Moral dilemma: efficient lie versus embattled truth?

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BirdInFlight
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07 Sep 2016, 8:34 am

To other women: I don't want this to be one of those threads that cause offense to guys, because that's not the intention with the thread or with the real life situation I'm about to describe, sincerely it is not.

But it's about the best way to close down unwanted pursuit when a guy is hitting on you and wants your number/to take you out, etc, and you know in your heart that you are not interested at this time, for whatever reason.

There are still lots of women and girls out there who are open to pursuit, it's just that I want to be the one who has decided I'm not, because this is important to what I want in my life right now.

My reason at the place I am in life right now is a really good one -- I really do not want any more romantic or sexual relationships in my life at this time, as I've had a very bad pathway in life with this area of life, and I'm seriously happier now that I'm relationship-free.

I'm not saying "never," as I try not to do that completely in anything in life, but at the moment in a long term way I feel quite firmly "done" and I have zero interest in ANY involvement with a person intimately.

I feel this is my right in life to choose this. It's not a personal insult to "Men," it's my own happiness and what I need. I'm content with my life exactly the way it is, by myself.

I also don't want to lead any man on, and so I won't even do the phone number thing "just to have a nice coffee, doesn't have to be a date".

Particularly as a woman on the spectrum, I'm content to not add new people or phone calls to my life these days; I hope anyone reading this can understand that. I even said this, about phones and phone calls, to this guy I'm about to tell you about.

Again, not a personal striking out against some poor guy who just wants to meet someone -- but I'm 54 and I've done all my "new men" meeting and coffees and dating.

So, to my question:

At my stage in life, is it actually better to just tell that lie: "Sorry, I'm taken/ I have someone"?

Thus shutting down the continuation of the pursuit?

I hate to lie, and I do usually think that simply being honest is usually the best policy in life.

But this is one of those things where honesty or even the slightest insight into your personal decision-making opens the way for someone to keep trying to rationalize with you, and then you can't get rid of them until it comes to being outright aggressive.

The reason I ask, is because yesterday in the park this man started chatting with me about the birds I was feeding, and as we talked a bit more on the subject, he started trying to ask me out and get my number. He asked if I was married. I said with a laugh to make it seem not so harsh: "I'm divorced and keeping it that way."

He said stuff like "Who would let you go?!" and became even more persistent. He was flattering and said how amazing I seem, blah blah blah. And he tried even harder to get me to agree to see him again.

I told him firmly but pleasantly, with confidence and kindness (I thought so anyway) "I'm sorry but no, I'm choosing not to date" or something alone those lines.

I know this is more information than anyone should have to give to a stranger, but one of my flaws is that I tend to overshare in what I believe is just an "honest answer" to questions. I'm pretty much honest to a fault even when it means I'm revealing little details about my inner decision making that are actually nobody's business!

But in the spur of them moment, my real, inner, personal reasons are all I can come up with to say, because they're the truth. The problem is, this kind of truth telling leaves itself open to being challenged and fought with by the persistent person.

He asked for my phone number and then said he would just give me mine and hope I would call him -- I was very truthful about this too, and told him that even though I have a phone, I don't like phones.

He said he is the same but wanted to give me his number anyway.

He kept weedling at me and even showed up again later after we had both moved on to other areas, in another place where I had sat down -- it happens to be populated area, I didn't feel in danger or anything.

I do want to make it clear this guy was NOT a threat in any way, nor did I feel threatened, paranoid or in danger.

I did not feel in danger in any way. He was nice, he was relatively polite about the whole thing, it's just that I'm not interested in ANYONE and that's my life-choice at this time.

Would it have closed the book on the entire episode if I had simply lied outright and said "Sorry, I'm married, but thank you!"

Or taken, or seeing someone?

It's a lie but it's such a final thing to say. If you say you're married, most decent people, and I do think this was a decent person, would just back off and say okay, worth a try, he's a lucky guy, bye bye now.

But this guy seemed to feel there must be an opening because I was only saying I've personally chosen to stay out of dating.

That's not a "final" thing to some people, they still want to winkle out the creature from the shell. It's almost like an invitation, and I do NOT mean it to be anything of the sort.

I'm sorry this is a bit of a rant -- I had a lot to get off my chest. I'm bothered by yesterday's encounter and I'm dismayed that I STILL haven't figured this stuff out at my age. But that's part of my ongoing naivety and gullibility.

I've learned as much as to be firm and not let anyone railroad me -- but I still haven't learned enough to make sure it doesn't drag out!

This guy made it drag out and drag out. I didn't want to blast him with anger -- I can and have done that in extreme case once in a blue moon in the past -- as he wasn't a horrible person, he really wasn't. But he was starting to be a bit of a pest.

Should I just give in to dishonesty and lie to end these things as fast as possible?


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DataB4
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07 Sep 2016, 12:43 pm

I hate lying. My friends say I am honest to a fault.

It seems to me though that the point of honesty is so that people will trust you to tell the truth and you will trust them to tell the truth. In this case, you made it very clear that you do not want any sort of relationship at all, not even friendship. If the guy isn't going to be in your life at all, then why not just tell him the quick white lie if it makes things much easier for you? In my case, I don't use that lie because people tend to stay in my life somehow. I don't want to have to make up stories about my would be boyfriend. Your situation is clearly different, as you don't want these men in your life for any reason.

I know lots of people have used that particular white lie. You would certainly be in good company in using it.



BirdInFlight
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07 Sep 2016, 1:14 pm

Thanks for your input, DataB4. Yes, this was a complete stranger I've never seen there before and I'm not likely to see there again, rather than someone who will continue to be in any kind of gathering I will be around in the future.

If it was a scenario where I'd joined a group -- therapy, a social gathering, night classes in woodshop lol, then it wouldn't be a good idea to tell this lie because it would have to be sustained.

But in a case where someone is a total stranger passing through and I will never run into this person again, it might be best to nip things in the bud with this one lie.

I hate lying too, and this type of lie is a "big" one. It's not something I feel very comfortable about. But it feels like if I answer with the honest answer, some people seem to take that as an invitation to challenge your decision! Which is a bit of a nerve really.

It's very personal to have to say you're not dating, but I don't know how else to say that without it making the person seize upon it as a reason to step up their "persuasion" another notch.

I've also just had to prove to another situation that I'm not married, lol!

Hmm, maybe they sent this guy around to test me. :lol:


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On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

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kraftiekortie
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07 Sep 2016, 1:40 pm

I can understand your dilemma.

If I were you, I would say that you are "taken." Takes away all variables, and salves the guy's ego. I'm not saying that you should salve the guy's ego for the guy's benefit. I'm saying that this prevents things from getting unpleasant.

Anyway...if you really think about it, you are "taken," figuratively, by the contentment in your life engendered by not having a romantic partner. You have a "commitment" to this mode of life. This mode of life is "your lover."



BirdInFlight
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07 Sep 2016, 2:06 pm

Thank you kraftie, "taken" is apt because, as you say, it's actually true -- I am in fact "committed" to my single life and the fact that I'm happy with that choice.

Since "taken" has an implication of being unavailable, I'm certainly unavailable and therefore taken. I like this reasoning!


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If you have a problem with something I post, something I believe, something I do or say, something in my sig, or something I am stupid enough to share that I'm struggling with and being caused pain by -- TELL ME TO MY FACE so that I can defend myself, instead of see you make a mockery of or a dig about it later.

On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

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09 Sep 2016, 4:32 pm

These situations are so awkward and I feel the same way about it, I can't believe how much it still catches me off guard if it happens and how hard it is to figure out how to handle it.

And yeah I have that tendency to "overshare" too, but there are also some things in my life I just don't talk about and when I reach that boundary I tend to shut down verbally. So it can go either way.

I don't feel comfortable lying about it...it usually doesn't even occur to me to do so in the moment, but even if they ask directly if I'm married or have a boyfriend I can't bring myself to just say yes. Even if I am never going to run into this guy again, what if he starts questioning me about my relationship right there? And some men are not deterred by that anyway, they just want to find out if you might be open to having an affair.

I think "taken" is a good answer...it leaves a bit of mystery and says you're not available and also gives the impression you're satisfied with the situation. So hopefully it will cut off any further questioning.

Maybe I'm weird though but it bothers me to have to say something like that. I feel like it should be okay to just say, no thank you, I'm not interested, and leave it at that. I have always tried to be very kind about it, but even that can make me feel like I'm having to put on a performance.

I mean sometimes these guys are actually rather rude with their "interest"...so why should their feelings matter more than mine do? I think they are usually more clueless than malicious, but sometimes I think their interest probably makes me feel a lot worse about myself than my most polite rejection could possibly hurt their feelings.

But anyway...it annoys me that people equate being "single" with also being "available" or "looking." My status shouldn't matter...the decision I make is what matters! And I'd like to be honest, polite of course, but honest and have the words I say taken at face value as being my own firm decision - nothing to do with anyone else or whether I'm "taken" or not - and NOT up for negotiation.



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09 Sep 2016, 4:47 pm

Totally agree, dianthus -- everything you said is exactly how I feel too! And yes -- this feeling that some of these people think something like this is "negotiable" -- that's exactly my problem with all this!

I feel annoyed that just because my honest answer is that yes I'm single but no I'm not available or not interested seems -- to them -- to open up this road that they think means it's all negotiable. It's funny but that word is something that occurred to me too, later, when I was later obsessing over this whole encounter, and wondering what I could have said better to just nip it all in the bud. I feel extremely annoyed that any of this is something the other person thinks is negotiable just because I can't say flat-out that I'm married, end-of-story.

As you say, it's annoying that people equate being single with also being available or looking. And it ought to be okay to just say no thank you, yet it never seems to be, and that's so frustrating.

Ideally, we shouldn't even have to explain or justify this stuff, and it's pretty rude that the person is putting us in that position by continuing; I wish a person would just respect immediately that I've already politely declined further contact. It's horrible to feel like reasons and your inner decision making process is having to be dragged out of you in order to justify anything.

I'm going to try to go with the "taken" thing in future, but I agree with you about how actually annoying it is that we might even have to say something like that as a detour sign, or shorthand, for a very personal inner decision.


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If you have a problem with something I post, something I believe, something I do or say, something in my sig, or something I am stupid enough to share that I'm struggling with and being caused pain by -- TELL ME TO MY FACE so that I can defend myself, instead of see you make a mockery of or a dig about it later.

On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

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09 Sep 2016, 6:29 pm

Yeah, I've tried the honest route; doesn't work----now, as much as I absolutely HATE it, I lie. I get asked-out almost every time I set foot outside my door, and it drives me absolutely NUTS!! Alot of them don't even put much effort into it----it's like: "Nice day we're having. Can I get your number?"----and it's absolutely MIND-BLOWING, to me, that they think I'll just be like: "Oh, YES, please----SAVE me", or whatever!!

I had figured a way to stop this from happening, was by doing everything I could think-of to be as UNattractive, as possible----that didn't work, EITHER; I think, because they thought I must have really low self-esteem (or I wouldn't have been so careless about my appearance), and therefore I would be HAPPY that ANYBODY gave me ANY amount of attention.






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dianthus
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09 Sep 2016, 7:58 pm

BirdInFlight wrote:
It's horrible to feel like reasons and your inner decision making process is having to be dragged out of you in order to justify anything.


Exactly! and sometimes it had made me feel almost like I was being put on the witness stand and cross-examined! It has also happened with other people like friends or acquaintances asking me why I wasn't dating, or married, or just plain screwing around. One woman I used to know would constantly try to pressure me to go out drinking and get laid...and then interrogate me about why I didn't want to!

This is all part of why I just don't even like to socialize with people at all anymore. It's as if people need to categorize everyone and they can only comprehend women being in certain roles in relationship to OTHER PEOPLE, not as individuals in our own right...and I don't know maybe it's the same for men, maybe it's just the nature of people who are more socially oriented to define themselves in relation to other people.

But I think in particular the concept of a woman being single, by choice, just boggles people's minds (and even more so if she does not have children.) I think some people just don't get it, and there's not much we could say or do any differently. It all goes back to an earlier time when most single women were old maids, young maids looking for a husband, widows, or prostitutes.

Some of these men who hit me up have either treated me like they thought I must be a really naive virgin, or a very promiscuous woman, I guess depending on whichever one appeals to them the most. Some have propositioned me as if they were talking to a street hooker, and others have gone so far as to ask me if I have EVER had a boyfriend, or had sex! I just cannot believe how rude it gets sometimes.



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11 Sep 2016, 7:08 am

To Campin_Cat -- exactly! It really does seem to be sad but true that in things like this, a lie "works better" at just putting an end to it. It's unfortunate that this is one thing where it all gets more complicated to tell the truth, rather than less, because telling the truth just makes the other person decide they're on a mission to challenge you. :(

Like you, I hate to lie; I blurt out the truth by default! But it seems like always blurting out the truth actually opens a person up to more interrogation and negotiation you never invited, like dianthus says.

To dianthus -- there does seem to be this confusion, bafflement and lack of acceptance of any woman who is alone by choice, yes, and people seem to want to "find a reason" or figure out what's wrong with this picture.

At times when people who were new to me came into my life at other phases where I was simply not wanting to be in a relationship, those people even thought "oh well she must just be a conflicted, closeted lesbian -- yeah THAT'S it!" :lol:

It's weird that people have to decide you're something in order to figure out why you're not involved with anyone. People can't seem to just accept that you don't choose it.

I too have had the "you must just be a virgin who has NEVER been involved, then" thing as well. So odd how people want to rationalize something in ever complicated ways, when Occam's Razor brings it down to "I just don't want to be involved right now."


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If you have a problem with something I post, something I believe, something I do or say, something in my sig, or something I am stupid enough to share that I'm struggling with and being caused pain by -- TELL ME TO MY FACE so that I can defend myself, instead of see you make a mockery of or a dig about it later.

On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

ASD Level 1, PTSD. Plus anxiety with panic attacks, mild sub-clinical situational depression -- and a massive case of sheer freakin' BURNOUT.

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dianthus
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11 Sep 2016, 3:55 pm

BirdInFlight wrote:
It's weird that people have to decide you're something in order to figure out why you're not involved with anyone. People can't seem to just accept that you don't choose it.


Yep...or even if you're not revealing whether or not you are involved with anyone, it's like they still have to come up with a reason why you're not interested in them. Like it couldn't be that you're simply not interested! This is why I dislike having to say anything about my "status" at all...it's not really the point.

I know saying "I'm taken" is just one of those social niceties that is supposed to spare someone's feelings. What about my feelings though? It usually comes across like they don't care at all about my feelings...they don't seem to care if they put me on the spot or make me uncomfortable, or insult me or interfere with my life or whatever.

And what it comes down to is all of this behavior is a big part of why I'm not interested...if a guy can't be considerate when he is just asking for a date, then why on earth would he think I would I ever want to go out with him, or be in a relationship with him? Am I supposed to want more of the same?

Really after putting up with so much of this crap, I don't know if I would ever want to be in another relationship at all. And sometimes I feel like telling a guy, the way you are acting is a prime example of why I'd rather be alone. But that only opens the door for them to start saying, why did someone hurt you, baby I'm not like that, give me a chance.

I wonder too why they don't just assume I'm a lesbian and move on...I was actually hoping when I cut my hair off short it might give that impression. I don't know maybe some do just make the assumption and leave me alone. But when guys are hitting on me, and not getting anywhere, it doesn't even seem to occur to them.

I have tried making myself unattractive too...and I thought gaining weight might make them lose interest. But instead they actually comment on the weight gain and tell me it looks good, with very pointed stares...I mean, WOW, doesn't that just melt the heart of any woman?

Anyway though...I just don't see the point of lying, whether it's to spare their feelings, or made a quick getaway or whatever...mainly because has a high rate of failure. I mean even when I have been involved with someone, and said so truthfully, sometimes it made no difference. And some men just seem to take it as a challenge.

One guy was so persistent, even when I let him know I was involved with someone else he didn't back off...and then when it ended he let me know he had been just biding his time waiting for it to end, because he KNEW that it would. I could only wonder, how could he KNOW, unless he did something to interfere?

If nothing else, he was admitting had been wishing me ill the entire time, which made me sick. And yet, the bizarre thing is, he really seemed to believe I was just going to pick right up with him as soon as it ended!! ! Even after I had already declined every way I knew how...it never made any difference what I said.

So...I don't know...the more I feel like I'm having to explain or give reasons or justify my answers, the more wary I feel...they might be "harmless" in the sense that they are not going to drag me down an alley (and who knows?!) but just having someone hanging around being persistent like that can be traumatic in and of itself.



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12 Sep 2016, 11:30 am

Aaagh. He was back again today. AAGGH.

NOW he's a pest.

The first time -- okay, can't blame a person for asking/can't blame a person for trying.

But I told him I wasn't interested, I refused to take his number, he said okay then --- and he was back today!! !

And AGAIN --" can't I just take you for coffee?" etc etc etc. AAAAGGHGHHH. I TOLD HIM THE FIRST TIME.

AAAAAAAA.

Sorry for the all-caps but I am now officially pissed off!

I never gave this guy ANY encouragement of hope. I told him I'm not interested and I'm happy alone. I told him I don't date.

He's not respecting me.

I am SO ANGRY today now.

He was even trying to show me PICTURES of his mum and sisters and the place they vacation and their sailing boat, like it's going to impress me. AAAAGHHH. I DON'T CARE!! !! !! !

Oh god I am so ever-loving angry right now.

As you say dianthus, why am I being so careful of HIS feelings when he's not giving a crap about mine?

Today I repeated everything I said, but he only left when someone's dog randomly peed on the backpack he had put down on the ground, lol.

Seriously though, if he shows up a third time that's it, I'm going to be as much of an as*hole to him as he's being to me. This is effed UP.


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If you have a problem with something I post, something I believe, something I do or say, something in my sig, or something I am stupid enough to share that I'm struggling with and being caused pain by -- TELL ME TO MY FACE so that I can defend myself, instead of see you make a mockery of or a dig about it later.

On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

ASD Level 1, PTSD. Plus anxiety with panic attacks, mild sub-clinical situational depression -- and a massive case of sheer freakin' BURNOUT.

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DataB4
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12 Sep 2016, 12:25 pm

If it were me, I'd say, "Please stop bothering me and respect my choices." If he continued to justify himself, I would say something like, "I'm really annoyed now. This conversation is over," and ignore him completely or, even better, walk away if I could.



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12 Sep 2016, 1:26 pm

DataB4, yes. I wish I had said that today, and I'm angry at myself, too, for failing to do so. But I will be saying it if there's a next time, now.

I really, really thought this guy would never be back. One of my weak spots is to be caught off guard and have to react on the spot -- I mean, unless a tiger is chasing me...but generally I just can't deal with these things without scripting. I now know I've got to be armed with that script.

Man I'm furious.


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If you have a problem with something I post, something I believe, something I do or say, something in my sig, or something I am stupid enough to share that I'm struggling with and being caused pain by -- TELL ME TO MY FACE so that I can defend myself, instead of see you make a mockery of or a dig about it later.

On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

ASD Level 1, PTSD. Plus anxiety with panic attacks, mild sub-clinical situational depression -- and a massive case of sheer freakin' BURNOUT.

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kraftiekortie
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12 Sep 2016, 2:12 pm

There are still guys around who believe that "persistence pays off."

You have to be sort of blunt with the guy in order for him to back off.



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12 Sep 2016, 2:26 pm

Yep, to some people "no" does not mean "no" just because it's delivered with politeness instead of an instant overkill of more choice language.

I try initially to be nice about things even when it's a negative message I have to deliver, but what really angers me is how "nice" just sends the wrong message to some people. It's a shame that one has to get blunt.

I seriously don't blame someone for giving something a shot, but honestly when they get persistent it crosses the line of respecting the thing you wanted to only have to tell them once.


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If you have a problem with something I post, something I believe, something I do or say, something in my sig, or something I am stupid enough to share that I'm struggling with and being caused pain by -- TELL ME TO MY FACE so that I can defend myself, instead of see you make a mockery of or a dig about it later.

On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

ASD Level 1, PTSD. Plus anxiety with panic attacks, mild sub-clinical situational depression -- and a massive case of sheer freakin' BURNOUT.

~ ~ ~