Last year I met a man through a dating site and went out with him just the once. Before our date I had spoken with him a few times, and felt comfortable enough to progress to the next stage of meeting him. However, during the date it became evident we were not suited, and I cut the evening short. I made it clear I wouldn't want to take it any further, and as far as I was concerned left on friendly terms.
I then went on to meet another man whom I've been with for 8 months and couldn't be happier. The problem is the previous date is incessantly contacting me, demanding I give him another chance, even though I have texted him that I have moved on, and asked him to leave me alone.
Despite this, he continues to phones me at least twice a day. I never respond, but he is now leaving messages of a threatening nature saying if I don't meet him he will tell my new boyfriend I slept with him on the first and only date, which is obviously totally untrue. He emails me the same sort of messages too.
I am wanting to change my contact details but this would create much inconvenience. Thankfully he doesn't know where I work or live, but the messages are becoming more frequent and intense with him declaring his undying love for me.
Perhaps I am overreacting, but I am now becoming scared. I do know where he lives, and have thought about going to see him to confront him, but not sure it will make a difference.
What do you suggest?
Patricia Marie says...
This man is stalking you, and it is imperative that you protect yourself and put an end to his disturbing behaviour. Do not meet with him under any circumstances as this could exacerbate the situation. You are doing the right thing by not responding to his messages. Retain every one he has sent you, and make a note of every phone call. Go to the police with this evidence and tell them you are extremely concerned for your safety. You also need to consult a solicitor for legal advice on the possibility of obtaining a restraining order from the Court, which would prevent this man contacting you. Please do not downplay your fear, as his actions are a great cause for concern, and you are most certainly not overreacting.
I strongly advise you to change your telephone numbers and email address immediately. Be aware also that online social networks like Facebook are an open resource for tracking someone, so be sure to update your privacy settings, or better still, for the time being, remove your profile. These changes will give you peace of mind and deter all future contact, and any resultant inconvenience is surely acceptable, considering the alternative.
His declaration of love is not love, it's harassment, which has to be stopped. Stalking is dangerous and a serious crime. It can cause severe psychological distress to its victim, with side effects such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance and post traumatic stress, and in some cases even result in physical harm, which is why I urge you to act right now.
For further help and advice call: The National Stalking Helpline. 0808 802 0300 firstname.lastname@example.org