This is NOT a romantic getaway for two
March 2, 2011 5:20 PM   Subscribe

Single girl traveling with a single guy who I am not interested in. How do I prevent potential misinterpretation and a ruined friendship?

I'm a happily single girl studying abroad in Europe. As such, I like to travel and explore. Sometimes with a buddy. In about a week, I will be heading to a major city in a nearby country with a male European friend (who I met here) for about 5 days. I don't sense that he's head-over-heels for me or anything, but if I had to say either way, I'd say he might be mildly interested. We hang out a lot, both one-on-one and with other friends, but he's never seemed like he was trying to make any kind of move.

So question: do I need to warn him ahead of time that THIS IS NOT A ROMANTIC GETAWAY FOR TWO, we are simply two friends traveling together? Given that he has never expressed interest, this seems a bit presumptuous on my part. (FYI, we'll be staying in a hostel, so there will be other people in the room -- it's not as if we are sharing a hotel bed or something.)

The reason I ask is, I was in a similar situation last week, traveling with a different guy (American) to a different country. I knew he was into me, and he knew I was 0% interested in being in a relationship, but took the trip as a signal that it was his turn to try to win me over (or perhaps that he already had). There was raging jealousy over me dancing and kissing some other guy in a club, anger ensued, and he treated me like a misbehaving girlfriend for the rest of the trip. I was stuck between starting a large fight while stuck together in foreign country, vs. pretending as if nothing was wrong. It was entirely unpleasant, I formally rejected him on the way home, and now we are no longer speaking...anyway, not an experience I would like to repeat.

So, how can I prevent it from happening again? Should I say something to the guy before we go? If so, what? If possible, I'd prefer not to have to avoid contact with all other guys when we go clubbing. I would never go home with someone I met there (I don't just ditch people, c'mon!), but I don't particularly enjoy having to effectively be monogamous with someone I'm not dating, either. My gut tells me he wouldn't act as outwardly entitled to me just-because-we-are-traveling-together as the American guy, but I also don't want him to be quietly upset either.

Bonus question: a former friend-with-benefits/hookup-buddy resides in the country of destination. If I were traveling alone, I would for sure meet up with this guy. Is there any appropriate way to meet up with him (like say, having him meet us in the city when we go out for an evening, instead of going out to his town), or should I avoid even telling him I'll be in the area?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (58 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Talk about someone else that you are interested in. He should get that hint.
posted by Flood at 5:22 PM on March 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


Just be frank and a little self deprecating -- e.g. "I doubt this had even crossed your mind, but just wanted to check that you know I view you as a friend but that I really don't want a romantic connection. That's where you're coming from too, right"
posted by bearwife at 5:27 PM on March 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


So it sounds like you aren't happily single, or at least you're happily taking advantage of the fact you're single, just not with these guys. Right? It does sound just a bit awkward.

To avoid unnecessary awkwardness, be totally frank. It is obvious from your desired activities that you aren't disinterested in guys/girls/whatever, you're just disinterested in him. So, say something like, "I think you're an awesome friend, and I really like traveling with people that I have no romantic interest in whatsoever. I think it means we're able to have such a more interesting trip!"

Step 2: you might consider trying to travel more with women in future, as that could result in less awkwardness.
posted by arnicae at 5:33 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tell him. Before you go.

You could mention your unpleasant experience, and say you just want make sure you both are on the same page, as you do not want a repeat.

Is there some reason why you would/should not contact your 'friend'? And perhaps spend some time with him (just the two of you? Seems this might make your position vis-a-vis your travelling companion crystal clear. If you do plan on hooking up with him, might be better for your travelling companion to know in advance that you might be meeting up with an old friend and spending some time with him.
posted by GeeEmm at 5:34 PM on March 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Talk about someone else that you are interested in. He should get that hint.

Honestly, even now, as I'm soberly reading this in black and white and being told that it's a clear hint, I'm not sure I'd take this to mean "it's strictly platonic between us." If I were interested in you, I could easily imagine thinking, "Maybe she wants to me to be a bit jealous or perceive her as 'available'..."

These threads can be fun opportunities for us to come up with 101 ways you could drop hints without expressing yourself directly, but I recommend expressing yourself directly.
posted by John Cohen at 5:35 PM on March 2, 2011 [24 favorites]


As a guy who hangs out with a lot of women platonically, and has gone on trips like you describe, I wouldn't be at all offended by an upfront disclaimer if that makes her more comfortable. If you want it to sound less presumptuous than do what GeeEmm suggests and mention the previous experience, that should be enough to smooth anything over.

Better to be explicit than relying on hints or whatever, especially since that didnt serve you well in the past.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:37 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


You tell him this. In fact you should have told him this when you made plans.

Honesty. As much of it as you have.
posted by cmoj at 5:43 PM on March 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think the easiest, least offensive way to accomplish your goals is to repeat the story of the American travelling friend to him, followed by "I'd hate to mess up our relationship like that" or something along those lines.

I wouldn't be offended, and I *have* travelled internationally with a friend-I-wish-could-have-been-more, she did something similar.

I'd also be very (very very) appreciative if you assured me that you won't dump your travelling buddy for a hookup. I hate being dumped in a strange place, even as a friend, for a hookup.
posted by Invoke at 5:44 PM on March 2, 2011 [15 favorites]


If you feel like telling him about your past experience is still too presumptuous, maybe frame it as a conversation about someone you know being concerned? "I was talking to Jill about our trip, and she was telling me that it'd be weird since we're not dating and we'll never be romantically involved. Haha, isn't that a silly thing to be worried about?" That's essentially telling him you're not interested with little chance for ensuing awkwardness.
posted by estlin at 5:56 PM on March 2, 2011


Honestly, even now, as I'm soberly reading this in black and white and being told that it's a clear hint, I'm not sure I'd take this to mean "it's strictly platonic between us."

You'd have to be pretty thick headed or obtuse to not get the hint. Now you might think, it may happen, but there's a clear line that you're not to initiate it.
posted by geoff. at 5:58 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


What bearwife said. Use humor or self-deprecation, but TELL HIM EXPLICITLY. Ideally soon enough that he has time to back out if he wants to. So much better for everyone if you just come out with it. If he is a decent guy he might get offended or hurt for about five minutes, then he will get over it and you'll have a great time.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:03 PM on March 2, 2011


Bonus question: a former friend-with-benefits/hookup-buddy resides in the country of destination.

Your "bonus question" is also your solution: tell the guy you're traveling with right now about how you can't wait to see your FWB for some sexy romance when you get to the Republic of Hookupistan or whatever, and you'll probably detour for a couple of days out to the town your FWB lives is – so what's his plan for that part of the trip? That should either set him straight or get him to say "what?! but I thought we were a couple" so you can shoot him down.
posted by nicwolff at 6:12 PM on March 2, 2011 [15 favorites]


Tell him directly. Recently two of my friends went to Amsterdam together. She'd broken up with her boyfriend not too long earlier. She told him nothing was going to happen and they had a great trip.

Why would anyone you'd want to travel with have a problem with this? You don't have to say it in a way that drips with the implication that you are irresistable.

As for meeting your FWB, it depends on how you handle it. If you're going to be necking all night then let your traveling partner know, otherwise a local is often a nice resource when traveling and so if the three of you can enjoy yourselves then why not? You don't have to consider his hypothetical romantic feelings just his person/traveling partner feelings.
posted by Wood at 6:16 PM on March 2, 2011


Or... You could make tentative plans (ahead of time), for... not dumping you travel partner, but built in time away from one another by phrasing it something like... "Oh and if you meet someone you want to hook up with during the trip, that's cool, but we need to stay in touch and make sure neither of us gets in too much trouble/that we are safe/whatever".

Something like that pretty clearly lays it out that you don't expect him to pay romantic attention to you, and should focus such attentions elsewhere.
posted by edgeways at 6:17 PM on March 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


A good way to kill two birds with one stone would be to say to your travel buddy:

"Hey, so I have this friends with benefits guy in the country we're headed to, so I was wondering if it would be okay with you if I bailed for a night to hang out with him?"
posted by dflemingecon at 6:20 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Having travelled in more or less the same scenario (but playing the role of your male friend), the girl I was travelling with told me all about "the previous guy I went on a day trip with totally took it to mean I was interested in him and acted like a jealous creep the whole time! Can you imagine?!?"

I got the hint.
posted by Admira at 6:22 PM on March 2, 2011 [13 favorites]


so I have this friends with benefits guy in the country we're headed to, so I was wondering if it would be okay

Then he will wonder if he can be a friends with benefits guy too. The only way is to be explicit.
posted by zeek321 at 6:37 PM on March 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you told me you were in FWB, I'd think two things:
a) She's the type of girl who will do fwb (open-minded, not conservative, awesome!)
b) If she's in a fwb she's probably not exclusive and I might have a shot.

Just tell him directly. You can also try to switch the topic casually to lessen the awkwardness, if you possess that power.
posted by grammar corrections at 6:39 PM on March 2, 2011


I have never -- never -- seen a situation like this working out well for all parties without there being up-front, plain language communication. No hints. Just blurt it out.

At the same time, I've commonly seen guys ignore the "I'm not into you" message, or think thst it magically doesn't apply to them.

And furthermore, I've never seen this situation play out without there being a hook-up.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:52 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Last time this happened, the guy knew up front you weren't interested. It doesn't seem like the solution is to be even more subtle and hinty.

I don't think you need to do anything at all. If he makes a move, shoot him down. If he whines about it, tell him you don't give a f**k. Don't feel guilty for defending your own boundaries.
posted by AlsoMike at 7:00 PM on March 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Uh yeah, tell him directly. No hinting, and let him back out of he trip if he wants. Also, I think you are kinda playing dumb here in an uncool way. Mixed-gender* study abroad hosteling jaunts, where you've known your companion for less than a year, pretty much spell out "hooking up," or at least a high probability thereof. It's perfectly reasonable for him to assume so, so it is completely on you to reset the default assumptions.

In any event, hooking up with someone else in any sort of time consuming way is uncool to your traveling partner, no matter what the gender. If you really want to spend time with your fwb, just go alone!

*or any other such sexually compatible configuration
posted by yarly at 7:01 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you want to just drop hints, drop hints that he will actually pay attention to like: "Hey, I bet we can get you hooked up with a hot girl while we are over there."
posted by empath at 7:06 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was in this exact same situation (reversed roles... I was into my travel buddy) a few years ago. And I did, naively enough, think the trip would be the perfect time to transition from friends-to-more. (Except, we were trekking through rural Africa, so at many points, we had to share beds!). I spent the whole 2 weeks in misery, dropping hints that were left uncaught, over thinking everything he said and did, etc. It was torture. [It turns out he was gay, but that's beside the point!]

So yes. For the love of all that is holy, and if you respect this guy at all, be upfront about your (lack of) intentions. Don't just drop hints! Don't allude to the FWB situation, or any crushes you might have, just tell him outright that you wanted to make sure nothing got awkward over the course of the trip. I mean, when you're travelling together, you get pretty close. So just let him know you want to clear the air, and make sure he's aware that it's only a platonic friendship. Keep the conversation brief, and then move on.
posted by hasna at 7:08 PM on March 2, 2011


Tell him about your past bad experience and be like "man, I hope that never happens again. I don't know why a guy would assume that just because I'm traveling with them, I want something romantic. I wouldn't travel with a guy I thought I might get romantic with because I just want to have fun with a friendly travel buddy, not get caught up in some love thing."
posted by elpea at 7:19 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not like you have to worry about seeming arrogant - you aren't coming up out of the blue with "ohhh I'm afraid you might be crushing on me". You've HAD that experience, recently! So you can tell him that the last person you went on a trip with got all weird about it due to thinking you were now a couple, and you know you're probably being ridiculous but you want to make suuuure he knows you're not looking for anything other than a friendly travel partner.

And can't you take an evening separately from your friend you're traveling with to go meet with the FWB? If you were just wanting to meet with him as a friend for dinner then I'd say bring the travel-buddy too, but if you're actually looking for a hookup then don't force your travel buddy into a third-wheel situation. I don't know how you usually do this but when I've traveled with friends, with family, etc. it's always been very easy to say 'I've got plans with a friend on Wednesday so you're going to be on your own'.
posted by Lady Li at 7:20 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Skip all the framing, and just be blunt: hey, let's be clear, there's no romantic stuff going on here, and there won't be. Also, I might go hook up with this guy I know in Country X while we're there, just be a night or two, you OK with that?

No point beating around the bush.
posted by aramaic at 7:47 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can be as upfront about it as you want, but I don't think it'll make much of a difference.

You're acting as if people's feelings operate rationally. They really, really don't. When properly motivated, people have an amazing capacity to see things only the way they want to -- and this is doubly true when sex + romance are involved.

If this guy is into you in any way, there's a good chance he'll interpret whatever you tell him as playing hard to get and an invitation to try harder. Or maybe he'll hear you, and be convinced himself that he gets it, but on the trip, in the moment, he'll find himself acting jealous and petulant all the same, because on some level, he'll have been holding out hope. Because that's just what people do.

So, I guess the question you have to ask yourself is, if you give him the full "nothing's going to happen" disclaimer, and he still gets bent out of shape, will you be able to say "screw him, he had his warning" and just let it slide off of you, or will it end up screwing up the trip anyway?
posted by patnasty at 8:40 PM on March 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Be upfront about it. I once had a guy friend repeatedly try to kiss me, and it was a frustrating experience for all as he didn't get my "hints" of turning away. He later told me that he'd preferred it if I'd been up front, and told a story of a female friend he had 0% interest in informing him that, "By the way, I'm not ready for sex," and how despite his lack of interest he hadn't minded her saying that at all.

Soyeah... just tell him. Say something like, "Hey, just so you know, this is a just-friends thing... had a bad experience with a misunderstanding so I wanted to let you know up front."

Tell him before the trip so he can back out if he wants to. If he still goes and still gets bent out of shape about the just-friends and/or the other guy, there isn't much you can do about that.
posted by biochemist at 8:55 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nthing everyone who says tell him the trip together is just platonic beforehand. IF and WHEN you meet up with the sexual friend-- and it's made clear the two of you are spending the night together, tell platonic the situation asap.
posted by brujita at 9:09 PM on March 2, 2011


I'm in the 'be brutally honest' category. And do it soon enough that he has time to back out.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:12 PM on March 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


You'd have to be pretty thick headed or obtuse to not get the hint. Now you might think, it may happen, but there's a clear line that you're not to initiate it.

I don't really know what you're talking about. How is it a "clear line"? Do you really think a single woman can't be interested in two men at once? I'm sorry you think I'm "thick-headed," but I'm just not seeing the stark clarity you are.

Anyway, the very fact that this much explanation is needed just shows how this kind of coy play-acting and bringing up an imaginary third party is not going to be as effective as explicit, honest communication.
posted by John Cohen at 10:00 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


If he is reasonably mature and – in the telling-directly part – you convey respect:

- He will see the notice for what it is: A gift from you to him. You're telling him in certain terms how a part of the world is configured. This is a magnanimous gesture in our confused existence.
- You will both learn from the experience; This is an exceptionally good sandbox experience in beautiful adult communication.
- He will gain respect for you.
- You will gain respect for him.
- You will create something to laugh about later with a dear friend.

If however he isn't mature enough to handle it, then you'll know for sure, and that's a very good thing for a young lady traveling with a young man.

Direct communication, honesty, and setting boundaries is a form of expressing respectful fraternal love.
posted by krilli at 1:46 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Talk about someone else that you are interested in. He should get that hint.

The simple male brain is incredibly tuned into this signal. If he's not a simpleton he'll get the picture.

"I guy I'm sort of seeing back home has an ipad too..."

That sort of thing will work wonders.

If he is a simpleton, you can be blunt
posted by the noob at 4:17 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes. This kind of trip screams hook-up (whether romantic or just sexual). Do you not know that? It does -- just like dinner on Saturday night screams date. Before you go (and with time for him to back out), tell him in uncertain terms that this is a purely platonic vacation.
posted by J. Wilson at 4:30 AM on March 3, 2011


The thing about "hints" is this: If vital information is only disseminated in the form of hints, then everything starts to look like a hint.
posted by krilli at 5:04 AM on March 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


You could mention your unpleasant experience, and say you just want make sure you both are on the same page, as you do not want a repeat.

Seconding this. Hell, The Doctor even did this on an episode of Doctor Who before he invited one of his companions to join him -- and if it's good enough for a 900+-year-old Time Lord from Gallifrey, it's ideal for us earthlings.

This answer has been brought to you by the EmpressCallipygos' Suddenly Realizing Just How Big A Geek She Actually Is Society. Thank you for your indulgence.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:24 AM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm going to agree with being direct. Be polite, but tell him directly before the trip that you're not interested.

One way to underscore this is to have your own schedule. When I travel with people, either gender, we usually end up splitting off into individuals or smaller groups during the trip. Not everyone likes the same things and not everyone has the same amount of time, so it's not unusual to have parts of days where we're off on our own. And since you are going to go off on your own with your fwb, you won't have to explain to him about hooking up since each of you are doing your own thing anyways.

Remember that traveling with friends doesn't mean doing the same thing all day.
posted by FJT at 7:27 AM on March 3, 2011


Well I would have said to drop some kind hints, but I'm going to change my mind and advocate for being completely blunt, since so many of the above commenters seem to think that the very fact of your traveling with a man and/or the fact that you hook up with other men somehow entitles this man to think he has some sort of claim on you. Yikes.
posted by naoko at 8:03 AM on March 3, 2011


so many of the above commenters seem to think that the very fact of your traveling with a man and/or the fact that you hook up with other men somehow entitles this man to think he has some sort of claim on you.

No, not that -- it's because the questioner has in the past had a problem with another man who did feel that he had a claim on her. Most men won't, but a small percentage will, and the best way to ensure everyone is on the same page is for the OP to say something.

Nine times out of ten, the man traveling with her will probably think "okay, well, I wasn't thinking that this was a hookup trip anyway, but since she's been burned once I understand why she's being cautious. Cool." And if it's the one out of tenth guy who was hoping this would be a hookup trip, now he knows it's not going to be that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:11 AM on March 3, 2011


You don't need a claim on a women to make a pass.
posted by Wood at 8:14 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


As Empress Callipygos said, you want a mate, not to mate. :) Any guy worth traveling with would understand why you would want to make that clear. It'd be nice if we lived in the hypothetical world where women didn't have to make this clear and that men wouldn't make assumptions. But this isn't that world. Don't play coy or mention other guys - just say that you were talking about this trip online and people were concerned that you might be giving the wrong impression based on the expectations that others might have (because look -- that's happened here!) and that's it's happened in the past.

And to be honest, this is one of those rare times when we could totally change the genders and I'd give the same response. You don't want there to be confusion, end of.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:37 AM on March 3, 2011


so many of the above commenters seem to think that the very fact of your traveling with a man and/or the fact that you hook up with other men somehow entitles this man to think he has some sort of claim on you. Yikes.

This has nothing to do with gender or entitlement, really. It's about her not realizing that she's giving mixed signals about her level of interest, and then being confused when her intentions are misread. There are certain activities that are obviously platonic (e.g., a group outing) and others that really are not. An overnight boy-girl trip in Europe involving clubbing and hosteling and (presumably) drinking is NOT obviously platonic. In fact, it is the opposite. Even more so here, where she has probably not known this guy very long, has socialized with him a lot recently, and has never addressed the question with him about whether they're dating. Moreover, the OP herself says "I'd say he might be mildly interested"! It would be one thing if this were an old guy friend she has a lot of history with, where the friendship is solid and the lines clearly drawn already. But that's not the situation here. She's just being willfully blind not to realize that this guy probably has some not-unreasonable expectation of this trip being romantic in some way, and that it might get awkward if she hooks up with someone else. I would say 100% the same thing were genders reversed.

Reading between the lines, I'm guessing that the OP is a fun girl who really likes male company, and gets it easily by playing the line between friend and flirt. Look, I get this -- it's great to have a guy friend who pays attention to you, without the complication of an actual relationship, but with some of the same benefits of an easy and fun interaction. But you don't get to both get this special attention, and then be surprised if a guy shows more interest than you expected.

OP, as you progress in life, if you want to have platonic guy friends, you're going to have to work a little harder to establish boundaries and realize when platonic won't really work. You just can't spend intensive one-on-one time with a guy in intimate settings, ESPECIALLY when you're getting signals that he likes you, and then be piqued if he makes a move. It's going to get annoying for you, and it's not nice to him.
posted by yarly at 9:01 AM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


For four years I lived with my VERY PLATONIC THANKYOUVERYMUCH male best friend.

When he asked me to move in with him, we had only known each other for a few months and there was some potential for a romantic thing. He simply said, when he invited me, "I just want to be clear, this would be living together as friends. Period." That was all I needed to know. Was I attracted to him? Yes. Would I have liked it if we were having some kind of crazy whirlwind romance and decided to cement this by living together? At the time, yes. But he made himself clear, and the living situation made too much sense to pass up just because I had a thing for him back then.

Some other advice, from a woman who frequently surrounds herself with a bit of a boys' club entourage: even if you think you've made it clear that you're not interested in your traveling companion, don't make passes at or engage in romantic behavior with other guys while hanging out with platonic male friends. Not because your dude friends obviously want you, but because it's awkward. The "I am the honorary girl in the boys club" deal only works if you actually act like one of the guys. Which means abiding by the Bros Before Hoes (sorry) social contract.

Frankly, I would be annoyed at any friend of any gender who randomly hooked up with some dude while we were traveling together in a foreign country, leaving me to.... do what...?
posted by Sara C. at 9:30 AM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


When you get older and grayer, you will get together with other committed couples and have the, "So how did you guys meet?" discussion. Not infrequently, the woman in the couple will take the reigns and describe a situation where "...I was totally not into him....but he was soooooooo persistent...after a while I fell for him." Peppered in there will be additional comments such as, " I was dating X at the time , but my schmoopsie-woopsie won me over"...or..."We were just friends, but one day I looked at him and just fell in love."

Why can't you just go alone and spend five days with the guy who you used to hook up with?
posted by teg4rvn at 9:46 AM on March 3, 2011


When you get older and grayer, you will get together with other committed couples and have the, "So how did you guys meet?" discussion. Not infrequently, the woman in the couple will take the reigns and describe a situation where "...I was totally not into him....but he was soooooooo persistent...after a while I fell for him."

How on earth does that relate to this situation?

Why can't you just go alone and spend five days with the guy who you used to hook up with?

People DO travel for reasons other than "to get laid", you know.

Also, a lot of hotels/etc. charge solo travelers extra if it's just one person in the room rather than two, so some travelers double up with people to save money.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:02 AM on March 3, 2011


Should I say something to the guy before we go?

Yes. Phrase as follows--"I'm sure you're not like this guy, and this is more for my comfort than anyone else's, but the last time I traveled with another single guy, he got the wrong idea and then freaked out when I was interested in someone else. I just wanted to let you know that I'm happy where I'm at now and might meet up with a former guy I dated while we are out there."

Be straight up. Accept no drinks from him or anything like that.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:13 AM on March 3, 2011


How on earth does that relate to this situation?

I guess I was not making myself clear. Legions of men have found their love through "stick-to-it-iveness" Does the OP want to potentially ruin a five day trip if that's his m.o.? (costs of hotels notwithstanding)

People DO travel for reasons other than "to get laid", you know.

Of course. But the OP wants to get laid on this trip (read bonus question) Just thought it might avoid all drama if she just traveled with the guy she's sexually interested in (on re-read it looks like he's not a 5-day option)
posted by teg4rvn at 10:18 AM on March 3, 2011


This is going to play out like your last trip. You shouldn't be taking a trip with this guy. Travel alone, or with someone who you're interested in, or someone who is definitely not interested in you.
Or, what Cool Papa Bell said.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:39 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also be prepared for him to say "Please get the fuck over yourself" when you tell him that absolutely nothing is going to happen on the trip.
posted by electroboy at 11:45 AM on March 3, 2011


I'm going to change my mind and advocate for being completely blunt, since so many of the above commenters seem to think that the very fact of your traveling with a man and/or the fact that you hook up with other men somehow entitles this man to think he has some sort of claim on you. Yikes.

I'm pretty sure no one here is trying to say that.

That would be such an abhorrent position, I think we should give people the benefit of the doubt that that's not what they think even if you could interpret their comments another way.
posted by John Cohen at 11:46 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is going to play out like your last trip. You shouldn't be taking a trip with this guy.

Possible attraction is no reason to miss out on a trip with a possibly awesome platonic travel partner. You have no idea if it'll play out the same way and considering you have had that experience I'm going to say it's pretty damn unlikely to repeat. Voting for the "can't wait to meet f*buddy for sexy time" approach. Or mention how nice it is to meet new friends when traveling, emphasizing how you consider him a new platonic friend.
posted by Carlotta Bananas at 11:52 AM on March 3, 2011


No one's saying the guy is entitled to sex or a relationship, or excusing the last guy's boorish behavior. But especially when people are unwilling to be up front about what they want, what you do carries meaning. And going on a trip to a different city in Europe with some friend of the opposite gender you just met and who you know or suspect likes you likes you -- it's reasonable for that friend to be thinking that you might want something to happen. It's certainly a signal, and if you're sending mixed signals, those will be open to interpretation.
posted by J. Wilson at 2:54 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure no one here is trying to say that.
That would be such an abhorrent position, I think we should give people the benefit of the doubt that that's not what they think even if you could interpret their comments another way.

I apologize for being a) cranky and b) unclear. I didn't mean to place blame on the people making the comments to which I was referring, just commenting on the sad state of gender relations in which male-female friendships are apparently so fraught and in which the burden inevitably falls on women to almost go overboard in stating their disinterest in a sexual relationship rather than on men to have the maturity not to engage in "raging jealousy " and treating a female friend "like a misbehaving girlfriend" for daring to be interested in someone else. Yes, being upfront will avoid that behavior. But that behavior is still not really cool in my book.

The "I am the honorary girl in the boys club" deal only works if you actually act like one of the guys.
And yet in my experience of being a girl in the boys club, this tends to result in the guys being allowed to flirt with other girls when I am around, but not for me to be able to flirt with other guys.
posted by naoko at 3:23 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe our experiences are just different? My main point with the "one of the guys" comment is that it's really difficult to pretend that what you are doing is being "one of the guys" when really you are just there to make a bunch of guys compete for your affections.

Then again, I would think it rude to ditch any friend I was hanging out with one on one. And if I were the ditched friend, yeah, I'd probably make it known to the ditcher that what she did was shitty.

I also think that, while it's true that the past dude's behavior was out of line, unfortunately in the world of grownup interactions you tend to get back what you give out. If you allow someone to have a certain understanding of what's going on between you, and then you very blatantly smash that understanding (by, say, running off with another dude halfway through the trip) - that person is probably not going to be super polite about it. We are only deserving of respect to the extent that we respect others.
posted by Sara C. at 3:36 PM on March 3, 2011


I don't think anyone's ditching anyone or talking about running off with anyone. In the previous instance, she made out with someone at a club but didn't go home with him or anything. In this instance, she can easily let friend A know in advance that she is going to spend one evening of their trip with friend B, and that friend A will just have to entertain himself for that evening. I guess I am missing the part where she either has been or intends to be disrespectful.
posted by naoko at 3:43 PM on March 3, 2011


But along those lines, I think you should definitely let your travel companion know in advance that you are planning to spend an evening or whatever meeting up with an old friend, so that there's no question of travel companion feeling ditched when that evening comes up. That's a common courtesy I would extend to any travel companion, male or female.
posted by naoko at 3:54 PM on March 3, 2011


You are not sending mixed signals? People who do that are not clearly decided about what they want, which is not a bad thing, unless unnecessary misunderstandings arise.
posted by ovvl at 5:25 PM on March 3, 2011


I agree with everyone who says that you should tell him straight off before you go.

I just have one additional tip: REMIND HIM during the trip.

A wise person once told me that it takes 7 times for someone to really hear what you have to say.
posted by veryblue1 at 7:03 PM on March 25, 2011


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