just be upfront about what you want and don't want. That way there is a clear trail, and if anything were to happen you always have that proof. And you can keep it friendly and light and not have to always be looking out and trying to avoid him.

I think going through your parents is a bad idea. You are an adult, and that is not an adult way of dealing with things.

bopper

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Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2015, 09:33:03 AM »
Read "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin DeBecker.  Your gut knows you don't want anything to do with this guy.   If you don't want a relationship with this guy, don't have one.   Send a PM that says something like  "I am not looking to get to know anyone right now. "   De-friend him.

auntmeegs

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Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2015, 09:38:47 AM »
Read "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin DeBecker.  Your gut knows you don't want anything to do with this guy.   If you don't want a relationship with this guy, don't have one.   Send a PM that says something like  "I am not looking to get to know anyone right now. "   De-friend him.


I was waiting to see how long it took someone to mention that book.   ::)
I donít see how the poor guy has done anything wrong.  Itís perfectly OK that the OP is not interested, but that doesnít mean that the guy has done anything wrong or creepy by trying to get to know her better.
The OP has admitted that its one of her quirks to feel awkward when someone expresses an unexpected romantic interest.  Its much more likely that this is the OPís awkwardness rather than anything to fear from this guy. 

Goosey

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Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2015, 09:39:39 AM »
Okay, well, her gut feeling may also be a result of the OP's insecurities. Let's not paint this guy as a creeper when the OP says she has anxiety issues when it comes to men in the first place. One expressing interest in her could tip those anxiety issues up a notch. Gavin DeBecker's book went a lot further than "trust your instincts" and I feel like it's misinterpreted a lot.

He expressed interest. I think it's polite to say, "I'm sorry, but I'm not interested in dating" and then move on - either blocking him or whatever. I think not addressing things directly could lead to more complications - if you want an end to the interest, just state so. No room for interpretation

If he does anything further, then things change. But, so far, he hasn't even talked to the OP.

ETA: Or what auntmeegs said  :)
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 09:45:25 AM by Goosey »

DaDancingPsych

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Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2015, 09:50:25 AM »
I didn't read all the replies, but I have been in your shoes before. In my attempt to be nice, I would give small clues of my disinterest. You have done this by not replying to the messages or making an effort to see him. It sounds like he's not getting it. I would send one FB message (although you could say it face-to-face instead) that basically boiled down to "I am not interested." I would keep it short and sweet, but direct. I have found that when I did this the guys typically got my message and left me alone. Some would act all awkward when our paths did cross, but most got beyond that and were quite civil in public (in a few rare cases, I managed a friendship out of the deal!) But the key for me has always been to just get the message to him. I'll be honest, I hate doing it (it makes me feel bad), but like ripping that band-aid off, once it's done my life gets easier.

EllenS

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Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2015, 10:01:56 AM »
One major way that people can be incompatible as friends or potential dates, is in the level of directness they are comfortable with. NeighborGuy is more direct, and that is unappealing to OP.  Both styles are OK.  One is not necessarily "insecure" and one is not necessarily "creepy." But they are incompatible.

Not having seen the "social signals" OP is giving when they cross paths, it's impossible to judge this guy's stance.  If she waves and smiles and says "Hi" every time they pass, then he doesn't need to be socially inept or willfully oblivious to interpret that as a positive sign.  If he is an average direct-style communicator, he will likely assume that she's very busy or doesn't want to make the first move.

Saying "no" is awkward, especially for people who prefer indirect communication.  But the upside is, hearing "no" is much less painful for direct communicators. I think OP has a range of politely correct options, that have various pros and cons in terms of efficiency and her own comfort level.  IME, when I'm feeling anxious about something, giving myself maximum permission and choice can restore my sense of control.  OP: you have several good choices and all the permission in the world.

TootsNYC

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Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2015, 10:09:41 AM »
Read "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin DeBecker.  Your gut knows you don't want anything to do with this guy.   If you don't want a relationship with this guy, don't have one.   Send a PM that says something like  "I am not looking to get to know anyone right now. "   De-friend him.

I'm kind of on this side. I think he was reaching too far way too fast, esp. if there was any "admiring from afar," instead of "Hey, want to get coffee?"

But I might say, "I'm pretty busy with my friends and family; sorry."

Though at this point, you've restricted him, so I'd just continue to ignore. If you get another PM, then say, "I'm pretty busy with my friends and family; sorry."

Mergatroyd

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Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2015, 10:12:01 AM »
OP, we all know people are a bit different on FB than in RL. From what you've said, his only method of trying to talk to you has been on FB. I wouldn't worry about hiding or skulking in and out of your parents house. You are making things worse if it becomes obvious you are avoiding him. Reply to his message that you are not interested, and his message makes you uncomfortable, then un friend him and go on with your life.
It's hard to make friends in a different place as an adult, and he might be feeling some pressure from his folks to 'get back out there' and contact the nice neighbour girl. Possibly he sent those messages hoping it would keep you away. If he hasn't tried to come over or talk to you over the fence though then I don't really feel he is serious.


Elainne

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Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2015, 10:35:23 AM »
I've been where you are and been 'chatted up' by a guy or two I have no interest in. I find the best way to deal with it is to fake obliviousness. Paste a guileless expression on your face and when he tries to chat you up or ask you out revert to the E-Hell cut-offs-of-doom: 'I'm afraid that won't be possible' or the like.

There is no need to be nasty to get your point across - in fact being nasty will likely result in a backlash because embarrassed people tend to overreact. If he approaches you and asks you out directly, be nice, be calm and simply say 'It's not appropriate for me right now'. Always make it about you and what you want. Rather than just saying 'no' outright.

The tone of your voice and body language says a lot too - if you meet in the street take care to keep your voice 'professional' as I like to call it. I tend to deal with these situations as though I were answering a question from a customer. Be cool and polite. Instead of smiling and waving cutely you would use a neutral acknowledgement gesture and the same kind of 'Good Morning' or 'Good Afternoon' you might use in greeting a customer.

Above all don't get drawn into personal conversations. Don't be afraid to say 'It's not appropriate for you to ask me that'.

bah12

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Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2015, 11:09:16 AM »
Two things that when I will say it, will seem conflicting, but hear me out.

1. It doesn't really sound like this guy is being creepy.  Messaging you twice, in the course of a few months, is not over the top.  And I really don't see why you have to completely avoid him as a result.

2. Listen to your gut.

So, you said that you have a 'quirk' about being awkward around sudden romantic interest, so is it your gut that is telling you this guy is a future stalker (or whatever you're worried about) or is it your head getting the better of you because he PMd you so quickly after you accepted his friend request?  Sure, he's admiring you from afar (afar being his only choice so far).  He likely finds you attractive and interesting.  That's not a bad thing and that doesn't mean that he will always be interested in you romantically.  My guess is that he's looking to make friends and there's probably a little part of him that is rebounding from his last relationship...so both a totally innocent situation and one that does warrant some caution.

My advice would be to respond to him.  Like others have said, if he's direct about being romantically interested, then be direct about not being romantically interested.  Maybe to start, reply to his message of "you're hard to get a hold of" to "yes, I know. I'm really busy with friends, family and 'life' right now."  And if he messages you back with something more direct, like a request for a date, turn him down outright and clearly let him know that you aren't interested in dating or getting together.

As far as avoiding him in real life, I don't think it's necessary at this point. First, he hasn't made any attempt to talk to you in person.  And if you see him and he sees you, there's nothing wrong with saying "hello".  If he starts a conversation you don't want to have, then cut it off.  Only if he doesn't respect your "I'm not interested" messages, would I avoid him completely.  Otherwise, just approach with caution (listen to your gut part) and maybe you'll find that he's a nice enough guy to be friendly with (regocognize that your head may be playing tricks on you).

EllenS

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Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2015, 01:09:08 PM »
Two things that when I will say it, will seem conflicting, but hear me out.

1. It doesn't really sound like this guy is being creepy.  Messaging you twice, in the course of a few months, is not over the top.  And I really don't see why you have to completely avoid him as a result.

2. Listen to your gut.

So, you said that you have a 'quirk' about being awkward around sudden romantic interest, so is it your gut that is telling you this guy is a future stalker (or whatever you're worried about) or is it your head getting the better of you because he PMd you so quickly after you accepted his friend request?  Sure, he's admiring you from afar (afar being his only choice so far).  He likely finds you attractive and interesting.  That's not a bad thing and that doesn't mean that he will always be interested in you romantically.  My guess is that he's looking to make friends and there's probably a little part of him that is rebounding from his last relationship...so both a totally innocent situation and one that does warrant some caution.

My advice would be to respond to him.  Like others have said, if he's direct about being romantically interested, then be direct about not being romantically interested.  Maybe to start, reply to his message of "you're hard to get a hold of" to "yes, I know. I'm really busy with friends, family and 'life' right now."  And if he messages you back with something more direct, like a request for a date, turn him down outright and clearly let him know that you aren't interested in dating or getting together.

As far as avoiding him in real life, I don't think it's necessary at this point. First, he hasn't made any attempt to talk to you in person.  And if you see him and he sees you, there's nothing wrong with saying "hello".  If he starts a conversation you don't want to have, then cut it off.  Only if he doesn't respect your "I'm not interested" messages, would I avoid him completely.  Otherwise, just approach with caution (listen to your gut part) and maybe you'll find that he's a nice enough guy to be friendly with (regocognize that your head may be playing tricks on you).

Yes, a good summary.

DanaJ

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Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2015, 03:06:58 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 d@ting anybody at the moment" is both honest and impersonal.

I would modify that a bit.

Best advice I ever got from a male friend: Saying you're not interested "right now" or "at the moment" implies that while you aren't interested now, but that you may become interested later. It has to be a bit more final than that or else he might wait around to see if the "moment" will pass and then he'll have a shot. You can still let someone down easy without suggesting  "maybe later."

Something like, "Thank you, that's very flattering, but no. That's not what I'm looking for" has less risk of mixed messages.

I don't think the neighbor is being a creep, but he might be a little too optimistic and if he the type who sees the glass half full, then "sorry, not at the moment" may not quite register as "sorry, but never."

Firecat

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Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2015, 03:20:41 PM »
OP, you might find some of the information on the Paging Dr. Nerdlove and Captain Awkward blogs useful.

It sounds like you've been trying to give this guy some "soft 'no'" cues, and he has either not picked up on or has ignored them to an extent. Not returning his message or trying to talk to him in person would be a couple of examples of you expressing "no" without actually saying it.

Women in particular are often socialized to use a "soft no," like not responding to messages or saying "I have plans," and so on, rather than directly saying "no." And, unfortunately, some men react very badly to being told "no" in a direct way. But then turn around and complain because "she never SAID 'no'!"

So I get why you're feeling uncomfortable.

I think I would have a word with your parents, just to let them know that he has contacted you on Facebook, and you're not interested. Then they know to deflect if he (or his parents) mention anything.

I would suggest sending him one message via Facebook that says, in essence, "not interested," and then unfriending him. If you see him in the yard and so on, just do the polite nod and keep moving. If he fails to get the message after that...then you can think about next steps. But I'd say it's most likely that this will be all that is needed.

greencat

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Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2015, 05:24:28 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 d@ting anybody at the moment" is both honest and impersonal.

I would modify that a bit.

Best advice I ever got from a male friend: Saying you're not interested "right now" or "at the moment" implies that while you aren't interested now, but that you may become interested later. It has to be a bit more final than that or else he might wait around to see if the "moment" will pass and then he'll have a shot. You can still let someone down easy without suggesting  "maybe later."

Something like, "Thank you, that's very flattering, but no. That's not what I'm looking for" has less risk of mixed messages.

I don't think the neighbor is being a creep, but he might be a little too optimistic and if he the type who sees the glass half full, then "sorry, not at the moment" may not quite register as "sorry, but never."

I definitely suggest not saying "I'm not interested in dating right now," because they will follow you around forever waiting for you to be ready, and then get upset when you start dating someone else, because they asked you first.  Tell him the truth, "I'm not interested in you romantically."  Since you don't seem to want a friendship with him, go ahead and follow that up with, "I feel uncomfortable trying to be friends with someone I know is interested in me romantically, so I'm going to go ahead and remove you from my friends list."

SoundsSaboona

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Re: Politely ignoring an admirer?
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2015, 06:08:41 PM »
Many thanks for the responses, everyone. You've given me plenty to think about.

To be clear, I don't feel that Neighbor Guy has been overtly rude or creepy in his actions, just way too forward for my comfort. It's a major turn-off of mine. However, I do get a vague sense of unease whenever I see him outside, one that I've only felt around a couple other guys, so I'm going to be mindful of that.

Directness will be best for all involved, and I hadn't considered the fact that it would be empowering for me.



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