Dear Thelma: Why is she rejecting me over and over again?


I’m in my late 20’s. I’m decent, observant and reserved. I’ve met quite a lot of admirers but all I do is reject them. Sometimes I feel bad for not being open to them. The reason is, I don’t want them to be fooled by my good side.

One day, I met this amazing lady. I never expected to fall in love with her. She’s not perfect – she’s skinny, a little nerdy, unfeminine, cowardly, a bad actor, and a bad liar. (I have no right to point out her flaws because I myself am a coward as well.)

What’s more, we’re of different races. From her attitude, I know she’s a tough lady. She’s also wise, caring and smart.

I feel motivated, I feel I can do anything, and weirdest of all, I feel “full”. It’s as if I don’t need anything else when she’s beside me; she is more than enough. From the moment I met her, she already changed me. This is so weird.

(I used to watch HK, American and Malay drama series but what I encounter is not a drama.)

I used to stalk her for months and I kept asking myself, “Are you sure? Will you able to accept the differences? You have to be responsible with your actions.”

I’ve learned that two people will be attracted to each other when they see the appealing side of each other. I thought maybe I should do something different, so I let my guard down and showed her my weakness and unappealing side.

Eventually, I confessed my feelings to her. She feigned surprise. Maybe she already knew it. The result was, I got rejected. I got the same result on my second and third attempts, and then she started to “explode” a bit.

My every confession was direct, to the point; I even told her that I stalked her. Maybe it was a sudden shock to her. I felt a bit down and frustrated.

Since then, whenever we meet, she sometimes acts as if nothing has happened. As of now, she seems to be avoiding me.

But I’m still down to earth, and I won’t give up until I’ve given it my best shot.

What should I do now?

Robert H


This is not a cute love story: you are harassing and abusing a woman who rejected you.

If you were a kid or young adult, I’d be gentle but you’re a man in your late 20s. You really should know better. The fact that you don’t appear to understand that your behaviour is completely unacceptable is worrying.

Stalking is repeated contact that is unwanted by the victim. It can come in many forms including direct conversation, telephone calls, turning up at their home or place of work, sending unwanted gifts, monitoring their social media for information, and following them as they go about their day.

The effect of stalking is severe. At first, victims feel harassed. Many have nightmares, feel unsafe and can become isolated as they’re too afraid to go out. Being a stalker’s target is associated directly to anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress.

Stalking is a serious issue, which is why it is illegal in many countries. In Malaysia, the government is currently developing an anti-stalking law.

Studies have identified several types of stalkers. Two well-known types are the mentally ill who suffer from delusions and the vengeful who stalk in order to get revenge for being rejected.

From your letter, I don’t think that either of those apply to you. You are victimising a woman who rejected you, but I don’t get the sense that you are imagining a connection of some kind or that you are consciously after revenge.

My advice is this: stop harassing that woman. Don’t call her, don’t contact her, and don’t try and “explain”. Just leave her alone.

Then I strongly suggest you get yourself an appointment with a mental health practitioner who specialises in abuse and violent relationships. When you do, start with considering these issues.

First, this woman told you she isn’t interested in you. Yet you won’t leave her alone. This means you don’t respect other people’s boundaries.

Second, you start by describing this woman in extremely disrespectful terms. When taken together with the first point, it suggests you lack respect for women. Misogyny is linked to violence against women, so this is an important area to explore.

Third, you have persistently harassed a person and you don’t understand why she’s angry and avoiding you. This indicates you lack empathy.

I understand that this may come as a shock to you. However, as you have written in, I suspect you are deeply unhappy. There is no need for this; you can work to get into a better place.

As we are already delving into a painful subject, I want to ask you a question. At the beginning of the letter, you say that you have many admirers, all of whom you reject. When you wrote that, what exactly were you thinking?

I ask because speaking strictly in terms of connections: a lack of empathy, not recognising the feelings of others, and having an exaggerated sense of their own importance are all signs of narcissism.

People with narcissistic personality disorder are usually unhappy, being angry and frustrated with their life and their relationships. Sadly, the disorder means they take constructive criticism as personal insults. This means they find it hard to recognise there is something wrong.

A letter offers too little information to delve deeply, however, I suggest you read up on symptoms and be honest with yourself. If you think you have a touch of narcissism, add this to the list to discuss when you make your appointment.

Look, this will be difficult for you to read but think of it this way: you are currently unhappy and frustrated and indulging in behaviour that is widely considered criminal. Take this as an opportunity to make positive effective change. Swallow your pride, see an experienced mental health professional and forge a better and happier you.


Is something bothering you? Do you need a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on? Thelma is here to help. Write to Dear Thelma, c/o StarLifestyle, Menara Star, 15, Jalan 16/11, 46350 Petaling Jaya, Selangor or e-mail star2.thelma@thestar.com.my. Please include your full name and address, and a pseudonym. No private correspondence will be entertained. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, usefulness, fitness for any particular purpose or other assurances as to the opinions and views expressed in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses suffered directly or indirectly arising from reliance on such opinions and views.
Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Friendships , stalking

   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

76% readers found this article insightful

Next In Family

Sweat relief from domestic work
Starchild: Malaysian children share what they love to watch on TV
Get the family running: Malaysian top runners share their favourite running spots
Everybody loves 'The Crown' - except the royal family
Does your child have a speech delay? Here's how to get them talking
Five steps to make Budget 2021 allocation for victims of violence effective
Believe victims, don't blame them
Pandemic inflames violence against women
Merkel urges German citizens to intervene on behalf of women facing violence
Parties only among family members, except for the Trumps

Stories You'll Enjoy