A dear Advice community member wrote in with her story of confusion and heartache after being abruptly dumped by her boyfriend of 9 months. As I was reading her story, I kept thinking … red flag, red flag and oh, red flag. What struck me was how she didn’t see some of his behaviors as worrisome. But as they say – love is blind – and we have certainly all been there.
The initial red flags: She said it was rocky from the start (not normal), he had been with over 30 women already, (they are only in their 20s) and he’d make comments like, “When you leave me…” and “Your future boyfriends will be so lucky.” What kind of person says that? Someone playing games with your emotions and looking for reactions, that’s who. Not a thoughtful, caring individual.
More warning signs: She said he wanted to spend every second with her, texted her constantly, and would beg her to always return to him as soon as possible. Clingy behavior isn’t a good sign and can indicate some issues with control or low self esteem.
The kicker: He then pulls a fast one — going from the loving boyfriend one minute to dumping her the next. He tells her she is the most wonderful person he has ever met in one breath, and in the next, that she should be more careful with her heart. She is left stupefied. But his erratic patterns of behavior, sadly, were there from the start.
This guy took her for an emotional roller coaster ride, the kind that leaves one dizzy and nauseous at the end. This is the type of person one should run from, because a good, balanced relationship shouldn’t be like that. When you meet a healthy person, and start dating, there should not be needless turmoil. There should not be a constant influx of mixed messages. The person should give you space, and have their own life too. So this is why I say to her – be grateful he’s your ex. You may never know what went wrong, but I assure you, it has absolutely nothing to do with you or anything you did wrong.
A fellow Advice member gave her this tip when looking for future partners, and I couldn’t agree more: “You can prevent that by learning to avoid people whose words and behavior are erratic, contradictory, inconsistent and don’t make sense.”
Looking back on past relationships, what do you see now that you didn’t see then?