How Do You "Break Up" with Another Dude?
April 30, 2011 10:39 AM   Subscribe

How Do You "Break Up" with Another Dude? I think I remember my present problem turning up on Seinfeld or Friends or something, which makes sense because it's kind of absurd. When a romantic relationship no longer functions, there are some established processes and social mores. When a regular friendship maybe needs to end or be heavily renegotiated, the way to proceed is much less clear. Help?

So, first thing, I realize how dickish this might come off. I feel dickish thinking it and typing it. But, I have a buddy that I'm really not comfortable having in my life anymore and I'm not sure what to do about it. He's got a lot of problematic behaviors - behaviors which have been mentioned to him as problems - that make being his friend very taxing. Maybe the way he acts wouldn't be a problem round other fellows, but it's not a presence I want in my life anymore. But I've got no idea how one straight guy says to another, "it's not you, it's me." Also, that would be a lie - it is him.

A bit more detail: I met this guy about three years ago at a comics drawing party. He seemed cool enough back then - talented artist, decent sense of humor, whisky drinker, etc. We were in to a lot of similar stuff, established a friendly rapport and ran in similar circles, so we slowly started becoming buddies. But I didn't really start getting to know him well until this last year or so and, well: either this is a recent change in his personality or something I hadn't figured out just casually hanging out with him occasionally - but, in sum, he's kind of a creep.

Most of it has to do with his behavior towards women. Sometimes I think he's trying to act like some bizarre caricature of how a cishetero dude oughta act based on what he's seen on TV. Other times, I wonder if he picked up some messed up attitudes during his time with the Marines. First signs of trouble were at a comics festival last year, one with an uncommonly high percentage of women cartoonists. The first and often only thing he had to say about the amazing creators there gathered was his opinion of their secondary sexual characteristics. On the same trip, he would not stop trying to hit on one of our mutual friends in spite of her, of me, of another mutual friend of ours repeatedly telling him she wasn't into it - eventually, she wound up having to shove him away when he attempted to drunkenly embrace her. We invite him to parties because this town is small and word always gets around, but I'm not sure who actually wants him there. I've had to apologize to so many of my female friends because of his creepy, clumsy passes at them. He'll ask about my dating situations when I tell him, he'll ask me to "kick some of these girls his way" and I'm not sure how to tell him "dude, I don't know any women I'm willing to do that to"

And it's not that I'm unsympathetic. I know how loneliness can warp a person. I've tried to gently address some of this with him, how he might adjust his approach to be less weird and offputting and invasive, how he might avoid making the women around us so uncomfortable, but I typically get a lot of evasions, justifications and soft-pedal lady-blaming. "Their reactions are their problem." That kinda thing. After while, I throw up my hands. Meanwhile, the behavior I've witnessed has only gotten worse ever since he moved back in with his parents and lately he's developed the unfortunate habit of always being johnny-on-the-spot with a creepy Facebook comment on almost everything I post.

The other issue is his bizarre overattachment to me. In spite of my having never, ever, ever initiated us hanging out, he's really weirdly clingy when we're in a social situation. At bars, at parties, he latches on to me and will not let go. At the aforementioned comics festival he followed me goddamn everywhere, including the fucking bathroom - he stood next to me in Kate Beaton's line, saying all type of creepy shit about her figure. I didn't ask him to come with me - he didn't even have anything to sign! At the last dance party we had at my place, he shadowed me everywhere and refused to mingle with anyone else - up to and including standing stock-still next to me on the fucking dance floor, drink in hand, trying to initiate conversation. I'd dance away, he'd follow. I'd tell him to shut up and dance, that I goddamn hated trying to talk on a noisy dancefloor and he said he couldn't dance and stayed right where he was, right on my six no matter where I went. A few times I snuck off and managed to strike up a conversation with a girl, only to have this albatross find me, butt in and bring up goddamn Wolverine or the Total War game series or some other fucking thing no one was talking about until he imposed himself. I told him to mingle elsewhere as gently as I could and he took it as a joke. And this is how it goes every time we wind up out in the same social cloud. At this particular party, I got so desperate for some breathing room that I purposely spilled a drink on myself just so I could go up to my room and change without him following.

I'm at a loss, AskMe. I'm out of ideas. In spite of all this, he's not an inherently bad guy. He's not cruel, just severely clueless. I've tried to clue him in gently and I've tried doing it bluntly and nothing's worked. And besides, it's not like I go to bars and parties for the pleasure of being this dude's chaperon and basic social tutor. I've got enough socializing struggles of my own without having to constantly compensate for my creepy buddy. I feel like such an asshole for contemplating the ostracization of someone obviously lonely, for complaining that someone wants to hang out and be friends, but Jeebus, at some point enough has to be enough. I never asked to be a grown man's babysitter.

Have you ever been in this situation? Have you ever realized that a friend's unmalicious and yet highly negative behavior had become a detriment to your own socialization? I wouldn't mind his continued presence in my life if he could dial the grossness and the clinginess way, way, way back, but I'm not sure what else to try to get him to clearly perceive his problem behaviors and take steps to correct them. At this point, the thought of throwing a party or going out stresses me out because it usually means I'm gonna have to somehow cope with this dude (again, this town is quite small. It's tough to avoid anyone for long).

TL; DR: Have you ever managed to decreep a creepy friend? How did you do it? And if that was a bridge too far, have you ever had to dump a buddy? Is it possible to do that without it being completely awful? I hate the shit out of confrontation, but he's either not picking up on or outright ignoring the subtle and not-so-subtle social cues from myself and our dwindling number of mutual friends. Something needs to change - either his behavior or his presence in my life. I'm at a loss for what else to do to effect that change, and I've never had to actively dump a pal.

How would you handle this?
posted by EatTheWeek to Human Relations (36 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
If his behaviour has actually gotten worse during the time you've known him, I have to wonder if he's developing an alcohol problem. But that's not a line of inquiry to pursue unless you're very sure.

TBH I don't think this is looking good for you. You've talked to him gently, you've talked to him bluntly. He doesn't take a hint, he doesn't take a direct request.

There is a correct way to end a friendship (p.s. Seinfeld isn't an etiquette manual). You just fade. Stop calling him. Stop returning his calls. Do not accept any of his invitations. The end.

I know it sounds cruel, and if at any point he leaves you a tearful phone message asking why he never sees you any more, you can say, "look I've told you to stop leching and clinging and you've only gotten worse, and I just cannot be around someone who acts like that." At which point he may offer to change, having realized the seriousness of the problem.
posted by tel3path at 10:55 AM on April 30, 2011 [8 favorites]

I had a friend who had behaviours that drove me nuts. They were pointed out to him repeatedly over the years by myself and others and he never changed them.

Eventually I sent him a "it's not you it's me" email by using the take "I don't enjoy myself when I'm around you," which was completely true as I don't feel it's my business to tell other people how to behave but being around him made me want to do just that. Because I mostly kept my mouth shut I became rather conflicted and, as a result, depressed when in his presence or even thinking about his presence.

I don't recall exactly what I said in the email but it definitely contained something like, "As a result, I won't be contacting you further and would appreciate the same from you. Though I know it's shitty to not want to discuss this, I'm afraid I've made up my mind and my decision is final." I wished him the best, sent the email, and immediately set incoming methods of him contacting me to "Off" (filtered his emails, blocked his calls, etc.). To this day I have no idea if he tried to contact me but I know I'm much better off.
posted by dobbs at 10:55 AM on April 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

The details here are really, really specific--so you might want to ask a mod to anonymize this.

Just drop him, dude. You can't change people and you're never going to gently train him not to be a creep, because he is, in fact, a creep. Stop calling him. Stop inviting him places. If and only if he asks you what's up, tell him: "You're a skeevy creep around women and I'm tired of dealing with it." Otherwise, if you see him around, be polite, but terse.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:56 AM on April 30, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I don't get it. Why don't you tell him the truth?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:04 AM on April 30, 2011 [8 favorites]

Have you ever realized that a friend's unmalicious and yet highly negative behavior had become a detriment to your own socialization?

He doesn't need to be malicious in order to not be a good friend. When you tell him that his behavior is annoying you, making you uncomfortable, or offending you, and he continues, he's being a crappy friend.

My approach would be to stop inviting him out, turn down his invitations, and if he asks why you're pulling back, say, "You seem to like doing XYZ creepy things. I've asked you to stop, but you don't want to. That's your choice, but I'd rather spend time with people who either don't do those things or can at least respect my requests that they stop." Because you've asked him to stop, and he's refused. You don't need a big breakup talk, but if he asks I think it would be a good idea to be honest.
posted by Meg_Murry at 11:05 AM on April 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

Fade away. If you're not there, he can't latch on. And not being there includes not talking, not returning calls, not inviting, etc.

It may take you not inviting him to things and him finding out about them later for it to kick in. That's not nice, but you've tried that and it hasn't worked. I think your obligation to this guy has been fulfilled. Besides, if he is as clueless as you describe, I doubt it will actually hurt his feelings that much.
posted by Solomon at 11:10 AM on April 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

You have been very patient so far and tried to look at the situation from his point of view as well as yours. Either he does not get it or he realizes that his chances of getting a friend are remote to none. For you there's only one course of action - Run.
posted by harigopal at 11:11 AM on April 30, 2011

Just here to chime in that you've given more than enough reasons to friend dump the guy. No matter how awkward friend dumping is, you're still quite justified in doing so. Above comments offer good methods of doing so. Go for it.
posted by Neekee at 11:21 AM on April 30, 2011

He's clueless in part because you apparently never told him what you think about his behavior. Tell him. If he's not moved by what you say, the friend dumping has already been accomplished.
posted by inturnaround at 11:22 AM on April 30, 2011

All the above, plus expect him to at some point pull the lady-blaming on you ("laddy-blaming?"). I see it as more likely that he'll lash out than change. "If you're too much of a pussy to [deal with a little swearing / be a good buddy / put bros before hos / whatever] then that's your loss," that sort of thing.
posted by salvia at 11:29 AM on April 30, 2011

"Due, you're being a dick and fucking up my social life. Knock it off or we ain't hanging out."

How he handles that is up to him, you've tried to help him and deal, so it's time to move on.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:45 AM on April 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: As it happens I'm going to have this conversation with someone for similar reasons in the near future. It's going to go something like this: "You're a creeper who doesn't respect women. I don't trust you and you won't be in my house again."

Your creeper doesn't seem to be as bad as mine, but just tell him exactly what the deal is.
posted by cmoj at 12:00 PM on April 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

The obvious answer is to fade away, but you never initiate already. You need to take a longer term approach and hurt yourself in the short run. If you are not willing to just say, "leave me the fuck alone", then you need to not go out socially in any group more than a few until he latches onto someone else. He will. It happened to you. I guarantee that before you there was someone else. If you are not around, he will find someone else to hover on. He will not change the way he acts, only with whom he acts.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:09 PM on April 30, 2011

Reading the question, I have a feeling that dumping this person the wrong way would also be detrimental, as he says they both live in the same small city and both of them run around in the same professional circles. It would be extremely awkward when they both show up at the same social event. In addition, ex-friend might feel that the OP was never their friend, because he never unequivocally addressed the issue with him. This is not too outlandish, especially if this person has been "warped by loneliness" as the OP has put it.

If it were a large city with fluid social circles, I would recommend either just not getting in touch with him very often anymore, or by compartmentalizing him, for example only have him along with other guy friends. I mean, guys being boorish on occasion is mostly harmless. But OP may not have that option.

So, taking all that into consideration, there's two bad choices here. One is to decreep him. How blunt and not-so-subtle have you been, OP? Has he ever been publicly shamed? I'm not encouraging you to set him up like that, but honestly, all the inappropriate and rude behaviors that I had done as a child were only fully corrected by direct shaming. Negative reinforcement isn't pretty, but sometimes it does work. He was a marine, so that could be the only sort of action he responds to. Note, I'm not recommending that you try this OP, I'm pointing out this may be how far one has to go to decreep him. It's either that or be set for the long, long tail of friend breakup.
posted by FJT at 12:10 PM on April 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: You could get a couple of friends together, sit down with him and do sort of an intervention thing - tell him that he's creeping out girls, that it's embarrassing to be at events with him because of his comments, etc etc. Tell him that unless this changes, you really don't want to hang around with him any more, and give him some specific things to change - ie, stop grabbing girls, stop talking about women artists' figures, etc. If you're feeling charitable and he's capable of changing, he might be able to knock off these behaviors enough to be tolerable company.

I feel a little curious about the clinging. Does he have any other friends? Could he have some kind of deeply repressed crush on you/issues about sexuality? (which would at least make some of the ghastliness about women a little forgivable.) Does he have some kind of anxiety disorder? If you do sit down with him, maybe suggest checking in with a doctor - it might be that all this is partly caused by intense anxiety and could be dialed back to tolerability with meds. Maybe he's depressed. (Did he lose a job? what prompted the move back to his parents'?)

Also, staging an intervention may embarrass him so much that he'll just fade away.

If you end up with neither any changes nor any fading away, you'll just have to drop him cold. Good for you, by the way, for not tolerating creepy behavior towards women.
posted by Frowner at 12:44 PM on April 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

There's a non-zero chance he has a crush on you – not a friend-crush, but a crush-crush. If he's in denial, or simply confused about those feelings it would explain a good bit: way overdoing the het-guy stuff, for example.

At any rate, the best way to deal with the actual behavior is to tell him something along the lines of, "look, I'm starting to get tense and stressed out when I'm with you, and here's why: a) creepy behavior with women, b) I really need my space, so I need us to dial back a bit." And then dial back. If he continues to shadow you at social events, tell him, "I just want to kind of hang on my own and talk to some other people tonight." If he doesn't give you a lot more air, and cut the machodude stuff when he's with you, then you need to say, "I told you how I feel, and this isn't working for me, so I'd rather not see you for now."
posted by taz at 12:50 PM on April 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

Am I crazy, or do most people not have the kinds of friendships where you can say, "Dude, what is it with you and women?" Maybe I'm a poor judge of boundaries, but I think this is the kind of conversation people who hang out often over the course of years should be able to have. Then again, I don't keep a large circle of friends, so I don't have to eggshell my way through life. YMMV, IANAL, HAND.
posted by rhizome at 1:04 PM on April 30, 2011 [5 favorites]

Best answer: You've got some excellent advice on courses of action above. I have nothing useful to add, there.

But as to that "tip of the tongue" feeling you're having, I think the term you're reaching for is dudevorce.

Not sure if they ever covered this on Seinfeld. But it has shown up on many other sitcoms, including King of the Hill.
posted by ErikaB at 1:16 PM on April 30, 2011

When, I was much younger I had a very similar friend. I eventually arranged to meet him somewhere for a night out, didn't turn up and didn't respond to the emails that followed. That was that.

I'm not proud of it, but since you're asking what works, this worked.
posted by inbetweener at 1:29 PM on April 30, 2011

I agree with many of the people in this thread on the big picture changes you have to make. I think the first step is to de-friend him on Facebook. It removes the problem of his creepy comments, and provides yet another "subtle" hint. It also isn't likely to be as potentially professionally damaging as, say, demanding your friends not invite him to their own parties.
posted by fermezporte at 1:36 PM on April 30, 2011

Best answer: You could get a couple of friends together, sit down with him and do sort of an intervention thing

I like this plan, because it's possible that this guy's mental health is deteriorating. You say he's getting worse, after all, and working to stand beside someone while they're dancing isn't something a perfectly healthy person is likely to do.... At the bare minimum, it seems like he's a very unhappy person who does not know how to handle life correctly. An intervention-like confrontation may lead to him getting help he needs. It is also likely that it'll make him take your complaints more seriously.

But, of course, that's only if you want to try to help him. You sound very guilty, so please make sure you don't take on more responsibility for his well-being than you want. He's just some guy; you don't owe him anything.
posted by meese at 1:40 PM on April 30, 2011

"You're a creeper who doesn't respect women. I don't trust you and you won't be in my house again."

oh please say something like this - too many guys guys just keep on being jerks to women, and their friends say nothing about it, or just slip away quietly, leaving the women to deal with it by themselves.

trying to hit on one of our mutual friends in spite of her, of me, of another mutual friend

it was awesome that you tried to intervene in this situation, keep it up - your female friends will thank you.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:55 PM on April 30, 2011 [19 favorites]

I had something similar. Oldest friend - over 20 year long friendship. Our lives started to diverge, as they do through life, but he started sending me whiny texts and emails asking why he never sees me anymore. We were both 37 or 38 at the time, and he was sending me messages like a 15 year old school girl saying "Have I done something wrong? I haven't seen you for 2 weeks". Gah!

He was a bit of a shut-in, pop-culture geek, dope smoker ... lonely.

So I made efforts to invite him when I was doing social stuff with other circles of friends. But yup, he clumsily hit on every. single. woman I introduced him to (some of whom I was actually chasing, and he knew it). And his social skills in general were quite ... unbearable. It got to the point where I was too embarrassed to invite him anywhere anymore.

It sounds quite similar to your situation.

I tried the "fade away" thing. It didn't work. He just got more bitchy.

So, in the end, after the last "What did I do wrong?" message, I wrote him a long email and told him EXACTLY what he'd been doing wrong, specific examples of his dickery, and told him point blank I didn't want him in my life anymore.

That worked. Unfortunately that meant I lost contact with most of that social circle. But, I'm still glad I did it. I've actually "re-friended" (in reality, not just on Facebook) several other very old friends who I hadn't seen for years and had years earlier "bro-dumped" this guy. They were like "Ah, you finally came to your senses and ditched that loser. Welcome to the club!" Now they've become some of my best friends.

I'm not saying what I did was the right way, but that's my experience.
posted by Diag at 2:48 PM on April 30, 2011

Best answer: The "fade away" advice is good except you're in a small town with a smallish social circle. Fading is going to be super difficult unless you're willing to "fade away" from your real friends, too--which, understandably, you're not.

Sounds like so far he's been able to wave away your concerns with "EatTheWeak is just joking" or "EatTheWeak is just too sympathetic to those stuck-up mean ladies" or whatever. I think you need to be REALLY REALLY CLEAR:

- "I'm not joking; x, y, and z behaviors are COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE"
- "Knock it off"
- "Seriously"

And then be prepared to give him a Very Cold Shoulder when you see him in public or to explicitly call him out, even in public, when he goes into his creeper routine.

And yes, thank you SO MUCH for addressing this. I wish more guys would.
posted by Neofelis at 3:12 PM on April 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Am I crazy, or do most people not have the kinds of friendships where you can say, "Dude, what is it with you and women?"
I'm with you on that one, BUT, there are a lot of people that will give a BS answer and keep going about their a-hole ways. While I tend to not stay friends with those people for long, there are people (like the OP) whose patience far exceed mine.

, just remember that your kindness and patience towards him = effectively supporting his jerkness and a-hole attitude towards women (in case you needed an extra push to make your stand).
posted by Neekee at 3:23 PM on April 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Be busy.

That's all. Buddy like that - nice guy, but totally creepy (45+, insisted only dating 25 or younger)...just doesn't know how to relate to people. Resented friends who got engaged or married, because they wouldn't spend time with him anymore.

He call and goes: can you hang out Saturday - oh shit, I'll be out of town. Sunday, ugh, I have plans to talk to sally, she's going through a tough time. Next Friday? I have a date, dude.

Yeah, you'll have to spend a couple more 'times' with him...but you wean him out and he won't notice until he's out of your life.
posted by filmgeek at 3:46 PM on April 30, 2011

You may be suffering from some amount of geek social fallacies.
posted by zadcat at 3:49 PM on April 30, 2011

Response by poster: Wow, thank you so much for all the responses so far. I've been mad stressed out about this and reading y'all's good sense already has me feeling a bit better.

Just to quickly respond to some of the questions and theories that have been raised:

On His Mental State: Depression definitely seems to be in play. He's been out of work and single for a very long time. His last serious relationship was something like five years ago. Over the summer, he had a temp job with excellent pay and during this interval he was pretty alright to hang out with - his obnoxiousness was at a very low ebb, as was his shyness. But after that ended, he had to move back in with his folks. And the skeeves returned.

On the He Has a Crush Theory: Yeah, that's been posited by folks that know us. Especially the ones who have seen the oddly jealous way he acts when I text around him. During the same dance party described in my initial post, there came a moment late in the night when folks were taking a lot of pictures and acting pretty goofy. I told the gal whose birthday we were in part celebrating that night to jump up in my arms like so so our friend could take a picture of us being stoopid. There was a big laugh, and a few other girls there wound up jumping up too. Then, this dude we're talking bout wanted a turn. So uh, yeah. He was probably just caught up in the drunken goofiness of the moment. Right?

On Being Less Gentle and Geek Social Fallacies: To say I have not yet been blunt enough is an absolutely fair point. Naturally, I'm reluctant to hurt anyone's feelings. In truth, I'd of course rather not have to deal with this at all. But it's pretty plain that the expense of manners in this situation is rather too steep to bear. It was, in fact, reading that list of fallacies for the first time after seeing it linked in a recent Mefi thread that I began to wonder why I'm putting up with this and what I oughta do about it.

Again, thank you so much for your help thus far. There's a lot of excellent strategies here, as well as angles and points I had not yet considered. My responsibility for this dude's wellbeing vs. my responsibly for Enabling by Etiquette his misogyny is a point that's sticking with me in particular.

However this situation is eventually resolved, I can say for certain that access to AskMe is the best $5 I've ever spent online.
posted by EatTheWeek at 4:54 PM on April 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

Hmm. You might like non-violent communication. It's great for empathetic people because it's basically geared towards communicating in a compassionate way.

The general idea is outlined at the bottom of the first chapter here, with a bit of a script.

Good luck!
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:48 PM on April 30, 2011

Best answer: There is a type of guy I call "the autistic engineer". Socially clueless and offensive, especially toward women. And yes, for some reason these guys often try to attach themselves to me at parties - usually, after I mention some piece of tech or another. Here's what I do: I try to make it like an engineering problem, so that he understands it. Example: "CreepyPal, I'm running this social game here that has these rules X, Y, Z. When you hang around me, and make remarks like these to women or when you do A, B, C, you are derailing my program; so, here's what you need to do when you see me at a party - keep your distance, and let my program run, thanks." Make it all about the process, not about him and you. The process demands he and I keep a distance; you don't want to ruin my engineering project, now do you?! OK, thanks.
posted by VikingSword at 6:15 PM on April 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

My daughter is 4. At her preschool, whenever a child does something really unacceptable like shriek or take something away from someone else, the reaction from the teachers is what I call the OTT Public Freakout. They drop their jaws, clap their hands to their faces like the Scream, have a very audible intake of breath, and just stand there openmouthed in feigned shock. They act HORRIFIED. It's not shaming, but it's definitely a big public callout of "That was so unexpectedly unacceptable! We are confused and startled that you would be so gauche!" It works really well.

Now, obviously, the same techniques aren't going to work for a 4 year old and a grown man, but you'd be surprised how little you need to modify it for your purposes. All you have to do is just. . . stop trying to hide how you feel. Stop trying not to cause a scene. Let him bear the emotional consequences of his actions, from you. A well-placed "DUDE! What the HELL?! What the fuck is WRONG with you, have you not managed to figure out yet that she wants you to go the fuck AWAY?! You are SO FUCKING CREEPY!", in public, can have a really good effect. Either it will finally get him to change his behavior, or else when he calls you to hang out or whatever you can say "No, not until you quit doing shit like you do" or even "No, because you are so fucking creepy around women that it creeps ME out."
posted by KathrynT at 6:38 PM on April 30, 2011 [23 favorites]

Please don't do any kind of friendtervention unless there are actual substance abuse/serious mental health issues going on. This tends to make people feel really threatened and as annoying as this guy might be, he doesn't deserve that.
posted by sweetkid at 6:54 AM on May 1, 2011

I agree that I dont like 'friendtervention'. Be assertive but compassionate as things come up. Create a facebook filter group. Use the phrase "thats fucking unacceptable" and make physical and eye contact. Next step, explain that you are done hanging out with creeper misogynists b/c its become a pain in the ass.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 9:18 AM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

if breaking up isn't practical, would ding training be effective?
posted by gretchin at 10:50 AM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm not a guy, but I had a similar situation with one of my gal-friends of 11 years a while back and I did a fade out as some others have suggested. Worked very well. Basically, when she left the "why are you avoiding me" voice mail, I called her back and said, "I'm tired of your bullshit" and that was that. It was far less painful than I though it would be.
posted by patheral at 1:17 PM on May 1, 2011

I've had to do a similar sort of assholedectomy a few times, and clearly stating exactly what the person's been doing wrong, how you've tried to defuse it and had it not take, and how it makes everyone around them feel is step one. Step two is complete severance and blocking of contact. Step three, especially for small social circles, is see if anyone else has the same issue with him that you do - could be that avoiding him hanging out at parties could be easier because NO ONE can stand this guy, and he's just worming his way into gatherings based on the invitation of someone less aware of the current climate. I actually had a party which required a sign on the door which said "NO BUDWEISER. NO MILLER LITE. NO SLADE."

The important parts are making it VERY clear that dude is unacceptable, and cutting off contact. Few things are more draining than leaving an opening for someone to whine and wheedle and beg for acceptance, all while sniveling and avoiding the issues of how much of an ass they are.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:24 PM on May 2, 2011

« Older Am I a relationship freak?   |   What was this 'traditional' pub sport I (think I)... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.