Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Stupid Man Texts

Hello Polite Readers!

Today's topic comes courtesy of my friend Martha. I'm using the same title as she used on her e-mail, because it amuses me. Here's her letter:

Hey AJ,

So I have this guy I met on the plane back from home - he seemed really nice when we sat and chatted for the three hours of the flight so I gave him my number to contact me to maybe meet up for dinner.

Well, I got one text from him Tuesday that was nice "hey, hope you're having a great day - take care!"  I was busy at work so I mentally noted to respond later.  Later that evening I responded "hey it was nice, thanks - hope you had a good one too."  Nothing major.  The next text I get - same night - "Woo hoo!! - its Full Moon Baby, come meet up with me and lets go have a drink!"  

I won't repeat the expletives I said at having given this sudden idiot my number.  I did not respond at all.  

Two days later I get a text saying "Hey I was just thinking about seeing those gorgeous eyes of yours again - come out and have a drink with me!"  It was Friday - I don't "do" last minute dates w men who have what I consider questionable judgement with a woman he just met.  Again I just chose not to respond and will likely block him going forward.  I have no attraction to him whatsoever and, even if I had initially, it would be gone due to these texts.  Maybe I'm old fashioned but this to me was both unacceptable and creepy.  Is there a better way to handle this situation than just ignoring them and blocking them altogether?  Granted I was dumb to give out my real number... but he really seemed nice on the plane.  Note its very unusual for me to give out my number to ANYONE - esp someone I just met.

I am thinking it will become even more rare now. lol

Anyway, your thoughts are appreciated. I wanted to respond but couldn't think of any response that I felt put a positive light on me.  I would have been a jerk  had I responded... hence my ignoring it altogether.   Yet I wanted to tell him (a) how dare you speak to me like that - I do not know you and you clearly do not know or respect me and (b) I do not date or associate with men who speak to me like that - period.   

Thanks in advance!

So at first I didn't really see what the big deal was. When you said he was sending you inappropriate texts, I thought you meant really inappopriate, like X-Rated stuff. This seemed pretty mild in comparison. But when I looked over it again, I saw the problems. You're definitely not close enough for him to call you "baby" (personally, I don't like that pet name at all, but some people do), and mentioning your eyes after one 3 hour long plane ride together? That's coming on way too strong. Hint to guys: It's creepy to mention a woman's body parts early in a relationship, even if it's a non-sexual body part. Plus there's the fact that you said "Hey, let's do dinner sometime" and each time he invited you out, it was for drinks.

Now, part of this is a conflict of old fashioned vs. current mode. Yes, there are people who think it is OK to initiate a date via text (I find it too casual, but I've been out of the dating pool for a decade and a half. Texts weren't even a thing back then). Also, it's pretty common now for a first date to be coffee or drinks, which does make sense in its way -- it's more casual, and it's easy to cut it short if it goes poorly, or segue it into something else (dinner, movie, shopping, strolling in the park) if you're having a great time.

Note that at no point did I say that it's OK to call a woman that you barely know "baby." Ick. I mean, maybe it was a figure of speech. Maybe he posted the same thing on Facebook. "It's the full moon baby! Looking forward to a drink after work!" But I don't think so.

So obviously this guy is not for you, and at this point it's been long enough that it would be weird if you said anything more to him (unless he hasn't taken the hint and is still inviting you out for drinks without any response). So airplane guy can be ignored for now. But what if you or a fellow reader has this sort of experience in the future? Here's how I would have handled this.

You were already right on with your response to his first text. He could have used that to continue a perfectly normal conversation. If I were him, I would have said "Hey, I had a great day. Can I call you?" Which allows you to either say "Sure" or "No" or "I'm eating dinner, let me call you when I'm done." Then when he has you on the phone, he can invite you out for a drink or coffee or whatever, and you can either accept, or if you are in to the idea but not right away, say "Oh, tonight isn't good for me, how about Friday?"

But that's not what happened. He said  "Woo hoo!! - its Full Moon Baby, come meet up with me and lets go have a drink!" At this point, you had two options -- give him a chance, or boot him to the curb. If you wanted to give him a chance but start gently showing him how you expect to be treated, you could say something like "Oh, that's way too short a notice. How about Thursday Friday instead? I'd love to talk some more." If you wanted to give him the boot, a simple "Actually, it was nice meeting you but I don't think this is going to work out." Then disengage. Block if necessary.

He should have taken the hint after you didn't respond to his full moon message, but nope, he came back again. "Hey I was just thinking about seeing those gorgeous eyes of yours again - come out and have a drink with me!" At this point, unless you're someone who likes near-strangers thinking about your eyes, you could say yes. But you're not, and he's creepy, so you say, "You know, you're coming on a bit strong. I think we're expecting different things from this, and I'm not interested anymore. Please don't contact me again." Then block as needed.

Unfortunately, sometimes people who seem perfectly nice and normal in person turn weird with the veil of technology to shield them. Or people seem awesome on-line and turn out to be awful in person. I'd say in the future, if you meet someone on the plane who seems interesting, give them your e-mail instead. It's a lot easier to manage -- you don't have to worry about them calling you at 3am looking for a drunk booty call.

This concludes Dating Week on Politely Worded! Unless, of course, someone wants to send another dating question to to give me something to write about on Sunday.


  1. Hey AJ,

    Thanks for posting this - I appreciate the help. So airplane guy has resurfaced with a text today. I came back here to read before I responded, and I'm glad I did. I'll take "I'm not interested, please stop contacting me." Thank you very much and hope to see you again soon! Hugs, Martha

    1. He texted you again? Wow! Airplane Guy just does not give up. Glad this blog helped, and yes, I hope we'll get together again soon!