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Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.

Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
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This guy who works at the same place as me has lately been asking me out to dinner, but I am not interested in him at all. We just would never be a match for a number of reasons. I politely turned down his offer, but he keeps on insisting upon it. Another awkward thing is that my boss has picked up on his advances, and has just made things even more awkward.

What should I do? I barely know him and don't want things to get worse at the office. Should I politely tell him I am not interested or just continue to say that I am busy so he gets the memo? I have never been in a situation like this. I appreciate any help you can provide.
Nov 01 new
Anna Maria, what you're describing is harassment. You turned him down, and now he's continuing to pressure you. It's now starting to affect the office environment, since you say that your boss has noticed it. The next time he asks you out, look him in the eye, and calmly say, "Thank you for the interest, but for the last time, no thank you. This isn't personal, but I don't feel it's good for coworkers to date." Then excuse yourself to the bathroom, or to go back to your office/cube, so it puts a hard stop to the conversation.

If he continues to pressure you, consider going to Human Resources. Just make sure you have a timeline with the date and time of each occurrence, including anyone else who may have overheard. You might also want to notate any time that your boss has said/done something that makes you think he's noticed the attraction, or any time someone has said something about it.

A lot of women suffer through stuff like this--whether it's just someone who can't take a hint or more in-your-face sexual harassment, and it's not necessary. And many of them are hesitant to make formal complaints because they feel that they're "causing trouble." You're not causing trouble -- you're reporting trouble. They are not the same thing. Unless he has a history of pressuring his female coworkers, he's not going to get fired. However, a discussion with management behind closed doors might be what he needs to back off.

But first, start with the conversation.

Prayers coming your way!
Nov 01 new
I may have read your post too quickly before replying. I read it that you had already told him no, but he keeps asking you out. But when I re-read it, I saw that you asked whether you should say that you're busy and hope he gets the hint.

I'd definitely let him know that you're not interested. Be respectful (he is putting himself out there by asking you out, after all), but firm so he doesn't think you're just playing hard to get.

Then, just go back to work and don't worry about it anymore. I don't think men take rejection as hard as we women do. Most of my guy friends might feel a little sting at first, but then a beer commercial comes on and they get distracted or something. (jk! sorta.)
Nov 01 new
(quote) Anna Maria-1012206 said: This guy who works at the same place as me has lately been asking me out to dinner, but I am not interested in him at all. We just would never be a match for a number of reasons. I politely turned down his offer, but he keeps on insisting upon it. Another awkward thing is that my boss has picked up on his advances, and has just made things even more awkward.

What should I do? I barely know him and don't want things to get worse at the office. Should I politely tell him I am not interested or just continue to say that I am busy so he gets the memo? I have never been in a situation like this. I appreciate any help you can provide.
Anna Maria, Just let him know politely and see how that goes. Saying one is busy can make him keep asking.
Nov 01 new
(quote) Mel-398726 said: I don't think men take rejection as hard as we women do. Most of my guy friends might feel a little sting at first, but then a beer commercial comes on and they get distracted or something. (jk! sorta.)
Mel, I wouldn't say men take it any lighter than women. I'd say it's about the same as women. :-)
Nov 01 new
(quote) Anna Maria-1012206 said: This guy who works at the same place as me has lately been asking me out to dinner, but I am not interested in him at all. We just would never be a match for a number of reasons. I politely turned down his offer, but he keeps on insisting upon it. Another awkward thing is that my boss has picked up on his advances, and has just made things even more awkward.

What should I do? I barely know him and don't want things to get worse at the office. Should I politely tell him I am not interested or just continue to say that I am busy so he gets the memo? I have never been in a situation like this. I appreciate any help you can provide.
Anna Maria, Mel initially suggested that this was harassment, then I believe that she modified that statement. My opinion, from what you have written so far, is that this is not yet harassment. I think the key to this is in your statement.... "Should I politely tell him I am not interested or just continue to say that I am busy so he gets the memo?" He may likely be a nice person but also an eternal optimist. If you keep telling him that you're "busy", he will likely keep asking, reasoning that you may eventually say yes... and it really isn't necessarily his fault that he is not "getting the memo" and understanding the meaning of what you are saying because you are not being as clear as you could be. You can be polite and blunt at the same time. I would suggest that you do so. If he asks again, I suggest that you make sure to tell him (using your own unambiguous words) that you aren't interested in going out with him, you won't be in the future and that he shouldn't ask you again. It needs to be very clear in his mind that there is no possibility that you will change your mind in the future. If there are problems beyond that, then mentioning it to HR (or perhaps a supervisor) may be a next step, but you have to be careful that it is truly harassment before you claim that it is. Otherwise it could affect you negatively... because a claim of harassment would be a serious matter. I suppose that women often say things in a more subtle manner in order to not hurt someone's feelings, but what you think in very obvious may not be taken that way by a guy. Basically, if you mean "no" that say "no"... not that "you're busy". That is just not clear enough for him. My hunch is that when you are crystal clear with him, he will back off (if he has a brain in his head). Ed
Nov 01 new
(quote) Anna Maria-1012206 said: This guy who works at the same place as me has lately been asking me out to dinner, but I am not interested in him at all. We just would never be a match for a number of reasons. I politely turned down his offer, but he keeps on insisting upon it. Another awkward thing is that my boss has picked up on his advances, and has just made things even more awkward.

What should I do? I barely know him and don't want things to get worse at the office. Should I politely tell him I am not interested or just continue to say that I am busy so he gets the memo? I have never been in a situation like this. I appreciate any help you can provide.
Opps the formatting didn't work.... Trying again...

Anna Maria,

Mel initially suggested that this was harassment, then I believe that she modified that statement. My opinion, from what you have written so far, is that this is not yet harassment.

I think the key to this is in your statement.... "Should I politely tell him I am not interested or just continue to say that I am busy so he gets the memo?" He may likely be a nice person but also an eternal optimist. If you keep telling him that you're "busy", he will likely keep asking, reasoning that you may eventually say yes... and it really isn't necessarily his fault that he is not "getting the memo" and understanding the meaning of what you are saying because you are not being as clear as you could be. You can be polite and blunt at the same time. I would suggest that you do so. If he asks again, I suggest that you make sure to tell him (using your own unambiguous words) that you aren't interested in going out with him, you won't be in the future and that he shouldn't ask you again. It needs to be very clear in his mind that there is no possibility that you will change your mind in the future. If there are problems beyond that, then mentioning it to HR (or perhaps a supervisor) may be a next step, but you have to be careful that it is truly harassment before you claim that it is. Otherwise it could affect you negatively... because a claim of harassment would be a serious matter.

I suppose that women often say things in a more subtle manner in order to not hurt someone's feelings, but what you think in very obvious may not be taken that way by a guy. Basically, if you mean "no" that say "no"... not that "you're busy". That is just not clear enough for him.

My hunch is that when you are crystal clear with him, he will back off (if he has a brain in his head).

Ed
Nov 01 new
Absolutely, that behavior constitutes harassment, even if you said "no, I'm busy" instead of "no," full stop. If you are uncomfortable being at work because of the behavior of this individual and/or your boss, you need to bring this to the attention of your HR department, and stop worrying about whether you are saying exactly the right kind of "no."
Nov 01 new
There are some details missing to make a clear judgement... but I would make a few considerations before jumping to the harassment conclusion.

How clear was the "no" that you gave him? Are you leaving him any room to suspect that its only a matter of you being busy at that time? Have you unknowingly sent any signals to him that he might have a chance getting a date with you? I don't mean to accuse you or say its your fault. It isn't. Unfortunately, the problem here is that some guys think that there is still a chance if you politely turn down an offer (how many movies and books have we seen or read where a woman turns down a guy, he pursues, and she eventually caves in?... and hence he thinks he can repeat what he saw or read in real life). These types of guys will make excuses for you in their head on why you're saying no ("she's probably busy tonight, I'll try again later" or "she's playing games" and so forth). Don't play tricks either. If you do something like giving him a false phone number, he will make excuses for you or think you're playing games. At any rate, it's not your fault or doing. It's the stuff that's likely going on in his head. But even though it may not seem "polite", until you bluntly explain that you are not interested in him and that this isn't a simple "no", he could go on like this. And even though a nice conversation with him may seem nothing to you... depending on his circumstances and mindset, he could misconstrue simple tokens of courtesy or friendship as something much more.

In a best case scenario, he could just be a desperate nice guy but the problem is that he has the aforementioned problems in his head. In this case, you need to be frank and honest. You don't have to be outright mean, but you have to be very clear that you do not want to date him and you are not playing games. You also have to be clear that any friendly or cordial conversation between the two of you DOES NOT imply that you are interested. And if he continues after that, then you've got a real problem and you need to go to HR or the authorities.

If you feel this is a very needy and insecure guy... you need to strike a careful balance of making your position clear but not upsetting him to the point he does something stupid where he will hurt himself.

In a worst case scenario... this guy is an overly confident narcissist who thinks he is God's gift to earth and will not stop until he gets what he wants. If you feel that is the case... then go ahead with HR right away and skip talking to him as some of the other people here have posted and suggested.

As for the situation with your boss... that could be a different situation. How close is your boss to this person? Is the boss just joking around or is the boss deliberately on this guy's side? If the latter... then you need to go to HR. If the former, then hopefully your boss will stop along with this guy. If not... go to HR. If you're on really good terms with your boss... you could consider talking to your boss in person. Otherwise... it needs careful discernment. I'd just like to point out something with my own experience. Back in my high school years... I had a crush on this one girl in my class. While not by boss... her parents, other students, and even some teachers would tease her or both of us calling us the "perfect couple" or asking her why she wouldn't go out with me. It annoyed me as much as it did her. In fact... because it annoyed her... it actually discouraged me from ever asking her out or telling her how I felt because of that awkwardness which I can tell you must be experiencing yourself. So yeah... having that type of thing going on never helps.

At any rate... you're the only person that can make a clear judgement since you know the details of what's going on. I just hope some of my hypothetical scenarios may be of use to you. Pray about it and good luck!


Nov 01 new
(quote) Mel-398726 said: Anna Maria, what you're describing is harassment. You turned him down, and now he's continuing to pressure you. It's now starting to affect the office environment, since you say that your boss has noticed it. The next time he asks you out, look him in the eye, and calmly say, "Thank you for the interest, but for the last time, no thank you. This isn't personal, but I don't feel it's good for coworkers to date." Then excuse yourself to the bathroom, or to go back to your office/cube, so it puts a hard stop to the conversation.

If he continues to pressure you, consider going to Human Resources. Just make sure you have a timeline with the date and time of each occurrence, including anyone else who may have overheard. You might also want to notate any time that your boss has said/done something that makes you think he's noticed the attraction, or any time someone has said something about it.

A lot of women suffer through stuff like this--whether it's just someone who can't take a hint or more in-your-face sexual harassment, and it's not necessary. And many of them are hesitant to make formal complaints because they feel that they're "causing trouble." You're not causing trouble -- you're reporting trouble. They are not the same thing. Unless he has a history of pressuring his female coworkers, he's not going to get fired. However, a discussion with management behind closed doors might be what he needs to back off.

But first, start with the conversation.

Prayers coming your way!

I like your advise Mel. This seems like harassment to me. Especially if the boss is noticing this, his behavior might (notice I said might) be inappropriate and excessive. I agree that you should politely but FIRMLY let him know you are not interested and he is to stop pursuing you. If he doesn't stop after your firm request, then it is clearly harassment and you should speak to your boss ASAP.

My feeling is you are correct in your decision not to date him. If he is persistent now, my opinionis he will be controlling and persistent in all areas of a dating relationship.

Anna Maria, please keep us posted.


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