Creeper, no creeping! Getting a stalker vibe from someone, what to do?
March 14, 2014 3:41 PM Subscribe
An acquaintance from years ago recently found me on facebook. I haven't spoken to him in 15-20 years. I am getting a bit of a stalker/creeper vibe off him and not sure what to do. I've read some of the other stalker threads on AskMe, and I'm still not sure what to do in my situation. The problem that is perplexing me is that he is a member of the same club I am, and I'm afraid if I too aggressively ban him from my online contacts, it will make club attendance and club related communications a problem. How do I "deal" with this person? Special snowflake details inside.
posted by [insert clever name here] to Human Relations (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We used to be part of the same online community. Hung out in person a few times together, but mostly in groups. Never dated, but looking back I kind of suspect he was interested (I was in my early 20's, and oblivious to a lot of that). This group had a lot of mixed sex friends that hung out from time to time, and I never really thought anything about it, or him in particular.
I ended up dating someone outside the group (and later, married him!), and that caused the above guy being pissed at me for falling out of that group. But that was the end of my contact with him. I've kept in contact with some people from that group of friends, most are at best acquaintances and that's mostly because we ended up working together at various jobs (it's a small town, work wise).
About two months ago, this person contacted me on facebook. I didn't think twice about it because I have a lot of people on facebook that I don't really know or knew years ago. But he started out being overly chatty. He sent a lot of messages. They weren't inappropriate, but seemed a little too much for someone that I barely knew and hadn't spoken to in years. He said he found me because we're in the same club, had some minor chit-chat about the mutual interest. I got a bad vibe immediately. But out of concern my creepy guy detector wasn't working, and we were in the same local club which I thought maybe he was just an overly excited novice. I humored him, sent him a couple replies to be polite, then stopped responding.
He kept messaging me for a bit, nothing untoward, just about our mutual hobby interest, but that eventually fell off and I forgot about it. He started responding to my facebook posts, but I didn't really care, I have a lot of people who respond to my facebook posts that I don't really know. But then he started responding to friend of friend posts. For instance, friend A who is in another state and doesn't know said person, would post something publicly or as a friend of a friend setting. I'd respond to that friend. Now the guy who I'm a bit worried about is responding to my comments there. It all seemed like he was paying more attention to me than I liked.
And so I put him on my restricted list, because I figured he wouldn't see any posts except what is public, but it wouldn't be so obvious that I was outright blocking him (which I was worried might be discovered if he was actively looking for me).
Now he's reaching out to me on other social media sites. Maybe it's just the built-in friend finder that uses facebook friend, but it doesn't feel right. I'm starting to trust my creepy guy detector more and more and feel like something is off. But he hasn't actually done anything. But I've gotten this vibe from guys before that turned out to make unwanted advances.
I also can't completely hide my online presence from him. I have several public websites, including one bearing my name. I am well known in the online community for the area of interest we share, and go by my name on most message boards.
My instinct is be to outright block him, but as I said, I am a member of the same club he is. We have not crossed paths in person, but it's only a matter of time.
I'm really bad at handling unwanted attention/affections in person so this online/IRL crossover is particularly concerning to me. I've had a few guys come on to me online from time to time but those interactions have been online only and easy to block/ignore, etc . . . I'm not sure of the best way to handle this while not feeling like I'm causing any kind of weirdness in the mutual club we are in.
Of particular concern is that I think at this point he might be a potential stalker. If I handle it right, I am hoping to avoid the whole unpleasantness of having my very own Stalker™. But I have a strong sense that if he figures out I'm intentionally blocking or avoiding him that it could go badly. I don't know what go badly means. Maybe just make IRL interactions messy, maybe stalk me via public internet channels.
Or maybe I should be less concerned? I may just outright overthinking what is just a bad vibe. But I've also learned over the years that my intuition is usual right on the nose with these kind of feeling.