11th June 2020 at 11:13 pm #106035
Hey, so I’ve been single since (detail removed by moderator). I dipped my toe in online dating recently and got chatting to a man. He seems nice and makes me laugh but I’m worried I still don’t see the red flags. I have never had a normal relationship so I don’t really know what’s normal in the early stages. We chat sporadically, not everyday and not all day, which I think I prefer from the constant all day every day texting. We arranged to meet for a walk and it went well, no awkwardness or anything. He text after and told me he liked me. He text the next day briefly and then couple days later arranged another date. This time at his house, with intentions to keepnthe 2metres apart. So that’s (detail removed by moderator). Although i feel ok but the texting every other day initated by him,arranging dates in advance, not overly complimentary. I do wonder if this is what normal is? I definitely feel better with this slow pace, not overwhelmed, don’t feel I’m being love bombed there’s a niggling doubt that I’m missing something. Obvs on the other side of the coin I wonder if he’s not that interested and that’s why he isn’t coming on strong. Can someone tell me what is considered normal in the early days of dating? I’m mortified at my age I don’t know but I am determined not to end up trapped in another abusive relationship. I have no intention of ever telling him my history and if he’s a good guy I don’t want to scare him off with a massive wall up or acting weird. Help I think I like him????
12th June 2020 at 8:57 am #106049Wants To HelpParticipant
It’s good he’s taking it slow and not rushing you, but going to someone’s house for a second date with someone you don’t know well is not a great idea in my opinion. Call me ‘old fashioned’ but that is not in the ‘rules of dating’ lol.
There is a great book called IT’S JUST A DATE by Greg Behrendt that is funny but ‘oh so true’ when it comes to dating. It’s my dating bible and I’ve followed the advice in it over the years and have managed to use it to sift out the abusers.
I had some great group DA counselling where we covered the concerns about dating again and how to spot any red flags from potential suitors. These are the three areas of their life you seek to find information on very early on. I manage to slip these queries in to my first date. Based on the answers, they often don’t get a second date!
From what you have written, the good signs are he’s not love bombing and he’s not coming on strong. However, the ‘niggling doubt’ is the MASSIVE sign you should not ignore. Whatever it is, you know something’s not quite right, so try the questions below.
Q1. How do you get on with your ex girlfriend/wife? (especially if they have children together).
Casually discuss how their last relationship ended, establish what he thinks of his ex and how he treats her now. It he speaks respectfully about her and the relationship ended mutually or without issue, he sees the children regularly, no contact orders needed to see them, both parents still go together to support their child at school events or for achievement awards etc, then that’s great.
Those men who s**g off their ex, tell you she’s a right b***h and was a ‘complete psycho’, she took out a restraining order against him so now he’s taking her to court to get the kids off her (believe it or not, I had a first date with a guy who told me all that!), well… those guys get Date 1 cut short 🙂
Q2. How do they get on with female family members?
Talk about his family and who is in it. How does he get on with his mum? His sisters? Female relatives? If he talks about women in his family respectfully then it’s a good sign. Even if family members have now passed away, how did he get on with them when they were alive. If he speaks of his mum in a strong and positive role within the family that is a good sign. If he speaks of her in a way that shows weakness then it’s not so good. What’s his relationship like with sisters if he has any? If he treats his female family members with respect and positivity then these are good signs.
Q3. Find out about his long standing friends, are there any from childhood?
Abusive men don’t tend to hold on to close friendships. Their friends come and go as they only need them for as long as they are useful. They are unable to form lasting bonds with people. Abusive men often tend to have no friends that go back to their childhood days and will likely have acquaintances from work or gym etc. Many who have been married are no longer in contact with the person who was ‘best man’ at the wedding.
If I’d have known this before I met my ex, then his answers to those questions would have been a red flag to me as he’d have failed big time.
Ask this guy lots of things about himself. Guys love it when we show interest in them! If he is reluctant to talk about his past and turns the conversation back to you and jovially tells you “less about me, let’s talk about you, I want to know all about YOU” then these are things to be wary of.
An abuser will look for signs in you that he knows he can use to make you his next prey. Any sign of vulnerability or hurt from the past is what they look to pick up on. They are seeking ways they can use you to their advantage. Be guarded on how much you give away about yourself in the early stages with little in return from him. Getting to know someone in the early stages of dating is a mutual exchange of information and looking for signs of compatibility or clashes.
If you like him and want to see him again but not feel comfortable going to his house then suggest another meet up for a walk in a busy park. If he gets annoyed at this and puts pressure on you to go to his house then that’s a red flag. A decent guy will thoroughly respect and understand why a woman may feel uncomfortable with going to his house on a second date and will happily meet up at a place where she does feel comfortable.
12th June 2020 at 7:03 pm #106121
Thanks for the advice. We have rearranged for another walk (detail removed by moderator)instead. I didn’t need to explain why, he was understanding and nice about it. I’ll try get those questions in then.
12th June 2020 at 8:32 pm #106139CamelParticipant
This is interesting. I think the problem is that abuse comes in many guises. I escaped one abuser (controlling, jealous) and very soon after ended up with another (not controlling or jealous but a chronic liar and gambler and rapidly dependent on me for a home and money.) It’s a good thing to have your antennae up!
Ask yourself some questions. Are you actually attracted to this new man. Are you interested in him and what he has to say? Or are you just grateful someone is interested? Do you feel you can contact him or do you feel you have to wait for him to make contact? Can you suggest places to meet or do you just agree to his arrangements? Do you feel comfortable if you say no to his suggestions?
Refusing to compromise yourself in these early stages is very positive and the very least you should be doing to look after yourself x
13th June 2020 at 12:33 am #106169
I think I’m definitely attracted to him. I don’t mean this in an arrogant way but I get a lot of male attention, vast majority of it unwanted, so I don’t feel particularly desperate. He has now pointed out that I never text him first, not in a nasty way more like just asking why. He doesn’t dictate plans, we discuss it together. I have a feeling he might actually be normal. In the past I didn’t know that what I thought was normal was abnormal so couldn’t see the red flags. Im been over cautious now I think but I figure if he is a good guy and he genuinely likes me then he will be patient and understanding. Think ill do some more reading before the date just to refresh my knowledge. I just wish these losers would have a big red flag flying from their head. I just hope if he does end up like the rest I will recognise it and be strong enough to leave. It’s horrible feeling scared of every man and seeing them as potential abusers. Im also scared he’s normal and he will run a mile when he realises how damaged I am, just cant win really
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