This article will examine why your boyfriend is stalking you, signs you are dating a stalker, and what you can do about it.
In this technological age, we are all guilty of stalking someone at one time or another. However, there are levels of stalking. If you are worried your boyfriend is stalking you, he may be on a higher level of stalking.
There are levels of stalking. First, when you meet someone, you will want to know more about them and go through their social media to learn more about them.
That is the innocent stalking that we have all done. Then there is the creepy, scary stalking, where someone follows you on social media and in real life.
Stalking is scary to the victim, and they feel violated. It is scary when someone does a deep dive into your life, and more so when they document their finding.
If you are in a relationship where your boyfriend is stalking you, you need to take action and get help.
Having your boyfriend stalk you is scary; however, many people tend to ignore the signs of a stalker if they are dating them.
Reasons Your Boyfriend Is Stalking You
Stalking is wrong and illegal; there is no excuse for stalking someone. Stalking makes the victim live in fear.
Some of the reasons your boyfriend may be stalking you include the following;
1. He Is Obsessed With You
If your boyfriend is obsessed with you, he may result in stalking you. There is a thin line between being crazy in love and being obsessed.
It is nice to feel appreciated and loved, but when your boyfriend is overly focused on it can be a red flag.
According to the Dualistic Model of Passion by Robert Vallerand, there are two types of romantic passion- harmonious and obsessive passion.
In harmonious passion, the romantic behaviors of an individual are freely chosen, and the relationship is in harmony with other aspects of their life.
On the other hand, an obsessively passionate individual’s self-worth solely depends on the relationship, so the romantic relationship dominates their life, neglecting other important areas.
If your boyfriend is obsessed with you, he will stalk you because you are the center of his life. He doesn’t know what to do without you.
2. He Is Jealous
One of the most common reasons why your boyfriend is stalking you is he is jealous. You should be free to associate with whomever you want in a relationship.
However, if your boyfriend is jealous, he will stalk you to know what you are doing and who you are talking to or hanging out with.
A jealous boyfriend will want to hog all your time, as he may not have friends to hang out with.
Moreover, he thinks you are cheating on him with every guy you talk to. Therefore, he will stalk you to ensure you are not cheating.
3. He Thinks You Are Cheating
If your boyfriend thinks you are cheating, he will stalk you, hoping to catch you in action.
According to research, infidelity leads to jealousy and violence against women. So, if your boyfriend suspects you of cheating, he will get jealous, resulting in him stalking you to know if you are cheating.
Moreover, if you have cheated in the past, your boyfriend may lose trust in you and will always be cautious when you go out because he thinks you will cheat on him again.
4. He Is Insecure
If your boyfriend is insecure and has low self-esteem, he will stalk you to ensure you are not seeing other people. He may snoop through your phone to see who you are talking to.
Dr. Jill Weber states, “Stalkers often become fixated on their partner because they feel the need to possess them to feel secure in the relationship.”
Your boyfriend’s fixation will lead to him constantly checking up on you and following you to ensure you are not cheating on him.
Your boyfriend may be insecure if he has caught you cheating in the past or if he thinks you are out of his league.
For instance, if you have a higher education level than your boyfriend, have a better job than him, are more ambitious, or are from a well-to-do family, he may think you will cheat on him with someone from your league.
5. He Is Controlling
Another reason your boyfriend is stalking you is if he wants to control you and have power over you. It is scary when someone is always watching your every move. So your boyfriend will stalk you to manipulate and control you.
According to Dr. Lorraine Sheridan, a forensic psychologist, “One of the key motivations for stalking is the perpetrator’s desire for control over the victim.”
Your boyfriend will stalk you to control who you talk to, what you do, and who you hang out with.
For instance, if your boyfriend doesn’t want you to talk to your friends and family, he will stalk you to ensure you do not talk to them.
Your boyfriend will want to control who you talk to, isolate you, and have you all to himself. Unfortunately, this controlling behavior may ultimately lead to emotional and physical abuse.
6. He Has Mental Health Issues
Your boyfriend stalking you may indicate an underlying mental health issue. For example, if your boyfriend has borderline personality disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder, he may result in stalking.
According to Dr. Seth Meyers, clinical psychologist, “Stalking can be seen as an expression of obsessive-compulsive disorder where the stalker feels a compulsion to follow and monitor their partner’s every move.”
If your boyfriend stalks you because he has OCD or borderline personality disorder, you may have a hard time controlling the behavior without professional help.
7. Unresolved Past Trauma
Stalking can be a result of unresolved past trauma. For example, if your boyfriend had a traumatic experience in the past or a history of abuse, he may stalk you.
According to Dr. Barbara Greenberg, clinical psychologist and author of Teenage as a Second Language: A Parent’s Guide to Becoming Bilingual, “Stalking behavior can be an attempt to regain control and power over a situation that was traumatizing in the past.”
For instance, if your boyfriend was in an abusive relationship in the past or the ex-girlfriend cheated on him, he will want to regain the power he lost in that relationship in the current relationship.
If this is the case, your boyfriend believes that by controlling you, they can avoid experiencing the trauma he experienced in the past.
Signs You Are Dating Is a Stalker
If you are wondering if your boyfriend is a stalker, here are signs to look out for.
1. He Surprises You at Work Or at Home
If you have been dating your boyfriend for a few weeks and haven’t taken him home yet or shown him your office, and one day, he surprises you at either of the places; he is a stalker.
Knowing you didn’t give him your address means he stalked you to know where you live and work.
2. He Asks A Lot Of Questions
If your boyfriend asks your friends a lot of questions about you, your family, exes, or co-workers, it is a red flag, and he is a stalker.
A boyfriend will want to know about you, but he will not go overboard to ask your friends about things that should not be his business.
There is a time for everything, and a boyfriend will learn about you gradually. So, if he is aggressive in finding out about your past life, he is a stalker.
3. He Knows Too Much About You Too Fast
If your boyfriend knows too much about you and you are sure you did not give him this information, he is stalking you.
For instance, if you have been dating for a short while and he knows all your favorite hangouts, your home and work address, where your family and friends live, or your gym.
He is stalking you. It is not easy for someone to have all this information about you if you have not shared it unless they have been following you to these places.
4. He Is in a Hurry to Meet Your Family
When you start dating, you will need some time to know each other before you decide to meet your family. So, if your boyfriend seems to be in a hurry to meet your family, he could be a stalker.
There are steps in a relationship, and if your boyfriend wants to skip some steps to meet your family, it should bother you as he wants to arm himself with as much information about you and your family as possible.
5. He Always Knows Where You Are
If your boyfriend always knows where you are and whom you are with, even if you deviate from your usual routine, he is stalking you.
For instance, if you decide to catch a movie with your friends after work instead of going grocery shopping on a Friday evening as you usually do, and he knows it, it means he is stalking you.
He most likely has tracking software apps installed on your phone, or he is physically following you to know where you are at all times.
What To Do If Your Boyfriend Is Stalking You
It’s scary when you realize your boyfriend is stalking you because you don’t know his intentions of stalking you. So, here are some things you can do if your boyfriend is a stalker.
1. Tell Someone You Trust
If you are dating a stalker, you should tell your friends and family that someone is stalking you. Handling a stalker alone can be difficult and will take a mental toll on you.
Telling your family and friends about your stalker means someone is always checking up on you, and your stalker will know this. In addition, you can have your friends and family drop by to ensure you are okay.
2. Don’t Minimize Their Behavior
Stalking is serious and may lead to more issues like emotional and physical abuse. So, if your boyfriend is stalking you, do not minimize their behavior.
If you tell yourself, “It isn’t so bad,” you will not take the stalking seriously and start making excuses for the stalker.
Minimizing the behavior will make you let your guard down, which puts you in more danger.
3. Set Clear Boundaries
If your boyfriend is stalking you, you need to set clear boundaries. Tell your boyfriend what he is doing is not acceptable, and it is making you uncomfortable.
Tell him when and how he can contact you, and be firm with the boundaries you set.
For instance, if you don’t want him to see you at work, tell him so. Also, tell him when he can call you if you are uncomfortable with him calling you.
4. Document Everything
If your boyfriend is stalking you, you should document all the encounters. This will help you if you want to seek legal action against him for stalking.
For instance, you should keep the dates, times, and details of what happened. One way to document these incidents is by telling someone about them over text or email. These are verifiable and have dates and times.
On the other hand, you can install surveillance cameras in your home to document the times he comes and what he does and says. These will be useful evidence in legal proceedings.
5. Seek Professional Help
If your boyfriend stalks you because of an underlying mental health condition or a past traumatic experience, seek professional help.
A professional will help him deal with mental health conditions, debunk all the traumas from his past, and learn to deal with them more constructively and healthily.
If he has a mental health condition, a therapist will help him work through it and provide treatment options. They will also give you tools to support your boyfriend’s recovery journey.
6. Leave Them
If your boyfriend is a stalker, you should leave the relationship. You do not want to be in a relationship where you are constantly under surveillance. Stalking is scary, and you don’t deserve to live in fear.
7. Seek Legal Action
If you have talked to your boyfriend about his stalking behavior and he doesn’t change, you may seek legal action.
You should produce the documents you kept about his stalking behavior to get a restraining order.
If you feel you are in immediate danger, call 911. They will come to your rescue. If you feel you are not in a safe place to call 911, call a friend or family and use a code word for them to send help.
Stalking is scary; if your boyfriend is stalking you, you should put an end to it before it gets more serious.
Your boyfriend may be stalking you for many reasons; he wants to control you, is jealous, obsessed, or thinks you are cheating.
Moreover, if your boyfriend has a mental health condition or unresolved past traumas, he may stalk you.
There are many signs your boyfriend is stalking you; some include; he surprises you at work or home, has information about you you didn’t share, asks your friends too many questions about you, and wants to meet your family too fast.
If your boyfriend is stalking you, you should tell someone and document everything he does with the date, time, and what happened. Also, don’t minimize his behavior and set clear boundaries.
If he doesn’t change, you can seek professional help. If it persists, leave him and pursue legal action against him.
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Sarah Williams is an author at CandidHaven.com she is an expert in human psychology having graduated with an M.S. in Psychology.
Sarah has extensive experience in relationships and dating therapy having worked for over 6 years with different groups of people including teens, dating couples, and married people.
She is a lover of life, and self-development and believes everyone deserves to be in a fulfilling relationship. Sarah loves reading self-help books and doing research on human psychology.