Blurred Lines


Dear Dharma,

I work in an isolated camp sometimes, and am one of only a few women there among many men.

We’ve been out of camp for a couple of weeks now, and last night at midnight-ish I started getting Facebook messages from one of the guys. Now, it’s midnight, so it’s likely a drunk-dial courtesy of a few wobbly-pops, but still, the messages are there and now need to be dealt with. As they rolled in I didn’t open them, so he doesn’t know if I’ve read them yet.

Some background; he works for us in camp sometimes and we do not ‘hang out’ at mealtimes or after work. BUT, on the way out of camp a group of six of us, with me being the only woman, went out for dinner and drinks. Most of us have a closer working relationship with one another than with the guy in question, so he’s a bit of an outsider.

He and I sat next to one another at an oval group table – totally accidental.  Now I’m thinking there’s nothing odd about this and I’m having a great time. He had not creeped me out much previously, and because I’m a nice person, I tried including him in the conversation and shared my appetizer with him. No biggie right?  Wrong.

His FB message said, “I noticed you looking at me at the restaurant and I was too shy to look at you”. And he wants to get to know me.  $hit.

He’s a sensitive guy and I don’t want to hurt his feelings but want to make it clear that I am not interested. But is that the wrong way to handle it? Could I instead laugh it off and reply with something like, “Someone got into the wobbly-pops last night eh?! Good thing my boyfriend has a sense of humour!” I don’t have a boyfriend… Or is that too flippant? Yeesh. Being a woman sucks sometimes. I bet the other guys didn’t get messages like this last night.

Please help Dharma!


Dear Miss-Understood,

Wasn’t the world a much simpler place before we had the convenience of technology…!  I’m trying to remember what the equivalent to drunk dialing/texting was back in the day.

As far as I can see, you have a couple of options.

Since he doesn’t know if you’ve read the messages, you could just delete them and pretend the whole thing didn’t happen.  Except that has the potential of backfiring, should he get brave and ask if you received them.  Even if you say “no”, you’re still in the position of having to deal with the situation, and possibly in person… so maybe let’s look at something else.

I don’t know if I’d call him out on being drunk when he contacted you, since you don’t know for sure… So how about “Good thing my boyfriend has a sense of humour… I’m flattered, and you seem like a really great guy, but I’m not looking for anything right now.”  And then have a light closing line, so it’s not just BAM, rejected… “Hope you have a great couple of weeks, see you next time in camp.”

I don’t know if you run the risk of him finding out you currently don’t have a boyfriend, but do you care?  The message is still the same, I don’t think he’ll push it.

This option allows you to still be “nice”, but dismissive of the incident – and as far as rejections go, even a sensitive guy should be able to get past this.



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  • Hotstuff says:

    You could always try the “I’m super flattered but I don’t get involved with coworkers” avenue! That way it can come off as a professional decision as well which might take away some of the sting!

    • Dharma says:

      I thought about that too, but then thought… what if she ends up dating someone at work? Unless that truly is her motto, I wondered if using it as a reason could end up biting her in the butt…

      Maybe Miss-Understood could come back and give us an update? 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, Hotstuff!

  • Miss-Understood says:

    Thank you so much Dharma! I followed your advice and this time when I was in camp things were great. There really wasn’t even much awkwardness which was great since he and I had to work side by side for 2 weeks.
    Thanks again!

Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

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