I’ve enjoyed connecting with old friends on Facebook (and keeping up with my children). The trouble started when an old boyfriend friended me. At first I was flattered—we dated when I was in my thirties, which was, ahem, awhile ago! However, he seemed rather obsessed with me, always phoning, chatting, etc. And when I agreed to visit him (which I admit was a mistake) he not only posted status updates about how excited he was that I was coming, but berated me for not doing the same! Even before I went, I was remembering why I broke up with him, but now that I’ve seen him in person. . . ! He’s pompous, arrogant, he never lets me finish a sentence, and he simply doesn’t believe me when I tell him it can’t work between us. Please tell me how to convince this knuckleheaded “gentleman,” once and for all, that it’s OVER!
Reconnecting with gentlemen you’ve been attached to and quarreled with can be done, but it’s tricky work. There generally must be some change of mind on one side or the other to overcome the reason for the separation (such as the acquisition of a large sum of money by at least one party.) This can be true even though he may be using you as a standard which no woman, not even yourself, can reach.
When the gentleman has not overcome his faults, and you are no more willing to put up with them than you were, it’s a different story. You now have to re-crush his hopes, and this can be difficult. Many gentleman are knuckleheaded, and so full of their own importance that they can believe a woman to be accepting them even when she is refusing them in the plainest language. My first advice would be to refer the matter to your father, whose refusal may not be mistaken for the delicacy of an elegant female. However, if you don’t have a father or brother who can tell him to get lost, your best recourse is to ensure that he fancies himself in love with someone else. Have you no friends panting for such obsessive attention, who wouldn’t mind the annoyances you describe? Hook him up with an eligible spinster of your acquaintance. I promise you, if she is amiability itself, he will soon forget about you, or at least only remember you enough to constantly remind you what you have lost, and I’m sure you can bear that very well!
pp Jane Austen (signed in her absence)
P.S. A further piece of advice: renewing old acquaintances is all very well, but you don’t know what these people have become, and their rapacious children may try to marry yours for their fortunes. Light chat and status updates can be deceiving. So, be careful!advice, advice column, What Would Jane Do?, WWJD? on Thursday, October 15, 2009 · 2 Comments »