Every woman has a story about a guy creeping her out. More than likely, she’s got several. If you don’t believe me, just ask a woman. Ask any woman.
It’s a weird dynamic because in some cases, guys tend not to be creeped out by women as much (or at all). he truth is that a lot of the time, a man’s interaction with a woman can come off as weird without realizing it. Sometimes, it’s done while just going about their daily business. Other times, it’s done while acting in a specific way that they think comes across one way, but in fact, comes across creepy.
If you have to ask yourself if you’ve ever accidentally creeped a woman out, chances are you certainly have. It’s not a crime, of course (at least, many forms of creepiness aren’t, but that doesn’t mean it’s advisable.
To save you from getting a reputation as a creep, and to save the women you encounter from the stress of labeling you as a potential serial killer, here are some things that creep women out that you should know about — including quotes from real women about their experiences:
1. Stalking (Online Or Real Life)
“A guy once went into my friend’s work to ask her for my number. I think he tracked down where she worked via Instagram or maybe he had seen her there before. Anyways, he saw me at an event and didn’t talk to me, and then went to ask her for my contact details. Both my mom and I have previously had stalkers so that triggered me, and I was on high alert. I even discussed safety measures with my boss.” – A.H.
Anyone with an internet connection and the ability to type can find out a lot about you with some real effort, but that doesn’t mean they should. Internet stalking is incredibly common these days, and it’s not limited to guys finding a woman’s Instagram and messaging her there after she doesn’t swipe right on them.
That type of online stalking sets off alarm bells for most women. It’s not romantic, it’s not helping your chances, and if you find yourself doing it, back off and give yourself and your internet a time out. Definitely don’t message the woman to let her know all the things you’ve found out.
Even creepier than online stalking is IRL stalking. While most women would be uncomfortable just finding out you’ve been spying on them, jumping from checking out their social media to trying to find out where they work or live is incredibly terrifying.
You might think you’re giving yourself a good shot at a relationship, but here’s a pro-tip: You’re giving yourself a good shot at a restraining order. You wouldn’t want a random person showing up at your office trying to talk to you because they want to take you out on a date. Women don’t either.
2. Not Taking ‘No’ For An Answer
“I used to work at a coffee shop where one guy would come in and always talk to me about the music that was playing. He’d order a coffee, sit for hours, and comment on the music every half hour or so. It’s honestly a nice way to start a conversation, but when that conversation doesn’t show any signs of going anywhere, maybe give it up? Recognize that women who work in retail or food service are giving you attention because it’s their job, not because they actually think you’re friends.” – Dessa
There’s a reason that horror movie villains can often be described as “relentless.” Someone (or something) that keeps coming after you and won’t give up is, well, kind of terrifying. A guy who can’t take no for an answer might think he’s simply being persistent or romantic, but a lot of the time, the woman who’s fending off his advances is creeped out, or just genuinely terrified.
“A guy who doesn’t care what a woman thinks or feels is definitely creepy,” explains Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., psychotherapist and author of Dr. Romance’s Guide to Finding Love Today. “He’s telegraphing that he doesn’t value her mind or feelings.”
This doesn’t need to be overtly sexual or suggest anything off-putting. All it means is that you’re not reading a woman’s subtle signs that she’s not interested in you or your conversation, whether that’s short, clipped responses, closed-off body language, or something else entirely.
If a woman wants to talk to you, she’ll engage in conversation and come talk to you. In short, you won’t be the one starting the chat all the time, and if you are, it’s time to back off.
If you think a woman labeling a talkative guy as creepy is over-reacting, consider that they may have past experience with how bad things can get when men don’t take no for an answer. If she’s been raped, abused, assaulted or harassed before, she’s much more likely to be on high alert for guys who cross boundaries without thinking much of it.
3. Being Overly Forward
“If I accept his friend request (and he starts liking every single photo, messaging me with something like “hey hottie” with a list of interview-like questions, that guy is getting unfriended and blocked. Facebook is not an online dating site. It’s creepy when men use it as such.” – Kelly
If you grew up learning about manhood from traditional sources like North American pop culture, chances are you learned that men have to be forward in order to win a woman’s heart. If you sit back, she’ll never come to you.
Not only is that not true anymore in a dating climate that’s two-way street, it’s also a recipe for seriously creeping women out. These days, women are more and more on guard against guys who try to initiate flirtation out of the blue when they’re total strangers.
“Naïve girls can be taken in by a smooth talker who is very flattering and takes charge, but more experienced women can find this suspicious or creepy,” Tessina explains. “A too-polished man is playing a role, and not being himself.”
Coming off as creepy, gross, or too sexual too fast is a one-way ticket to being blocked. If you really cared about her as a person and weren’t just attracted to her looks, you’d recognize that how she feels about you is just as important as how you feel about her. It’s important to approach your interactions in a way that foregrounds her comfort rather than your arousal.
4. Being Overly Romantic
“I went out to a restaurant one time with a man I’d met online. Almost as soon as I sat down, he said, ‘I brought you something,’ and handed me this green gem paperweight made of sturdy plastic. That felt weird to me because of the jewel-like representation. Too much, too soon. First date and our first time meeting, gifts may seem sweet, but to me, they indicate a desire for more seriousness in the relationship than is appropriate for that stage.” – Sara
This might surprise you, but it’s 100 percent possible to creep a woman out even if she’s going on dates with you. You might think that to creep her out, you’d have to display some kind of obvious red flag like insisting on your mom to chaperone your dates, but in reality, coming on strong can be creepy, too.
“Women often find it creepy when a man gets way too intense too quickly,” says Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist. “If, by the second or third date, a man is already saying something like, ‘You’re exactly the woman I’ve been looking for!’ many women want to run.”
It’s normal to feel strong emotions at the beginning of a relationship but if you’re turning the romance level way, way up when the two of you barely know each other, she could interpret it as a sign of manipulation , that you don’t have much emotional intelligence, or that you’re simply unhinged.
“Sending her love letters and flowers, leaving cute voicemails, ordering her favorite dessert, waiting to pick her up after work — these can indeed be quite romantic acts when you know how to read the signs right,” adds Ana Jovanonic, a psychotherapist and life coach for Parenting Pod.
“It is sometimes very hard to see the line between romantic and creepy,” she continues.“To be seen more like a potential partner and less like a creepy stalker, try to observe her reactions when you do these things for her. If she likes what you do and wants you to do more of it, she is likely to respond with enthusiasm and do something in return for you.” “If she doesn’t, it might be time to slow down.”
Romantic gestures aren’t just something you throw at a burgeoning relationship in order to lock it down. They should be genuine expressions of your interest for the other person, never turning inappropriate when you barely know each other. If you’re a romantic who wants to show it, take it slow, and build the relationship over time rather than starting off strong and scaring her away.
5. Abusing Your Authority
“A close friend of mine was hit by a truck while riding her bike. I took her to the local police station where we started to file an accident report. The officers were initially polite and helped us with the paperwork before asking us what our plans were this weekend, what bars we liked, etc. When we went to submit the final paperwork, one officer demanded that my ID be photocopied and attached to the file. I said I wasn’t present during the accident, unsure why they would need my ID. He became angry. I reluctantly gave the officer my ID, which he photocopied. Two to three weeks later, I received a friend request, and a private message on Facebook. The officer who had demanded my ID had asked me out.” – Alexandra
Although creepiness isn’t necessarily easy to define, it’s something that women know when they feel it. A lot of the time, it’s the presence of something subtly (or seriously) threatening that occurs under the guise of business as usual. For instance, it could be a police officer pretending he’s doing his job when really he’s just trying to find a way to ask you out.
If you’re a man whose job means he’s in a position of power, there are probably internal guidelines or company rules against abusing that power to further your sex life or love life. In no way should you abuse your position of power in order to get attention from a woman you’re attracted to.
As tempting as it may be to try and leverage situations where you’ve got a leg up in order to win a woman’s heart, it’s not just shady, it’s also likely to terrify her. Because of that position of power, she’ll probably feel uncomfortable calling you out directly for your inappropriateness, so you might never realize how creepy you’re coming off.
It’s unfortunate, but there are a lot of behaviors that seem normal, harmless or even romantic that women are deeply creeped out by but that guys continue to practice every day. For your sake and for women’s sakes, hopefully this will inspire you to cut them out — or to tell your friends.
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