Dear Dategirl, A group of friends and I are having some trouble with a guy at school. We are in a small college, where avoiding people can be hard, and this is one guy we do not want to cross paths with. He's always going after my friends, who are sweet-tempered, innocent, kind, generous, smart girls. It sounds like a good match—a guy whose "type" is actually personality-based, but these girls have lives. He comes in and makes friends, then demands their full attention and devotion. If they spend two hours on homework and not with him, he gets angry and starts to talk about how "they are lucky that he's patient" to anyone who will listen! Unfortunately, the girls he picks are generally far too sweet to tell him to fuck off. Even after finally being told to go away he obsesses for months—like creepy, stalker-style obsession. To top it off, he's arrogant, selfish, demanding, and a know-it-all. We don't know what to do about this jackass. Is there ANY way, short of murder (unfortunately illegal), to make him shut up or at least go after crazy girls who want to be obsessed over?Maybe Castration?
College provides many valuable learning opportunities—most of which will take place outside of the classroom. For example, I learned how to make a foot-high Mohawk stand up straight with just a can of Aqua Net and a blow-dryer. I also learned that if I let the local crusty punks sleep over on my floor, my roommate would flee to her boyfriend's dorm room. You are discovering that men—especially when they're young, dumb, and coursing full of hormones—can be idiots. They get better as they age, believe me. While you're figuring out the male gender, hopefully your friends are being schooled in spinal development. They will soon discover that while being sweet and kind is very nice, along with being sweet, it's important that one develop and enforce boundaries. This is how you illustrate to others how you expect to be treated. Too many people (both men and women, but women especially) flip out at the idea that someone out there might think they're a (gasp!) bitch and either roll over or get apologetic when they finally stand up for themselves. I've been called the B- and even the C-word puh-lenty of times and I'm here to tell you, it's OK. Much worse is to be thought of as the D- (as in doormat) word. Maybe you kids should practice calling each other nasty names to help overcome your distaste. (And if you throw jelly at each other while doing so, I'll bet you can sell tickets.) Once you ladies grow a collective set, you'll find that you have been presented with a valuable opportunity to help this clod turn himself into a gentleman. If he persists in bothering your little coven (once your pussyfooting pals have mastered the art of saying "NO"), sit him down and tell him what's what. Explain, as a group (perhaps utilizing a pie chart or some handy graphs), exactly how his behavior is unacceptable. Emphasize that none of you are interested in dating him and because he's been such a putz, you're not particularly interested in befriending him unless he does some serious shaping up. Be nice, but be firm. Maybe this will wake him up, but more likely it'll piss him off and make him feel even more victimized. The upshot being that if he's that annoyed, he might avoid you. Finally, while arrogant and obsessive is a highly irksome combination, it hardly sounds death- or castration-worthy. Unless there's something truly scary you left out, it sounds like you might be overreacting to this knucklehead. However, if he's so persistent that you start to feel frightened (and, admittedly, his "you're lucky" statement is pretty creepy), then it's time to talk to your adviser and campus security—not an advice columnist. udy McGuire is the author of How Not to Date. Dating dilemmas? Write Dategirl at firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.