Sasha Answers: please get away from this man
I'm stuck in a completely crazy situation and cant figure out the proper way to handle it. I had a neighbor/friend who recently passed away very unexpectedly. We weren’t terribly close, basically we would just hang out and visit in the evenings sometimes along with several other neighbors. She passed away in May. In June, her husband began pursuing me. He isn't someone I would ever be interested in, he's a nice guy but is nearly 30 years older than I am, and I have absolutely no physical or emotional attraction to him at all. I politely explained to him that I wasn’t really wanting to date anyone. He seemed to take that okay but still wanted to be friends. He would repeatedly ask me to spend time with him and I would come up with polite excuses as to why I wasnt able to do so. Well occasionally he would really put me on the spot about it, so that I felt trapped into saying yes. I would stop by his house after work, basically just say hi and get the hell out of there as quickly as I could without being rude. I started getting the impression that in his mind we were in a relationship, and a SERIOUS one at that. He started buying me things (jewelry, a phone, etc.) and when I tried to politely refuse them he would make me feel guilty about it and tell me basically that if I didnt accept the gifts then he would have to just throw them away and made me feel badly about the money he spent on them. He even tried to buy me a new car!?!? I started getting really stressed out about it and so finally I told him that I felt he was coming on way too strong and that he was treating me the way a man should only treat a wife or girlfriend which I am not. I told him that we needed to stop being friends. At first he was mad and told me I led him on, even though I continually stated that I didnt want a relationship. He said that he considered me his best friend (keep in mind, I barely know this guy) and that he really needed my friendship during this rough time. So I agreed to be his friend but just avoided him as much as possible. (We work together so it's impossible to just flat out ignore him) Well now it's back to the point that he considers us to be a couple. He insists that I was sent to him by his deceased wife, that she comes to him in his sleep and tells him that he and I should get married, and insinuates that if I dont go along with this then I didnt care about or respect her. He calls me baby, honey, etc., tells me all the time how much he loves me. If I talk to other male friends at work he thinks I'm betraying him. He acts like I am obligated to spend any free time I have with him, which I never do, and he is getting to the point that he gets angry about that and acts like I did something wrong. He calls and texts me constantly, and when I try to just ignore it he will send me angry and/or completely inappropriate messages via our company e-mail. I asked him to stop doing that so he writes letters and brings them to my desk, some of them detailing physical things he'd like to do with me and it makes me sick! When I tell him that I dont reciprocate how he feels, he insists that he knows it was meant to be and says he isnt going to back off because he wants to be there when I change my mind. So basically, I know his feelings he has arent real and that maybe this is part of his grieving process, so I feel like I should be understanding about how he's behaving and what he is going through, but I really cant take another second of it. How do I handle this without being a jerk??
Oh my god, A, this has to be one of the freakiest things I’ve ever heard. I’m being serious, this guy sounds totally delusional and crazy as hell.
Okay, I need you to pay attention to me right now: CUT HIM OFF STAT.
Let me clarify a few things right off the bat:
First off, this is NOT how people grieve. AT ALL. If you lose a loved one your instinct is not to randomly push yourself on a total stranger, cross all kinds of personal boundaries, manipulate them, and act like a goddamn creep.
Secondly A, you are being way too nice to him and he’s 100 percent taking advantage of that. I don’t want to come off harsh, but you need to get a backbone and be exceptionally firm about putting an end to all of it. So if you really want this to stop you have to look him dead in his eyes and tell him that from here on out, you don’t want anything to do with him. You do not want to speak with him, or have contact with him. That means no letters, no texts, no gifts, no visits….. no nothing. If he still doesn’t listen then if I were you I’d file a harassment claim, pack my sh-t up and find a new place AND a new job.
I also need you make me a promise, okay? You have to alert other people about this guy. I actually think he’s super unstable, and god forbid he went seriously crazy I think it’s important for people close to you to know what he’s been doing and saying. Sorry but I don’t take these things lightly at all and nor should you.
Keep me posted. xx