Some professors from the university that was running the competition were acting as judges, and all were extremely friendly to me and my students.
I started getting the heeby-jeebies during the competition, when I caught 2 of them leering at me when they should have been evaluating the students…
Immediately after the competition, one of the professors (a distinguished-looking older British man) approached me and immediately asked to exchange business cards (I live in Japan – It’s common practice to give out your business card to everyone you meet and their dog). I made a brief comment to my colleague on the way back that I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one of them sent me a flirtatious e-mail soon.
Imagine my surprise when that flirtatious e-mail arrived this morning. Barf.
Great meeting you last Saturday! Your radiant smile
illuminated the whole venue...
Well, now that this channel of communication has
opened, let's keep in touch from time to time, and if you
happen to hop down to ____________ for any reason, be sure to
let me know, so we can show you our favourite spots.
Best of luck,
Hoping to Get Down With you, PhD*
*names may have been changed
I showed the e-mail to my BF yesterday, and his response was “I don’t know if he’s necessarily trying to start an affair with you.” To me, this was clearly more than a congenial e-mail to a colleague. I said that even if this wasn’t a clear invitation, “keep a channel of communication open” is just fancy-talk for “let’s #&%! when we are in the same area code.” The fact that BF can’t see the clear signaling makes me worry. If he can’t see a clear sign like this that a man is hitting on me, will that make him more susceptible to falling into situations like this in the future? He also doesn't seem worried or jealous that another man has clearly made an advance. It’s frustrating.
Either way, this is the beginning of a new era of team boundaries for you both. Gone are the days of returning niceties for the sake of looking like a good sport.
You can either ignore the email, or write back that you didn't appreciate the tone and to please make no further contact.
THAT may seem over the top, but if protecting boundaries is the top priority, keeping in contact with this person should be significantly lower.
As far as how your BF reacted, I would share your concern but I'm also with someone who doesn't "get" those kind of subtle, snakey advances until they are being beat upside the head by them.
That's why having basic boundaries in place is key. If a woman were to write to him with the same tone, his response should be crickets, or - upon conferring with you - a brief message back that he is in a relationship and that kind of flattery is unwelcome.
Either way, HopingToGetDownWithYou PhD is on the no-fly list, and that's ok.
Thanks for the replies.
It triggered a panic attack for me as well, because my BF is currently preparing to go back to school for his MBA and the professor's advances made me extremely sensitive to the idea of him being thrust (pun not intended) into a new, stressful environment with high-powered colleagues and fellow students. Right now I'm super sensitive to everything, and the thought of him meeting female academic advisers and other students/creating new relationships with them makes me feel sick. We've discussed boundaries and promised one another complete transparency, but I am still nowhere near ready to completely trust him again.
[This message edited by theansweris42 at 1:24 AM, October 30th (Wednesday)]
[This message edited by Jrazz at 1:24 AM, October 30th (Wednesday)]
so we can show you our favourite spots
Hoping to Get Down With you
Oh, and the "radiant smile" line is just plain flirting. I think you're right to be wary.
This is to be expected and it would be in a way deemed rude not too.
For example, it would be considered rude if you had hosted them and they had not given you and fellow westerner gifts a small gift of appreciation (not too expensive because that demands reciprocity which is also deemed rude). They generally carry a stack around with them.
In this case I would take it at face value. Perhaps he did find you attractive but I also think there are mis-informed attempts "hoping to get down with you" ways of trying to speak as a 'westerner'.
[This message edited by lauren123 at 2:33 AM, October 30th (Wednesday)]
This wording bothered me because "getting down" here in my neck of the woods, would imply a more personal and intimate connection rather than a professional or business contact.
I'm hoping that this was a nickname that theansweris42 assigned for our benefit?
Hoping to Get Down With you, PhD*
*names may have been changed
*names may have been changed
If he can’t see a clear sign like this that a man is hitting on me,
Once I actually started a thread asking people to define what being hit on means to them. And as I suspected, there is really no uniform definition; many consider any kind of flirting to being "hit on" including whistles or someone telling you that you are hot or that you have a "radiant smile that illuminates the whole venue."
I will admit that I see enough in the "tone" to realize he is looking for a reaction yeah or nay from you before the next such email would be coming. And women who are open to affairs and being flirted with would give him just what he wanted...a flirtatious email back, saying you'd love to be shown around the next time you come.
But you have not implied that this guy was for sure married, nor would he even know you were taken, right? I think judgment of him is a bit harsh under the circumstances.
Flirting is actually allowed for single people, and even then, I don't consider it being "hit on." I consider it flirting and feel there is a big difference.
As for me, I would not be rude or ignore his email. This is not a suggestion or advice, it is just what I'd do. I'd answer the email very politely and even thank him for his kind words. But somewhere in the email I would include information about my own commitment to my H and how important it would be for him to also come along if you were to ever "hop down to _______" again.
I think that is how I react in day to day life on the rare occasion a man might smile and say something flirtatious to me. As soon as I indicate I'm taken they back off, and I really can't think of a time this didn't work to get them to back off.
I am not concerned with whether or not he was married or not... And I know that if he was single, he was completely welcome to flirt with me (I don't have a wedding ring or anything like that, so perhaps he thought he'd go for it, I understand that). I just felt weird and awkward to be leered at and flirted with -- This was the first time somebody has blatantly flirted with me in the past several years (Japan is a pretty reserved place, as lauren123 alluded to), the first time that a significantly older man has flirted with me, and the first time that I have had an experience like this since DDay.
I agree with you, Bobbi_sue... I said almost exactly the same thing last night... I think he sent this as a kind of "feeler" e-mail... Trying to see if I was interested in flirting back or not.
The main thing that bothered me was simply that the email just made me realise just how easy it is for affairs to start... A seemingly harmless, quasi-flirtatious e-mail... And it triggered me. It made me think... How many affairs in the world have started this way? Why is it so easy to fall for flattery? Why do so many people give in to the short-term attention of others when they have someone who has devoted their long-term full attention to them?
My boyfriend had the opportunity to cheat simply because he bumped into his ex-girlfriend in his office. He wasn't out looking for anything, but opportunity knocked and he idiotically took the bait like a dog humping the first leg it can find.
One of the reasons I shared the email with him (aside from our transparency deal) was because I wanted to show him just how easy it is for infidelity to happen. If I was looking for an affair, I'm certain that this professor would be more than willing to continue e-flirting and probably escalate it if I ever popped down to _____. I thought it should spark a conversation between my BF and I about how we need to be careful when communicating with people of the opposite sex from now on, but BF didn't really give me the reaction I was hoping for... He dismissed it all pretty quickly and didn't seem interested in addressing the issue.
[This message edited by theansweris42 at 3:32 AM, October 30th (Wednesday)]
Whenever I get a compliment or happen to notice a man looking at me, it's very uncomfortable for me, it makes me think "would this man cheat?"
I have a friend that I have known since we were teenagers, we dated 25 years ago, he is married, but currently getting a divorce (his wife filed and is moving out the end of this month)and he has been flirting with me for the past year. Just complimenting me and stuff like that.
Before the A, I wouldn't think much of it but now thats all changed, I look at everything so differently now. Guess my guard is up where men are concerned
Just another effect because of WH's poor choices
If you feel like you need to respond back to be nice, be sure to mention your boyfriend. Something like, "Thank you so much. If my BF and I are ever in town, we might take you up on your offer," should be subtle enough to tell him you aren't available or interested without being rude.
I would be frustrated too, if my H read something like this and didn't agree that I was being hit on.
"What did you expect? I am a scorpion."