Just because you were creepy once doesn’t mean you have to be labeled so forever. Nor do you have to react like an incel who cannot accept that people can complain about your behaviors. Humans are incredible creatures capable of socializing in various structures and methods. We are capable of adapting to situations.
These men show that they don’t submit to bad behaviors and blame it on others without changing. Real men know when they need to stop and accept rejection without making a big fuss out of it. Here are 20 stories of men who had an ‘Aha!’ moment about their creepiness.
“When I broke up with my first serious girlfriend, I was totally heartbroken. I called her all the time, cried on the phone. I even threatened to kill myself and told her so. This went on for some time. Eventually, I threatened again to kill myself and went to bed drunk. I woke up to a voicemail from her crying her eyes out begging me not to do it.
I was so ashamed about my behavior. I realized in that message what I had become. It was absolutely her right, as it was mine, to end a relationship at any time for any reason, without being hounded and traumatized by the ex. I was evil and toxic.
I apologized and promised never to do it again. After that, I left her alone. I was still heartbroken, but I found comfort in my friends, and in activities and hobbies instead. I had several failed relationships after her, but I never again treated a woman this way. This was over fifteen years ago and now I am married. I have been tempted many times to contact her and apologize some more for my behavior, but the truth is, she is better off without me in her life. I hope she is well.” – Fire_The_Torpedo2011
“Man, it took me recognizing I was addicted to alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and sex. I had been aggressive toward women and objectifying them since I was a child. I think this happened because I was exposed to sex at such a young age. I thought all relationships were supposed to be how movies and shows were so I just emulated what I saw.
Once I got sober I realized how much of a monster I was and took the necessary steps to really implement change in my life. Lots of therapy. Lots of crying. Self-reflection as to why I was emulating that specific behavior, and quitting my addictions. It’s been a journey, but I’m happy to say I’ve been in a loving committed relationship with proper boundaries for a year now.” – Ghetto_Pinocchio
“I had to explain to my 50-year-old husband that young women do NOT find his interest a compliment.” – Winniemoshi
“They aren’t laughing because I’m funny, they’re laughing because they’re scared.” – kirixen
“It was this dude that tried to confess to the girl he liked by going to her apartment and make her dinner with candles, flowers and all that sh**. But then the girl came home and the first thing she said was, “Are you going to kill me?” – ilovthebooty
“I was 18, working at Six Flags. We got a new coworker at the ride I was mainly at and I took a liking to her instantly. I tried talking with her constantly and “cutely” blocked her path multiple times. This was all on her first day. The next she didn’t show back up.
That’s when I realized I had harassed her, all she wanted to do is just work and get some extra cash and I added stupid stress to that. I don’t interact with coworkers like that anymore. Even if I think I could have a chance, I leave them alone on that level.” – TehPharaoh
“I wasn’t being actively creepy, but I used to think cat-calling was just flirtatious compliments, and who doesn’t like those, right? I never cat-called anybody, largely because that’s not my personality type. But now I live by the motto: Never say something to a stranger that you wouldn’t want a big guy saying to you in prison.” – Luckboy28
“I used to have this older man always flirt & be unprofessional towards me at work when I first started, I was around 24 years old. After I had enough of his weird comments & flirting, I told him that he has a daughter the same age as me (which was true because he’d talk about his family at times) and that how would he like it if some older man was talking to his daughter like that and making sexual comments to her. He became less weird and flirtatious and more “regular” holding normal conversations. He moved shifts so I don’t even see him anymore.” – pwa09
“I’m guilty of this, though naively and innocently so. This sounds weird to me now, but I actually grew up in a household that valued back, neck, and shoulder rubs. I did this for a long, long time to people I was friends with, men and women. In my head, it was just a way of saying I cared.
In retrospect, it undoubtedly gave of a super-creepy vibe. I stopped once I saw it in context of someone else doing it to a woman, and her facial reaction to it. Then it just clicked. “Oh… OH… wow, that’s inappropriate…” – virgilreality
“One of the most eye-opening adages that helped me immensely was “Men are afraid women will reject them; women are afraid men will kill them.” That helped me to change my interactions in a way that was less likely to set off alarm bells in a woman’s mind.
Also, I learned to recognize when it’s not clicking and back off immediately (no matter what). I have always been a romantic though, and I strongly believe that bold displays of interest in the courtship phase are the foundation of a healthy relationship.” – CrushHazard
“In middle school, I was a mid-puberty, horniness-stricken, little perv. I didn’t do a good job of concealing it either, I would always get really close to my one friend because I liked her at the time, and looking back it was so wrong to do. It took me looking at what they were thinking and how my behavior affected them to really stop being creepy. Hindsight helps a lot as well.” – user1one-
“Hearing women complain and thinking ‘oh sh**, I’ve done that.’ Seriously has helped me improve a lot of things.” – jmn242
“Growing self-awareness that I wasn’t the center of the goddamn universe.
Went through a chasing-potential-girlfriends-too-hard phase in my earlier adult years, including mistaking simple offers of friendship and work colleague status for actual interest. It wasn’t a “stalking” level and it never reached the point of discipline (or even commenting), but it was probably to the point of being a little unprofessional and uncomfortable for the girl involved. That was decades ago and I’m now with a company that doesn’t tolerate that sort of thing.” – the_original_Retro
“I have five sisters, and hearing them talk about something creepy a guy did really made me check my own actions.” – MormonMacDaddy
“Reading threads on the internet… Reading complaints was like staring into a mirror and being horrified.” – Asteroth555
“Talking to women, becoming friends with women, changing my circle of friends, growing up, learning empathy, and the final nail in the coffin was sobriety.” – ruberusmaximus
“When I was in my late teens and early 20s I was constantly “chasing girls” as the expression goes. Nobody ever seemed to take offense to it, that kind of behavior seemed expected. Plus, I always seemed to be able to find someone who was interested in hooking up.
Then I got married so obviously I stopped. I found myself single again 10 years later and quickly reverted to my old ways. It wasn’t long before I realized that things that I could get away with at 21 no longer worked at 32. In fact, based on the reactions of a couple of women, I realized I was being creepy. Of course, the women I was pursuing were older too.
I realized I had to take a more mature approach. Things went much better after that, but I still cringe to think of some of my early attempts to get back in the game.” – WYMYZR
“I had ruined 2 friendships in a week cause I was getting blackout drunk and trying to sleep with them. That’s also what made me realize alcohol is terrible.” – strange1738
“My best friend was actually the creepy guy. We were both freshmen in college and virgins, and I was an attractive woman who spoke to him. It took me leaving a party because he wouldn’t stop putting his hands on my shoulders and a guy friend of mine walking up to him a few days later (not at my bidding, he just decided to do it on his own) and telling him, “You make Minaowl really uncomfortable, stay away for her.” He apologized to me and gave me space, but we were still in the same social circles, so we saw each other around and gradually became really good friends. He has apologized for making me uncomfortable multiple times, and once over a year after that party, he turned to me and just said, “I’m so sorry for that night.” – Minaowl
“Maturity finally caught up with me. I had one particularly bad experience with a girl “A” who I think was genuinely interested in me at one point, but I was super awkward and didn’t have a clue how to act right, so I never really made a move beyond sad attempts at flirting, and so I think she eventually just thought I was a weirdo who wouldn’t leave her alone.
Then one day we were both in a big group of people just talking and a mutual friend completely out of the blue suggested that A should ask me out, and what followed was possibly the single most uncomfortable moment of my entire life to date. “A” pretty much turned white and she was out of there. I’m sure she believed that I had put our mutual friend up to it. I had not. If anything I was just as horrified.
That single event shattered my self-confidence so completely that I spent the next year and a half actively avoiding any kind of conversation or interaction with girls because I had concluded that I must be a creep and therefore the right thing to do was to protect girls from my creepiness by isolating myself. Eventually, I kind of figured myself out and by my early 20s I was still awkward as hell but I managed to have a couple of relationships and plenty of platonic female friendships.” – Granxious