Sakurastars asks: So this guy I met through a friend has been interested in me and I was interested in being in a relationship with him as well. I am new to dating so I guess he wasn’t sure where I stood in liking him or not. So he decided to show me what I was missing by going out with another girl. Me being new to dating, I didn’t mind he was going with this girl. And continued to treat him as a friend. He started to act very strange towards me and even flirt with me in front of this girl he’s supposedly with. One day he got upset about me hanging out with someone else and called me out on it. So, I got upset and asked him why does it matter who I hang out with? He tried to make it my fault and didn’t think he did anything wrong. A day after I asked him what he viewed me as and he told me a friend. After this question he asked me in a expecting way “so…. why did you ask me this?” And I told him he was making me feel uncomfortable. He again he tried to make it my fault and told me it was in my head. I wasn’t going to fall for that. A couple of days after that talk he messages me, “hey pretty lady.” That was the last time I talked to him because I’ve been ignoring him for 4 months now. My question is why is he taking so much effort to talk to me again and why does he keep bothering his friends about me? And how do you get him to simply stop messaging me altogether? I was going to be straight with him and say it’s really sad that you don’t get the hint after 3 months, but I’m not really that mean.
Hi Sakurastars –
Wow, what a story! At first it sounded pretty sweet, like a lot of romantic comedies where both people are really into each other but neither wants to admit it, and eventually one ends up running away from their wedding or something, and love triumphs over all.
But it sure doesn’t continue that way.
I have to admit, I’m a little confused about the time-frame of your letter. Did all the events you describe end four months ago, but he’s kept messaging you the whole time? Or were the four months before he wrote “Hey pretty lady?” I’m not sure it matters which is right, though. Because I’m seeing two major issues here.
The first is what’s called a “Double Standard.” In his mind, there’s nothing wrong with him dating other girls, but you going out with other boys is a horrible insult. When a guy voices a belief like that to a girl, she has three basic choices: She can accept him the way he is and live by his rules, she can change his mind, or she can leave. Or I guess there’s a fourth – that she could date other boys secretly, but that might backfire.
If you want to change a boy’s mind, the first thing to do, of course, is just talk with him. Tell him how you feel, and explain that you want your relationship to be fair to both of you. If he refuses, and says it’s not the same, that it’s only girls who shouldn’t date, or talk with others, you have every right to put your foot down, and tell him that you refuse to be in a relationship like that. It’s 2013 after all, not 1911!
You see, I know all about this: I have to live with Double Standards all the time. Humans can go into grocery stores and I can’t, for example. But even worse, since I’m a big dog, there are places I’m not allowed where little dogs are, like airplanes and some restaurants. And that just irks me! So I know just how this felt to you!
But there’s a second issue now, since it’s pretty clear you did a great job of standing up for yourself. And that’s that he feels he has the right to keep bugging you.
Have you ever thought about that word? We dogs understand that one too – it’s when someone’s always bothering you in a really irritating petty way, just like flies or mosquitoes or gnats… or FLEAS! I just HATE being bugged, and I’m sure you do too. But I can scratch or bite a flea, and I chase and eat flies – but this guy doesn’t think you can do anything about his bugging. And so far, he’s right.
So what can you do? Well, the first thing is to stop worrying so much about being mean. I know a man who, many years back, broke up with a woman after dating for a couple of months, and felt really bad about hurting her feelings. But right after that, his phone started to ring a lot. In particular, it would ring late at night, and the caller would hang up when he answered it. Now these were in the days before mobile phones and caller-ID, so he didn’t know absolutely for sure who it was, but he had a very good guess – It was that woman. But because he felt bad for her, he didn’t feel he could do anything to stop her calling. Finally, over a year after the breakup, he got fed up enough to call her up and demand she stop harassing him and being such a jerk. She got very nervous, and said she hadn’t been doing it (“Well, maybe once or twice, but that’s all!”), and he said that was okay then, and said goodbye. The calls stopped at once, and never started up again.
There was no reason for that man to put up with those calls at all. He was just like you, trying not to be mean, but the fact is he was being mean. He was being mean to the woman by letting her continue acting in such a ridiculous way (which must have been awful for her self-esteem) – and he was especially being mean to Himself!
Now there are a few ways you could respond to this boy. You could try to be nice to him and say you want to be friends and go to a movie and hold hands. Or you could say “Are you too stupid to take a hint?!” Or you could do something in between – and just say, “I have told you I’m not interested in you. Please stop bothering me.”
I’m all for the last one. It’s clear, to the point, and not mean at all really.
But if you do that and he still continues bothering you…
Well, in that case, I want to direct you to a slightly different, but still relevant, story I tell about myself. Go onto the AskShirelle.com website, and look up the letter from HarrietteS, and read my response.
I think you’ll love it.
But before you get as crazed as I did, just try being direct and clear with him. Because just as you deserve some peace, he really needs to move on and get a life! So this will be best for both of you.
Best of Luck!