There’s a fine line between being a little awkward with the opposite sex and being creepy. As explained by reddit user saigonsquare, that line can be expressed using the following formula: Creepiness = (Awkwardness x Forwardness / Attractiveness) ^ Persistence.
While intended as one of the world’s most long-winded jokes, the formula actually contains some useful points if you want to avoid turning into a creeper. For example, the persistence modifier can take even a well-meaning, mostly harmless approach and turn it sour:
Persistence is bad news. Persistence is when you don’t take “no” for an answer. Persistence is when you apply pressure, is when you get aggressive or defensive, and is when you demand explanations for why I won’t date you. At high levels, persistence is when you start to give off rape vibes. Persistence is what you get when someone believes they are entitled to sex with me or entitled to a relationship with me, and my opinion on the matter is an inconvenience. Persistence is a creepiness multiplier. An awkward, unattractive dude who says “ey, you got nice tits, I got a nice dick, so, wanna fuck” then leaves when I say no? He’s creepy, yes. A dude who is otherwise normal but who won’t leave me alone? Way creepier.
The formula even accounts for the effect that wanted persistence can have on a courtship attempt. In keeping with the Principle Attractiveness Law, which states “Be handsome. Be attractive. Don’t be unattractive,” when the awkward and forward numerator is exceeded by the attractiveness denominator, persistence amplifies how wanted the attention is. Unless that persistence turns awkward or forward by itself:
Yes. I think that works though! If find you attractive and non-aggressive, then nonspecific I will probably want nonspecific you to continue to pay attention to me. If the attention becomes overly unwanted or inappropriate, though, then the numerator goes up and that persistence snaps the equation into full blown creepiness.
Of course, as with any formal, mathematical formula for dating and relationships, the Unified Creepiness Theory is total hokum when applied as a rule. There’s no such thing as a magic scientific theorem that will make people like you. However, if you’re trying to learn the ropes and improve your confidence level when dealing with someone you’re attracted to, there’s a lot of good conversation and advice to be found at the source link.
Creepiness Quotient [Reddit]