Q Dear Gay Uncle,
I live quite a happy solitary life. My life is compartmentalised between work, friends, and love life/sexual adventures. I’m totally at ease with this and am approaching 50 with my life in a contented cycle.
I met a date on a hook up app. We had fun, and met up a few more times. Before I realised it, I found myself in a relationship. It was nice and I had feelings for him. But he constantly checked in on me, getting upset if I didn’t text in the morning and call him at night. We had the conversation about us being a couple, but with all these demands on my time I felt overwhelmed with things.
The weekend before last, I was suffering with a cold and felt I needed down time alone while I just pottered around with household domestic tasks. The building I live in has a security system, and I switched my door buzzer off and turned off my phone. I did explain to him that I wanted some ‘me’ time and he said he understood. However, on Saturday evening I had the police at the door after he had called them, worried something had happened to me. The neighbours let them into the building. I felt violated that he involved other people and created a drama.
In the heat of the moment I said things were over, he took it badly, and started calling work and hanging around my work building reception. He’s said due to the worry he acted out at work and lost his job, and now he holds me responsible.
I feel sorry for the situation he’s in. However, looking through all my messages and texts, I was very clear in what I said, and his communications back were pleasant and confirming. When I switched on my phone there were 20 voicemails from him and over 40 texts. He obviously got worried, but he seems to have worked himself up into a frenzy all on his own. He is younger than me by 12 years but still an adult is his 30’s, not a lovesick teenager.
I don’t want anything more to do with him. How can I make this clear to him and stop this harassment?
Wow! You definitely got caught up with a situation, and obviously this chap has built up a lot anxieties.
Some people get very anxious over being in a relationships and have various expectations and game playing antics to make them feel good about themselves. His was obviously constant communication. When the communication stopped, he reacted the way he did, obviously thinking something bad had happened. I totally get that you may well have said you wanted some down time and had booked in some ‘me’ time for yourself, but he probably didn’t expect complete and utter radio silence. Some people get so involved with a relationship, it’s like a drug. If they don’t get their ‘fix,’ they react like they’re going cold turkey.
However, you are not responsible for how he reacted. You are not responsible for him acting up and being overly dramatic at work, and you are not responsible for him losing his job.
You may want to have a closure meeting with him, just to put things in context. However, a simple correspondence stating that you don’t think any further contact would be beneficial for both of you would probably get the wheels moving in that direction. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in a blame game. He reacted badly, and it was his actions that caused the chain reactions that have ended up in ending a relationship and losing his job.
If he does continue with the barrage of messages and actions, you can block electronic correspondence and phone calls. After the meeting or final communication, it would be better not fuel the fire with any further responses or replies.
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JONATHAN WELFORD heads up GayAgonyUncle.com, a relationship and dating coaching practice. Writer and author, sometimes TV presenter, Jonathan is a trained Life Coach specializing in dating & relationships. He lives with his Scottish husband in Manchester, UK.