General Question

SuperMouse's avatar

What would you do if someone seemed to be trying to initiate an emotional affair?

Asked by SuperMouse (30809points) June 28th, 2009

I recently reunited with a high school friend on Facebook. Now, it could be my imagination, but I think he is trying to start up an emotional affair. He told me the other day that he wanted to date me back in high school (25 years ago) but never found the nerve to ask me out. Whenever he sees I am on he pings me and he sends me notes that end with x’s and o’s. He has also shared stories with me of what seem to be emotional cyber affairs he has had in the past and shared the fact that he does not feel passionately towards his wife.

I have been very clear with him that I am in a dedicated monogamous relationship. Should I cut him off? Just hide when I’m online? Or might I just be seeing things that aren’t there?

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48 Answers

TheWatcher's avatar

Oh now I’m a somewhat expert on relationships, friends at school call me Dr phil jr. Ok let me think….

TheWatcher's avatar

Well how long has this been going on for?

La_chica_gomela's avatar

That sounds real enough to me. My strategy with people like that (online and in real life) is to mention my significant other in a positive way any time the person does something that makes me uncomfortable.

It’s like positive/negative feedback, you know? If everytime they hit on me, they get to hear about how much I love @TimothyKinney, eventually they either move on to a new topic or a new girl.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I would just call him out on it before cutting off contact. Be frank and honest and say, “I know you’d never do something like this (if you think it’s true), but some of your communications lately seem a bit flirty—like you are interested in an emotional affair—I’m just a bit uncomfortable with them. I’d really appreciate it if you could tone it down a little.”

If he responds well, hooray you still have a friend. If not, no big loss I hope.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

If he wants to go out on a date with you, then tell him no.

Ask him to try to solve his marriage. Make that clear to him. Remind him of the fact that the both of you are in relationships with other people and that you, on your hand, are very content where you are.

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

I would make it clear to him that you’re uncomfortable with this behavior and, if he continues it, cut him off.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Uh oh, you’re next in line in his eyes.
Problems with the wife, x’s and o’s, online flirting… he might even be angling for a physical affair. It doesn’t sound like he’s interested in friendship.

TheWatcher's avatar

Aye true. If he talks about high school ok fine, but to keep going and going. Finish it! Cut him off. If he liked you on high school. Oh well ‘Twas his loss. He can’t be living in the past now. Tell him to move on.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Sounds like he’s open to that and seeing how much you’ll respond or go along with it. Say right up front what you are not comfortable with and give him the chance to back it up and put himself in line in order to respect your friendship, if you’re even interested into cultivating a friendship. If you feel more comfortable with him remaining just an acquaintance, tell him that too.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Tell him how much you love your husband, how wonderful he is, and how glad you are that adult life is far better than high school.

TheWatcher's avatar

Tell him you always thought him as a nerd?

loser's avatar

I’d get emotional.

hopscotchy's avatar

i think you needn’t address this at all with him. are you getting anything out of reconnecting with this ‘friend’ other than uncomfortable feelings? finish it. this is a problem with facebook and other such tools. they make us feel obligated to revisit connections that were likely lost for a good reason.

juwhite1's avatar

My ex-husband tried this. It really ticked me off. I had my husband help me craft a response that wasn’t nearly as rude as what I wanted to say, but still politely sent the message that I’m in love with my husband and not interested. I believe it ended with telling him I hoped his marriage (to the woman he cheated on me with) was bringing him as much happiness and fulfillment as mine was (not in those exact words).

Bri_L's avatar

That totally sucks for you. And it’s wrong.

I do hate when it goes the other way. I had someone in high school who brought up the topic of how she never had a date until college. I told her I always had a crush in high school but never acted because she always had these boys around her. This was after we had been reacquainted on facebook for a while and became friends. I told her my wife and I were having some problems but that I was faithful to the core and dedicated to the end to my family and we were working things out. Then I complimented her on these two pictures, they where black and white head shots, artsy types and one shot from high school where it looked like she was giving the ‘come hither’ look and I said “woah grrrowlll”. Suddenly I get this email implying I am trying to hit on her and the like.

I guess once the ring is on you have to be hyper vigilant.

trailsillustrated's avatar

block him. wierd.

ru2bz46's avatar

Run, don’t walk to the nearest escape hatch. A very similar scenario happened to my wife, and she fell for it. We are now separated.

Bri_L's avatar

@ru2bz46 – I am so sorry to hear that. I want to reiterate that I was not in anyway trying to hit on this woman. I think she was seeing things that were just not there.

ru2bz46's avatar

@Bri_L Yes, I totally understand your situation. I’ve made “somewhat flirtacious” comments to women about their photos myself while our roles of “friend only” were implied. I’ve felt safe in doing so because they know me and how I act. My comment was to the original question.

Bri_L's avatar

@ru2bz46 – Thanks for saying so. I just felt bad after reading your post. That just sucks.

Jack79's avatar

yeah, sounds like he’s looking for something more than an internet chat…make your intentions clear, he’ll probably just move on.

timothykinney's avatar

@La_chica_gomela: I’m so lucky. :):):)

SuperMouse's avatar

@everyone, thanks for the input, I decided to take the bull by the horns. Here is what I wrote:

I want to tell you that I am in love with Sebastion* and dedicated to him and our relationship forever. That being said, it is important to me to avoid any kind of exchanges that might make him (or myself) uncomfortable. While I was flattered to hear of your feelings all those years ago, I am not comfortable discussing them, or your feelings that may still linger. I am sorry to hear that your marriage does not have the passion you might like and of all the heartache you have experienced during the past decade, but I am afraid I will not be able to lend an ear or share my own experiences. It just doesn’t feel right to me. It feels to me that you might be seeking some kind of emotional interaction that I am not willing to provide.

I have made a commitment to myself and to Sebastion and above all to God that I won’t make the same mistakes this time that I made in my marriage. I will always put this man and this relationship above all else. Interacting with you in way I am not comfortable with undermines that commitment.

* Not his real name.

I wanted to avoid the situation @Bri_L experienced so I tried not to make it sound accusatory. At the same time I wanted to get my point across in no uncertain terms.

EmpressPixie's avatar

SuperMouse, that reads great. I think that if it’s a misunderstanding, he should be able to jot back, “Oh man, so not what I was going for…” without being upset or anything. And if it isn’t a misunderstanding, you made your point clearly and concisely. Very nice!

whatthefluther's avatar

@SuperMouse….Good letter and the most appropriate way to handle the situation. If it does not prove effective, do anything and everything you can to lose this guy (block him, etc). If you can’t lose him, let me know. If he still lives in Southern California, perhaps I could pay him a very persuasive visit?! Good luck to you.

Bri_L's avatar

@SuperMouse – Excellent job! And he had way crossed the line. The things you listed he did are not even close to what happened with me. It would never have been necessary. This guy needed to be told and you did so in a very nice was as the Empress said!

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Just as an observer here, I’d be curious to see his response. You cetainly made it clear as to your feelings about the situation.

Response moderated
fireside's avatar

Sounds like you handled this well.
If he can’t get it from this, then I would unfriend him from Facebook.

Best of luck to you and Sebastion

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@fireside Ah-hah! You posted twice, too. What the HELL is wrong with this site??? Nothing’s working.

ru2bz46's avatar

Very nice @SuperMouse! That should definitely get the point across. :-)

SuperMouse's avatar

His response was a long (four paragraph) note about how I misunderstood his intentions. He apologized for the misunderstanding. Because the message was so long and emphatic I get the feeling that I made the right call about his intentions. As Shakespeare said, “methinks thou doth protest too much.”

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Maybe the two of you can go on & pretend it didn’t happen?

CMaz's avatar

Simply do this,
Tell him to Fxxx Off.

Facade's avatar

Delete and block him on FB.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

You probably can go on and pretend it didn’t happen, with a little bit of formality in the mix. There are a lot of guys in this age group who have never really had friendships with females, only dating type relationships. “Love Sebastion” and “God” in the same paragraph should take care of things. His interest should become more circumspect, and he will fade back into the woodwork.

filmfann's avatar

Friend request his wife.
He sees that, he will back away.

SuperMouse's avatar

OMG! He sent another – even longer – note! He pointed out three times that we will probably never see each other again. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that I know what an emotional affair looks like and that is where he seems to want to go. I didn’t respond to either message. @whatthefluther, he is still in So Cal so I might have to enlist your services! (o; lol4rl!!!

Anyway, thanks everyone for the great advice and encouragement! Lurve all around!

ru2bz46's avatar

You got a spooky one there @SuperMouse. Be careful and good luck.

prude's avatar

Just make it clear to him and remind from time to time.
hope he don’t know where you live and stuff…...

filmfann's avatar

@prude He probably doesn’t know where she lives, but probably knows where she stuffs.

SuperMouse's avatar

I ignored both of the tomes he sent explaining why he was not looking for an emotional connection. He gave it a couple of days and removed me from his friends list. What a relief! I know for an absolute certainty that I did the right thing.

juwhite1's avatar

Glad he decided to give it up and go away!

whatthefluther's avatar

@SuperMouse….That is great news. However, should he ever resurface, you know who to call…

SuperMouse's avatar

@whatthefluther reason number 5,671 you (and the wife) are two of my very favorite flutherers!

ththththth's avatar

well up to you you ultimately make all your decisions and this is just one more to make in your activly participating in life.

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