Do I Need To Cut Ties With This Sketchy Guy?

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    Hello everyone,

    I really could use a different perspective to help me understand my confusing and hurtful situation.

    In essence, I got chatting to an old male school friend of mine recently via Social Media instant messaging and we mutually revealed to each other that we liked one another. When I say like, he claimed that he fancied me last year, he showered various compliments on me, said he had the hots for me, and ultimately revealed a physical attraction for me.

    He wanted to meet up with me last month when he was in my hometown, however I made up an excuse not to see him, as to be honest, I wanted to put the brakes on the situation to ensure he wasn’t going to just use me for casual sex. He seemed okay about not meeting up and agreed that he might be quite busy with family matters anyway.

    Since our message exchange six weeks ago, he has not bothered to contact me in private. He has occasionally up until a week ago, ‘liked’ or ‘loved’ various pictures I have posted on Facebook, but to me that doesn’t indicate any drive to pursue me and actually seems quite a lazy approach by him. I have withdrawn from any social media activity involving him, and have pulled back from liking his posts/pictures, and deactivated my Instagram account so that I could not obsessively check his online activity, which proved very disheartening to me. I witnessed that in the passing weeks he has been following new female accounts and liking a multitude of other women’s photos that could be described as suggestive accounts and of females seeking attention. It feels like a complete slap in the face to me after he told me he fancied me, and speaks volumes about the priority I take in his real life, which seems a big fat zero!

    I feel so stupid now for opening up to him enough to confess I was attracted to him. Whenever we have conversed via messaging, the conversation has always felt quite one-sided and revolved around him, his problems, and troubled childhood. He rarely asked anything about me or tried to get to know me better.

    Brief background: I unfriended him on Facebook last year due to what I considered to be his sketchy, online activity with other females. He literally has thousands of FB friends, mostly women he doesn’t even know, and worse than that, he operates multiple FB accounts. It’s like he has an obsessive need to accumulate a digital stamp collection of women! He is not a 20-something either, he is the same age as me, in our early 40s!! The unfriending happened, as I didn’t think he was serious about advancing any connection with me, plus I was creeped out by his tacky online behaviour.

    I, perhaps unwisely, thought to give him a second chance and friend requested him again several months ago. I thought he was reforming his toxic behaviour, going by the things he was telling me he was achieving or aiming to achieve, but now I can see that this relentless online pursuit of multitudes of women has not stopped.

    I feel very hurt at the moment, that he would ignore me like this after indicating his interest. What does it all mean? It has been upsetting me trying to figure it all out and seemingly going around in circles in my head over it. Does this mean he was lying to me when he said he fancied me? Do I need to unfriend him immediately? Admittedly, I will feel silly unfriending him a second time, and I guess I am languishing on this decision, as I hold stupid hope that he might still redeem himself by messaging me and making good on his words to me. Do I tell him I am unfriending him or just leave? A part of me doesn’t want to give him any satisfaction or ability to turn things around and blame me somehow. Do I tell him what I honestly feel about him disrespecting me like this, when I have been a caring friend to him, listening to all his problems and showing sympathy? Or should I just exit the remaining online tie with him without warning and never return?

    Thank you in advance for any advice that can be shared.



    I think the topic of your question is telling- you chose the words, “Do I Need to Cut Ties with this Sketchy Guy?” You consider him sketchy, and judging from your description of the interactions with him, you are very correct. So, in being correct, the question you need to ask yourself is, what long-term good would come from maintaining ties with someone sketchy? If the interactions with him have caused this much heartache up to now, what would happen further down the road with more interactions? It would not get better, for sure. The other question you need to ask is- why do you have this belief that a man who behaves this way is worth your time or mental energy?

    You said you’re holding onto hope that he will redeem himself- from the description of his personality it sounds like you’re hoping he might become someone other than who he is. That probably won’t happen. Or it might if he has some kind of life-altering experience- but by that time, if it happens, you will have already moved on.

    Maya Angelou had some great advice which should always be kept in mind, but admittedly can be hard to follow: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” This man has shown you who he is.



    Yes what Selkie said, look at what you titled your post.

    You see him as sketchy and therefore ask yourself, Do I want to expend more energy, attention, concern, questioning about someone who I consider as sketchy?

    Always trust yourself.  Always love yourself.  First do that before seeking out the console of others.



    Hello Dee,

    I agree with Mark and Selkie – cut ties with this guy.  You say you will feel silly unfriending him a second time – you can just not follow him and hide him from your newsfeed.  After several months of no contact, quietly unfriend him.  I think sometimes we want to make a bold statement to the person who is the object of our frustration and who we feel rejected by.  You don’t need to do this.  You simply need to be done with him.  And just to reinforce – that is a wise decision on your part.



    Thank you for your advice Selkie. You articulated so well the thoughts that have passed through my mind. And I love that Maya Angelou quote, having contemplated it recently seeing as it relates to my experience.  I feel like I need validation on my beliefs about this guy before I make my next move, all the while knowing I need to work on believing my first instincts about other people’s characters and following through on my own convictions.

    I find him sketchy not only because he follows thousands of females on Instagram or Facebook, but because he has women far younger than him on his social media accounts. Some look to be barely 18 or 19 years old! And in a sense, at that age, they are just young girls and not mature women. I can’t help but think why is a guy in his 40s acting like this for? And why on earth am I so attached to him despite all the shady signs he gives off?

    It would seem he really has an emotional hold over me, and I lose the ability to be rational wherever he is concerned, even though I can see how his words don’t always match up with appropriate action, and he displays a character sorely lacking in integrity. I definitely lowered my standards to allow him back into my life and know I need to raise the bar again, since he is not treating me with respect. I can see that the connection between us is on shaky, uneven ground and he is calling the shots. I just find that he validates me in a way that no one else has, with all the nice things he says about me (when he is not ignoring me!), and the strong attraction I feel for him. I am attached to him and reluctant to let that validation go. It’s painful, as I do really care for him and feel a strong tie, probably because we were childhood school friends and come from similar backgrounds of experiencing family violence in the home. In a weird way, I see a part reflection of myself in him, although he is no longer the innocent school boy I remember.

    He does come from a troubled past, but I thought he was making strides in the right direction to improve his lot in life. Sadly, this episode has proven to me that his behaviour relating to communication and appropriate socialisation with females has not changed from what I previously saw.

    I guess the important question I need to address now is, do I cut my tie with him on Facebook, and if so, do I tell him why, or do I just exit without explanation? Does he even deserve to hear from me again after I let him back into my life a second time and he chose to blow it?

    I am driving myself crazy second-guessing every scenario that might play out when I unfriend him, and how best to proceed to minimise the hurt that my heart has already taken. I am trying to fortify myself for that unfriending moment, which I fear is the only sane option now. It breaks my heart, because it means that there can be no further chances given to him and that scares me. I missed him so much the last time I unfriended him and dread having to slam the door shut for good this time.

    Thank you.



    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for your advice. You hit the nail on the head too. I do think I am quite intuitive about red flags in relationships, but I lack the ability to trust myself enough to follow through on my beliefs. Always second-guessing. Always giving others more chances than they deserve, even when they have shown me disrespectfulness. 🙁 I need to work on my confidence more.


    Hi Airene,

    Thank you. You are right. Truth is, I am hoping to make a bold statement when unfriending him in a last-ditch effort to resurrect a failing connection and see if he cares enough to react and make amends. But the thought of unfriending terrifies me. The last time I unfriended him I sent him a nice message of closure, which he just accepted willingly, hardly said a word in response, and sent me a ‘thumbs up’, which incensed me! The ‘thumbs up’ picture he sent made me lash out at him, as it showed how casual he was, and that he would not apologise or fight to keep me in his life. 🙁

    When he spoke to me again after our second FB friending, he said that he was hurt when I unfriended him, because he had felt a connection and then in his words, I has ‘bailed on him’. He said he didn’t want to get emotional over it back then, and didn’t want to hate me for it, because he didn’t think I was a deliberately hurtful person. He did apologise saying he would never intentionally hurt me. Thinking about this now, I just don’t know what to believe, or if any of it even matters anymore, because nothing connection-wise seems to have improved.

    I have unfollowed him on FB and am contemplating changing his access to my profile to a restricted view. I figure why should he have the right to view my personal content, when he doesn’t even make any effort to communicate with me anymore, other than by using lazy ‘likes’ sprinkled here and there, in-between ogling other women’s bikini photos!! Some of those women are attainable too, and live in the same location as him, so it is not just gorgeous models he follows, who wouldn’t give him the time of day. The available ladies are the threat to our connection, and he is choosing to pay attention to all these other women over advancing anything more with me. 🙁 It’s so weird that a guy would do this after they tell you they are attracted to you, but I suppose that is how the mind of a ‘player’ who is looking for no-strings attached works?

    I like your idea of giving it time to settle, then quietly unfriending him in a few months. I think I will follow that idea, but maybe aim to unfriend him a little sooner.


    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Dee. Reason: Additional information
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Dee. Reason: Typo



    I am going to take a different tack on this matter and sort of disregard you calling him sketchy (but I would agree that is likely something you should pay attention to honestly).

    Did he already know a bit about you? While talking about himself might seem shallow and narcissistic, if he already was acquainted with you and your life, perhaps he was attempting to fill in that blank for you.

    When he asked you to make plans, did you flounder on it at all? Like say yes, then at the last moment cancel or something? I ask because if I was interested in a woman and attempted to make plans and she floundered or she was rude in saying no or a little too enthusiastic about squashing the idea, then I too would likely break contact and allow you to make the next move. He tried his move. You rejected it. As a man, not only does that bruise our ego, regardless of how he played it off, but it makes us feel like you are uninterested so we sort of put the ball in your court.

    As for his multitudes of women and looking at their photos, was he not doing that with you as well? It seems a bit odd that you would find nothing wrong with him liking or loving your photos, but find it “sketchy” that he does it to other women’s photos. Yes, the part where he doesn’t even know some of them is creepy (I think I have one person I don’t really know as a friend, and that was to help keep in contact with an actual friend), but we are men. We have sexual desires and urges just like women do. And while some of them can be quite offputting, I don’t think this specific brand of “lurking” is anywhere near as sketchy as you might think. It is weird though, I will agree with that.

    I would say that perhaps he also sees the sort of environment we are in now. I am having to come to grips with possibly having to date again soon if my wife decides the divorce is final, and it sort of scares the shit out of me. Not because I am clumsy with women, although I totally am. But rather because now if you pursue a woman with too much gusto, she could accuse you of sexual harassment or worse. I heard a woman claiming a man at work had sexually harassed her because he had dared to ask her out TWICE over the span of 4 years. Today’s climate is kinda terrifying for us men, especially those who aren’t used to navigating this minefield we now find ourselves standing in.

    I’m not saying anything here that I have said is the case. I am just sort of looking at it from outside the box and attempting to maybe see it a little from his perspective. I will say though, the mere fact that you have made a judgment call about him being sketchy already should serve to answer your question about breaking it off, but it might be worth maybe digging deeper into some of this I mentioned before doing so. Maybe that observation is a flawed one because you don’t have all of the info.


    It seems like you liked his attention, perhaps because of your own need for it. It could be any other guy.

    Also, you have that feeling of “hmmm but he might get better, improve himself”… he might, its good you have faith in humanity. But, sometimes that just leads us astray. How are you gonna do that? If he wants to improve, he has to confront his issues! Are you gonna help with that, or even confront them by telling him? If the answer is no, then just leave him. You know he~’ll probably like giving girls attention (thousands of female facebook friends), so he’ll come back, you’ll enjoy this feeling, and tell yourself you’re helping him… but really you’re helping yourself, for a bad reason, thats why you feel uneasy.

    If you want to help him sincerely, challenge. No change happens in a state of equilibrium. He clearly has issues he cant deal with, so address them if you want to. Otherwise, leave it.


    Dear  Dee:

    He was probably sincere when he revealed his physical attraction for you (“he claimed that he fancied me last year, he showered various compliments on me, said he ad the hots for me, and ultimately revealed a physical attraction for me”). And he is also sincere when he reveals to other women his physical attraction to them.

    You wrote, “It’s so weird that a guy would do this after they tell you they are attracted to you”-

    Not weird at all.  Lots of men tell multiple women that they are attracted to them, this is how they promote their chances of sex with women. And there is always sincerity there because a man has to  be somehow, somewhat attracted to a woman to desire sex with her.

    I think you associate sexual attraction with monogamy, and you incorrectly think it is the same for him, or that it is the same  for all men?




    Thank you Anita, Ben, and John.

    The post that was intended to provide an opposing view certainly made me pause and consider the situation further.

    The question whether he already knew a bit about me: no, he knows very little about my adult life, nor in the time I have kept in touch with him online has he ever tried to get to know me better, other than asking in our last message exchange if I have been with many other guys. We have not seen each other in-person since we were kids, so the constant one-sided conversation from him struck me as unusual and self-centred. No balanced, give and take communication was occurring.

    When he asked to meet with me, I was not rude about turning his request down. I did ask him nicely to be patient with me, and agreed that I would love to meet him at a future point. I was buying time, and did not want to rush into any real world contact, as it was literally put on me that he would be in town several days after we talked about liking each other, and after he told me he would like to get physical with me! I was still digesting that significant confession and it was definitely a lot to process!

    Despite turning his request down to meet, I would like to think there is no room for confusion in his mind that I am interested, seeing as I told him directly I fancied and valued him, and wanted to meet in-person someday.  As much as I badly may have wanted to sleep with him too, I wasn’t going to put myself in a position where we had sex so soon before even really knowing much about each other. I would have only gotten more attached to him, and been devastated when he left town and distanced himself from me like he seems to be doing now. At least I suppose I spared myself even deeper emotional grief by having the sense to temper the pace of his sexual interest in me.

    I did/do enjoy attention from him, but I guess my expectations are at odds with his, as some posters have rightfully pointed out. I care about him and want him to be a better man who wants just one girl: me! I can’t compete with a gazillion other girls on his radar. And  I understand guys who thrive on ego boosts from many women paying them attention will seldom give that type of activity up.

    I wanted to be the one he gives all these other girls up for, but can see I am kidding myself with that irrational expectation (love is not rational). I most definitely don’t want to be the backburner girl, which is the only sign he is giving me now. 🙁

    As for the ‘sketchy’ definition, for a number of reasons I see this behaviour in him, and not just to do with his questionable adding of women who are strangers to his social media accounts. For one, he never addresses certain questions I put to him. For example, he got fired from a job last year, which he claimed wasn’t his fault. I questioned what exactly happened, but he never explained himself. I also asked if he seriously meant what he said about fancying me. Again, I was met with no answer from him, which seemed weird.  When someone you are interested in doesn’t respond to what I thought were legitimate questions, it surely indicates something is being hidden? He adds very young girls and dubious characters to his social media accounts and has multiple accounts, which resemble a sleazy harem! It is insulting to me as his real-world school friend who has only ever had good intentions with him, to be sandwiched in amongst  these sorts of people! And last but by no means least, I find him sketchy because he ‘likes’ and pays attention to other females, after telling me he fancies me and has had almost like a crush on me (whatever “almost like a crush” means?). That is upside-down logic to my mind and extremely arrogant to think I will stand by lovestruck, waiting until he is finished showering attention on other women!

    If he is too busy ogling other females, when will he have the time and energy to get to know me better? He clearly makes time for other females, but has no time to talk to me and has let things stall. I don’t want only a virtual connection based on shallow ‘likes’. This is quite central to my problem with him. As a man he is not stepping up and pursuing me, and is easily distracted by the online temptation scores of other women provide. I would have thought if he truly cared for me and meant what he said, he would leave no doubt in my mind that he is keen on me?

    Thank you to all of you who have helped  encourage me to see the cold, hard truth of the situation. It has helped me immensely  reading other views and verbalising my own thoughts on the matter. Good luck to you John if you end up back in the dating arena! 🙂 I understand that for decent men it is a scary new world out there with the possibility of misinterpretation and sexual harassment at the fore.


    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Dee. Reason: Formatting problem

    I’ve read through this entire post and can just say – RUN FOR THE HILLS!!!! There is a forest of red flags here.

    Delete him from social. Don’t feel the need to get closure or anything (he would never, ever, do the same for you). Run. Run. RUN. Don’t look back.



    I just did that. I have deleted him from my Facebook profile. What prompted my sudden decision to just go ahead and do it was that I noticed he’d posted this quote: “The biggest lesson I learned this year is to not force anything; conversations, friendships, relationships, attention, love. Anything forced is just not worth fighting for, whatever flows flows, what crashes crashes. It is what it is.”

    I don’t know if that post was personally directed at me, but nevertheless it is a huge slap in the face and kick in the stomach! That post just makes him seem so full of himself and his own self-importance. The nerve of him!!

    He made minimal effort towards building our friendship, and consciously chose to interact with other women over connecting in a genuine manner with me. He never stepped up and I was the one having to initiate the conversations. If I never contacted him, there would be no communication with him other than FB ‘likes’ here or there. I am so angry and hurt right now that I can’t even think straight. You just don’t realise how much crappy behaviour you tolerate from others in order to keep the peace.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Dee.

    If it’s too much trouble to even send me one quick “Hi, how are you going?” message, and that is perceived by him as a tedious obligation or something ‘forced’ and not worth fighting for, well he can continue to knock himself out with his 1,000,001 cam-whore “friends”! He seems to get some perverse pay-off from these other women that I don’t fulfill for him, so I guess it is for the best I find out sooner than later how insincere he has been.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Dee.

    Dear Dee:

    “he can continue to knock himself out with his 1,000,001 cam-whore ‘friends’! He seems to get some perverse pay-off from these other women that I don’t fulfill f or him”-

    clearly to me, you are seeing in him and in his online activity an experience you already had, could be one with an old  boyfriend or maybe with your own father, a man who chose  “whore ‘friends'” over a good, loyal, good woman.

    Looks to me like a past emotional wound here that needs to be looked at and healed.



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