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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » How to know the "warning signs"

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Author Topic: How to know the "warning signs"
babybear
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I met someone new in one of my classes about a week ago. He's funny, cute, sarcastic. It's nice.

The other night, he came over to my apartment. I was texting back and forth to a girlfriend and he asked me "So do you always have your phone on you?" and I said "Sure, most of the time". He then said something along the lines of "So why does it take you a while to text me back most of the time?" I was also about 20 minutes late getting back to my apartment so he could come over, and he commented on that as well.

Truth is? He's right. For some reason, I don't text him back right away, and I can't answer why (and I don't think I should have to). But, he noticed whenever I am around him, I answer incoming texts promptly.

To be honest, I am wondering if this is a "warning sign" to controlling behavior. I have been in two emotionally abusive relationships, one having the control aspect. I am very, very cautious about these things nowadays, and I essentially jump at even the slightest oddity. Where do you draw the line between honesty - him just being curious why I never answer him and expressing how he felt about me being late - and control - him expecting me to jump to his every demand, so to speak. We were having a conversation later in the evening and he also told me he can't really tell if I am interested in him or not, because he is "used to more interaction with women he is trying to get to know". He is right about that too - I am distant. Intentionally. I have a wall up.

I can't help it. I just can't. I have been really mistreated and honestly, it's ruining almost every new development I've had since my last serious relationship. I am so judgmental, harsh, and untrusting it makes me sick. I gravitate towards guys that ignore me (they end up being jerks obviously). The slightest imperfection, the slightest hint of possible clinginess just completely sets me off and makes me run - I've already had one guy try to control my life and I don't want another. I need to see a therapist.

So what do you guys think? Does he have the potential to be controlling? He texts me and talks to me quite a bit, and wants to see me several days in a row. I enjoy spending time with him, but the combo of the comments he made and the constant contact makes me wonder. Advice/opinions would be very helpful.

Thanks guy.

Posts: 250 | From: somewhere | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
coralee
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I agree that sometimes being clingy can be a sign of being controlling, but also, sometimes it can just be a harmless, though annoying, part of someone's personality. Some people just want more attention than others. I also hate clingyness or people checking up on me all the time, so I know where you're coming from.

Have you talked to him about how you feel about his behavior or about his comment about texting? If you guys discuss this and he stops bugging you about this, that would be a pretty good sign, in my opinion, that he is not trying to be controlling.

The "used to more interaction with women he is trying to get to know" comment would bother me too, but again, just based on that one comment, it's hard to tell if he was trying to be controlling or if he was being honest (and a little annoying).

How is the rest of your relationship? Do you feel like he's being controlling in other things?

[ 06-24-2010, 04:50 PM: Message edited by: coralee ]

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orca
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I think it's tough to say if that is a warning sign or not. It could be, but it could also be about the person liking you a lot and being insecure/anxious about where they stand and where things are going. In other words, it could be some of that rush people get from new romantic prospects. With warning signs, usually it's okay if there's just one or two minor things like that, but if there are a bunch of signs or some REALLY BIG signs, then it's time to duck out.

I do think, though that it's worth looking at why you have some hesitations about this guy. Are you feeling ready to date again? Sometimes we jump back into dating after an abusive relationship when we aren't yet ready. Sometimes, though, we ARE ready, but maybe haven't figured out our attractions yet, so the next question is: are you really attracted to him? Do you see him in a romantic way or do you just like hanging out with him and maybe see him as more of a friend (if even)? That stuff is tough to figure out, and sometimes it takes a while to know.

Speaking for myself, I waited a year and a half after leaving an abusive relationship to start dating again, and for the first six months, I had difficulty figuring out when I was into someone. A couple of times I forced myself to keep going on dates with someone that I just didn't see in a romantic way but really only wanted a friendship with, but I was rewiring and learning about dating again, so it took a while for me to figure out how to tell the difference.

Are you currently seeing a therapist/counselor?

--------------------
Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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babybear
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Hey guys, sorry it took me a while to respond. I am consumed in my studies.

A bit of time has passed since I made the post, and I am very, very unsure of this guy. I discussed the issue with him, explained my past, and in that sense, everything is fine.

Things that are not fine with him, though, are piling up.

We engaged in oral sex, and he told me it was "okay". Don't get me wrong here - honesty is the best policy - but the way he said it was just cold and made me very insecure. Even if someone was HORRIBLE at something sexually, I would never just flat out tell them in the way that he did. He even casually jokes about it. It's not funny, and it makes me not even want to touch him. The more I get to know, the more I see him for being cocky and somewhat mean. He may not be controlling, but that is definitely not the only thing to worry about in a relationship. The idea of having sex with him makes me nervous - if I'm unsatisfactory to him, he will tell me, and even make fun of me for it. No thanks. Where do I keep finding these guys?


I am not seeing a therapist but I certainly plan on doing so. I've been thinking a lot lately about how I handle relationships. I think I myself have a control issue - not in the sense of controlling other people (telling them what to wear or who they can speak to) but in the way that I want them to act how I want them to act, and when they don't, I am turned off. I have become far less accepting since my abusive relationships - I am picky and harsh. Therapy is a must at this point.

I am just stressed and unhappy right now. I don't know what to do.

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babybear
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Also, I have this feeling in my gut that he is just talking to me for the sake of doing so. I haven't hung out with him the past two nights... I just don't want to. He'll tell me he is bored when we hang out. He'll go from affectionate to sitting on the other side of the couch. He really confuses me. I can't tell what his intentions are, or what he wants from this. I'm not sure if this is worth it.

I think I am going to stay away from dating for a while, maybe I really am not ready.

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coralee
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Even if you are being more picky than usual, it's not a good idea to stay in a relationship if it feels uncomfortable. Even if he is not controlling, he still sounds pretty insensitive to me, especially with the casual jokes about the sex you guys had. Maybe this guy just isn't a good fit for you at this point in time.
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sarah grace
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It sounds to me like you need to have a good long talk with him. Does he know about your previous abusive relationships? I know that when I started dating my current boyfriend, I let him know from the start that I was in a bad relationship previously and that I might have some hangups.

I think in this situation, you need to trust your gut. If you don't want to hang out with him, maybe that is a sign that subconciously you know he isn't right for you at this point in time. If you don't feel like dating now, don't push yourself. Talk to a therapist, and see if you can figure out a way to watch for warning signs, but not have a wall up. I completely know what you mean, though, that wary feeling you get anytime someone says something wrong... it's scary... but honestly, most people have good intentions. You just have to remember that.

Posts: 57 | From: kentucky | Registered: Jun 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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