Am I over-reacting?
May 13, 2015 7:51 PM   Subscribe

I met up with this guy from OkCupid two weeks ago, and he seemed really charming. We've met up around three times to do various activity-oriented things in the city. He's done a few things to set off my alarm bells, and I'm not sure it's safe to see him anymore. At the same time, maybe these things are no big deal. Details inside

The first time we met, he asked for my last name, and mentioned he knew it because he had found my google+ profile because OkCupid had suggested it to him - I use a variant spelling of my name on OKC just to avoid this, and was upset, but assumed that it was innocent and went and updated my privacy settings. At this point, he mentioned he hadnt found my facebook profile, and I said I wasnt comfortable adding him yet, and that I barely used it anyway.

Because he had my real name, he was able to google and find out where I worked. He'd wanted to get together at the last minute on a day I had plans, and after I turned him down, he told me he was taking a walk, and texted me pictures of my workplace with the caption "look where I ended up". A week later, when we were texting, he asked me what it was like growing up in Unlikely Place I Have Listed As Hometown on my pseudonymous Facebook page. All of my details, including Hometown, are fictitious on facebook to increase privacy. I asked how he found me, and he said something about how it was out in the open and he "couldn't resist."

I'm going through a busy period at work this week, but we hung out on Friday, and he applied some minor guilt and I agreed to see him Saturday. He keeps trying to set up things, and acts put-out/sad when I turn him down. This entitlement plus the boundary pushing has me worried, but we did get along very well the first two times we met.

I've felt a lot less safe with him as a result of all this, and am torn between seeing him a few more times to make up my mind, or ghosting to protect myself from his becoming a full-on stalker. Is this kind of online stalking normal? I haven't had this issue before, and I assume that anyone who did google me was smart enough to keep it to themselves.
posted by MFZ to Human Relations (79 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Red flags.
Why are you ignoring your gut feeling?
posted by Neekee at 7:53 PM on May 13, 2015 [90 favorites]

nope. Nope. All red flags.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:54 PM on May 13, 2015 [29 favorites]

My rule of thumb: The last thing you say is how you really feel, and you're just seeking permission: ghosting to protect myself from his becoming a full-on stalker.

Do this.
posted by Etrigan at 7:55 PM on May 13, 2015 [18 favorites]

If he doesn't respect your boundaries about Facebook, he's unlikely to respect your boundaries in other ways, too. Not necessarily *every* other way, but this seems to me to be a sign that you're going to spend a lot of time dealing with his overstepping - whether in minor things or in major. Either way is a no-go for me, personally.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:55 PM on May 13, 2015 [8 favorites]

More red flags than Minesweeper, honey. Run.
posted by Beethoven's Sith at 7:56 PM on May 13, 2015 [25 favorites]

This is all boundary-testing. He's trying to see how far he can back you into your corner. End it explicitly and go radio-silent. There is nothing to be gained by interacting with him.
posted by workerant at 7:56 PM on May 13, 2015 [78 favorites]

posted by clone boulevard at 7:59 PM on May 13, 2015 [9 favorites]

Oh hell no. Trust the gut.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:59 PM on May 13, 2015 [7 favorites]

There are lots of other guys out there who won't push your boundaries like this. Maybe he's just super into you, or maybe he's a creeper.
posted by J. Wilson at 7:59 PM on May 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

I would absolutely ghost on this guy.
posted by holborne at 8:00 PM on May 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

So I mean, why risk it? I would not see him again.
posted by J. Wilson at 8:00 PM on May 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

I am with workerant (if I understand his/her reply): the issue isn't that he Googled the hell out of you (this may actually be a smart thing to do if you're meeting strangers for dating). The sort-of creepy issue is, he told you about it. Immature at best. Ditch him.
posted by brownrd at 8:00 PM on May 13, 2015 [7 favorites]

Best answer: I think people probably Google prospective mates a lot. That part is normal and I completely get that. I mean, I am the type of person who always researches anything I do. I will research a restaurant before I go -- check the reviews, look at the neighborhood on StreetView, check photos of the food on Yelp. If I am selling something on Craigslist, I try to Google the buyer to see who they are and make sure they are a real person or not a criminal. And yes, if I am interested in dating someone, I will definitely Google them to learn more about their background, what kind of person they are, etc. if I can. After all, the version a person is presenting to you may always not be the full picture.

HOWEVER. That this guy openly telling you about it and making reference to these you haven't even told him is already pretty awkward and shows poor judgment. BUT THEN where your discomfort seems completely reasonable is that he just walked over to your workplace uninvited. It seems he has a lack of boundaries and isn't willing to let you dictate the terms of revealing personal info and do things at your own comfort level. I think googling someone is actually fine, but the way this guy is using the information isn't fine. You also told him you didn't want to add him on Facebook but he went and told you he found you anyway, which is pushy.

I think you are right to feel uncomfortable and I'd trust your gut. He sounds awkward at best. He could be creepy. Who knows, but it doesn't sound like he is respecting your wishes.
posted by AppleTurnover at 8:02 PM on May 13, 2015 [78 favorites]

Best answer: If any part of dating should be easy and fun, it's the early stages. You've had just three dates, and already you have a lot of anxiety and drama and issues. If things are that complicated this early on, just think of the problems you'll be having later! Try to find someone else who can at least manage to avoid annoying you from the beginning.
posted by John Cohen at 8:03 PM on May 13, 2015 [24 favorites]

Uh, he did not "end up" at your work place, he went there deliberately. There are zero good reasons for that to happen. Ghost on him and give your building security a heads up.
posted by almostmanda at 8:05 PM on May 13, 2015 [45 favorites]

I would just go no contact. Immediately. ThIs guy is super creepy and that's not going to change no matter how you break it off. Stay safe.
posted by Kalmya at 8:07 PM on May 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Duuuuuuuuuuude. Noooooooooooooo.

You gave him a fair shot (which you are not required to do in dating, btw, but you allowed a little time rather than making a snap judgment, that's generous of you) and he's creeping you out. Trust the gut here. You owe him nothing.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:09 PM on May 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Please listen to your gut when it comes to red flags and feeling unsafe. At best he sounds unpleasantly socially awkward, and there's no need to explore the worst case possibilities.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:12 PM on May 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Creepy as shit. Shut him down as quickly and safely as you can.
posted by rtha at 8:13 PM on May 13, 2015 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I google stalk the bejeezus out of every single internet date before actually meeting them. I'm very good at it. And most people are very bad at obfuscating their online presence. I end up going on dates knowing all sorts of stuff about people, to and beyond the level you're describing here. I once had surprise soup delivered to a guy's work after we made out on our fist date and I got him sick even though he never technically told me where his office was. I am 100% ok with searching people I'm going to be meeting one-on-on. I am Team Google Stalk.

And even I think this dude is 5 megatons of creep. He's not being up front about it, he's taken his online searching physical by coming to your workplace, he's persisting in doing this after you told him it makes you uncomfortable.

Why are you even entertaining the idea of seeing him again?! Why are you letting him guilt you into more dates?! Stop doing that! Don't go out with people you don't like, that is like rule 1 of dating!

Tell this guy you are no longer interested in seeing him and lose his number. Ignore everything else he sends you.
posted by phunniemee at 8:14 PM on May 13, 2015 [36 favorites]

Googling you is normal, and even telling you about it isn't that far out of the norm. Heading to where you work, then sending you photos of it on a day when you were too busy to meet him? Not normal. Pushing past your boundaries? Huge red flags. End it.
posted by jeather at 8:15 PM on May 13, 2015 [15 favorites]

The work thing freaked me right out. Ghost. Totally ghost!
posted by RogueTech at 8:16 PM on May 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

Dude likes you too much too soon + he has time + he's an introvert who enjoys internet sleuthing + he is somewhat immature or has poor social skills or is on the rebound or all of the above, and thus unsurprisingly his little walk took him to your workplace. I wouldn't be creeped out by it so much as conclude this all can't make for a desirable partner.
posted by Dragonness at 8:20 PM on May 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

As a side note: I also notice you are really concerned about privacy to the point where you use a fake name and town on your Facebook profile. You should check your Facebook settings and how people can look you up, because it's weird that he still was able to find you. You can also make all the details of your Facebook account private -- your hometown does not need to be public at all. You should fix those settings. For your profile picture, you may want one that is not of your face. Set your friends list to "only me." It's very possible maybe you have friends with lax settings and he knew who a friend of yours was and was able to see you tagged in a photo or something like that -- there's not a lot you can do about friends with shitty privacy settings, but you can photo block tags of yourself from showing up in friends' photos if you want. I personally do.

I'm paranoid about privacy too and I do a regular "google check" of myself. You may just want to do that and revisit your privacy settings everywhere. Check your app permissions and revoke any you aren't still using. Find any old and forgotten accounts and delete everything in them. I also use separate email addresses for things I want associated with me and my real name and things I do not. (This all may be worth another AskMe. I digress.)

Back to your question: I think you should do yourself a favor and dump this guy only three dates in. Imagine how awkward it will be the further you get. I find it subtly weird and off-putting that you said he acts sad when you say you can't go out with him. You've gone out with him THREE TIMES. He seems like a bit of a weirdo. Sorry!
posted by AppleTurnover at 8:20 PM on May 13, 2015 [7 favorites]

You just started dating him and he's already doing this? This guy has no boundaries, and his behavior will get worse the longer you see him, not better. Jump now.
posted by summerstorm at 8:27 PM on May 13, 2015

I got halfway through your question and started saying, "Nooooooooooooo. NOOOOOOOOOOOOPE" aloud. Yeah, no. His behavior is creepy and boundary-pushing. Not okay. I mean, I totally googled the guy I ended up marrying after our first date. I even looked him up on the sex offender registry. I didn't taunt him with what I learned or use the unearned information to stalk him.
posted by Aquifer at 8:27 PM on May 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

saying no is hard. Especially if you had fun with him in person. Especially if other OKC things didn't work out for you very well.

It seems like he is very uncomfortable with you, but I get it. Mefi always says dump dump dump dump. You probably won't right away. That's fine... I respect that.

If you do see him again, I strongly recommend confronting him and saying how uncomfortable he made you. Tell him exactly what he did that made you uncomfortable. Tell him what images and feelings his actions caused you.

Honestly, in a puppy-dog-way, I could understand myself doing those actions. If I was just really, really excited to see someone and get to know someone, I would potentially stalk someone too, except that I am aware of the other person's feelings. I'm very self conscious. But when I first started dating (you know, 7th grade) learning as much about someone as possible, telling your teacher that you like them, imagining yourself together, hoping that you will off-chance see them at their favorite place, hoping that the other person is just as excited as you, so anything you have in common/you looking into them makes them happy and excited.

There's probably a cute/happy/sappy reason for this behavior. But it's still extremely, extremely, inappropriate. I have little experience in relationships involving stalking and unwanted contact, but this does seem like a SERIOUS red flag. I personally would be extremely cautious. If you do meet again, you could try to explain exactly why you feel how you feel. Also explain in what ways you are excited to see him/have been thinking about him.

If you still have that romantic hope for him and don't want to ghost yet, then I would have this conversation with him and see how he responds, and how he acts for the next few weeks. If he still does any red flags, ghost. If somehow he snaps up and wraps into a normal acting guy, then it's possible to give him a slow and steady chance. I wouldn't make anything easier for him now that you know that ending it with him is a likely outcome.
posted by bbqturtle at 8:27 PM on May 13, 2015

It's pretty common in this day and age to Google new people. But this guy is deliberately crossing your clearly stated boundaries. And then he is trying to guilt you when you don't do what he wants. This is the behaviour of an inconsiderate entitled asshole.

Go with your gut, go no contact.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:28 PM on May 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

Enough red flags to blot out the sun.

This isn't normal in the least. Can't stress enough how many danger signs there are here. Get out immediately and completely.
posted by incolorinred at 8:30 PM on May 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

I would draw the line at the point where he texted you a picture of your workplace. That's borderline threatening, whether he intended it to be or not. His invasiveness and continued refusal to respect your boundaries are more than enough reason to break it off and go no contact.
posted by dialetheia at 8:32 PM on May 13, 2015 [25 favorites]

WTF is going on with terrible men on the green today? Oh my god. Here, MFZ, read Kathryn T's poopshake comment in another abusive relationship thread, laugh it out, and then ditch this creeper.

Ok, so this idiot who is internet-stalking you. Like phunniemee, I think the info he was able to find on you isn't out of the ordinary for Googling a prospective partner, but the way he's been lording this information over you and engaging in stalking behavior (like going to your workplace-- unlikely you'll need to, but save those snapshots) is incredibly creepy and fucked up and invasive.

He was already being a little intrusive when he mentioned he found your G+ page, and when you shut him down and said you weren't comfortable adding him on fb, he needed to stop bringing up any information he had on you right then and there. Everything else he's been doing has been low-grade stalking. I don't know if he's dangerous-- sending someone texts of their workplace is fucking stupid and leaves an information trail-- but stalkers feed on contact. The more you date him the more he'll feel entitled to your life. And you don't seem to have ANY feelings towards him other than this gut sense of being creeped out and violated. No "we have great chemistry," no "we have so much fun together", nothing. He is just a creep who's putting a guilt whammy on you. Ghost the fuck out of there before he takes up more of your time making you feel unsafe.

BTW, his getting your information from an OKC profile makes me suspect he isn't a superstar Google searcher who's put a bunch of time into stalking you online; he may have just looked you up on Peekyou, a personal information site that data-crawls OKC accounts. If you don't want this creeper or future creepers to be able to use that tool, look yourself up there and change account names as necessary. Good luck. This kind of thing is gross and you do not have to put up with it.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 8:37 PM on May 13, 2015 [12 favorites]

Run! Runrunrunrun!

ALao: so creepy. You may want to alert your receptionist at work or someone...I wouldn't put it past him to do something creepy like send flowers of something.
posted by floweredfish at 8:39 PM on May 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Have you made it clear to him that this stuff bothered you and that you have strong privacy needs? If you've come across as positive and he's only let slip that he googled you, knows where you work (how out of the way is it?) and remembered an unusual detail of a Facebook page that you didn't invite him to, then it's possible he just really likes you.

But in any case, if you don't like his style, you have no obligation to stay in touch. Choose the people that you like.
posted by mdn at 8:44 PM on May 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

This sounds like the beginning of a really great horror movie.

Look, we all google possible dates. We do not, however, take a picture of their work and send it to them, letting them know that we have full access to them whenever and however we want it. That is what serial killers do. Start documenting his behavior now. You'll need it in a few weeks when you fill out the police report.
posted by myselfasme at 8:47 PM on May 13, 2015 [25 favorites]

Abort now. The keyword is "safe". If you felt uncomfortable, felt angry--okay, it's time to have the "these are my boundaries, test them again and we're finished" comversation. You're not at that level, though; you're saying this guy is making you feel less safe. You do not EVER have to justify taking action to keep yourself safe. Ditch him and don't look back.
posted by epj at 8:49 PM on May 13, 2015 [8 favorites]

Because he had my real name, he was able to google and find out where I worked. He'd wanted to get together at the last minute on a day I had plans, and after I turned him down, he told me he was taking a walk, and texted me pictures of my workplace with the caption "look where I ended up".

Oh jesus christ, there is no way that is normal behavior. I don't care if you CAN know that about someone, you don't throw it in their face. No. No. No. No. No.

Did I use enough "no"s? NO.

Also busting out the guilt and testing boundaries already? Super grade A major stalker.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:56 PM on May 13, 2015 [11 favorites]

This is creepy, stalkery behavior.

I won't lie - I google every guy I have any interest in that I message with on okc. I got really burnt a couple times by guys lying about major details of their lives.

What I'm not doing is using any information I find to show up at workplaces or scare the shit of them.

This guy is showing you who he is and what a fucknut he can be. It will only get more and worse. Break it off and tell him there will be legal consequences if he shows up at your workplace.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 9:01 PM on May 13, 2015

It's not that he's doing these things (not being able to resist googling you, or whatever). It's that he's doing things you told him not to and then telling you he did it. That feels like testing you -- demonstrating that he'll do things that cross your lines to see what you'll do about it. It's the opposite of demonstrating that he respects you and will support you in getting what you want.
posted by salvia at 9:06 PM on May 13, 2015 [23 favorites]

I'm a guy, and I have a sense that this guy thinks he's being clever to show his interest, that he's showing ingenuity in the face of obstacles.

I can't disagree with the people above that you should give this guy, at best, a final notice, but I don't think he's a crazy-person or a deliberate, calculating manipulator. I think he's curious about you, and quite frankly you're an obvious person to share that curiosity with. Did he go too far? Of course; he all but dropped in on you at work.

Please, if you throw him back do him the favor of letting him know what he did wrong, and how it made you feel. If you go radio silent, he learns nothing. This guy might be worth something to somebody, maybe even though, but he's also going to scare people off with this kinda cleverness, and he's never going to figure it out from you disappearing.

If you are dropping this guy, and send him the explicit message that further contact is not welcome. If you aren't explicit he's going to keep trying; as he's already demonstrated that finding you is an interesting problem to him.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:10 PM on May 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

this is gross and creepy and i would not have anything further to do with this goon if i were you.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:24 PM on May 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Agree with Sunburnt; I also think this guy is clearly attempting to "impressively" pursue you despite the obstacles.

Disagree that you need to tell him this so he learns. Your number one priority is making yourself feel safe. Fuck charitable lessons for immature guys. That's totally optional and safety comes first.

I also think that even minus all of this, you sound busier than him and more mature and independent than him, which is going to make a relationship tough with or without the stalker tendencies.

N'thing that the work thing was the creepiest.
posted by quincunx at 9:26 PM on May 13, 2015 [10 favorites]

> That feels like testing you -- demonstrating that he'll do things that cross your lines to see what you'll do about it.

This is very much my read, yes. This is a test. I think that the way you pass the test is to not interact with him further.
posted by rtha at 9:27 PM on May 13, 2015

Best answer: Everything you have described is a pure power play. He is demonstrating (potential) control.

Run do not walk.
posted by PMdixon at 9:33 PM on May 13, 2015 [18 favorites]

Look, most people will google and check out FB pages for prospective dates, I don't think that's anything unusual. But telling you about it, after you told him you weren't comfortable giving out the info and turning up to your workplace, holy crap, that is creepy. Runrunrun. But first, tell him you never want to hear or see from him again. You need to establish this boundary first, otherwise how can he know you're not interested. Tell him in no uncertain terms and then, if he crosses it, you have a problem, but don't expect him to just read your mind. Draw the line.
posted by Jubey at 9:37 PM on May 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Another hardcore Googler here to say yes, if we went on a date I would find out this much about you and more and no, I don't think you should go on another date with him. At the very least, he knows so little about women that he doesn't know it's SUPER CREEPY to text a photo of your workplace. At the worst, he actually is super creepy. The odds favor breaking it off.
posted by feets at 9:37 PM on May 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for all the input. I've been thinking in circles the past two days.

Because it all happened over the course of a few weeks, it didn't feel as creepy in-the-moment as it sounds, but I was feeling all kinds of weird after meeting him last time. He's the kind of guy with whom the "just awkward" interpretation could also be accurate, but I think its better not to risk it - its impossible to differentiate between the awkward and the dangerous sometimes. I'll tell him explicitly that it's over, and then go no contact.
posted by MFZ at 9:40 PM on May 13, 2015 [24 favorites]

Please, if you throw him back do him the favor of letting him know what he did wrong, and how it made you feel.

Do not feel at all obligated to do this at all, though, especially if you're feeling uneasy about him. That will just invite him to extend the conversation and give him an opening to argue with you.
posted by dialetheia at 9:41 PM on May 13, 2015 [28 favorites]

Another reference point: It is possible to feel 90-100% at ease with someone the first time you meet them. A bit of "awkward" is ok (my preference is 10% max, would allow 15% if it's because a lot of the remainder = intense physical chemistry). The idea of "creepy" should enter into it 0% of the time.
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:49 PM on May 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

As a divorced person, I go on dates and Google all I can about them beforehand. I assume they do that to me too. In fact, if we are emailing a little to get to know each other before deciding to meet in person, I always suggest they Google me. I figure that way it is out in the open and if they have any questions or issues or connections we can do it without the awkwardness of trying to get the person to reveal something you already know because you don't want to look stalkerish. Also, I assume that if I suggest someone Google me, they make the assumption I am Googling them.

Having said all that, I would avoid this person like the plague. It is one thing to search on someone, another totally to show up at their place of work and to sort of brag that they learned all this about you. I see no upside in continuing with him even if you had a small initial connection with him. Maybe he is just socially awkward and does not know or appreciate that he is being odd, but even with good intentions, this type of behaviour would always make me uncomfortable.
posted by AugustWest at 9:52 PM on May 13, 2015

Nthing: all the red flags.

If I may suggest, document everything.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:55 PM on May 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: WOAH, yea. Each of these things could be "innocent"... maybe. But in aggregate they're scary as hell.

Everyone saying "yea i google people" is missing the point. This is a scary set of behavior.

This is what gamergate assholes did to freebsdgirl.

I've actually been stalked. That person did several of these things, including the showing up outside my work thing.

Then they showed up outside my house with a "legit" story of how they just happened to be near there and had bike trouble and hey do you have any tools?


Please, if you throw him back do him the favor of letting him know what he did wrong, and how it made you feel.

This will start a stupid rules lawyering argument. I second/third/whatever NOT doing this.

He's definitely heard it before unless he's like, 12. It's not like he's going to listen to anything you say either.

That'll also probably be when he shifts gears to "OH MY GOD YOU STUPID BITCH FUCK YOU" and all that, you know?
posted by emptythought at 9:56 PM on May 13, 2015 [24 favorites]

posted by boilermonster at 10:03 PM on May 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Anecdata:
I regret having ghosted in the few similar experiences I've had, because none of them got it. I wish I'd gone paper trail on them immediately, even if that seems harsh. The surprise visits years later were awful, even though "well-meaning" and not technically dangerous.

On preview: what fffm said. Document, document, document. And maybe let him know that. (In print, not in person/on phone.)
posted by wonton endangerment at 10:06 PM on May 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Even if it is a "Oh, you're so wonderful, I have to pursue you, even in ways you've said you don't want!" thing, that type of pedastal-putting-upon idealization is just the exact flip side of being controlling -- it's creating an image of you in his head and ignoring what you actually say you want in favor of what he thinks you should want. You'll eventually fall off the pedestal, because you're human, and he'll punish you for it.
posted by jaguar at 10:32 PM on May 13, 2015 [12 favorites]

I would get out of this situation, like, yesterday. I've had an experience that started out pretty much just like this, and over time escalated to a stalker situation. I convinced myself towards the beginning that perhaps I was overreacting or he was just sensitive, but noooo. Things got creepy pretty fast, and it was a rough thing to pull myself out of.
posted by I_love_the_rain at 10:49 PM on May 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

Seriously, this guy is awkward, socially clueless, entitled and a bit desperate AT BEST, and a potential control freak/abuser at worst. So glad you have decided to trust your gut and get out now.
posted by rpfields at 11:57 PM on May 13, 2015

When you cut him loose, feel free to tell him that this Internet stranger, a google+ user AND an Okcupid user for many, many years has never had OKC "suggest" someone's G+ account to her, even when both parties have one.
posted by mibo at 12:28 AM on May 14, 2015 [6 favorites]

This is SO CREEPY that you can be, like, 95% sure he's boundary-testing/power-playing/whatever, and if he happened to fall into the remaining 5% he's so fucking clueless about what boundaries and the need to feel safe actually mean that he is totally not worth your time.
posted by NoraReed at 12:31 AM on May 14, 2015 [7 favorites]

That "look where I ended up" (your workplace) could possibly have been meant as something like "I'm fascinated by you and must see you" as expressed by a dork who has no idea what he's doing.

But even giving him that much credit, if you don't make him happy and he turns out to be a crazy obsessive, I would be afraid it becomes something more like "I'm fascinated by you, I must see you, I'm watching you, you can't hide from me, I could see you every day if I chose to, I could follow you home from work, and maybe I already have, so stop playing games with me."

He's either scary-awkward or just scary. Hide.
posted by pracowity at 3:23 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

OKC doesn't suggest G+ profiles. Not even a bit.
posted by ead at 4:03 AM on May 14, 2015 [11 favorites]

Ruuuuuuuuuun. This is totally inappropriate. As everyone else has said, googling is normal, telling your date about it is not. The workplace visit and the guilt-tripping are HUGE red flags.

As far as whether to officially tell him it's over, or just ghost -- the thing is, the dude could decide to keep stalking you either way. It sucks, but there it is. And whichever route you choose, some people will blame you for doing the wrong thing when ending it. Those people will be wrong, because YOU do not have the power to make someone stalk you with your actions, any more than you had the power to make him Google-stalk you and show up outside your workplace.

So I vote do whatever makes you least uncomfortable (because there is no comfortable here), and document the hell out of everything.

I'm sorry you're going through this -- this really sucks.
posted by pie ninja at 4:04 AM on May 14, 2015 [6 favorites]

Sounds like a "Criminal Minds" plot beginning....
posted by HuronBob at 5:16 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Even if this guy weren't a creep, the absolute best case scenario is that he's needy and doesn't know how to interact with women. So even if you aren't able to determine if it's fair that you're feeling uneasy, and even if you ignore the fact that you aren't enthusiastic about dating him, he would still not be dating material.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:37 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

The first time we met, he asked for my last name, and mentioned he knew it because he had found my google+ profile because OkCupid had suggested it to him - I use a variant spelling of my name on OKC just to avoid this

As others have pointed out, it's not true that OKCupid suggested your Google+ profile to him. OKCupid never suggests anyone's Google+ profile to anyone. (I've been on OKCupid since before Google+ existed.) So he lied about that. That alone is a good reason to ignore him: he's a liar. You can't believe anything he says.
posted by John Cohen at 6:08 AM on May 14, 2015 [16 favorites]

Oh no, my immediate reaction was that he was trying to scare and control you. The very first thing that frightened me was him asking what your last name was, THEN IMMEDIATELY TELLING YOU HE ALREADY KNEW IT. Why? Why did he ask? He didn't need to ask. He wanted YOU to know that he knew your surname, and also how he found it out.

Suspicion confirmed with the Facebook hometown thing. I Googlestalk people myself, and I'm quite good at it, but dude, everyone knows that it's mega creepy to bring up what you found IRL. The proper way to do that is, in a normal conversation about childhood experiences, to say, "Yeah, I grew up in X, it was pretty great because of Y and Z. Did you like where you grew up?" And really, it matters 0% if you already knew the specific town name or whatever, because the point is to get to know people in real life.

He wanted you to know that he'd found your Facebook profile. HE WANTED YOU TO KNOW.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:09 AM on May 14, 2015 [5 favorites]

I'm glad you're listening to that unsafe feeling. I wanted to mention that it's also ok to listen to your gut about what you want even if you're not feeling unsafe. Like, if this guy's behavior didn't feel potentially dangerous to you, but you didn't like it, that would be a perfectly fine reason to break things off with him.

You don't owe someone you're casually dating the opportunity to change their behavior. You can, of course, decide you like them enough to want to have that conversation with them, but you don't owe them that.
posted by Meg_Murry at 6:18 AM on May 14, 2015 [11 favorites]

Yes to Meg_Murry's advice. You owe him nothing; NOTHING.
posted by BostonTerrier at 7:20 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

Googling prospective dates is especially critical if you're a woman dating men. Any woman who doesn't google prospective male dates is foolish, imho as a woman. We do it out of curiosity, sure, but also out of a need to avoid dangerous men.

This guy sounds potentially dangerous. Make sure you have as much information as possible about him before you cut him off totally, and make sure you share that information with a couple of close friends. Let's all hope he's just a jerk with lousy social skills and that he will leave you alone once you make it clear that you don't want any more contact with him.
posted by mareli at 7:21 AM on May 14, 2015

Even if he's "just an awkward person," that doesn't mean you have to date someone you don't feel 100% about. But I agree with everyone else that this is unsettling at the least and dangerous at the worst.
posted by desjardins at 7:33 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

1. He lied about how he found your G+ page. OkCupid and G+ do NOT connect people in any way.
2. He stalked you to work.
3. I'm still not clear how he found your Facebook page, but it's probably equally creepy.

I think your alarm bells are right to be going off.
posted by MsMolly at 7:37 AM on May 14, 2015 [7 favorites]

So this guy is definitely a creeper and I would also be worried that he would become a stalker after you tried to end it. I don't know if this would work but maybe you do some research on him and find out what he really dislikes. Meet up with him again and play up all the things about yourself that he would hate (true or not) so hopefully he doesnt have the urge to continue to try with you?
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:50 AM on May 14, 2015

I think this is mega creepy. But, really the only thing that matters here is that you're not having fun and feeling comfortable with this guy and all the other giddy romantic feelings you'd want to be having at this point if this relationship were headed on the right track. Although in this case I think this guy is genuinely creepy, I just want to say that you NEVER actually need a concrete reason to not go out with someone again other than "I don't want to go out with you again." If it turns out the reason you guys weren't clicking was just "he's awkward"...well, who cares, then the reason you didn't click was that his version of awkwardness simply did not turn you on! You don't owe rando internet strangers (or anyone, but especially dudes you've met just a few times) a "chance" or the benefit of the doubt or anything else. You're (presumably) doing online dating because you want to find a relationship, or you want to get laid, or you want to find someone to do fun activities with, or you want to fall in love, or whatever your reasons are. If someone isn't doing that for you, save everyone some time and move on.
posted by rainbowbrite at 8:50 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yikes! Don't see him again. Showing up outside your work, and a photo sent to let you know he was really there... very creepy!!! Call or email him and tell him you are not interested, a VERY FIRM, "thanks but no." Don't give reasons, just tell him no thanks. Then never (NEVER!) engage with him again. If he persists in contacting you after this, you may need to take further steps to protect yourself. Hopefully after being very firmly sent on his way he will go off to look for easier prey.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 9:14 AM on May 14, 2015

He keeps trying to set up things, and acts put-out/sad when I turn him down.

This alone is a sign that he feels entitled to have you obey him, and being manipulative like this in itself would be a great reason to break up with someone. Combined with the other stuff you mentioned, you're making a great decision by cutting it off.

Just so you are prepared, I think you can probably reasonably expect a misogynistic tantrum when you tell him it's over, so don't let him provoke or guilt you into engaging with him further.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:55 AM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]

The most generous possible interpretation is that he has seen way too many romantic comedies. Regardless, his insistence on overruling your discomfort and objections and crossing a bunch of personal boundaries is totally inappropriate.

If he feels this entitled at this point, when he's presumably on his best behavior to make a good impression, what happens once he gets comfortable in a relationship? I mean, respecting anything you say is apparently already right out.
posted by desuetude at 1:13 PM on May 14, 2015

I think you're under-reacting. If he'd 'end up' at your workplace he'd 'end up' at your home too.
posted by CyborgHag at 8:41 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Ok, done. He took it quite well, but texted back a few hours later asking why. I think the best bet is to just ignore him and hope he goes away. The consensus here was really helpful in helping me reach my decision. You guys are the best.
posted by MFZ at 6:05 PM on May 15, 2015 [9 favorites]

Asking why a few hours later is a pretty big sign of immaturity. Adults with enough experience know that's not a fruitful path to go down.

Stick to a safe cliche like "I just didn't feel chemistry."
posted by quincunx at 6:54 PM on May 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: He took it quite well, but texted back a few hours later asking why. I think the best bet is to just ignore him and hope he goes away.

Do one better, and block his number so he can't contact you again. Then forget about him.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:40 AM on May 16, 2015 [6 favorites]

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