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Romantic harassment


nonmerci
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Hey everyone!

I was wondering if some people here had to deal with romantic harassment? Someone who refuse to give up on you even if you said no, making allusions, or just make you uncomfortable by expressing his romantic feelings for you even if you don't reciprocate? Or anything ta you would qualify as romantic harassment? And did you get support?

 

I'm asking because I saw the concept being used from time to time, but no discussion about it. I hop it is not a common experience for aro people...

Also, it seems that some people think that aromantic don't challenge oppression or such things, but romantic harassment is typically something that can make us suffering, with people trying to change our mind.  And I'm not sure that an amatonormative society would recognize it a source of suffering... Sexual harasment is not always take seriously after all, so a romantic one...

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Yes this is deffinatly a thing! I once had a guy in my physics class ask me out, and when I said no he proceeded to buy me a big box of chocolates instead of taking a hint. When I started avoiding him after that he had one of his friends confront me about why I wouldn't go out with him. Thankfully the quarter ended after that and I didn't have to see him anymore but he was persistent enough I'm sure it would have continued otherwise.

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Oh yeah.

 

Once, a guy couldn't take a no from me. Twice. What did he do (aside insist too much)? He told everyone that i was his girlfriend without me knowing. I was younger and I didn't really realize that it was a big deal. And to be honnest, even if i complained to my school, i am almost sure they would not have cared. After all, "romance is harmless", right ? :) :) :) 

 

In the end, he left my school. And only later i realized it was how bad it was. Physically cornering me? Talking about sex stuff when i was clearly uncomfortable (he was also… older. I was 13 and he was 20  ) ? Trying to buy me with gifts? Creepy !!

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14 hours ago, bananaslug said:

I once had a guy in my physics class ask me out, and when I said no he proceeded to buy me a big box of chocolates instead of taking a hint. When I started avoiding him after that he had one of his friends confront me about why I wouldn't go out with him

Oh my, some people are such idiots... you're not a thing that you can buy with chocolates!

 

13 hours ago, aspecofstardust said:

I think as aros its probably something we are more keenly aware of than alloros.

Yeah this is true. Alloros doesn't even know that romantic attraction exists sometimes. Like, I saw someone say that approaching someone (not sure of the English term for that) in the street is bad because the person only want your body or sex... so it implies that this is bad for sexual attraction, but not romantic one?

 

12 hours ago, Cristal Gris said:

He told everyone that i was his girlfriend without me knowing.

It happened to me as well. It was someone that I don't really appreciate as a friend too but he didn't seem to understand, and I know he had a crush on me. One day someone asked me if it was true that I was his girlfriend. Spoiler alert : no it wasn't.

The same guy was really weird any way. If he saw a member of my familly in the street, he will change his way to talk to him and follow him. It was some kind of friendship harasment maybe. And it was hard to make him understand it was bad (I think he had a mental deficiency, and he didn't understand people limits; but his twin brother is the same I think and doesn't behave this way).

It all ended after he confesses his love and I rejected him. He threatened to commit suicide when I say no. Fortunately it was by email so I don't have to face this directly, and I saw his mother in the street and talk to her about that. She then handle it (she is a very adorable person). I didn't talk to him any more after that.

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1 hour ago, nonmerci said:

It all ended after he confesses his love and I rejected him. He threatened to commit suicide when I say no.

Oh god, this happened to me a few years ago, too. In my case, it was a mentally unstable person which I had befriended. I told him we can be friends but it became clear after a while he wants "more". After he made that clear (and I said I don't feel that way for him) one day he just went out and claimed to his friends I was his lover.
I never forget the nauseous feeling inside my gut as I realized what he was doing and the way he ignored my feelings completely.
I wanted this friendship to end eventually, that's when he said he would kill himself if I left 🙄.

I'm very glad for you the mother of this guy helped you out; just keep your distance. Romantic harassment does exist indeed and it's really bad, makes my stomach turn.

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4 hours ago, NotHeartless said:

I'm very glad for you the mother of this guy helped you out; just keep your distance.

It was a few years ago now, and I stopped talking to him since this happen. And I think his family moved in a different town. I was lucky that his mother talked to him. She is a very nice person, that's sad that such an adorable person has a son who does such things.

It seems we're not an isolate case, I had a friend who live this experience too after she broke up with her boyfriend (I think the guy had depression issues).

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I've luckily not had to deal with anything longterm, but I've had a lot of experiences of people driving up to me while I'm on a walk or approaching me in public spaces (I remember one incident at a grocery store and another at my gym) and asking a lot of questions of Can I have your number, Why can't I have your number, What do you mean I can't have your number... Very bizarre things to bother a child about in public - and I do mean child, as I'm just now out of my teens and most of these experiences happened several years ago with men considerably older than me. 

Worst thing was when some neighbor showed up on my doorstep and tried to ask me on a date, when I wasn't home, and my grandmother told him off 😆 Like on the one hand I'm happy I didn't have to deal with it and I'm sure it made him feel pathetic, but I do worry about what would have happened had he been more aggressive. 

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Ha. Hahaha. SEVEN YEARS since I told one person I wasn't interested they're still trying to wheedle their way into my life. I stopped replying to them when they started sending joint messages to me and my friend to try to guilt me into responding. (Thankfully my friend knew the back story and immediately left the group conversation.) Their most recent attempt to contact me was via goddamn LinkedIn. 

 

Then there was the person who repeatedly insisted they were fine with being friends with benefits, but started sending inane pointless messages to chat about literally nothing, calling me pet names, laughing at me when I got annoyed at the pet names, and telling me they weren't sure what they would do if anything happened to me because they were seriously emotionally invested in my well-being... yeah, that's a big fucking nope from me. You can't tell me you're happy not being in a relationship then proceed to constantly act like we're in one

 

Things like street harassment and people assuming I'm hitting on them happen too often for me to bother with specifics, but a special mention goes to the person in their late 70s who, after we sat near each other at a dinner party, told me that they thought we had a really special connection and all but begged me to be their romantic partner. 

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I know I actually shut down when I'm flirted with. It's happened recently since I've gone to college. It suddenly clicks that so much I do can be taken romantically, so I've stayed pretty far away from everyone. Not the most welcoming college experience, unfortunately. I had someone call me "cute" and ask if I could "sit in their lap" and I noped so hard I went to bed early that night.

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This hasn’t really happened to me (maybe a point of privilege) but I am often worried that sometimes after coming out to someone as a way of stating that I’m unavailable, that person could interpret it as a phase, something they can wait out until I get over my inhibitions or whatever. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but it feels like they don’t take me seriously. If I’m asked whether being aro/ace has to do with trauma or body confidence, that seems like a red flag...

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1 hour ago, treepod said:

This hasn’t really happened to me (maybe a point of privilege) but I am often worried that sometimes after coming out to someone as a way of stating that I’m unavailable, that person could interpret it as a phase, something they can wait out until I get over my inhibitions or whatever. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but it feels like they don’t take me seriously. If I’m asked whether being aro/ace has to do with trauma or body confidence, that seems like a red flag...

I have actually been in such a situation unfortunately. Wasn't fun.Which is why I've decided to stop explaining myself. People can accept me as I am or they can leave haha

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I am more prone to seeing sexual harassment as threatening. With romantic harassment, I could only see it as annoying unless it involved actual touch. If the person knew where I lived, I could easily lock my doors, turn on an alarm system or whatever and just ignore them should they decide to stop by. 

 

As far as experiences go, here's a thread I made a little while back:

 

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19 hours ago, The Angel of Eternity said:

I am more prone to seeing sexual harassment as threatening. With romantic harassment, I could only see it as annoying unless it involved actual touch.

 I know a girl who ask the police for not having her ex boyfriend come near her, and broke up with him because of the way he behave. He refused to accept the break-up. Maybe people would call that sexual rather romantic, but it was because he was in love with her, in a very fusional way : wanting to do everything with her, be with her all the time; she ended it after he wanted her Facebook password. She needed space and he won't let her.

 

OK,  she was allo, but still, she needed the police to get rid of him. So I think romantic harassment can be threatening too.

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5 hours ago, nonmerci said:

I know a girl who ask the police for not having her ex boyfriend come near her, and broke up with him because of the way he behave. He refused to accept the break-up. Maybe people would call that sexual rather romantic, but it was because he was in love with her, in a very fusional way : wanting to do everything with her, be with her all the time; she ended it after he wanted her Facebook password. She needed space and he won't let her.

 

OK,  she was allo, but still, she needed the police to get rid of him. So I think romantic harassment can be threatening too.

I hadn't thought of that level of extreme but if someone were doing that to me, I might be threatened if it were pushed onto me enough. With that level of neediness from that guy, though, I don't blame this girl for her reaction. Once it gets to that point, it's definitely time to activate your declaration for independence.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest Amelia

I'm not aro but I found this forum thing (is this a forum? idk what to call it) because I was researching romantic harassment because I was trying to see if my sister could press charges against a guy that I know who texts my sister (for context, to the best of my knowledge, she's also not aro) almost everyday (she can't block him because they have group chats together), has asked her out around once a month for years despite constant rejections, and is constantly flirting and making sexual comments about her despite her constantly telling him that she's uncomfortable with it and wants him to stop. Most of his harassment towards her is surrounding whatever romantic feelings of love or obsession or whatever he has going on, so I feel like if I call it sexual harassment it will exclude a lot of the harassment, since most of it is not sexual. Anyways, my point is that I definitely think this is a real thing, not just for aro people, but for all people (I'm not trying to invalidate any aro people's experience, it seems like this might be disproportionately effecting aro people, I don't know how to word things well so I'm sorry if this offends anyone because that isn't my intention). I think that after someone rejects a person or sets some sort of romantic boundary and the person crosses that boundary consistently, that is harassment and should be treated as such.

I think I also have experience with this type of harassment. In the past, I've dated men (for context I'm a lesbian but this was during my denial phase), and after a break up, or any sort of rejection which comes from me, I find that some of them (just to be clear before someone comments NOT ALL MEN I'm not implying that this is all men, I just attracted shitty people at that stage of my life because I was also kind of toxic. I'm also not implying that this is only men, I've also experienced different types of harassment with women that I've dated, just in my personal experience I've never dated a woman who romantically harassed me so I can't speak about that but I do know that it happens) will continue to act like we were still dating. Like they would continue to ask me out frequently even though I'd repeatedly turn them down. One of the worst, most disturbing parts about this was that everyone around me didn't see their behavior as wrong in any way. I was constantly told to "have sympathy", and that I should be more appreciative because I was lucky a guy was showing interest in me and other people would kill to be in my shoes. I found that people thought of him similarly to how people think of characters like Leonard from Big Bang Theory. People also did this in my sister's situation, they made ship names with her and the boy who is harassing her, constantly reminded her of how much of a good guy she was (and by extension, vilifying her for "breaking his heart"), telling her to "just give him a chance", acting like she was cold and callous (to be fair she sometimes is like that but it doesn't have anything to do with not wanting to date someone). I find that this is incredibly invalidating

Anyways, I definitely think this needs to be discussed more, because it's a huge issue and a lot of people don't understand it, so thanks for starting this discussion.

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I wish it will be better for your sister. This is a real problem that not only affects aro. Aro people are more likely to notice how problematic it is because we don't have the "but you're so lucky, give him a chance" glasses.

I think she can press charges. He is harassing her. I don't know for your country, but in mine I knew a girl in high school who did it to her ex-boyfriend : after breaking up with him, he was insisting to try to get her back, and in the end the police forbid him to get close to her. I think harassment don't need to be sexual to be punished.

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I’m not sure this counts, but there was this boy in my school that keeps on saying I date him as a joke. Everyone kept one asking if it was true, and they kept asking if I would date him. 
 

it was really Annoying and uncomfortable for me.

Edited by squids_are_amazing
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