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Gut feeling or red flags

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by avatar SpaceySteph 2 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 13 through 24 (of 25 total)
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  • #836305 Reply

    Ron is right that you need to allow yourself to trust. But you also have to keep your eyes open and be willing to examine things that don’t feel right. You don’t want to be in a place of, “this guy chose to be with me, hence he loves me, hence anything that seems off or hurtful must just be my own anxiety and trust issues.”

    You can’t be afraid to have the conversations when necessary, and at the same time, you can’t be looking at his phone.

    I do think something is off about a 24-y/o guy being so eager to move in and start a family with a 34-y/o woman with trauma and no money or job. That’s not a knock on you at all; you’re in the place you need to be right now and that’s great. It’s just weird that he’s so all-in, to the point of financially supporting you, talking constantly about moving in, and buying baby clothes (!!!) after a year and a half, some of which was long-distance and much of which you weren’t “official.” At the least, I think it shows not great judgment. If he truly loves you and understands your baggage, I would think he’d be taking it slower. At the worst, it could be that he’s eager to have control over you. Why wouldn’t he want you to build your independence and career and a life for yourself?

    These are things to think about.

    #836308 Reply

    I don’t think that his excessive enthusiasm is malicious or dishonest or anything like that but I think that it’s an indication that he, like many young people, is diving head first without a full appreciation of what it entails.

    #836310 Reply

    @fyodor that’s likely. I also wonder if he knows everything about her background and mental health. Giving it at least another year before doing something you can’t take back, like having a kid, or something difficult to get out of like a lease, will help protect you against the possibility that this burns out.

    I also don’t want you to think you’re “good enough” because a particular man chooses to be with you. You’re good enough because you’re good enough! That doesn’t change depending on circumstances or who loves you at a given time.

    #836315 Reply

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your father.

    I think everyone has made some really good points, but I just want to add to the chorus of do not get pregnant when you have noooooo money. Don’t get pregnant when you don’t trust your bf. Those things are the ingredients to a recipe for unhappiness. It’s because I think having a child magnifies any problems you might have. If you are broke and don’t trust your bf, the stress of those two things will multiply. And with a child, the person who would be hurt the most if your relationship implodes would be your kid.

    You are afraid you’ll trust him and he’ll end up hurting you. Thats understandable but it’s just the risk you take to find your person. You have to be vulnerable and let people in and to trust them to really experience love. He doesn’t know the depth of your issues. Can he fully love the entire you, if he doesn’t know the depth of your pain and trust issues?

    You won’t make yourself vulnerable and communicate your fears and distrust to him because you know it would turn him off. At this point in your relationship, from what you’ve written, you are holding back and keeping things from him.

    It’s unclear to me if you don’t trust anyone, or if your gut feeling is clouding this relationship. I really appreciate and have learned to trust my gut feelings. That doesn’t mean I snoop or stalk, I wait and see. People reveal themselves eventually.

    You really, really want to snoop and feel validated in your gut feeling. I commend you for not snooping thus far. That shows you can exercise your own self control in these matters. I would encourage you to exercise that and not stalk him on sm for awhile. If your gut feeling is so strong that you’re on the cusp of snooping- why are you in a relationship with someone you distrust so much?

    Have you considered that you are just not in the same place in your life? A decade is a pretty big age gap. I’m a year older than you and I just can’t really picture myself having much in common with a 25 year old man.

    And lastly, the baby clothes thing is super weird to me. Was he shopping for baby clothes when he saw the whale jacket? I agree with fyodor that it seems he’s barreling forwards in a naive show of commitment, but the truth is your relationship is just not in that spot right now.

    #836316 Reply

    Buying baby clothes is a red flag for reasons beyond potentially trying to move too quickly or wanting control. I would be concerned about what it says about my partner’s financial habits.
    This may be an one-off, but it may also be a sign he is impulsive and wasteful with his money. To you, this seems sweet, because of what he purchased, but think about it. You have not started trying to conceive nor are you in an emotional, financial, or even physical place (ie living together) where you should be trying anytime soon. Once you get there, there’s unfortunately no guarantee that you’ll conceive quickly or be able to conceive at all. It could be years before you have children, if ever. Buying baby clothes right now is not romantic, it is a sign that he lacks foresight and acts impulsively rather than rationally. Personally, I’d be very concerned. I would not want to be with someone who throws away money on something they don’t know even know that they’ll ever get to use.

    #836318 Reply

    Another thing, he’s basically still a kid. You say he’s had flings, and nothing that’s ended badly, but how many deep, serious relationships has he had? How does he know what he wants? Does he have knowledge and skills to navigate a serious relationship?

    #836320 Reply

    Agree with @lucidity. Heck we are married and trying to conceive and I won’t buy anything regardless of the urge. It’s just not responsible financially when we have no idea if it will even happen (which no one truly does).

    #836321 Reply

    Unrelated to baby clothes-

    The other day I was watching the Oprah interview “After Neverland” and a man who was a victim of sexual abuse as a child said, “And every morning when I wake up I think, ‘Al, how free do you want to be today?’”

    That has really stuck with me. I am also a victim of childhood abuse and it haunts me. That type of positive redirection has been really important for me to try to move on. I can be down and dwell and let it occupy more space and time in my life or I can make the choice to have a good day.

    That said, I do work through these feelings with a therapist. I just try really hard not to let it affect my day to day life or relationships. Everyone has baggage, everyone has had their heart broken. I can’t let the past control my life today.

    #836335 Reply

    @jd, I’m 21 weeks pregnant and still have only bought one onesie – and even for that, I waited until I’d passed the 3 month mark and the biggest chance of miscarriage had passed. Sending you baby dust!

    #836398 Reply

    Thank you all for such thoughtful responses. It has been really helpful and has given me lots to think about.

    @anonymousse Thank you for sharing your personal experiences. I also watched the documentary. I’ve still not spoken directly about my abuse, still so difficult but I’m coming to terms with how it has affected my life. I’ve realised how strong I am and how much I have to offer the world. The tough times are when I let those feelings of self doubt and low self esteem really take over.

    All your responses have led me to think about how little I think of myself and how jealousy affects all my relationships. Not just with men but all my relationships. It’s hard to admit but just noticing the feelings of envy and jealousy, naming it and not letting them lead me to an awful place is empowering. I’m constantly looking for validation in others. I think it was @Ron who said to not focus in his behaviour and fix myself. It feels like a huge relief to be able to just let things play out. If there is anything to mistrust then it will hopefully reveal naturally. Not by me doing this really boring stalking.

    I’ve not really asked my friends my age because I find it so embarrassing! All that time doing the stalking when I really need that time to do things for myself. I’ve not looked at his activity in 24 hours and it feels good.

    I’ve read the other comments about his age and I don’t feel like that’s a worry for me. Not right now anyway. My last partner who I was with for 5 years was my age and it was an awful relationship. I feel like my current partner is actually more mature – at the beginning I couldn’t imagine him with friends his own age. He’s very calm and I feel calm around him. I do feel like our society is more accepting of the male being older. Maybe it says more about my own maturity? I don’t know.

    It’s clear I struggle being vulnerable but I think one of the positive things about our relationship is that I know I’ll be ok without him. In my last one I felt like I would just crumble without him – literally! It’s difficult to let my current partner in and completely trust him but I think through the therapy I’ve had I’ve developed a sense of self worth. I just have a long way to go and I’m determined not to have an unhealthy relationship.

    My next step is to figure out how to be more honest about my insecurities. It’s hard! It feels like I would be giving him power but I’m so bored with my habits of thought right now.

    Since yesterday I’ve not stalked and it feels great!

    Yes the baby clothes thing is a bit weird. I can’t even imagine if I’d presented him with baby clothes – the thought is hilarious! I really don’t think he’s creepy but it’s something to think about. I was actually surprised when he told me and yeah he’s jumping the gun. Lots of comments have warned me off getting pregnant and right now it’s not an option. I’m thinking two years or so down the line. I worked really hard to get my masters and I have so much to do before that stage.

    There’s so much more to write but I know I’ve written a huge essay already!

    Congrats @lucidity and best wishes to you @jd.


    #836407 Reply

    I’m glad you are feeling a little better today. Do find someone (counselor) to talk to when you are ready. No one can handle all that pain themselves.

    And thank you!!

    PS. I also laughed when you said if you had bought baby clothes. Pretty sure he’d freak out, most men likely would. Good point.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by avatar JD.
    #836412 Reply

    One day of progress is one day of progress. Do it day by day. If you falter, pick yourself up and start again. Work on coping strategies and positive distraction techniques (instead of stalking get away from the computer and bake a cake, write a letter, do 25 sit-ups, whatever).

    Keep going. Continue to work on yourself. You wrote that without him you’ll be ok, whereas with your last relationship that wasn’t the case -that’s amazing progress.

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