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How can I spot the red flags in the future?

Published on January 23, 2012 by blue21209

For nine months, I had been dating a guy that I met in the workplace. He told me from day one that he was looking for a serious relationship. We immediately hit it off (in my eyes) and would see each other on the weekends and stay over each others houses and get together one day during the week. He also wanted to wait and not have sex so that our relationship would be strong and we would connect on an emotional level first. I thought waiting was wonderful, since I was used to men wanting to have sex by the third date. So we waited and waited. By the fifth month, I was ready to have sex or at least oral sex but he said that he was not ready and wanted to wait a little longer. So we waited. In the meantime, we saw each other all the time and he called twice a day (morning and evening to just talk).
I took him to family events, introduced him to my parents and friends because I thought we were happy together. One thing, though, he didn't want anyone at work to know about us because he said that could cause problems. I honored his request; however, a couple of months into the relationship, he asked me if it was alright that he tell his good friend John (who is also my boss) about us. I agreed, and my boss was very happy for us. To fast forward, he decided to plan a 7 day cruise for my November birthday. I did not ask him for this cruise but was excited to go away with him for 7 days. I should also bring up that I did not see him for three weekends before the cruise as he was in one of his "moods." We still talked on the phone every day, but he said that he was working on getting his basement done with his friend "Victor." About a week before the cruise, we resumed seeing each other and he seemed really excited about going away. We had a very nice time on the cruise, did not talk about work at all (one of his pet peeves with me was that I talked about work), and got along great (I thought). Still, no sex. He did claim that he tried to wake me up one night on the cruise but I was dead asleep.
When we got back from the cruise, everything was fine, we celebrated thanksgiving with my family, and all was well so I thought. We continued to see each other, talk twice a day, etc. On December 30th, I had to undergo some tests for a health issue that I was having. I called him when I left the doctor's office and I asked him what was wrong. He had been acting a little distance for the past 4-5 days. He finally said on the phone (the day before new year's eve) that he couldn't do this anymore. He needed to go find the "one" and I wasn't it (he is divorced twice but said the first wife had mental health issued and the second wife was mean). He said he didn't love me, he didn't like that I talked about work a lot, he didn't like that I didn't give good back rubs, and he didn't feel "safe" with me and that he could tell me anything. He said he didn't connect with me and didn't like some parts of my personality. He also said that he didn't feel comfortable telling me that he had been paying for his ex-girlfriend's cell phone bill the entire time we were dating. He returned my house key the next day and that was it. He is gone, but left me dazed, confused, and shocked. In the future, how do I protect myself from investing so much time and emotions in someone that walked away from me in a split second.

ANSWERS

Well, for starters, he should not have a key to your house until you are married or at least until you hit the year and a half mark....waiting to have sex is a great thing. My husband and I waited until our honeymoon (we weren't virgins, but we were celibate when we met). I think that in a case like this, you couldn't have known. He was attentive (for the most part it seems), caring and led you to believe that everything was fine. He may have simply noticed something that caused him to be distant those 4-5 days and decided to end it. From what you are saying on here, it doesn't seem like he was playing games with you. He was just trying to see if you were "it" for him and determined that you are not.

It sounds like to me that his request for postponing sex was not a good sign. I know most of us girls thinks that has got to be a good man, but since he would never engage in intimate sex with you, he did not want to connect with you on that level. Sex can deepen a relationship's bond, so therefore since he kept putting off any sex, he did not feel connected to you. I dont understand why he continued in the relationship when he had to know deep down that maybe you were not the right one for him. That was disrespectful to you. Dont beat yourself up, though. Just be glad he is gone, and that you are now free to meet the right guy in the future.

Well, I think it depends on the guy. Some do it because they want to connect with a woman on a different level, maybe having sex too soon had a negative impact on their last relationship. Some do it because they want to avoid intimacy and some do it because of physical problems. There are other ways to deepen a bond. It seems like he was trying to find those ways. Especially after being divorced, it makes sense that he would want to be sure the next one is "the one". To say that it is definitely a bad sign could cause her to miss out on a great guy that wants to wait. People are too quick to have sex these days. Anyway, no sex is not a definite bad sign, but I would say it is something to consider a red flag if he isn't providing a reason as to why he doesn't want to do it.

Generally, if a man is not trying to have sex with you, it is because he is not attracted to you that way. This guy might have enjoyed your company and hoped that an attraction would develop. It is often hard for women to accept, a guy not finding them sexually attractive, but chemistry is everything to spark a romantic relationship. It sounds like he has issues, and you will never know what they really are.

As a gay man myself my gaydar goes off immediately when I read your question. I suspect you've been dating a deeply closeted gay man who out of his own confusion feels he needs a woman in his life for cover. Chances are that even if you ask him he won't admit it. However his "moods" where he disappears for periods of time, his time with Victor "remodeling' and his general lack of interest in physical intimacy all raise red flags for me.

Here are a few things to look for in anyone you date:

  1. Does your date hide part of their life from you or others? See if your date compartmentalizes their life. is work kept secret from personal life? Are there aspects of this person's life that they keep from you for reasons not explained? Transparency is one of the keys to relationship. People that won't let you in to parts of their life are hiding something.

  2. Does your date make themselves emotionally available and emotionally vulnerable once they get to know you? People with "moods" that cause them to withdraw for significant periods of time, people who get angry to avoid talking about difficult emotions, and people who are emotionally shut down or distant are not available for true intimacy; the intimacy of the heart which is communicated through deep undefended sharing. People who can't be emotionally intimate and vulnerable are emotionally immature.

  3. Is your date a kind person when they aren't being watched? is your date a person who automatically moves towards a compassionate response even though nobody will notice? Pay attention to how they respond to the less fortunate you see on the street. Notice how they talk about people at work or acquaintances that are struggling with a personal issue. Are they critical and derisive or are they compassionate and able to recognize that the person is suffering. Date people who have a kind heart.

  4. Is your date a positive force in your life? Even if your date doesn't agree with you is he able to tell you he sees things differently without trying to make you feel less than? Are you both able to disagree without having to make the other one wrong? Are you both able to recognize that two different points of view are clashing but that neither one of you is wrong? Look to date those who are unconditionally accepting even when they don't agree. This doesn't mean that your date might not try to talk you into their point of view but it does mean they are not trying to make you wrong or less then.

  5. Does your date take responsibility for his life or is every bad thing that happened to him always someone elses fault? Every relationship failure has fault on both sides. Can your date admit partial responsibility for failed relationships in his past? In the example above one previous wife is mentally ill and one is "mean." I have to wonder, what was his role in these situations and what was his responsibility. Make sure your date doesn't blame the world for his struggles. That is the victim mentality. Don't date victims.

Look for these qualities in the men you date and you should be able to filter out those men who are not genuine but are instead putting on a good show for some perceived reason of their own that even they may not be completely aware of.

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