My name is Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.
The erotomaniac is the kind of stalker who believes that he is in love with you. To show his keen interest, he keeps calling you. To prove his devotion, he keeps dropping by, writing emails, doing unsolicited errands on your behalf, talking to your friends, co-workers and family behind your back, and in general, making himself available at all times.
The erotomaniac feels free to make for you legal, financial and emotional decisions, and to commit you even without your expressed consent or knowledge. The erotomaniac intrudes on your privacy, does not respect your expressed wishes and your personal boundaries. He ignores your emotions, needs and preferences.
To him, love means enmeshment and clinging, coupled with an overpowering separation anxiety, fear of abandonment.
The erotomaniac, in extreme cases, can even force himself on you sexually.
The problem with erotomaniacs is that no amount of denials, chastising, threats or even outright hostile actions convince the erotomaniac that you are not in love with him. He knows better, and he will make you see the light as well.
You are simply unaware of what is good for you, says the erotomaniac. You are divorced from your own emotions, insists. You are in love, you just don't know it.
The erotomaniac determinately sees it as his or her task to bring life and happiness into your otherwise dreary existence.
Thus, regardless of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the erotomaniac is convinced that his feelings are being reciprocated. In other words, that you are equally in love with him as he claims to be with you.
The erotomaniac stalker interprets everything you do, and even things you refrain from doing, as coded messages.
These messages convey to him a confession, a confession of your eternal devotion to him and to your relationship.
Erotomaniacs are socially awkward, schizoid, and suffer from a host of mood and anxiety disorders.
There may also be people with whom you have been involved romantically, from a spouse, from a boyfriend, a one-night stand. They may be colleagues or co-workers or people you have been involved with otherwise. They are driven erotomaniacs by their all-consuming loneliness and all-pervading fantasies.
Consequently, erotomaniacs react badly to any perceived rejection by their victims. They turn on a dime and become dangerously vindictive, out destroy the source of their mounting frustration and agony, you.
When their relationship looks hopeless, many erotomaniacs turn to violence in a spree of self and other destruction.
What is the best coping strategy?
Well, erotomaniacs are not easy to handle. Very persistent. They are a long-term nuisance.
Your best tactic would be to ignore the erotomaniac. Do not communicate with him, or even acknowledge his existence.
The erotomaniac clutches its straws and offers, suffers from ideas of reference. He tends to blow out of proportion every comment or gesture of his loved one.
Follow these behavioral tips, then no contact policy.
One, with the exception of the minimum mandated by the courts, decline any and all gratuitous contract with your stalker.
Number two, do not respond to his pleading, romantic, nostalgic, flattering or threatening email messages or other communications.
Number three, return unopened all gifts he sends him.
Number four, refuse him entry to your premises. Do not even respond to the intercom.
Number five, do not talk to your erotomaniac stalker on the phone. Hang up the minute you hear his voice while making clear to him in a single, polite but firm sentence that you are determined not to talk to him.
Do not answer his letters. Do not visit him on special occasions or in emergencies. Do not respond to questions, requests or pleas forwarded to you through third parties.
Disconnect from third parties whom you know are spying on you at the erotomaniac stalker's behest. Do not discuss him with your children. Do not gossip about him with others. Do not ask him for anything, even if you are in dire need.
When you are forced to meet him, do not discuss your personal affairs with him or his personal affairs. Avoid intimacy or any hint of intimacy. Relegate any inevitable contact with him, when and where possible, to professionals, your lawyer, your accountant.
Any contact with the erotomaniac stalker is interpreted by him as an incontrovertible, indisputable, unambiguous and unequivocal sign of your overpowering love for him. Avoid him and you avoid a serious potential danger.