In a post-Weinstein world, many people–celebrities and average folks–are becoming more vocal about their tales of sexual harassment and assault. Of course, none of this is new, and while it’s good that people are becoming more outspoken about these issues, there are still countless predatory people out there who are getting away with some seriously appalling behavior. If all of this drama has taught me anything, is that we need to keep our guard up without shame or fear that we’re being too mean; too many women–myself included–shy away from telling off creepy dudes because we don’t want to come across as too harsh or rude. Of course, we’re also afraid of them getting violent in response to our call outs, but we need to find some happy medium between staying safe and speaking our minds.
Anyway, what a lot of the conversations I’ve seen lately about women and their stories about interactions with creepy men have focused a lot on initially second guessing themselves whenever they were weirded out. Maybe it was because the guy was normally very chill, or is incredibly kind to them and is otherwise sweet except for their creep streak. It’s really easy to try to rationalize someone’s gross behavior and swat it away with reassurances like “oh, they’re just a little awkward” or “well, he’s usually really nice” or “maybe it seems like I’m coming on to him and he doesn’t understand.” Stop doing this to yourself! Here are eight signs that a guy who likes you is actually being creepy, not cute. It’s time to start trusting your gut a little more.
They're Always Trolling You, But They're The Only Ones Getting Pleasure Out Of ItThey constantly tease you, and sometimes it doesn't even seem like teasing, it just seems like they're being overly snarky or aggressive. He might even be negging you, which is thing awful dudes do in which they basically go out of their way to make women feel bad and self-conscious so that she'll try to impress them so that she can prove herself. It's...really gross, and not cute whatsoever. Anyone worth associating with will be able to tell when you're unamused, or will at the very least be receptive when you tell them to knock it off. If this creep in your life does neither, don't try to make excuses for him or tell yourself he's just trying to flirt; he's a creep, period. A Different World
He Tries To Sext You Out Of NowhereWhether it's a surprise dick pic or chatting you up with super sexual questions, this dude is thirsty AF and you're--unfortunately--on the receiving end of that thirst. First of all, it's really effed up to send an unsolicited sext. Second of all, if you're not showing interest, dude needs to take a hint and chill out. If he continues to do this, he's not just a creep, he's a mega creep. You might feel flattered that someone thought you were alluring enough to receive a photo of their penis, but you deserve better than that. Some Girls
He's Super Testy About Your Interest In Other DudesThis dude isn't a creep because they're emo over you liking some other guy, they're a creep because they feel entitled to your affection, love, body, sexuality, etc. You're most likely to see this from a guy who you were/are friendly with who has an unrequited crush on you. If they were really you're friend, they'd mope alone and not drag you into their feelings; they'd want you to be happy. Pretty In Pink
He's Overly Eager To Put You On A PedestalWe all love when people sing our praises, but some people go too far. Watch out for dudes who are too eager to put you on a pedestal, to see you as some sort of ideal. It might seem sweet at first, but that behavior can quickly get into obsession territory. Whenever you don't perform the way they've imagined in their heads, they could get very aggravated and feel like you slighted them. Yes, this really does happen. Dude might seem heavy on flattery, but he's largely feels entitled to you being some object of perfection. He isn't humanizing you, dude. Can't Hardly Wait
He Goes On About How Lost/Depressed He Is Without Your AffectionI think that living in a culture that misinterprets Romeo and Juliet as a sweet, tragic love story is a big reason as to why many girls are convinced that it's very sweet for men to pine on and on and consider themselves useless without your love. It's...not. It's actually an incredibly manipulative move that is actually a favorite tactic of abusers; you don't want to know how many abusive a-holes threaten to kill themselves if their girlfriends break up with them. I'm not saying the creep who is into you goes this far, but that doesn't negate the fact that this dude is trying to mess with your feelings in an attempt to receive affection from you. It's really disgusting and anyone who respects you wouldn't do it. Dazed and Confused
He Goes On And On About How Mature You Are For Your Age (If He's Older)This is a major sign of creepiness if you're dating an guy who is more than a few years older than you. This kind of flattery--"You're not like other teenagers. You're so mature for your age."--is a common tactic of creepy dudes so that they can make young girls feel flattered. It's straight up grooming teen girls with shallow flattery in an attempt to get into their pants. Listen, you might be mature for your age, but that 24-year-old who keeps going on about how smart and intelligent you are for a 16-year-old...isn't mature. I assure you. They're just using lines that work like a charm; try not to fall for it, no matter how cute they are. Diary of a Teenage Girl
He Doesn't Understand BoundariesHe shows up at your house uninvited, he always asks what your plans are, he changes his plans to match yours, he doesn't seem to understand the concept of personal space, and he pulls all these romantic gestures in the hopes of stealing your heart...even if you're not exactly interested. Sound familiar? Yeah, this guy's behavior isn't sweet and attentive, it's obsessive and clearly shows that he lacks boundaries. Avoid as best as you can! Say Anything
He Writes Super Cryptic Poems And Messages To YouHe really likes laying it on thick, whether it's with a handwritten poem or a creepy message in your inbox. Either way, you keep telling yourself, "Well, he's just...passionate." Uh, no. If you're uncomfortable, you're uncomfortable. Listen to yourself and tell him that you're feeling uncomfortable. Hopefully, it stops. If it doesn't, he's even more of a creep than you think. Submarine