HELP!!!!! Problem flirt- did I lead him on? how do I ditch him?

koala_emOctober 21, 2006

#1 Just to be clear- I am MARRIED. I am NOT looking for an affair in any way shape or form.

This is what has happened:

I was collecting my DS14 'David' from a birthday gathering a few weeks ago. There was a guy there and I asked "Who's yours?" and as it turned out he was the dad of one of DS's newish friends. I have met the mum before but never the dad (they are divorced).

He said, I should get your number just in case we need to organise things with the boys- I thought 'great idea'!

I said what's your mobile # I'll put it into my mobile.

As I am typing it in he says with a joking tone "For a good time call 'Joe'" haa haa very funny etc. His phone was in his car, so I SMSed him my number.

One the way home I get a SMS "'Koala_Em David's mum is a hottie -Joe :-P".

I replied "Funny!" (told DH and wasn't sure what to do- thought it would be better to make a joke).

Joe replies almost immediately with "Funny! AND a mind blowingly good time... ya can't loose! ;->"

I didn't bother replying to that.

Anyway, yesterday (now 2 weeks later) I receive 2 missed calls from what looks like a work number and an SMS from Joe: "Guess what I found out?"

So I reply: "Ok... what did you find out?"

Joe replies "Apparently the mum of one of my mum's friends is quite a hotty ];->"

I freak... think what should I say to that? I want to keep it funny, but sort of let him know he's dreaming...

So I SMS back "You're a dag. I don't know what drug they put in the coffee machine but it causes hallucinations!"

Then just now he tries to call while I am eating dinner with the family. The phone battery went flat (luckily for me!).

How do I not look like a weirdo prude, how do I know if he is just mucking around, and how do I not totally break communication in a mean way in case I need to contact him for something to do with my DS and his DS's friendship?

Did what I say lead him on? I didn't intend it to- it's been a long time since anyone gave me attention in that way- so maybe I am over reacting?

Now I feel really weird. It's nice to feel attractive- BUT enough IS enough.

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Freaking out!!!!!!!!!


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could you just be honest?

call and say "this joking around is getting out of hand and it it starting to make me really uncomfortable. My husband and I would appreciate it if you please stop messaging me. I wouldn't want anything to happen that would ruin the boys' friendship."

said in a very nice manner, of course...some guys take any kind of joking around as interest...or he really may be just joking around, this way, you let him off the hook either way with out really accusing him of anything...

good luck!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 7:50AM
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How do you not look like a weirdo prude? who cares ?

he's sketchy and acting like a teenager; just ignore his messaging, he's fishing to see if you play around, it's as simple as that.

He strikes me as a type who hangs around chat rooms posing as younger than he is; who uses the word "hottie" in adult conversations ? no one.
Teenagers use that word describing a 15 year old hot girl.

As for ditching him, tell him to stop, it's as simple as that.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 7:53AM
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Nammabafo- that's a good idea- phrasing it as 'this joking around' makes me 'uncomfortable' because it won't seem like accusing- yet the message will be clear too.

Mitch- I appreciate a male perspective. I did wonder if he was fishing. Yes, the wording did seem ... immature. Initially I wondered if his DS had sent the SMS as a joke- which is why I replied 'funny'... I thought maybe my DS might find out it was a joke or something later at school- but the fact that after 2 weeks he called me directly from his work made me realise it wasn't.
I guess I care about how I am perceived as I like to appear pretty easy going and relaxed- that's why I don't want to come across as uptight and straightlaced (although this is making me feel that way!!)- but you are right in that 'who cares'- why should I care what "Joe" thinks.

I thought that if he calls my mobile again around my DH I will ask DH to answer it... that should do the trick.

If this was you would you think it was a problem? Am I over reacting?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 8:47AM
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Em, Mitch is very much a female :)

You are not overreacting. Your gut instict is telling you that he is flirting with you, or fishing, and it's not appropriate. No need to dance around the issue, or bring your husband into it. Simply tell him that his comments are inappropriate, and not to call or text you anymore unless it is about DS. Frankly, the texting thing is really troubling. To me, even if nothing flirty is sent, texting seems intimate somehow.

This guy sounds like trouble, and clearly doesn't know or respect boundaries. Your attempt at 'keeping it funny but letting him know he's dreaming' will not work on someone like that. You are trying to say 'no way' in a nice way, he views it as receptive to his advances. The proof? The subsequent calls. The only thing that works with a person like this is to be totally blunt. If he continues, you probably want to consider not encouraging your sons' friendship.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 9:20AM
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I agree with mitchdesi except I think even talking to this guy to tell him he's inappropriate and not to call you is going to encourage him on some level - he wants to engage you no matter what. I would totally ignore him. Don't answer or acknowledge his messaging or calls in any way. If he's contacting you of behalf of his son you'll have to make a judgement about whether it's legitimate and have someone else (husband, sister, friend, etc) respond to him. You're not available to him under any circumstances.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 10:24AM
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Em, I agree with all the advice above.

But I'm wondering about the following: "yesterday ... I receive 2 missed calls from what looks like a work number... Joe replies "Apparently the mum of one of my mum's friends is quite a hotty ];->"
He refers to you as "the mum of one of my mum's friends." Doesn't that translate to the perspective of Joe's 14-year-old son (i.e., his mother is your friend)? And how do you know it's from a work number? It could be a school or home phone no.

I'm guessing that the kid found the messages on his dad's phone and is playing around. father, like son. Whoever he is, he's still "bad news." So the advice is the same: don't respond! And if it interferes with DS's social life, let him make his own phone calls.

(BTW, the attention you're receiving must be gratifying, which is great for the ego. But don't let it cloud your judgment.)


    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 10:49AM
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Hi Em,
I do think you should reply to his latest effort with the clear message that you are married and not interested. I know you have wanted to not seem uptight and to keep it casual, but to this point you have not told him you are not available to him. Your responses, though well intentioned, could have easily been interpreted as flirting by this guy (who clearly has issues). I think it makes sense to give him a clear indication that his attempts are getting him nowhere.

Once you have clearly stated that you are married and feel uncomfortable communicating with him about anything but arrangements for your sons, if he continues to try to engage you, it's time to just ignore him.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 10:54AM
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I would tell him with a smile & a polite but firm voice that "at the risk of sounding like a weirdo prude, I am, in fact, a Weirdo Prude, and your SMS's appear to be uncomfortably flirtatious. Would you mind keeping your communications to parental subjects?"

Ball's in his court. If he acts like a jerk about it, then he IS a jerk -- cut him out. If he laughs & acts embarassed, he'll simply back off and behave himself.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 10:54AM
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By the way, what's wrong with appearing uptight? You don't want his advances, so why shouldn't you radiate discomfort?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 11:02AM
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I agree with those that say you reply once in a mature no nonsense fashion. Love the phrasing of nambafo above. Then do not reply to anything (even an apology) unless it is in reference to the boys and keep your responses strictly to the boys.

You can always move on to friendly and warm from being a cold prude, but you can never go back if you get identified as "loose" (sorry can't think of a more appropriate term at the moment) even if it comes from nothing you yourself have done.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 11:31AM
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I agree with the others that you need to say something, otherwise it could "escalate."

One thing I'm wondering is (somebody please correct me if I'm wrong)--can't you link a certain ring tone to a specific incoming phone number? So you would know by the ring that it's him and not answer it? Or just not answer it when you see it's him?

In any event, it might be a good idea, if possible, to have your husband take your son to the next few gatherings.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 11:51AM
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Just ignore him. You don't owe him anything, don't even dignify his inappropriate behavior with a comment suggesting that he behave differently. Keep it simple and ignore his queries. If he should ask you what's going on, then in a detached way, tell him you've been to busy to reply to his calls and messages. Don't apologize and walk away.

This guy is a manipulator and dealing with him in any face-to-face fashion puts you right where he wants you, under his control. See how effective he's already been? You can't even answer your phone without worrying that it's him? What a mind game. Help your son develop different friendships. Tell your husband everything you've told us. This is very important. In fact, perhaps letting your husband return one of the phone calls is a good way to let this man know that his coniving behavior has been exposed. This guy knows that treating you this way is inappropriate and he doesn't care. It's a cheap thrill for him. Pursuing you indicates that marital vows don't matter to him. No wonder he's divorced. Tell your husband now.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 8:53AM
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Thanks everyone. The general consensus seems to be totally ignore, then firmly put him in his place if he pursues from there.

I have told my hubby- he is not concerned as he knows I am not interested in that type of thing. Although, I do wish he would step up and tell this guy to back off, rather than be so relaxed.

mtnester- locally we have numbers with a government prefix- and the number was from a government prefix during school hours. At first I thought it might have been a call from my own pay section or something like that, but it was the SMS that arrived so quickly after the missed calls that alerted me.

Uxorial- I really liked the idea of linking a ringtone to that number so I know not to answer it.

Cupofkindness- I agree, ignore him totally. There is that manipulator element for sure.

I really don't want this right now (or ever!) as we have started the bathroom reno and I am under stress from that- which is quite enough. Whenever I get a call or SMS tone I tense up and think oh no...

Has anyone else had creeps like this?


    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 6:35PM
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Hi, Em~

So sorry you've had this jerk to contend with. Those guys have a radar for finding the vulnerable ones, which often are those of us who have been trained to be "nice." I still have a hard time being impolite to telemarketers, LOL. They know how to use this against you.

I disagree, though, about totally ignoring him. It goes against standard advice by professionals. As others have mentioned, be very firm if you are approached by him again and let him know in no uncertain terms that his behavior is inappropriate and won't be tolerated. However, do so on your terms--don't let him manipulate you into a corner first. If you answer your phone and it's him, then simply address it at that time. If he SMSs you (what is that, anyway? Text message?), I really don't know. I tend to agree with ignoring those, as responding in kind would seem to be in direct contrast to what you are trying to get across to him, which is your lack of interest in communicating with him. In a nice daydream scenario your dh would SMS him and say something like, "You think my wife's hot? You should see my temper!" However, that might not really work out as well as it sounds in my head :)

If you continue to be plagued by this guy after (a) not responding to his messages and (b) telling him directly to stop, then you might need something more intimidating. You might have to check with the police or your phone company about that. You could contact a lawyer. HOpefully it won't get to that point, but I'll bet the guy would do some quick backpedalling if someone called his bully bluff. You could also change your phone number, but that too would be a last resort measure. He might view that as a score in some weird way.

First, though, tell him how you feel and give him the chance to back off. It may be that he won't care to pursue the game beyond this point.

So sorry for your distress. I have had a terrible experience but I am off to pick up my girls and can't elaborate now.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 5:18PM
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So far he hasn't contacted me since.

Thank goodness.

Does anyone get stressed like me? My head starts to feel all tight and almost dizzy, my shoulders tense right up and seem almost level with my ears! Deep breathing... this is not something to add to renovating a bathroom then a kitchen.

I did start to worry like you eluded to seeking... that incorrectly handled it could get very messy. I most certainly don't need it to escalate. Maybe I need to let out the tears I am holding in so DH can see just how stresed this is making me.

SMS= Short Message Service (ie texting!)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 8:51AM
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koala em, this is a little different, but i've had an email "stalker" for a while who once traced me here to gardenweb (i changed my user name after that...). He first wrote me as a "fan" after i had a story published, and i thought it was legitimate, so i wrote back but in a very business-y tone. Anyway, i didn't think much of it until i heard from him again, also after i had something published, but a couple years later!! And, just recently heard from him again when my photo appeared on a web site in relation to some work i did, which he apparently tracked down. This time, he made it clear that he knew what i looked like before the pic was published, probably knows where i live, and general things about my family. This is all pretty creepy to me, and I haven't responded to any of the emails since the first one. I think the guy's having fun playing games, and if i respond, it's more fun for him, so i'm not biting. However, the clues in his most recent contact have helped me figure out who it is--at least i think i have a pretty good idea who it might be. At this point, i'm not going to do anything about it, but if he contacts me again, i may surprise him by emailing back his real name. (Of course, then it would be weird if i turned out to be wrong...) But, apparently, totally ignoring it hasn't worked, since this has been happening over a period of several years already. Weird, huh?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 10:42AM
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Em, I'm sorry I am late getting back, but I'm very glad to hear that you've had no further contact from him. I hope he has gotten the message and moved on.

I really think you need to let your dh know how very upset you have been over this and how it has really affected your well being. He probably saw it in a whole different light and never realized that you have been stressing about it in a big way. I think he needs to know exactly how you feel and how this other man has intruded in a manner that leaves you feeling extremely vulnerable. These days, especially, you have to be very cautious with anyone who continually makes inappropriate approaches without encouragement. Your dh isn't worried about you wanting to fool around, but that is completely beside the point. It isn't about YOU at all; it's the unknown of what is going on with someone who is playing mind games with you on your cell phone. That's scary and deserves support.

My situation was entirely different but nevertheless gives me something of an understanding of how you must feel. Before the days of cell phones and caller ID, I began getting very frightening phone calls. It began as a "wrong number" call. The guy made some joking statements to which I responded jokingly as well and then we both hung up. But he called again, and again, and again. At first, it was light-hearted banter and I am sorry to say that I did not hang up immediately, but kind of enjoyed the chat. But it didn't stop and it got weirder. He made it clearer with every call that he knew exactly who I was. Gradually the tone shifted to a menacing one. I would walk in my house to hear the phone ringing and he would say, "Welcome home, Cheri! I'm going to get you soon," or something like that. There was always a threat to "get" me or something similar. I was petrified. If I didn't pick up the phone he would leave a message. If I shut off my answering machine, he would call and call and call. If I unplugged my phone, I felt so scared and vulnerable anyway, as it was obvious from the things he said that he knew when I left my house, came home, even where I went sometimes. He also knew how to play the game because I couldn't get anything done to stop him. The police refused to put the thing on my phone that would trace calls because he never made a specific threat to kill me (is that ludicrous????). The phone company recorded the calls but wouldn't trace them either for the same reason. They wouldn't change my number because they were recording the calls and even if I could have gotten them to change it, they were going to charge me a fortune to do so! Can you believe that? I was a single mother. My kids had to spend every other week with their dad, so most of these calls came when I was alone and most of them were at night. My ex was/is very capable of having orchestrated the whole thing and I suspect he may have been behind it, but I had absolutely no way to prove it. The voice was not his. It just stopped, finally, but after months of being terrorized, I had a very hard time getting over it.

It seemed like an innocent thing at first, but it quickly escalated to something way out of my control. I was also a lot younger and had been pretty much...well, brutalized, I guess you could say, in my marriage, so I just didn't have the personal resources at that time to tackle such a situation. Predators sniff out the vulnerable, so the best thing to do if you can manage it is to not appear vulnerable! Sorry to say that I don't exactly know how that's done.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 12:49AM
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Well, hopefully it is over now.

The phrase posted above, "tell him you've been to busy to reply to his calls and messages" jumped out, because he could take it you would have replied, had you not been so busy. This is how they think. BTDT

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 11:37AM
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msrevise, just a side note: I got a stalker out of a cheated transaction on eBay (I reported the seller and left negative feedback when the seller failed to send us the bicycle frame we'd bought--seems he didn't think it went for enough $$ and was just going to take our money and not send it) -- when he made it clear he'd found other e-mails in yah**groups, and learned of my family status, and started *threatening my family*, I called in the police. They came, printed out all the threatening e-mails, and contacted the police in that guy's home state clear across the country. I haven't heard from him since. You might want to try that rather than keeping tangling with him.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 3:09PM
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oh seeking... I literally got goose bumps from that! How terrible. I will talk to DH again, it is about feeling vunerable.

I am under so much stress at the moment. Renovating bathroom and kitchen, work -student problems, this weird guy... I am finding myself getting very snappy.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 12:06AM
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