Dear Preston: Dealing With Unwanted Advances


Dear Preston:

I am a floral designer, and not that it matters, but I am straight.  I have followed your blog and career for many years.  I feel as if I know you, I think you are one of the few leaders of the industry who does not hesitate when it comes to dealing with difficult issues.   I am in the process of working with a lovely bride.  From the moment we met, we connected.  My issue is with her mother.  This single mom is constantly making unwanted passes at me to the point that is making me very uncomfortable.   At first I thought it was just a passing flirtation, but at the moment she is insisting that we have a date.
What should I do?
Inappropriate single Mom.
Dear I S M:
Thank you for your kind note.  I must first say that I do not envy your position. Secondly, I’d like to ask (with great hesitation) if you can think of any moment where you might have sent mixed messages to the mother of the bride? Was there any exchange in which you might have said or done something that could have been taken as interest or availability?   There are times when our relationship’s with our clients can become complex and intimate which can blur boundaries. Even I, without realizing it, have found myself indulging in a friendly flirtation in the past.  The bottom line is that you need to be very careful how you approach and handle this mom.  You might consider sitting her down and gently apologizing for any mixed signals you may or may not have sent while working together.  You might also tell her how much you appreciate her as a client, and that is one of the reasons you do not feel it would be appropriate to date her.
What would be your advice to this floral designer?   Do you consider this to be a kind of harassment?
(photo courtesy of Image Kind)