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Being strung along


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I am putting this in the Friendship section because I don't think it is relationship or dating advice.

 

Here's a story for you of something that happened to me and I want to know from others what they think and what they would have done in my situation.

Essentially a girl joined my company at work. We started to get to know each other through company gatherings and I started to have a crush on her. We started to flirt and roast each other daily to the point it became very natural and in front of others. Only at work though, nothing outside of work. She wasn't flirting with anyone else. During a company outing, a friend asked her if she was seeing anyone or dating anyone or is there any person she usually hangs out with beyond her girlfriends. She said no. She was even asked her sexual orientation and she said she was straight. I tried to casually ask her out but her response to me usually was that she wasn't free that weekend. This happened a couple of times and I assumed that she was just not interested in me because there's no way that someone can always be that busy. Things continued and we still flirted/roasted. There were times we would just make eye contact and hold it for a long time while smiling. It was a bit weird. Other people in the office were even suspecting what's going on between us and started to ask questions. Then later, she asked me if I wanted to go to a concert and what kind of music I like. She invited me to a concert but she also invited another girl and a friend of hers. We bought the tickets and the event was set. I didn't mind that her friends were coming because it's still an opportunity to hang and also listen to good music. Later, I asked her out for lunch - just the two of us because I thought - why not. She said yes to that and we planned ahead. We went out for lunch to a good restaurant and it wasn't bad at all. The conversation was good. I asked her if she was doing anything later and wanted to hang out - same answer, she was busy.

Finally the concert came. We walked together to the place and she was always on her phone. We met up with the other girl and then go to the concert where we got our seats. Things were alright. Now, comes the surprise. The "friend" that she wanted to bring was actually her boyfriend. Neither me or the girl who was friends with her knew that she had a boyfriend. She doesn't have any pictures of this boyfriend on her social media and she doesn't even follow her own boyfriend's instagram account. It was a bit surprising but it was quite obvious because they got very touchy-feely during the concert. It became super awkward because now it was just me and this other girl. It became kind of a date for us and we got to know each other pretty well.

However, I was still a bit disappointed and shocked. I'm not going to lie that it felt like a knife just stabbed my heart. I still enjoyed the concert but the next day, we are back to work and I have to see this girl again. Obviously, my entire tune has changed now. I understood that I just misread all the signals and was strung along. I felt like an idiot and foolish. I acted normal during work but obviously I don't feel like flirting/roasting anymore. Yet this person is still doing so? I don't really get what her deal is. It seems she just wanted attention. In any case, I'll ignore her for the rest of my life and feel disgusted just by seeing her now but I just wanted to know if something like this has ever happened to anyone else and why would someone do this? I realize if it was unintentional and she was just being friendly, but why keep a boyfriend secret? When she was asked if she had a boyfriend, why say no? All the times I asked her out, she could have simply stated she had plans with her boyfriend and that would have given me enough information to stop trying. She could have also stated that she was bringing her boyfriend to the concert, but she used the word, "friend".

 

I hate to bring the show, "The Office", but Jim and Pam also flirted/roasted each other knowing that Pam was already engaged to another guy. Jim eventually confessed to Pam and Pam shot him down saying that he misinterpreted things. I think though if that were to happen in real life, would you really tell a girl that? If the girl really liked Jim, wouldn't she have broken the engagement anyways? Pam may have been engaged to Roy for 3 years, but do you think that she would ever in front of Jim, just make out with Roy?

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You liked her and she liked your attention. That’s it. Basic incompatibility as well as a misunderstanding on your part. It happens. Nothing to feel hurt about. Did she lead you on? Perhaps a bit, but that’s life. Like the old saying goes, resentment is like drinking poison in the hopes that the other person dies. Don’t do that to yourself. She’s not available. Oh well. Next. There’s literally millions more out there. 

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Maybe she'd just started seeing this other guy and it's a grey area where they weren't official or something yet, OP. Social media isn't a good indicator, either. I've been with my partner for 8 years and you would not find him on my profile. For reasons related to his job, he needs to keep a low profile online. I've also just never been one to post about my private life that publicly. 

1 hour ago, applejuice88 said:

All the times I asked her out, she could have simply stated she had plans with her boyfriend and that would have given me enough information to stop trying.

Look, when you repeatedly ask someone out and they repeatedly say no, that is your cue to stop trying. The reason is not important when someone continues to dodge your attempt at a date. 

I am sorry you're disappointed. But the signs were already there that she wasn't interested in dating you. The flirting should have stopped; however, some people like the attention. Or perhaps what you interpret as flirting is just friendly banter to her. It's hard to say. But I don't agree that she strung you along. She didn't give you any indication that she wanted to be more than friends. 

1 hour ago, applejuice88 said:

It became super awkward because now it was just me and this other girl. It became kind of a date for us and we got to know each other pretty well.

Perhaps that was the intention in inviting you - to set you up with this friend of hers. 

 

 

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For what its worth I dont think that guy is her boyfriend. But just somebody she fools around with. See, the thing with disingenuous people is, they like to mask everything as "casual". That way they can do whatever they want without having to make commitment. She can flirt with you because she really doesnt have someone even though she fools around with some other guy. She can take you and the other friend to concert as a cover for the other guy so it wouldnt be a date but just "going to concert with friends". Even if you ask her now, she would tell you that its not her boyfriend. Even though you know what you saw. She loves attention. If you knew she has someone, attention would stop. So, do just that. Stop giving her attention. If she starts something say that its not appropriate while she has a boyfriend. That would probably throw her out a bit lol

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7 hours ago, applejuice88 said:

 All the times I asked her out, she could have simply stated she had plans with her boyfriend 

You need to leave her alone. She said no several times.

Re-read the sexual harassment policies at your workplace. No means no. She doesn't have to explain why or whether she has a BF or not.

Date outside of work and act more professional at work. The workplace is not a singles club.

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1 hour ago, Wiseman2 said:

You need to leave her alone. She said no several times.

Re-read the sexual harassment policies at your workplace. No means no. She doesn't have to explain why or whether she has a BF or not.

Date outside of work and act more professional at work. The workplace is not a singles club.

Trust me that I know no means no. The issue is she didn't say no. She would say "another time" or "not this weekend". I left her alone after that and ignored her. Then she invited me to a concert and then she agreed to go for lunch with me knowing it's just the two of us. I was fine with just ignoring and being friends. I have never dated someone at work before in my life but we did get to know each other well. In terms of sexual harassment policies, even the HR person at my work was encouraging me to ask her out. Anyways, it's all clear now so I have no intention of doing this ever again so don't worry.

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6 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

I am sorry you're disappointed. But the signs were already there that she wasn't interested in dating you. The flirting should have stopped; however, some people like the attention. Or perhaps what you interpret as flirting is just friendly banter to her. It's hard to say. But I don't agree that she strung you along. She didn't give you any indication that she wanted to be more than friends. 

Perhaps that was the intention in inviting you - to set you up with this friend of hers. 

Yea it's my fault for misinterpreting politeness and friendliness. Just didn't see that kind of banter, flirting with anyone else at work. She would laugh at my jokes that weren't even funny at times when no one else did. I understand though that all of that was just being friendly. As for setting up with that friend, that friend is also a co-worker and she's way too young for that. We did end up talking a lot but I'm not interested.

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7 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

Maybe she'd just started seeing this other guy and it's a grey area where they weren't official or something yet, OP. Social media isn't a good indicator, either. I've been with my partner for 8 years and you would not find him on my profile. For reasons related to his job, he needs to keep a low profile online. I've also just never been one to post about my private life that publicly. 

Yes, I understand to do a job, you want to keep social life private. Instagram is private though unless you are invited.

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12 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

That is the same thing as "no". You know she was just deflecting because unfortunately she has to work with you and she wants to be diplomatic.

The people I know would have just said "no". I have said "no" myself when asked by someone I'm not interested in. If it was a "no", then she shouldn't have agreed to go to lunch 1-on-1. Communication should be both ways and it should be direct. Unfortunately, now I have to work with her. I have been trying to avoid her but she still initiates conversations and tries to banter. I don't engage anymore. I'll be leaving this job in 2 months so I think it will be good for both of us.

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14 minutes ago, applejuice88 said:

If it was a "no", then she shouldn't have agreed to go to lunch 1-on-1.

Generally, I would agree, but was it clear to her it was a date?

I've grabbed lunch with male coworkers when we're on a lunch break. And yes, even one-on-one. They're work buddies and that's all. Was this the sort of context that you invited her to lunch? 

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2 minutes ago, MissCanuck said:

Generally, I would agree, but was it clear to her it was a date?

I've grabbed lunch with male coworkers when we're on a lunch break. And yes, even one-on-one. They're work buddies and that's all. Was this the sort of context that you invited her to lunch? 

I asked her a week in advance and told her it was just the two of us. I could've asked anyone else at work who was also free. I didn't use the word, "date" so no. It wasn't like, "oh today is lunch, let's grab lunch if you're free." We planned ahead and set a time when neither of us had any meetings.

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17 minutes ago, applejuice88 said:

The people I know would have just said "no". I have said "no" myself when asked by someone I'm not interested in. If it was a "no", then she shouldn't have agreed to go to lunch 1-on-1. Communication should be both ways and it should be direct. Unfortunately, now I have to work with her. I have been trying to avoid her but she still initiates conversations and tries to banter. I don't engage anymore. I'll be leaving this job in 2 months so I think it will be good for both of us.

This is why it’s not a good idea to try and date at work. You have to be ok with the possibility of being around the person if it doesn’t work the out way you wanted it to. Otherwise you make it awkward for yourself at best or have it affect your employment at worst. Not worth it when there’s far more people to date outside of your workplace than in it. 

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1 minute ago, jul-els said:

This is why it’s not a good idea to try and date at work. You have to be ok with the possibility of being around the person if it doesn’t work the out way you wanted it to. Otherwise you make it awkward for yourself at best or have it affect your employment at worst. Not worth it when there’s far more people to date outside of your workplace than in it. 

Yes, hindsight is always 20-20. I knew the risks but still took it. Sometimes being rational goes out the window when you start falling for someone. In any case, nothing is being compromised at work. I'll still always be polite and I have no ill-feelings. Just have to hold my head up high, wake up in the morning each day with a smile on my face.

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Honestly, she sounds like an F girl to me. 

The problem with people like that, is that you never really know where you stand because they will never just be honest or vulnerable.   

Take it from me, as a woman who has dealt with a lot of F boys during my life.   They may genuinely like you, but for whatever reason; control, just liking the attention, wanting to keep options open, fear of commitment- they won't just be straightforward or give the relationship an honest try.  Real talk, the person I had the best emotional connection with in my entire life was/still is an F boy.  I do think he liked me, maybe even loved me- he SAID he did, but yet he would always pull back anytime we were getting 'too close" and either randomly show up with another girl, act like we weren't dating or serious, or having someone waiting in the wings any time we had or fight or just if he felt like it.   I'll always have some love for him, because I never had an emotional connection that was the same. 

HOWEVER, I couldn't deal with the back and forth. It was beyond frustrating and often felt insulting.  I needed someone consistent and who didn't string me along.  Someone who would feel the same way about me every single day, not just when it was convenient for him.   

My advice- stop wasting your time.  Find someone who is emotionally available and open to a real relationship.   I know it's not easy when your connection is really strong, but trust me when I tell you that you will save yourself loads of pain and heartbreak. 

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9 hours ago, jul-els said:

You liked her and she liked your attention. That’s it. Basic incompatibility as well as a misunderstanding on your part. It happens. Nothing to feel hurt about. Did she lead you on? Perhaps a bit, but that’s life. Like the old saying goes, resentment is like drinking poison in the hopes that the other person dies. Don’t do that to yourself. She’s not available. Oh well. Next. There’s literally millions more out there. 

The first time she declined a date and didn't suggest an alternative I'd have moved on because it shows no interest in dating.  At the very most I would have tried one more time (I mean at this point in my life I wouldn't have -I do this when trying to make new friends -if I reach out and suggest coffee or an activity or something like that and I get a noncommital response with no attempt to reschedule I leave the ball in their court and if they do get back to me with a counter suggestion yes I'll do it but otherwise I might stay in touch casually but won't put in more effort to make a plan.

Flirting means interest in flirting.  Doesn't necessarily mean interest in dating.  Sorry you are disappointed.  Also she was acting like a girl -meaning-immature - do women at work refer to you as "boy"? Maybe thinking of your coworkers as adults might help you make better choices. 

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There are people in the world who like the ego boost of having a fan, and will feed bread crumbs to retain the attention, not caring that they are wasting the other person's time.

Gives a fun spark to their lives.

We all have to learn difficult lessons in life, so this is one of them.

You will now be better prepared to recognize this in the future and avoid these situations. 

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7 hours ago, Batya33 said:

Also she was acting like a girl -meaning-immature - do women at work refer to you as "boy"? Maybe thinking of your coworkers as adults might help you make better choices. 

No we just refer to people as "guy" or "girl" casually. Professionally, man or woman. I did not mean to imply that she was acting immature. It was my mistake. I didn't read the signs. 

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Let it go. 

I agree with others and now you know how to keep your personal life separate from your work life.

She lied to you.  I wouldn't trust her if I were you.

All you can do is dial it back.  Continue remaining respectful, well mannered, polite, professional yet deliberately distant.  Sooner or later she'll get your message and grow tired of enthusiastically flirting with you.  Learn to politely decline anything from her.  No means no.  Your cool actions will speak louder than words. 

I'm sorry.  She never took you seriously so do likewise and return the favor. 

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38 minutes ago, applejuice88 said:

No we just refer to people as "guy" or "girl" casually. Professionally, man or woman. I did not mean to imply that she was acting immature. It was my mistake. I didn't read the signs. 

I understand -it's accepted where you work.  I'm sorry you thought she was interested in dating you.  

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On 8/25/2022 at 4:55 PM, Cherylyn said:

Let it go. 

I agree with others and now you know how to keep your personal life separate from your work life.

She lied to you.  I wouldn't trust her if I were you.

All you can do is dial it back.  Continue remaining respectful, well mannered, polite, professional yet deliberately distant.  Sooner or later she'll get your message and grow tired of enthusiastically flirting with you.  Learn to politely decline anything from her.  No means no.  Your cool actions will speak louder than words. 

I'm sorry.  She never took you seriously so do likewise and return the favor. 

Yep I have let it go. Thanks. She didn't lie to me though. I just misinterpreted things. I will of course remain respectful at all times, but will not engage any further.

On 8/25/2022 at 2:04 AM, Kwothe28 said:

For what its worth I dont think that guy is her boyfriend. But just somebody she fools around with. See, the thing with disingenuous people is, they like to mask everything as "casual". That way they can do whatever they want without having to make commitment. She can flirt with you because she really doesnt have someone even though she fools around with some other guy. She can take you and the other friend to concert as a cover for the other guy so it wouldnt be a date but just "going to concert with friends". Even if you ask her now, she would tell you that its not her boyfriend. Even though you know what you saw. She loves attention. If you knew she has someone, attention would stop. So, do just that. Stop giving her attention. If she starts something say that its not appropriate while she has a boyfriend. That would probably throw her out a bit lol

It turns out that the guy she brought was his first concert ever in his life and she still refers to him as "friend". She had already gone to multiple concerts without him that year so I really don't know her at all.

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9 hours ago, applejuice88 said:

It turns out that the guy she brought was his first concert ever in his life and she still refers to him as "friend". She had already gone to multiple concerts without him that year so I really don't know her at all.

Maybe she brought him along to make it clear--once and for all--that she wasn't open to dating you. I have certainly asked a close male friend to pretend to be my boyfriend when in a similar situation (i.e., a guy in my social/career sphere didn't get the hint that I didn't want to date him).

And it seems that this is what it took to finally get the message through to you. I'm sure she did it this way to keep the peace at work, because look how resentful you are:

On 8/24/2022 at 10:15 PM, applejuice88 said:

It seems she just wanted attention. In any case, I'll ignore her for the rest of my life and feel disgusted just by seeing her now

It's really bizarre.

Especially when you had been reading her signals correctly at an earlier time:

On 8/24/2022 at 10:15 PM, applejuice88 said:

I tried to casually ask her out but her response to me usually was that she wasn't free that weekend. This happened a couple of times and I assumed that she was just not interested in me because there's no way that someone can always be that busy.

You literally changed her mind when she told someone she was single and straight. Why did you interpret that as interest in you specifically?

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9 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

Maybe she brought him along to make it clear--once and for all--that she wasn't open to dating you. I have certainly asked a close male friend to pretend to be my boyfriend when in a similar situation (i.e., a guy in my social/career sphere didn't get the hint that I didn't want to date him).

And it seems that this is what it took to finally get the message through to you. I'm sure she did it this way to keep the peace at work, because look how resentful you are:

It's really bizarre.

Especially when you had been reading her signals correctly at an earlier time:

You literally changed her mind when she told someone she was single and straight. Why did you interpret that as interest in you specifically?

That guy wasn't her "pretend" boyfriend. They have known each other for a long time. Why pretend when you can simply state, "I'm bringing my boyfriend". In fact, we had tons of events where co-workers did bring their boyfriend/girlfriend and we didn't use the word, "friend". There was nothing needed to make clear since I already stopped asking her over 2 months ago.

She was the one then later to ask me about what kind of music I liked and then pick a concert, and then agreeing to a lunch. That's what threw me off again. In any case, don't worry - I accept my mistake and misinterpretation of the signals. I am not resentful. I am just surprised. I would have preferred clear rejection than a surprise at an event. Even the other friend felt uncomfortable as she didn't expect a double date but just an outing with friends. I'm over it now and feel much better anyways. Things are back to normal and even went on a date last weekend.

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1 minute ago, applejuice88 said:

I would have preferred clear rejection than a surprise at an event.

I think you got a clear rejection, numerous times. But twice you found a way to resurrect your advances. 

At any rate, I'm glad you moved on and I hope you've learned that no one answers to anyone about who they date. 

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