Many of us are all too familiar with this uncomfortable scenario: someone initially catches your eye, but for one reason or another you lose interest. After letting them know you’ve changed your mind and are no longer interested, they keep messaging you. Alternatively, perhaps you’ve never been interested in someone, but they seem to think you’re wrong about your feelings and keep trying to persuade you otherwise. Dealing with unwanted romantic attention online can be annoying, anxiety-inducing, and harrowing in many ways. Here are some precautions you can take to do the best you can to avoid these kinds of interactions.

Look for Friends

If you’re looking for friendships to start, then make it clear from the beginning that you’re not looking for a relationship. This doesn’t always work to dissuade a persistent harasser, but it’s a great place to start covering your bases.

Start Incognito

Don’t give out your cell phone number to anyone you haven’t met in person. Use a Google Voice number or use another messaging app that doesn’t show your phone number and has a blocking feature just in case. You can also get a unique email address just for dating.

Don’t tell people where you live or where you work. You can tell them what you do and what city you live in but keep the details to yourself.

Go Somewhere New

When you meet, don’t take them to your favourite spots. Take them somewhere you’re unlikely to return, so you don’t run the risk of bumping into them if you have to break things off.

If You’re Not Interested

If things aren’t going well and you need to break it off, it’s essential that you’re very clear with the person that you’re not interested in pursuing anything romantic with them and don’t want to talk to them anymore. Don’t try to “drop hints” or sugar coat your message. All this does is create wiggle room for them to start thinking that “maybe there’s a chance.”

Instead, be direct, and be honest with how you feel. As you are letting the person know you’re not interested, make sure your message ends with a “final goodbye” at the end. “I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in pursuing a relationship” or “I don’t see this going anywhere romantic. Good luck.” Attempts to take the sting out of your message with emojis or compliments will only muddy the waters, and he/she might take this as a cue to amp up pursuits.

Stop Responding and/or Block

If they keep responding to you, ignore them as best you can despite how tempting it is to react negatively. Don’t agree to be friends. If they continue to pester, block their number. Do not answer calls, respond to texts or agree to meet for closure, to return items or any other reason.

It might seem cold or cruel, but it’s not. It would be cruel to both of you to continue any relationship out of guilt or a sense of duty. It’s better for both of you to move forward and find the right match.

Are you searching for a relationship and need help navigating the single life? Call me today and let’s set up a time to talk.

Speak Your Mind

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