There’s Enthusiastic…and Then There’s Creepy…

Eva breaks down the stalker prototype.

There’s nothing like the rush of a new romance! Even just the beginning stages of the get-to-know-you process: phone calls, text messages, emails. Just a few lines during the day to say “I’m thinking of you” can send that little thrill through men and women alike with just the click of the “open” button. It’s the enthusiasm of the start of something new. It can feel as if too much is never enough.

Until it IS.

Folks, I give you the Stalk Dater. I know this…because I have dated him. And it can turn the electric shock of excitement on seeing a certain someone’s name in your inbox into a streak of “doesn’t anyone miss you, someplace else?” Voicemail, text message, email, BBM, IM, Twitter, Facebook mail…you can use them all to reach me…one at a time please…not within minutes of each other. And NEVER. ALL. AT. ONCE!

Let me tell you a little story about a man we’ll call Peeper Stalkington. PS and I met at a mutual friend’s corporate party and hit it off with easy conversation and similar interests. We did the “okay, you seem normal; I’ll accept you on Facebook” adds and traded email addresses to share pirated music leaks a few interesting articles. We both had busy schedules, so we got up with each other where we could on whatever platform we had handy at the moment. About two weeks into it, I came out the shower on a random Saturday to find a new voicemail from PS. As I checked it, a text came in…telling me to check my voicemail for an urgent message. The “urgent” voicemail said: “Hi, thought of you and had a few spare moments and figured I’d call. Ok, call me back!” ::blank effing stare:: He had even pressed whatever the hell number to mark it as “urgent”!

That was a little weird and off-putting, (I mean…people USE the mark-as-urgent option?!) but I had work to finish and bigger fish to fry. I fired up the laptop and opened my email as AIM did its auto-sign-on-at-startup routine. BING! Offline IMs popped up in front of me.

PeepStalks247: You there?
PeepStalks247: I called you.

I sat there frowning at the screen. Why was he so thirsty for attention? It’d be nice to think “wow, I must be super special!”…but in two weeks, I doubted it. But he wasn’t done. Gmail loaded and with it came a little blue gchat window.

Peeper: THERE you are! I’ve been trying to reach you!
Peeper: I was just writing you an email. Everything ok?

::blank effing stare #2::

I informed hyperconnected Romeo that I was fine, I was where I belonged, (which is wherever the hell I wanna be, Negro!) and that I had a ton of things to do but would catch him later.

Peeper: yeah me too, I’m swamped!

I busted a gut laughing and signed off. Worst thing I could’ve done? Used the word “later”. Within two hours, my house phone and cell rang one after the other, followed by a new text. THAT’S IT! I picked up and leveled with him. His frequent “casual reach-outs” all in the same day were disturbing and sounded needy. He apologized, said he was embarrassed, and tried to write it off that his eagerness to have solid talk-time led him down a few too many communication avenues.

Could’ve been an honest lapse in judgment, but the damage was done for me. Is this what dating you is like? Constant check-ins and “where are you” type texts/emails/smoke signals? Just to say “hi”? I have something I like to call ::air quotes:: my own life. I hope Peeper eventually looked into getting one of his own too. ::shrugs::

Lesson: it’s a shame when I silently wonder if you can SEE me at my computer when I open an email. ::ducks and presses ‘enter’::