When Edward from Twilight followed Bella around, we thought it was so romantic. Actually, it’s called the signs of a stalker and it’s creepy.
Trust me, when I was younger, I used to think that if the guy was always, surprisingly, in the same place at the same time as me, it was the universe telling me something. Of course, it could actually be that this person works in the same building as you or goes to your gym… but… you should always keep in mind: what if that isn’t the case? Understand the signs of a stalker, it’s not romantic.
How to tell the real signs of a stalker
If you think it’s no big deal and nothing to worry about, think again. Stalking is a serious crime and is something to nip in the bud as soon as you recognize the behavior. If you think stalking is only in a physical form, it’s not. Now with all these forms of communication, stalking occurs through social media, texting, etc.
So just because this person isn’t standing outside your house, doesn’t mean you’re not being stalked. Of course, I’m going to tell you what you need to know to figure out the signs of a stalker. Don’t listen to Hollywood, there’s nothing romantic about stalking.
#1 They’re extremely intense people. This is a huge difference between a regular person and someone who’s a stalker: they’re intense. When they look at you, they look at you. As if they’re going hunting and they found their target.
#2 They pop-by when they know you’re busy. Dropping by to surprise someone happens all the time. I do it with my friends sometimes when I feel spontaneous. However, I don’t do it when I know they’re already busy.
Stalkers tend to make these “surprise visits,” usually when they know you already have plans. You’ll probably be slightly confused, even defensive. If that’s the automatic feeling you get, listen to it. They may show up at your house, work, your night out—wherever they think you’re going to be. [Read: How to get rid of a toxic friend]
#3 They already know about you. They probably already have enough information about you to figure out who you are. They spent time on social media, casually asked people about you, they follow your patterns. What you need to do if you end up speaking to them, see if they know details about you that they shouldn’t, details that you haven’t told them.
#4 They invade your personal space, break boundaries. We all have boundaries. Now when it comes to a stalker, they invade your personal space regardless if they communicate with you or not. If you confronted this person and asked them to leave you alone in which they refuse, they’re not understanding nor respecting your boundaries. [Read: 10 crucial steps to boundaries that make you feel more in control]
#5 They manipulate scenarios. Each stalker has their own goal, they’re not stalking you because they have nothing else to do. There’s a reason why they need to follow you, find out your personal information, etc. Stalkers try to manipulate situations so that they can be around you.
Maybe they’ll try to get a job close by yours, eat lunch at your usual spot, take the same bus as you. In a natural setting, these situations most likely never occur, but for them, they make it happen.
#6 They try to intimidate you. They try to intimidate you in order for you to fulfill their goal. Don’t take stalking to be innocent, they cannot just follow you around for years and years, they have a goal that needs to be achieved. They may try to harm you or intimidate you by grossly invading your personal space, most likely when you’re alone.
#7 Understand that they’re obsessed. Stalking is an obsessive behavior. This person is obsessed with you and in no way is this healthy. Sometimes we try to justify someone else’s behavior to lighten the situation, but with stalking, you can’t. This person sees you as an object. Something they need to obtain. They try their hardest to get what they want, you need to know that. [Read: Should you settle for less when you can have much more?]
#8 They analyze every single thing you say. They strip down every word that comes out of your mouth, looking to find what you really wanted to say. The true meaning behind your words. If you communicate with this person, you notice they overreact on things that you say.
This person makes you defend every word you say, explaining your reasoning, making you feel like you’re the one in the wrong. If they feel you’re in the wrong, they may try to harm you.
#9 It’s always question and answer time. They want to know where you’re going, when you’re going, who you’re going with, etc. When you first meet them, it may look harmless. However, as time passes, this form of interrogation begins to make you uncomfortable, which is the appropriate feeling to have. They may “check-up” on you, just to see if you tell the truth. If this happens, they’re stalking you.
#10 They damage your property. This one is creepy. However, it’s not uncommon among stalkers. If you do not give them the attention they want, they bring your eyes on to them.
They start damaging your property, maybe your car or exterior of your home. As time passes, they become more daring, possibly even breaking into your home. If you find any damage to your personal property, contact the authorities because this is only the beginning. [Read: The unhealthy effects of falling madly in obsessive love]
#11 They’re usually not strangers. I know most of the movies out there about stalkers are based on some crazy girl or guy, the lead just met at a bar, but usually it’s not the case. For most people being stalked, it’s done by someone they already know. It could be a friend, ex-lover—these are the most likely situations. If someone stalks you under a fake identity, look at your social circle.
Now that you know the signs of a stalker, are you being stalked? If you feel so, please contact your local authorities. In addition, make sure your family and friends are aware so that they make the extra steps to make sure you’re safe and supported.
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A serial dater, Natasha Ivanovic knows a thing or two about men and the dating scene. Much of her writing is inspired by her encounters with men - and for good ...