The world of dating is full of heavy surprises. But something like, “My boyfriend stalks me” should not be one of them. At times, these surprises might manifest themselves in dangerous ways which may seem innocent at first, but by the time you realize it’s not, it’s usually already too late. One such experience would be when you realize that the man who seems to admire you is actually stalking you.
The signs of dating a stalker are not very easy to spot, but once you do, you should cut yourself loose from that relationship immediately. It is never easy to push aside a lover who shows some alarming signs of obsessive behavior in the relationship. However, there are a few signs that will always show up. It now comes down to you, about how carefully you note these. One needs to remain alert and pick these up early to avoid trauma later on.
If you think you are dating a stalker, you simply cannot be naive and sweep these signs of obsessive love under the carpet. There are people who have stalker tendencies brimming inside and you need to recognize these so you can escape before things escalate too quickly. Your love for them might have blinded you to their toxic behavior up until now, but today, you might learn how to take notice of these things.
We have on board with us today, consultant psychologist Jaseena Backer (MS Psychology), who is a gender and relationship management expert. With her tips and understanding of obsessive behavior, let’s discover if you are indeed dating a stalker or not.
Facts About ‘Stalkers And Stalking’
Collin’s English dictionary defines stalking as ‘the act or crime of pursuing or following someone persistently or threateningly’ and a stalker as ‘a person who follows or chases another person against his or her will in a threatening or frightening manner.’
Thee is a fine line between being absolutely crazy in love and downright obsessive behavior in a relationship. And here’s the scarier thing. It is much easier to ignore the signs of a stalker if you are dating them. This happens because it borders on signs of love and because your own love for them sort of blinds you to the reality. You feel like most of their actions are out of love and you tend to give them a free pass for it. For example, a boyfriend who is head over heels for you is bound to check up on you constantly via texts, calls, Facebook messages etc.
This may seem normal at first and you might even like it a lot. But if you feel like the volume of these texts and calls is borderline obsessive and starts to restrict your personal space, keep an eye out because it could be one of the signs he is a stalker. Better safe than sorry!
Stalkers leave their victims feeling harassed, scared and even violated. But there’s more to it.
Here are some astounding facts1 regarding stalkers:
- Men are the majority perpetrators: 80.4% of stalking victims are women while the majority of perpetrators, (70.5%) are men
- Some act on the threats: 1 in 10 stalkers, who weren’t in any previous relationship, act on the threats they make
- Statistics of victims: 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.
Jaseena says, “Women are more occupied in the relationship because of a jealousy factor, however they are also more verbal and direct about the same. They will express it more often. However, men on the other hand have a slightly different approach. When men become paranoid and obsessive, they tend to express it more in actions which can lead to all kinds of obsessive tendencies and stalking behavior.”
This might not be limited to simply following the woman where she goes. Stalking often includes surveying the victim’s property, leaving threatening email, SMS and WhatsApp messages, notes and even crimes of passion. You’ve probably already met a woman who has complained of a stalker ex-boyfriend or has said something like, “My boyfriend stalks me and keeps tabs on me sometimes.”
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 the signs of a stalker will always be there which you need to read carefully.
Related Reading: 10 Bollywood Films That Glorify Stalking
12 Signs You Are Dating A Stalker And Need To Break Up For Good
Once you glimpse the first signs that your lover is stalking you, you need to act quickly on this. Saying “I caught my boyfriend stalking me,” is just not enough. You need to stand up for yourself too.
Knowing that you are being stalked can be a very disturbing feeling. It may even have long-term psychological repercussions. There is a very thin line that separates love from obsession and one must be careful to never have to cross that line. If you realize you are being stalked, you have to brace yourself for the somewhat difficult steps to undertake before you terminate your association with a stalker.
But before you do that, let’s confirm your hunch once and for all. Here are the signs that you are dating 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. If you know for a fact that you did not give him your address, isn’t it a tad bit creepy he found out on his own?
Jaseena tells us, “Keeping tabs on you in this way will definitely lead to a breakdown of trust in your relationship. They are always afraid that you are doing something wrong or something that might hurt them very much. And what’s worse is that it just might be a habitual thing for him to snoop around on you.”
2. Signs he is a stalker — he remains forever curious about where you venture out
He is never convinced by the words you tell him. When you tell him where you went, he needs corroboration in the form of evidence. He tries to ask you for pictures taken there or checks with your acquaintances. Or even tries to suggest that he knows where you were better than you do. This behavior can really get on your nerves, to say the least. So do consider that this might be an indication that he is also stalking you.
3. He seems to be in a hurry to meet your family
Yup, this is one of the undeniable traits of a stalker boyfriend. There is a time for everything. A relationship goes on step by step. But he wants to go a step further and meet your parents, even when you have not reached that stage in your relationship. A boyfriend who is stalking you would arm himself with all the details about you and your family. This unnecessary hurry should 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 simply busy with something else or out of network or just not checking your phone at that time. By the time you do send him your reply, your phone is inundated with harsh and unreasonable remarks about your perfectly forgivable delay. He will totally lose it and spam you constantly.
Jaseena tells us, “Spamming your partner with questions and constantly checking on the partner can have many repercussions. The other person might feel they are not trusted and will also feel as if there is an air of surveillance in the relationship. Eventually, they will start ignoring such messages thus making the stalker feel even more neglected and irritated. The partner under surveillance might even being to start lying in the relationship.”
5. He expects you to agree with him all the time
A prominent sign of obsession and stalking is your boyfriend’s unwillingness to take ‘No’ for an answer. He hates to hear ‘No’ from you and expects and insists that you concur. It’s his way or the highway. 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 realize 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. At that point, you are probably wondering, “What to do about a stalker ex-boyfriend who just won’t leave you alone?”
Jaseena tells us, “Inflicting self-injury is a compulsion arising from an obsession towards a person. It is a type of emotional blackmail — knowing very well that the other person does actually love them. This is not acceptable behavior as it lacks emotional integrity and is highly self-centric behavior.”
Related Reading: 15 Steps to Get Rid of a Stalker and Be Safe
7. Traits of a stalker boyfriend – he is very jealous
8. He finds data on you before you provide it to him
9. You get a lot of blank calls from unknown numbers — signs he is a stalker
And 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 and he’s making sure that you are alright. Stalkers are often delusional and do this combined with other forms of cyberstalking.
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 deploy someone to get these details. The two of you might suddenly be bumping into each other a bit too often. This is not to be taken as coincidence and is definitely one of the major traits of a stalker boyfriend.
Related Reading: How To Deal With A Gaslighting Spouse?
11. He is uncomfortable if you leave his side at a social gathering
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. He even gets angry with you if you talk to another male friend or acquaintance. This is not love; it may be a dangerous level of obsession.
Jaseena tells us, “A partner who cannot see you talking to someone else at a party and never leaves your side might be obsessive, possessive and also shows hints of paranoia. This stems purely from that person’s insecurity and doesn’t really have anything to do with the other partner. Being unloved by parents or even a childhood trauma might make them feel this way often. This makes them constantly worried. This is what also leads to controlling behavior in relationships.”
12. He interrogates your friends all the time
Such relationships can be potentially toxic for you 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 behavior could get out of control anytime and blow up, causing a lot of complications for both partners and even the families involved.
Having a partner who exercises control in such a way is not something that is easy to deal with or something that you can simply brush off. Take our advice when it comes to what to do about a stalker ex-boyfriend or a current boyfriend who is stalking you, and cut them loose as soon as you can.