Dear Persistent Suitor, Stealing Personal Info To Get My Number Or Address Is Not Romantic

January 4, 2017  |  

I’m not sure when some men came to the conclusion that invading a woman’s privacy in the hopes of eventually wooing her was a good idea, but this seemingly creative and romantic idea is actually pretty terrifying.

I blame Love Jones.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the film, which will be 20 years old in March. And as a Chicagoan (okay, a South Suburbian), I consider Darius and Nina’s love story a modern-day classic. But if it weren’t for Darius’s snooping abilities, that story wouldn’t have happened.

If you’ll recall, Darius’s friend Sheila worked at a local record store that Nina was a patron of. After visiting the store and running into Nina following meeting her at the nightclub, he wants her number. When she isn’t forthcoming with that information, Darius, as Film Scouts put it, gets her address “on the sly,” off of a check she used to pay for her music. He eventually shows up at her apartment and charms Nina into letting him take her on a date. On his way out, she jokes about him calling her before stopping by her home again since she knows he retrieved her number from her check as well.

Had Darius not popped up with a CD featuring the music Nina was looking for at the record store, I doubt the encounter would have been as pleasant. And if he weren’t so friggin’ fine, I doubt she would have even opened the door to be honest. But that’s movies for you. Films can make even the creepiest happenings somehow appealing, and dare I say, sentimental.

But in the real world, a man using, make that stealing personal information you share for business purposes for the sake of cultivating a possible personal relationship with you is nowhere near cute. I know this from the expressions on the faces of my friends after they told me about times a guy violated their privacy in an effort to make a move on them.

One of my best friends was just a teenager when she ran an errand to the bank. She encountered a flirtatious bank teller but thought nothing of their encounter. However, she received the shock of her young life when that same grown man arrived at the gate in front of her house asking for her.

“It took my mother to come out with a weapon like, ‘You’re looking for who now?'” she said of the incident, still very much disgusted by it even as an adult. Her family called the bank to report the rogue employee and she was no longer sent alone to handle business at the bank.

As for another friend, this time an adult, she recently found herself on the other side of a phone conversation with someone she had zero interest in and who she didn’t realize held a romantic interest in her. This particular guy worked at the laundromat she frequented, the place where she dropped off her clothes to be handled by whomever sorts and washes clothes for people on the go. What she didn’t know was that after leaving her number with the laundromat to inform her of when her clothes were ready, an employee who had been giving her the eye stored her number in his phone and called her after hours.

Despite rebuffing his advances she still found herself running into this individual in her neighborhood. After coincidentally finding her in the back of a local grocery store, the guy cornered her and asked her yet again if she was interested in going out sometime. It took her having to pretend she was already in a committed relationship for the man to get the memo, as if “No, thank you” all along just wasn’t good enough.

While I’m sure some men don’t mean harm when they call your phone or pop up where you frequent or even live, it’s creepy. Whether you’re a young girl, a single woman or a married woman, as women, we have to be on guard. This is particularly true when you live in a big city. So for most of us, a guy we barely know or one we haven’t given the green light to showing up or calling us up actually comes off as threatening. One might find it an amorous display straight out of a movie, but it comes off more as an intimidation tactic (i.e., “You have to deal with me now, and I bet you won’t say no when I’m in your face or on your phone”) than anything even remotely romantic. So with that being said, dear suitors, don’t try this at home. Or better yet, wherever it is you work.


Image via Shutterstock 

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