1st August 2020 at 8:16 am #111358
I can dish out the advice but when it comes to things happening in my own life I’m completely rubbish.
A few weeks ago I accepted a friend request on Facebook. It was a friend of my (detail removed by moderator). We’d met socially (detail removed by moderator). He’d been good fun and interesting but not the centre of my attention on either occasion. He is essentially a friend of a friend. I’m not shy about refusing friend requests but with him I saw no reason to.
Anyway, (detail removed by moderator) I messaged a hello. We had a good rapport and chatted for a couple of hours about music, work, the usual fluff. I didn’t pretend to be anyone I wasn’t. I kept things light, as you would with someone you’re talking to for the first time in years. He dropped in a few innuendos, all of which I pretended I’d missed. As the conversation progressed it became apparent that he thought there was some kind of spark between us. I ignored these comments too. Towards the end he suggested meeting up. I said maybe, once I’d left my bunker. I still thought it would be fun at this point. Then he suggested driving across country to my place. I said not now, I have too much going on. Maybe in the future, go to a gig or something. (I’d rather travel and stay in a hotel than have a virtual stranger wanting to be entertained on my home turf.) Then he stopped the hints and said something along the lines of ‘kissing me as soon as we meet’ before I have time to think. I told him that he was very forward, that I was making no promises, that we’d no doubt talk non-stop and have a good time just as friends.
I didn’t respond to his online kisses with my own. I know I didn’t promise anything. Yet I don’t feel I went far enough to put him off. I was thinking that maybe something could develop naturally. But that all went sour once he came across super keen. I told him that I’m prickly, have my guard well and truly up, but not why. It didn’t put him off.
I’m not a prude. I don’t mind the odd compliment or clever innuendo. But if I was dishing them out and getting no response I’d stop. The fact that he kept going and got more brazen feels like a red flag. If I was advising anyone else I’d tell them to cut contact. But right now I don’t know if I’ve experienced normal sexual banter or something sinister.
Now I feel uncomfortable about ever meeting up. He’s made it plain how he feels and has left no room for us to just be friends. But perhaps he was drunk and that made him bold and reckless? Maybe he’ll regret everything once he sobers up?
I didn’t even have time to decide if I found him attractive. He came on too strong, too quickly, so now I’m thinking of how to get rid. It’s such a shame as we did seem to get on. I vowed never to compromise my life again for a man. Yet here I am, fretting about some bloke that I barely know. Worrying whether I’m seeing red flags where they don’t exist. Wondering whether I should let him down gently or if we should meet and see what happens.
I welcome any comments, harsh and direct as you like!! Thank you x
1st August 2020 at 10:42 am #111366WiseafterParticipant
Hey Camel. Sounds like it would be good for you to take a step back, write down what your personal boundaries are and where your red lines are. I have begun this exercise myself because I have always classed myself as ‘easy going’ but with some reflection and no nonsense talk from a counsellor, I have begun to see this as not the case but an excuse for not taking responsibility for myself and my life and not treating myself with the respect I deserve. The analogy goes like this: You have a beautiful home with a front garden full of rare flowers you spent years cultivating. However, there is no fence around your home and garden. One day, you notice people tramping through your garden, picking your rare flowers and allowing their dogs to relieve themselves. You also notice some people peering in through your windows, and even trying your front door! How dare they?! But, you have not put up a fence so what can you expect? People assume it is public space, that you are OK with them acting this way – after all it isn’t up to them to respect your boundaries when they can’t see them. The next day you call a fence company and you have a fence put up. Not too high, not too low, one that clearly sends a message ‘this is my private space’. It is just the right height for you to be able to share a ‘good morning’ but not too low that people can climb over. It also has a gate which you generally keep closed but shows there is a way in, should you decide to welcome that person. In real terms we have to learn to put up a virtual fence to protect our selves, to show others we respect and ourselves and have boundaries and values that matter to us. I believe that some men are quite predatory. They like to test you fairly early on to see whether you have boundaries and what your red lines are. Take a breath, make a list of your boundaries and values. Decide what your red lines are. Don’t be afraid to be firm in your communication with this man and sometimes a simple say No is all you need to say. You don’t owe him, or anyone else, an explanation. You are in control now. Remember. You will be OK. You can do this.
1st August 2020 at 12:34 pm #111368SunshineRainflowerParticipant
I don’t think you’re overthinking anything, in fact I tend to see the word ‘overthinking’ as a red flag in itself as it implies that we should be dismissive of our thoughts and ignore our gut.
I actually think this guy has a lot of red flags. I think you’ll see that soon too but you maybe got a bit blinded by the initial stage which seemed positive:
1. Friend of a friend
2. Already spent time with him socially and he seemed ok
3. Had things in common and you enjoyed chatting to him at first
Unfortunately after that he:
1. Made sexual innuendos (assuming you mean these when you say innuendo)
2. Wanted to drive to yours and stay at your house
3. Was full on and intense, highly sexual and ignoring your discomfort
I’m not a prude either, but I personally don’t think there’s any such thing as ‘normal sexual banter’ between the opposite sex if you are straight, unless you went NSA sex. I personally find this kind of thing super uncomfortable because I find it disrespectful. I have a rule that I only talk about sex to a man I’m in a relationship with, or to women I’m friends with, not men I don’t know or even male friends because I don’t like that kind of boundary blurring.
To me it sounds like he made you uncomfortable, and you even said you had to pretend not to notice the innuendos, but then by the end blamed yourself for the discomfort that his boundary-pushing behaviour caused. I can totally relate to this, and did the exact same thing with the guy I mentioned on my thread. I also felt uncomfortable with the intense stare, and the glinty eyed grin, but because of other initial seemingly positive things I overlooked them until the red flags became too big and too many to ignore.
I personally don’t think you should meet this man, who sounds like he wants to drive to your house to have sex. I think your discomfort at his behaviour is the biggest sign that he is pushing your boundaries. You just have to listen to that discomfort, not discount it, and not let any initial positives overshadow later red flags. I know it’s hard because who doesn’t want to meet a good man, make a connection and form a happy partnership. I know quite a lot of women who are in stable, healthy marriages and what I’ve noticed is they never went through this super intense, full on, whirlwind stage – their relationships were calm and stable from the start. It might not seem as exciting, but it’s healthy and it’s real love which is long lasting and much more worthwhile.
1st August 2020 at 12:52 pm #111372EscapeeParticipant
Your own advice is spot on. After the hell you have been through this type of man needs to be put firmly back in his box.
He has been very disrespectful and bulldozered your boundaries. You deserve a man that show respect, equality and who wants to get to know you.
I actually feeling quite cross on your behalf 😉 who on earth does he think he is to deserve you with out earning that privilege xx
1st August 2020 at 12:56 pm #111375
Thanks for your comments. They pretty much confirmed what I thought the moment I opened my eyes and remembered. There’s no going back from the position he’s put himself in. You can’t un-trample someone’s boundaries. And to be honest I shouldn’t have to state at the outset, by the way, no talking about sex please. For all I know this could be his true character. Not the one I saw briefly when he was on good behaviour and a guest. He could be lonely or perhaps rubbish at communicating with women. Whatever. None of it means I owe him anything. I still feel uncomfortable and a bit silly for getting drawn in. But these feelings will pass soon enough.
1st August 2020 at 1:02 pm #111376
Now you come to mention it Escapee, I feel pretty cross too! He’s not the first man to proposition me on social media, going straight in with the assumption that it’s a done deal. That I’m bound to say yes. It makes me wonder what these men actually see when they look at me.
1st August 2020 at 6:03 pm #111392EscapeeParticipant
Good for you feeling cross too! 🙏🏼
It has nothing to do with what you wear (or don’t as the case maybe), how you hold yourself etc, it is down to cultural male privilege that they believe this behaviour is acceptable. Hopefully the generation our daughters raise will know that regardless of gender (and all the other inequalities in this world) we are all equal and deserve respect, inclusion and equality 💕🙏🏼
1st August 2020 at 7:43 pm #111394EggshellsParticipant
Oh my goodness ladies; so often I read posts, especially recently, and am so grateful for the wisdom on this forum.
Thanks for posting this Camel, it’s helped me understand a problem of my own. I wish I could see things as you ladies do. It seems so obvious when someone points it out.
1st August 2020 at 11:47 pm #111416WiseafterParticipant
Good for you Camel, so glad you shared that situation, its going to help us all. Agree with Eggshells, this forum is the best thing in my life right now for wisdom and also for sharing what is essentially a pretty isolating and heart breaking time of my life with other women who don’t judge but aren’t afraid of saying it like it is. I totally agree about the ‘over thinking’ that is a real give away. I used to be accused of overthinking, or thinking too much but what I have just twigged is, it was my way of trying to make sense of the disconnect between what my gut was trying to tell me i.e. This awful thing is being said to me by the person who is supposed to love me the most and should have my best interests at heart. Now, if I find myself thinking I am over thinking, I will know to trust my gut because you should never have to think that hard in a mutually respectful situation.
2nd August 2020 at 10:30 am #111439
Wiseafter, you and others are so right about the over-thinking thing being a sign. I hadn’t really thought about it before in that way. It kind of makes sense that we always get the same question from new posters – Is This Abuse? They are over-thinking too. Analysing and questioning and self-doubting are just other ways of saying over-thinking.
As for my current issue, I hardly ever go on Facebook these days anyway. So I can leave this chap out in the cold, waiting in vain for a reply that could be 6 months down the line. Let him do some over-thinking!!! 🙂
2nd August 2020 at 5:17 pm #111470Soulsearcher18Participant
ha Camel, that made me smile at the end there- let him do some overthinking! 😉
I found Wiseafter’s post about the garden and boundaries really interesting. I am waiting for counselling and I really need it now to move forward- this made so much sense to me.
Great posts on this thread- loving how everyone is finding forum helpful, me too. It has been so helpful, especially during lockdown and with Covid as it’s not easy to access groups etc.
Well done Camel, you’d got there by yourself anyway but we’ve all learnt and gained something along the way with you.
2nd August 2020 at 5:47 pm #111472SunshineRainflowerParticipant
The red-flagger I met recently actually accused me of ‘overthinking’ – a big red flag in itself not to mention kind of patronising. As soon as he said it I thought ‘oh hang on a minute’ because I remember when I first joined this forum, women here told me that them telling us we’re overthinking is usually a sign that they are gaslighting us. ‘Overthinking’ usually means that you’ve noticed odd things/red flags and they don’t want that of course so they try to convince you that you’re imagining things/being paranoid and should just go back to the previous stage of trusting and believing him rather than trusting your gut!
2nd August 2020 at 7:14 pm #111479
Back when we were allowed out, I was in a venue (keeping it vague) with my friend/sister/niece. The barman/doorman/punter approached me and asked what I was doing after. Instinctively I felt he was predatory so I said I was going home to my husband and kids (I have none.) He was really interested in my friend/sister/niece and asked her the same question. I answered for her, that she was also going home to her family (lie). My friend/sister/niece was annoyed with me so I had to apologise to this guy and admit I’d lied. Some weeks later my friend/sister/niece hooked up with this man. It turned out to be just about sex in hotels. Nothing wrong with that, she enjoyed it for a while. Then my friend/sister/niece got bored and told him she was done. He flicked like a switch, got nasty and sent a stream of ranting texts.
I’m not really sure why I’ve shared this. Maybe to show my spidey-sense is bang on.
Or maybe to say that you can’t protect other people, no matter how well-intentioned you are. When my friend/sister/niece told me the whole story I didn’t say I told you so. I congratulated her on walking away the moment it stopped working for her. Being the victim of abuse too, she was also proud of herself.
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