What I want is the verb that has the meaning of "stalk", as in a person following someone he or she likes, but which doesn't have any negative meaning like "stalk".

For example,

She asked him, "Why don't you ask me out? You're always just verb me all the time."

Stalking is obviously illegal and considered a crime, but I want to know a verb that indicates a guy just following/chasing a girl he likes since he truly loves her. No bad connotation. And for the verbs "follow" or "chase", I wasn't sure either if I could use these or not.

4 Answers 4


Well, usually when a man loves a woman and follows her around he actually tails after her.

I'm not sure if they are common but here are some of the phrases I heard:

  1. to tail after - to follow someone or something
  2. to follow someone around/about - to follow someone wherever they go (I would stick to this expression in your context)
  3. to hound someone = to follow someone in a determined way in order to get something from them

Here's is what I suggest:

  1. She asked him, "Why don't you ask me out? You're following me around like a puppy all the time."
  2. She asked him, "Why don't you ask me out? You're tailing after me like a duckling all the time."

(...now that I re-read the question!)

I don't think there are any positive-sounding ways that the word stalking could be used.

I think most people would agree that the word implies at least a somewhat negative undertone. Although some would disagree. In that article it says:

The online world, in particular social networks, has meant the term ‘stalking’ has taken on a significantly different meaning. There are a whole range of activities that could be classified as ‘stalking’ which effectively water down the creepiness typically associated with closely following the activities of another person. Somehow it’s become ok to follow someone closely online, in a way that peeking through their windows at home will never be.

  • Then how about just "chasing" or "following" her? I tried to use these words but I wasn't sure if "chase" or "follow" could deliver what I want to say here, not just literally catching up with her.
    – dbwlsld
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 1:31
  • I think I should clarify. I wanna know the word that has the meaning of "a person is always around someone he or she likes for quite a long time " (as in "he's always around me." When guys are interested in someone, they usually find every opportunity to be near them.), not someone literally following or chasing who he or she likes 24 hours. Or would it be bettter to say just "You've always been around me for a long time." or something than to find a specific verb for this context?
    – dbwlsld
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 1:39

I don't think there is a term that is a positive synonym for stalking. The concept connotes prey of some kind. Witness, from Merriam-Webster (and much the same for other the sources I consulted):

stalk (verb)

Definition of stalk (intransitive verb)

1: to pursue quarry or prey stealthily

2: to walk stiffly or haughtily

(transitive verb)

1: to pursue by stalking

2: to go through (an area) in search of prey or quarry stalk the woods for deer

3: to pursue obsessively and to the point of harassment

Consider something like:

She asked him, "Why don't you ask me out? You're almost always hanging around."

That still doesn't come across as entirely welcoming, but I sense some exasperation from the speaker. (That's certainly what my response would be. Then, from the answer, I would have the opportunity to send him on his way. Or not.)


The problem here is that we are only partially talking about language. We are also talking about complex interactions of emotions and social convention. By starting with ”stalk,” you have created a framework that is necessarily negative. “Stalk” has a meaning that connotes predator and prey. From the standpoint of the prey, there is no positive aspect to that relationship.

Someone being interested romantically in someone else is not considered as being negative by most people although it may be annoying in some cases. No one believes that it is a crime for A to have a romantic interest in B even if B does not reciprocate. What are crimes are certain behaviors that may be motivated by a romantic interest.

You seem to pass the time with me a lot. If you like me, why don’t you ask me out?

That sentence does at least imply some level of annoyance, but not annoyance at being liked.

Here is where we get into the social and emotional. If male A is spending a lot of time with female B and B has no romantic interest in A, it makes neither social nor emotional sense for her to ask why A has not asked her out. That question is very likely to elicit being asked out. That question is a clue that B is at least curious about A.

It is hard to answer your question because you have not specified the circumstances that induce B to ask why A has not asked her out. Finding the right word requires context.

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