Unwanted stares and digital stalking topped the list of behaviors women defined as “creepy”

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fear of being considered “creepy” may be holding single adult men back on their chances for romance. That’s according to new research1 from Blaine Anderson, a dating coach for men, whose study found that despite increased interest in attaining a committed relationship since the pandemic, the majority of American men (69%) say fear of being labeled “creepy” impacts how they interact with women, and almost half of American men (44%) say fear of being labeled “creepy” reduces the likelihood they interact with women, romantically or otherwise.

“In a dating context, many highly eligible guys are terrified of being perceived as creepy, and it’s destroying their chances of finding a partner,” said Anderson. “There are many appropriate ways for men to demonstrate their interest in women that honors and respects boundaries. The ‘creep factor’ is often a result of miscommunication about romantic interest and intentions — the interested party doesn’t receive the message the other person isn’t interested, which unsurprisingly creates problems.”

Paradoxically, the >1,000 adult women surveyed had very clear definitions of what they considered “creepy” behavior, with an overwhelming majority of women (82%) reporting experiencing creepy behavior ‘sometimes,’ ‘often,’ or ‘constantly.’

What Women Find Creepy: 9 Not-So-Subtle Signs

Unwanted stares (51%) and digital stalking (43%) topped the list of behaviors women defined as “creepy.” Other creepy no-gos called out by American women included:

  • Controlling behaviors (23%)
  • Unwillingness to accept “no” (22%)
  • Unwanted physical contact (19%)
  • Pressure to engage in sexual activity (18%)
  • Clinginess (18%)
  • Physical stalking (10%)

The percentage of single women who reported experiencing these behaviors was even higher across the board – and as much as 30% higher for several categories.

How Not to Be Creepy Online and IRL

Being self-aware of what women perceive as creepy is the number one way men can get ahead of the problem. Here are a few tips from Dating By Blaine to avoid being creepy in-person and online:

  • Approaching in-person: don’t stare and get in your head about whether to approach… go for it! Then just remember that if the person you’re approaching isn’t clearly reciprocating your interest and engaging with you conversationally, it’s appropriate to cut bait and let go.
  • On dating apps like Hinge and OKCupid: stop emotionally investing in your matches before you’ve met in-person. Matching online ≠ real connection. If someone stops responding to you, they probably didn’t miss your message, and that’s OK! It’s never productive to attempt to convince someone you’ve never met that you’re worth their time. Redirect your energy toward meeting someone who does appreciate you.
  • On first dates: abandon preconceptions about what the date “should” look like (e.g. the other person feeling impressed; you being physical together at the end of the date) and focus on (1) being a great listener, and (2) being authentically yourself.

Blaine teaches a dating masterclass called Transform Your Dating Life in 30 Days to help men learn to authentically market themselves to women without being creepy, and attract partners they’re excited about. For more information and to reserve your spot visit https://www.datingbyblaine.com/blaines-dating-masterclass.

About Blaine Anderson, Founder, Dating By Blaine

For men, dating is a marketing problem. Blaine Anderson, dating guru, and coach for men is really good at solving it. Blaine, who has been featured on NBC, Cosmopolitan, and AskMen, among others, found her calling as a dating coach early in life during her undergraduate years at the University of Arizona when she was asked by her guy friends how to date her sorority sisters. As her reputation grew, Blaine was increasingly approached by guys eager to hear what she could share about the female perspective on dating, romance, and relationships. Fast forward 10 years to today, Blaine has helped thousands of guys learn the fine art of “dating marketing” and win the girl. Now through her online masterclass, private coaching, and personalized matchmaking, Blaine has been able to pass her insights and strategies to countless men. For more information visit datingbyblaine.com, and follow @datingbyblaine on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok for daily tips and insights on dating for men.

Editor’s Notes:


Survey was conducted online within the United States by Survey Monkey on behalf of Dating By Blaine from March 22, 2022 – April 10, 2022 among >2,000 men and women ages 22 – 40. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact datingbyblaine@maven-pr.com.


To speak with a Dating By Blaine spokesperson related to survey findings, including how not to be creepy, contact: datingbyblaine@maven-pr.com.


Angela Nibbs, datingbyblaine@maven-pr.com


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