Despite your best efforts, sometimes it’s impossible to end a relationship on good terms. In extreme cases, you may encounter an ex who simply cannot let go and move on. If you’re subjected to stalking behavior, such as unwanted communications, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and reclaim your life. Consider these tactics for fighting back against a stalker ex.
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The first thing you should do if your ex is giving you unwanted attention is to block him or her from your life as much as possible. Firmly ask him or her to cease all communication. Return letters or gifts. Be firm and consistent so there’s no question about your feelings.
Adjust the privacy settings on your social media accounts so your ex cannot see or communicate with you. In addition to blocking your ex, you may also want to unfriend or block his or her close associates, such as friends or family members who may give your ex access to their accounts. You can block your ex from calling or texting you as well. Do all you can to cease communications.
Look Up Unfamiliar Numbers
If you receive harassing calls or texts from an unfamiliar number, don’t answer. You can use a reverse lookup service to track the number and get an idea of where it came from. If your ex is continuously using a new number to contact you, add this to your list of blocked numbers. Remember not to respond to these messages, as it will only inflame the situation.
Protect Your Location
Make sure your social media posts do not provide your location if you suspect an ex of stalking you. Ask your friends and family not to tag you in their posts, as these tags will give public clues to your whereabouts. Don’t check in at public locations, and turn off geotagging on your photos. While things like Snapchat geofilters are fun, they offer another bit of information regarding where you are and what you’re up to. Until your ex’s behavior has stopped, it’s best to avoid sharing these details with all but your closest confidants.
Seek a Restraining Order
If your ex is stalking you, don’t hesitate to take legal action to protect yourself. You can request a restraining order by filing the appropriate paperwork with your local courthouse and offering your testimony and/or evidence of your ex’s behavior. Document every instance of harassing behavior from your ex, including phone logs, text messages, emails, notes, and visits. Keep a journal of all encounters with your ex including the date, time, place, and what happened. The more details you can provide to the judge, the better your chances of getting a restraining order.
With a restraining order in place, your ex will no longer be able to legally contact you or come near you. If your ex violates the order, you can call the police. If you’re feeling threatened or unsafe in any way, this is an empowering way to protect yourself.
Don’t let your ex reduce you to a life lived in fear. Use these tips to turn your ex away and get your life back.