It Is Pretty Easy To Be A Creep Over Text

I’ve written a lot about relationships over the years, and I’m always quick to say two things about my advice:

  1. I am probably paraphrasing Dan Savage, or
  2. I’m telling you not to screw up the same way that I did.

Full disclosure: This post falls into the latter category.

I was recently asked by a friend to help them block text messages on their phone. When I asked why, they shared the following (anonymized) screenshots:

When the first text is “I know I said I wouldn’t text u[sic] anymore” and later texts include “I know u[sic] don’t like me contacting u[sic]”… and the texts keep continuing over months with no reply… then yeah, there’s a problem.

As I mentioned above, I have done the same thing, so I understand where Texting Guy (because of course it was a guy) was coming from. When someone important to us pulls away, it can be really startling, unbelievable, and painful. The idea that it’ll be better if you say just the right thing is a seductive one. It’s an idea that permeates our “romantic” movies.

Illustration of a man holding a boom box as in "Say Anything"
For example.

I understand it. But that does not excuse it.

Because that idea is complete and utter bullshit.

Which is why I’m writing this now. Because, hopefully, you’re reading this now, when you’re not doing this kind of creepy behavior. Hopefully, when someone exits out of your life suddenly [1], some part of your mind will remind you that this rom-com John Hughes bullshit is not romantic, and is not going to fix the relationship. Hopefully, you’ll remember that doing this kind of thing will only make two things happen:

  1. It will destroy whatever remnants there are of the relationship.
  2. It will have you acting like a total creep.

When someone asks you to stop talking to them – or stops responding – it sucks. When you’re cut out of someone’s life, it can hurt a lot. There are a lot of things you can do to help yourself heal.

Continuing to text, mail, email, or otherwise contact someone who doesn’t want to be only makes things worse.

[1] PROTIP: It’s not actually sudden; you just didn’t notice. And your actions – and words – are probably what set up that situation, so adding more actions and words onto the pile really are not going to help.

“Say Anything” image from Reckon on Flicker under a CC-SA license.
Featured Photo by Jack Sharp on Unsplash

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