Unwanted advances

on Oct 25, 2008 @ 10:21 pm

Situation: A male friend of mine has been trying to pursue me since I met him over the summer. I have indirectly told him several times that I am not interested in a relationship right now and that I am not looking to date anyone. He is getting really irritating and beginning to push it to the point where it is getting a little bit creepy.

How do you turn down a friend without hurting his feelings too much?

I know I have to be honest and direct, but what is a good way of going about it without seeming too mean?


9 Replies

just say it on Oct 26, 2008 @ 01:41 pm

I don't think there IS a gentle way to handle this kind of situation. You need to come right out and tell him you don't want to hurt his feelings but he needs to back off or you guys aren't going to be able to remain friends. It sounds like you're really going to have to keep an eye out for him and have other friends on the lookout too, in case he is/starts stalking you. I don't want to freak you out with that but it sounds like the kind of behavior that is typical for stalkers - they push and push and don't know when to stop and refuse to take "no" for an answer. If telling him right out that he needs to back off doesn't work and there is any evidence at all (no matter how "small" it might seem!) that he's stalking you then you should get the police involved and ask them for advice on how to handle the situation.

Ali de Bold
Anonymous is right on Oct 26, 2008 @ 01:52 pm

You know what? Women are too nice sometimes. If he was really your
friend he would respect the fact that you are not interested in being
in a relationship right now and stand down. You say you told him
indirectly. It's time to tell him bluntly and not worry about his
feelings. He isn't considering yours and that can get dangerous. If
he's being creepy about it, he is already crossing the line.

I had relationships in the past with guys I told I only wanted to be
friends but they pursued me so aggressively I naively gave in thinking
maybe they see something here that I don't? That was never the case,
rather it was that they didn't respect boundaries or care enough about
me as a person to respect that no means no. It is the abusers and
controllers that don't respect boundaries. I speak from personal
experience. If he is a true friend he will back off and continue to be
your friend with no strings.

The next time you see him, pull him aside and tell him you have been
feeling really uncomfortable lately by his actions towards you. Tell
him that you value his friendship but that you do not want anything
further from him. It will be a brutally uncomfortable conversation but
it needs to be had. If he responds like a jerk, write him off. You'll
know very quickly if he truly cares about you as a person or if you
were just something he was pursuing.

You GO Girl on Oct 27, 2008 @ 01:13 pm

I absolutely agree with misschickie. You need to stop sacrificing your own feelings and putting yoursel in an uncomfortable situation every time you are together. You need to just be honest and open with him. If he is a true friend then he will understand and if not, well, that tells you everything you need to know.
Good friends should provide unconditional love and support and should not judge... btw, if he is getting a little creepy, you don't want him as a friend.

Agreed on Oct 27, 2008 @ 09:40 pm

If he is a friend and you tell him it'll hurt but he'll understand. It'll be difficult but sometimes you just have to be straight out and honest and hopefully he'll appreciate that.

If he doesn't lay off even after you're directly told him I'd cut him off, no contact at all. Things from there can only get worse and you probably do not want to be in that situation.

unfortunately this requires you be FRIGID on Oct 30, 2008 @ 05:46 pm

when it gets to this stage you have to become willing to lose a friend if you really want the advances to stop.

as long as you're nice and keep making excuses that aren't what you really mean, which is "you're not hot enough for me," or "you're too easy" he's going to run races in his head desperately grabbing at some passed-over straw that might suggest, 'why, i haven't turned over THIS stone yet!'

simply pouring gas on the roots of the tree and throwing a match on it will prevent the tree from living anymore.

it's gotta be something like this: "dude, i wanted you to be my friend. you want to be more than my friend. i'm unwilling to make you more than my friend because i fundamentally don't find you attractive. i'm not calling you ugly, but i AM saying that I am not attracted to YOU. if you can't deal with that, i don't even want you to be my friend."

i would never, ever advise saying this to a guy unless he was REALLY being over-the-top about this but it sounds like he is being over-the-top about this. it's the ultimate blow to the male ego and putting in plain english that "you're not good enough" will sap him of some of this suave game he thinks he's administering in the first place. it will hurt him and make him feel like HE is inferior, which for your purposes, he is. you're doing the world a favor.

if you really think he's a psycho or something with a potentially violent streak i'd advise keeping some of that mace-mace in your purse-purse. this is an ugly situation that unfortunately won't end in rainbows at the present rate.

whoa... on Oct 31, 2008 @ 08:22 am

I have to say after reading this thread, I'm not sure where the stalker part really came into this all. You all are making some massive assumptions - call the police? The original poster didn't say anything beyond "irritating and creepy".

One guy chased me hard during high school. I found it irritating and a little creepy. But never in a million years did I think of him as a stalker. He was just trying really hard. I finally just told him flat out "thanks for the interest, but I really don't think of you that way and never will. Please let it go".

You are being unfair to the guy if you assume he's psychotic. Some people are just socially awkward and accusing anyone of quasi illegal moves is hurtful and can escalate to the point beyond a loss of friendship into hating each other. I'm not saying you want to keep him as a friend, but for crying out loud don't accuse him of something so extreme as stalking unless it is stalking!

Another thought - if this guy has difficulty in social situations and you humiliate him with unfair accusations, you will crush him. One of my best friends was humiliated by a guy turning her down harder than he really needed to, and to this day she still has difficulty dating and putting herself out there.

Just be direct with him. Guys don't do subtlety well. Don't seem apologetic or leave any opening that he may think there's hope for the future. Think of it like a business discussion - simple, to the point, and without all sorts of drama. If he really is a creep, then by all means you can and should take measures to protect yourself as some of the others have mentioned. But give him a chance to retreat with his dignity intact first. That is doing the world a favor - a small kindness goes a long way. Maybe he'll still have enough confidence to ask someone else out, someone he's meant to be with.

Ali de Bold
Creepy on Oct 31, 2008 @ 09:27 am

The part that makes me nervous is this... "beginning to push it to the point where it is getting a little bit creepy."

No one is saying this guy forsure is a stalker, just you can't be too careful. If warning bells are going off in your head you should listen to that.

Don't ruin his self esteem just be honest and direct but most of all be careful with your safety.

Clarifying on Oct 31, 2008 @ 09:57 am

I NEVER said that he is definitely stalking her, I said that IF after he straight out tells him to stop pursuing her he doesn't stop and there are any signs he may be stalking her and things escalate that she needs to take action to stop something horrible from happening. I was in a similar situation that she is in - a guy friend who I only wanted to be friends with and he wanted more and he refused to take no for an answer and he wound up stalking me for months. It's a very frightening thing to go through and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy but it does happen and she said he is getting a little creepy about it - she's uncomfortable and that's a warning sign. Again I never said anything about he definitely is stalking her but pointed out the fact that it is a very real possibility that he is or may if things continue on as they are right now. It is naive to think something like that would never happen because it happens every day. As someone who was in the same position in the past that DID end up with me being stalked my thought process was to make sure she is aware of the possibility so that she can protect herself - but I never ever said that was definitely happening or going to happen.

Original poster... on Oct 31, 2008 @ 05:31 pm

I am the original poster.

This guy is somewhat a little creepy, I would say. But he's definitely not a psycho. In general I do think that he is a good person. Just not very good with the ladies.

Just for the record, he called me last night. I didn't answer my phone. I know that is not the best way to deal with him, but I'm not ready to deal with him right now. I will tell him though. But I find him "creepy" in a sense where he tends to send mixed messages. Sometimes he's obviously hitting on me, other times he just acts like he's my friend. Very strange. And confusing.

I think misschickie's poll on "Can men and women really just be friends?" is a really interesting topic, because I would like to think that it is possible. But what has happened to me several times, is that men will act like they're my friend. But then once they make a move, and I reject them they end up turning into complete jerks. This is to a point where I have to cut them out of my life.

I guess what I am afraid of is is this guy is just "one of them". Because I have dealt with far too many men like this, and it always hurts me (and angers me a little) that they only reason why they want to be friends with me is because they want to date me or get into my pants. I am not trying to be cocky here or anything, it's just what ends up happening. And it saddens me.

Ahh well. I know what I need to do. Thank you ladies, (and gentleman) for all of your awesome advice.

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