As I’ve mentioned before, my BFF is dating a douchebag. They’ve had lots of issues and problems in a short period of time and the guy is just one giant red flag. They had some issues in the first month that they seemed to be able to resolve recently, and with lots of drama. After that she felt better so I tried to let it go and basically, if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I didn’t say anything at all. I figured that if she was happy, I would try to be happy for her, or at least fake it for the sake of our friendship.
They had a pretty big falling out late last week (in which her insecurities due to the above-mentioned issues played a big part) which resulted in lots of drama over the weekend. We’re talking highschool shit, people. Yes, I felt bad for my BFF because I know she was hurt and disappointed, but overall it was a little ridiculous for two nearly 40 year olds who have known one another for just six weeks, and a rocky six weeks at that. And, on her end, the things he did were just extensions of the things he’d already been doing and the things he did in his last two relationships, so I’m not sure why she was so surprised. He showed her who he was, she just didn’t want to see it. But that’s me, I’m analytical. She is very emotional and I know she’s going through some tough stuff in general, and with those emotions, the facts are very cloudy.
It took just a couple days for her to go from “broken” (her words, not mine) and crying her eyes out to giving him another chance while making excuses for him and blaming herself for the things he’d done. She went from “I don’t put up with shit – I’m outta there” to all the reasons why she should give him another chance and why I should support her. It was frustrating for me, to say the least, and we got into it a little. But, after I said what I had to say, I had to tell her to do what she feels is right and I will do my best to be there for her. Afterall, she went through some pretty frustrating times with me and The Ex. I cried wolf several times up until the very end. That being said, if she were invested, there were kids/families involved, they shared a home, etc., I would be more supportive and remind her that long-term relationships have rough patches, but six weeks in? Yeah, time to bail.
My point of this post was not to discuss her dilemma and my frustrations (even though writing it out felt really, really good), but to talk about red flags in dating. This guy has several plus some obvious co-dependency issues that may or may not be linked to one, or more, of them. I think that, at my age, some baggage is expected. There will always be one issue to get around such as: kids, exes, finances, past addictions, health problems, prior brushes with the law, and probably more that I can’t come up with at the moment. On top of that quantifiable baggage, there are the effects of such baggage, i.e., the emotional stuff caused by the baggage or vice versa. Not everyone can have a bad experience and filter everything away but the lessons learned and become a better person for it. In a perfect world? Yes. But realistically, I think it’s rare, especially when we’re talking multiple red flags, not just one or maybe two.
Where does one draw the line? At one red flag or two? Is it a case-by-case scenario? Or, the more red flags someone has, the more time you take to get to know someone to see how those things affect him, his life, your potential life together? Does it depend on the chemistry? For example, the more drawn you are to someone the more issues they are allowed? Or is that faulty logic because you’re allowing yourself to invest in someone, to fall for someone, that is probably really fucked up? Are you more aware of red flags in the internet dating world versus real life because of the getting to know a person aspect and if they are on the ‘net you can just decline anything further? Or, do you look at yourself, and your red flags first?