Get answers to your dating questions or leave comments here! Email me with your dating dilemmas, and I'll publish my replies here.
Dear Annie, Al and I had connected online. But, when we met in person, I felt that he wasn’t right for me. I declined his offer of a second date. He sent me a disturbing text this morning. Part of me wanted to reply and ask him not to contact me anymore. But, another part of me is concerned that my response would inspire him to send another message. What is the best strategy to use in order to get him to leave me alone? Suzanne
Hi Suzanne, He may be contacting you because he believes that you declined the date because it was inconvenient, but didn’t actually understand that you had no interest in moving forward.
If you believe that you may not have been clear in communicating your feelings, it’s time to do so. Pick up the phone and call. Telling someone that you don’t want to see him again via text message is a surefire way to amplify the pain of rejection. Testament to the fact is a recent informal survey I heard on a Slate podcast, where 50 percent of the participants felt it was OK to reject someone via text message, but none said that they would feel comfortable if they were on the receiving end.
It’s best to let him down in a kind, honest and unambiguous manner. Apologize for not being clear when you last spoke with him. Tell him that, while you appreciate his interest and time, you feel that you are not a match. Wish him the best of luck in finding a woman who is a better fit. If you made it clear that you were declining his second date because you didn’t want to see him again, ignore his text. If he continues to contact you, send a single message asking him not to contact you.
In the unlikely event that the texts don’t stop after that, inform him that if he doesn’t stop, you will contact the police. Follow through if needed.
Dating is confusing for everyone. Men get mixed messages about how to pursue women. Often, they find that persistence pays off in courtship, so they continue to follow through until they get a clear message that the object of their desire is not available.
With so much technology to deal with it's great to have a resource like this to help us respond appropriately. Thanks, Annie!
I wonder how disturbing 'disturbing' is? If it's really over the line, I would probably just ignore him. But, if you do call him, I'd also make sure it's from a phone that is not yours and cannot be traced to you, ie, not your cell phone with caller id.
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