Interestingly enough, the majority of stalkers (unless you’re a public figure) are men we have known, who are stalking for romantic purposes. It could be someone we just met or someone we were in a relationship with. When we wish to end the relationship or not start one, we learn that he can’t accept it.

Sadly, in recent years the stakes for resisting romantic advances has risen sharply. The movie industry has not helped with movies such as The Graduate and many others. The popular plot is that the man approaches a women, she turns him down, he persists and persists and aggressively pursues her until he wears her down and she gives in. How romantic!

This kind of mind set has taught us that when women say no, they really don’t mean it. Of course, we aren’t totally free of blame here, ladies. Some of us think it’s cute or coy to say no when we really mean: maybe, if you keep trying. When is a guy supposed to take you seriously? We should say exactly what we mean at all times- men are not necessarily fluent in the language of subtleties. No offense, men, neither am I.

Now, of course, all men are different and some can accept a nice rejection and can be “let down easy”. But others read into a nice reject, that a woman is not absolutely sure about it. When the decision is made to end a relationship- or not pursue one. The break up should be done quickly and explicitly- no negotiation- no hope of reconciliation.
Now, if you were in a long term relationship and he was never a controlling person, I think that perhaps more consideration would be appropriate (citing reasons, for instance). Where as, in a short term or a relationship with a controlling man, never explain why you are not interested in starting or why you are terminating the relationship. Simply state that it is over and you hope that he respects that.

If a man argues or debates you, you should realize that you did make the correct decision breaking it off. You should not be in a relationship with a man who has no respect for your wishes or your judgment. These men need to realize that “No.” is a complete sentence. If he pulls you into a debate, you have not ended the relationship and he considers this a sort of victory. You must not continue any discussion. You are done.

Unfortunately he may not be. At this point he may become a stalker. Do not flatter yourself, ladies. You do not have a man stalking you because you are special, you have a man stalking you because he is emotionally troubled. He will not accept “no”, but would like to have you tell it to him often, because to him your explaining how you are not interested in him is better than you’re ignoring him. He will be persistent!

You need to understand that stalking is a crime of control, power and intimidation. They have total disregard for your wishes and will attempt to take away your freedom.
If he calls and leaves twenty messages on your answering machine- ignore them- better yet, don’t listen. If you call him back to tell him to leave you alone, you have made contact and he learns that it takes 20 messages to get a call back from you. Even if the message says he wants to get together to say good-bye- do not respond!

Don’t ask a friend- male or female- to speak to him in your behalf. He would interpret this as your being too conflicted to do it in person and would continue his pursuit. Eventually he should lose interest, but every time you make any kind of contact the cycle starts fresh. Regrettably- for some other woman, he may actually need to find another victim to attach himself to before he fully lets go.

How do we avoid these men? We need to recognize their strategies early:

Acting pathetic to elicit our sympathy or guilt

Offering unsolicited help, putting us in their debt

Calling on supposed or imagined promises or commitments

Jealousy- isolating you from friends and family

Annoying you until you give in

Use of fear or intimidation

These men are looking for women who can’t say “No” and mean it. One of the first tests when meeting a potential victim is to offer her something, perhaps a drink. If she says “no” he will insist and try to persuade her to change her mind and pass his test. Let this be your test also. If you say no and he disregards that, then perhaps he just flunked your test! Red alert, gals, red alert! Just walk away. Avoiding the entire mess in the first place is way better than trying to get rid of him later!

Remember a first date is like an audition, for both of you. Of course these men can be very charming at first, but does he try to change your mind about anything? Is he unwilling to accept no for an answer? If the conversation leans toward former relationships, is he reluctant to accept some of the responsibility for the break up? Is he still invested in it? Has he had many instances of “love at first sight”? A yes answer to some or all of these questions should at least give you pause.

Fortunately, contrary to popular belief, most date stalking incidences do not end in violence without some detectable escalation. Hopefully you can prevent having to deal with this situation now that you are equipped with the knowledge to watch for the predictable signs.
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Author's Bio: 

Su Ericksen is a first degree TaeKwonDo black belt and has taught self defense workshops. She lives in the Midwest with her family and works at a large medical center in the cardiology clinic.
You may contact her through her website: Self