Note: The below story mentions physical and sexual assault.
Whether you identify as a woman or know one, they probably have a story (or, let's be honest, like, four) where a person crossed a boundary even after they — very directly — informed them that they're not romantically interested.
And their stories were honest and rage-inducing. Here's what they had to say:
1. "A former friend's roommate took a liking to me when he found out I was a 'gamer girl' and started off pretty strong. He tried to buy me a gaming PC rig for my birthday after only hanging out twice in a group setting (where he barely spoke). He also showed up at my work wanting to hang out even though I never told him when or where. Eventually, he asked me out, I said no, and he just...kept it up. I would keep telling him to stop because it made me uncomfortable but he'd keep at it saying it's 'how he treats all his friends.' Spoiler: it wasn't. Eventually, he started spam-calling me at 2 a.m. while he was obviously plastered. I had to block him and then he showed up at my work and said he wouldn't leave until I talked to him. Cops got called. My friend moved out and we never saw him again."
2. "I had an older man smile at me in the street and said something like, 'Aren't you a darling.' I didn't smile back and kept on moving. I went to a shop and he followed me in there and kept winking and smiling at me, following me from aisle to aisle. I didn't give any eye contact and just tried to make it look like I was busy shopping. He walked past me nudging me and said, 'You could at least smile you effing b*tch.' It was only a short event but made me feel so uncomfortable."
3. "Roger the Finger Sucker. I got cornered by him at a party and he started to recite sonnets to me. And as I was trying to figure out how to extricate myself from his body blockage, while basically contorting myself as far as physically possible from him in the confined space I was now in, he took my hand and started sucking on my index finger. I can’t remember if I was outright 'WTF' or laughing so hard — but either way, that made him step back enough to let me skedaddle outta there. But holy crap."
4. "When I was 21, I worked at a casino as a cage cashier. It was the overnight shift, and I had so many creeps acting like I was flirting with them when I was just doing my job! One guy —who had to be 45–50 years old — just kept staring and smiling at me throughout his transaction. It sounds innocent but it was incredibly creepy and uncomfortable. He finally left (because a line started to form behind him) and a few hours later, at about two or three in the morning, the phone rang and it was him! He asked me if I remembered him, that he was in earlier and 'WE' couldn't stop smiling at each other! (I said I didn't remember him.) Then he asked me if I 'wanted to go party.' Seriously, ew."
5. "A guy I'd been friends with for six years decided one night that I must have been interested in him all along. I was coming out of the bathroom at a party and he shoved me back in and kissed me. I shoved him away. He tried again while trying to lock the door. I managed to dodge and asked what the fuck he was doing, and told him I wasn't interested and to leave me alone. I then went to hide out with another guy friend. I told the other guy what the first one had done and that I needed him to help me ward off the attention. He agreed. And then invited me to a three-way with his girlfriend. So I grabbed my shit and started to leave. The first guy approached me again."
6. "I was at a party and met a fedora-wearing guy who was absolutely obsessed with anime. He told me, 'By the end of the night, you'll know 101 new things about anime!' He then followed me and my friends around the party telling us random anime facts. It was super awkward and he wouldn't take the hint to leave us alone. I had never been so uncomfortable in my life. A friend even straight up told him 'Leave us alone,' and he would just snort and stick around."
7. "I went on one date with a guy who was kind of mediocre but I figured I'd go on one more in case it was just nerves or something getting in the way. Valentine's Day happened the day after our second date, and this man took it upon himself to use my phone number to look me up on LinkedIn and find my job, then stand outside of it for hours until I got off work. THEN, in front of literally all of my coworkers and a cafe full of people, whipped out his guitar and sang 'Can't Help Falling in Love with You' with my name substituted into it. I cried out of sheer humiliation. Meanwhile, he seemed so pleased with himself. He asked if I would be his valentine at the end and I said no and straight up ran away from him to my car."
8. "I was at a convention one time. It was late at night, and everyone was drinking. I had to grab a charger from my car before walking over to the hotel to sleep. This random dude who had flirted with me throughout the night here and there saw me and followed me. He kept saying he was protecting me and didn't want me to drive drunk. I explained I wasn't driving anywhere and asked him to please leave me alone but he followed me anyways. I was, like, okay, no big deal. I thought he'd go after he saw I wasn't getting in the car but he just kinda lingered there."
"I asked him to leave but nothing happened. It was, like, 3 a.m., and I wanted to sleep. So I started walking over to my room, which was like 50 feet away on the ground level. This motherfucker followed me just monologuing about protecting me, and when I went to close the door between us, he stopped it with his hand and wouldn't budge. I got behind it and was shoving it trying to close it.
Luckily, my friend who was staying separately saw me struggling and yanked the guy away from the door. I've never felt so helpless in my life and it flashes through my mind any time someone flirts with me in an environment with alcohol."
9. "A former neighbor, who took an interest from nothing more than a 'hello' in the lift, started knocking on my door for random chats, so I made it clear I wasn't interested. One night, he knocked seven times in one hour, he left notes asking if I wanted to go here and there, he found my Facebook, and in my spam folder were over 100 messages. He knocked one morning at 7 a.m. so I opened the door and basically told him to piss off. He goes, 'You could have told me you weren't interested.' He then kept knocking because he wanted to take me out to apologize. I ended up reporting him to our landlady who threatened to evict him for breaking the no antisocial behavior part of his tenancy agreement and he left me alone."
10. "He was my university dorm neighbor, and we got along well. A year and a half ago, he reached out to reconnect. I met up with him and his wife (his girlfriend from uni) to catch up. All seemed great. They were planning a cottage weekend and invited my now ex and me to join them, and then he started pressuring me to commit right then to skinny dipping in the lake with them (the trip was months away). It got weird, so I just stopped responding. He still messages me and acts weird and sad about me ghosting him."
11. "I was on my first-ever solo trip and headed to Europe. I had my headphones in and a movie on my Kindle Fire and this guy had the audacity to keep touching my shoulder and talking to me! I’d covered myself with my blanket and was using the shitty airline pillow to create more of a barrier and also had my body angled away from him. But he kept going, and one time, tugged my damn headphone out! I finally just turned up my movie and anytime he tried to get my attention, I held my tablet closer to my face. Unfortunately, another young woman was on his other side and he then turned his attention toward her and her child."
12. "Me and two friends brought our kids to the zoo. It was the dead of summer and Audubon has a cool zoo, which is a lazy river, some slides for smaller kids, and splash pads. I’m in a bikini top with shorts, nothing revealing, literally an average-cut top. This fucking guy decided to sit directly next to us when there was a myriad of empty places to sit. As time goes on, he chimes in on conversations and asks me if I wanted anything from the snack/drink stand. I made it clear I was married, showed the ring, and said I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here. He downplayed it and still bought me a $5 lemonade, which I refused because that made me super uncomfortable. He overheard my name and then proceeded to call me by my name, which then infuriated me so we picked up our stuff and moved. This fucking guy follows us to the other side where the slides and stuff are so one of my friends let him have it."
"He tried the whole 'I was just being nice' rebuttal. Huge red flag. I told him if he sat next to us again I’d empty my bottle of pepper spray into his eyes.
Yeah, nothing weird about a random guy sitting in the kids' area by himself overtly flirting with women who clearly have kids and are more than likely in a relationship because of said kids."