Author Topic: How do I tell my ex I don't want to be friends?  (Read 7735 times)

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LauraKat

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How do I tell my ex I don't want to be friends?
« on: August 06, 2010, 01:21:59 AM »
There's a bit of drama in the background to this, but I have a genuine etiquette question so please bear with me! :)

I'm part of a group that I do a certain activity with every couple of months or so. This group often socialises together outside of this activity, parties etc. There's a weekend long activity (where I'll be there the whole weekend, staying overnight etc) at the end of this month.

A while back (maybe about 2 years) I briefly dated this guy, Mike*, from the activity. We went on 3 dates, but I could tell by the third date I wasn't attracted to him in that way so I broke it off. While we were in that 3 date period he told me about an ex of his and how terrible she'd treated him. This is important later.

Maybe a couple of months later I met my now DH. My DH is not involved in the activity. Shortly after I started getting serious with my DH, Mike asked me to meet up with him at a coffee shop. I agreed with some trepidation. When I arrived at the coffee shop he had a rose and chocolates for me. He told me he was in love with me and wanted me back. It was a very uncomfortable situation. I took him outside (too many people watching us in the coffee shop) and explained that I was involved with someone else and not interested in being in a relationship with him. I added that I'd like to stay friends. Big mistake...

We tried the friendship thing for a while and things seemed to be going ok, but it always felt a bit uncomfortable. The odd comment here and there. He told me he'd been seeing another girl from the activity and I thought that was great.

Recently I was talking to my sister who is also involved in the activity. She told me that she was talking to the girl that Mike had been seeing. Apparently the girl had a similar story to me. She had gone on a few dates with him, and he had told her he was in love with her. The girl also told my sister that she was not interested in being friends with me because of what Mike had told her about how I treated him. Anyone seeing a pattern here? My sister told the other girl that we had only been on 3 dates, and the girl was very surprised, as though she had been given quite a different impression.

After hearing this I've decided that Mike isn't someone I want as a friend. Unfortunately Mike doesn't seem to feel the same way. He's been sending me txt messages and facebook messages asking to catch up. I've been telling him I'm busy when he asks. I know this isn't the right response but I'm really stumped as to what to tell him.

Does anyone have any ideas how I should tell Mike that I'm not interested in having a friendship with him. I'm nervous because he's very sensitive, and he's also shown that he's not worried about talking about me, and possibly making things up about me, behind my back. I wouldn't be so worried but we will still have to see each other as we're both involved in this activity. The activity will force us to talk and interact at times.

MadMadge43

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Re: How do I tell my ex I don't want to be friends?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2010, 01:37:36 AM »
To be fair in Mike's mind you did treat him badly. It's a warped mind, but still what he's thinking. He's obviously one of those types that falls quickly and hard and has no perception in reality.

I would just start taking longer and longer to respond to his communications. When you see him at the activities be the first to mention that you have been to busy to respond ask him how he's doing and then see someone you just have to talk too. Eventually he'll move on to other women to shower with affection. 

LauraKat

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Re: How do I tell my ex I don't want to be friends?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2010, 01:56:02 AM »
To be fair in Mike's mind you did treat him badly. It's a warped mind, but still what he's thinking. He's obviously one of those types that falls quickly and hard and has no perception in reality.

You're right, I'm sure he really does believe I treated him badly. That's why I'm so nervous about handling this badly and having more rumours spread among the group about what a terrible person I am. I guess I should try to trust that the people I want to be friends with are the ones that will make up their own minds, but it was very hard to hear that one person already had decided they didn't want to be friends with me on his word. Especially while he was giving me the pretense that everything was ok between us.

I'm hoping there's some way I can nip this in the bud now without creating more drama, but maybe that's unrealistic.

ilrag

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Re: How do I tell my ex I don't want to be friends?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2010, 02:00:10 AM »
I don't think it's fair at all that in his head you treated him badly.  In real life you weren't that into him, said so clearly to his face, and he responded by telling unkind lies about how you acted.

Tell him you are aware of what he said about you and that it's not how people who are friends talk about each other. Due to his own actions you no longer want to be his friend. If he has a history of acting like that the people in your shared activity will know which one of you is telling the truth.

blarg314

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Re: How do I tell my ex I don't want to be friends?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2010, 02:05:14 AM »

Does anyone have any ideas how I should tell Mike that I'm not interested in having a friendship with him. I'm nervous because he's very sensitive, and he's also shown that he's not worried about talking about me, and possibly making things up about me, behind my back. I wouldn't be so worried but we will still have to see each other as we're both involved in this activity. The activity will force us to talk and interact at times.

If you want to know of a way that will get him to leave you alone, while at the same time preventing him from bad-mouthing you to his friends or other pseudo-girlfriends, then I'm afraid you are out of luck. If he were perceptive enough to pick up hints, he wouldn't be the kind of guy who badmouths someone who went on three dates with him, and three months later didn't respond to his out of the blue protestations of undying love.

There are basically two ways you can approach this. One is to ignore him. Don't respond to his various text messages or notes, vaguely explain that you were busy when you meet him in person, be polite but distant.

The other is to be blunt and tell him point blank that you're not particularly interested in being friends with someone who trash talks you to his dates.

Either way you will risk him taking it badly. But giving the combination of over-sensitivity, cluelessness, and a delusional approach to relationships, the only thing you could do that is guaranteed not to upset him is to do everything he wants.

And repeat to yourself "I am not responsible for my date's delusions." The fact that Mike doesn't appear to be particularly well connected to reality when it comes to romance means his problems are is own fault, and that you *can't* be subtle and expect him to get the point. 
 

LauraKat

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Re: How do I tell my ex I don't want to be friends?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2010, 02:16:13 AM »
I think I'm going to tell him point blank that I don't like what he's been saying about me behind my back and consequently don't want to be friends with him. I don't believe he'd actually respond to anything more subtle than that.

I think that is going to inevitably lead to him asking me what I've heard and who told me that. I really don't think it's appropriate to drag either my sister or the girl he was seeing into the discussion so I'd like to just refuse to give him any more information than that. Is that fair to him? Should I just keep telling him I don't want to go into detail?


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Re: How do I tell my ex I don't want to be friends?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2010, 03:12:08 AM »
I think I'm going to tell him point blank that I don't like what he's been saying about me behind my back and consequently don't want to be friends with him. I don't believe he'd actually respond to anything more subtle than that.

I think that is going to inevitably lead to him asking me what I've heard and who told me that. I really don't think it's appropriate to drag either my sister or the girl he was seeing into the discussion so I'd like to just refuse to give him any more information than that. Is that fair to him? Should I just keep telling him I don't want to go into detail?



If he asks what you've heard, all you need to do is say "you of all people should know full well what you've been saying about me." You don't need to answer his questions, and you can always end the conversation whenever you want to.

You should also remember that this is a pattern with him, so as soon as you are no longer the last girl he dated he'll stop bad mouthing you and move on to the next girl on the list!

Raintree

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Re: How do I tell my ex I don't want to be friends?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2010, 03:19:59 AM »
I think I'm going to tell him point blank that I don't like what he's been saying about me behind my back and consequently don't want to be friends with him. I don't believe he'd actually respond to anything more subtle than that.


I don't know, I'm no expert here but I'm thinking this would just create more drama and "he said, she said" in that he'll take it as fodder for more gossip. What I would probably do is merely distance myself from this "friendship."  Don't respond to Facebook messages or texts; if you don't feel comfortable "defriending" him on FB, at least hide your wall from him. Be polite at the activity when you have to see him, but cool and distant. Acknowledge him but don't spend a lot of time talking to him.

Raintree

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Re: How do I tell my ex I don't want to be friends?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2010, 03:22:45 AM »
I think I'm going to tell him point blank that I don't like what he's been saying about me behind my back and consequently don't want to be friends with him. I don't believe he'd actually respond to anything more subtle than that.

I think that is going to inevitably lead to him asking me what I've heard and who told me that. I really don't think it's appropriate to drag either my sister or the girl he was seeing into the discussion so I'd like to just refuse to give him any more information than that. Is that fair to him? Should I just keep telling him I don't want to go into detail?



If he asks what you've heard, all you need to do is say "you of all people should know full well what you've been saying about me." You don't need to answer his questions, and you can always end the conversation whenever you want to.

/quote]

Actually, I quite like this; in spite of my previous post, I think I'm going to use it (if it comes up) on someone who I've recently ditched as a friend (female) for trashing me behind my back.

hjaye

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Re: How do I tell my ex I don't want to be friends?
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2010, 07:17:59 AM »
I think I'm going to tell him point blank that I don't like what he's been saying about me behind my back and consequently don't want to be friends with him. I don't believe he'd actually respond to anything more subtle than that.

I think that is going to inevitably lead to him asking me what I've heard and who told me that. I really don't think it's appropriate to drag either my sister or the girl he was seeing into the discussion so I'd like to just refuse to give him any more information than that. Is that fair to him? Should I just keep telling him I don't want to go into detail?


You heard it from your sister who heard it from this girl......... he doesn't know that, and chances are he has told more than just this girl that (in his mind) you have treated him badly.  If you want to say anything about it just say something like:
" You should realize that when you start to talk about people, eventually what you are saying is going to get back to the person you are talking about" You don't need to say anymore than that. You don't need to go into detail.  He'll know he's been saying things about you, maybe it will make him a little bit more aware about talking about people behind their backs.

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: How do I tell my ex I don't want to be friends?
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2010, 09:51:59 AM »
You were as nice as you could be to him, and he talked trash about you.  I don't think you can avoid the bad talk.

If he presses you, you can also point out that he had badmouthed the prior girl to you, and ask, "And, gee, what was the truth to that?"  For all he knows, you have met the prior girl, who spilled the beans.

If I were to confront him, I would have a witness present.  First, as proof that you did not attempt to rip his throat out.  Secondly, to confirm that when you confronted him, he became embarrassed and acknowledged that he had unfairly badmouthed you.
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Hanna

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Re: How do I tell my ex I don't want to be friends?
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2010, 11:27:54 AM »
Honestly, he's a jerk, but letting him know you know that will only create drama.
There's likely nothing to be gained from telling him you know he was talking badly about you.

I would be as nice as possible, but in a dismissive way.  Ignore his contacts, but be polite when you see him.  Polite like you would be to someone you barely know.  "Hello, nice to see you!" and move on.

People that matter will figure out he's the jerk.  Anyone that believes what he says is foolish and not worthy of your friendship anyway.

If you feel you must confront him (and I'd only bother if I wanted to salvage the friendship), I would go with a milder approach "I can't imagine you would do this, but I've heard that you said some rather unsavory things about me, that you thought I treated you badly, and the whole idea was really upsetting.  I really hope it's not true."  Then watch his reaction. I just don't think you can ever trust 3rd hand information.  There is always room for misunderstanding.

DavidH

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Re: How do I tell my ex I don't want to be friends?
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2010, 11:47:29 AM »
I think being straightforward is the right approach.  He won't want to hear it, but that's something you can plan for.  If he asks who said what, just say that you don't want to discuss it.

Alternatively, if you think it's possible that things may have become distorted since you heard them third hand, you could tell him that you've heard he thinks you treated him badly and have said as much to others and is this true.  Based on his reaction you can go from there.

I think that this discussion needs to be between you and him without others present.  Airing ones dirty laundry (which this is) in public is bad form at best and no one really wants to be in the middle. 

Lisbeth

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Re: How do I tell my ex I don't want to be friends?
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2010, 11:59:03 AM »
Honestly, he's a jerk, but letting him know you know that will only create drama.
There's likely nothing to be gained from telling him you know he was talking badly about you.

I would be as nice as possible, but in a dismissive way.  Ignore his contacts, but be polite when you see him.  Polite like you would be to someone you barely know.  "Hello, nice to see you!" and move on.

People that matter will figure out he's the jerk.  Anyone that believes what he says is foolish and not worthy of your friendship anyway.

If you feel you must confront him (and I'd only bother if I wanted to salvage the friendship), I would go with a milder approach "I can't imagine you would do this, but I've heard that you said some rather unsavory things about me, that you thought I treated you badly, and the whole idea was really upsetting.  I really hope it's not true."  Then watch his reaction. I just don't think you can ever trust 3rd hand information.  There is always room for misunderstanding.

Pod.  Block contact on Facebook and don't respond to texts.  And if you do run into him, this is a good way to handle it.
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Re: How do I tell my ex I don't want to be friends?
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2010, 12:09:01 PM »
I don't think you owe him an explanation. You don't owe him anything; his behavior is designed to get a reaction out of you, and if he does get that reaction, positive or negative, he'll continue the behavior.

I don't think there's anything you can say that will cause him to stop talking trash about you, either, and I recommend the "Not My Problem" approach. Some girl doesn't want to be friends with you because this guy said you treated him badly? Okay. Not your problem. You're not going to be friends with everyone anyway.

If anyone actually says anything to you, you can calmly explain that he became rather too attached after three dates and it's been awkward ever since.

Since he dates women from this activity, it probably will not take long before people notice that wait a minute, every month or so he's saying the same thing about yet another ex...