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My classmate and 'friend' is really starting to creep me out. It was obvious that he liked me and did weird stuff earlier this year, but I just shrugged it off. Now I’m starting to get creeped out. He took a picture of me from across the lunch room and recently asked me out. I said no thanks, but he keeps texting me and sending me selfies. I’m scared that he has more pictures or something like that. I really don't want to be mean, but I want him to lay off a bit.

How can I tell him I'm not interested in a romantic relationship and hopefully make him stop sending those uncomfortable messages?

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    Hi Nicole! I'm sorry this is happening to you. I noticed you tagged this "friend groups", do you mean he's friends with other of your friends, are you concerned about a dynamic there too? Could you add what your (approximate) ages are, and where this is happening? Also if this is happening in a school setting you might want to mention that, so answers can take that into consideration. – Em C Apr 2 '19 at 1:01
  • "I said no thanks": what else did you say/try? – OldPadawan Apr 2 '19 at 6:50
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the question is currently lacking details. Please add the details so that we can reopen (and answer your question). – Ael Apr 2 '19 at 8:06
  • How old are you ? Are you in high school or in college ? – MlleMei Apr 2 '19 at 9:33
  • Some apps for messages can block a contact. If that is possible in your case, a block is a strong message saying "don't bother me". But I don't know if that is possible in your situation. – Santiago Apr 5 '19 at 15:44
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How can I tell him I'm not interested in a romantic relationship and hopefully make him stop sending those uncomfortable messages?

That may seem like one goal to you, but probably two entirely separate matters to him. I would suggest that you just deal with the creepy behaviour issue alone, because you don't really need to argue about that point and you likely have the law (or school/college rules) on your side. If he's that crazy and you say you aren't interested in a relationship he might try and persuade you, or not take "no" for an answer. Also, the kind of person weird enough to surreptitiously take photographs across the room probably won't see that as a reason to stop surreptitiously taking photographs of you across the room, and if he sidetracks you with the first point you may never even get to that. On the other hand, if you shut down the creepy behaviour it logically follows that you would not want a relationship, and even if he doesn't get that it doesn't really matter what he thinks if he is keeping his distance.

Confront him in a public place for safety. For clarity, I'm not advocating "public shaming", I just mean don't go and meet a "creepy" guy in private. You don't have to be in earshot of everyone or speak loudly, but just make sure you're visible. Take a friend with you as a backup and/or to witness what is said. I would not want to send even two girls into a dangerous situation. In your preferred safe situation, perhaps say something like:

I've seen you taking photographs of me in the lunch room, I'm not happy about that and I want it to stop. Also, stop texting me. If you don't stop this creepy behaviour I'm going to take it further.

There is really no room for argument within that statement. If you say "I'm not interested" he may still believe that, in time, you may change your mind. Dealing with his behaviour now sends a clearer message and should resolve both issues.

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    I like this advice, but if a friend is present (which is really good advice either way) what is the value of confronting him in a public place? This friend doesn't sound great, but the risk of public humiliation (in a high school cafeteria, for instance) seems unwarranted. – Upper_Case Apr 2 '19 at 14:25
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    @Upper_Case Safety in numbers. I'm not proposing that she publically shame the guy. When I say "public place" I mean an open place, where other people are in the vicinity but not necessarily in earshot. The friend is there to witness what is said, but I'm not advocating that even two girls go up against one allegedly "creepy" guy, hence the safety of being in public. – Astralbee Apr 3 '19 at 9:04
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    @Taladris read previous comment. I am not advocating public shaming, I am suggesting that neither the OP alone, not even two girls confront a "creepy" guy in a private place for safety reasons. – Astralbee Apr 3 '19 at 14:00
  • Hi Astralbee, can you explain more about why she shouldn't tell him again that she isn't interested in a relationship? I'm not understanding the idea that she not mention it in case he doesn't take no for an answer. Are you saying that being clear about boundaries provokes trangression of them? – Spagirl Apr 5 '19 at 11:37
  • @Spagirl She has two objectives. One logically negates the need to mention the other. I feel that if she pulls him up for his behaviour that will solve the problem, whereas if she begins by saying she's not interested he is much more likely to protest and she might find herself in an unnecessary argument before she even gets to point 2. – Astralbee Apr 5 '19 at 13:03
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Whatever you do, do it gradually. You do not want ot look like / be accused of exaggerating without reason.

The exact steps are subject to change, according to your current daily situation.

NOTE: you may go the "most extreme" solution, if your colleague's behavior becomes excessively aggressive (psychologically or physically).

  1. Keep telling him (in private, if possible), whenever needed / appropriate, that you are not interested in him (romantically) and that he should stop. If private communication is not possible, go to step 2. NOTE: you should not try to contact him in private - do it only if it happens -> if he comes to you with his proposals.

  2. Repeat step 1, with other colleagues around.

  3. Involve a supervisor from your school. ( I do not know the organization of the school, so I cannot tell you the name of the right person. Ask some teacher / professor about who is the most recommended person to talk to about this.)

  4. Tell your parents. Tell them what you did (each step), and which were the results each time.

  5. Your parents will take over and they will know what to do next.

Of course, you can talk to your parents from the very beginning. They may have some good advice too - and they already know many details about your life, colleagues...

NOT talking to your parents can be useful IF the situation is not out of control. Although unpleasant, having a picture taken (across a lunch room) is definitely not life threatening. Also, parents may overestimate the situation and act with more "force" than necessary - maybe hurting a bit your image in front of your colleagues.

The BENEFIT of doing this by yourself is that you will learn to deal with things by yourself. You will learn to control your emotions while talking, and to make a good point when talking while under the burden of negative emotions.

Last, but not least, you can just ignore him. As long as he does not become violent, he will eventually lose interest.

AGAIN: if the situation becomes dangerous in any way, talk to your parents and to you supervisors at the school. No image and no other thing is more important than your safety.

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    On your action 1., do you mean that the OP should seek him out to privately tell him to stop, or just that if he approaches her in private that's what she should do? I certainly would be concerned about any advice which encouraged the OP to be alone with this character. In fact, my first advice would be for the OP to avoid any situations where they might be alone with him. – Spagirl Apr 5 '19 at 11:40
  • Of course not. I update the answer to clarify that. Thank you. +1 – virolino Apr 5 '19 at 11:56

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