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  • FIRST POST
    • Sunny Saver
    • By Sunny Saver 19th Mar 17, 5:18 PM
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    Sunny Saver
    How to avoid meeting up
    • #1
    • 19th Mar 17, 5:18 PM
    How to avoid meeting up 19th Mar 17 at 5:18 PM
    A friend passed away several years ago. Prior to that time I had not seen her or her OH for a few years as they were always busy.

    I only found out about my friend's death a few months after it happened. The husband didn't want to see people after my friend's passing.

    Almost a year later, I bumped into him. He was looking really well. My husband and I invited him around for lunch - he stayed for about seven or eight hours ... far too long, especially when there is nothing to talk about and when you have work to get ready for the next day.

    Since then he's invited me out for lunch/coffee several times - me not my husband and I. I think this is because he doesn't want to pay for my OH, when he's only a 'one' and we're a 'two', if that makes sense. He's old enough to be my grandfather, so no there is no romantic ideas!

    TBH, I'm happy to say Hi and small talk if I bump into him in the street, but it's painful meeting up as he's obviously lonely and wants to talk forevvvvvvver.

    He often texts saying it's been so long since I saw you etc. There are only so many 'I'm not free this week', 'I'm busy' you can use.

    Without hurting this old man's feelings, any suggestions on how to get out of meeting up please?
    Last edited by Sunny Saver; 19-03-2017 at 5:29 PM.
    “It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”

    F. Scott Fitzgerald
Page 1
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 19th Mar 17, 5:31 PM
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    Pollycat
    • #2
    • 19th Mar 17, 5:31 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Mar 17, 5:31 PM
    I think he does sound lonely.
    Is there any way you can meet him for a fairly brief coffee?
    • Sunny Saver
    • By Sunny Saver 19th Mar 17, 5:40 PM
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    Sunny Saver
    • #3
    • 19th Mar 17, 5:40 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Mar 17, 5:40 PM
    I think he is, but I really rather not because a. I don't drink tea or coffee in coffee shops; b. If I do it once, he'll want to do it again the following week or the week after.

    TBH, I think it's best not to meet up at all, as obviously it was fine not to when his wife was alive, I didn't see them for maybe three years [edit: actually 41/2 years], so it can't be that I mean so much to him/them, but I just don't know the easiest way to say no without sounding mean.

    I'm happy to keep it to a Christmas card once a year and a quick chat in the street. However, the few times I have bumped into him, the brief chat was never 'brief'.

    To me, meeting friends should be an enjoyable event not one where you dread or think 'I wonder what time I can go home?' or 'when is he going home?'.
    Last edited by Sunny Saver; 22-03-2017 at 11:43 AM.
    “It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”

    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • justme111
    • By justme111 19th Mar 17, 5:44 PM
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    justme111
    • #4
    • 19th Mar 17, 5:44 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Mar 17, 5:44 PM
    If you see him once a month for 2 hours it is not going to be a huge burden to you and it will be very valuable for him. Either cook for him or have a walk with him or invite him to watch a film or go with him to library. Just be more assertive next time he over stays his welcome, I really do not think it is benefitial to anybody to be "polite" and not show the guest the door (nicely but firmly) if as a result of it there will be no meetings at all in the future. One day your husband may be in his shoes , I am sure you would have wanted someone to spare 2 hours a month for him and brighten his life.
    • ripplyuk
    • By ripplyuk 19th Mar 17, 6:11 PM
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    ripplyuk
    • #5
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:11 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:11 PM
    OP, I understand how you feel. I ended up in a somewhat similar situation with a neighbour who's wife had died. He was very lonely and I felt sorry for him. It went from chatting in the street, to him calling at my door for 'a chat'. Regularly. It became impossible to get rid of him. The last straw was one evening when he called round and I told him I was just about to get a bath before going out. He said 'That's ok, you have your bath' and plonked himself down on the sofa!!

    It's very sad to know someone is lonely but it's not your job to keep other people happy if it makes you uncomfortable. It's not fair on you and it's not right to pretend to enjoy someone's company anyway. Eventually you'll become resentful and it'll show. Perhaps you could suggest some local clubs or groups where he could meet people his own age? There's bound to be something in the area.

    ETA: not sure how old he actually is, but Age UK have a befriending service. Maybe he'd like that?
    Last edited by ripplyuk; 19-03-2017 at 6:42 PM.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 19th Mar 17, 6:20 PM
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    IAmWales
    • #6
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:20 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:20 PM
    OP, I understand how you feel. I ended up in a somewhat similar situation with a neighbour who's wife had died. He was very lonely and I felt sorry for him. It went from chatting in the street, to him calling at my door for 'a chat'. Regularly. It became impossible to get rid of him. The last straw was one evening when he called round and I told him I was just about to get a bath before going out. He said 'That's ok, you have your bath' and plonked himself down on the sofa!!

    It's very sad to know someone is lonely but it's not your job to keep other people happy if it makes you uncomfortable. It's not fair on you and it's not right to pretend to enjoy someone's company anyway. Eventually you'll become resentful and it'll show. Perhaps you could suggest some local clubs or groups where he could meet people his own age? There's bound to be something in the area.
    Originally posted by ripplyuk
    That's completely different, there is no suggestion this chap is turning up at Sunny's door. They're simply asking to meet for an occasional coffee.

    Sunny, coffee shops sell plenty of different drinks, you not drinking tea or coffee is a useless excuse. I think you're being selfish, giving a few hours once a month is no great hardship. Sadly you're a sign of the times, loneliness is becoming endemic because people won't give a little time to help others.
    • ripplyuk
    • By ripplyuk 19th Mar 17, 6:41 PM
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    ripplyuk
    • #7
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:41 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:41 PM
    I wouldn't want someone spending time with me because they felt forced to. Anyone would hate that.

    The OP spending time with this man will not solve his loneliness anyway. They will have no connection between them and it will be obvious to him. He needs friends who enjoy his company. It's different if it was family, but this man is the husband of a friend the OP had lost contact with 3 years before.

    It's very sad that so many people are lonely and I wish I knew how to solve that but I know it's not by forcing people to spend time together, using guilt.
    • Sunny Saver
    • By Sunny Saver 19th Mar 17, 6:46 PM
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    Sunny Saver
    • #8
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:46 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:46 PM
    This man has a family. He has children, grandchildren, so he is not alone alone. He sees some of them weekly and his daughter several times a week.

    When I asked to meet up with him and his wife years ago, they were 'too busy'.

    Ok I'll be truthful, I dont go to coffee shops because I find them overpriced and dull. I dont want to waste my money on drinks that are a fraction of the cost if I made at home or bought in Sainsbury. I shouldn't be ashamed of saying that as I am on MSE after all.

    The point is, if we were that great friends surely we would have seen each other prior to her passing or someone in his family would have told me she had passed. I know that they put an ad to notify people of her funeral in the town where she grew up, but not down here, so no one can say they were too upset to tell people.

    If he were half his age, say 40, would you give the same advice, ie that I am selfish and should spend time with him?

    He is in his 80s, has a large family, goes to the gym, has been on holiday on his own since his wife died, goes out with neighbours.

    I just dont like being made to feel uncomfortable. The time he came for lunch, it was lunch that week, then the following week he wanted lunch again, then week after coffee. It's not a few hours a month he wants, it's hours a week. I dont even see my close friends that often.
    “It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”

    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • ripplyuk
    • By ripplyuk 19th Mar 17, 6:59 PM
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    ripplyuk
    • #9
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:59 PM
    • #9
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:59 PM
    I hate to mention it Sunny, and I'm not at all saying this is the case, but are you sure he has no romantic feelings for you? Age doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't. Only reason I say that is because you mention he doesn't want your husband to come with you. And your description above of the holiday/gym/regular family visits etc doesn't give the impression of someone lost and alone.
    • Sunny Saver
    • By Sunny Saver 19th Mar 17, 7:00 PM
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    Sunny Saver
    ripplyuk: my aunty's next-door neighbour left him, think they were in their 70s. My aunty used to chat to the old guy. He then started to wait outside when she returned from work. I think she started to stay out later just to avoid him.
    “It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”

    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Sunny Saver
    • By Sunny Saver 19th Mar 17, 7:02 PM
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    Sunny Saver
    I hate to mention it Sunny, and I'm not at all saying this is the case, but are you sure he has no romantic feelings for you? Age doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't. Only reason I say that is because you mention he doesn't want your husband to come with you. And your description above of the holiday/gym/regular family visits etc doesn't give the impression of someone lost and alone.
    Originally posted by ripplyuk
    I dont think so. I hope not!!
    “It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”

    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • poppystar
    • By poppystar 19th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
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    poppystar
    I think it is possibly not straightforward loneliness as he is clearly doing lots but probably not wanting to spend time in his own house on his own. I've experienced that particularly with elderly people who have lost their partner. The house leaves them alone with their memories and underlines the loss - I'll bet he hasn't invited you to him for a meal?

    Not sure that gets you any further Sunny but I doubt he is after you or anyone else.

    I would be resentful too particularly if he and his wife didn't have time for you previously. It is sometimes hard enough to spend time with close friends.
    • ognum
    • By ognum 19th Mar 17, 7:53 PM
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    ognum
    If I am honest OP your posts make me angry and sad at the same time. It's good your life is complete and you have no need for this man in your life but friendship and the ability to spend time with those who are not your family is vitally important to the bereaved.

    He needs you, you connect him to his partner, you new her and spending some time with him can make the difference between a good day and a bad day. He probably suggests just you because he can talk better one to one.

    Just remember it's not about you it is about giving a small amount of time to someone else. So you might find coffee shops boring but you could spend an hour once a month to go to one, you could suggest a walk in the park or going to an exhibition or museum.

    There may be a time, I hope not sometime in your life when you need the support of others, be unselfish and just give him an hour a month of your time.
    • justme111
    • By justme111 19th Mar 17, 7:55 PM
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    justme111
    I see, he is not alone. It could been dementia as well , alzheimer disease makes people behave inappropriately.
    In ripply's case I would have avoided him as well after pointing to the door !
    Another reason he may avoid your husband could be because males tend not to be vulnerable with other males.
    Of course if you feel repulsed and weirded out there is no point spending time with him. My last post was a call to question your feeling repulsion. Healthy selfsufficient and young are often put off by old and needy just because they do not fit into their world and it is not particularly insightful in my opinion.
    On another hand he may be ungrateful hard work asocial leary mentally affected by dementia, then I would avoid him as well. Only you know.
    Definitely work out on your assertiveness, 6 hours visit for lunch by a remote acquaintance is unhealthy.
    • piglet25
    • By piglet25 19th Mar 17, 8:16 PM
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    piglet25
    Was his wife ill for a long time before she passed away? Maybe that is part of the reason you didn't see them? I think you are being a little selfish by avoiding him, maybe he wants to chat to someone who isn't as involved in his life as his family are. Maybe arrange to meet him and say you have to go at a certain time to an appointment?
    • Sunny Saver
    • By Sunny Saver 19th Mar 17, 8:27 PM
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    Sunny Saver
    I dont feel he has dementia - he still drives, I dont think he would if had that. He remembers things very well, as in he could probably tell me I haven't seen you for xxx months, yy dweeks and zz days. Or he would say on xx date, y month, z year, you did this or that.

    poppystar: no he hasnt invited me to his home for a meal, but he has never cooked before now. His wife used to. A niece is living with him as she's studying here.

    justme111: yes, I do feel uncomfortable and creeped out now. He now knows I am at a certain place at a certain time, so he also goes then at that time. I haven't said what place in case he's on here, although I doubt it. Well, I've stopped going there now, as I had stuff to do there and he'd follow me and talk.

    He's not morose nor does he talk about his wife when he sees me, so I dont think he seems vulnerable. It's about what he's been doing, where he's been travelling to etc, so poppystar may be right, he doesnt want to go home. Maybe I'm being presumptious saying he's lonely.
    Last edited by Sunny Saver; 19-03-2017 at 8:30 PM.
    “It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”

    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Sunny Saver
    • By Sunny Saver 19th Mar 17, 8:29 PM
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    Sunny Saver
    Was his wife ill for a long time before she passed away? Maybe that is part of the reason you didn't see them? I think you are being a little selfish by avoiding him, maybe he wants to chat to someone who isn't as involved in his life as his family are. Maybe arrange to meet him and say you have to go at a certain time to an appointment?
    Originally posted by piglet25
    No, her death was quite sudden. She became ill late spring and died two months later. It was totally unexpected because afterwards he told me they had booked on a month's tour of India.
    Last edited by Sunny Saver; 20-03-2017 at 6:36 AM.
    “It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”

    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Sunny Saver
    • By Sunny Saver 19th Mar 17, 8:37 PM
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    Sunny Saver
    The other thing is, if it were reversed and he'd passed, I think I would be fine with seeing his wife regularly, as I was more comfortable with her, so I dont think it's an age thing.

    Thinking about it, he rarely mentions his wife at all.
    Last edited by Sunny Saver; 20-03-2017 at 6:35 AM.
    “It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”

    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • ognum
    • By ognum 19th Mar 17, 8:54 PM
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    ognum
    The other thing is, if it were reversed and he'd passed, I think I would be fine with seeing his wife regularly, as I was more comfortable with her, so I dont think it's an age thing.
    Originally posted by Sunny Saver
    Sunny saver

    You have an interesting quote at the base of your posts. How does that reflect on the way you feel about meeting this man.
    • Sunny Saver
    • By Sunny Saver 19th Mar 17, 9:03 PM
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    Sunny Saver
    ognum : Well Im wondering after the comments and observations on here, what's made me change my attitude. I cried buckets over his wife, yet spending time with him makes me feel really uncomfortable.

    I am also thinking back on what ripply said about romance. I know I felt very uncomfortable when he went on about how beautiful his grandson's gf was, it was a bit more than what I thought was normal, and also I was out shopping with a friend who is 70 and very attractive, he said something slightly strange about her good looks, strange as in maybe inappropriate, and gave her an admiring look, so who knows. I have no idea what is acceptable or not for singletons in their 80s, but for me, I found it inappropriate.

    It's all very well saying spend time with others, but if it distresses me, should I be doing so?
    Last edited by Sunny Saver; 19-03-2017 at 9:50 PM.
    “It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”

    F. Scott Fitzgerald
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