Thursday, February 4, 2010

Weeding Out Potential Stalkers

Have you ever had a guy seem like he was cool at first--attentive, good job, nice home and car--and then you find out he's... well... a little crazy? That the attentiveness actually has turned into stalkerlike behavior?

I guess we all have our preferences. Some women (I suppose--because otherwise why would some men do this? Someone must like it) must prefer a guy who calls and texts them literally all day long (by this I mean hardly a 15-30 minute interval goes by without you hearing from him) because he wants to "stay in touch."

But me, you know, I have a job. One that requires that I concentrate. I do spend time during my workday catching up with family or friends, but I cannot spend all day talking, texting and instant messaging. I just can't. What I prefer is a guy who stays in touch by contacting me periodically--no set timeframes.

I don't want to feel like a guy is texting/calling/IMing solely because he's a control freak who wants to know my movements every step of the day. That's a little scary...and um, to me signals the potential for trouble down the line.

Enter Blast From Past (BFP), a guy who I went out with about five years ago; I think we went on two, maybe three, dates. Then--for a reason I no longer recall--I cut him off. We reconnected through Facebook recently, and I was reminded pretty quickly why I must've gotten rid of him in the first place.

I gave him my number. First Big Mistake. I called him that night, as I promised him online that I would. Mind you, I was under the weather, and soon after I left him a voicemail, I laid down to rest because I was feeling worse. Well, soon my phone starting going off. BFP called twice, left a voicemail and then texted me three times, all within the next hour or two.

The next morning, he texted me again--before I'd returned any of his previous messages.

I knew I had a problem...and I was already feeling smothered, and we hadn't even had a real conversation yet. So I was direct. I texted him to let him know that there is no need to blow my phone up if he's already left a message. When I get the message, I told him, I *will* maybe if I decide he's not a stalker get back to him.

He said okay, acted like he understood.

But soon I realized, as we talked on instant messager while at work one day, that he doesn't really get it. He IMs me ALL DAY LONG. And I mean all day. To the point where I no longer sign into IM, just so that I can be productive and dodge him. And guess what happened yesterday--the first day I didn't sign into IM? He started texting me on my cellphone. And I was busy...with work. Too busy to do the let's-talk-literally-all-day-long thing again. Nevermind that it's exhausting.

Four unanswered text messages, a phone call and a voicemail later (all received yesterday while I was at work and in the evening), I think maybe he got the point.

I think. Only time will tell because I'm never calling him again.

BFP also made no secret that he was keeping tabs on my Facebook page. When I joined a fan page for a local TV station, he texted just a few minutes later to say something about that particular station. When I posted a status update about wanting a cupcake, he messaged me about that, too. It was a little creepy. No worries, though, he's on "limited profile" now. So no more cyber least not through Facebook.

I should've known this would only go downhill when BFP made a point of telling me he's "not crazy" during our first phone conversation after we reconnected--something he said totally unprompted. I think it's odd for someone to volunteer that they're not crazy. Did I say you were crazy? Clearly, almost certainly maybe he's been accused of being crazy or stalkerish in the past. And that's probably not far from the truth.

TALK BACK: Do you have a breaking point where a guy--who may think he's showing 'interest'--is actually scaring you because he seems like a potential stalker? What warning signs signal a potential stalker for you?


  1. A guy and I went out on a first date. We had an okay time. At the end of the date, he said let's do something tomorrow, and I responded "we'll see". He tried to force the date by driving 40 miles to my house and knocking on my door!! I didn't answer. He waited in the parking lot and called me every 15 mins for three hours! His excuse? "I was worried about you." NUTTY!!!

  2. I just had a guy who did a very similar thing to me. He began ceaselessly messaging me on Facebook, and once when I didn't answer for 2 hours (I was at the gym), he messaged me again, asking why I hadn't responded yet. Over the last few months he's not only messaged me many times a day (prompting me to deactivate my Facebook page), he also emailed me on average, 6 to 10 times a day. He then began appearing at places I'd go to, etc, etc. long story. I told him that I have a boyfriend I'm happy with, and that I see this creepy guy only as "a friend". He wasn't happy, but took it pretty well. However, I'm very wary that maybe he could decide to act out about my lack of interest in him, so I'm very much on guard. If he begins to act out, I'll tell everyone I know, so that they are aware of him. But for now, I'm just waiting to see if he stays calm and stays away from me.