Saturday, June 16, 2012

How to tell someone not to text you again

How do you tell someone to stop texting you? Don't send them a lame error message. Do it properly. Unless you're under 15, in which case an error message is legit.

A year or two ago I met a guy at a birthday party. He was a bit odd but he was quite nice and we talked for maybe 10 minutes. Mr G left to go to the bathroom, and I got up to leave as well and the guy asked for 'our' number. I gave mine to him. I figured maybe he'd text if he was around the Brunswick area with our mutual friend or something.

Anyway, he started to text me regularly. And they weren't your average text. They always gave me detailed information about what he was doing. I gave some dull responses then just stopped responding because the texts were getting weirder and weirder. Eventually they stopped. Then yesterday I got another one. Finally I decided to harden up and just tell him to stop texting me. I considered saying 'I met you once, for a short time over a year ago. That does not make us friends. FUCK OFF, you're being weird.'

Instead I went for: Hey, sorry but I'd really prefer it if you deleted my number. Thanks.

That's where a normal person would delete the number. It's awkward sending those messages. I wasn't happy doing it, but all social conventions had been ignored and to be honest, as a librarian, I know enough socially awkward people.

Instead of just leaving me alone, he wrote back asking "So do you remember who I am? I will delete your number if you are asking the right person". He told me his name and described where we met (he threw in Mr G's name for good measure). I spent ages wondering if it was worth writing back. After deciding that I was old enough to be able to deal with this, I texted: Yes, I do have the right person.

Case closed. He hasn't texted back, and I really hope he doesn't. I also hope I never have to see him again. Why hasn't someone pulled him up on this kind of thing? A friend of mine who also attended the party says he's done this to quite a few people - so why haven't his friends explained the finer points of social interaction to him?

What else should I have done? I'm not sure if I could have gone about it a better way. I probably could have been kinder, but I'm not sure how.


  1. Ooooh, how super tricky! I think honesty is a good policy, but leavened with kindness.

    I think the lessening quality of responses, and then the total lack of responses, would have been a hint to a person more attuned to social clues. I know that when I tried corresponding with someone recently and got absolutely no response, I took the hint, and stopped.

    I think it's super odd that he wanted to make sure you had the right person, after all that. If I got that message from my best friend, I'd want clarification. If I got it from someone I'd been texting often with no response, I'd send them one last text saying 'done', then just do it.

    I say well handled, Miss A. A good resolution to an uncool situation. No more random texts for you!

  2. Super tricky is right. And when you stopped texting you did the normal thing. You're right, if a good friend randomly said 'delete my number' I'd question it. In fact, that happened with Mr C and the doofus meant that I should delete the number because he had a new one.

    Well handled except for the hours I spent wondering if I was being mean!

  3. Your actually kind of lucky, telling a girl to leave you alone is harder.