I have a friend in a group. Let's call her Wendy. The group is rather large and diverse, but a core 8-9 people meet regularly, and she is part of this core group.

She and I have dated in the past, but we didn't go very deep. Some dates, we didn't go past holding hands. I tend to make a lot of jokes and tease people; and she, to put it simply, has a quick and hot temper that arises at almost anything.


  1. Her hands were dirty so I took her napkin to wet it to help her and she lashed out at me for touching her napkin (paper ones).

  2. Jokingly said that her distant not-so-close friend would not let her sleep on his bed if she visits him. (seriously, not many people would sacrifice their bed and go sleep on the couch)

She would not talk to me for a long time during the date then scold me. So after about about a month of dating I decided it was not worth it.

So now the strange part, she has done and does things like:

  1. Meow in my ear at a party softly while putting her head on my shoulder (I'm not really into that kinda thing).
  2. Grab my bag, me, and/or my keychains.
  3. Constantly texts me about my current girlfriend and asksif I'm still with her. (Alice, my current girlfriend, and I had a big fight once and we were thinking of breaking it off.)
  4. Sits really close to me and looks at me a lot whenever we are out as a group

Now, I have decided in my mind that I would like to continue to join this group on their outings, as most of the members are pretty cool people that I get along great with.
However, whenever she is present, she will do some of the above and generally then the group will try to shift the entire activity to her liking (her tastes are unique).

I have spoken to other people in the group about her behavior. They said that it was a by-product of her family situation and that I should just tolerate it.

I did tell her that I found the meow strange but she told me that it was just a joke. After that she didn't do it again. (To me, it didn't feel like a joke at all.) She does this with others and I have asked one or two other members and they say that yeah, she's strange.

TLDR: A girl I dated in the past in a group of friends kinda creeps me out. How do I deal with that while still wanting to enjoy the rest of the group?

  • 1
    Hey - where are you located? What culture is this taking place in?
    – Mithical
    Jan 21, 2018 at 9:38
  • 1
    The Location is South-East Asia. It isn't really normal for girls to act this way here. Jan 22, 2018 at 1:14
  • Bruh... there is nothing strange or mysterious here: she is simply romantically interested in you, what did you think? So if you don't reciprocate that feeling simply make that clear to her, that's all there is to say about this situation. Apr 25, 2022 at 22:43

3 Answers 3


i did tell her that i found the meow weird but she told me it's just a joke. But she didn't do it again.

In the above example you raised an issue with a specific behavior of hers and she downplayed it in person by saying it was just a joke, but then respected the boundary that you had placed. From this, it is reasonable to assume that she would also respect a larger boundary if you asked her to.

Downplaying/denying embarrassing actions such as flirting (which is what she was doing) is a very normal and common reaction from people when confronted with those actions. She said that it was just a joke with the purring, and may say something similar when you establish this new boundary; I would not argue or worry about this. Your goal is to stop those actions and not put her down, and even if she tries to save face in the moment, from what we can tell it is clear she will respect your wishes and stop after you ask her to.

Lastly, when raising the issue try not to point fingers or make it personal. When you have a private moment, simply explain the actions you are uncomfortable with in a polite manner and I don't see how there would be any problems

  • 1
    Nice, i didn't think of it that way. After some thought and reading these answers the course of action seem pretty clear. Jan 19, 2018 at 9:13
  • :) I know your title said "without being too forward" but even knowing that this seemed like the best course of action to accomplish the rest of your goals. If you really must avoid being forward, detailing why in your question may draw in some alternative answers because as it stands, it is hard to see a reason why you shouldn't be forward
    – Jesse
    Jan 19, 2018 at 9:22
  • ha ha yeah, I've tried to generally avoid her in meetings and minimize comms with dms. so I guess my "pacifist" behavior inst working. Jan 19, 2018 at 9:26

To your straightforward question

how do i deal with that

I have straight forward suggestion

Tell her you are more distant than before and you want that distance to be respected.

Be straightforward and tell her, so that she cannot fake misunderstandings. As per your other concern

while still wanting to enjoy the rest of the group?

In a group with person A, person B, person C and Wendy... please notice that your relationship with person A is independent from your relationship with person B which in turn is independent from your relationship with person C which in turn is independent from your relationship with Wendy, etc. etc. Should she start bearing a grudge with you due to her cognitive dissonance about her chances to get back with you, it would be her problem and her problem only: that should not prevent you from enjoying the company of others.

It's a large group, as you said, and with a core of 8-9 people there's plenty of room for both Wendy and you to be there without necessarily having direct interactions.

  • hmmm, i guess the only way is a forward approach and being direct. Kind of what i wanted to avoid but if there is no other way. Jan 19, 2018 at 8:33
  • @SomeoneElse well, by reading how she insisted playfully purring around you, you have already tried to avoid it long enough. Facing it straightforwardly at this point remains your best bet.
    – Markino
    Jan 19, 2018 at 8:53
  • incidentally, We're having a get together on the weekend, i will keep this in mind and i'll see if i will need to deploy your tactic. Jan 19, 2018 at 9:02

Treat her like a child

She is behaving like one, do as parents do. Calmly and neutrally state the infraction and the expectation on a case by case basis and state the consequences of it if she keeps at it. If she takes your keys, state that you expect her to give them back right away. Say "give me the keys" in a normal and calm manner. If she grabs you say "no" and push her away, calmly and neutrally. Tell her you will go home if she keeps at it, and do go home if she does. Reward her with proper attention when she behaves properly. Do not get visibly angry or upset. Exasperated is ok, but not angry, surprised or upset.

Make no mistake, she is flirting with you. She wants your reaction, your attention. She wants to be in control of the situation. Deny it to her. I'd advice against acting on her flirting even if it becomes flattering/interesting - it is unwise to get romantically involved with a person that behaves like this.

If you are consistent with this over time, she will stop.

  • 4
    I'm not the d/v, but this is poor advice. It's a passive-aggressive approach that might work, or might backfire (either by forcing her to double-down on her efforts, or by annoying the rest of the friend group), but will serve to maximize Wendy's pain in either situation. Also, your addendum is needlessly hurtful. OP gave no indication that he was considering a relationship, so there is no need to disparage the girl further. Most people are damaged in some form or another, and many of them still find healthy adult relationships at some point.
    – Ben I.
    Jan 24, 2018 at 15:19
  • @BenI. We disagree on the approach, there is no other way to do it, at least none of the current answers lead anywhere - in my opinion. Point taken about the addendum, the issue was that the behaviour is flirting - information which I advice the o.p not act upon. I'll rewrite.
    – Stian
    Jan 24, 2018 at 15:53
  • @BrentHackers So if people steal stuff from you (which is how I interpret "grabs my keys") you let them? No, you need to be firm on what is and what is not ok.
    – Stian
    Jan 24, 2018 at 15:55
  • @BrentHackers Well, if it is playful - a verbal response is as you say - alot more appropriate. I'll rephrase. Thanks.
    – Stian
    Jan 24, 2018 at 16:01

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