The tragicomic case of a man who sued a woman for rejecting his romantic advances

The tragicomic case of a man who sued a woman for rejecting his romantic advances

There’s an old saying that goes, “If you love somebody, set them free. If they return, they were always yours. If they don't, they never were.” This well-worn quote was said to have come from the pen of the writer Richard Bach. It’s a nice sentiment, which is why it resonated with so many people.

Another saying goes, “If you love somebody, make them love you back. Make them forever yours. If they don’t, sue them.” Okay, so this one's entirely made up, but it might as well have come from a man in Singapore, Mr. K. Kawshigan, who sued his former friend-turned-foe Ms. Nora Tan for refusing his thoughtful offer of a romantic relationship.

Danger: Friend-zone ahead

Per Mr. Kawshigan’s lawsuit, he suffered from emotional trauma due to Ms. Tan’s lack of interest in his suggestion to take their friendship to the next level: a romantic relationship.

When Ms. Tan rejected him, Mr. Kawshighan threatened to take her to court in an attempt at retribution, ultimately filing two lawsuits against her for a total of three million Singapore dollars: one alleging "damage to his stellar reputation" and “trauma, depression and impacts” to his life and the other claiming a breach of agreement to fix their relationship.

Could anyone blame her for not wanting to be romantically involved with this man?

If friend-zoning is a crime, then she is certainly guilty

Mr. Kawshigan's ambitious attempt to drag the dispute through multiple court processes was stopped short by State Courts deputy registrar Lewis Tan. In a ruling made in January 2023, Mr. Tan stated that any claims made were "manifestly groundless" and an intentional abuse of the legal system. The judgment put an end to Mr. Kawshigan's stunt, making one thing clear: Singapore’s legal system will not serve as Cupid in his ill-fated attempt to woo Ms. Tan.

That’s not the saddest part of the whole affair. It’s that they could have remained good friends if he had just accepted defeat gracefully.

Ms. Tan and Mr. Kawshigan were good friends until September 2020. That's when things started to become complicated, as their perspectives on the relationship didn't quite align. While she saw him only as a friend, he had something else in mind. She eventually had to tell him about the importance of setting boundaries and urged him to be self-reliant. He didn't like any of those words.

When even her attempts to set boundaries couldn’t keep them apart anymore, it was clear that they could no longer remain friends. Incensed by her perceived step back from their friendship, Mr. Kawshigan sent Ms. Tan a letter of demand threatening legal action. He demanded "...monetary damages arising from negligent infliction of emotional distress and possible defamation."

Ms. Tan tried to reason with the man and texted him about how she felt uncomfortable at how things turned out between them. But he wouldn't hear any of it. He then had his counselor ask her to attend therapy sessions because that is a totally normal thing to do. She agreed to attend the sessions, thinking she could use them as an opportunity to make him realize that she was truly not interested in being his girlfriend. But attending those sessions proved to be futile, and she stopped going after one and a half years.

Damages for loss of earning capacity or loss of dignity?

April 2022 marked the start of a tumultuous relationship between Ms. Tan and Mr. Kawshigan as she began proceedings against him for harassment. While initially attempting to reconcile their differences, things took an unexpected turn on May 14 when he allegedly made threats about commencing legal action due to her "remarks and negligence."

Seven weeks later, he filed a High Court claim, claiming a loss in earning capacity, which subsequently resulted in him having to take therapy sessions to tackle the alleged trauma inflicted by Ms. Tan. She then sought to erase the allegations that the breach had impacted his earning abilities as an “active high-capital trader by night and a busy CEO by day.”

The verdict is still out as to whether the Singaporean legal system will rule in favor of the “active high-capital trader” whose heartbreak is too big to ignore or the poor woman who just wasn’t interested in him.

Fellas, if you find yourself in a similar situation, know that you can avoid all this mess by simply accepting the fact that she’s just not that into you.

Call Buckingham, LaGrandeur, & Williams to save yourself from the heartbreak of getting an unfavorable outcome in your family law case in Washington State. Leave us a message today.