How to handle a guy from texting me gracefully?
January 5, 2013 10:49 AM   Subscribe

How do I stop a guy I met at a party from texting me when I already told him upfront I wasn't looking for a relationship? We may end up running into each other again in the future because we met through a meetup event.

Met a guy at a NYE party and we had a good time. However, I was upfront with him that I wasn't looking for a relationship specifically at this point because I'm in graduate school. This semester in particular, I am focused on putting more effort/energy into school. We also live in different locations, and it's about an hour long driving distance. However, he said he was willing to drive to meet me and just have coffee whenever my schedule opened up. Which I was open to that idea. However, since NYE he has texted me 6/7 times and now I am getting annoyed.

Normally I would just ignore or block his number but we met at a "meetup" event and I'm afraid I might meet him in future events. I already made it clear in person verbally before we left the party what my situation was and that I wasn't looking. However, he said we had a beautiful connection and this shouldn't be missed.

Should I just block his phone number? How do I handle this gracefully? I feel like if I respond he will just try to argue that we "can find a time." I thought he was interesting but I don't want to pursue it and I feel like I keep saying the same thing to him that I don't really have the time in graduate school for this. I also don't want to run into a situation where we happen to meet again and things get awkard. Any suggestions? I don't feel like writing out this long text to say again what I said multiple times before we left for that night. He texted me New Year's Day. Then we had a conversation where I said I wasn't really interested and then told him I was busy. Then he texted me two days later and now he just texted me some data file I don't want to open. Help?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is this someone whom you'd be interested in if you weren't so busy? If NOT, just ignore, ignore ignore.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:50 AM on January 5, 2013

Just don't respond, you're over-thinking this.
posted by wrok at 10:51 AM on January 5, 2013 [5 favorites]

If you knew he was interested in a relationship, you shouldn't have agreed that he could drive an hour to meet up with you. I would just cop to that right now. Say, "I apologize, I feel that I may have sent mixed messages by inviting you to come to my town for coffee. I am not looking for any kind of a relationship or friendship right now and would like to ask that you stop texting me."
posted by payoto at 10:54 AM on January 5, 2013 [33 favorites]

Yes, what others have said, just ignore the messages. If it continues to be an annoying barrage, block the dude.

Unfortunately, men sometimes get the message from popular culture that it is a requirement to be persistent. The boom box below your window scenario. Wish that would change.
posted by nanook at 10:54 AM on January 5, 2013

Wait a minute ...

Stop the texting nightmare, call him and tell him: I am not interested any longer.

Then ignore/block as required.
posted by Kruger5 at 11:01 AM on January 5, 2013 [6 favorites]

Oops, yes, I missed that detail payoto mentioned. Agreed. Clarify the mixed message part.
posted by nanook at 11:01 AM on January 5, 2013

You told him you're not interested in a relationship but that you're happy to be friends (the having coffee thing). He thinks that this is being friends. Some people are happy to text all the time with everyone they know, this just may be how he communicates.

I do think you need to send him one more message, either by text or by phone call, telling him that it turns out you're not actually interested in being friends after all and please leave you alone. But it doesn't need to be a big long thing, just a sentence or two at most, and you don't need to give reasons or excuses for him to argue against. Stop saying you're too busy blah blah and tell him you're flat out not interested in him specifically and please leave you alone. Then block his number and ignore anything further, and just be polite and friendly but a bit distant and disengaged if you see him again. Any continuing awkwardness is on him for not leaving you alone after you specifically tell him too.
posted by shelleycat at 11:48 AM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

It sounds like you have the same problem I do when it comes to these things. We want the other person to get the hint without having to be forward. We know that being forward would solve the problem, yet we are uncomfortable with the repercussions of actually being forward.

I am finally getting to the point where I just don't care anymore. Be forward in a polite way and don't worry about what happens if/when you run into this person again. Practice being comfortable knowing you don't have to be friends with everyone or even communicate with them. I am still working on this myself but it seems to take the mental anguish out of having to deal with these situations.
posted by thorny at 12:19 PM on January 5, 2013 [7 favorites]

You said you were open to meeting up sometime. You didn't say you definitely want to date him as soon as possible. And you were explicit about not wanting a relationship--right? He's acting like it's about logistics so that he can gloss over the part where you don't want to date him.

If you really want to be extra nice since you might see him again (even though he's coming on too strong and ignoring your stated wishes, which means you're totally in the clear to just block him), it's not rude to call and say, "I'm really not interested in a relationship with you. Please stop texting me."

Because if you're worried that he'll argue you can "find a time" and your excuse is "grad school"--I think you need to take this conversation to a more adult level. You don't need any excuse not to date someone. There's no legitimate counter-argument to, "No thanks, I'm not interested in dating you." And you don't need to apologize for "leading him on" by agreeing to maybe get coffee sometime. Now that you know how strongly interested he is, it'd be best to cut things off completely--it'll only get more awkward the longer you drag this out.
posted by Meg_Murry at 12:27 PM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'd just text back-- Sorry, I really don't want a relationship with you, even by text. Please don't text me again.

Delete anything else he sends without reading it.
posted by bearwife at 1:09 PM on January 5, 2013 [3 favorites]

Why can't you just be honest with him?

If you don't normally have direct/blunt conversations like that, consider it an opportunity to learn and grow.

You gave him some mixed messages. He is pursuing things based on his preferred interpretation, and you wish he wouldn't based on your preferred interpretation. But what he's doing isn't necessarily inconsistent with what you said. You gave him logistical excuses, which he is attempting to overcome and which you gave him permission to attempt to overcome, when what you meant is that you don't want to build a relationship with him.

So, tell him what payoto says above. Tell him (once) you don't want a relationship or friendship with him, and that trying to make it more casual won't help. Then, if he contacts you again, block his number etc.
posted by J. Wilson at 1:14 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

"Hey, I'm not interested in a relationship and the texts are too much. Let's keep this a professional/meetup thing." Or words to that effect.

Then stop responding to texts and, if they continue at a rate that bugs you, just block them.
posted by zippy at 1:16 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

What kind of stuff is he texting you?

Have you told him you would only like to be friends?

That you don't want a 'relationship' right now is not clear enough.

'I can only be friends' is more direct.

'I'm ultra busy - let's talk at the next meetup' is more direct.

Blocking/ignoring texts should be a last resort because you may meet again. But, obviously, it's something to do if he persistently ignores what you want.
posted by heyjude at 1:24 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

You don't have time or energy for him, so so stop spending so much time and energy overthinking it. Just don't reply to his texts if they're annoying you.
posted by desuetude at 1:54 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

I really don't think this necessitates some big dramatic talk, and after a week (during which you agreed to a date!) it strikes me as sort of crazy. Just stop responding to the texts, and if he directly asks about date logistics reply "I'm sorry, I won't be able to." He's not gonna bring it up in person.
posted by animalrainbow at 2:01 PM on January 5, 2013

I think you're going to have to call him and tell him you're specifically not interested in HIM (true, because of his excessive texting that is unique to his personality and not the situation, no?) Otherwise I don't think he will get the message and may wait for you for years. And your last communication was a "green light" so you need to update it to a "red one" Yes, it's hard to do, but grit your teeth and be firm. Once you are sure he's gotten the message, never answer any more communication from him.
posted by quincunx at 2:21 PM on January 5, 2013

I don't think we have a clear picture of your communications with him. In general I would say the rule of texting is if you don't get a response back after two attempts don't try back. But it sounds like you've had a texting conversation with him.

So what if you see him again? You smile politely, tell him how busy you've been, tell him you hope he's been well.
posted by jander03 at 12:04 AM on January 7, 2013

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