Possible romantic dilema

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-1999
Possible romantic dilema
7
Tue, 08-05-2003 - 1:07pm
Okay, let me preface this with – I haven’t been on a date in maybe 10 years. Partly because I was going to school at night and just didn’t have the time or interest. Partly because I wasn’t meeting anyone that interested me. Partly because I was out of the bar scene and just did things with my girlfriends. More important becuase I don't feel like I'm ready to get involved with anyone. Until I get back my self-esteem and really like myself I don't think it is fair to get involved with anyone and, that's one reason I haven't been on a date in so long. No one has appealed to me. I think I need to get past this wall I've put up before I find men appealing again. If that last part didn't make any sense I can elaborate more.

So, today I’m in our coffee room and I meet up with the guy who services the coffee machines. We’ve been bumping into each other this way for maybe a year. He’s always been pleasant and for some time I thought he seemed interested in me. Today he asked me if I’m married and as soon as I answered ‘no’ I realized what was coming next. He asked me if he could give me his cell number or have my phone number.

As I said, he seems very nice, is always polite, and today he even noticed I lost weight. He told me I’m ‘lookin’ good’. The problem is, I’m really not interested. Help!

He wrote his number down on a stick em note for me. (Visions of Sex & the City) I’ve always been polite to him so I’m wondering if I gave him the wrong impression. How do I either tell him I’m not interested or, do I go out and then tell him I’m not interested?

As I said, he seems very nice and all but there’s nothing about him that makes my heart go a thumpin’. Besides, I will probably meet up with him again here at the office. I don’t want us to feel awkward. Let me end with this, his job servicing the machines is not a problem, I don’t care about his finances. It’s just that his looks don’t really do anything for me. Ladies, I need some guidance.

Hugs,

Ben

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2007
Tue, 08-05-2003 - 9:14pm
LOL...I mean no disrespect, your posting just made me smile and snicker. My daughter and I were just talking about this today. She is having a similar problem.

And since you asked for advice...lol.

Part of having self esteem is being able to say, "No". You don't have to give any reason, but if you want to, just say, "I am not comfortable with dating anyone right now". The rest is your business and only yours. You have the right to decline without having to explain yourself or live with feelings of guilt. I'm sure he will recover. I would just not call the number he gave you and he may get the idea without having to turn him down. Throw the post it note away and then you won't be taunted by it any further. If he approaches you the next visit, you may have to be upfront and tell him "No thanks". Most likely you not calling would tell him you are not interested.

"Boundaries emerge from deep within. They are connected to letting go of guilt and shame, and to changing our beliefs about what we deserve. As our thinking about this becomes clearer, so will our boundaries". Melody Beattie "The Language of Letting Go"

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-1999
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 9:09am
Thank you, you made very good points. He sort of caught me off-guard. He came up to my desk and I was busy. The phone was ringing, I was coughing, my head was somewhat stuffy/clouded by lack of sleep, I was trying to juggle a few things at once and I wasn't prepared for his question. The thing I feel bad about is I've had a feeling he's liked me for some time and it's probably taken him a year to ask me for my phone number or give me his.

I really need some more feedback so I'll pose this question to a few friends too and see what they say. One friend said something similar, just say no. The problem is I was my usual polite self and sort of said 'okay' or something like that so to me it would seem rude to just not call or explain myself.

Thank you, I must remember to simply say no once in a while. Darn it, that phone, if only I was able to concentrate. I reached for it and was inbetween 3 things with him standing by my desk. I guess I felt pressured to say something and I didn't reply correctly.

Hugs,

Ben

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 2:54pm
Hi Bennie - I saw your reply to me, so I had to see what was up ;)

Well - what did you say to him when he handed over his number?? Did he just kind of say "here, take my number"? Did you say "I'll call" or ???

Honestly, I don't think you owe him a phone call, unless you implied that you would call. If you did - then just give him a call.. I'd say "Hi, I told you I'd call, so here I am, haha". And then when the big date questions came up - I'd just be honest & say that you are not ready to date anyone. Or don't want to date anyone. Or whatever you want.

Since you will continue to run into him - and he IS a nice guy - then it all depends on what exactly was said at the time of the phone number exchange.



Hugs, Julie

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-1999
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 5:01pm
Well, as I mentioned, he kinda caught me off-guard. I was at my desk, in between taking some phone calls when he asked for my number. Now that I'm living alone I don't feel comfortable giving out my number. I hesitated so he offered his number. He asked for a stick-em note, and I gave him one. I think I said 'okay'. It's all a blur. I was really trying to get through with the phone call so it was sort of in between saying yes to the caller and answering him.

My therapist and I discussed this at legnth today. We both feel I'm not in the right mind-set for a date, at least not yet. She said I really don't owe him anything. If I do call him then I will feel the need to explain myself and that might make it even more awkward. I also don't want to leave him haning wondering what's up.

I'll sleep on it for now. Thanks for your opinion on the matter.

Hugs,

Ben

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 08-08-2003 - 6:51am
Hey Bennie.

You're right if you really don't believe you're ready to date then politely tell the guy so the next time you see him. BUT, you also said that you weren't interested in the guy because nothing about him, you mean his apperance, made your heart thump. OK you might not follow through on this because the timing is off. But please bear in mind, the man who makes you heart skip a beat is usually the man that will leave you with a bad case of heartburn. The wrapping on the box is attractive and appealing, but when you open it the box is usually empty. First impressions made on appearance are frequently short lived. Impressions based on behavior are usually accurate. You said this guy seems nice, he's always polite, he was around you for several months before he finally approached you and best of all he noticed and complimented you on positive changes that you've made for yourself. Even though initially he may not seem very appealing, the way that he has treated you is more than most women dream of asking for. So you may not be ready to follow up on this right now, but when you're really ready look around for another guy like this one.

As for what you're feeling right now, I'm in a similar place. Several years ago I was in a full time graduate program and working at least 20 hours a week on top of trying to keep up with my courses. I tried dating for the first year of two, but it was always hard to find the time to see people and the people that I dated were always dissatisfied with the amount of time that I had to give them. So I finally thought OK I'll date when I finish school. Right before I finished school my sister died and I became a second parent to my nephew. When I had time to date it was too hard to find a babysitter. So I said OK I'll wait until he's older. Now my nephew is off in colledge, but my life has fallen apart and my self-esteem is at ground zero. So I know that the timing for relationships is everything. I also know that when I'm ready to try again the most important thing will be to find someone who is capable of treating me well.

So OK you're not ready, but even though this guy caught you off guard, he did approach you and treat you in a way that was very considerate. You feel you have to tell him no you're not ready to date. So tell him that. Right now you're really busy. You really don't have time to date and that you don't see things changing anywhere in the near future. If I were him I would feel better knowing that there is a definite reason that is influencing your decision, other just rejection. Hey everyone is right. You don't really owe this gut anything, except to treat him in a manner that you would like to be treated yourself.

OK so that's my 2 cents. Forgive me if I'm too far off base.

Renee

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-1999
Fri, 08-08-2003 - 8:46am
Thank you everyone. You all made valid points and I appreciate every one of them. I made the call and lucked out - I got his voicemail. Isn't it funny how some days we hate getting an answering machine and other days we PRAY for it.

I simply told him 'think you, I was flattered but I'm not ready to date or get involved with anyone right now. I have some things I need to deal with and it might take some time. . . It's not you, it's me, I didn't want to not call and leave you wondering why I didn't call . . . ' something along those lines.

You, and he, would not believe how I agonized over this for the past few days. I did not want to hurt his feelings by not calling at all. I did not want to come off as a cold, unfeeling person who just blew him off. I also wasn't sure how to make the call and not sound like a cliche (it's not you, it's me, etc.).

Oh well, it's done. I think I mentioned that I would see him next time he's in the office, etc., and to have a nice weekend. Maybe my grovelly morning voice helped him think I'm still sick (cough, cough) and this week was not a good one for me. I'll take anything at this point. (LOL)

It's Friday so I'm going to try and think of a fun posting for today. Thanks again for all of your support and help.

Hugs,

Ben

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 08-08-2003 - 10:19am
Gotta love Voice Mail :)

That's cool Bennie - you had the courage to call & someone was watchin' out for ya, cuz you got Voice Mail..lol

After all that agonizing, now - aren't you just like "Ahhhhhhhhhhh"

Hugs, Julie