The Only Way To Get Out Of This Pickle

, , | Romantic | June 16, 2017

(I’m having a bit of trouble with a classmate whom I went on a date with once. It didn’t work out, but now he won’t leave me alone. He stares at me throughout the whole class, ambushes me when I’m leaving the lecture hall, and sometimes follows me to my car. Nearly every time he talks to me, he literally begs me to go out with him again. So far, I’ve tried to be polite, but this is getting really out of hand. I’ve decided to be absolutely clear next time he tries something that I don’t want anything to do with him. However, I’m not looking forward to the conversation. I keep trying to avoid him if I can. On this day, I think I’ve managed to slip away unnoticed by using the back exit of the classroom. I’m walking to my car feeling relieved at avoiding him.)

Classmate: *from somewhere behind me* “[My Name]! There you are! I wasn’t sure where you went. Ha ha!”

Me: *walking to a more crowded area, then turning around to face him* “This needs to stop.”

Classmate: “What?”

Me: “I’m not going to go out with you again. Ever. You need to stop trying.”

Classmate: “But… but…” *tries once again to convince me we’d be the perfect couple*

Me: “No. I’ve made my mind, and I’m not going to change it. Also, the way you’re acting is—”

Classmates: *cutting me off* “We’re still friends, though, right? Let me walk you to your car.”

(We weren’t friends before he asked me out, but he’s somehow gotten it into his head that we were. Every time I think I’ve convinced him that I don’t want to date him, he continues to hang around, saying he just wants to be my friend. The next time I see him, he always conveniently forgets the last time I turned him down and tries to convince me to go out with him yet again. So much for just wanting to be friends. I’ve let him get away with the friends thing so far because at that point of the conversation, I’m usually just glad the begging is over. Also, it seems really mean to tell someone you don’t want to be their friend. I really don’t want to be his friend, though, so I decide it’s time to put my foot down.)

Me: “You know what? No. We are not friends. We have never been friends. Please leave me alone.”

Classmate: “But I got you a gift!”

Me: “I don’t feel comfortable accepting–”

(He quickly shoves something into my hands. I catch it reflexively so that it doesn’t fall, then look down to see what it is. It’s a jar of pickles.)

Me: “Um…”

Classmate: *looking at me expectantly, like the jar of pickles is supposed to magically make me jump into his arms*

Me: *trying to hand the pickles back* “Uh… This is… thoughtful, but like I was saying, I don’t feel comfortable accepting a gift in this situation.”

Classmate: *refusing to take the pickles* “But I got it just for you!”

(I have no idea why he would do that. I don’t actually like pickles, and I’ve never told him otherwise.)

Me: “I don’t—”

Classmate: “Please just accept it.”

Me: *sighing* “If I take these pickles, will you leave me alone?”

Classmate: *nodding*

Me: “Just to be clear, that means no more calling me, no more talking to me, no more walking me to my car, and no more staring at the back of my head in class. You’re going to stop doing all of that? Because of… pickles?”

Classmate: *still nodding*

Me: “Okay, then. Thanks for the pickles. Have a nice life.”

(He actually did leave me alone after that. I never ate the pickles, and I changed his name in my phone to “Pickle Guy – DO NOT ANSWER.”)

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