Author Topic: Rude to withdraw an offer?  (Read 4609 times)

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tallone

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Rude to withdraw an offer?
« on: August 31, 2010, 09:13:10 PM »
I think this goes here, but since it's to do with a houseguest perhaps not?

Anyway, in the short version:
I have a friend who lives with her boyfriend but their relationship is currently on the rocks. Because of some of boyfriend's past behaviours it would be unwise for her to stick around if they break up. I offered several times for her to stay at my house for a couple days if she needs to while she waited for him to calm down/looked for a place. I've previously done this for other friends.

However, Friend has since told me that she has feelings for me. I would like to withdraw the offer to have her stay with me because it would be awkward and innapropriate considering I am in a relationship. Is there an etiquette friendly way to do this? I feel like it is rude to withdraw an invitation after it has been given.

In the long version,

My friend, dubbed Mary, also moved to MyCity from Hometown. We were highschool chums and dated, if you could call it that, for a couple weeks when we were fourteen. So she is technically an ex-girlfriend. Possibly more than technically we have an odd history. Since we broke up I've been her "default crush" which is to say that unless she liked or was dating someone else she was desperately in love with me and needed me back. I've never had, or shown, any interest in her since but she is a good friend so each time I've let her down gently.

Mary currently lives with her boyfriend, dubbed Mark, in the north side of Mycity whereas I am in the southern side about forty minutes away by car. Mark and Mary do not have the most stable rel@tionship. Mark is extremely paranoid and protective of Mary and she resents that openly. They have other issues as well but this is the most obvious. A month or so ago while talking with Mary she brought up their issues and told me she didn't know what she'd do if they broke up. She hinted that Mark would probably fly off the rails and she didn't like the idea of being stuck in the same house as him while he was handling (or not handling) the breakup. I think, and I didn't tell her this, if Mark is acting as creepy/stalkerish as he is while they're d@ting he would be ten times worse if they broke up but were still living in the same house. I think she realises this as well, which is why she was asking me for advice.

At that point I offered for her to stay with me for a couple days. With a couple friends who had to leave home suddenly I've let them crash on my couch until they could go home or to stay with a relative, they found a place, etc. My parents generally approve though it gives Mum more ammunition on how I'm nice to everyone but family  ::) Because I thought Mary might need a bit more privacy being a girl I offered to let her have my room while I took the couch but now I think that might have sent the wrong message.

Last night I got a text from Mary that out of the blue told me how much she missed me, how bad she felt because she had a boyfriend but she couldn't stop thinking about me, how hard it was to live with Mark considering our "history" and that she'd like to "stop playing games and go back to how things were before". I'm a little dismayed because: A) She made no mention of Tallgirlfriend at all - does she forget I've spoken about nothing but our anniversary for months??
B) We don't have a history, the way things were before was the same as it is now. The unfortunate truth she never gets is that I will probably never like her back.
C) Could I have come off as ready to cheat by offering her a place to stay? I'd never do that but if my actions made it appear I would then it would be inconsiderate of me not to avoid doing the same in the future.

Out of respect for Tallgirlfriend (and Mary, if she so desperately wants me it would be rude to tempt her :P) I would like to withdraw my offer to have her stay with me. How do I say "Sorry, you like me, invitation removed." in an ehell approved fashion? I don't know if it's recognised etiquette but I've been taught that it's rude to withdraw an invitation.

I'mnotinsane

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Re: Rude to withdraw an offer?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2010, 10:11:14 PM »
Have you responded to her text or spoken to her since last night?  If not you should address her comment and use that as a springboard to rescind your offer because you 'don't feel comfortable'.

Fluffy Cat

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Re: Rude to withdraw an offer?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2010, 10:15:47 PM »
Have you responded to her text or spoken to her since last night?  If not you should address her comment and use that as a springboard to rescind your offer because you 'don't feel comfortable'.

I was going to say the same.  I think that given the circumstances, its completely understandable that you would be very uncomfortable with the previous offer. 
If you are at all afraid for her safety, it would be a great kindness if you could help her make alternative arrangements.
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guihong

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Re: Rude to withdraw an offer?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2010, 10:20:13 PM »
You don't want to get into the middle of this, whether she has feelings for you or not.  Agreed that you would be very kind to help her find resources in your city.

gui



blarg314

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Re: Rude to withdraw an offer?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2010, 10:22:13 PM »
Retract the offer *now*!!

Seriously, you've got someone who has had an extended, repeated crush on you, is in a bad relationship, and in spite of the fact that both she and you are in a relationship has just confessed her love for you, in a way that indicates that she just doesn't get that you aren't interested in her and never have been.

Having her live with you after she leaves her boyfriend is a recipe for disaster - she may well take it as a great opportunity to 'patch things up with you'. When you have a friend with a serious unrequited crush on you, you have to actively avoid situations which will give them false hope, and this would definitely be one of them.

I think this is a good opportunity to be blunt and direct. Email her about the text, and tell her that it disturbed you. You like her as a friend, but you're not interested in a romantic relationship, and you never have been interested in a romantic relationship. In light of her feelings for you, you think it would be a bad idea to have her stay with you and your girlfriend. She's not going to get subtle hints.

You'll probably get some drama back, but it really is better to be blunt now, rather than trying to explain the same thing to a hysterical woman who has just broken up with her boyfriend, is sleeping on your couch, and desperately wants you to love her - think about trying to kick her out of your apartment after she tries something inappropriate.


tallone

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Re: Rude to withdraw an offer?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2010, 10:23:33 PM »
I have, I replied that I was sorry but I didn't feel the same way and that I was very much in love with Tallgirlfriend. I haven't heard anything from her since but soon after she put a facebook status up that may have been about me or about Mark. Just a vague statement about the torments of love...

I'm not sure about the safety part. Mark has only been possesive and paranoid previously, never violent. He'll get very passive aggresive though which I think is the main problem. He'll try to stop her going somewhere with friends and if she refuses he'll drive her there and wait in the car park for hours to guilt her into staying home, changing her mind at the last minute or as a last resort to get her to leave early.

To be honest he's more likely to get violent if she comes to stay with me. Nothing anyone could say would convince him she hadn't run off to be with me (unfortunately that's exactly what she wants to do) and he'd probably show up once he worked up the courage and try to take me on.

Black Delphinium

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Re: Rude to withdraw an offer?
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2010, 10:24:24 PM »
There is nothing rude with changing/rescinding an offer when you discover that the situation around the offer has changed/isn't what you thought it was.
When angels go bad, they go worse than anyone. Remember, Lucifer was an angel. ~The Marquis De Carabas

Amava

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Re: Rude to withdraw an offer?
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2010, 10:28:06 PM »
1. You should talk enthusiastically about TallGirlfriend in every conversation you have with Mary from now on.

2. For Mary's own safety, I think it would be best if she found a family member or a female friend to stay with. Preferably in a house with a good alarm system and a big dog.
Edited to add: that is, IF she wants to break up with the boyfriend, of course. Though, maybe after your reply about TallGirlfriend, she won't. Maybe she was just testing the waters.

figee

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Re: Rude to withdraw an offer?
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2010, 10:29:26 PM »
Agreed that there is nothing rude about rescinding an offer if circumstances have changed.  If, however, she does still need help or a place to stay and you decide to help her out can you:
  • stay in your room and lock the door and give her the couch
  • have tallgirlfriend stay with you
  • stay with tall girlfriend as a temporary measure


Fluffy Cat

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Re: Rude to withdraw an offer?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2010, 10:32:03 PM »
Well, if I remember correctly, you're on the young side of things and I'm guessing your friend's BF is as well.  What you say is less (not nonexistent) troubling to me than if he was in his mid 20's+

No matter what though, you have every right to be uncomfortable, and you aren't responsible for her.  She's given you a very good reason to recind your offer.  I also do not want you to feel responsible for her safety when I suggested it would be a kindness to help her make an alternative plan if that was an issue.
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Raintree

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Re: Rude to withdraw an offer?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2010, 12:15:25 AM »
Yeah, I wouldn't have her stay with you. I don't think it's rude to withdraw the offer; her confession of her feelings for you has changed things a bit.

By all means let her know that although you'd be uncomfortable letting her stay with you in light of what she said, you'd be happy to help her find some other arrangement should the need arise.

missmolly

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Re: Rude to withdraw an offer?
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2010, 12:55:25 AM »
I would suggest that when you do rescind the offer, be sure not to make mention of Tallgirlfriend, as Mary will likely see her as the cause, rather than your discomfort.
"Any idiot can face a crisis, it is this day-to-day living that wears you out". Chekhov.

Dorrie78

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Re: Rude to withdraw an offer?
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 09:19:17 AM »
I would suggest that when you do rescind the offer, be sure not to make mention of Tallgirlfriend, as Mary will likely see her as the cause, rather than your discomfort.
Actually, I think OP should mention her, as a part of the whole conversation. Something like "with the fact that you have expressed such strong feelings for me and that I've told you that I don't feel the same way, and am in a very serious relationship with GF, I don't think it would be appropriate for you to stay with me. I'm sorry that I can't help you that way." or something along those lines....honestly, does it matter what Mary sees as the cause, as long as she clearly understands that OP is not available to her and will not be, no matter what?

shhh its me

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Re: Rude to withdraw an offer?
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2010, 10:54:05 AM »
 POD
to everyone else  but with one caveat

You must rescind the offer now not when she shows up at your door with suitcase in-hand.

TychaBrahe

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Re: Rude to withdraw an offer?
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2010, 12:18:09 PM »
I think that, knowing Mary's history of crushing on you, it was probably inappropriate to make the offer in the first place.  I understand that you see Mary as a friend, no different from all your other friends, but you've known for a while that she saw you as something more, or hoped there would be more.
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