Asking to be left alone - is this a stalker?

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Fern
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13 Sep 2017, 2:27 pm

There is this guy in my exercise class who wanted to be my friend, pretty much from day 1 when I first moved here. I thought that was nice, because I was new and didn't really know anyone outside of work. He didn't have a car at the time, and lived near me, so he asked if he could catch rides with me to our class. I agreed, happy to help, and for a while would give him rides and have nice chats with him on the way there and back. He was also working on getting certified in the class, so I helped him out with the process, since I had done it years before. However, at some point he decided he wanted to start hanging out with me outside of class, asking me again and again every night if I'd go to his place or out to eat with him. I am in a committed relationship with someone else, so I openly told him that I didn't want to bail on my evening plans with my boyfriend to hang out late at night alone with another man. I also suggested we sometime get a bunch of our mutual friends to hang out with together. He said something about not liking everyone else, but in general seemed satisfied with this request.

...but then he started sending me long texts about things he was going through in the evenings, and about how he was mad at the other guy who gave him free rides, and only wanted free rides from me because of that. My phone would beep and beep and beep while I was with my boyfriend. After a while, my boyfriend was like "Oh- it's him again?" I started turning my phone on silent while I was with my boyfriend and ignoring ride-guy's texts. ...but then he started getting mad if I didn't immediately return his messages, and would punish me by sending texts like "I don't know if you just hate me or what, but this is an emergency" ...which it never was. I finally had to ask him to text me less, because it was disrupting my private life constantly being on my phone. He must have gotten mad, then gotten over it, because he unfriended me on facebook, then immediately friended me back again that evening. I didn't accept. It was starting to get weird.

By random coincidence, I broke my toe that week, and so I couldn't go to the exercise class for a while (doctor's orders). I thought maybe this would give me a convenient opportunity to break-away from spending time with this guy. I had physical therapy at the same time as regular class, so when ride-guy inquired, I told him he would have to find some other way to get there, like he had before I moved to this place. He said "But when will you be back to class? Your foot doesn't seem too bad to me. I really need your ride." etc. etc. etc.

I will admit, I lost my temper at this point, so I responded (in text) "I need to take care of myself right now. It's not my responsibility to give you rides everywhere. If you want to exercise there so badly, figure out a plan to get there that doesn't rely on other people driving you."

He responded by saying "I can't believe you are calling me an infant" ...which I didn't call him, and then he said "Lately the things you say to me really hurt me. I think I am done with you."

So my foot is healed and this week I went back to the exercise class. Ride-guy wasn't there, but people have been making weird comments about his absence. Apparently, they thought that ride-guy was my boyfriend and that I broke up with him and told him to stop coming or something..... =_= I don't know if it is weirder to talk about it or weirder to be quiet about it, since no one has asked me directly.

I feel bad that he can't get to class anymore, but he kind of backed me into a corner. I tried to be clear from day one that I was not romantically interested in him, but he almost got possessive over my time, even showed up at work to tell me about his personal things (...for like an hour... it was awkward).

Could I have handled this situation better? I feel like I gave him fair warning, and shut down behavior I didn't feel comfortable with as soon as it appeared, but I still feel like I am treated like the bad guy here.


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kraftiekortie
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13 Sep 2017, 8:31 pm

I think you handled the situation right.

The guy really seems like a possessive stalker type who likes to lay guilt trips on people.

And he doesn't appreciate the fact that you give him rides! He should try to get his license and his own car.



Keladry
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13 Sep 2017, 8:44 pm

Wow, that guy was pretty...stalkerish. I don't think your behavior was out of line, and it would be fine if you tell the others at the class that you were NOT dating him. It's not fair for you for others to view you negatively when you did nothing except help the guy out.

I would definitely end all contact with him if you can. I hope he leaves you alone.



Xlandril
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13 Sep 2017, 11:58 pm

Set fire to his house.

He'll understand.



SilverBoltsisWmax
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14 Sep 2017, 12:24 am

Look if you explicitly said I have a boyfriend I'm not going to cheat on him, or interested n the idea of being with someone else then that's all you gotta do. If he pushes the subject then yes he's on the stalker crazy side. Uhh let him go at that point and be careful?



underwater
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14 Sep 2017, 1:06 am

Yes, absolutely stalkerish. He overstepped a lot of boundaries. Also, you weren't focusing so much on it, but showing up at work and talking at you for an hour is not ok. It could get you in trouble with management.

Don't ever let him into your life again.


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Fern
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14 Sep 2017, 11:01 am

Maybe it's just awkward when your first friend in a new place isn't a good friend. Now I feel like I'm the weird friendless one again. I wish it didn't have to go like that, but in the end I didn't really have a say.

Xlandril wrote:
Set fire to his house.

He'll understand.


lol What!? 8O


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Fern
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18 Sep 2017, 1:46 pm

Haha, the saga continues!
Last night, not even a week after this guy says to me "I think I'm done with you" I get the following message:

Quote:
Hey, how are you? We should sit and talk sometime to solve this misunderstanding between us. I would like to make some things clear. Let me know if you are up to that.


My phone is set to ingore notifications after a certain hour till the next morning, so that I don't wake up from my phone light blinking in the night (I hate sleeping with blinking lights on). So I didn't even read that text till this morning, when I woke up to this follow-up:

Quote:
All I am trying to do is rebuild our friendship in a nice way so we don't feel awkward in class. So your regular response means "I don't care about our friendship anymore"? I think as two mature people we should be able to get over this and talk. There is a lot misread and misunderstood that got us into the situation we are in now.


I just responded to this insanity with "Hey man. Just saw this. No hard feelings."

Since then he sent me 3 more texts saying the same thing as before. Jeebus. And I thought I was the master of making things weird.


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underwater
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18 Sep 2017, 1:55 pm

Fern wrote:
Haha, the saga continues!
Last night, not even a week after this guy says to me "I think I'm done with you" I get the following message:

Quote:
Hey, how are you? We should sit and talk sometime to solve this misunderstanding between us. I would like to make some things clear. Let me know if you are up to that.


My phone is set to ingore notifications after a certain hour till the next morning, so that I don't wake up from my phone light blinking in the night (I hate sleeping with blinking lights on). So I didn't even read that text till this morning, when I woke up to this follow-up:

Quote:
All I am trying to do is rebuild our friendship in a nice way so we don't feel awkward in class. So your regular response means "I don't care about our friendship anymore"? I think as two mature people we should be able to get over this and talk. There is a lot misread and misunderstood that got us into the situation we are in now.


I just responded to this insanity with "Hey man. Just saw this. No hard feelings."

Since then he sent me 3 more texts saying the same thing as before. Jeebus. And I thought I was the master of making things weird.


I think he will interpret any reply from you as a sign that you are interested in having a relationship with him. I suspect that as long as you answer anything, he will keep bothering you.

It's often hard for women to understand how delusional pushy guys can be about these things.


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Fern
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19 Sep 2017, 9:02 pm

underwater wrote:
I think he will interpret any reply from you as a sign that you are interested in having a relationship with him. I suspect that as long as you answer anything, he will keep bothering you.

It's often hard for women to understand how delusional pushy guys can be about these things.


See, if I ignore him, he keeps sending me texts that get increasingly aggressive (so far, 17 in a row is his record). So instead, I've been sending short and 100% blunt texts. I'll update everyone below (alightly abridged, because his texts are so freaking long):

Him: Ok, so how about we drink tea to make things better, I really would like to clarify a few things that were misread.
Me: It sounds to me like you are upset. Are you okay?
Him: I am upset about your misunderstanding. That is whyI would like to talk to you in person, not via text. Other than that I'm good. I've been going through stuff, but it's getting better.
Me: I'm glad to hear it's getting better.
Him: You didn't answer my question yet. Can we chat sometime? My schedule is open this week. Last week I (blah blah blah), next week (blah blah blah)
Me: No thank you
Him: Alright then. Fine. So we are done.
Me: If you say so
Him: NO. There was a really bad exchange of messages and some offenses between us that have never happened with anyone else in class. If you want to ignore that (blah blah blah blah x 9 more messages)
Me: See, angry texts like that are the problem. They really don't make me want to hang out with you. That's why I said 'no thank you.'
Him: (blah blah blah x 6 messages) Good for you that there are "no hard feelings" Good work. Bye.

I wonder if he will actually leave me alone now. He's made himself a nice little nest of harassing texts. I think the next one I get from him I will be blocking.


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AspieSingleDad
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19 Sep 2017, 9:22 pm

He's not going to leave you alone. You are worried about being too harsh and at this point you are not being harsh enough. You might even want to consider going to a police precinct and discussing some options. You have a boyfriend and you deserve to enjoy that relationship in peace. You didn't ask for this, this isn't your fault, and this isn't something you brought about. This guy has some issues. Yes, he's a stalker. He probably isn't inclined towards violence, but it certainly can't be ruled out.

You need to make it clear you want no further contact with him and you could care less if things are awkward at exercise class or not. I wouldn't threaten him with going to the police or anything, but if you make things very clear like that and he continues to harass you, I think you should pursue some action based on police suggestions.

I'm sorry you are having to go through this.



Keladry
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19 Sep 2017, 10:18 pm

I agree with Aspiesingle.

Again, you haven't done anything wrong. Your texts are blunt, but are also still polite and he might be interpreting them as interest just because you are replying and are not directly turning him down. At this point, I wouldn't text anything back, or if you do, something like: I am not interested in being friends. Please stop texting or contacting me. Bye. If he still continues to contact you after that, then I would contact the police. They might not be able to do anything but it would at least start to establish a record.



Fern
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20 Sep 2017, 12:11 am

Well, he is blocked on my phone now, and on facebook, so I have no problems in the future. The good thing about his needing rides to get places is that if I decide not to drive him, I don't have to see him :p


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22 Sep 2017, 2:06 pm

You made the right call, Fern.


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jrjones9933
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22 Sep 2017, 2:24 pm

Thumbs up. Read this as an instruction manual for getting out of the friend zone, MRA bigots. :lol:

Seriously, stay frosty. Creeps like that come back like a bad penny.


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