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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.

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Monday, August 29, 2005

Advice or Confirmation for the Lovelorn

On the internet, and more often in real life, I get asked for advice by people who already know exactly what they think about a given situation or what they plan to do about it. I call this a "request for validation."
I think that the woman who sent me this email already knows what the situation is here but let's take a look anyway shall we?

The original text of the question is in bold, my comments are in stylin' italics...

Dear Shifra,

I posted this question on my blog, jewishLUVLIFE.blogspot.com.
However, since I currently have only two members (both men) and only one has answered, and suggested I ask you, here I am! Any thoughts, ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.
What Do You Think About This Guy....

OK, there's this guy who's almost driving me nuts but I've got it under control, mostly.
I'll explain...see, I was taking a course and he was one of the teachers. And I was getting definate vibes and looks, but then I found out he had a girlfriend and I was very disappointed because it seemed like something was happening.

#1 Never get involved with a guy who is still in another relationship
#2 Vibes can be wrong
#3 If "This Guy" is seeing someone else and is actually giving you vibes and looks that should alert you to something as well...
#4 Students and teachers are a big no-no.

So I told a friend of mine--another guy--who happens to work there too. And he talked to that guy about it, and probably told him that it was unethical behavior. The guy who likes me (let's call him Teacher-guy) came up to me and said that he only likes me as a student and that he "can't" feel any other way about me because I'm a student, and that the only way he could ever get involved with a student is if the student had stopped being a student, and for a very long time.

#5 OOoooh mixed signals! Nice. The guy is sounding more and more like a winner already.

So, I dropped the whole thing. And then a whole thing happened where I took a different course that he doesn't teach, but didn't take it with his friend who teaches it (I took it with a different teacher) because I don't like her. Then the next time I saw him, he was very cold to me. So forget him, right?

#6 Cold? As opposed to what? He already made it clear that he can't have a relationship with you because he is a teacher and you are a student... I have "Don't stand so close to me" by the Police in my head now.

Right. Well then after that I started to ignore him, and then one day I'm in the hallway talking to a couple of other male faculty members, and suddenly I realize through peripheral vision that Teacher-guy is standing behind me watching and listening the whole time. And then when I'm done talking to them, as I turn around, I see through my peripheral vision that he's darted into a classroom before he thinks I could see him.
Forget him, right?

#7 That's a fabulous combination of creepy and wimpy... Why are we still even *talking* about this guy?! This letter is getting LONG...

THEN. I'm in the classroom a few days later, working with other teachers and students at different times, and I just ignore him. I never look at him, even when I see him glance my way. And before I know it, a teacher announces to me--while Teacher-guy standing right there, grinning at me--that there is going to be a "switch" and that the teacher who is currently working with me is going to leave and Teacher-guy is going to work with me.
He spent a lot of time working with me and going out of his way to joke and make me laugh.

#8 Very suspicious.

Is this one of those "He's just not that into me?" Does he not want me, but he really wants me to want him? Just curious.


Ok JLL, I think I've deliniated all the reasons this guy is sketchy at best: He's seeing someone, he runs hot and cold, he's off limits etc....

I can't begin to conjecture about what is going in that man's mind... The bottom line is that it really *doesn't matter* if he's into you or not into you it's just not happening, as I HOPE you already know. I wouldn't waste my time thinking about it, he's clearly a headtrip waiting to happen (or perhaps already happening!)


At 9:11 AM, Blogger Little Wolf said...


1. If you have the Police's "Don't stand so close to me" in your head I think you need to see a doctor. But as long as the voice isn't telling you to hurt yourself or someone else I guess that is a little better. : )

2. As to the letter itself. My only thought from this letter is that this is a guy who, how to put this politely, see a 'mark.' He thinks he can get what he 'wants' from jll and not 'pay the price' of having to give up what he already has. jll, from reading between the lines of the letter, is already half way to giving in simply by playing the games. She to is running hot and cold and is also allowing his flirting to 'get to her.' I agree that she need to tell this twit to take a hike.

At 9:18 AM, Blogger Conservative Apikoris said...

OK, here's some insight from a male human being.

Basically, you have to understand that men are hard-wired to want to get laid with no strings attached. However, becuase it is difficult to find women who have similar interests, men are willing to compromise and enter into relationships. However, the hard-wiring still holds. That's why the Bible and the Talmud allow polygamy, and even more causal relationships. (Think Judah and Tamar, or where the spies went when they visited Jericho, or King Dvid's love (lust?) life.)

So this fellow, despite being in a "relationship," has hard-wiring that make him want to have sex with other women. On the other hand, from his social conditioning, he realizies that doing so could be trouble. (This is especially true becuase it's a teacher-student relationship.) So he's conflicted, and his behavior appears erratic.

Jeez, don't be so judgemental! The guy is probably basically a fine person, but, opf course, in our screwed-up social milieu he's not a suitable candidate for a "relationship." But that doesn't mean he might not be a good lay.

At 9:38 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

CA - I guess I should have been a little more clear about my interpretation.
Based on what I've seen of this woman's blog she seems to be interested in marriage rather than sleeping around.
While this teacher man might be a great guy he is definately not "suitable for framing" at least not at this time and certainly not for JLL.

LW- I'm not so sure that "teacher man" really wants anything at all from JLL he might just be "testing the waters" with her... I do agree that unless JLL wants to play games she should back away from this guy.

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Conservative Apikoris said...

Based on what I've seen of this woman's blog she seems to be interested in marriage rather than sleeping around.

Shifra, that's fine, but she needs to be clear to all men she flirts with that she's definitely husband-hunting. I'm not trying to be moralistic about the woman, I'm just pointing out that Men Have Only One Thing On Their Mind (tm) and so need clear guidance about a woman's intent.

I wish the women I dated had been more clear about their intentions, I wouldn't have wasted as much time on unsuitable partners.

In any event, as a teacher, he should have waited until the course was over before making any moves.

I do agree that unless JLL wants to play games she should back away from this guy.

I agree with this 100%.

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Little Wolf said...


I was aiming for what CA had to say. I just was trying to be more circumspect about it.

The thing CA said that rings the most true is that men do tend to be hard wired to 'want' only one thing.

I get the impression from jll's letter that that is all this guy really wants from her. And, as CA said, this doesn't make him necessarily a bad guy, just not the guy that jll is looking for.

At 12:22 AM, Blogger JLL said...

Dear Shifra (and others who wrote in),

Thank you so much for your advice, and I wanted to update you.

I went back to class one more time and again we had a lot of fun talking and laughing together.

I went home and went over things with another friend, and got so depressed that everyone I ask is saying the same thing--that I realized I needed to take action.

I decided that I would not ever return to class. I can take the class on weekends when he is not there.

One of the assistant teachers left me a voicemail asking when I am coming in next, so out of courtesy I called her back. But instead, Teacher-guy came to the phone.

I told him that I would be taking class on weekends from now on. He said "Oh, bummer. I guess you're really busy during the week?" I said "Yeah, just a lot of stuff is happening." And then I got off the phone quickly.

I've been feeling a lot better! But today I got another voicemail from the assistant teacher saying that Teacher-guy gave her my message, but she wanted to talk with me.

It may be that he picked up on my hesitancy when answering his question, and asked her to delve further. I'm really not sure what to say, but for now I'm going to just not return the call, and maybe the calls (and therefore games of the head) will stop.

Thank you again!


At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor JLL, it sounds as though you're being manipulated by Teacher-guy! Don't let this man have any power over you! He sounds creepy...

At 7:56 PM, Blogger JLL said...

Hi Seebee,

Thanks for your support! I got two more voicemails this week from the school, one from the head of the school saying she heard I was almost finished with the course and would like me to come in and finish up tomorrow---I didn't return either call, and feel really good about it.

Shifra's post and posters have been very helpful to me and I feel very optimistic that Hashem is pointing me in the right direction toward my true Bashert.

All the Best,



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