Em's a 20-something who's reluctantly navigating dating apps while simultaneously pursuing her studies in social science.
This week I opened up my DMs to find yet another message from a guy who I've never interacted with but who persisted on contacting me. This time, he was asking me where I lived.
Dude got blocked.
There's a solid chance this guy was a troll trying to scam me somehow (catfish style) but whether he was who he appeared to be or not, I was not enjoying his presence. It's not the first (or the last, I'm sure) time I've had to block someone, from former coworkers to internet randos.
It got me thinking, do guys not understand why we block them or that their behavior warrants it? I talked to my best guy friend about it and he agreed, guys are sometimes baffled that their interactions are somehow not welcome and are even more confused when instead of engaging, we block them.
So here I am to lay it all out for you—here's why you got blocked and what you can do to prevent it in the future.
She Thinks You're a Bot/Troll/Catfish
One of the main reasons I block guys rather than engaging at all with them is that if I don't know them at all (like we don't even have mutual friends, I've never run into them out and about) and they try to start a conversation with me without any prior interest I assume they're not who they say they are.
If you don't know what a Catfish, Bot or Troll is on the internet, here's a summary:
What's a Catfish?
A catfish is basically anyone who is portraying themselves as someone they're not. This person may not be trying to scam you out of money but they're probably going to scam you out of your time by:
- Using a profile picture that doesn't accurately resemble what they actually look like.
- Representing themselves as someone they're not. Say, a guy who claims to be a successful marketing expert but is actually just running a Facebook page from his mom's basement.
- Purposely manipulating your feelings to believe that your relationship (in whatever context) is genuine, when the truth is they may not be emotionally available to you (they're secretly married, not sharing their true age, etc.)
What's a Bot?
A bot isn't a real person at all. It's an automated message meant to act like a real person in it's interactions, usually for the purpose of getting you to send money or explicit photos. Ways you can tell a bot from a real person are:
- Bots only respond with vague details to complicated questions
- Bots often give one word answers
- Bots ask for the same information over and over again
What's a Troll?
A troll is someone with too much time on their hands, someone who is comfortable using the anonymity of their screen to harass or bully another person on the internet in a way they never would to their face (without at least getting arrested). Trolls got put in the hot seat in the fall of 2019 when they bullied journalist and blogger Melissa Blake over her appearance and if a woman feels you're trolling her there's a good chance you'll end up there too.
Is it Fixable?
Well, you're not a bot, but if you catfished or trolled a woman and think the situation is fixable in the sense that the relationship can be repaired, it's not. You will need to take a step back and accept why she wouldn't want to ever have contact with you again.
Which brings us to the possibility that you're delusional.
I once blocked a guy I knew as an in-person acquaintance/occasional FB chat buddy because he got mad when I changed my status from "single" to "in a relationship" with someone who wasn't him.
He messaged me to say that he was extremely confused and angry and felt betrayed that I would date someone without telling him because from his perspective we were dating.
We'd never gone on a date, we'd never even spoken on the phone or made plans. How we were dating was beyond me, to the point where I didn't even think I could explain to him that we weren't and I felt unsafe interacting with him ever again knowing that he thought this way.
Are you also being delusional about your bond with the person who blocked you?
- Would this person consider me a close friend? Do they come to me for advice on personal matters? If not, you're not that close.
- How many times have I hung out alone with this person? If it's only once or twice or never, this person doesn't really feel like they know you.
- Do I know this person's family and friends (in person)? If not, then you don't really know this person on any intimate level.
Is it Fixable?
The best way to fix things is to first recognize what you did to make the other person feel uneasy about your interactions. Chances are it was you believing you held a higher status in their life than you actually do. If this is the case, whether they led you to believe that or you came up with that idea on your own, you need to explore why this happened. This Psychology Today article has helpful information about confronting issues of delusional love. Don't interact with the person who blocked you anymore, your feelings are not reciprocated.
I felt unsafe interacting with him ever again knowing that he thought this way.
She's Not That Into You
Maybe you guys hooked up and then she stopped answering your texts and blocked you. If that's the case and you can't pinpoint anything you might have did to weird her out, she probably doesn't want to have to confront you to let you know it was just for funsies.
Is it Fixable?
No, and honestly, you don't want to fix it, if you really think about it. While there's nothing wrong with a mutual casual encounter, not making sure those boundaries are verbally set beforehand, or at least after, is a bit cowardly on her part.
She's Really Into You and She Shouldn't Be
On the other hand, it's possible she's way into you but in a situation where interacting with you on a romantic (or possibly any) level would be inappropriate. A few examples of this might be that:
- She's in a committed relationship
- She's married
- She's your boss
- You're her boss
Is it Fixable?
No! Bad timing be damned, take the hint and take ten steps back.
You Said Something That Made Her Uncomfortable
Different people have a different threshold for handling uncomfortable comments. One mom I know uses Facebook and other forms of social media to help her gain leads for her business so it's not uncommon for her to open up her inbox to find messages from strangers hoping to hire her for freelance work. But she said that anytime she sees someone has mentioned her kids (who she admits are in her profile picture with her) in their message she automatically blocks them because she's unsure of their intentions.
If you've suddenly found yourself blocked take inventory of what you could have said that, in the eyes of the receiver, came off as a little too personal and therefore uncomfortable.
Other Things That Make Women Uncomfortable Enough to Block You
- Asking for pictures
- Asking to hang out when they've consistently declined your invitations
- Asking if you will do work for them when they've consistently declined
- Posting gross or obnoxious content on your social media
- Messaging them often without waiting for a response
- Sending politically charged DMs or posting politically charged content frequently
- Having an uncomfortable/unsafe interaction with one of their friends.
Is it Fixable?
With this person, probably not. Take it as a lesson learned and in the future be mindful of boundaries. If this is someone you know on a personal level you might try asking them in person (on their terms) what you did that made them uncomfortable but don't push it. If this is a professional acquainted, brush up on how to converse.
Different people have a different threshold for handling uncomfortable comments.
Getting Blocked by a Family Member, Friend or Someome You're Dating
Up until now, all of these scenarios have involved acquaintances but what if this is one of your friends, family members or someone you're dating? If that's the case they're not randomly blocking you without a reason.
If this is someone you're pretty close with and they haven't given you an explanation for blocking you, it might be because:
- You got into a fight. Sometimes people just need to cool off after an argument and the best way to do that is by not talking, even through social media or texting. Give her a couple of days before you try to contact her.
- You're being annoying. Are you posting annoying stuff on Facebook? I've hidden or blocked people I like in-person simply because they post divisive things on their social media.
- She feels you're controlling and doesn't want you to be able to see her social media posts.
- You dated once and in order for her to move on she needs to cut off contact with you. I've done this. I liked someone so much but had moved on to another relationship and recognized that interacting with the person I had such strong feelings for could become toxic quickly. I don't harbor hard feelings for that guy, I just had to move on.
- You're being confrontational. Likewise, I've blocked or hidden friends and family members who make confrontational comments on my posts (especially during election season). I won't stop interracting with those people in real life, but in real life I expect that our conversations will be more civil than behind a screen.
- You've done something wrong. Everyone messes up from time to time but if you're consistently treating someone you claim to care about poorly then it's possible they've had enough of your crap.
- The other person is not handling things well. When I was graduating high school I cut a childhood friend off because I felt like she was really judgmental of me. I just cut her off, no explanation. It was cruel! I should have had the decency to say "hey, I don't think we see eye to eye anymore, maybe we need a break" but instead I just cut her out completely without having a conversation about it. It's possible the other person has done the same to you and that's not fair, even if you deserve to be put on a friendship timeout.
What to Do If Someone You Care About Blocks You
In the scenarios where you don't know the person well my advice is to always back off - forever. In the case of someone you know on a personal level, that's not the best advice. But before you can confront the person who blocked you, you need to get a handle on how exactly to go about it in a respectful and constructive way.
To do this, you need to take a step outside of yourself and seek help:
- Talk to someone you trust, ask them if you have habits or traits that make others feel unsafe or uncomfortable
- Consider talking to a counselor to see how you can improve your interpersonal relationships
- Make a list of traits you want to work on to be the kind of person you know others wouldn't feel the need to block
Therapist Kati Morton Explains How to Tell if You're a Toxic Person
© 2019 Em Clark
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on June 25, 2020:
This is a very interesting and highly informative post. I'm way beyond the age of online dating and my children are all married, but I find it interesting that some women use online dating apps to look for clients for their business. I hope you can do a post about that.
SusiOhSusi on May 03, 2020:
This article is structured well.
I blocked a guy who I love because he made a hurtful comment. He isn't fully aware of how ignorant his comment was but he could have known had he ever asked me about my past or thought about it before speaking. He got issues so he didn't say I love you before nor did I but it is likely that we both love each other. Still though, I will not talk to him again. I said to him please stop talking about that but he didn't and said something bad instead. I can not handle having that conversation with him over and over. Truth is, I got so much work to do tomorrow and I can cry all night but I can't cry all day tomorrow too. So not dating is easier than having that conversation with him and getting my heart pulled out with him talking about that topic.
Me on April 30, 2020:
We block men when they play games . Women don’t have time For games. Be consistent. You obviously did something wrong and you know it.
Nla on April 18, 2020: