I have never been one to have casual relationships. No one night stands. No chilled out flings. But after a heinous break up last year, I thought to myself, maybe what I need is to have some fun, try something new and have companionship without my heart being involved. Surely that’s a win-win. You get sex on a regular basis and have someone to hang out with without the possibility of getting hurt. A few of my friends had told me about the benefits of having a ‘Fuck Buddy’ and suddenly there was an appeal there.
I was working abroad and had gotten close in a friendly sense with a guy I was working with. He was single, I was single. It seemed like the perfect situation.
I had the conversation with him numerous times (I wanted to be so clear about what we were about to jump into) about not wanting anything serious, about not wanting a relationship but still having needs sexually and he was game. We seemed to be on the same page.
The first month was fine. We were friends helping each other out. We would hang out when we weren’t working, and when we were feeling frustrated we would satisfy each others needs.
But things started to change. Drunken nights started to involve him telling me how much he loved me. I assumed it was the drink talking. Everyone loves everyone when they are drunk right? Conversations started to involve how we were going to see each other and make it work when we had finished the summer season and returned home. I was always honest. I was happy to see him maybe as a friend if we were in the same area, but this was just for the summer, right? He always agreed.
It then shifted another gear. He would turn up unexpectedly and demand to hang out. He would leave presents outside my house every day. Flowers, or wine. One night I found him asleep on my balcony as he hadn’t been able to get into my locked apartment. One morning I woke up to him in my room watching me sleep; he had climbed into an open window uninvited.
It couldn’t have come at a better time that we were finished work and headed back to opposite ends of our home country. My summer fling was starting to turn sour, and I felt like I was getting out just in time.
We kept in touch as friends like I promised. After all, as a friend I regarded him pretty highly. Emails on what we were working on and how we were. Catch ups on how we were spending the winter and how we were missing the sunshine. Some texts were trying to be flirty, and I always stamped it out and just ended sentences with friend and pal… I didn’t want him getting the wrong impression and I felt I had always been honest from the start. I couldn’t have been more clear.
But one email seemed to flip everything on it’s head. One day out of the blue he had sent me a long email narrating our time spent abroad. Days we had spent together, nights out we had had. But it was very fabricated. He talked about all the ‘conversations we had had’ about wanting to be together and all the things he was doing now to ensure we could be closer together and start our lives as a couple. About how I was giving him signs by books I recommended he should read and music he should listen to. Saying that he knew deep down aIl I wanted was him but I was just too shy to tell him.
I knew then that I needed to cut all ties with him. And that’s what I did. I sent him a long email about how a lot of what he was saying wasn’t true, and that I felt like talking to me was bad for him. He had become obsessed and I felt like he needed professional help. I left it as I would be deleting him from social media accounts, and not responding to any contact he tried to have with me.
He replied with an email saying he thought I was making a mistake, but I didn’t respond. And he seemed to get the hint. I didn’t hear from him for two months.
Fast forward to Valentines Day. I was working away from home again and I got a text from my Mum telling me I had received a beautiful bouquet of 30 red roses. As I wasn’t remotely seeing anyone at the time, I was sure it was a mistake. An incorrect delivery address perhaps. I asked her if there was a card and there wasn’t. Strange for someone to send such a lovely gift and not even leave an anonymous note. Luckily I knew the local florist and text her asking for more details. She confirmed it had came from him. I felt sick. There was no way he could know my families home address. We had met miles away from home.
A few weeks later I received a Facebook message. Simply “I love you :)”. The smily face made it creepy. I had no idea how he could even send me a message seeing as I had blocked him. When I checked my account, he was no longer blocked. Someone must have hacked my account.
Then likes on Instagram followed. Things that made it clear where I was now working just so I knew he knew.
He had contacted a mutual friend to ask if he could call him. He said he needed to talk to him about me. Luckily my friend understood what he was doing to me, and didn’t respond to him either.
Now, eight months since I sent him the last email, he has found a friend of mine on social media that he hasn’t even met and messaged her telling her I am sending out signals to him and that he wants to pay me a visit.
I have never been so scared of a person in my life. It makes me lose sleep. Every person I see that looks remotely like him shoots my heart into my mouth, as I think he has finally found me.
How can you feel connected to someone still when you haven’t spoken to them in so long? Why would you still pursue a person you know isn’t interested? And how can you get pleasure in knowing that they are scared of you?
I look back on my summer and everything I ever said or did to this guy and I question myself. Did I lead this guy on? Did I make him think he had a chance of a relationship? Was it fair to start something casual with a person who clearly wants a serious relationship? If he is so connected to me, I must have given him the wrong impression.
But then I am such a planner, and so worried about other peoples feelings that I asked 100 times if our arrangement was ok and that’s all I could have done. You can never know who you are getting into bed with, and that scares me.
With this guy still appearing in my life from time to time, I do still worry. I still have nightmares about him turning up, I still feel on edge sometimes when I get an email, and I have a split second thought, what if it’s from him? But I know I can’t let it control me, or stop me from living, because that is what he wants.
Does my story sound familiar? Here’s my advice on what to do
The problem I have faced is not knowing how to deal with the situation. No amount of talking to friends for advice or Google searches can help you. It shocked me how little information is out there on how to handle the situation in the right manner. So if you feel like someone is giving you far too much unwanted attention here’s a few things to think about.
Review your social media settings
Nearly everyone living and breathing uses some sort of social media and this is a great way for your stalker to find out information about you without anyone knowing, from the comfort of their own phone. Check all your settings and make sure you block unwanted people from your friends lists, turn your settings to private, and tell all your friends to avoid tagging you into places. It’s something that has become so normal in a technology soaked society and sometimes you can forget how quickly a stranger can find out where you are and what you’re doing. Start taking into account what you post and who can view it.
Every time you see them. Every email or text you receive. Every Like you get on Facebook. Every time you have any sort of communication from them, make a log of when and what it was. When you see it written down, it will help you understand the seriousness of the situation and that it’s not ok to be treated this way by anyone.
It may seem a little extreme to tell the police about your stalker, however, if you are feeling uncomfortable on a daily basis, you have every right to. Take everything you have recorded and just ask that they make a note of it. Telling someone in authority makes not only you feel better, but gets the ball rolling in case your stalker decides to notch it up a gear.
It will also make you feel better to tell close friends, family and even work colleagues about the situation so they can be on the look out for any suspicious behaviour. Having many eyes on the situation is better than just you looking for all the clues.
Do NOT respond
It may seem like the right thing to do is to reiterate your feelings on not wanting to be in contact with this person, but you should send one clear and honest message about not wanting to hear from them and leave it at that. When you respond, it lets them know that they are getting to you, and some stalkers strive on that.