Delicate situation - or not so


#1

Looks like I have a talent for getting in trouble with people.

Basically, there’s a woman I met a university reunion. She seems to be very Catholic, except there’s one (at least one problem): she’s divorced and it doesn’t like she’s completely uninterested in me “that way”. She’s a lawyer and her mother is a diocese attorney. She may not be a proper canon law expert, but she’s likely to know more than your average person. She goes to church every day, receives Communion, which given that she’s divorced, should normally mean she’s reconciled with a celibate life - unless the marriage was null and declared so by the tribunal, which is not to be presumed.

She doesn’t make any obvious come-ons and the levels of cordiality or anything resembling flirtation don’t exceed what I get from friends whom I’ve known for a bit, although I’d say she’s pushing it. It’s a new acquaintance and thus I’m worried. Some behaviours also look a bit as if they were dating-inclined, although I may be wrong in my interpretation as I’ve been a couple of times.

So far I’ve agreed to meet during an open door fixed event in a park since I’d make such an arrangement freely with just about anyone I know, married or not, the place is completely public and the hour is early, but the situation feels dodgy and I’m beginning to feel rather scrupulous about this. I probably should have declined, but I could think of no polite way to get out of it and being extremely busy, tired and ill-attentive didn’t work.

Playing stupid and provoking a canon law discussion didn’t work either. She neither got tense (as a person in an irregular situation knowing it) nor angry (how dare I…). I will ask flat out if I need to, but I’d rather not have to. Obviously, if I had anything concrete, I’d have used it already and ended the acquaintance. But I don’t have anything. So once again, how do I get out of trouble politely or at least not too rudely? I have no problem saying clearly I won’t stand being even very subtly (and unrequitedly, since I wouldn’t be interested even if she were single) made advances on by a presumably married person, but I don’t feel that great about telling her it looks like she’s making advances if she isn’t really - that’s quite damaging from a woman’s point of view, I imagine… Although if I need to take that risk, I will. :o


#2

Why are we not to presume the best of people?

For heaven’s sake - just ask her.


#3

Well, if you go to this event that you’ve said yes to why not show up with another friend? I think she will get the hint, if she is seeing you in a light other than friendship…if that’s not the case she will think nothing of you bringing along a pal to this outdoor event.

If I were in her shoes and the person I invited showed up with someone else I’d get the hint that they don’t want to be alone with me…therefore NOT interested in me that way. I would rather it be that way than someone just blurting out that they’re not interested. Just my opinion…on the other hand some people are quite dense and don’t take hints…you actually have to tell them to go away:D.


#4

@kage_ar: I presume the best, but it already feels horrible when people unrequitedly make advances on you and so much more so when they’re ineligible. I’d ask, but it’s one thing if you ask to make sure you can get involved and another when you ask because you need to know whether you need to avoid the person. :o

@Lexee: Could try that, but doubt I’ll find anyone tomorrow morning. Guess I’ll just have to handle it.


#5

It is fine to have friends of the opposite sex (which you know of course). So could you just view her and treat her as a friend, like any other friend? Is there any issue to handle at this point? Any real reason to avoid her? (like, does she like Star Trek or something? :))
If you treat her as a friend, then she tries to deepen the relationship, *then *you can (should) clarify that you won’t become involved with a presumably married woman. But until that happens (if it ever does), I wouldn’t make a deal out of it.

But hey!! awesome that you’re being careful! Refreshing to see.


#6

Since you wouldn’t be interested in her even if she were free, her status really isn’t important. The way I have always handled unwelcome attention is to ignore. If it becomes too much, then there should be no problem with being direct.

Meeting her places, even places that you feel are neutral, or asking probing questions will only lead her to believe that you might have an interest.


#7

Personally I think you like her more than you care to admit to yourself and therein lies the problem.

Kathy


#8

Hmmm…it doesn’t sound like she’s hitting on you, but just being friendly. Perhaps she had a good reason to get divorced (there are some good reasons, including spouses who abandon their families), and just wants to get out and do things with other people, including friends of the opposite sex. Just because she is divorced doesn’t mean she can’t talk to men and be friendly.


#9

OK, I’m female and separated (husband left us). I work in a male-dominated industry. My women friends are more inclined to gossip, so I prefer the company of men for intelligent conversation. Maybe this woman feels the same.

You agreed to meet her, so go ahead and go. Don’t presume that she wants a romantic relationship unless she tells you so. You might make an interesting friend.


#10

Thank you for that post. That is always something to consider. Obviously, I may be tempted and I may like the attention. I also did make the mistake of not avoiding her during that reunion when things came out and I started having suspicions - so if you sense guilt in my posts, it’s true. But I’m not interested in any form of romantic relationship - while she has a couple of endearing qualities and a very positive overall impression, she’s not my type and we’re incompatible for reasons I can already see now. So I would be the happiest if she just forgot about me.

Yesterday gave that impression (I did go to the open-door concert, but I had to go shortly after, so no coffee or anything), but when I woke up today, I saw two text messages from her on my phone: a “good night” from 10 pm and a “have a nice day” from 9 am. While it obviously doesn’t make romance, it’s obviously not the standard with friends. So yes, I’m afraid she’s hitting on me, although I’m a bit more relaxed about having to confront her. But I believe I may have to. I generally try to be as unengaging as I politely can, but I fear this might not be enough. :o


#11

Chevalier, you seem to have the tendency to make things far more difficult for yourself than necessary. If you don’t like her, go and just see if she wanted to talk legalities about something. If she presses it, mumble something about pursuing an interest in someone else at the present. I’m with some of the other women… I’ve been separated waiting through no fault of my own for years to be able to file annulment petitions. Am I social kryptonite till then? Unable to have a male friend? Maybe you are her friendship that will convince her not all men are slugs. You don’t know what she is thinking so don’t presume.

I appreciated all the men who didn’t presume just because I said hi that I wanted to start a love affair.

If you were interested in her, you’d simply smile after coffee and tell her you’d like to pursue the interest and to contact you after her annulment petition was approved. That’s all you need to say. If she is of like mind, she’d understand your meaning and obedience to the Church and appreciate you. If she wasn’t, you’d get rid of her sooner rather than later.


#12

Hi,
I don’t really think this is that delicate a situation. Basically, attend the event, and while you’re chatting, mention that you are enjoying the friendship with her, but that to avoid misconceptions it might be good to be clear about the status of the friendship. That should open the door to a discussion about the condition of both of your situations. Then if you just want a casual friendship, you can see if that’s what she’s thinking as well. Maybe she’s just wanting a good CAtholic friend who can understand where she’s coming from…:slight_smile:


#13

Thanks…

Liberanos, don’t you know me. Yeah. I can apparently create any number of problems out of a relatively simple situation.

Please don’t get me wrong - I don’t believe that people who are civilly divorced should avoid having friends and so on. Far from that. I just feel very uncomfortable about even tolerating mere attempts at flirting with me by someone who is married to someone else.

While she isn’t openly hitting on me, some of her behaviours are ambiguous and she has now started texting me every morning and every evening and trying to phone me every afternoon. I don’t think this is just friendly calling, this actually begins to look like trying to establish a pattern and push me into some kind of a relationship. Today I’ve decided not to pick up and I survived some three calls until I got another “good night” (just that) text message. Come on, one doesn’t text friends to tell them good morning at the beginning and good night at the end of every single day. I’d be very sorry if it turned out she was only actually meaning it to be friendly all the time, but I think I’ll need to tell her I’m feeling uncomfortable with this. It would all be perfectly fine at an early stage of a potentially romantic relationship, but not fine in a relationship which should not be romantic. Just my perception, of course… I can still be wrong. But I think I need to make things clear. I’ll just openly ask her if she’s hitting on me. If not, fine. If yes, then I will explain how things look on my side (needless if she isn’t actually hitting on me).

Apologies once again if I offended anyone.


#14

Well, this changes my opinion. :confused: She sounds possessive or obsessive. I would be uncomfortable, too.

Ask her what her expectations for your friendship are. That kind of behavior would make me want to run the other way.


#15

You know…some on this forum might not be happy to hear this…but as a young guy, you really do need to keep an eye out for unwanted attention from (presumably) older, recently divorced women.

In fact, over the past few years, on two separate occasions, older divorced woman pursued me romantically – and the situations started exactly like how you described.

I assume that you’re perceived as being a studious and levelheaded type, which gives you a certain air of maturity. The divorced woman is looking for a mature guy (after recently getting away from a crazy or immature husband) and can’t help feeling drawn to you.

It starts innocently at first – you’re happy to meet someone who seems levelheaded and mature like you are (I’m still assuming the woman is older.) You become friends and find an excuse to spend time together. Then the women starts contacting you all the time – every morning, every evening, every time you have a break from work. At this point, you feel that something is wrong, but you don’t quite believe it.

Suddenly, when you least expect it, the woman tries to kiss you (more than your normal friendly kiss), suggests that you have sex, or says something similarly shocking. At this point, you’ll be surprised and shocked and will have no idea how to react.

If you try to clarify your “friendship” before things go to far, the woman may claim that she didn’t have any romantic intentions, but then she gets very angry and begins accusing you of things, or withdraws from you completely.

This is all from personal experience, by the way. Your latest post does not surprise me because your situation in the first post is EXACTLY how my situations started. Your instincts are most likely correct.


#16

That’s a lot. If some guy did that to me I’d stop talking to him. Flat out.


#17

It already does and I already believe. Today I kept not picking up the phone, but she phoned me from a different mobile number. I’d rather presume the best than conclude that she did it to check if it was only her own number that I wouldn’t pick up, but at the least she seems somewhat insistent. Which is not something I’m willing to play along with.

This is all from personal experience, by the way. Your latest post does not surprise me because your situation in the first post is EXACTLY how my situations started. Your instincts are most likely correct.

Sadly, yes. I wish I had been more careful and less lenient (with myself also) during that reunion. Sigh. Anyway. I’m going to speak things out at the first opportunity that arises.


#18

While she isn’t openly hitting on me, some of her behaviours are ambiguous and she has now started texting me every morning and every evening and trying to phone me every afternoon.

Oooh… that is a bit excessive for a casual relationship. Trust your instincts.

Not having hit on younger men, I don’t know how that game goes, but she doesn’t seem to be getting your signal.


#19

Her behavior could be defined as stalking. Good luck with dealing with her.


#20

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