We’ve been hearing from readers lately that ghosting is at an all-time high. We believe that most often the ghoster is going to disappear into thin air no matter what you do (commitment phobia alert!).
That said, when Bustle reached out asking about unknowingly creepy behaviors that sabotage new relationships, this got us thinking, and tawking. Check the list, are you exhibiting any of these 16 creepy no-nos? If so, we have the goods to help put an end to Twilight Zone dating behavior.
Alyssa Bunn, Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify:
1. You reject yourself.
The “I’m too fat, too thin, too tall, too short, too whatever” is an awful mind trap that leaves you feeling empty, angry, and alone. It’s one of the worst habits we have in our culture, a powerful degradation of yourself in front of your partner, and a sure-fire way to creep your partner out. After all, do the things you reject even matter, and if they do, why would your partner be with you anyway? Who doesn’t want to love someone that already loves themselves?
“Healthy partners do not want to invest time being your life coach, therapist, or parent.”
2. They are your God.
Your partner is always who you turn to with strife. They are your ‘cure-all’ to make things better again. You count on them to ‘fix’ what you just can’t seem to fix for yourself. When you treat your partner like a higher power, they feel it; and it makes them feel nervous (for good reason).
“Designating a mere mortal as your source of existence puts relationships on foundations of sand.”
It also signals that you’ll treat your partner like a saint, i.e. coming to them for absolutely everything. Your partner doesn’t want that job. It’s a tall order, plus it’s a tough job to be good at.
3. You’re lying.
Lying is most often motivated by one thing: getting what you want. Our minds do not like uncertainty, so we falsely approve of partners we otherwise wouldn’t (the inappropriate, unavailable, or it’s just not happening type) because we’re eager to rid the ‘what if’ anxiety and move on to being together forever.
“A partner desires to commit with someone that challenges them to evolve into their highest potential. If you rationalize, deny, and approve of their less-than-ideal behavior, you seem downright desperate.”
Rémy Boyd, Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify, gives us the creepy shortlist:
4. Organizing their stuff.
5. Going through their stuff.
6. Setting up cameras in the apartment (if you live together).
7. Listening to phone calls.
8. Stalking what they watch by checking their streaming services.
9. Stalking social media accounts or online professional and/or dating profiles (more on this in behavior #16).
10. Checking browser search history.
11. Showing up unannounced at work or when out with friends (for no apparent reason).
12. Introducing themselves to friends, families and colleagues (who may or may not know they exist).
Why people act creepy in a relationship: Creepy behavior (examples detailed in list above) may be an attempt to speed up the relationship process and create a sense of importance in a partner’s life.
“Snoopers, organizers and people who pop-up unexpectedly to family and friend events behave this way to ‘get closer’ on a mental and emotional level. It is also a form of control over the relationship.”
Knowing it’s weird doesn’t make a difference because the feeling of being in-control is stronger than acknowledging how the other partner feels or perceives the behavior.
Best ways to fix it: If you notice a partner acting this way, talk to them about it! Be compassionate, loving and as understanding as possible when you discuss the issue. Try to find out what they think they’ll get out of the behavior. Let them know it makes you feel uncomfortable. Assure them there is nothing to fear, i.e. loss of communication, trust or intimacy, if they are open, honest and stop being creepy.
If you are being creepy: part of you knows it’s weird! Stop it! It’s self sabotage. It may seem scary to simply trust your partner, but it’s better then creeping them out, or eventually driving them away. Which will happen if you continue these behaviors. If you’re not able to cease the creep on your own, that’s OK. Off to individual therapy you go!
Dorothy Stover, Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify:
13. The importance of blinking.
I went on a date with a man who took me to a movie and stared at me the entire time. I could feel his eyes on me and out of the corner of my eye, there was his face not looking at the screen, but me.
This creeped me out and made me uneasy. I got up in the middle of the movie to use the restroom. When I was in the hallway making my way to the bathroom, he texted me saying he thought I was beautiful.
While I did appreciate the compliment, this creeped me out even more. I’m sure there is some lady in the world right now that is eating this sort of attention up, but for most it’s too much, too soon. Obsessive behaviors like this are simply creepy, and should be avoided.
That said, it’s important to acknowledge when sweet really is sweet:
Another man I dated surprised me at work with a dessert I really wanted to try (and had mentioned on our first date). I could have been creeped out by him showing up unannounced, but I was swept off my feet by the thought and attention he displayed.
The point? When you’re newly dating someone, creepy is a factor if you’re not quite feeling as much of a connection. If you are equally interested, romantic gestures can support those courtship-lovey-dovey feelings.
“Beware of making grand gestures until you know both parties are feeling-the-love.”
So how do you fix creepy behavior?: My opinion, keep doing what you’re doing. Be you! Someone, someday is going to appreciate your gestures.
The one caveat is: if you feel it’s too much for the other person, have a conversation and don’t forget to check-in with yourself. Ask yourself why you are doing what you’re doing. If you’re coming from a good healthy space, you likely aren’t being creepy. On the flip-side, if you’re coming from a desperate place (i.e. trying to create premature closeness or buy someone’s affections), your gestures will not be well received.
My take: Courtship is slightly missing from our world at the moment. Men and women shouldn’t shy away from courting one another. I recommend checking obsessive behaviors (most definitely), but not at the risk of shelving well-intentioned romantic gestures, or expressing how you feel in creative, loving ways. For the right person, your gestures will not only be well-received, but reciprocated.
Ngoc Tran, Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify:
14. Second date over-sharing does not make for caring.
Tragic failed romance stories, divorce battle anecdotes, sexual misadventures, etc. are all topics of a deeply personal level that should only be shared at a much later time, further along in a relationship — when those types of tales can be perceived with more context and understanding. Early on, most people look for flaws and red flags.
“Oversharing grants your new flame carte blanche to rule you out.”
Why do people do this?: Because they’re excited to finally connect with someone on a deeper level. They are anxious to accelerate intimacy and reveal their true selves and establish trust.
“Sadly, this is to their detriment, when at this point, they should be carefully evaluating emotional, relationship compatibility.”
Both men and women enjoy a bit of mystique. You know, the gradual reveal! This process builds a relationship.
“There are no short cuts to forming a solid relationship.”
Kate O’Connor, Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify:
15. Social Solecism.
Research is for research-papers, not relationships. Facebook/Instagram stalking every ex girlfriend/boyfriend your new flame has ever had (so you can compare yourself to them) is super creepy. I’m guilty of this and I am pretty sure I am not alone. I like to size up the past ‘competition’ and see what my new fling may have gone for physically in the past. But, don’t do it. If you’re caught, say ‘bye bye bye’ to your new relationship.
Inayah Vanessa, Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify, agrees that social savvy is pressing:
16. Too much of a good thing.
Avoid ‘liking’ everything the person you are dating posts. It’s nice to be affirmed early in a relationship, but it can quickly become suffocating. Creep alert!