These pests come in many forms – an ex who just needs one more chance, a completely unsuitable man we gave some to in a moment of weakness, or a poor sap whose only crime is residing on the wrong rung of the ladder.
Whoever he is, a pest can make a woman’s life a living hell. On the surface he seems like a great guy – he’ll call you just to see how you are, he’ll bring you Tim Horton’s when you’re having a late-night craving, and he is ready and willing to take you out for Valentine’s Day. Problem is he’s calling you while you’re staring at the phone willing the guy you really want to call you. He wants to stay – and will try to bone – after he’s dropped off your Tim’s. And while he might bring you flowers when he picks you up for your Valentine’s date, he’ll spend the whole evening staring at you with this pathetic hangdog look that makes you just want to slap the sh*t out of him.
So what’s a girl to do with a pest? Word on the street is a woman has three choices:
1. Ignore him
A lot of women say that this just feels wrong. It’s mean to ignore people, isn’t it? But are they really that nice? Or are their heads being gassed up by all this attention? I think you know the answer to that.
2. Tell him the truth.
It might be mean, but nothing says go away like a text message saying “You’re annoying and I will never, ever want you. Ever.”
3. Grit your teeth and tolerate your pest until he loses interest and finds someone else to harass love.
Unfortunately, your pest will most likely misinterpret your gritted-teeth tolerance as encouragement. This man is clueless and he lacks the natural filter that distinguishes politeness from vibes.
So I ask the question again – what’s a girl to do?
A couple of months ago I took the question to the streets i.e. Twitter and Facebook. I asked the ladies “How do you deal with a man who’s a pest and won’t leave you alone?” The answers were pretty evenly divided between ignore, tell him to buzz off, and grit your teeth and bear it. So I took it to the men to see if they had anything illuminating to add. They all said they would tell a pest to go away. Me? I have a different tactic: fall in love with your pest.
I know you’re thinking I’m crazy right now, so let me school you. It is a fundamental fact of dating life that a man wants that which he cannot have. Men get off on the douleur exquise and no one more so than a pest. So why not remove the thrill and faux-fall in love? It’s quick, it’s dirty, it does the job every time. If your pest is blowing up your phone, just pick it up, act thrilled to hear from him, and launch into an ultra-excited diatribe about your day. Make sure you drag it out until his phone battery dies. Pester your pest about his schedule and try to fill every empty window of his time. And instead of ignoring his eyes when he stares at you with desperate wanting, gaze lovingly at him every chance you get.
In other words, give your pest a taste of his own medicine. It works every time.