How to Not Be a Creep & Unintentionally Push Someone Away

Chloe MullinerChloe Mulliner
Chloe Mulliner
7 min read
Published in Dating 
If you’re looking to find love, it’s important to know how not to be a creep! Follow our do’s and don’ts to avoid coming across as creepy.

In the modern dating world, there seems to be a lot of discussions around the topic of creepiness, which is great! After all, these are conversations we should all be having to help foster happy, healthy, and consenting relationships.

However, to facilitate these kinds of relationships, it helps to understand what it means when someone is a creep, so you can potentially recognize those behaviors in yourself and in those you date.

Below, we explore what it means to be creepy, what causes creepiness, and how to avoid creepy behaviors.

What is Considered Creepy?

Creepiness can encompass a lot, but most often, someone is considered creepy when they disregard others’ personal boundaries. That might mean sitting too close to someone, touching them in unwelcome ways, going through their personal stuff without permission, secretly watching or following them, and not accepting no for an answer.

This creepy behavior can make others feel uncomfortable and uneasy, but it can also make them feel on edge and unsafe because their personal space is being compromised. In short, creepiness can push someone away.

What Causes a Person to be Creepy?

To be fair, most people don’t wake up one day and decide to be creepy. In fact, they may not even realize they’re engaging in creepy tendencies.

Creepiness results from certain behaviors that give off creepy vibes, such as staring at someone, ignoring personal space, and failing to pick up on social cues and body language. Therefore, a lack of social awareness and social skills can cause a person to seem creepy because they struggle to interpret when their advances aren’t being well received.

How Not to Be a Creep

Now, if you’re wondering how not to be a creep, we’ve got you covered. The key to not being creepy involves understanding the signs of creepiness and learning to avoid them. In our dating advice guide below, we’ve listed some do’s and don’ts to practice so you can find love without coming across as creepy.

Do Focus on Social Cues

Perhaps one of the best ways to figure out how not to be a creep involves tuning into social cues. After all, certain body language cues signal someone is interested and engaged, while others suggest someone is uninterested and uncomfortable.

For instance, if you’re flirting with your crush, are they turning in toward you, putting their hand on your arm, and maintaining eye contact? Or are they leaning away from you, creating space between you, looking around, and avoiding contact? If it’s the latter, these social cues are indicating they’re uncomfortable and that you ought to back off and give them space.

Don’t Go Through Their Stuff

If you want our dating advice, leave your partner’s stuff alone! Snooping through their drawers, reading their diary, or searching through their computer is a surefire way to come across as creepy. After all, only a creep would sift through another person’s belongings without their permission.

This lack of respect can certainly push someone away, as it can make them feel like you’re suspicious of them. If you have questions, be upfront about them, but don’t go looking for answers on your own, as this will definitely come off as creepy.

Do Maintain Eye Contact But Don’t Stare

We’ve all been told it’s polite to maintain eye contact with others, but there’s a big difference between holding their gaze and staring too intently. If you’re constantly staring down your romantic interest and refusing to take your eyes off them, you’ll likely make them uncomfortable.

Even if you’re just admiring their beauty or showing you’re engaged in the conversation, remember to blink, soften your gaze, and take some breaks to look around the room to avoid making them uneasy.

Don’t Listen to Their Phone Calls or Read Their Texts

Want to know how to not be a creep? Allow your partner their privacy. They’re entitled to have personal conversations with their friends and family members that you’re not privy to, and if you don’t respect that, they’ll see it as a major red flag.

When you hear them on the phone, leave the room so they can speak in private, and if they receive a text message in front of you, resist the urge to read it over their shoulder. This will help foster trust in your relationship and prevent you from being creepy.

Do Accept “No” for an Answer

Whether you’re asking them on a date or getting intimate, no means no! If you don’t respect their boundaries, you’ll come across as not only creepy but possibly aggressive, too. When you proceed to pressure them or make unwanted advances, you could make them feel unsafe and insecure, which is definitely not how you want to make a romantic partner feel.

This piece of dating advice pertains to our tips on social cues because certain body language can communicate “no,” as well. For instance, if your date is turning away from you, physically pushing you away, looking around for help, or trying to create space between you, these are all nonverbal signs of saying no.

Don’t Show up Unannounced

When you’re interested in someone, don’t secretly follow them, track them, or show up unannounced. For example, if you know your work crush is going to happy hour after work, don’t follow them there and act surprised when you wind up at the same bar. Or, if your partner says they’re going out with friends, don’t track her whereabouts and join them without an invite.

This is creepy behavior, but it’s also borderline stalkerish. If you’re not careful, you could wind up with a restraining order against you.

Do Wait for Introductions

Just as you shouldn’t show up announced, you shouldn’t introduce yourself to your partner’s friends, family members, or coworkers without their knowledge or consent. This includes showing up somewhere you know they’ll be, finding their phone number and texting them, or even interacting with them on social media.

This behavior can seem creepy because your partner might not be ready to introduce you to their loved ones, or they may have no intention of ever introducing you to them. Therefore, when you take the initiative to make yourself known to their inner circle, you’re going behind their back and crossing boundaries, which could be a major dealbreaker.

Do Avoid Oversharing

Oversharing on a first date can be creepy and push someone away. For instance, tragic failed romance stories, divorce battle anecdotes, and sexual misadventures are all topics of a deeply personal level that should only be shared at a much later time. These kinds of discussions are better suited for further along in the relationship when those types of tales can be perceived with more context and understanding.

It’s ok to want to be open and upfront. After all, you’re probably excited to finally connect with someone on a deeper level, anxious to accelerate intimacy, reveal your true self, and establish trust. However, everyone enjoys a bit of mystique, especially in the beginning, so consider more gradually exploring these topics with your date to avoid scaring them off.

Don’t Come on Too Strong

Another tip on how not to be creepy involves not love bombing someone you just met. Sure, you want to show you’re interested in them, but sending five dozen roses to their workplace, talking about marriage, asking them to move in with you, and surprising them with expensive jewelry after your first date may make them run in the other direction. When you come on too strong too soon, it can make that person feel smothered, trapped, and even fearful.

Even if you really like this person, focus on being a little more subtle and control your desire to shower them with all your love. Take it slow and give them their space so your relationship can gradually progress.

Do Learn to Accept Rejection

Oftentimes, those who exhibit creepy behavior don’t know how to accept rejection. For example, some might take rejection as a challenge, while others might not even realize they were rejected in the first place. This means you’re hounding someone who isn’t interested in you.

To avoid being creepy, it’s important to recognize the signs of rejection and learn to overcome them. This means accepting that a relationship isn’t going to come out of this and to eventually move on and find love with someone who is more compatible with you. 

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