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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 2
    • Sunny Saver
    • By Sunny Saver 19th Mar 17, 9:04 PM
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    Sunny Saver
    Also ognum, if you read my quote it's about giving a smile. I said I was happy to say Hi and small talk in the street. A smile normally comes with that.
    “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, 9:20 PM
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    Sunny Saver
    justme111: if I was assertive, I'd be direct and ask him why it is so important that we meet up now given that when his wife was alive we hadn't seen each other for three years.
    Last edited by Sunny Saver; 19-03-2017 at 9:35 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
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 20th Mar 17, 3:42 AM
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    Jojo the Tightfisted
    He's still a bloke, even if he is in his 80s. If he cared for his OH deeply, he's going to be missing not just her company, but somebody smiling at him or talking to him. Older friends who have lost their partners have said that it's not just their personality or smiles they miss, they miss the physical contact/intimacy and warmth. And that can make them seem a little clingy towards people who are kind to them.

    Maybe a 'my husband doesn't like it', lazy get out though it might sound, would be enough?
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll
    Originally posted by colinw
    • Sunny Saver
    • By Sunny Saver 20th Mar 17, 6:32 AM
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    Sunny Saver
    I think I can combine JoJo's and Piglet's suggestions - when he texts or asks to meet up for coffee/lunch, I'll say 'well obviously husband is working during the week so can't do then, maybe we can meet up one weekend' and at the lunch say we have to go to the cinema afterwards.

    I hope he takes the hint as he can be very persistent. He once listed to me the scenarios when we could meet up, ie before or after you go shopping, after the gym, they were all times when OH is working.
    “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
    • Pop Up Pirate
    • By Pop Up Pirate 20th Mar 17, 7:31 AM
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    Pop Up Pirate
    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.
    Originally posted by Sunny Saver
    You sound so resentful of this man when it's you that has lacked assertiveness.

    So just tell him you're not interested instead of beating around the bush.
    • Sunny Saver
    • By Sunny Saver 20th Mar 17, 7:38 AM
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    Sunny Saver
    Yes, you are probably right, I do feel annoyed because when I tried to meet up with them, they were too busy. For three years they were too busy. Now he has all the time in the world and wants to meet up every week and even tells me how long it is since he saw me.

    I should be assertive. Next time he mentions it, I will ask him when was the last I saw his him and his wife.

    It's easy to be wise after the event, I should have taken the hint when they were 'busy' for all those years and just left it to a Christms card a year, then I might not be writing these posts today.
    Last edited by Sunny Saver; 20-03-2017 at 7:43 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
    • itsanne
    • By itsanne 20th Mar 17, 7:49 AM
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    itsanne
    That would be a very unkind way of going about things.
    . . .I did not speak out

    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me..

    Martin Niemoller
    • itsanne
    • By itsanne 20th Mar 17, 8:09 AM
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    itsanne
    Speaking as someone recently bereaved, I'd be horrified at the thought of someone consciously being 'happy to say hi and make small talk' if they bumped into me in the street but wanting to avoid me otherwise. It's* something that happens all the time when I'm out, especially as people know about OH and stop to speak when they see me. That's fine as a 'normal' form of communication - how patronising if it were planned as the limit of interaction!


    * Bumping into me and chatting, not planning to avoid anything else.
    Last edited by itsanne; 20-03-2017 at 8:12 AM.
    . . .I did not speak out

    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me..

    Martin Niemoller
    • ripplyuk
    • By ripplyuk 20th Mar 17, 8:33 AM
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    ripplyuk
    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.
    Originally posted by Sunny Saver
    He once listed to me the scenarios when we could meet up, ie before or after you go shopping, after the gym, they were all times when OH is working.
    Originally posted by Sunny Saver
    ^^^This is worrying.

    Sunny, I can see why you're feeling overwhelmed. No one should be making you so uncomfortable that you have to change your routine/activities to avoid them. This doesn't sound like an innocent lonely old man to me. It's not normal to put that amount of pressure on you.

    If you're struggling to be assertive, could your husband help? Does he understand how uncomfortable this man is making you feel?
    • Judi
    • By Judi 20th Mar 17, 8:38 AM
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    Judi
    Are you annoyed because of this?

    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.
    or this?

    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.
    or this?
    Since then he's invited me out for lunch/coffee several times - me not my husband and I.
    To be honest, he sounds as if he's got a busy social life as it is. If he makes you feel uncomfortable, just keep telling him your busy.
    'Holy crap on a cracker!'
    • Sunny Saver
    • By Sunny Saver 20th Mar 17, 8:41 AM
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    Sunny Saver
    So as someone recently bereaved, itsanne what do you suggest. Clearly the friendship has ran it's course, we didn't see each other for three years.

    ripplyuk: my GP has put me in a swimming class at the local pool. 'Dave' is also a member, but not in the class. The pool gets very busy at class times, but now he has seen me go, he goes to to talk to me. He could go anytime. If I use the sauna after, he does too. Maybe it's coincidence, but if it were me, I'd use the pool at quiet times, not when there's a class so half of it cannot be used.

    My husband says I should meet him for coffee, but if I say you come too, he's less keen! He was the one who was most affected by the 7-8 hour lunch, as he had to get up at 5.45am the next day.
    “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
    • Judi
    • By Judi 20th Mar 17, 8:49 AM
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    Judi
    ripplyuk: my GP has put me in a swimming class at the local pool. 'Dave' is also a member, but not in the class. The pool gets very busy at class times, but now he has seen me go, he goes to to talk to me. He could go anytime. If I use the sauna after, he does too. Maybe it's coincidence, but if it were me, I'd use the pool at quiet times, not when there's a class so half of it cannot be used.
    Seems like he's latched on to you for whatever reason. Save hurting his feelings i'd just keep telling him your busy.

    If he's turning up at places where you are you could ask him what he is doing there? Just act surprised. See what he comes up with.

    He'll get the message eventually.
    'Holy crap on a cracker!'
    • Sunny Saver
    • By Sunny Saver 20th Mar 17, 8:51 AM
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    Sunny Saver
    Judi: all three. Just because he's retired and no longer busy, doesn't mean we are. Also when I was single if I went out with his wife, he always came, so why shouldn't my husband now.


    Even when his wife was alive, we didn't meet up all the time.

    I'm also annoyed because when he told me his wife had passed he said there were no flowers, but donations were made to a charity. OH and I donated £150 in her memory and wrote a condolence letter telling him this. The charity also wrote and told him this. In fact, I know they actually told him twice. His kids were looking after his correspondence for a bit, but no one acknowledged it. When his son spoke to me, several months later, I mentioned it and he said 'if you said you donated, you donated', which I found a bit rude. This may sound as if it's about money, but it's more about you just want to know they know you did something.
    Last edited by Sunny Saver; 20-03-2017 at 8:57 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 20th Mar 17, 9:43 AM
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    ognum
    [QUOTE=Sunny Saver;72278469]Judi: all three. Just because he's retired and no longer busy, doesn't mean we are. Also when I was single if I went out with his wife, he always came, so why shouldn't my husband now.


    Even when his wife was alive, we didn't meet up all the time.

    I'm also annoyed because when he told me his wife had passed he said there were no flowers, but donations were made to a charity. OH and I donated £150 in her memory and wrote a condolence letter telling him this. The charity also wrote and told him this. In fact, I know they actually told him twice. His kids were looking after his correspondence for a bit, but no one acknowledged it. When his son spoke to me, several months later, I mentioned it and he said 'if you said you donated, you donated', which I found a bit rude. This may sound as if it's about money, but it's more about you just want to know they know you did something.[/QUOTE

    I have donated to many funeral funds and only a couple of times has the donation been acknowledged. For many people who are winding up an estate it is the last thing on their mind. I agree it would be nice but you have to accept you gave the money to a charity, not to be thanked for it.

    Your post has been on my mind a lot. I think you are probably right, it's sad you don't have the time, energy or wish to spend time with this man but there is too much resentment to make this a meaningful relationship and if it's not meaningful what is the point.

    I think you should contact him in person or maybe your husband can and explain that at the moment you don't have the time to meet up or simply that you find it upsetting.

    Give your thoughts and energies to people you want to be with, enjoy their company and move forward.
    • grannybiker
    • By grannybiker 20th Mar 17, 9:56 AM
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    grannybiker
    My heart goes out to you, Sunny, as you're obviously a caring person or this wouldn't be creating such angst for you.
    The bottom line is, he's not your responsibility and he's not a sad desperate old man who has no options but to latch onto your kindness. He has family close by, friends and hobbies.
    It seems that you're feeling almost stalked by this man as he turns up where he knows you'll be and wants to meet you - alone. I think most of us would be uncomfortable with this. Discomfort and resentment are no basis for a meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship.
    I do some voluntary work and some of the people in the group have been bereaved. They all agree with Esther Rantzen's quote that loneliness isn't about having nobody to do stuff with. There's often someone to have lunch, walk, see a film with. It's about having nobody to do nothing with. Sadly nobody can fill this void.
    I hope you don't feel too harshly judged by some of the comments. None of us have walked in your shoes for even a few paces.
    Worse things will have happened in the world today...
    "The only thing that really matters, it to love and to be loved."
    • suejb2
    • By suejb2 20th Mar 17, 10:01 AM
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    suejb2
    Coffee
    If he asks again , which seems likely, maybe suggest somewhere neutral as you dislike coffee places, supermarket cafe maybe. Take your O.H with you. Stay just for the coffee and excuse yourselves with a doctors/ dentist/hairdresser appointment.

    If he asks again , it doesn't have to be every week say monthly.Say your O.H will be coming again, he may decline this idea in which case that's his doing and no guilt on you. If he accepts then it's nnot just you he wants to eee.
    Life is like a bath, the longer you are in it the more wrinkly you become.
    • itsanne
    • By itsanne 20th Mar 17, 10:02 AM
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    itsanne
    So as someone recently bereaved, itsanne what do you suggest. Clearly the friendship has ran it's course, we didn't see each other for three years.
    Originally posted by Sunny Saver
    Sorry, I should have added that in the first place. (Probably side-tracked by being a bit touchy at present.)

    I can understand your frustration at the lack of contact in the three years preceding your friend's death and lack of communication when she died ..... but I can understand him trying to re-ignite contact now too. It's very difficult trying to find a way forward after a bereavement if you've done pretty much everything together and don't actually want to make the new life you know you need. However, that is no excuse for the stalkish behaviour he has exhibited and I'd be unhappy about it too.

    If he makes you uncomfortable, you have just as much right not to see him as you would have if he hadn't been bereaved. Because of your discomfort I wouldn't suggest that you find ways of limiting the time but still seeing him for coffee etc. - you probably shouldn't see him at all.

    I think you'll have to be quite blunt and tell him you're uncomfortable that he's appearing in places he knows you'll be. Give that as the reason you don't want to meet up - it's largely the truth anyway, and it's probably better to focus on one clear thing than come up with lots of excuses. If need be you can say that your husband is uncomfortable about it too. It's not likely to be an easy conversation, but I suspect anything else won't change his behaviour.

    Good luck - I don't envy you 'the talk'.
    . . .I did not speak out

    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me..

    Martin Niemoller
    • Sunny Saver
    • By Sunny Saver 20th Mar 17, 10:22 AM
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    Sunny Saver
    Thank you all for your advice and for taking the time to comment.

    I didn't make it easy for you to advise me by not giving the full story in post 1, I was trying to be tactful in case he ever came on this site.

    I've been using the word 'uncomfortable', but after 'talking to you all' I realised I feel 'trapped' and 'suffocated'.

    I don't want to be made to feel as if I have to stay for hours when I see him or that I can't get away, even when I've 'escaped' to say the sauna, he follows. Or every time I bump into him, there's always talk of meeting up.
    “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
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 20th Mar 17, 10:23 AM
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    KxMx
    I know myself when you have been brought up to be polite and are generally a nice person, it can be so so hard to find a way of dealing with situations like this.

    Unless you do though nothing will change, and he will continue to make you feel uncomfortable. You have to harden your heart and sometimes be assertively rude, which can be difficult!
    • Sunny Saver
    • By Sunny Saver 20th Mar 17, 10:33 AM
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    Sunny Saver

    Unless you do though nothing will change, and he will continue to make you feel uncomfortable. You have to harden your heart and sometimes be assertively rude, which can be difficult!
    Originally posted by KxMx
    Easier said than done though. You'd think he'd have taken the hint after being busy for so long though .

    My husband is pretty useless in this scenario. Like a chocolate teapot! He says 'just go' and that I was his wife's friend. He hates confrontation.
    “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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