I’m an effective but unpopular, female manager working in a “change environment” situation. Last June, a series of anonymous hate e-mails were circulated widely about me – the sender was never uncovered.
Background to my Query:
In August, a single father living in another city (but from within the same working circles) supposedly took an interest in me after interacting through work and started to communicate with me regularly via BBM. With time, he began to express his interest, affection and admiration of me.
It was clear to me that there was something missing though – no telephone (voice) contact, no extra step to meet with me etc. but we developed a seeming “friendship” where we discussed a wide range of issues but usually focused on a sports competition, we were both following to break the ice, and would segway into other areas of discussion.
Initially communication through BBM alone wasn’t an issue because I wasn’t ‘interested’. When BBMing became regular, I eventually inquired why we never spoke on the phone or why we didn’t plan to meet up and he said that he was scared and was still building up courage.
In between time, we’ve had SEVERAL opportunities to see each other (he travels to my city at least twice a month, and I’ve been to his city at least twice since we started speaking, for work) but never did, mostly because I believe that a guy should initiate such things. And he never did.
This went on for some time, got boring and so in December, I deleted him from my contact list without informing him.
In January, I contacted him – I guess I missed the banter and “company”. So I added him back onto my BBM contacts; he asked why I had deleted him but said that he was hurt but was agreeable to reconnect. And we picked up where we left off and he eventually went a step further about a month later to tell me that he loves, needs and wants me and that he acknowledges that he’s bad at communicating it but that for him, he needs the time to “build up courage”. Our communication evolved to us messaging at all hours and eventually, we had our first phone call – it was a good conversation, albeit very late at night.
He has mentioned that he finds me beautiful but that he is not lusting for me because he “wants more” – when I asked what that meant, he said “more” and that he was willing to take as long as it takes to get it. At one stage I traveled out of the country and contacted him via SMS; he said he was very happy to hear from me (he said, “he so needed that”) but then proceeded to tell me within the same conversation that I am a “great person”. LOL.
Anyway, so I deleted him from my BBM again about three weeks ago because we had regressed to BBMing (no calls and no concrete plans to meet – other than “one Saturday”). To me, it’s an obvious dead end (it just will not evolve beyond BBM) and moving on is not an issue for me (luckily, we never had any physical contact so at the end, it’s more of an annoyance and waste of time than anything). In fact, it is the option I have taken.
What’s irking me now is a bit (perhaps a lot) of paranoia. So from a guy’s perspective, I want to know whether this guy was genuinely interested at all (ever?) or was I just being played from the get-go?
My paranoia stems from the work history I gave you initially and also from the fact that the mother of his son is the best friend of a subordinate-colleague with whom I don’t get a long with and who is an under-performer and who is also a former colleague (and friend, I think) of the guy.
Need some clarity, from a guy’s perspective…
First of all, I believe you made the right move in breaking it off. For whatever reason, is inability to take it beyond texting and the rare phone call tells me that he wasn’t interested in making a relationship with you a priority. All that talk of “building up courage” is a pretty lame excuse. If he wanted to be with you, especially if you’ve both invested time in the romance department, he’d FIND a way to get together. I once had a strong online flirtation going with a woman that lived six states away, and I was doing everything I could to try and put together money for a plane ticket just to see how it would play out – and I’ll be the first to say I’m not the most courageous guy around!
Are you sure he wasn’t married, or had another woman in his life? This just feels like a guy that was “emotionally cheating” on someone with you. If you’re not familiar with the term, it basically means finding satisfaction outside of a relationship without consummation – common when a spouse isn’t getting what he or she wants at home. Some justify this action by thinking “if we’re just talking, it’s not an affair”, although it can be just as devastating.
Getting to meat of your question, on the surface I’d say that I don’t believe this guy was the source of the anonymous e-mails. If he really lacked the “courage” to find a way to meet up with you, chances are good that he lacked the courage to go thru several people to hurt you.
Finally, by nature, most people are lazy. Unless they were severely hurt, most guys don’t seek sneaky revenge – it’s just too much work with little satisfaction. More likely in my opinion – this under-performing colleague you don’t get along with may have gotten the information on your relationship and is trying to use it to make people focus on anything but their poor performance. I believe it’s more of a work-only issue, and very little to do with the ended relationship.
In my opinion, he was playing you. My first thought on reading your story was, “This guy is married.” There is no reason for someone to be so vague and unavailable if they really care as much as the noises this guy was making suggest. And I don’t buy the “I’m a poor communicator,” bit either, if the BBMing is no problem; he’s just not willing to communicate in a way where he can’t control the content. The inability to coordinate a simple cup of coffee together when plenty of opportunities have arisen is another red flag. All of it speaks of something to hide, or something else going on. Unfortunately that also tells me your paranoia may be well founded. If he has found himself losing the game he was playing (because you are unwilling to blindly hang on his every message with doe eyes and rapt attention) then he may try to bolster his damaged pride by cutting you down. A less sadistic alternative is that he has simply been unwise in speaking to someone near him but within your business circles (as you indicated several people are) about you – maybe while hurt or disillusioned – and it has fuelled their own fire of discontent. Either way, I think this guy is one you are better off without.
I feel this guy was using you to build up his own ego. Perhaps he recently was rejected in a relationship, a current relationship is not going well or it has been a very long time since he has been in a relationship. Whatever the reason it sounds like he needed someone to help him reaffirm that he is a great guy and an amazing catch. The reason I say this, is because he visits your city frequently and yet he shows no desire to meet. If he really liked you, he would want to meet you. Forget his crap about building up courage. The only time he would need to build up courage is if he had sent you a photo that was 50 years old and looks nothing like him.
The fact that he doesn’t even want to really have a phone conversation with you should tell you that he really isn’t that interested. He just needs the odd ego boost from time to time.
As for him being a part of some work scheme, it could be possible but I find it doubtful. It just sounds like he was looking for more of an ego boost, to repair any damage he has suffered from current or past relationships. The point I’m trying to make is whatever the reason this guy wasn’t interested enough to develop a relationship with you. So you made the best decision, you moved on. Spend as little time as possible dealing with this guy in the future. For every one guy who is not that interested in meeting you, there are ten guys who would love to spend time with you. You are better off focusing your attention on them.
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