This is very embarrassing for me. As many are aware, I recently met a woman and we've been dating for over a month. She is divorced and pleaded with me to take things slow being I still do not have my final D decree. Like an over zealous school boy, I blew right through that advice and pushed the relationship to the limit. I know I did this because I became addicted to all the affection after not having it for so long in my now over M. I just felt so damn sure of myself.
Now, I'm really getting to know her and I'm seeing red flags all over the place, (e.g., control issues, tons of FOO and some weird neuroses). Also, she... after my pushing, has backed off *slow* and is invested pretty deep emotionally in our relationship. Please don't get me wrong here. I am not breaking it off with her (yet). However, *I* now want to slow things down until I get a handle on the red flags I spoke of. I so don't want to hurt this woman. Through my stupidity though, I fear I've set her up for just that.
How can I back off a little and slow things down without shooting daggers through her heart? When am I gonna learn to take advice and not knee jerk on things this important? Help please! Any advice (including 2x4's) is appreciated.
[This message edited by PanicAttack53 at 3:09 PM, June 12th (Wednesday)]
And next time, listen to what people tell you.
Last week I posted about how being a "nice guy" was hard because it was looked at by some as a red flag. I'm now starting to see how being one can be damaging and hurtful to someone else, especially if that nice guy is selfish and tries to push things for his own benefit. Not beating myself up here honest. Just realizing that I really don't know much about this new relationship stuff and also that I need to do more work on *me*.
Do you mean not be exclusive? Not spend every evening together? Not talk every day?
And in so far as red flags what do you mean? Because I hate to break it to you but everyone has FOO and less than stellar aspects of their personalities. Do you even know what your relationship dealbreakers are? Your must haves? Did you compare this woman to either of those lists before you started writing love poetry to her? It almost sounds like you're looking for romantic perfection and that's just not reality.
Maybe have a think about those dealbreakers and must haves. That might clarify for you what your best path here is vis a vis this woman. It'll also provide you with a way to approach her about this "slowing down" if you can articulate it in terms of who you are.
Did you start to see the red flags not so long after you first had sex?
I have a friend who for some reason has a lot of success getting women interested in him. I've heard several times from him about this "new, amazing woman," someone who he thinks might be so very special. Things get hot and heavy after a week or two, and they have sex.
Within days, his tune always changes. She has disturbing insecurities, personality issues, etc.
One could argue that these women start really opening up to him once they have sex, and he doesn't like what they reveal. But I suspect what really happens is that once the mystery is no longer a mystery, he starts to really see these women as imperfect human beings, rather than simply objects of desire. He wouldn't admit this, but it's happened often enough that it pretty much speaks for itself.
Any chance that's what happened here? It would be an easy trap to fall into. Not so sure I would be immune to it myself, if faced with affection from an attractive woman.
[This message edited by OnceInALifetime at 5:24 PM, June 12th (Wednesday)]
Just have a drink with her (without a big "we have to talk" build-up!) and explain what you are feeling. You don't have to go into the details of the red flags; that will just make her defensive. Explain that you rushed into things, need to back off some, but don't want to lose her. Say its not about anybody else; that you have a tendency to move to fast, etc...
I believe in honesty in any new relationship. Any less leaves the other going "wtf"? If she gets pissed off because you are being honest then this relationship is probably wrong for you.
I agree with other posters that honesty is the best policy here. Having an open conversation about what exactly you mean about slowing down is the best way to go. Be prepared to answer questions about why you need the time and space. Again, I think you want to be honest as gently as you can.
I became addicted to all the affection
This is what I do NOT want to happen to me. Coming out of this hell, my mantra is that I am not looking for a savior or to save anyone else. I have to be able to make myself happy, no matter how people treat me, and then I can start trusting again because I will know that even if I give into the feelings and start liking someone, I will be "okay" if things don't work out..
Given the struggles you are already sensing here, I think you guys are giving each other too much power and control over how the other one feels. I think you are healthy when it's okay if things don't work out. And I think you are dating someone healthy when you know they will be okay if things don't work out. Otherwise, I'm seeing too much co-dependency here..
Just realizing that I really don't know much about this new relationship stuff and also that I need to do more work on *me*.
That's where I'm at too
Did you start to see the red flags not so long after you first had sex?
Nope. Sex did not even enter the equation. It has been great from the start and still is. sorry if that's tmi.
@cayc, holy crap! That was "skip the 2x4"? Hate to see you really angry lol. Just kidding of course.
Seriously, I know I screwed up here but give me a break will ya? After a shitty M, a 3-1/2 year betrayal and almost finished D, don't I get any quarter at all here. My M was 38+ years and I'm new to all this. I'm bound to make some stupid mistakes along the way. BTW, I told you already that I wrote that poem but I *didn't* send it and most likely never will.
With that said, what I mean by *slow things down* is to try and not allow things to get to the point where she falls head over heals for me. While that may sound egotistic, it's not and only comes from not wanting to hurt her... if I haven't already. I want to try and calmly back up just a little until I can wrap my head around some of this.
The *red flags* I spoke of are 1. She tends to be somewhat controlling, e.g., tries to tell me what to wear, how to talk to others etc.. 2. She's a bit neurotic, e.g., tends to worry excessively about very small details and 3. She told me that she attaches too easily and won't let go... (she had a restraining order placed on her by her last BF) That was her unsolicited account to me of what happened BTW. I think those qualify just a little as red flags don't you?
Last but not least, I'm *NOT* looking for "romantic perfection". I'm not looking for any kind of perfection. Perfect is boring and also unrealistic. Everyone has flaws and warts. My definition of true love is seeing past those to the person beneath. May be naive of me but it's who I really am.
I do appreciate all your thoughts and will seriously take them into account.
Thanks to everyone else who replied and for the solid advice.
Are you feeling nervous to leave her now because of what she might say or do?? I would be!
I will pay the shipping on tons of quarters to you if you "slow things down" and "calmly back up" on this one. Sounds like she admits she deserved the restraining order, and that creeps me out more than a little..
Secondly, I would be bothered by the restraining order. What has she learned from this experience (if anything)? What is her version of what happened? I would want to find out more about this, as it is NOT normal behavior in the least.
Controlling . . . well, that is something you will need to decide whether or not you wish to put up with it.
Bottom line: don't try and control her actions, figure out whether you are okay with her, warts and all, and go from there. Slowing things down is really not effective--you need to figure things out before moving along.
This is why dating should be a "getting to know you" thing, not a rush to the finish line.
3. She told me that she attaches too easily and won't let go... (she had a restraining order placed on her by her last BF
Keep your eyes open here and be careful.
Besides that, her telling you what to wear and how to talk, well, that's just ridiculous.
It sounds like she wants you to be someone else.
"Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always." - Albert Schweitzer
Me: BW - Him: 200+ # tumor removed 7/09
DS - 33 - Yikes!
3. She told me that she attaches too easily and won't let go... (she had a restraining order placed on her by her last BF)
Oh hell no....there is no way I'd be involved with somebody who had an RO placed against them. It isn't easy to get one of these against somebody (I know because I got one against my exws), so her behavior had to be pretty extreme.
Let's face it; no matter what you say, you're going to come out looking like a shit in her eyes, so honor yourself by breaking it off as kindly as you can. Then work on your issues; maybe get a puppy for love and affection.
@Sad... Acting like an 18 y/o is unfortunately exactly what I'm doing. And I'm not using my 38+ Y M as an excuse but come on please! It was/still is the only adult life I've ever known. How do you except someone to come out of a situation like that and just *know* what the hell to do? Also, I didn't find out about these red flags immediately, they've just come up recently as we've begun to cover more ground in conversation.
@ajsmom... thank you! That short reply pretty much sums it all up for me.
@Cat... you're absolutely right about dating not being a sprint. No matter what happens in this relationship, it has at the very least been a good learning experience for me.
@ButterflyGirl... No, not really nervous about anything she may or may not do. Just trying to find a way to back things down without hurting her if I can. I know the reality is that I can't control that. Thing is that because of my past M, stbx's LTA and our false R, I am hyper sensitive about not wanting to inflict hurt on anyone if possible. I've felt that pain and know how horrible it is. Hope that makes sense.
ETA: I have one more red flag to add. I spent last night with her and made mention that I got a prescription for shoes due to being diagnosed with diabetes. When I told her I was waiting for special orthotics for inside the shoes, she laughed at me. It was a sarcastic mean kind of laugh and really through me for a loop! Two things immediately popped into my head... "Uncaring & Selfish". Maybe I read too much into it but it was weird just the same.
[This message edited by PanicAttack53 at 11:30 AM, June 14th (Friday)]
I am hyper sensitive about not wanting to inflict hurt on anyone if possible.
Sometimes the kindest thing you can do is be the bad guy. Be decisive, pull off the band aid, go no contact, move on with your life and let your ex move on with theirs. A slow amicable breakup might sound nice, but prolonged contact just confuses things and makes it harder to sever the emotional ties.