Long post ahead, I will try to tell the story from my point of view, mainly because I'm not really sure about what's going on in the head of the other person.

A few years ago I used to date this girl, let's call her Mary. After 1 year she decided that I was not really her type and we both moved on without keeping in touch. Nothing weird up to this moment.

Several year passed and around 1 year ago I found this girl at my company, Mary was offered an internship position. We were working in different buildings, in different teams and different projects so there was basically no professional contact between us. She told me that her life at the company up to that point had been miserable, mostly because she felt unwelcome by her coworkers and technically overwhelmed.

Just out of kindness I tried to help Mary learning some technical concepts and tried to keep her company during lunch so we naturally got a bit closer again. At this point I think it's important to say that I had (and still have) a girlfriend, and I let Mary know immediately.

I'm not really sure if Mary got interested in me during those days or if she was just looking for new friends but she frequently tried to meet me outside of my office hours. For instance a few times I told her I had a plan to go running after work and she self-invited herself to come with me. After the training she tried to plan more activities together (dinner, meeting with other friends, going to a club) but I always declined, making clear that I was not interested and especially that I didn't want to go out without my girlfriend.

When her internship ended, Mary moved to a different city. At that point she started to text me daily about how she was unhappy there, how hard it was to make now friends and how much she missed our city. I was not really interested in hearing her complaints or be friends with her but I felt bad for her and tried to be friendly and let her vent.

A few week passed and I had to go to a professional one-day event in a town quite close to the city where she had moved and unfortunately I told her about it. She self-invited herself again and spent all the time there with me. I was even a bit annoyed by her behavior at this point.

When going back to my home city in the night Mary started texting me about how wonderful had been spending the day together and how in her opinion we would make a great couple. At this point I answered very explicitly that I didn't feel in the same way and that I was in love with my girlfriend. She got extremely angry, telling me that I deceived her into thinking I was interested in her.

At this point we arrive to the current situation. Mary texts me 2/3 times a week telling me that she loves me and wants to be with me. I tell her that I'm not interested. She gets angry and invents a new hypothesis to explain why I behaved like that (deceiving her and all). At the moment her best hypothesis are:

  • I tried to take revenge on her because she left me years ago
  • I tried to make her suffer just because I am a sadist
  • I tried to turn her into my lover
  • I tried to keep her as a "spare tire" in case I break up with my girlfriend
  • I am in love with her but I'm just a coward and don't want to leave my girlfriend
  • I am in love with her but I can't understand it because I'm stupid
  • I am just plain stupid and I don't understand that my behavior is a an obvious give away that I'm interested and now I have to give her a chance

Of course there are many many more. If I give her an explanation of why her hypothesis are not true she seems to understand and accept the explanation just to repeat the same pattern and accusations a few days later.

Of course this kind of behavior gets old very quickly so I got more and more exasperated at the point of telling her that I don't want to hear her anymore and that I want her to stop texting me. One day she felt so angry that she insulted me and deleted my number.

The following day I was away from my office and my coworkers told me that somebody was insistently calling my number. I immediately messaged her asking if it was her and she confirmed that she was trying to reach me (or someone who knows me) to get my number back. Now I made very clear to her that I don't want her to call me back at my workplace or to text me anymore on my personal phone but she still reaches out to me twice a week to say how sorry she is and that she just wants to be friends and there may be a great future together. If I try to make her understand that her behavior is completely unacceptable her answer is that "a girl in love has a right for happiness" or something along these lines.

I also tried not answering her messages any more but in that case what she does is calling me non-stop, sometimes even for hours.

The situation is become exhausting.

What I want now is to be left alone by this person. I don't want to get the police/law involved both because she has not be so aggressive and also because I don't want to risk ruining her life just because maybe it's a difficult moment for her. At the same time I'm not really sure about what else I can do now.

How do I get her to stop this madness and leave me alone? Best case scenario I would like to make her "calm down", because I don't want to hear her screaming at me if I were to meet her in the street or somewhere else, is there something I can say or do to achieve this result?

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    I'm not sure what exactly you want our help with. We're not here to brainstorm possible solutions for you, and we can't guarantee our answers will make anyone else change their behavior so those kind of questions are off-topic. If you think the problem is with how you've communicated that she should leave you alone in the past, focus on that, instead of asking about how to make her leave you alone? – Tinkeringbell Apr 14 '18 at 9:51

Of course there are many many more. If I give her an explanation of why her hypothesis are not true

You're arguing rationally with someone who seems to be (at the moment) completely emotional and obsessed. This won't work. Any attention you give her will fan the flames. Even negative attention like telling her to go away, or when you get angry at her, is still attention! If she's able to piss you off, she still has some degree of emotional control over you, and that will feed her delusions...

Therefore, the best is to block her completely, stop all communications, and wait until she runs out of motivation. Thus, this isn't really an "interpersonal" answer.

For example, texting her after she called your office was a huge mistake: from her point of view, you initiated communication again! So she must be on the right track! You've probably given her enough motivation to annoy you for an extra month or two just by doing that.

Instead, you should inform your colleagues that you got a psycho ex problem. If she calls the company phone number and a secretary picks up the phone, then the secretary needs to be briefed to give an appropriate reply (for example, that you're filing for a restraining order, and please don't call again). If she has your direct office phone number, then sucks to be you, you're going to have to change it or block her number.

Don't forget to document everything, back up the texts in triplicate, make copies of any letters, etc, just in case she accuses you of sexual harrassment or something. Whether you decide to report her to THE LAW is up to you (personally I wouldn't, unless she sticks a knife in your car tyres or something).

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  • I am a bit worried that telling my coworkers about a psycho ex may reflect bad on me. I am also a bit worried about her appearing randomly where I live and telling lies about me and her to my girlfriend. My main worry is having other people I care about getting involved in this weird situation. – heapOverflow Apr 14 '18 at 15:30
  • If I could block her on my work phone I would do that, but she calls my direct number (without talking to a secretary or a reception) with an anonymous number so I cannot really do anything to prevent that. I'm not really sure about how much my coworkers could sympathize with my situation, but even if that was the case I'm a bit of a privacy freak and I really don't want my private business to become a gossip matter. – heapOverflow Apr 14 '18 at 18:59
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    Also the company pays your salary, so it is your boss' job to ensure your productivity is optimum. It is in the company's interest to help you get rid of the distraction... – peufeu Apr 15 '18 at 8:17
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    @heapOverflow, you have to tell your boss and your co-workers. Same goes with your girlfriend, friends, family, neighbors, etc. There is really no way around any of that. If you try to keep the psycho ex-girlfriend a secret, she'll try to use that fact that you don't want to be embarrassed against you by trying to embarrass you even more. Of course, you don't need to tell your boss and your co-worker everything, nor do you need to editorialize, just stick to the facts. – Stephan Branczyk Apr 16 '18 at 20:53
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    Getting a restraining order against her shouldn't get her in trouble. It won't affect her job outlook in any way. It's not the restraining order that gets people in trouble. It's the fact that people willfully break restraining orders that gets them in trouble. And that would be her fault, not yours. For you, that restraining order would be an insurance policy in case her stalking escalates (because if you do nothing, it is likely that it will escalate). Not only the stalking could escalate, but it could negatively affect your gf, family, and friends in negative ways as well, not just you. – Stephan Branczyk Apr 16 '18 at 21:03

It sounds as if you were the first person who has been nice to her in quite some time and she's doing everything in her power to keep you in her life because she doesn't know when the next 'nice guy' is going to come around. She started with inviting herself to things to get more involved in your life, and now she has resorted to emotional manipulation; she's in love with and you're a bad person for not loving her back. Thankfully her emotional manipulation is not working on you as you seem unswayed by the guilt she's trying to make you feel.

So she really doesn't sound like someone who will back off voluntarily; she's too desperate. If she does back off, it's not for very long. Before deleting your number there was a pattern of her switching between backing off and accusing you of "deceiving her" or otherwise. This pattern will most likely continue if you give her a second chance and stay in contact with her.

So cut off all contact with her. Don't just ignore her words, don't let them reach you.

  • Block her number at home, work and on your mobile. Make sure your girlfriend does this too in case Mary decides to harass her too. You don't want her to be able to leave voicemails or send texts.
  • Block her on all social media, if you haven't already. Prevent her from seeing any of your online profiles.

The idea of this is to strip her of the power of her words. If she knows you're reading her texts or emails or hearing her voicemails, she knows she is still having some sort of impact on you, even if you're not replying. If you cut off contact she might start to realise that any sort of relationship with you is not possible anymore.

If she persists and starts showing up or your doorstep or at your work place to harass you, you may want to get police/law involved. I understand you don't want to do this right now but keep it as a last resort option. What she is doing can constitute for harassment that she can be prosecuted for, depending on the laws in your country. This is a good site from Ireland that suggests:

Keep a written record of every incident. Write down the time and place of the incident, with as much detail as possible, and note down any person who saw what happened and who may be a witness in any criminal proceedings.


Keep all texts, voicemails, emails or screenshots of social media comments, as they will be useful in any investigation that may take place.

Even if you don't want to take legal action, the threat of you bringing her to court could scare her into backing off and leaving you alone. If she's not scared by legal action then I suggest you do take her to court for harassment.

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  • I don't use any social media and I don't have a phone at home. I guess this is the only reason she has not been able to contact other people I know. I'm not really sure if preventing her from writing me is more likely to stop this behavior or induce her to try to reach me physically that would (as you say) escalate the situation. I will keep your suggestion in mind, thanks. – heapOverflow Apr 14 '18 at 16:28
  • I would love to hear (I'm sure others too) an update on how the situation plays out and what you decide to do. This is not an uncommon problem. – Amber K Apr 14 '18 at 16:34
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    For the last few messages my go-to solution has been to reply by saying only "I don't want to chat with you anymore, goodbye" or not reply at all, whatever thing she says. Incidentally she wrote me again a few minutes ago telling me about how sorry she is for her behavior, how she wants to make it up for it with me and that she wants to meet me and start anew as if nothing happened. I will try to keep things updated... – heapOverflow Apr 14 '18 at 16:45
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    I don't know if starting anew with her will change things. She could be saying this to get your attention and resume her behaviour (this happened to me when with someone after ever "break up and make up"). Do you want to stay friends with her? Or just get her out of your life altogether? – Amber K Apr 14 '18 at 16:56
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    @heapOverflow - The main thing is you have to stop responding. As others have said every time you respond, in any way, it starts everything up again. So stop sending back anything including the text responses. – Michael Karas Apr 15 '18 at 13:20

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