It’s 11 p.m. on a Friday, and whether your killing it at flip cup at a friend's or on your second round of drinks with co-workers at your favorite bar, the night is young and you’re having a killer time. Then, suddenly, you feel two eyes from across the room staring at you for a little too long. One awkward greeting and a bit of inescapable conversation later, it hits you—you’ve got a creeper on your hands.
Creepers come in all shapes and sizes, but their intentions are always the same, so it’s up to you to keep an overzealous suitor from ruining your night out. Lucky for you, we’ve got your all-inclusive guide for how to ditch creepy guys and get them to back off and stay away when one tries to pounce.
1. The Covert Closeout
Sometimes, your best defense against an unwanted male is a circle of females. And while effective, the closeout does take some coordination and slick choreography.
First step: establish a code word. Actually, let’s say “code words,” because there are more than enough uncomfortable and emergency situations that can arise during a night out that may not always be, uh, appropriate to address out loud. This being said, the most important code word to establish is the creeper code word. Be sure to come up with one before heading out, because those suckers tend to strike when you’re least expecting it. The creeper code word denotes that a brash Casanova is in pursuit and you need backup, STAT. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to utilize your code word and the closeout method when you’ve found yourself in the grasp of a stage five clinger:
- Excuse yourself politely. He’ll likely be keeping an eye on you and eventually start to follow, but it’s worth a try.
- Find your girls. Do a quick scan of the bar or basement and operate with a sense of urgency; this is not the time to mingle. Vámonos!
- Rejoin your BFF group and drop that code word.
- Allow your girls to slyly encapsulate you in the friend circle, making you generally invisible to the creeper’s eye and creating a barrier of feisty friends to protect you from this guy’s less than honorable intentions. See ya never, Creeps Magee!
2. The Graceful Getaway
We’ve all been there. You’re conversing with a gent you’ve just met or have been introduced to, and at first (tipsy) glance he seems like a great catch. Then, all of a sudden, in a moment of unadulterated sobriety, you have the startling realization that this one was a seriously poor judgment call. Maybe it’s his slicked-back hair and bedazzled Ed Hardy tee, the fact that he insists on calling you “babe,” or the fact that he has already tried to cop a feel twice that tips you off to the fact you’re dealing with a full-blown creep-in-the-making. Regardless, you’ve gotta nip this in the bud ASAP without being obvious that you’re desperately trying to escape. We’ve got four moves that soften the blow when it comes to dropping the unwanted baggage:
- The bathroom bailout: If there’s one safe haven for collegiettes in a crowded bar or house party, it’s (hopefully) the bathroom. Free of all males, a bathroom break gives you an opportunity to send a few “SOS” texts to your friends so you can regroup and avoid seeing your Prince Not So Charming.
- The drop out: While you’re talking, “accidently” drop your keys to the floor. Oh no, you can’t lose your keys! As you’re on the floor “trying to find them,” discretely crawl away from your original location. Sanitary? Absolutely not. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
- The “old” friend run-in: If there’s no viable escape route, grab the closest girl at the bar or party and say something along the lines of, “Hey! It’s Ally from World Civ freshman year! Remember?! How have you been, girlfriend?!” and converse with her until your pushy pursuer finds another girl to hit on. She’ll probably be embarrassed that she’s “forgotten” you and go along with it. Genius.
- The diversion: Ask him, “Hey, can you read me the name of the Russian vodka up there? Yeah, that one all the way on the top shelf; can you see it?” While he’s squinting and leaning in to read it, you’re running and hiding somewhere far away.
3. The Obvious Escape
This is a special protective measure for the gift that keeps on giving—the chronic creeper. Actually, he’s not much of a gift at all. He’s that sleazeball that always hugs you for a little too long when you two first run into each other, the guy that has not stopped texting you since you made the mistake of giving him your number a few weeks ago, or perhaps the boy that insists on hitting on you weekend after weekend despite being very much in a relationship with someone you know. We’re talking about the guy that ignores your multiple attempts to establish that you are most definitely not interested, and who continues, weekend after weekend, to force you into long and uncomfortable encounters with him while you’re out.
The chronic creepers are out there, and if you’ve ever been the victim of their affections, you know they must be stopped. Our advice? Clearly, he doesn’t pick up well on subtle social cues, so buck up and bluntly get him to back off, preferably by using one of our dependable and direct methods of communication:
- Do a full-fledged about-face as soon as you see him coming towards you.
- When he tries to yell over to you, become immediately enthralled with the drink specials sign or beer pong game and act like you can’t hear him.
- Cling to your wingman, best guy friend, or really any other guy within a 10-foot radius once you’ve been spotted.
- Mouth, “Give it up!” from across the bar as he orders you a drink he thinks you’ll be obligated to accept from him. This is more or less a variation of the deservedly famous Jenna Marbles video concerning "The Face".
4. The Conveniently Timed Emergency Informant
This is a stealth getaway maneuver that requires the buddy system, but is highly effective. The setup is simple: First, establish a series of emergency phrases to use when you’ve found yourself in an inevitable and inescapable creep situation. After giving a predetermined, nonverbal signal, have your friend approach the two of you, and in a loud, intensely serious tone, drop one of the following phrases and watch him book it:
- “Jenny’s in the bathroom sobbing because she’s having a ton of really personal problems with boys and hormones and needs to talk to you… I guess your friend can come if he wants?”
- “I’m going to hurl everywhere at any moment. I feel like a nauseous ticking time bomb; I could upchuck on literally anyone!!”
- “Kegs tapped.”
Or, get a little more creative with one of these…
- “The bird has left the nest. I repeat: the bird has left the nest. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
- “It’s happening.” (No need to specify what “it” is; we highly doubt he’ll ask questions.)
- “We’ve got a code blue at three o’clock. It’s go time.”
An added bonus to the last three is that he’ll either think that you’re a foreign spy of some sort or completely off your rocker, both of which will likely be effective in getting him to scram.
5. The “Turning The Tables” Approach
As girls, we know the cardinal rule to scoring that guy you’ve had your eye on is playing it cool and just a little hard to get, in order to avoid coming off as too eager. While this may be well established, a lesser known fact is that the “play it cool” effect works in reverse as well. When faced with a guy who just won’t quit, try throwing in one of these conversation pieces in the mix and watch him run faster than a freshman at house party that’s just been busted:
- “Are you free next weekend? My parents, three older brothers, Grandma, Aunt Becky, and cousin Sue would just LOVE to meet you!”
- “Have I showed you the wedding dresses I’ve picked out for myself on Pinterest? If only finding a groom was this easy!”
- “So… how excited are you for parenthood?!”
- “My ex and me? I think once the restraining order he has against me expires we could work things out.”
- “[Insert your first name] [insert his last name], certainly has a ring to it, donchathink?!”
So whether you’re a creep magnet or only have to deal with them once in a while, be sure to keep our guide on hand to ensure one doesn’t ruin your night. There’s a saying in football: “The best offense is a solid defense,” (or something like that), so come prepared so you can embrace your evening out, creep-free. Cheers, collegiettes!