General Question

Sunshinegirl11's avatar

Guy is getting the wrong idea? What should I do?

Asked by Sunshinegirl11 (1107points) October 23rd, 2016 from iPhone

So I was out running errands when I met a guy I used to know in high school. We talked for quite a bit and then he asked if I wanted to get lunch to catch up. I thought nothing of it and went!

During lunch, there was no flirting. He continuously talked about his ex so I thought for sure this was strictly platonic, like I had wanted it to be. We exchanged numbers and went on with life.

We continuously texted… still no flirting. He would still bring up his ex every once and a while so I thought he was still hung up on her.

3 weeks later, he asks if I want to go bowling. I say sure. We go bowling and then towards the end he starts pulling me close to him. I pull away. He then grabs my hand. I was in panic mode. I held it for a minute and then let go and told him I had to go.

I’ve been ignoring him completely now. I guess I was being stupid. I thought for sure he was still in love with his ex and just wanted a friendship. Ugh I feel so guilty, I was so stupid!

Should I keep ignoring him? Should I lie and say I’m seeing someone else or something? Please help. I don’t want to make this mistake again so I need advice

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45 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

I really don’t understand why you can’t simply tell the man the truth.

BellaB's avatar

Tell him you’d like to be his friend, but that you are not interested in anything romantic with him.

Talk to him. Be honest. Be clear.

It might have been a good idea if you were honest with him at the time.

Don’t lie. Don’t ignore. Communicate clearly.

Coloma's avatar

Ignoring and lying to others when things get uncomfortable is not what mature people do. You need to be clear and direct and simply TELL him that you were rather shocked at his behavior as you assumed it was a strictly platonic hang out.
Then, TELL him you are open to a friendship, activity pal but nothing else.
If he attempts to go further again then you TELL him that you are not comfortable with the situation and do not wish to continue spending time with him as he has shown a lack of respect for your feelings.

imrainmaker's avatar

^^ Agree with what all are saying. If you aren’t direct it can add to the confusion and complicate the things further. Instead make it right now and it will be good for both of you.

kritiper's avatar

This is the one main thing that always perplexed me about women: They just can’t seem to tell it like it is. Be honest! Spell it out in no uncertain terms. Guys don’t want female friends, they want lovers, “significant others” Don’t try to be his friend and don’t act like his friend.
(Remember! Guys like to think they have to get a girl in the sack by the third date or they fall into the “friend zone.”) This guy obviously wants you as more than a “friend.” (And “friends” don’t do sex. Or shouldn’t. Too confusing!)

Zaku's avatar

I agree with the others. The part of your story that seemed odd was you not telling him your intentions, and that your questions about what to do didn’t include direct truthful communication.

I too would say, just be clear, direct and truthful.

Many guys don’t do subtlety or reading between lines very well at all, if at all.

CWOTUS's avatar

If you tell him the truth about how you feel, he may not like it, he may try to persuade you otherwise and he may also tell you things that you won’t like to hear, like how madly in love with you he is and always has been, etc. etc.

Put on your big-girl panties and do it anyway. Tell him your shit, then listen to his shit – for a little while, anyway – until the friendship resurfaces and you can both laugh at that.

Do it, because if you ghost him now, then you’ll be one of the women he talks about – badly, and with good reason – to the next girl he runs into and wants to start something with.

Really, him starting to fall for you and being attracted to the point where he would attempt to start something physical is normal and natural, and you ought to take it as a compliment – while you also tell him without running away, “No. I don’t want that.”

Darth_Algar's avatar

I suppose telling the guy how you honestly feel didn’t occur to you?

si3tech's avatar

@Sunshinegirl11 The situation took a different tack when you “exchanged phone numbers and
texted continuously”. IMHO you never hurt a person more than “while trying not to hurt them”.
Just tell him.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It took me a loooong time to realize that no heterosexual man could be just a “friend,” and not view me sexually. In fact, I reconnected on Facebook with the one guy I actually considered a friend all through jr high and high school. He told me, clearly, that back then he wanted to jump my bones! Dorkfish. He had never made a pass or anything, or maybe I missed it. I really enjoyed being with him.
Now I wish we had become more.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Guys…I don’t know the man, but maybe she’s concerned that he’ll become angry.

filmfann's avatar

He thought you were on a date.
Tell him you misunderstood his feelings, and are not interested in a romantic relationship. Tell him you’d like to be friends.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

You weren’t being stupid then, but you are now. You’re acting like a 12 year old…..ignoring a friend is not the action of a friend. Tell him you are not interested in dating him. You will remain friends or you won’t but for goodness sake, grow up.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That really wasn’t necessary @MollyMcGuire. She’s just got herself in to an awkward situation, and she came to us for help.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Fix him up with one of your friends. That way everyone wins.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I like @filmfann‘s answer.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I suspect the reason younger women get in these situations is because as girls we’re implicitly trained to be nice to people. To be polite. Not to hurt anyone. To go with the flow. I know this was true in my youth. I remember being manipulated into sitting on an uncle’s knee. “Oh don’t be mean. Give Uncle xxx a cuddle!” Except Uncle xxx had a hard on when I sat on his knee and I felt uncomfortable. I couldn’t say this, because I wasn’t really sure what was happening then. I’ve always suspected this expectation that girls be nice to people affects their ability in later life to be candid and open about what they want.

In saying all that, as @CWOTUS said, at some point, we all have to put our big girl panties on and grow up and learn to say no. To say ‘this isn’t what I want’ and to say it firmly. It’s not about being rude and unpleasant. It’s about being straightforward and honest. You don’t owe this man anything. If you don’t want to be more than a friend tell him that and be consistent. If he proves he cannot be a friend without hitting on you, don’t see him.

Right now, he’s just confused and yes, probably hurt, that you’ve dumped him after he thought there was a chance of more than was on offer.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

The first thing you need to ask is whether or not you have a feeling for him now that he has made his intention clear (there are oblivious types like me that won’t get the feeling until someone confessed to me). Are you willing to at least give it a try? If you really think he is a good guy then I think it’s worth a try.

If you really have no romantic feeling toward him then simply text back to him to apologize for your action earlier. He made a sudden unexpected movement and it’s not your fault to be surprised so there’s no need for you to feel guilty about it. It’s a lot easier to text him than having to tell him in person.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Well. It was bound to happen. I agree with @Dutchess_III about something she said about men.

I can’t speak for all, but I don’t want friend relationships with females. I can be friends with my friends wives, or girlfriends, but otherwise, I have no desire to be friends with females. (Other than on Fluther :)

I usually just feel used by female friends. I can fix stuff, help them move, get them into clubs for free, stop some exboyfriend from being violent etc. But it’s a one sided relationship.

My best female friends are great. They make me laugh, and we enjoy each other’s company. But when we get drunk , sexual things just seem natural.

I can be friends with a girl I’m dating .

If I ask a girl to go have a beer, I’m asking her out. Rarely, if ever, would I simply want to become friends.

In the future, if a man asks you to accompany him somewhere, you should say no. Unless you’re into him.

Conversely, if you’re nice to a guy a lot, he’ll probably think you’re into him. So don’t be flirtatious, unless you really like someone. I know you said it never was flirtatious, but I doubt the guy saw it that way.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I disagree and feel that @Dutchess_III is speaking from a limited point-of-view with a lot of assumptions.

marinelife's avatar

Tell him directly that you like him just as a friend. You’re not in high school anymore.

imrainmaker's avatar

I think OP must have got fair idea what’s to be done by now..

MrGrimm888's avatar

@Darth_Algar . I agree with your perception of @Dutchess_III ‘s opinions on men.

But in this thread, her view and mine align (uugh.)

Sadly,naturally, or whatever, her view (again ,in this case) could be articulated less insulting . But it ,IMO, is roughly accurate.

I could also opine that women don’t want men as friends, unless they view us as someone they can get something from,just like the opposite.

When a guy doesn’t have money, isn’t handsome, isn’t particularly good at something, you may notice he has NO female friends….

Both genders want a sort of reciprocation from a relationship with the opposite sex.

Dutchess_III's avatar

In my experience, my male “friends,” made a pass sooner or later.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^In my experience, my female friends usually do too. Maybe not as high a percentage though. Admittedly.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Maybe you only hung out with guys who you, on some level (consciously or not), knew were interested in more than friendship.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I didn’t “hang out” in the way you’re suggesting. I quickly, quickly learned, at about 13, not to find my self alone, away from others, with a male “friend,” unless he was actively my boyfriend, which that didn’t happen until 15. It took a few go arounds before I finally understood that I was not safe with any male alone.

I’ll just do a “for example” run down. I’ll do them in chronological order and only pull out the harshest, scariest ones out of 10’s upon 10’s:

1) Next door neighbor. I grew up with him. I was in 4th grade, he was in 5th when moved into the neighborhood. It was a rather secluded neighborhood, partly country (we lived on a dirt road cul de sace) and part upper class development.
We were in and out of each other’s house all the time growing up. I felt like he was a brother. I never had any “boyfriend” thoughts about him. Then, one day, when I was 13 and he was 15, he suddenly backed me into a corner and tried to kiss me. I ran out of the house. That was the end of our relationship as we knew it.

I guess I had changed. I wasn’t a little girl any more. But I still felt like a little girl, and the way the males began treating me scared me and hurt. I cried. I couldn’t understand their behavior. From that point on, for reasons I didn’t quite understand, I had to learn to deal with, deflect, and try to avoid the almost constant cat calls and comments and groping.

2) A couple of years later ,when I was 15, I babysat several times for friends of my parents who loved just up the road. The last time the parents came home. The father had been drinking (no, not a flag to me at 15) and for some reason, the father wanted to drive me home. We lived less than a block apart. I didn’t understand why, since I’d always walked before, but he was authority so I said, a little confused, “Ok…” Well, as I said it was a dirt road. Just past their house was a curve which began on our cul de sac, that blocked all the other houses in sight. He suddenly stopped right there and started grabbing me. I jumped out of the car and ran home.

I almost had it figured out at that point….but not quite. I still had some surprises in store. Fast forward through the next 15 years (flashing past multiple gropes, rape deflections, comments, vulgar suggestions, my boyfriend’s roommate suddenly jumping on me and bending me over a counter, dry humping me when my BF stepped out…..)

3) After I was separated from my husband I was visiting my BIL and sister, with the intention of staying the night. It was late, about 1:00 a.m. My sister went upstairs to nurse their newborn baby, and the next thing I knew my BIL was all over me. He exposed himself and tried to force me to put my hand on his penis. I managed to fight him off and get to the room I was going to stay in and lock the door. He couldn’t do much after that without alerting my sister.
The next morning he found the opportunity to tell me that if I told my sister he’d kill me. He didn’t have to go there. I wouldn’t have told her anyway. I figured that I wouldn’t be the last, she’d figure it out for herself.

4) Around that same time my best friend and her husband came to hang out with me. I don’t remember what we needed to get that took two people, but she told me and her husband to run to the store for….something. She would stay with the kids. I’m like, “OK.” I had absolutely NO attraction to this guy, whatsoever. None. We’re driving along, suddenly he pulls into a dark parking lot and grabbed me. I fought and jumped out of the car. So, it was a stand off. He couldn’t very well go back to my house with out me. He swore he wouldn’t do it again, if I swore I wouldn’t tell his wife.

So…how what exactly were you suggesting when you said, “Maybe you only hung out with guys who you, on some level (consciously or not), knew were interested in more than friendship.” Was it just another form of “You were asking for it?”

Darth_Algar's avatar

I implied nothing with “hang out” other than hanging out. What I’m suggesting is that there are females who, for whatever reason, seem to have no interest in associating with guys who have no romantic interest in them. Often times the girls don’t even seem to consciously realize it themselves.

snowberry's avatar

Darth, Dutchess has mentioned in multiple responses on many other questions that she’s had a lifetime of experiences like this. How is it that you’ve missed them all? No offense intended. I’m just wondering…

Darth_Algar's avatar

I haven’t missed them, I just don’t consider the issue of sexual assault necessarily relevant to the topic of whether men and women can be platonic friends.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, “hanging out” means, to me at least, going places with them. Like, “I hung out with my girlfriends and we went gar hopping,” or “Me and Julia just hung out, watching movies and we had fun.”
I never “hung out” with any males in that way, not alone. But, as a teen, I did “hang out” at parties or places where there were lots of people, male and female. I soon learned not to let my self become isolated when in a crowded setting like that.

As for ”...there are females who, for whatever reason, seem to have no interest in associating with guys who have no romantic interest in them, ” can’t the same be said for males? They don’t want to hang out with women who have no romantic interest in them?

kritiper's avatar

Single men don’t want to hang out with female friends because then they are viewed as taken in the eyes of potentially romantic prospects. (Oh, yes…generally speaking.)

Zaku's avatar

@kritiper To me that seems likely to be mostly untrue. Of course, most dating strategies seem ridiculous and/or terrible to me. Seems to me that hanging out around women would tend to lead them them to think about and talk with their friends about you, leading to introductions to other women, if you come across as a decent catch.

BellaB's avatar

So weird to think that people can’t have friends of other genders to hang out with. Can’t imagine my life without my male buddies over the decades.

kritiper's avatar

@Zaku Whatever. I speak from personal experience/POV and 30+ years study on the matter.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So @Sunshinegirl11, what did you do?

Darth_Algar's avatar


“Hanging out” just means “to hang out”. Nothing more. Could be in a group, could be one-on-one. Could be at a bar, could be at the house watching movies and eating pizza.

Anyway, what I was saying….there are some folks who hang out with certain people not because they’re really interested in the people themselves, but because that person (people) are interested in them. They have no interest or inclination in ever moving beyond hanging out with that person, even if they know that person want’s to connect with them on a level beyond that. These folks do this because they enjoy the attention/affection they receive from those people.

Certainly these folks could be male or female. In my own experience I’ve known a couple of girls like that. I called out one of my female friends (whom I myself had no interest in beyond a platonic relationship) on this once. I’m not sure if she was even fully cognizant of the behavior until I brought it up.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I meant I don’t hang out with men one on one @Darth_Algar. I thought I made that clear. It was bad enough hanging out in a group. One on one was down right dangerous.

Oh, and I agree with @kritiper, when he pointed out ”Single men don’t want to hang out with female friends because then they are viewed as taken in the eyes of potentially romantic prospects. (Oh, yes…generally speaking.)” I mean, the same thing goes for a single woman. You never know when Mr Right is going to pop up. It could be at a coffee shop, but you’re sitting there with a guy friend, so he won’t approach you. Perhaps you never even notice him and that moment is gone.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III “I meant I don’t hang out with men one on one”

Yes, I heard you the first time you said it.

Sunshinegirl11's avatar

Hey everyone. Sorry I haven’t logged on in a while!

Well I started talking to him again and when an appropriate time came up, I told him I am not interested.

That backfired… He got extremely upset and called both me and his ex sluts, blah blah blah. Next thing I know he’s complaining on Facebook, his ex starts arguing with him because she assumes it’s about her…

Anyways I just ignored it all. He’s been trying to contact me… multiple texts and calls a day wondering if I want to hang out or get dinner with him and his friends…

I already told him I’m not interested so I’m going to keep ignoring him.

This has happened to me before when I tell the truth to guys, so that’s why I resorted to ignoring him in the first place. I never know how a guy will act when telling them I’m not interested because I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum….

But… in a way it is my fault, I should have told him right away, like a lot of you have stated.

Thanks for the advice everyone!

si3tech's avatar

@Sunshinegirl11 Wow! It’s good you know now that he could be dangerous. Possibly you could have learned that earlier but, you know now and are safe. That’s the main thing. hugs

stanleybmanly's avatar

I doubt if he’s dangerous, but the lesson is well learned. You are always better off, if your position on romance is clear at the outset. A blunt, even tactless “we can do stuff together, but I’m not looking for involvement” establishes the rules of the road and leaves no room for accusations later of “leading me on”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, we’ve all been there, @Sunshinegirl11. Now you know just don’t….don’t.

@stanleybmanly why would you say that you doubt he’s “dangerous?”
I had a guy throw a full can of beer at me, narrowly missed my face, when I refused his advances. Is that not dangerous?
My sister had a guy spit in her face and snarl that she was a bitch when she refused to dance with him at a night club. Was that not dangerous?
In both of those situations (and others) we were in public or it may have been far worse.
And I bet almost every woman here has a story like that.

There isn’t much that will set some men off worse than feeling like they’re “rejected.” There is always a chance it will be dangerous. That’s why I mentioned this exact prediction here.

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