Ya know…. sometimes I get myself into these situations. It started a week ago. A male coworker from my old work site saw me at an event with clients.
As most of you know I’m a pretty social person, friendly, talkative, even bubbly. (I know, what can I say) So just as with anyone else there at the event, when this guy came up to talk with me, I talked back. (As in responding, not as in sassiness.) Since I had changed shifts, he asked what days I had off now. I told him. And then he said maybe we could go to a movie on Saturday. I said, ‘sure”. We chatted briefly about which movies might work, and then it was back to clients. Throughout the evening I chatted with numerous other guests, clients and staff.
The guy texted me the next evening. Just checking in I think. I was involved with some things at home, so we didn’t chat long. The day before the movie, I got another text that clearly communicated or I should say mis-communicated, different intentions for this movie than had been offered earlier. It began with “Hi sweetheart…..”
I was really disappointed. I thought I was gonna hang out with a coworker/friend on my day off. But it turns out, his intentions had taken a different path. This guy is more than a dozen years younger than I am. Other than work, we have nothing in common.
I didn’t answer the ‘sweetheart’ text. I waited until the next morning. I wanted my response to be well thought out. Not hurtful in any way. But with the intention of setting a clear boundary, so that there is no way it could be mis-understood.
My text began with “Hi, just to clarify…..” And I identified clearly what my intentions in this invitation were. I still held out hope that the clarification would indeed resolve any confusion between he and I, and we could continue as coworkers/friends. However, I did not receive a response from him. At all.
Three days later I had to stop in the grocery store for a few things and that awkward moment occurred. He was there with clients. He was walking toward me, but hadn’t seen me yet. However the clients did and greeted me as usual in their excited smiling way. But the guy and I did not as much as make eye contact. I could tell he was uncomfortable. I didn’t want to make anything more complicated. So I continued on with my shopping.
I find it disturbing that I even have to consider changing the way I am with people. Do I need to be more reserved? Do I need to tame my exuberant personality so that it’s not mis-understood in some way? I hadn’t flirted. Hadn’t given the Best of Bread lyrics “Baby I’m a want you…”
The world needs a few light-hearted, exuberant people to balance out the all the crap. So just because someone is friendly doesn’t mean you should assume they want to date you.