Ladies, have you ever wondered why all your girl friends’ encounters with potential suitors seem to go normally whereas you always seem to have some weird, uncomfortable drawn-out scenario to deal with? Do you find that you get uncomfortably approached in the same way by the same kind of pursuer over and over again? You may be a Creep Magnet.
Many people tend to cite women’s personal qualities as the reason an incidence of Creepage occurred in order to lessen the Creeper’s culpability as if you should have known how to stop the Creeper from Creeping. This is not the intent of this post. For this reason, though I will be outlining how certain specific factors can affect a Creep Magnet’s situation, I will not be focusing on advice for Creep Magnets on how to tend, feed and properly shoo Creepers. That’s not their job. I also intend to provide Accidental Creepers with a roadmap of common pitfalls and things that lead to Creepage with specific sorts of people. In this case, people who I call “Super Friendlies”.
The Super Friendly Creep Magnet tends to have lots of friends with whom they are openly and enthusiastically affectionate with. Far from being the standoffish “popular girl”, this type tends to be known for smiles, hugs, not having a bad word to say about anyone and being approachable and non-threatening. Rather than immediately turn their noses up at certain people, this type generally will try to get to know someone before judging them.
Unfortunately, if this describes you, you’ve probably had Creepers show up who even though they don’t actually know you well or are not socially close to you come up and hug you because hey, he wanted a hug and you are a person who gives people hugs so this is normal, right?
Why the Attraction?
Approach anxiety is often a MAJOR issue among Accidental Creepers, which is ironic because often times, it’s precisely that issue that shoots them in the foot when they do decide to make such a half-hearted, anxious approach. Why these creepers may be attracted to you as a Super Friendly is because you seem so safe and approachable. Many Accidental Creepers for a variety of reasons feel like misunderstood outsiders who don’t get a fair shake socially. Many feel outright mistreated and may actually be in one way or another. To them, a non-judgmental, accepting Super Friendly can represent hope that they’ll one day get the chance they feel they’ve been cruelly denied.
Chances are, in addition to Accidental Creepers, you also find yourself dealing with shy or awkward people confessing their feelings for you out of the blue (which to their credit at least means they’re fully taking the leap and being honest and non-dodgy about it). It’s understandable. On the positive side, this usually means that part of the vibe you’re giving off tells people “If this person rejects me, they won’t do it in a maliciously hurtful or humiliating way.” and “This person might not cut me off completely if I still like them as a person and am genuinely okay being platonic friends.” For this reason, this type of Magnet also tends to have no shortage of non-creepy suitors as approach anxiety affects everyone to some degree.
On the negative side, some people take those same vibes to mean “This person is nice. Rejection is not nice, therefore this person is less likely to reject me at all.” and “If I get rejected nicely, I can just be their friend and have infinite chances to make this happen for me.” or for the more egregiously entitled “Anyone who doesn’t take me exactly as I am for any reason is a judgmental asshole. Therefore if a person is truly nice, they need to prove it by not rejecting me.” incompatibility and lack of attraction be damned.
Much to a Creeper’s surprise, many Super Friendly people do have healthy boundaries and no problem asserting them. Many have mastered the clear-but-gentle let-down. However, having gone into this interaction expecting no rejection at all, this can throw a Creeper for a loop and make them really upset. A rejection from someone who was “supposed to be nice” can make a Creeper feel like all hope is lost and that the mating game really is 100% rigged against them. Plus if the Creeper has misconceptions as to how boundaries and intimacy levels work, all those hugs the Super Friendly gives to people who are not the Creeper just seem outright unfair and discriminatory.
Other Super Friendlies with weaker boundary enforcement can have a more difficult time, especially if the Creeper insists on taking “She didn’t publicly humiliate me/ run away screaming / have me arrested.” as a sign that they should keep trying and even more so if the Super Friendly tends to bend or break their own boundaries to spare others’ feelings and avoid having to deal a necessary hurt. While many Accidental Creepers lament this state of affairs as misleading and the “real” cause of the discomfort on both sides, the truth is, Creepers thrive on this condition. Some may even know that their presence is merely being tolerated. It doesn’t matter because in their mind, if they can still be around, they still have a chance to prove how great they would really be for the person they’re creeping on.
Even if the rejection is ostensibly accepted by the Creeper, Super Friendlies are especially popular with Nice Guys who won’t let go: guys like this one who had a crush on a male friend of mine:
B was part of our larger student lounge social circle and awkwardly confessed his feelings to my friend F, a Moderate Super Friendly at the time. F politely declined his advances. B was respectful at first but later got his resentment out by being an asshole to F’s girlfriend and repeatedly came back around to F with cries of “I need you to help me get over you” (probable subtext: with your penis).
This is the other ill-conceived expectation of nice people. “You just rejected me and I feel hurt. But you are a nice person, therefore you won’t just leave a hurt person hanging and will make me feel better (and juuust maybe this forced emotional intimacy will lead to sexytimes).” While the previous example shows that creepage can happen to anyone of any gender, the expectation of mending the rejection wound affects women particularly frequently. It’s something that’s already expected of them and it’s also a common Nice Guy misconception that for women discussing sad feelings (hers OR theirs) is a turn on and will definitely get you laid if you do it enough.
So if as a Repentant Creeper you find yourself suddenly interested in a Super Friendly and find her particularly safe and approachable looking, if the context is right then by all means APPROACH.
This is a golden opportunity. Even if you don’t exactly get the outcome that you want, this is valuable approach practice in a relatively low-stakes situation. If you do get rejected, though it may hurt, chances are they’ll be nice about it and it won’t be that bad. This will also help you lessen your fear of rejection so that with practice you’ll be able to approach people who you may have been more interested in but were afraid to approach at all before.
However, after that the key is, once you get rejected…
Also of importance, as I mentioned before, is not mistaking niceness and friendliness for attraction or being receptive to potential advances. This is one of those cases where people who aren’t behaving like Creepers just yet blow it for themselves by only putting a stop to an unwanted pursuit when the person can endure no more and gives you a yell-down-war-hell-ride telling you to go away forever. Anything short of that prompts some Would-be Creepers to keep trying, taking lack of general hostility or running away in fear as hope. If you don’t want to creep out someone who has not shown interest but is nice, you need to stop pursuing before shit gets mean not after.
In addition, if you like them as a person and think you would still enjoy being platonic friends, even if the person gives you an offer of “Let’s be friends.”, I strongly suggest still taking some time away for the sting to go away and give yourself time to let go of the hope and fantasy. You don’t need to do this completely by yourself but you do need to work on this WITHOUT YOUR CRUSH. Go spend time with other people. Go do something else. Find something else to look forward to and move on to that, whatever it may be. Both your comfort levels will be better for it when you return. And who knows? Once the crushfeelings wear off, you might decide it wasn’t the best idea anyway.