Red Flags

Red Flags

When it comes to being in love and relationships, there will always be pros and cons.  Is being in a romantic relationship more important than the quality of the relationship? I recently had to make this choice and I wavered for a couple of months, even down to the last day.

June - October
A group of about 10 random people met on a game and began friendships in game and on teamspeak. Over the months, during the first game we had to restart on different servers over and over because of server issues.  As September approached, we decided to play a different game. I also distanced myself from a nine year friendship with one in the group who was my best friend because I was at my limit of unrequited love and I wanted to move on with my life.  By mid October our group had gotten smaller, we were near end game, so we decided to try another new game. We all talked on teamspeak nearly every day during these months and months to come. I became closer to one in our group when we started building together during the second game and he reached out to me when a hurricane had descended upon my area.

September - November
When this online long distance romance first began, it was more than I could have ever dreamed.  He was romantic, communicative, humorous, intelligent, attentive and generous, just to name some of his great qualities.  We spent an enormous amount of time together and I found myself developing feelings for him and his behavior and words indicated the same.  It got mutually serious really fast. Then the big bombshell hit.

He was living with someone and described it as a "relationship of convenience".  After his explanation, the facts pointed to a relationship that was in trouble and not a relationship of convenience. I initially ended our blossoming romantic relationship on October 25 and in reply he sent me this song: Please Stay which coincidentally was the same day this song was published on youtube by Bryan Adams and I was like the 900th viewer which was a sign that maybe I should stay.  I thought I could get passed it when he made plans to move out and transfer his work to a depot hundreds of miles away from his current relationship and closer to his girls. My heart and head were in turmoil. 🚩 (acting single while in a relationship)

October - November
One time during game play, we were messing around and I knocked his character into our pool. His response was "you bitch!"  Wow! Is this a one off because he had been drinking? Does it really matter that he had been drinking? I decided that maybe I was over-reacting and thought I could forgive him. He continually called me daft and at first I thought he was calling my behavior daft as in being silly. Then he called me stupid, not my behavior, but me. Yet, I continued to try to make the relationship work although I kept romantic feelings and words guarded. 🚩 (name calling)

November - December
Things began to go pretty well and I was feeling the spark again. I gained the courage to share something very intimate with him. His response was, "that's nothing new to me, the girls' mother is the same way" WOW! I was totally crushed that he responded in that way.  He never could understand why. I really went outside my comfort zone when I shared and it felt like he knocked the wind and the spark out of me.  Now that he was living so close to the girls' mother after the job transfer and new living arrangement, I knew I would need some extra reassurance. He said he understood, yet the coming months would prove differently. 🚩 (comparing to an ex)

Right before Christmas, he'd been drinking heavily and he had trouble understanding what was going on, even though we had planned it weeks in advance. His confrontation led to him telling me we were through, followed by an email stating the same. I was devastated. Yet again, I thought I could get passed it when the next morning he attributed it to drinking, but he would have to gain my trust and I wouldn't commit to dating until I felt the passion again. He said he understood and if I'd give him a chance he would prove that wasn't him and his love was real. 🚩 (confrontations blamed on drinking)

New Year's Eve was going to signify a new beginning.  I waited for Midnight in his time zone to come around. Excited with anticipation. I sent him a text at the stroke of 12. Nothing from him. After twenty minutes he finally sent a text. I felt very unimportant in his eyes. He said he would be back in time to ring in my New Year. He never came until New Years Day afternoon. I constantly remembered how I felt before he initially broke my heart and was willing to let him try to fix all that was broken. It was real pressure for me when he continually said he loved me, but kept doing things that showed me otherwise. Actions speak louder than words and his actions were screaming at me to run, but he convinced me we could make this work. 🚩 (missing important milestones)

The next big day was his birthday in mid-January. I was very excited to celebrate with him and he told me during the days leading up to his big day that we would spend it together.  I worked on a project for many hours for his birthday. He touched base in the morning, and said he would be back in the afternoon.  He never showed till the following day. I was still willing to work on the relationship even though I was having serious doubts. 🚩 (breaking promises)

January - February
It was now over 60 days since I fell sick.  I wasn't the funnest to be around, but he also knew I'd been sick. I was under a tremendous amount of stress. I tried to show how I felt about him. He started spending a lot of time with his girls' mother.  He said not to worry, she had a partner. Well, he was her partner when she cheated on him - so, that wasn't reassuring. He was rarely emailing and not really spending much time with me. It felt like time with me was when he had nothing better to do. He was making no special effort. I was still wanting a relationship even though it was getting worse as each day passed. I tried to be understanding of his circumstances, but was having trouble regaining trust in him. He talked about "us" and how we could make it through anything. 🚩 (unable to build trust)

Days later, he called me on Skype randomly and I was very excited!! This was perfect and a real effort, or so I thought as I answered the call. An hour after he initiated the call, he was still doing other things like reading the news, shopping and looking at cars, instead of having a face to face conversation with me even though I brought it to his attention a short time into the call.  It was hurtful and I said I have to go and hung up. Two days later, I had major surgery. He never texted, emailed or called. I confided in friends and asked if I was over-reacting to his recent behavior. They said no. When we later discussed it, he didn't see he had done anything wrong and he didn't contact me surgery day because I hung up so quickly after saying goodbye on Skype. I was still willing to make this work. 🚩 (passive-aggressive behavior)

A shake up happened in our group of friends, that was apparently my fault (see previous post here), and he took this opportunity to break all ties with me.  Even then, I wanted to make the relationship work. He refused any further contact. 🚩 (projecting blame)

It took a few more days and some real soul searching for me to collectively see all the red flags and realize that the cons were so significant that the pros could never outweigh them as long as he continued with the behavior that sent the red flags. He can blame the downfall on me and say he tried, but we both know better.  While he was in the committed 'relationship of convenience', I was everything and his actions and words spoke to my heart. Once that committed relationship ended and he moved out, he no longer made me feel like his priority and he made little effort to try to win back my heart. I deleted him from Skype and sent him a picture of the Christmas gifts he gave me in the trash. I knew that would end any chance of him trying to reconcile. I didn't want any more conflict between my head and heart.

My head knows that the quality of the relationship is more important than being in a relationship. My heart is continually fighting me on that matter. There will be pros and cons, but the cons can't be significant or outweigh the pros.


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