When a friend won't take no as an answer
March 15, 2006 4:22 PM   Subscribe

How do you deal with a friend who keeps coming onto you via text message ?

I proposed to my girlfriend this past weekend, and she said yes. When news reached one of her female friends, her friend sort of flipped out and started constantly text messaging my girlfriend. At first it was just stuff about the wedding (mainly saying she didn't want to be in the wedding party, that sort of thing), then she started propsitioning my girlfriend, who promptly told her no. But, since my girlfriend also mentioned that she would never cheat on me, the person assumed this meant there was some interest, and kept badgering via text message, my girlfriend to the point that my girlfriend was getting sick just thinking about it.

This isn't the first time her friend has came on to her. My suggestion so far has been to call the phone company and have them block the friend's number. Is there anything else/better my girlfriend can do?
posted by drezdn to Human Relations (19 answers total)
Like any harassment, document it. Save the text messages if you can. File a report with the police. Here's a page with some advice.
posted by Hildago at 4:27 PM on March 15, 2006

You mean fiance?

How about tell this person, face to face, to cool it or you'll get a restraing order/beat the shiz out of her/whatever your reprisal tactic of choice is? Where I come from repeatedly hitting on someone's girl gets dealt with in a pretty simple and very effective way.
posted by ChasFile at 4:29 PM on March 15, 2006

What would happen if you and/or your girlfriend just told this guy that she's getting married, she isn't interested, and it ain't gonna happen? If he's being completely unreasonable and won't stop, then go to the phone company. (congrats, btw)

On preview: ChasFile wins.
posted by DakotaPaul at 4:33 PM on March 15, 2006

Have you tried talking to her? I think 'Never text message me again' would make it very clear. Otherwise, yes, phone companies have well established procedures for dealing with this sort of harassment. All you have to do is put together a clear history of harassment (in letter form), show it to them, and they should be able to had a hook in their system to prevent you from messaging txtmsgs from her number. If the harassment is causing real anxiety or you're afraid for your safety then by all means also file a police report.
posted by nixerman at 4:34 PM on March 15, 2006

It sounds like her friend either doesn't understand how much this behaviour bothers your fiancee or is sort of emotionally clingy and desperate. I think making the unwelcomness of these advances clear and unambiguous would be better than simply blocking her number.

Also, I dunno about your ideas regarding gender roles, but if anyone, male or female, started hitting on my girlfriend in earnest, I would certainly have something to say to them about it.
posted by clockzero at 4:36 PM on March 15, 2006

On the surface, this is an analog to one of those "How do I stop my teenager from viewing website 'X'?" questions, and the answer is that there is no real technological solution -- you have to deal with the root human cause.

That said, some good stuff in that vein has already been said up-thread. I won't regurgitate it.
posted by misterbrandt at 4:42 PM on March 15, 2006

Why is this person still considered a friend by your fiance? Or are they on the outs and are just harassing her for the hell of it?

Don't know if her mobile service supports this, but mine has an option to block certain callers and text messages. Look into that. If harassment continues, report to police.

If she is trying to salvage this relationship, then a sit down is in order where she can find out what the hell is going on and have a frank discussion about expectations going forward if they are to remain friends.

Hope it will go away is probably the worst corse of action.
posted by qwip at 4:44 PM on March 15, 2006

Some people love drama. Soo much they conduct their lives like little plays. Do not follow this script. Your fiance sounds like she has already auditioned... IE she is responding to this absurdity.

Here is what she does. She turns her phone off.

Short of you hiring a lesbian goon to go kick that chicks' ass nothing you do by direct interaction with this creepy-ass girl will make this situation better. As matter of fact the lesbian goon - also not a good idea. Anything you say to her etc... It will likely feed this chick more drama.

Tell your fiance to cut her out entirely until after the wedding and neither of you speak of it again nor spend another second dwelling on it.

Go get married. Have shrimp puffs. Get drunk, fuck the freckles off each other. And then laugh about this thing some time next year.
posted by tkchrist at 4:58 PM on March 15, 2006

PS. On preview: Don't involve the cops.

#1 they will nod and "mmm hmmm" while they take the report and 20 seconds later they will be laughing their asses off in the cruiser. Trust me on this.

#2 if they DO take it seriously it is another set of obligations - this time LEGAL obligations you won't have time for and it will only stress you and your fiance out.

Look. You and your fiance will have enough stress dealing with the wedding and whether or not Uncle Bill brings his new 19 year old wife and how much the DJ wants to have a strobe light... yadda yadda. get caught up in this game about who is and who is not a salvageable friend is a waste of time. If she is a friend she will get the hint. If not she will get the hint.

You are starting your life together. You want to start it with drama and hassles? Sure, then call the cops.

Absolutely DO ignore this crazy bitch. Turn off the phone.
posted by tkchrist at 5:05 PM on March 15, 2006

change your cell phone number.
posted by freudianslipper at 5:21 PM on March 15, 2006

Your girlfriend needs to tell her this: "I am not sexually interested in you, nor will I ever be."

Optionally, she can add, "If you persist in being a nuisance (or pain in the ass), I will end our friendship. I don't need the hassle."
posted by digitalis at 5:29 PM on March 15, 2006

Let me add, please do not get involved, as others have suggested, because that will fuel the fire. You'll look controlling, and she won't be as convinced that your girlfriend means it.
posted by digitalis at 5:29 PM on March 15, 2006

What tkchrist said. Ignoring her is the easiest thing that can be done, especially if she's communicating via cell phone only. If she sends a text message, ignore it. If she calls (or if caller ID says "unavailable"), don't answer. If she leaves a voice mail, don't respond. Honestly, I wouldn't even bother blocking the number, because then she'll know that she's getting to you guys.

It might be hard to ignore her at times, especially if it gets really annoying, but she will stop, probably sooner than you think.

Also, congratulations! :)
posted by AlisonM at 5:54 PM on March 15, 2006

Just have the 3-way and get it over with.
posted by iconjack at 5:55 PM on March 15, 2006

I dont know if this will help.
But in my previous cases of txt harassment. I simply called my provider and cancelled my text messages for a few months.
I know it might be hard to go with out a first but soon enough they'll get the point and you can enjoy sms once again!
hope ive helped
posted by Building at 6:00 PM on March 15, 2006

We were all thinking it, iconjack.

Seriously, tkchrist is right. You (plural) don't need the drama, so just refuse to participate. It's not clear whether or not your fiancee still wants to attempt to maintain some sort of relationship with this person, but if not, then just have her end it. Whether by technological means (changing numbers, cancelling sms) or just mental fortitude, just have no contact with the person.

Here's the thing though, your fiancee has got to be the one to do this. If she is still trying to reason with her harasser, or speaking to her in any way, it is only encouraging her. If she would like to keep in touch with this person (I wouldn't though) she needs to draw a line in the sand -- no more propositioning, period -- and if crossed, institute the ingnorance.

Congrats, and best wishes.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:20 PM on March 15, 2006

While iconjack may have been kidding, the suggestion of a threesome may be enough to scare away said friend. Of course, if it doesn't, then you're REALLY in a pickle (assuming that you're not actually interested).
posted by antifuse at 2:09 AM on March 16, 2006

Switch the phone off or change your number. That's what my lesbian ex-friend did with her various lesbian stalkers.

Unless your fiance actually wants to keep the friendship. In which case just ignore all the texts instead.
posted by badlydubbedboy at 4:40 AM on March 16, 2006

While the situation isn't (currently) threatening, this might be a good time for both of you to read The Gift of Fear. Many people are so socialized to be "nice" that they will put up with harrassment, threats, and miscellaneous shitty behavior from "friends" and authority figures. Your fiancee isn't doing anyone any favors by allowing this to continue. Maybe the friend is just suffering temporary insanity (and so is going to be embarrassed eventually, which she may again take out on your fiancee), but generally friends don't act like that.

In any case, you don't have any control over other people's behavior, only your own. You can't make the person stop, but you can stop participating in this ridiculousness.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:23 AM on March 16, 2006

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