It is never easy to either stick it out with or push aside a lover who shows some alarming signs of obsessive behaviour. These signs will always show up. One needs to remain alert and pick these up early to avoid trauma. There are people who have a stalker latent in them. But there are ways to find out how the relationship will pan out in future and if you need to make a clean break from a potential stalker.
Who is a stalker? Facts about stalkers
A ‘stalker’ is someone who goes after or chases another person against his or her will. It is unwanted and obsessive kind of attention towards a certain person. This behaviour may lead to the victim feeling harassed, scared and even violated.
Some astounding facts 1 regarding stalkers are –
- 80.4% of stalking victims are women while the majority of perpetrators, (70.5%) are men
- 1 in 10 stalkers, who weren’t in any previous relationship, act on the threats they make
- 1 out of 5 women and 1 out of 10 men will be victims of obsessive stalking in their adult life
Typically, all over the world, it is women who are stalked. These are mostly situations where it is the boyfriend or lover who is directly involved. It might not be limited to simply following the woman where she goes. Stalking often includes defining the victim’s property, leaving threatening email, SMS and WhatsApp messages and notes.
Such stalkers are often known to illegally watch and follow women over a certain period of time. It should not be ignored under any circumstances. This crime is of a complicated nature, which often goes unreported and is easily misunderstood. But there will be always signs of a stalker that you need to read.
Related reading: 10 Bollywood films that glorify stalking
12 signs you are dating a stalker and need to break up for good
Once you catch the first signs that your lover is stalking you, you need to act quickly. Knowing that you are being stalked can be a very disturbing feeling and may have long-term psychological repercussions. There is often a very thin line that separates love from obsession and one must be careful to never have to cross that line. If you realise you are being stalked, you have to brace yourself for the somewhat difficult steps to undertake before you terminate your association with a stalker.
1. He catches you unawares at home or in office
Soon after your first few meetings or exchanges, he surprises you with an unplanned visit to your office or at home. It can leave you all rattled since in all likelihood he shouldn’t have even known the address so soon. This obsessive chasing could have you harrowed for sure.
2. He remains forever curious about where you venture out
He is never convinced just by your telling him where you went but needs corroboration in the form of evidence. He tries to ask you for pictures taken there or checks with your acquaintances. This stalking can really get on your nerves.
3. He seems to be in a hurry to meet your family
Even when you are not that mature in your relationship stage, he wants to go a step further and quickly meet your parents. This unnecessary hurry could really bother you.
4. All hell breaks loose if you don’t respond to his call or messages immediately
He does not understand that you were busy or out of network or simply not checking your phone just then. By the time you send him your reply, your phone is inundated with harsh and unreasonable remarks about your perfectly forgivable delay.
5. He expects you to agree with him all the time
He hates to hear ‘No’ from you. He expects and insists that you concur. He must have his way or else he is upset. He is persistent and can only see things going his way. This can be a real deal-breaker. You need to watch out.
6. He threatens to inflict self-injury
When he begins to realise that you want to end the relationship, he indicates his intention to hurt himself. These could sound like very seriously harmful plans. In extreme cases of obsession in love, stalkers could imply that they plan to end their lives.
Related reading: 15 steps to get rid of a stalker and be safe
7. He is very jealous
Being possessive about the lover is common and is experienced by either partner sometime or the other in the initial stages of a relationship.
However, obsessive jealousy stems from insecurity and can ruin a relationship. You need to consider an exit.
8. He finds data on you before you provide it to him
You may be understandably shocked to hear your salary figures, your last vacation details, your birthday party guest list, etc. from a stalker. Being in love and thus wanting to read your life like a book is one thing. A potential stalker would go all out to find out the tiniest details about your life and too soon for your comfort.
9. You get a lot of blank calls from unknown numbers
The caller seems to hang up immediately after hearing your voice. Worse still, he stays mute on the line and listens to your reaction to plan his next move. An unmistakable sign of a stalker who believes this is just love to make sure that you are alright.
10. He spies on you
His love turns into an obsessive addiction and he cannot get you out of his mind. He feels a compulsive need to always know everything about you, even if he has to depute someone to get these details. You both might be suddenly bumping into each other a bit too often. This is not to be taken as coincidence.
11. He is uncomfortable if you leave his side in a party
He wants to stay with you the whole time in a public gathering with friends or family. If you happen to move around, he keenly watches where you go and who you interact with. This is not love; it is dangerous levels of obsession.
12. He interrogates your friends all the time
He gets in touch with your friends, co-workers and neighbours to find out about your previous relationships, your social life, your daily routine, your hobbies, etc.
He wants to keep tabs on all that you do daily. This is not normal and definitely not something that people do in love.
Such relationships can be potentially toxic and you need to find a way out of them. Interest in the partner’s life and excessive curiosity bordering on madness should not be confused for love. This obsessive, stalking behaviour could get out of control anytime and cause a lot of complications for both partners and families involved.