Advice: Intuition vs Fear (is this guy stalking me or am I just a prude?)

Hi Emelia,

I have been “hanging out” with a male coworker (I’m female) for about a year. It started with me just wanted to learn guitar but he made it clear early on that he likes me as more than a friend; I didn’t feel the same and told him so but he didn’t seem to get the hint. Me being confrontation-phobic and not confident in what I’m feeling, ever (I struggle with chronic anxiety) I kept hanging out with him. Like, almost every day.

After getting to know him better, I started to have deeper feelings and we tried dating for a while. It felt like dating my brother or something – ICK – so we went back to being friends. This happened more than once – the last time was a couple days ago, wherein I definitively said I was more comfortable as friends. I thought that this would get rid of the rock of anxiety in my gut…and it did…until he texted me yesterday asking if I wanted to hang out. THIS GUY WILL NOT LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!!!!

Everyone I’ve talked to about it just said that I’m scared to have a true connection with someone, so I believed that from a while. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I am JUST NOT THAT INTO HIM, and now that feeling is raging inside me and I just want him out of my life completely but that’s not an option, because I still have to see him at work (different department, but it’s a small store).

I feel like it’s my fault for instigating any sort of relationship and that I led him on by continuing to see him. Also, he is the sweetest, most patient, understanding, fun, creative guy I’ve ever met, so I see no reason to cut him off…other than the fact that I feel SO tense and SO anxious and SO trapped in whatever this is and it’s DESTROYING me. Why do I feel so strongly about this when I have no logical reason to?!

Should I follow (what I believe is) my gut instinct or is this something I’m overreacting to and need to learn to deal with?

Anxious and annoyed.


Dear Anxious and annoyed,

I’m going to use caps to HIGHLIGHT the words I think are important just as you did in your letter to me.

STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. ENOUGH. ENOUGH. ENOUGH. ENOUGH. ENOUGH. ENOUGH. 

This guy is not sweet, patient or understanding. He is blatently IGNORING your request for BOUNDARIES. You don’t have to like every guy who is fun and kind to you and his behavior of consistently pushing your requests away is passive aggressive and shitty. You don’t like him. In fact he disgusts you a bit. This is because you can feel in your body that he’s not HEARING your needs. This calls for extreme action.

It’s a feminist act to STAND UP for your INSTINCTS. They don’t need to MAKE SENSE, they are crying out to be heard in the form of anxiety, tension and pain and the cries will get louder.

I’ve been with guys I haven’t wanted to be with and the NO feeling is so strong I’ve gotten blazing yeast infections, put myself on medication (thinking that there was something mentally wrong with me) and convinced myself I was a lesbian. The TRUTH was simple. I didn’t want his dick near me. He grossed me out, there was an incompatibility that was on the energetic level and although I couldn’t make sense of it in my mind; my body was raging for ATTENTION.

Your friends are wrong. Your annoyance has nothing to do with your ability to love. You are picking up on the signs that this guy isn’t as pure as you think. If he was he would have backed off the first time. You can smell this inconsistency in his behavour/actions and it’s making you feel insane.

You have to be FIERCE with yourself and him. Tell him point blank (in email or letter if it’s too scary to say to his face) to stay the fuck away from you. You don’t need a reason or an excuse.

Women are taught to be quiet and accept a mans kindnesses as cherished gifts. Fuck no. I don’t want that gift. That gift smells like shit. Sorry. Nope. Byeeeeeeee.

CREATING strong bouindaries  is an important practice for you; that will in turn help lessen all of the anxiety in your life. You feel anxious when you don’t LISTEN to your guts, when you care what he thinks more than how you feel. PRACTICE not giving a shit how he feels.

For example: “I’ve told you before, I want nothing to do with you sexually. You are not listening to me so I need to break off all contact. Please, stay away from me.  I will not return your texts or calls. You’re giving me the creeps. Leave me alone.”

PRACTICE not caring when you see him at work.

REMEMBER that he created this situation by not listening to you in the first place.

KNOW that when you feel anxious or annoyed something is wrong and it’s not your fault.

Pretend that you have a 13-year-old daughter. You are her mother and a weird dude is always calling her and showing up at your house. What would you say to her?

Listening to your GUTS is the most important muscle you can build in your life and it will take many attempts.

You acted like we all do and tried, tried, tried to make it ok, but it’s not ok.

You know what’s ok?

Meeting a guy and wanting him to fuck your brains out.

Feeling charged up and alive when you think of him.

Feeling a deep sense of security and peace when you spend time in his presence.

And even when you don’t want to fuck him, you feel a pull to be close to him. Being with him makes you feel all at once cozy and free.

That’s what you are looking for and if that feeling isn’t there it’s your brilliant heart/mind/guts giving you a signal that this dude is all bad for you.

My 65 year-old mom was single for 30 years. She met this guy and he was really nice to her. She tried to like him because he was nice and kind and good and we all said “it might be your last chance in love, better take it ma…” Eventually she dumped him because he had man boobs. “I just couldn’t get over it” she said. It made no sense but she was repulsed by this guy. At that age, with no prospects in sight and no loving touch for 30 years she followed her instincts and chose herself over him. I think that was so cool.

FIGHT the impulse to care for, make better and be small for men.

INTUITION is a womans strongest tool and sometimes it’s all we have.

And as for the alchemy of love, it’s your job to heed the mystery.

RESPECT the signs.

TTBG-postcards-whogivesafuck2

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