Red flags, or 11/7 part 2

Today I ran into a former fling at the mall as I was leaving work. The feelings are gone, but running into him still momentarily threw me. Fortunately, this girl with amazing blue lips and beautiful pastel pink hair crossed my path right before I had to cross his, distracting me as I complimented the aforementioned features.

I casually said hey, accepted his response and continued on my way determined not to look back. That’s life, right? Our casualness around people who maybe have gotten to us before is really a mental game of saying don’t look because there’s nothing good there.

Every time I see him (and every guy I’ve been entangled with), I run through the details of the experience in my head. This means I beat myself up again for being so stupid and ignoring the red flags.

For example: when he tells you he works every single night of the week, when he doesn’t ask about your life, when he tells you to let him know when you’re free but is never available, when he won’t date you, when he won’t see or acknowledge you in public, when he will hang out with you for weeks but never talk about anything more than the weather, etc.

[On the off chance one of my past encounters reads this, don’t flatter yourself and think I’m talking only about you. I’ve dated enough duds to create a generalized caricature and you’ve pretty much all treated me the same way. Which is cool, I guess? Moving on]

Later in the evening, my mother and I were discussing 90 Day Fiance for some reason and she described a relationship where the guy was so clearly using her for citizenship but she wouldn’t see it. Arrogantly I thought that could never happen to me, but the more I let my mind wander, mixing in with the encounter from today, I realized yeah I totally could.

I don’t like admitting that. I wish I could say I would never be so stupid, but I would wager most of the people who get conned and catfish believe the same thing. They justify their red flags the same way I justify mine.

He’s different. He’s really busy. He once smiled at me so he must really like me. We shared something different. I’m a cool girl I don’t need constant attention. He actually loves me and isn’t using me.

Sure, they’re at different levels, but the idea remains. When we want something to work and we want someone to love us, we excuse almost anything and lie to ourselves to keep the vision alive. We can’t admit that maybe he is like the rest. We don’t want to wait anymore.

I’m so sick of waiting. I’m not the kind of girl to casually date a lot. When I give you a chance, it means I see something in you that really really appeals to me and I don’t want to lose that or accept you don’t feel the same way. I don’t want to admit that maybe it isn’t right because that means starting over again and acknowledging I was wrong again.

I convince myself it’s real and allow myself to get cracked again because I see the red flags and think maybe they’re green for go.

What’s the point of all this? Maybe that I am learning to not look back. Maybe I ignored the red flag before, but now I see it clearly. When I look at the people in my past, I don’t see what I lost rather where God spared me.

By continuing to walk, I realize I’m moving toward my future and away from all the men who held me back. That future is greater than just a relationship. It’s saying goodbye to all the doubt I let rule my life. For too long I told myself I wasn’t good enough and I wasn’t loveable and stuck to what I could control instead of taking a leap of faith for what I love.

Or maybe I ran into a guy I used to like at the mall and walked away after saying hello like an adult. It’s late and maybe I’m too philosophical. Idk.

 

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