Dear Dr. NerdLove:
A guy from school that I barely know – we have one class together and don’t even sit beside each other – has been telling my friends and acquaintances about how ‘heartbroken’ he is that I “don’t like him the way he likes me”. Of course my concerned friends and acquaintances have approached me and told me about it – he corners them in line at the cafeteria, or while they’re waiting for the bus, or even when they’re in the library studying, so he can dump his FEELINGS all over them and ask for “advice” about “how to get me to like him”.
They’re freaked out, I’m freaked out, and I don’t know what to do.
Is this guy just trying to dig for information about me in order to gauge his chances? Or is he trying to coerce me into going out with him so he’ll stop harassing my friends and making everyone (including me!) SUPER uncomfortable? I get that, if you’re shy, you might want to test the waters first, but this feels more like a coordinated campaign than some innocent, awkward guy trying to figure out his feelings. Of course he knew that my friends/acquaintances would tell me about his actions and “feelings” so, now that the cat’s out of the bag, apparently I’m supposed to respond. Consequently, it feels manipulative and creepy and now I’m scared and don’t want to go to class. If I say, “Sorry, not interested. Stop hitting up my friends because you’re freaking them out”, I’m guessing that there’s a pretty good chance that it’ll go badly for me and he’ll try to retaliate somehow. If his current M.O. is any indication, he’ll probably spread malicious lies and rumours about me in order to get people in our program ‘on his side’ and make me out as some kind of psycho b*tch who was actually stalking him rather than the other way around.
I have no interest in dating him, though, and don’t respect the way he manipulated my friends into telling me about his feelings on his behalf rather than just nutting up and doing it himself. Should I just ignore him and hope he gets the hint?
(I know this sounds very high school-ish but we’re actually in university. I really didn’t see this coming.)
Thanks for your feedback.