If They Say They Don’t Want To Date You, Believe Them

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): WillMan Using Laptop
Comment: I have a question regarding Facebook interaction with exes or people you have dated.

This woman and I dated for a few months this past year. We had known each other for a year prior to dating.  Our last date we had a good time and went back to my place where we fooled around.  No sex, however.  Two days later we talked and agreed to another date.  That evening she texts me and tells me that she won’t be coming, we are not match and wishes me well. However, we still went out a few more times and text. Long story.

Over the weekend, my b-day rolls around she wishes me a happy b-day on FB and likes a couple of comments, status and pics regarding my b-day, too.  I text her some pictures that Monday and Tuesday of a restaurant I went to and my b-day. The texts were sent during the day and not night. Also, prior to that, she had a car accident and we texted about it and spoke on the phone.

Well, she texts me back, “I am seeing someone, and I am very happy.  Please do not contact me, again.”  Maybe I misread this, but I thought her response was disproportionate and assholish.

Did I do something inappropriate and how would you handle/respond?  Unfriend her, etc.? I am leaning towards not even doing anything, i.e. no response.

Thank you.
Age: 42
City: baton rouge
State: La


I feel like there are chunks missing from this story.

One of two things is going on.

1. She wished you a happy birthday on Facebook just to be friendly and you mistook the gesture for something more. Then, after you begin inundating aka pestering her with messages, she told you she was seeing someone so you’d go away.

2. She was bored and looking for attention, got it, then blew you off.

I’m leaning towards possibility number one, and here’s why:

However, we still went out a few more times and text. Long story.

I suspect that “Long story” actually means, “This is information that will cast me in an unsavory light, so I’m omitting it.” If someone tells you they aren’t interested in dating you, the typically don’t continue to date you. Therefore, the conclusion I’m drawing from this statement is that you continued to contact her after she relayed to you that things weren’t working out. Maybe you even hung out with her again under the guise of being platonic. I don’t know. I do know that it’s unusual for someone to endure the discomfort of telling a person they aren’t interested in them romantically and then doing a 180 degree turn.

I think what’s going on here is that you’re still hung up on her even though she has told you flat out that she’s not feeling it. She likely got uncomfortable with your persistent messaging and had to draw a boundary by asking you not to message her again.

How should you handle that? Like any other adult person. You respect her request and move on. No need to respond. She’ll just delete the message anyway. You can de-friend her if it will make you feel better, but you’ll look like a temperamental child. As I have said before, unfriending and blocking someone because you’re mad is stupid and passive aggressive.

Blocking people on social media is pointless. All someone has to do is log out of their Twitter or Instagram account and then go back to your page and – voila! – they see everything. Blocking achieves nothing in the ways of privacy. As for Facebook, many people have more than one page now. Either they’re snagging variations of their name or they wish to keep pages for friends and family separate or they don’t want to show up in someone’s People You Might Know column when they check up on their Exes.  It’s not hard to set up a new page. If they really want to creep your Facebook page, they’ll find a way. So, again, blocking is useless.

All these attempts at shaming and hurting people by blocking them is wasted and makes someone look like a self-important douche. Pissed at someone? Be an adult and use your words. Don’t hide behind social media to let someone know about your butt hurt. Just ignore and move on. (That doesn’t apply to cases where you’re being legitimately harassed, of course.) Folks who go to these lengths want a reaction from you. They want you to feel that initial moment of shock and hurt. Unfortunately for them, ninety-nine percent of the time all that results from these efforts is an eye roll and a head shake by the person they’re blocking.

Blocking is for babies.



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29 Responses to “If They Say They Don’t Want To Date You, Believe Them”

  1. The D-man Says:

    You’re probably right about this guy, but I had something similar happen to me with a woman. She was divorced, we dated a couple times, then I got a rather blunt message saying she was going back to her husband and to refrain from contacting her. Okay, message received. I didn’t contact her again.

    About six months later she texted me and said that the no-contact message had come from her jealous ex, who got into her phone. Ooookay… Then she asked me over to dinner, confirmed plans that morning, and confirmed them again about an hour before I was supposed to meet her.

    I went to her place, rang the doorbell and no answer. I tried calling to let her know I was there. No answer. I texted that I was leaving. No response. End of interaction.

    For all I know she was kidnapped, but I haven’t bothered to find out.

    • SS Says:

      I’m just curious…. what stood out about her that made you “forgive” her enough to go back again after such initial poor treatment?

  2. BTownGirl Says:

    If someone blocked me on social media because I didn’t want to date them, all it would do is provide confirmation that my initial decision was the right one. I couldn’t agree more that blocking/un-friending over a snit is absurd and the only one who winds up looking stupid is the person doing it. I wonder if people realize how much they say about themselves by reacting like this.

    As for pestering people after they’ve said “I don’t want to date you”, all you’ll do is look either (a) sad or (b) a loon. I had this happen recently and it was actually insulting, because they way the guy came out with it was like, “I know what’s best for you (because you don’t) and it’s dating me.” Seriously?

    • jenny Says:

      i don’t think you’ll look like anything for blocking or deleting. who cares? do what you want. it’s unlikely she’ll notice anyhow.

  3. yb Says:

    staying connected on social could be could be a reminder of unpleasant interactions.
    i would think it best to move one and cut off all ties with such people. why bother staying connected through social media to save face? who cares what they think after you un friend them?

    • BTownGirl Says:

      I agree when it’s a situation where you haven’t been in contact for years and you’d do the same with any other contact or it was an actual relationship that you’re moving on from. However, when it’s because you’re mad and want them to notice….that’s a bad look for a grown-up.

      • Laure Says:

        Not sure about the “bad look for a grown up”. Mostly the person you unfriended doesn’t care anyway. Just click the unfriend button: better for your peace of mind.

      • maria Says:

        meh, nobody owes anybody else anything. if unfriening somebody from facebook is the way for a person to move on, so be it. who gives a crap what kind of “look” it is. even removing people from your feed doesn’t help because most people get tempted to look. I don’t get where this obligation to stay friends on facebook with people comes from. when you break up with somebody, in most cases, you become strangers. why do you feel obligated to be friends with a stranger? I agree with Moxie about blocking, unless its a situation that warrants it, its childish and stupid but unfriending is totally fine. most people wouldn’t even notice it.

    • Lucy Says:

      I unfriended and unblocked my ex boyfriend because he made me feel uncomfortable. He would ask me to meet up as friends then try and get me into bed with him. I just got fed up. He sends me messages on LinkedIn over 18 months later. I want to be kind and reply but I don’t want to get dragged into anything.

      I just want to make one point: don’t let Facebook let you read into things and assume that there’s some kind of intimacy between you that isn’t really there. Facebook is a distraction from people’s lives. I have lots of ‘friends’ on Facebook but my real friends are people I keep in touch with and see often. That’s just one example but you can’t assume people have a thing for you just because they interact with you on Facebook.

  4. coffeestop Says:

    I don’t know, I unfriended an ex BF on FB after he started posting about how great Donald Trump was, there was an ick factor I couldn’t move past.

    • Jim Says:

      This. If you don’t unfriend or block this person they’ll continue to appear in your periphery. Best to server all ties.

      My STBX blocked me on Facebook at the instruction of her divorce attorney (so I couldn’t potentially collect evidence against her), which I initially thought was childish. But it actually makes a lot of sense because who wants to be reminded of bad situations if you can help it?

      I went ahead and blocked her too and I couldn’t be happier. I have a feeling she’ll want to reconnect after things ‘blow over’, no thanks.

  5. SS Says:

    A few months ago I blocked a guy on Facebook that I had been seeing from okstupid.

    The reason was that we had had a tiny spat… and literally the next morning a friend messaged me that he had initiated contact with her on the site. Accidentally? Deliberately? Who knows, who cares.

    I didn’t block him to “hurt” him but I do believe that some endings require surgical precision rather than tears and recriminations, and I had no desire to ever interact with him ever again.

  6. AC Says:

    I agree that it feels like pieces are missing from this story. Facebook “likes” are meaningless so there’s no reason to read into why she “liked” the pictures. Did she have friends besides you in the photos? If so, there’s your answer.

    Unfriending someone is a last resort. There are extreme cases where it can help but this doesn’t feel like one of them. Think about how it would look. You sent her photos that she didn’t ask for and she drew a line in the sand by saying stop contacting her. Do don’t do it. Instead, just let it go.

  7. Bree Says:

    “…Maybe you even hung out with her again under the guise of being platonic…”

    This is very likely part of his “long story.”

    Pretending to be her “friend” to get his foot in the door, then insidiously hounding her for more.

    This kind of behavior is on that spectrum of men not taking NO for an answer from a woman. I’m not saying women wouldn’t do this, just that it’s more common from men because they are encouraged to behave like this when women turn them down. They tell each other that women play coy (or these days prefer to say “play games”), don’t know what we really want, need to be taken charge of, manipulated, won over, etc. It’s rapey and dudes don’t even know it.

  8. Laure Says:

    I would unfriend her, not block her. By unfriending her, you’re showing her and yourself that it is time to move on. Don’t waste anymore time on someone who initially said she wasn’t interested in dating you.

    A few months ago I had a first date with someone I met online. I had high hopes, the way he described himself was very appealing to me. The date was fine, for a first time. Two days later he sent me an e-mail telling me he wasn’t romantically interested but wanted to go out for dinner sometime. I agreed, we became friends on Facebook.
    But: he never initiated contact. We went out for dinner once (I suggested going out again), had a nice time. After that: again no conversation between us for 1,5 month.
    End of story: I defriended him. Gave it a try to become friends, but he clearly wasn’t interested. His profile said he had a great sense of humor and made people smile. Well, to be honest: he never made me smile that much, nor the other way around. Time to move on.

  9. Mark Says:

    Will (the LW)

    From my perspective one of the most important part of your letter is in the beginning. Specifically:

    “. Our last date we had a good time and went back to my place where we fooled around. No sex, however. Two days later we talked and agreed to another date. That evening she texts me and tells me that she won’t be coming, we are not match and wishes me well. However, we still went out a few more times and text.”

    You both went out. Things didn’t click. Especially from her point of view. She pretty much placed you in the ‘let’s be friends’ zone.

    As to the social networking thing, it was probably a mistake to friend her. Even if you did, you really shouldn’t have gone beyond the social niceties and pleasantries. Generally speaking, people move on with their lives, you should probably do the same.

    However, Moxie and few others noted that sometimes people do the attention seeking thing and she might have engaged in that to some degree. Can’t really say. Unfortunately, that can be really easy to misread. I gather that you did. Otherwise she would nave not sent the terse message to you.

    I’m also inclined to agree that there are some gaps in the information in your letter. Again, not totally sure, but it just reads that way.

    Best to move on and not dwell in what might have been cast in the present day setting. Her commentary about having a current boyfriend and is currently happy seems to echo this point.

    Go out, enjoy yourself, and let the sleeping dogs of the past remain so.

    Best of luck and hope things improve.

  10. D. Says:

    In terms of facebook unfriending, if you don’t want them in your life and you don’t really give a shit what they think about you, go ahead and unfriend them. Don’t do it to “send a message” to them — because that’s silly and juvenile. Do it because you no longer care to give this person a window into your life, and you don’t want to peek into theirs. For what it’s worth, nobody is notified when you unfriend someone. The only way that they find out is if your page is locked down for public viewing, and they go looking for you.

    There is, however, one other option, which is to make it so that their posts don’t show up in your news feed, without unfriending them. This sort of strikes the balance between “out of sight, out of mind,” without actually requiring you to unfriend them.

  11. Abby Says:

    I’m inclined to agree with Moxie’s assessment as well. Another, related possibility is that she is a drama queen. Had a big fight with her boyfriend, decides she’s going to end things, and during her pout she starts looking at exes fb pages, liking and commenting and looking at other options. You took the bait. Then she and boyfriend make up. I only bring up this possibility because I have two acquaintances (in this age range for petes sake) that do this every now and then. It’s like fb is the new little black book.
    Regarding unfriending and blocking, I think it’s completely dumb and petty. You can take a person out of your feed so you don’t see their posts. I’ve done that (to a former classmate who thinks she’s a witch and believes she’s clairvoyant and posts about it All. The. Time.) I think that when you do that one of fbs algorithms stop you from showing up in the reciprocal feed. Not sure about that though. But I know when I take people out of my feed, I almost never get likes and comments from them ever again. so I don’t think they’re seeing my feed either.
    Regardless, the way you’ll know for sure if you’ve been inappropriate? Wait it out. If she starts liking your posts again, you know she wants attention or is a drama queen. If you are the one who misread and intruded, she will make sure not to like and comment on your feed so as not to inadvertently invite you into her life again.

    • Will Says:

      As an update, yes, after a few months, she has started liking my pics on FB again. I believe it is because she is single again. Abby nailed the situation. In any event, I have moved on, but I wanted to provide an update.

  12. maria Says:

    i agree about blocking unless its become an uncomfortable situation, but not unfriending. I don’t think anybody is under any obligation to stay social media friends with somebody who is no longer in their life. Sounds like he should just unfriend her and delete her number and move on. there is no reason for him to have her life in his facebook feed. what is the point?

  13. Lisa Says:

    I’d say 80:20, his fault. She contributed to the confusion a bit.

  14. Jake Says:

    To all:

    OP here. Thanks for the advice and responses. Regarding the “long story”, I can say that it was not my attempt at sneaking in as a friend to try to change her mind. I didn’t hound her, and she was up for going out. However, it is likley she friendzoned me during that period of time. In any event, we went out a few times and we fooled around some more.

    My original question stemmed from the fact that only a few days prior to her telling me to not contact her again, we texted and talked on the phone and everything was fine. This was when she told me she was in the auto accident (while on vacation) and wanted to know if I knew any attorneys (I am an attorney). And no, I did not ask her out. We just joked about the accident and I asked if she and her daughters were okay. And I gave her a little bit of legal info–not much.

    When she got back from vacation we texted, but I was not texting her everyday and for hours. Still, I do recognize it’s all relative and I could have been pestering her. In any event, I again did not ask her out.

    Of course, a few days later, she wishes me happy b-day, I text her and then she tells me to piss off. My reaction was, wtf? We just talked a few days ago after you texted me and now this. (Of course, she could be worried that her b/f will see my texts or he did see them and told her to stop it.)

    Abby, I think you nailed it. Yes, this woman is an attention seeker and tends to start liking on FB at certain times. I think FB is her little black book when she is out of a relationship or otherwise.

    In any event, one of my close female friends opined that she should not be texting me, asking for my advice or liking on Fb if she wants me to leave her alone, etc. It just doesn’t make sense. Other friends told me to unfriend her because of this and the concern that she will attempt to inject herself back into my life some way when she is bored or needs something.

    In any event, I have moved on. I decided not to unfriend her on FB. Abby, at this point it doesn’t matter. If she starts liking my FB again, I will ignore it. If she never does engage me on FB again, it doesn’t matter to me either.

    Again, thanks to all the comments and advice. I’m off to Buenos Aires for a much needed vacation.

    • maria Says:

      but she told she wasn’t interested in you romantically from the start, yet you still went out with her again, knowing this information. why did you go out with somebody who told you in black and white she was not interested? she did her part, she was honest about her lack of feelings. any feelings you had for her after that are your responsibility. when somebody tells you they aren’t interested, they aren’t interested. If I were her, I’d figure you kept in touch even after this information was given to you because you wanted to genuinely be friends. this woman didn’t “friend zone” you, she was honest with you. she didn’t feel a connection yet you decided to stay in touch so she went with it. this is what bothers me about your letter and about your response. she didn’t do anything wrong or play games. she was following your cue by staying in touch as friends. nothing wrong with her reaching out to you for friendly legal advice if you guys are friends–its exactly what I would do if I had a friend who was a lawyer. I am struggling to see what she did wrong.

      I still believe you left something out. You went from friendly casual banter to her telling you to leave her alone. I know you guys who claim a woman slighted you by wanting to only be friends have to believe she was a drama queen game player but your story doesn’t add up for the pure fact that she was HONEST from the very beginning. if you couldn’t handle being just friends you should have stayed away from her once she said she had no romantic interest in you. you went out with her after she told you she wasn’t interested to make her change her mind, and then you crossed some kind of line which made her tell you to leave her alone. I wonder what these pictures you sent to her really contained. I doubt they were pictures of you blowing out your candles on your birthday cake.

      • Jake Says:

        You are missing the point and what my question is about. We were fine interacting with each other until I texted her some pics of my b-day. And to respond to your absurd assumption, the pics were of tame artwork in the restaurant I had my celebration in. I sent her four pics. I had mentioned this place to her before. Clearly, if what I sent was offensive and improper, i.e.d-pic, she also would have unfriended me or blocked me on Facebook. She has not done so. So, I assume, her text message was for some other reason if she is keeping me on FB. It could be that I simple pestered her or she is laying boundaries because of the boyfriend.

        But, I agree with my friend that if you are setting boundaries then don’t contact me either or interact with me.

        Time to move on. Thanks all.

  15. Astrid Says:

    The OP sounds pretty sane to me. She went back on her words of not being interested and messed around with him. Then, when he thinks they’re having at least a friendly interaction, she tells him to piss off. Now he’s understandably confused by her coldness. If it were me I would just unfriend her. Because as several people have said what does he care what she thinks about him if she a.) isn’t even interested in being so called friends and b.) doesn’t want him to contact her?! In fact, what is to gain by remaining faux friends on fb? She was never interested in anything but her own ego from the sounds of it.

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