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Help me say "no" kindly(8 Posts)
Ok i'll try to keep this as short as i can.
I am in my 50s, divorced 10 years, adult kids all but flown apart from a few boomerangs (😀) own house, decent job, good friends BUT i am a terrible people pleaser which is something i have been working on. Since my amicable divorce from a "nice" quiet man, i've had one awful 2-3 year relationship with an EA man which nearly broke me and one 6 month relationship with a critical controlling man. I'm pretty ok with being single but if i did consider a relationship it would have to be with someone who was open and clearly into me , no ambiguity if you know what i mean.
One of the things i did to improve my social life about 3-4 years ago was join a meet up group. I love it! It has given me a great social life and i organise events and meet lots of people. I have also made some good friends. Early on I got chatting with a man Y who came across as quite introverted - think shy geeky type but that's ok i'm pretty geeky too. We would often chat at the things he came too and i started to think he might like me but nothing developed so i just thiught fair enough and carried on enjoying what i was doing.
About a year down the line we had an intense conversation at a xmas do and he invited me for a drink over the xmas period- all good- had a nice time- but then nothing! So, again i thought, fair enough, and it was shortly after that i had the 6 month relationship with someone else. That had only been over a few weeks when Y contacted me out of the blue and asked me for lunch. Seemed to me quite co- incidental but he claim to have had no knowledge that i'd been seeing someone else. We had a lunch, meal out and theatre trip and then again he went quiet!
He turned up about 3 months later at an monthly activity i organise as if nothing had happened - which i suppose it hadn't to be fair! This has continued for about a year or so - just the monthly activity - ive noticed he has sometimes been a bit sarcastic towards me ( he is to others too) but that does seem to have settled down. Meanwhile, i've just been carrying on my social life as normal, enjoying myself, arranging nights out etc. Decided to just let it go.
Anyway, last night, a great meeting, very relaxed, everyone had a great time and on the way out, he asks me if i am free for lunch - was quite taken aback and others were in earshot so i just said that would be nice ( stupid!!)and he'd be in touch.
I know he will be and i need help writing a reply ( he always e-mails) because i'm fed up of this now. He clearly has some major issues going on but that's not something i want to get involved with. However, i also don't want an atmosphere in the group as it's ver important to me.
i'm pretty sure he is just awkward not nasty as i know he is quite socially isolated so don't want to be nasty. Not a womaniser or player just a geek. However, i felt i went along to these "dates" with him openly and honestly and feel that if i continue to go along with it, it will mess with my head.
Btw i know i am massively overthinking this but any words of wisdom appreciated.
Is he definitely asking you on "dates" or is he just asking you out as a friend? It comes across to me as just as a friend from your op.
Having said that I'd probably just have a very full diary and not be able to find a time to meet up with him. Hopefully someone else will come along with a better response.
Mor - I think he's acting like we are on a "date" - i have male friends and they don't act like him. It's very confusing which is why i want to call time on it basically. Just how to reply to his contact without being dramatic.
Actually you are right Mor! I should just use the full diary method - i suppose that's the people pleaser in me!
You really need to do the Freedom Programme.
Yes, I was going to say the same. Is it possible that he sees you as a friend, albeit a rather casual one? I definitely wouldn't reply that he keeps asking you out on dates and then disappearing in case he isn't asking you on dates and you've been massively overthinking things.
I would, however, not want him as a friend either. I have close friends I don't see often, as we all do, but I wouldn't like it if they drifted back in, pissed me about and then drifted off again with vague promises of being in touch.
When he invites you for lunch it's hard just to say 'no I'm busy' - what, every day forever?! So I would counter with 'that's a good idea, I'm meeting x and y on Thursday, why don't you come too?' and keep making it obvious you only want to see him in a group, rather than one to one. If he says no I want to see you on my own say 'really? why? Is something wrong?' and act like you think he has something he wants to share with you. Try almost to act like the previous one-to-one contact didn't happen. If he's your friend he can muck in with all your other friends. He's not offering anything else.
I would also try to keep it very light and breezy, don't seek him out at any of these functions, if he finds you, make it into a group situation as soon as you can. No need for any kind of obvious brush-off, take your cue from him. He's treating this as a casual friendship at best. You shouldn't be doing any more than that.
I'd just go with a thanking him for the invitation but having checked your diary you have lots of things coming up so it won't be possible. If he's particularly dense and keeps trying to arrange then just a 'sorry, no'. You don't have to give an explanation.
Thanks some helpful replies. I think that tribpot's idea is a good one i.e saying i'm quite busy but suggesting he comes along to another group event. Yes I am definitely far too passive - working on it!
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