The early warning signs to help you spot a stalker

Written by Flirtini team

Ensuring user safety is crucial, and recognizing the signs of potentially harmful behavior is the first step.

To address these challenges, it is essential for dating apps to implement robust security measures. Flirtini has made significant strides in providing a safe and secure dating environment, offering advanced features and tools. Anastasia Pochetnaya, our product marketing manager, detailed the six stages of user protection in an interview with Dating Advice.

Here are some essential tips to help you identify and handle stalkers:

Patterns of persistence: While a single incident usually isn't cause for concern, a persistent pattern of uncomfortable interactions are often a sure sign you have a stalker. Keep an eye out and don't entertain undesired attention. Kindness will only fuel their infatuation.

Pushing boundaries: Once they’ve set their sights, stalkers often try to test their target’s limits to figure out how much they can get away with. Unless you set firm boundaries early, those seemingly harmless behaviors—a few too many messages or borderline inappropriate jokes—will only develop into something far worse.

Excessive over-familiarity: Be wary of those who act too comfortable with you too soon—especially if you’ve just met. Using pet names, over-sharing, and asking personal questions are all major red flags.

Invasions of privacy: Stalkers don’t tend to have much respect for their victims’ personal space or privacy. They often pop up in places you wouldn’t expect (and don’t let them fool you into thinking it’s entirely a coincidence), and that goes for the digital world too, whether excessively liking your social media photos or attempting to gain access to your accounts.

Intense interest: Initially, a stalker might appear no different to a genuine friend or love interest, but people tend to take breaks even when they’re into someone. If their interest seems excessive and relentless, don’t ignore the warning signs.

Isolation attempts: ‘If I can’t have you, nobody can’... From guilt-tripping you into spending all your time with them to starting rumors that turn people against you, a stalker will often go to any lengths to cut their target off from friends, relatives, and support workers that might get in the way.

Masterful manipulation: Stalkers will often have a sob story to tell—like Baby Reindeer’s Martha, who couldn’t afford a cup of tea—designed to lure their victim in emotionally, and if that doesn’t work? They’ll gaslight you into doubting your own views and questioning those around you instead.

Disregard for rejection: If you make it clear you’re not interested, most people will accept it and move on. Stalkers, on the other hand, are likely to become more aggressive, turning to abuse or coercion to get what they desire.

Displays of affection: Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a lavish gift, so be cautious if someone you’re not particularly close to suddenly starts showering you with expensive items or romantic gestures. They’re trying to buy your adoration and attention, but you don’t owe them anything.

Gut instincts: We’re pretty good at picking up when something isn’t right. If that new acquaintance that keeps showing up makes you feel uneasy, listen to your gut, seek help, and take precautions to keep yourself safe.

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