Obsession or friendship
Months ago, I met a man at work and we quickly got along pretty well. We went for lunch once and very soon after, he started to text me several SMS a day. From "good morning" to whenever he woke up, to ask how I was, to several pictures, and silly jokes. Every time that, by chance, we met at work, I would get another text saying that it was very nice to meet me or that I looked good, etc. I never replied that much and it got to a point that after 2, 3 days he started to wonder where I was, what happened, and started to call 2 to 3 times after I did not reply to the first SMS on a day. Everything I did or create he would praise in a very exaggerated manner, like I was some kind of genius. He always pointed out that we liked each other and how amazing it was that we met. Although I share that it was good that I found him as a friend, the way he divined that started to upset me. On occasion he text me asking if I agreed to the following: when a man and a woman meet, they always have an agenda. I replied saying that was bullshit to which then he said to agree. There are countless examples of this type of thing.
This man is aged enough to be my father, he is married; I have a serious and amazing relationship with a man I love deeply. The relationship I have with my boyfriend has been known by that man since the beginning. He doesn´t speak much about his wife, he compliments her professional skills and told me their story, but confessed that what holds their relationship is the fact that she travels several times so they spend time apart. He never shown any kind of interest about knowing my boyfriend, even though I mentioned him a lot and how nice it would be for them to meet, and even that we are all working in the same industry.
He offered me a new cellphone (although I said several times I did not want it) and a couple of other little things.
Once he gave me a synopsis for us to start to write a short story, one page each, sequentially. He insisted on creating the synopsis so I would start writing. The synopsis was about a woman of my exact age, with a 2-year relationship (exactly like me), who meets a man in a party that is 20 years older than her; they have an immediate physical attraction.
I never wrote anything.
More recently, I kept away and off of him for almost 2 weeks and when we met at work I said I have been depressed and needed privacy. We then had a very quick coffee break, where he said looking much into my eyes that he missed me, and that a lot of things were going wrong in his life and that he is a very lonely man. I got the sensation that he was trying to make me feel guilty. I felt guilty.
If I look at all this from a "normal" light, I would say that this is almost disgusting. This man is certainly different from everyone else I know, specially in the society we live in, where people are much more reserved, quiet, and any trace of lack of respect or/ and sexual harassment can quickly become a extreme serious problem. For these reasons, I always tried to think of him as someone absolutely different. However, later on, I felt my privacy extremely invaded with the amount of SMS, calls, emails and the way he looks at our friendship.
I am very uncomfortable and a couple of friends think the best thing to do is simply ignore him and not reply at all.
I don´t know even what to think! Should I consider that his intentions are of pure friendship?
What does your boyfriend say about your involvement with this manipulative, needy, creepy man?
He says that it really looks that this man is hitting on me. He doesn´t say much more, but I know my boyfriend is very upset with him, somehow. He also thinks I should ignore him and not even reply to his question about why I completely stopped communication.
So WHY, if your friends have told you to ignore him and now your boyfriend, aren't you just taking their advice?
I am ignore him completely, but my question is regarding what should I think about him and should I just reply and say that I don´t want to talk to him ever.
Sooner or later it´s possible that I meet him at work, and he will probably ask what has been happening.
Why do you feel you owe him an explanation or even a reason to talk to him?
Why do you feel HE has all the power here?
It's possible that your BF is watching how you handle this situation. Perhaps he is looking for a confident, assertive woman who knows her own self and does not allow others to manipulate her.
You seem to have an overwhelming need to please people, so much so that you lack the confidence to stand up for yourself.
You have chosen the wrong person to pay attention to.
"It's possible that your BF is watching how you handle this situation"
Mm-hmm, yep, that crossed my own mind as I was reading it, as well. Agree with all the rest, too.
SL, if you're not good at confrontation, could you write him a note to say that you can sense he wants more than platonic friendship ergo you feel fraternising any further with him would be totally inappropriate given how you're perfectly happy in your existing relationship?
Yes, I could write him but he will never say that he wants more than a friendship with me, which would make me look unfair in the end. And the fact that I have a boyfriend should not even change anything because I never ever showed that I wanted something romantic or sexual with this man. But I guess he chose whatever he wanted to interpret that I have some kind of interest.
He is extremely provoking and seems to have no shame about saying whatever it´s on his mind. But - he doesn´t or didn´t realized the abuse it is to send endless texts and pictures and expecting me to answer at the same level. He says he is an extremely confident man. On the other end, he implied that my boyfriend was childish when I told him that he was bringing trouble to our relationship. If only I realised then how insulting that was the story would have ended there. Now I just feel angry with myself for letting the story reach this point.
He is still trying to get a hold of me, now with a text saying he hopes I am well. Why is it so hard to realise that I want him off?!
When you told him he was bringing trouble to your relationship? Oh, so there's more to this than meets the eye? Sounds like this guy is hell-bent on having an affair with you but is prepared to work on you over time via the COUGH! friendship door. (Sneaky, Highly Furtive Creepmeister door, more like.)
"I never ever showed that I wanted something romantic or sexual with this man"
So what? That obviously wouldn't stop him. Because, let's face facts: no mere friend would be BOMBARDING you with that amount of texts, etc., and nor would you EVER have had occasion with a man who behaved purely like a friend to make that statement about trouble to your relationship. So he can claim what he damn well likes - his actions say otherwise and louder.
Furthermore, what he thinks of your boyfriend is neither here nor there; who gives one, frankly. Not you, that's for sure. So if I were you I would say in the note that 'following certain developments", I was having to reiterate my original foreboding regarding my having a friendship with another male representing a problem for my long-standing boyfriend whom I love very much and wouldn't want to upset for the world. In fact, I'd add [lie for the power of good] that he and I had forged from the start a long-standing agreement to forego opposite-sex friendships other than those couples we'd originally met together as a couple, which obviously excludes him (Mr Slimy), that my boyfriend was indeed unhappy about the situation - HAVING COME ACROSS THIS MAN'S OVER-COPIOUS TEXTS - for which reason I therefore regretted having to inform him that any interaction not strictly business was from now on entirely unacceptable and inappropriate, and that I hoped he'd understand it was nothing personal and not let it interfere with good working relations.
I would then keep a copy just in case.
If he again mentions that he thinks your boyfriend is childish, here is your retort: In that case, I suggest you don't ever ask him to marry you.
Oh, and STOP BEING SO NICE. You have a relationship to protect and - never mind looking "unfair" to one who's opinion means diddly-squat - should be prepared to bite a chunk out of his ankle rather than let him pose as this threat for a minute longer. Plus, if your boyfriend IS watching you secretly like a hawk specifically to see what you do AND HOW QUICKLY and what he should possibly conclude and decide to do based on it, then you're already close to shaky ground.
Forgot option B (if you can't bring yourself to write that note/text/email): Ask boyfriend to text him to say, "I'd greatly appreciate it if you would from now on cease all non-work-related communication with my girlfriend. Thank-you." Unless this creep is insane, that ought to do it. I also imagine your boyfriend would appreciate your having asked for his help in the whole thing, thereby allowing him some sense of control as well as reassurance.
Thank you very much, Soulmate. It was really great that you shared your thoughts and opinion. You are right, even after I told him the situation was upsetting, shortly after a calm period, he started again and became even worse. Now I see that there is no excuses for his behaviour no matter how different he is or claims to be. Unfortunately I indeed have been too nice, and went many times against my own will due to him insisting, maybe I felt some sort of pity for him in some way. I see that I don´t have to put up with crap that upsets me and troubles my relationship, when there is absolutely no strings attached.
And I will keep all his texts and freaking story synopsis in case this goes bad.
Thank you again!
I'd also like to suggest that you let your BF know that you need more attention from him. Most guys would have intervened at the beginning of all this.
Are you disappointed that your BF was not more protective and assertive about this incident?
No, I am not disappointed with him. He was aware of my friendship from the beginning and when the crazy amount of texts began I also told him and said I did not know what it meant but I thought it was not normal. At that point, it was when he told me that I needed to make the man stop or else it would have been like I was in it also.
This is when I talked to the man, when he seemed to understand, apologised a lot and had "normal" behaviour for a while. But something I must have done that triggered him a needy behaviour again. My bf asked me around that "second slot" of bombarding texts if it is time for himself to talk to the man. On my innocence or lack of insight I always tended to make the situation minor because I did not want to blame the man nor causing stress to my bf. How I regret that now...
Don't do that - blame yourself. Without prior experience, you'd have no frame of reference for knowing how to recognise such furtiveness of approach coupled with such insensitive and persistent determination with enough certainty to have put paid to it effectively on the first attempt. (And he'd HAVE to be slow, subtle and overall furtive, wouldn't he, what with being a married man looking to cheat). So - not your fault you've never had to operate on his level before.
(Your boyfriend sounds ace, btw. Caring and concerned whilst respectful enough not to treat you like a hapless five year old and let you at least have a stab at it yourself.)