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Ex keeps wanting to meet up "as friends", how do I word this in a nice way?

(30 Posts)
VeggieButcher Fri 29-Jul-11 17:27:54

Ex and I broke up about 5 years ago. For three years I heard nothing more from him and this was helped by the fact that he lived 200 miles away. Then out of the blue, 2 years ago I got a text off him asking if I'd sent him something dodgy in the post hmm I text back "course not" and he came up with some daft excuse for thinking it was me and then disapeared again. This is where it all started because a few weeks after that, I had a facebook friend request from him. It had been 5 years and I didn't think it would hurt anyone so I accepted. He was quiet for a while but a few months ago started initiating conversation on there, mostly about a more previous ex who he'd caught cheating on him (wanting sympathy etc). Now he sends me a chat thing almost nightly and a few weeks ago asked if I fancied going for a curry, just as friends. I said "you're going to come 200 miles for a curry??" and he made up some excuse that he was in the area anyway hmm

I declined.

Last week he sent me another message asking if I fancied a curry on Friday night (tonight) and I was feeling rather bored and fed up and so replied "just as friends, yeah?" and he said "yeah 100%".

I then had second thoughts as the place he wanted to go to was "our" place if you see what I mean? I made up some excuse about having a dodgy belly lately. He said "cinema instead then? my treat." he then told me he'd been dying to see a certain film but nobody would go with him and its the kind of thing I'd love." I told him I'd think about it but you wouldn't go for meals and cinema with an ex unless you were hoping for more, right? So yesterday I sent him a text with another silly excuse and I KNOW I should just tell him straight but I'm worried incase I have the wrong end of the stick and he actually is innocent - then I'll look like a big-headed twat.

There have been a few dodgy comments during facebook convos though such as "I still think we would have worked things out eventually" and "The only problems we had back then have now been resolved, but oh well" etc etc so the hints are clearly there but he promises he wants nothing more than "friends".

So I am reeling too much into this?

If not, how do I tell him NICELY that it's just not appropriate? (baring in mind he'll turn it back on me and swear he never intended for anything untoward to happen!)

SingOut Fri 29-Jul-11 17:35:00

He sounds terrifying.

If you want to go, go. If you don't, say 'Thanks but I've been reflecting and actually I don't think it's a good idea.'

Do you still want him as a friend on facebook? If not, with any luck he'll kick off when you turn him down and you can remove him then, with relief. I'm just projecting, I know. Maybe you don't mind the bloke but to me he sounds bitter about his past, pushy, forceful, disrespectful and moany... I'd be delighted to get shot of him if I were in your situation. Don't you have any other friends to go out with and, crucially - doesn't he?
Sorry, alarm bells majorly ringing. Why did you two split up, anyway?

VeggieButcher Fri 29-Jul-11 17:41:36

He is quite bitter. When we first got together he said his last relationship ended because he caught his girlfriend in bed with another bloke. And now this supposedly has happened again with this new girlfriend. He's constantly moaning about women so I do think he's quite bitter.
We broke up because he was immature and a bit of a commitment phobe. We'd been dating 2 years and he never once allowed me to meet any of his friends or family. Plus we only saw each other once a fortnight and even then he'd arrive at my house at 4pm saturday, stay in bed until 2pm sunday morning (even though I'd got up etc) and then leave again at 5pm. It was just pointless.

KRIKRI Fri 29-Jul-11 17:43:25

Life is short. Do you really need this person in your life now, whether via facebook or in RL? If not, you don't have to be rude, but nor do you owe it to him to be "nice" in saying you can't see any benefit in any future contact, wish him well and goodbye. Then delete from facebook, block any phone numbers, etc. and don't respond to any communication. Seriously, if the relationship ended 5 years ago, you are not obliged to give an explanation or do anything to make him feel better. Just cut it off.

It could be that he hopes to rekindle the relationship and is just taking baby steps toward this. The fact that you are engaging with him (even if you aren't saying yes,) could be giving him hope that there will be something in the offing. Unless you want this to happen, consider cutting it off now.

buzzsore Fri 29-Jul-11 17:44:03

What Singout says, sounds perfect to me.

You don't owe this guy anything, you don't have to explain yorself to him. You should not get yourself in an uncomfortable position to avoid being perceived as 'rude' - it's not rude to want to keep things at a level you're happy with.

JanMorrow Fri 29-Jul-11 17:49:51

Restrict him on facebook so that he can't see when you're online in the chat thingy and can't read all your updates, but he won't know, he'll just think you're not online..

Reply to any texts with one word, non commital answers.. hopefully he'll eventually get the message and lose interest.

If he doesn't I think telling him to cut it out is the only way.

buzzsore Fri 29-Jul-11 17:50:54

And don't be worried about him turning it around on you - what's the worst that can happen - he can lie through his teeth and say you're bigheaded and imagining he wants to get back with you?

Why is his view of it important? Don't let it be. He's just an ex who was more than a bit crap when he was a boyfriend. You don't owe him a thing.

ImperialBlether Fri 29-Jul-11 17:54:45

I don't understand why you let him see your Facebook - all your friends, photos etc - why would you do this? It means you can't even say you have a boyfriend, because he'll know from Facebook that you haven't.

Just say, "Sorry, I don't think it'd be a good idea. I've started seeing someone and I'll be seeing him on Friday night."

By the way, wasn't it obvious he thought he'd be staying at your house, if he lives 200 miles ago?

VeggieButcher Fri 29-Jul-11 17:56:39

He said he was going to drive home the same night (which to be fair he has done that before, he has a driving job so is used to driving miles and miles)

mouldyironingboard Fri 29-Jul-11 20:28:32

He's your ex and you owe him nothing. There's no need to be nice - delete him from facebook, ignore any further text messages or emails and don't speak to him again.

He sound like the type who won't take no for an answer so you can't be his 'friend'.

solidgoldbrass Sat 30-Jul-11 10:21:51

Send him a message saying 'Actually, I've thought about itand don't really want to be friends. Bye.' Then block him. He sounds like a total tosser.

Bear in mind that you do not have to be 'nice' to men. It's perfectly OK to tell this one to fuck off and never contact you again. From what you have posted it sounds like his agenda is to cause you trouble in some way. Remember you owe him nothing.

Pancakeflipper Sat 30-Jul-11 10:25:58

Just delete him off FB telling him you are in a different place with your life. Thank you, hope you are happy, bye bye.

What do you want/get out of this 'friendship' ? Consign it the bin labelled history.

Veggie, I think it's lovely that you are being so considerate about his feelings, full kudos to you for that, but I think he's not really hearing the signals that you're sending him.
I agree wholeheartedly - he's interested. I think that for your peace of mind you need to withdraw completely and stop all contact.
Not sure I agree with solidgold about not doing it nicely - it is always nice to leave it with a pleasant taste in the mouth rather than bitter, but only you know how open he will be to hearing what you're saying.
I would not meet up with him, because then it could get a bit awkward - in your place, I'd construct a really good message on FB, explain that you are not interested, you're with somebody else now (even if you're not...) and that for the peace of mind of all concerned, this one needs to be let go of now... and then block him so that he can't see ANYTHING of yours... and ask him also not to text you, as you'll just delete it and not reply anyway. I'd be totally blatant about 'I don't want any more contact with you - things move on, people are in lives for a time only, sometimes, and this is one of those instances.... and that you've moved on. YOu can also say 'sorry if I have misread your intentions, but this IS how you appear to me, so there it is'.

Good luck!

VeggieButcher Sat 30-Jul-11 10:38:29

Well I sent him a message last night saying "I've been thinking things through and I no longer think meeting up again is a good idea."

He asked why and I said I thought it was best that he just get on with his life and I do the same. I have too much going on right now to be bringing in unneccessary hassles. So anyway his first reaction was "why do you fancy me or something???" hmm so I laughed that off and said I just didn't want any hassle and didn't want to be accussed of leading him on at a later date so he swore he had no intention of anything happening between us. Therefore I said "so, you'd still want to meet up even if I was seeing someone else?" and he took a while to answer before saying "yes, as long as you didn't bring him along as that would be awkward - why, are you seeing someone?" so I told a porky and said "yes, I'm going out with him saturday night actually which is why I thought it a little innapropriate to be going out with you friday night, and him the night after". He then admitted that that hadn't exactly been welcome news but he still wanted to meet.

So anyway when I stood my ground and said no, he started going on about how depressed he was, how he hated himself and he hated his life and how everyone around him had just kicked him aside, he's lonely, depressed, has considered suicide etc etc

Now I feel obliged to stay in contact in case he genuinly does do himself in!! sad

solidgoldbrass Sat 30-Jul-11 10:43:28

Veggie, don't be a mug! THis man is a total loser, who means you no good. The best interpretation of his behaviour is that he is such a whinyarse everyone else in his life is sick of him so he is going through everyone he ever met trying to find someone kind and gullible enough to look after him. His behaviour is extremely manipulative and dishonest.
Honestly, save yourself a lot of hassle and text back - 'Not my problem, don't contact me again.'

When I said that women don't have to be nice to men, I didn't mean that everyone should be horrible to everyone else and forget having manners - just that, when a man is putting pressure on you to engage with him in any way and you don't want to, it's fine to be rude if he hasn't left you alone when you asked him nicely.

VeggieButcher Sat 30-Jul-11 10:49:53

I know, my head is telling me I'm a complete mug and this is exactly what abusive men do (threaten suicide in order to trap their victim) but then a small part of me is saying "yes, but what if he DOES?"

argh.

He explained his life, how he no longer has any friends, is riddled with debt, never goes out, can never hold on to a relationship, has no opportunities to form a relationship because of his work and he's sure he's destined to grow old alone and die alone etc etc.

I CAN see why he's depressed and usually I wouldn't mind being an ear to someone who needed to talk but this has too much history attached that I'm always wondering if alternate motives are involved sad

Pancakeflipper Sat 30-Jul-11 10:50:59

For goodness sake. Read your last post back to yourself and see the game he's playing. Get some balls and say bye bye to him. You are not responsible for him, he's not a dog, he's an adult whose not even been involved in your life for years.

solidgoldbrass Sat 30-Jul-11 10:56:36

No, someone who is in that much of a mess has brought it on himself. Don't let him make it your problem.

buzzsore Sat 30-Jul-11 13:31:59

You only have his word for it what happened. People don't just lose friends randomly, and you already know why he's rubbish at relationships, cos he was a secretive, lazy, entitled arse as a boyfriend to you. He's still that guy.

Don't let your kindhearted sympathy make you compromise. He's emotionally blackmailing you into keeping in touch, and that isn't nice. If he's so fucked up he should be looking at fixing himself, but he's not, he's doing a retrospective through his little black book to see who he might be able to sucker into propping him up. He's riddled with red flags.

mummytime Sat 30-Jul-11 13:39:07

Give him the phone number of the samaritans and unfriend him asap. (Number is 08457 90 90 90).

TeachMySelfBalance Sat 30-Jul-11 14:40:19

He is manipulating you.

Be nice.

A little bit, you agree to that-what's the harm in that/ who wouldn't agree?...then a little bit more: you agreed to the first bit and this next part is insignificant-you can agree to it too...moving right along to part three-building on little easy parts one and two: well, it'd be a shame to say 'no' now...you are so nice and such a beautiful person.

Be nice.

Then you hesitate and out comes the pity party, poor poor puppy dog. Sad, lonely, the suicide implication or even promise...so you think that you will help him this one last time, only to move onto another one last time. Soon you feel like you want to scrape a turd off the bottom of your shoe but your moral compass or good manners or conscience will not let you.

Be nice.

You finally say no and then you are labeled and defined in the most reprehensible and insulting terms-and are made to believe that you deserve it and that you are actually a reprehensible person all because of the verbage freely flowing out of his mouth. Just a bunch of hot air can make you feel trapped, degraded, infuriated, and brainwashed out of your own brain.

And you still want to be nice? Really?

This is all about him and absolutly metaphysically nothing about you.
Tell him to fuck off; NO! Come Back!!! Please kiss my ass and fuck off again. Or civilly in the terms previously suggested like: I do not welcome further contact with you. Good Bye.

I think that is what SGB was talking about. When he treats you like that, then you have complete and unarguable license to be rude, mean, and I mean a total bitch from hell-because it is in the name of your self defense: morally (imho it is ok to think about yourself!), emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and eventually even physically.

Sorry for the lecture blush but I've been there done that...it is not fun at all. Btw, at the suicide threat- I told him to do it outside and not make too much of a mess of it shock wink. Never heard that one again.
Perhaps reading up on the sucide subject might help you understand the dynamic a little more. Or as suggested on other threads, call him on it-report his suicide risk to emergengy services and he'll be evaluated. And let that be your last 'contact'.

Also, sorry to go on, but you do not need to give a reason for your choice. As if your reason was not 'approved' then you have to go along with him? Heck no, you are not his subordinate...so you do not need to explain.

Oh now come on - I'm being painted as a total LOSER for wanting to be nice!!!!

However - OP, I must admit, the 'new' information you've just posted does put a different light on it. I would still be NICE and text him that you uncategorically are not going to meet up with him and that you are not in a position to be part of his life now, and that you wish him good luck.

I do think he has danger signals all over him. He is NOT going to top himself if you don't meet up with him, and he is going to be seriously bad news for you. Don't engage with him.

Still. Nice is good.

buzzsore Sat 30-Jul-11 15:15:34

Nice is over-rated. There's a whole lot of pressure on women to be 'nice', especially to men who might be sexually interested in them, even if it's not reciprocated. Better to be assertive and tell 'em where to get off, than being forced into making excuses and stressing over how to get them to back off.

Anniegetyourgun Sat 30-Jul-11 15:26:06

I'm sure we all agree that kind and polite is the right default setting. However, sometimes niceness doesn't do the job. As long as you're nice, some people will think that means you're still open to manipulation negotiation, so they keep trying until you are pretty much forced to be rude.

I think if you give in to this meeting thing (for which, as if you need reminding, he is apparently prepared to drive 200 miles and yet says he's skint) he'll be kipping on your sofa before you know it, with no definite plans to leave, ever. And then you'll really have to get very, VERY rude. "Just say no" saves a hell of a lot more unpleasantness in the long run.

Btw if he really is suicidal he should be seeking professional help, NOT curries with ex-girlfriends at the other end of the country.

Anniegetyourgun Sat 30-Jul-11 15:26:55

Or, what buzzsore said. As usual.

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