Take the Hint

With an all-male crew on my set on Friday, I found this to be the perfect opportunity to ask a question:

“A guy will not stop texting me or trying to hang out with me, and I’ve made it clear that I am not interested in either. What do I do?”

Their immediate answers:

“Tell him you have a boyfriend.”

“Stop responding.” 

I explained that I have ignored him, on more than one occasion. Scroll through my phone and you’ll see a graveyard of texts received, sometimes three times a day, to the ghost that is my phone number. I have to say, it’s a bit admirable that he persists without any response.

He’s gotten to me a few times. Some because I was annoyed; another because he made it sound like he might have a good career connection for me. And since I’m an equal opportunist, I’m always looking for ways to get further in my career. I should know better than to fall for these antics, because each time it’s obviously a tactic to get me to respond or get me on the phone.

I cannot tell this person I have a boyfriend — he would be able to figure out that it’s a lie. (Or would he?) And that got me on a tirade: why do I have to lie to a man to get him to leave me alone?

Many of my friends would argue that if I am not interested, I’m pretty blatant about it. (To me, if I’m annoyed and with a group of girls, I have no qualms telling a dude to buzz off.) But a majority of the time, I’m polite and friendly. However, if I’m not interested in you, I shouldn’t have to fake that I have a significant other to get you to leave me alone. But that’s what it comes down to, doesn’t it ladies? How many times have you been at a bar and a guy comes up and talks to you… you engage in a nice conversation, but it’s not going anywhere and you can tell right off the bat you aren’t interested or attracted to them. He asks for your number or to hang out (or whatever) and you say “that’s so sweet, but I don’t think so,” and the guy goes, “why? You have a boyfriend?”

When you tell them it’s because you’re not interested, you’re a bitch. Or they persist, trying to sway you otherwise.

Sometimes persistence is charming. You never know why a woman has her guard up. But more than likely, we know where we stand, and we’re not interested in taking the conversation any further. So for you to badger us about “why we aren’t interested” really makes things uncomfortable. We are human, and we can be polite, but that doesn’t obligate us to go any further than small chat at a bar. And just because we’re engaging in conversation doesn’t mean we’re attracted to you!

The sad part about this story is that the guy is not some random dude at a bar. He was a guy I knew. But at the same time, we hung out maybe… maaaaaaybe… three times total? Yes. Three times. Usually in the company of a mutual friend. So his random persistence to see me and hang out really made him suspect, in my opinion.

At one point I thought this person would be a good friend. My definition of friend: makes me laugh, we can sit and not have to fill the air with chatter, and not hitting on me. I have guy friends from elementary school, who I’ve known forever, and who I have kissed. I see them and we pick up like old chums and it doesn’t affect the relationship. But I guess that changes when you become an adult. I tried to test the waters with this person, meaning the “friendship waters” and let me tell you what happened: he tried to hold my hand all night as I literally told him “no” and “stop” a cumulative 50-100 times; he had taken my phone and posted pictures of us together which a) is as total invasion of privacy and b) lead me to believe he was just doing it to make his ex upset.

And after all of this goes down, and I have flat out said “I am not attracted to you” (read: back off), he tells me that I wouldn’t have worn the outfit I wore if I wasn’t trying to get him to do all of those things.

Are you kidding me? I can’t wear an outfit I feel good in — an outfit I wore, frankly, in hopes of meeting someone else, not him — because “I’m asking for it” if he tries to hold my hand or kiss me?

For whatever reason, (maybe I blacked out or something) I decided to give this guy another chance. After a several weeks of not responding/politely refusing to see him, he invited me to a party that I thought (again) would be a great place to meet people. When I told him that this was just a “platonic hang out,” and “no funny business,” he wrote me “no promises” and that he didn’t want to be told from the get-go what wasn’t going to happen. This is after he had told me, several times, that he was okay with being “just friends” and merely liked hanging out with me. I am an idiot.

I tell him that I am dating someone (see? It keeps happening) and I don’t want to push him off me all night. And then he responds with “maybe I should take someone else, yeah?”

IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING? You know that I’m not interested, that the only possibility of hanging out with me would be in a friend capacity, and you have the audacity to decline the invite because you don’t want to be told “no”? That’s dangerous. Actually, that’s predatory.

Quote: “I’m just asking you to not go into it having any restrictions. I wanna have fun and I’m not saying anything is going to happen. I’d just rather not be like I can do this I can’t do that.”

After telling him I wasn’t going and to have fun, he ended up inviting one of my friends, who, not shockingly, said no as well.

Guys, let me tell you something: making a woman do anything that she isn’t comfortable with? That’s predator behavior, and it’s something that none of us (as women) should trust. If you tell a guy all night long that you aren’t interested and to stop touching you, stop trying to hold your hand, stop anything — it’s not your fault that he keeps persisting. It’s his.

And if he’s willing to go that far in public, imagine what would happen if you were alone.

Anyway, gents: do yourself a solid and read between the lines. Women tend to back off if a guy we’re interested in straight up stops responding to our texts or calls. I’d suggest you do the same.

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