7 comments on “More on #4 (Dating Red Flags pt 2)

  1. Definitely the two of you were clearly on different “paths” as it sounds like she was already compiling her own list of ‘red flags’ along the way. To her, ‘love bombing’ and ‘needing to be needed’ was her comfort zone for how a relationship should be. I feel I can say this coming out of my own codependent relationships in the past, as I felt this ‘pull’ when I first started dating after separation. However it was fairly clear to me early on that this was not the way healthy relationships should be, and I was also doing the very hard work of dealing, healing and re-wiring. That in combination with uncommunicated expectations like you say…is a very challenging set up for a serious relationship and I think can only lead to easily falling into a relationship with someone else who is narc/codependent (which is why I nixed and took breaks from dating many times) Again, giving me much to think about, thanks for your willingness to share this Stephen.

    • Hi Aveline,

      I agree, Match #4 and I were on different “paths”. And yes, she was also compiling her own list of red flags. During our last call she started to mention some of them. It seemed she didn’t agree with very many aspects of how I approached our relationship, which makes it odd that she continued to pursue a relationship with me if I wasn’t giving her what she was looking for in a relationship.

      I agree, I think she felt uncomfortable that I wasn’t ‘love bombing’ her or acting like I ‘needed’ her. She even once told me that she thought I was ‘too independent’. She seemed very frustrated that I wouldn’t do all I could to cater my free time around her schedule. I told her “if we don’t have anything planned and I’m free, I’m going to be doing my own thing”. She said she understood that, but her actions said otherwise. I truly think she expected me to attempt to spend all my free time working around her available free time (aka love bombing).

      I hear you on the rewiring part and the ‘pull’ aspect of codependency. It’s all quite hard to undo. I have found myself having to resist letting things proceed too fast. I have had to force myself to take the time to objectively evaluate the situation before becoming overly involved emotionally. It’s a work in progress, but it is definitely getting better. This recent round of dating has shown me just how critical it is to move beyond my codependent past.

      Uncommunicated expectations in a relationship are the worst, and are very prevalent in an enmeshed relationship. I had similar issues with my NxGF who would act like I should be able to read her mind, even going as far as to tell me “you know what’s wrong, stop being so stupid!”.

      Good job listening to your gut and realizing that you needed to take some time to reevaluate your approach! That’s excellent! It’s the only way to stop putting the same record on repeat again and again.

      If you read the original post, it’s quite interesting that all the women either showed codependent traits or NPD / BPD traits. It’s one or the other it seems. The goal is to find someone that has none of those traits.

      Always happy to share, and I’m glad you found this helpful.

      Stephen

  2. Since your bike and your band are so important to you, maybe you could meet someone at one of your concerts?

    • Honestly, the type of women that are throwing themselves at me at midnight when I’m on stage are not long term relationship material. I have many musician friends, and very few have met their significant others at a gig.

      In my opinion, common interests are only a piece of a relationship. Yes, it helps to have many common interests, but it’s not a deal breaker in my opinion. If both parties are OK with the other pursuing their ‘thing’ while the they pursue their ‘thing’ then it can work.

      Honestly, right now I’m taking a break from dating for the foreseeable future, primarily to work on me. There are some aspects of me that I want to address, and it is much easier to address such aspects without the encumberances of a new relationship. More to follow on this topic.

      Stephen

      • I hear you that finding a good match is frustrating. I don’t have the answer either. Keep writing!

  3. Stephen,
    I want to thank you for postings. I’m a newly divorced from a Narcissist. 20 year relationship, 9 years married. 1st 10 were on again off again. Never even knew what a Narcissist was, until I read other posts on web of similar experiences of other people. I always knew something was amiss, but kept getting sucked back in!
    Now when I read posts such as yours I can’t believe how the descriptions of other Narcissists describes my x to a “T”!
    He abandoned me for his best friend’s wife. never even had a conversation with me. I had to figure it out for myself! Filed for divorce, started my life over and it has been the most traumatic experience I’ve ever had!
    I’m now considering dating and your Red Flag postings are very helpful.
    I fear I may be codependent and know I need to express myself, say no when applicable and be aware that I’m moving forward.
    Any additional suggestions for someone that wants to shed the codependent skin?
    – Marci

    • Hi Marci,

      I’m sorry to hear that you spent so long with someone that treated you so poorly. I can certainly understand how it was the most traumatic experience you have ever had; how hard it was to learn that you were merely a tool they used to accomplish their desires; that there was never any love during that entire relationship.

      It is a shame that no one knows about narcissistic relationships until they find themselves abused by a narcissist. I feel that personality disorders are MUCH more prevalent than statistics would have us believe. I think it’s ironic that the psychological professionals can quote numbers and percentages when the very last place a narcissist will go is to get help from a shrink. He can’t admit fault, and getting help means that something might just turn out to be his fault.

      I always knew something was amiss with my predicaments, too. But as a codependent, I never trusted my gut instincts. It was so bad that I didn’t even know what my gut was telling me most of the time. Be proud of yourself! You did it! You broke free! Many never do and go to their grave suffering abuse. Be thankful that your exH did run off with his ‘best friend’s’ wife! If he hadn’t done that, you might still be the victim of his abuse. Now his ‘best friend’s’ wife gets to be the target of his abuse.

      Getting beyond codependency is a journey. I didn’t become codependent overnight, so it’s not realistic for me to expect myself to become ‘uncodependent’ overnight. One of the biggest parts of healing is acceptance. Accepting all that has happened. Accepting myself as a worthy person. Accepting that I’m not ‘required’ to behave a certain way or accomplish certain things. I do have an opinion, and my opinion matters just as much as anyone else’s does. I don’t have to put up with abuse. I don’t have to look the other way. I can be the person I want to be. I am not defined by my relationships. I love the person I am, and the right partner will complement that person, not censure him. As I have grown to love myself in a healthy fashion, I’ve also learned that I don’t need anyone. I am complete. Having healthy self love is the key to being able to say ‘no’ when you mean ‘no’. I am not responsible for someone else’s feelings. If I need to say ‘no’ then I say ‘no’ and let the chips fall where they may.

      There is a lot to moving beyond codependency. I think that journey is unique for every person. If you would like, please feel free to email me by clicking on the image of the boy and the guitar on this blog.

      Best wishes on your healing journey, Marci.

      Stephen

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