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His sister has talked about me to him and now he wants to meet me.

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  • #110674
    Aislynn
    Participant

    Hello everyone,
    It’s been a while since my last post here. I’ve recently encountered a dilemma, and as you all have always been so honest and kind I thought I would ask what you all thought about this situation in particular.

    Some background information: My mother has these two coworkers who are sisters, I’ll name them Ava and Michelle for the sake of the story. They are in their late 30’s and I have known Michelle for quite some time. She has a 9 year old son who I regularly picked up from school and took care of this past year, while in previous years she would pick my brother up from school and bring him to my house during the 2 years that I did not drive. We were really only acquaintances. Last summer though I worked at the company my mother works for and I got to know Michelle a lot better. Michelle and I seemed to always be talking to each about all sorts of things. Ava wasn’t working there at that time, so I don’t know her much at all since for me it was only a summer job that year.

    Now, the story: One day, out of the blue Ava asked my mother my age, to which my mother of course said I was 21. This then prompted Ava to say that her brother, Richard, was 23 and she wanted her brother to get married and have children already, to which Michelle also agreed. So Ava goes on to say that she would like her brother to meet me/go out with me. To which my mother was like, “Oh but Aislynn doesn’t want to get married or have children.” To which Michelle replied, “Yeah, that’s true, Aislynn has told me that before.” That seemed to be the end of the conversation.

    Now, it is important to note, I’ve only had two glances at Richard at two separate get togethers that I’ve been to which were last year. We’ve never spoken or even acknowledged each others presence. I only knew who he was because my mother had told me who he was while she was pointing out the rest of Ava and Michelle’s family to me at those two dinners.

    A while later though Ava again decides to ask my mother if I would perhaps like to go out with her Richard. This time though, Ava says that she had talked to her brother and let him know about me saying to him that I cook, clean, am hardworking, etc. etc. (I don’t know what else she could have said to him aside from what my mother recounted.) My mother didn’t take it too seriously and said, “well if we had another get together, we could introduce them to one another.” Again, this was the end of the conversation.

    Just a few days later, (which was yesterday) Ava brought it all up again saying that her brother really wanted to meet me. She went on to say that he is hardworking and likes to be out and about going to new places. She then said that her brother wants to at least be friends and take me out to the movies or to have some coffee. Again, my mother said that we could be introduced at a get together.

    At first, I thought it was nice that Ava, despite not knowing me personally, thought so highly of me based on the accounts of all the other coworkers with which I worked with last year. I’m close with my mom, and she has gotten to be friends with Ava so no doubt in the past year since she joined the company has my mom talked about me. Ava would always compliment how I was such a good daughter, how I was pretty, etc. so maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it does. I’m at a loss as to why she would want me to date her brother. Any insight as to what she might be thinking, trying to arrange this?

    I’m completely torn in regards to this matter. Michelle is a wonderful and kind woman, and Ava seems to be so as well. I’ve greeted their parents once at one of the get togethers and from what Michelle has told me, her mother is a sweetheart. Both of their parents were very nice to me when I met them. So in regards to that, I feel that maybe I should give Richard a chance, especially since his family is so nice. I figure he might be a great guy.

    However, I’m also feeling objectified. Not in the traditional sense that a man looks at a random unknown woman and says she is hot/ pretty/ sexy and wants to take her out on a date. I feel objectified based on what Ava told her brother about me knowing how to cook, clean, etc. It makes me feel objectified because he doesn’t know me, hasn’t even seen me, and now wants to take me out. It kind of makes me feel as though he’s looking for a maid, or someone to clean up after him. I’m not too sure about that because I don’t know what else Ava could have told her brother about me.

    Then, I also feel that we wouldn’t be a good match because from what I’ve seen/ have been told about him, we couldn’t be more different from one another. Yes, we both love our dogs and they are our world, and we might be around the same age. I also have wanderlust but I don’t know if that would be enough to prompt us to get to know each other. We have completely different tastes in music and clothes. He seems to be everything that I tried to get away from in my Hispanic culture. Is that a valid reason to not want to go on a date with someone? Because they are everything I’ve wanted to get away from? I don’t want to miss out on a good guy just because of our differences. Anyone with dating experience have any insight on this?

    My dating experience is limited to when I was in high school. Therefore, I have no experience on dating as an adult. I feel that the purpose of dating is to see if you like that person enough to be in a relationship with them/marry them eventually/spend your life with them. Now, I know it doesn’t always work out that way. Quite frankly, I’m worried about both, what if we do date and it doesn’t work out because we have such different views, ideas, and aren’t into each other. I think that would make me feel awkward in front of Michelle and Ava and their family, especially since I take care of Michelle’s son and see her and her husband on a regular basis.

    However, what if it does work out and we get into a long term relationship? I’m not sure I’m ready to settle down, I’ve never envisioned myself in a long term relationship. If anything, I’ve always envisioned myself being happy and alone travelling the world. Then if it did work out, then I would no longer be an acquaintance, I would be a sister-in-law and aunt. That is equally just as awkward because I never thought it could happen. I didn’t imagine this possibility/nor was it something I was looking for. Any relationship advice would be awesome.

    In all honesty, I feel myself just coming up with excuses as to why it would never work between us. I seem to be sabotaging Ava’s intent. So what I am trying to say is, I’m lost. I don’t know what to think or do. Any advice would GREATLY be appreciated. Sorry if this was too long to read, I tried to make it as concise as I could while still giving an understanding of what is going on.

    #110679
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Aislynn:

    I asked details on your other thread but got all the details I need right here. These are my thoughts: Ava doesn’t know you, at all. So her initiative to introduce Richard and you as dating potentials is NOT based on any valid information.

    The fact that you can clean and cook, for crying out loud, is not valid information, unless, like you pointed out, Ava was to introduce you to Richard as a potential employee, a cook and a maid.

    This is nothing but wishful thinking on Ava’s part, wishing her brother would get married and have children. You asked about her motivation, well- there are possible motivations, here are a few:

    1. Maybe Richard is interested in a woman that Ava very much dislikes and she is afraid he will marry her and that she, Ava, will have a woman she dislikes as a sister-in-law, so she is in a rush to get him paired with someone else, anyone else.

    2. Maybe Richard has exhibited, in Ava’s mind, a terrible taste in women he dated, and so Ava is desperate to get him paired with anyone who seems- on the very surface- decent, in comparison to his past choices.

    3. Maybe, Ava is bored and so she is getting involved in her brother’s dating life, to have something to talk about with Michelle and with your mother- while he dates you, keep a conversation going.

    Which brings me to the topic of your anxiety: the fact that the prospect is not only whether to date a particular guy, but whether to be the topic of conversations between Michelle, Ava, your mother, Richard and whomever else may be joining to talk- this is an extra burden on you, I believe. Now you don’t only fear what Richard will be thinking of you, you have Ava, Michelle and your mother’s conversations and cross-sections evaluations to think about.

    So I would say- reject the initiative and when you do date someone, date someone who has no contact and no relations to people you or your mother knows.

    anita

    #110731
    Aislynn
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Wow, what great insight you have given me. I thought that I was overreacting in my thoughts in regards to not wanting to date him. I felt that I was just looking for excuses to deny him.

    I certainly don’t want to be his cook or maid, which I certainly got the impression of. I am not traditional in the sense that a man should expect that of me if we ever got together which is why I felt so disturbed and bothered by it.

    From what I know, he hasn’t been dating anyone in at least the past year (Michelle told me this a long time ago). From what I also know, Ava seems to be very close to her brother Richard, as well as to her other brother. After what you told me, I figured that maybe she wants us to date because she figures I might be easy to manipulate.

    I actually had lunch with my mom and Ava twice last month, and wow was it awkward. We spoke a little, and that’s stretching things because it was minimal random things, and this was after her initial prompt.

    Honestly, her interest seems to have picked up after the first time we had lunch during which one of their male workers are with us as well. He made a comment to her around the lines of, “hey, Aislynn’s very pretty don’t you think, it’s such a shame that I don’t come from money and that I am married.” Of course said coworker said it to Ava in private, after which she told my mother. By no means would I encourage his behavior. However, I’m thinking that it might have sparked her interest a little more.

    Now that I think about it, there was actually a third time in which I saw Richard. However, during this one occasion, his sister Margaret came up to greet us when she got there, and then Richard also came to shake my hand. So in my opinion, if I were to spark his interest it would have been in that initial greeting, don’t you think?

    As it is now, I don’t know how to turn down the request, because it’s basically only been a conversation between Richard, Ava, and my mom. I haven’t even been asked for input. My mother actually thought I should give it a try, she said that despite how different we might be that we might have fun since he has a few good things going for him. So again, now he’s being the one objectified based on his looks and what Ava has told my mom about him. Ugh.

    I don’t even want to bring it up that I’m not interested because I am worried that it’ll only make Ava more resolved to get us to meet.

    #110757
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Aislynn:

    I like you looking for Ava’s motivation- very likely possibility, what you suggested. Maybe she did get the impression that you are shy, or awkward, following that lunch, and thought you would be easy to manipulate. Not a good thing… if so, she is already manipulating Richard and other people in her life and simply continues in the same line of behavior.

    In your last line you wrote that you don’t want to bring it up that you are not interested because you are worried it will make Aa more resolved- are you afraid of Ava’s resolve? Is she already a powerful person in your life? If she is not paying your bills, why does she get any power at all, in your life?

    anita

    #110790
    Aislynn
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I know that Ava’s eldest brother is in the process of divorce after his wife cheated on him and took advantage of his financial situation. This makes me think that perhaps Ava doesn’t want Richard to end up in the same situation. Thinking about all of Ava’s possible intentions makes me feel guilty because perhaps she only has good intentions?

    She’s not a powerful person in my life, it’s just that I HATE confrontation. I’ve never been good at standing my ground when it comes to my elders. I was taught to respect my elders and do as I was told. Therefore, I don’t have the slightest clue as to how to turn her down when I haven’t even spoken to her about the matter if that makes sense.

    #110794
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Aislynn:

    To do as you are told, my goodness, that is a recipe for disaster. It is a good instruction only if you are a child and your elder is a decent, capable and trustworthy person. And as the adult that you are, better practice being assertive and take on this opportunity.

    Ava may have good intentions for herself. Maybe for her brother. As for you, I don’t know, not a good idea to risk your well being based on anyone’s good intentions. The saying goes: “The road to hell is filled with good intentions. And I say, good has nothing to do with it. (sounds good).

    anita

    #110799
    Aislynn
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    You are right. I do need to practice being assertive. It is not so much a problem with strangers, but rather when it’s someone related to me or whom my parents know. I don’t know, I guess I don’t want to seem rude or like a bad person. Realistically, I know that turning down requests won’t make me look like a bad person, but I still feel bad for doing it. I’ve gotten a lot better at being assertive when it comes to my judge-mental grandmother who I now refuse to visit. Stepping away from her was a big step for me, but I know that I am not as assertive as I should be.

    I had never heard that quote before, but it is definitely something I will keep in mind because I can see how true it is.

    That being said, I still don’t know how I will deal with this situation. I just hope it never comes up again, doubtful though. I feel that the only way in which perhaps I can get Richard and Ava to back down is if I speak with Richard directly. Since I don’t want to see him or go on a date with him I was thinking about telling my mom to tell Ava to tell Richard to send me a message through social media/add me as a friend so that I can speak to him and tell him that I am not interested. I feel that otherwise, without direct contact with me, he won’t understand. Does that sound like a good idea?

    If it was a good idea though, what would I even say to him? I don’t want to cut him off right out of nowhere, rather I want to give him an informed decision about my choice not to want his friendship/courting. I know that I do not owe it to him, but I think that by explaining my motives he will better understand and accept my decision.

    #110802
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Aislynn:

    The person who suggested to you personally to date Richard, the person who said or wrote to you about it- is the person to whom you say that you are not interested. Neither Richard nor Ava told you, Aislynn, that he/ she wants you to date Richard. So don’t talk to either one. It was your mother, am I remembering correctly, who suggested it to you? So tell her: not interested.

    “Mom, you suggested I date Richard, Ava’s brother. Well, I am not interested.”

    If she argues with you, ignores what you said, keeps talking about it as if you didn’t say that you are not interested, say anything of the like of: “my decision is final. I am not interested. Please don’t mention it again. Please respect my position, it is not negotiable.”

    I know it is difficult and makes you anxious, so say it to your mother ASAP and get it over with, then had a cup of hot tea or a cold shower (depending on the temperature).

    anita

    #110866
    Aislynn
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Yes, it was my mother who suggested it. I actually told her I didn’t think I’d like him and that I didn’t really feel like going out with him. That was when she told me that I might end up liking him since he had a few good things going for him.

    I don’t understand the pressure for us to date. Therefore, yes I will speak to my mother about it as soon as she mentions anything about him. I don’t feel comfortable being the one to bring it up to her, so I will wait for when she mentions it again.

    Now that I’ve spoken with you about the matter I feel SO much better. I don’t feel as stressed or anxious about the situation. I suppose I just needed someone to talk to. Thank you for listening Anita.

    #110887
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Aislynn:

    You are welcome and I am glad you are back. I was wondering about you.

    No wonder you feel a greater difficulty asserting yourself with your mother than with strangers (you mentioned it in an earlier post here)- the risk of being disapproved by a person you need is greater than to be disapproved by a stranger, a people of no consequence to you.

    This is why this is a good opportunity for you to assert yourself with a person of consequence to you, a person whose approval is so important to you: your mother.

    When you told her that you didn’t think you liked Richard and that you didn’t “feel like” going out with him, that was not assertive enough. The wording you chose suggested that you are open to negotiate. So your mother suggested you might get to like him. Assertive enough would be: “I will not date him.” No opening to negotiation. Hope you state your position clearly next time, anytime.

    And glad you are feeling better.

    anita

    #110890
    Aislynn
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for your concern. I really appreciate it.

    I completely agree with you about the assertiveness. I don’t have many friends, and my family is my support system in so many ways. Therefore, I feel like I don’t want to disappoint her or my family. What you say is true which is why I now see why I would have preferred to turn Richard down myself instead of telling my mother that I was not interested.

    You are right, looking at it, I did seem to be open to negotiation. I wasn’t, but I made it seem like I was. I suppose I felt that telling my mom that I did not feel like it would be enough to get her to understand. Clearly, it wasn’t. So I will definitely do my best to be more assertive the next time this topic comes up.

    #110893
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Aislynn:

    You are welcome. This is an opportunity to exercise assertiveness and with your mother! I sure hope (and can’t imagine otherwise, for any decent mother, that is) that she loves you enough to … keep loving you when you assert yourself. You can imagine, if you have a child, that you will keep loving your child when she asserts herself. You would love her for it, you would want your own daughter to assert herself and successfully. So you would encourage her, by showing her approval, not disapproval, when she asserts herself.

    It really is your personal business whether you date anyone or not. You should never date anyone to please him/ someone else. And so asserting yourself in this area, which is purely your own business, is most important. Even if it brought about a disapproval from your mother, it would still be the right and healthy thing for you to do. Hope to read an update from you here, in the future, about this. (and/ or thoughts otherwise).

    anita

    #111180
    Aislynn
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Yes, that makes a lot of sense. You would want your child to be assertive and confident.

    I have a little update about the whole situation. I haven’t spoken to my mother about the issue right now, but yesterday I woke up with the strongest anxiety I’ve had in a very long time. I actually woke up from my sleep because of how anxious I felt. I tried to go back to sleep but it didn’t help and trying different aspects of mindfulness didn’t work either.

    Unfortunately, this anxiety issue has everything to do with Richard. In my dream I was picking up my brother and Michelle’s son from school and I had gone to this weird street fair. I was in the parking lot and Michelle came to pick up her son from me because she had gotten out of work early, she left, and then Ava came. As soon as Ava appeared in my dream I sensed what was coming. So I start walking out of the parking lot and into the street fair and everywhere I go, Ava follows. I start feeling anxious and I want to get away. Ava then phones someone, and I know that it is Richard, and she then tells me that he is coming. For some reason, I then sit down at a table and wait. I actually don’t remember anything else from my dream, but I woke up with such an intense feeling of anxiety that I cannot believe a dream prompted this.

    This anxiety was overwhelming in a completely different way than I’ve experienced during other times. I felt anxious for about two hours and it did not dissipate regardless of what I tried. I tried various techniques to take myself away from the anxiety, but nothing worked. The only technique that somewhat helped was picturing myself on a mountain and paying attention to all of the details, but even then my anxiety and dread followed.

    #111182
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Aislynn:

    Will be away from the computer for a couple of hours and will read and reply when I am back. So sorry your anxiety spiked (read first sentence or so)- be back shortly.

    anita

    #111256
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Aislynn:

    I wasn’t able to make wifi work for me as I planned when I was out, so wasn’t able to connect.

    I am sorry to read how much you suffered. Do you think it will help you if you tell your mother you are not interested, in no uncertain terms, as I suggested before?

    Your dream, it makes me think it is connected to your being bullied experience in school. It is as if Ava is bullying you into getting together with Richard. I am thinking you are re-experiencing the bullying, feeling so weak and powerless against Ava’s assertion that you see her brother.

    There is no way around it: for you to be less afraid, you have to assert yourself. The part of you that is afraid, the inner child, needs to trust another part of you to be strong enough to take care of her (of the child inside you).

    Of course, how do you assert yourself when you are so scared? It takes an ounce of courage, maybe a whole pound of it, to jump start you to do the assertion. It is the willingness to be very uncomfortable for the purpose of getting healthier. It is like going to the dentist knowing it will hurt but your teeth will get healthy. If you don’t go to the dentist (if you don’t assert yourself), the pain (your anxiety) will continue and continue and life will get worse.

    So, please, Aislynn, assert yourself. Tell your mother. The part of you that is so afraid needs to know you can exert reasonable power over the situation.

    As long as you exert no power, you are dependent on others’ mercy. When you exert power over your life, you will be less scared.

    anita

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