Paraphrased email from reader.
Q- Hello Koya, I have recently started dating a gentleman I met on a night out with my friends. He was very intense and into me from the very beginning – he told me what he wanted from our relationship from the word go and I threw caution to the wind because we had a great vibe. He wanted us to label the relationship a week into talking to each other – he love bombed me from the first week however, I also noticed certain red flags which I ignored because I have the tendency to overthink things. He omitted some details about his life and these were big issues I needed to know as these would have affected my decision to be in a relationship with him. When I asked him about it, he told me that it was too early in the relationship to share such details and made it seem like I was making a big deal out of nothing. A few weeks into the relationship, I noticed that things had to always be done on his terms. He would disrupt my sleep to speak to me but will point out how tired he was and needed his sleep when the tables were turned. Plans with him was never a definite, it was always a maybe so if I confronted him about cancelling or not showing up then it would be my fault for making definite plans on a maybe. For weeks, he kept cancelling our plans but would meet other people during the time we were meant to meet – when I asked him, he would get upset and it would turn into an argument. He got upset if I was unable to answer his calls and would proceed to ignore my calls. I decided to end things and deleted his details and messages – he called apologising and telling me he loved me and wanted to see me immediately but cancelled again last minute. Am I overthinking things or is it time to cut my losses – I am now emotionally invested because I really like him but he always leaves me feeling bad than good. Please advise – I am confused.
A – If they leave you confused then they are not for you. There is so much to unpack here regarding how this person has behaved as well as how you have allowed them to treat you. First, you need to break your own heart so you can heal and learn from this experience – use this relationship as a reminder of what you do not want your future relationship to look like. Cut off all contact with this person and move on – from what you have written, you have tried to dialogue and nothing positive has come out of these dialogues, if anything, you have been made to doubt yourself by highlighting the behaviours of this person. This is not healthy and will contribute to you ignoring red flags in the future because you will lose trust in yourself. There is nothing wrong with meeting someone who is intense and living in the moment, however, do not ignore your core values or who you are. Are you someone who likes to take things slow? If that is the case, then why did you ignore who you are to entertain this person’s demand? Were you looking to do things differently from how you have always done things? And if you were, had you put measures in place to ensure that you did not entertain everything and lose yourself in the process? Sometimes we are blinded by our need to connect and have someone in our corner that we ignore our expectations to accommodate people and we even go as far as making excuses for the behaviours they demonstrate which we know are not good for us.
You should have ended things when he decided to omit information that would have influenced your decision to be in a relationship with him. This person knew that this piece of information is important and instead of giving you the chance to decide if this was something you could deal with, they lied by omitting this from your initial conversation. This is a huge red flag and I am sure there are more important information they are withholding from you which they will spring on you eventually. Yes, there are certain information that can be shared as things progress but certain information needs to be on the table at the beginning especially if it would affect the other person and from your email, it seems this information would affect you because of your relationship with this person. A relationship should not be one sided and just as it is important to share vital information, it is also important that from the beginning there is a 50/50 effort from both parties. This applies even in friendships – if you find that you are having to make sacrifices and the other person is merely making offerings, then it is time to reconsider things. Sometimes, a compromise is required in certain situations but it should not be one sided – both parties must be willing to compromise to accommodate each other. A partner that wants you to sacrifice your sleep but not theirs so they can talk to you does not respect you. I assume you have a job and not having enough sleep will affect your performance at work – but they would risk you underperforming at work from lack of sleep so they can talk to you. I know how new relationships can be – you want to talk to the person all the time and you forfeit sleep just to keep the conversation going but it should not be one sided and should not affect one person only. At some point, you should have prioritised what was important to you and make sure your boundaries were back in place after the initial stage of the relationship.
It also sounds like this person suffers from abandonment issues and I can predict that as things progressed, you talking to other people in his presence would have been an issue. Certainly, this person knows you had a life before he came alone and therefore you are not sitting by your phone waiting for it to ring. I can imagine how awkward the next phone call must have been – I used to know someone who had the same issues and I found I was explaining myself for missing calls and that was not good for my mental health so I ended things. Life is still happening outside of this relationship and not answering a phone call should not lead to an argument and your calls being ignored when you tried to return the call. From your email, it is clear you were not intentionally ignoring their calls and you should not be made to feel bad for doing life and therefore missing a call. This person did not respect your time and this is greatly demonstrated in their inconsistency when it came to making plans and him canceling them – especially last minute. I have a rule – three strikes and you are out! If plans are made and someone cancels on me three times, that’s it for me. Time is of the essence and spending time with each other will strengthen the relationship – so, if this person is choosing to spend time with other people by cancelling plans with you, then he is not that into you. Also, if someone is into you, they would make definite plans and commit to these plans but from all indication, they are available to other people, just not to you. I hate the disappointment of cancelling your own activities to accommodate spending time with someone else only for them to toss aside your plans like it meant nothing to them at all.
You are not overthinking – your gut has been warning you all this time and I encourage you to trust your brain. At the end of the day, you have lived with yourself longer than anyone and if a situation or person is off, you would be best to pick up on it. There are so many narratives out there that call people, especially women, crazy when they pick up on things that do not seem right and this has led to many doubting themselves. We all overthink, but in your case, you are not overthinking and there are enough evidence to back you on your decision to end things. End things and be resolute – this person will come on strong with apologies and emotional manipulations – ignore them and move on. There is more on the other side of this relationship for you and that is what you should be looking forward to. Yes, a relationship is two people going together to do life, but don’t lose your individuality and ignore things you would not outside of the relationship. Break your own heart by walking away from this person and not engaging them again and it is only then will you find the strength to heal, learn and make better choices going forward. There is no need for closure – their behaviour is closure enough and please stop throwing caution to the wind, your gut cautions you because something is not right and until you find out what it is, don’t throw it away.
Thank you so much for getting in touch and sharing your experience – I would love to hear from my dear readers so we can effect change by sharing our experiences.