A few weeks ago, I met a new guy. He seemed great. Cute, liked to dance, maybe a little rusty at this game of dating, sweet, and best of all – he really liked me! It’s been a long time since a man called me beautiful and doted on me. Those first moments were blissful and exciting!
And as the days went on, the shiny wore off, like cheap silver plate. As he shared more of himself with me, he held nothing back. He laid all his baggage at my feet, the good and the bad. While a part of me can appreciate his utter honesty about the life he’s led, I prefer to learn those things about someone over time. I was a bit overwhelmed, but since none of the things I’d learned were deal breakers by themselves, I decided to push on and write it off to his enthusiasm for a budding relationship.
Under the shiny exterior, as I started learning more about him, I caught glimpses of the yellow and red flags that would eventually light my way to the exit. I know I’m picky about dating guys. My friends tease me about how fast I can spot a fatal flaw in a relationship. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve held bets on how long it would take me to find it with some of the guys I’ve dated. I wonder what the odds are in Vegas on that?
I honestly wasn’t looking for the fatal flaws. I never do. But there are deal breakers for me in relationships, and when I spot one, I’m not going to waste my time or his. I’m a “rip the band aid off fast” girl. Life is short, and I’m not spending one more minute being miserable than I have to.
So when he started displaying signs of controlling and insecure behavior, the red lights started flashing. Asking me to cancel plans with a friend in order to meet his friends is a big no no in my book. And shortly after, the insecure, needy texts – Where are you? Did you get my text? Why aren’t you answering? Did I say something to offend you? I really like you, why aren’t you answering me? I don’t know why you aren’t answering – maybe my texts aren’t coming through?
No kidding. One night. All those texts and more. I’m not even sure how many phone calls there were because after the first three texts came within an hour or two, I shut my phone off and went to the movies. By myself. Best date night ever. The next morning I broke up with him. I knew that if he needed constant contact, reassurance and control over my time, I’d quickly feel smothered and resentful. No matter how much I like someone, I still need to be me in a relationship.
I know none of us are confident in ourselves 100% of the time. We all have insecure moments. But at least I can recognize my insecurity rising and have learned how to handle those moments without derailing my relationships. I’d say that I wish other people would figure that out as well, but then I wouldn’t get to write blogs about my crazy dating life. Remember the clam chowder incident? Oh, I’ll tell you about it sometime...