10 Signs Your Ex May Be Stalking You — Learn From My Terrifying Experience

I hope that you never find yourself in the situation that I am about to describe. Dealing with my ex stalking me was one of the most nerve-wracking and distressing experiences of my life. However, I want to share my story with you so that you can recognize the warning signs early on and safeguard yourself against potential harm.

1. They Call You "Theirs"

Couples often use cute pet names and nicknames for each other as a way of expressing their love and affection. Terms like "babe" or "honey" are meant to convey the joy and warmth that we feel towards our significant others. In my case, my ex was a big Johnny Cash fan and started referring to me as "his June." Did you notice the emphasis on "his"? As our relationship progressed, this possessive pronoun evolved into a possessive attitude towards me. Instead of being his partner, I became his possession, and he treated me accordingly.

2. You're Forced To Make His Plans Your Plans

When I was still in a relationship with my ex, he would often present me with what seemed like choices. We would make plans together, but then he would change them at the last minute, apologize, and suggest we do something else instead. This constant shifting of plans and apologies was just a facade to make it seem like he had control over me in a setting where he felt comfortable keeping tabs on me.

3. They Steal Or Go Through Your Phone While You're Asleep Or Busy

While I was occupied with cooking dinner, using the bathroom, going for a run, or sleeping, he would invade my privacy by checking my phone and scrolling through my text messages and Instagram. This act of intrusion was already upsetting on its own, but what was even worse was that he would sometimes impersonate me and send messages to people, canceling plans or causing arguments with my friends over things I supposedly said.

4. They Start Asking Other People For Details About Your Life

Even after our breakup, he persisted in trying to involve himself in my life. Some of my friends reported receiving calls or texts from him, asking about my daily activities such as my class schedule, weekend plans, and potential new relationships. Fortunately, most of my friends refused to give him any information and asked him to stop contacting them.

5. They Change Their Phone Number Multiple Times Even Though You Keep Blocking Them

I had to block his number after the breakup because he was calling me multiple times a day. However, he didn't get the hint and proceeded to change his phone number five times. He even attempted to reach out to me on WhatsApp with each new number. Eventually, I had to ask my phone provider to block any numbers associated with his name.

6. They Change Their Email Address And Bombard Your Inbox

He inundated me with an overwhelming amount of emails, sending up to 20 daily, in addition to the incessant phone calls. Despite blocking his email address, he found ways to create new ones, even incorporating both our names. As a precautionary measure, I stored all of his emails in a designated folder, anticipating the possibility of requiring them as evidence for authorities.

7. They Befriend Bartenders At Your Regular Spots In Order To Keep Tabs On You

Residing in a metropolis of eight million, my socializing routine involved visiting familiar bars and eateries to meet friends or simply unwind. What I didn't realize was that he had managed to befriend the bartenders and supplied them with his contact information. This allowed him to receive text messages notifying him of my arrival and inquiring about my whereabouts and companions. Fortunately, some of the bartenders saw through his scheme and refused to disclose any details of my life to him.

8. They "Surprise" You When You're Out With Friends

On some nights, I wanted to spend time with my friends to forget about my ex and unwind. However, little did I realize that my ex had befriended bartenders and used his friends to gather information about my whereabouts. Consequently, he would turn up where I was with my friends, using an excuse to "surprise" me or claiming to be in the area. Even though he lived in a different state across the river, he managed to make his presence known, causing me to fear for my safety. Eventually, I stopped going out with my friends and only spent time with them in the safety of our apartments.

9. They Threaten To Send Compromising Photos Of You To Your School And Work

Like many other couples, my ex and I had taken private photos. However, after I ended the relationship, he threatened to share these photos with my school administration and work contacts as a way to intimidate me into getting back together. Fortunately, I stood my ground and refused to comply with his demands. In the end, he did not follow through on his threat, and I did not return to the abusive relationship. Although I don't regret taking the photos, I do wish I had been more cautious and established boundaries and rules regarding their use and disposal.

11. They Threaten To Come By Your Home Unannounced

My ex would often contact me from a new phone number and threaten to arrive at my place uninvited. He would insist that he was already en route and advise me not to try to stop him. It was a terrifying prospect that someone who had been emotionally abusive and whom I had no desire to see thought it was acceptable to show up at my home unannounced. I felt completely vulnerable and unsettled in my own living space, to the point where I would sometimes ask friends if I could stay on their couches because I didn't feel safe at home.

If you believe that someone may be stalking you, The National Center for Victims of Crime Stalking Resource Center offers a variety of resources that can be of assistance. However, if you are in immediate danger or your safety is in jeopardy, call 911 right away. Trust your instincts and seek assistance if you sense that something is amiss. Do not engage with your stalker, save all of their communications, including texts, emails, and phone logs, and notify your friends, family, and workplace or school security that you may be dealing with a stalker, so that you have a network of support to keep you safe.