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Warning Signs (Red Flags) or Insecurity??


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Firstly, I want to thank you for taking your time to read my post. I really feel I need to address an issue I have in order to be able to move on with my life so any advice you can offer with this would be greatly appreciated.


I recently split up with a girl I met on the internet. It's was a massive whirlwind relationship and she left me just as quickly as she entered my life. We had a great time and I enjoyed the time I spent with her. She ‘seemed’ to be everything I was looking for in a girl but then she just up and left me like I meant nothing to her. She seemed to do a complete 180 on me and it left me feeling hurt, confused and searching for answers to how and why this happened.


I had been in a relationship 2 years before with a narcissistic girl. I did not know these people existed until after the break up and it left me feeling confused and cynical about all people in general. I put my guard up and knew I was not ready for a relationship anytime soon so gave myself some time to get my head sorted out and to assure myself that not all girls would potentially be like this.


The girl I met on the internet was really nice looking, had a humorous personality, seemed sweet, kind, ‘seemed’ to have the same interests as me and was just what I was looking for in a girl. We sent a lot of messages to each other, swapped numbers, spoke on the phone and seemed to hit it off really quickly so arranged a date. We were really keen on each other and, as I’d spent a lot of time getting my head straight after narcissistic girl, I felt I was now ready to get back into another relationship.


The thing is, I felt that there were some warning signs (red flags) about her, things which I kind of tried to ignore but these quickly escalated into insecurities, which she said were the reasons for us splitting up.


I was out with my work mates one night when some of the girls wanted to see a picture of her. I went onto the dating website where I had met her and noticed she was on there. I sent her a message asking if she’d had ‘any joy?’. She explained that she was only on there as she was also showing pictures of me to her mates. I thought this could be logical explanation but just wanted to check if what she said stacked up so I checked again after I got in that night and also first thing in the morning and she was still on there. Please note that this website logs you out after 15 minutes if you are not using it. I knew she was not showing my pictures to her mates at all three of these times but I tried to ignore it. It just made me feel like she may not be honest with me in the future.


She would say she liked the same sorts of things as me. Like on my online dating profile, I had put that I loved Family Guy and if they liked this sort of humour then I’m sure that we’d get along fine. She also said that she loved Family Guy, she’d even send me YouTube clips of episodes but whenever we spoke about it, it seemed like she’d never seen it before. I’d ask her what her favourite episode was or whether she liked the Star Wars spoofs that they’d done but she had no idea whatsoever about them. She didn’t even know the names of the characters. From being in a narcissistic relationship before, I was fully aware of why people mirror, mimic or pretend to be like you. This to me felt like it was an attempt from her to make me think we would get along somehow. Again, I doubted her honesty and integrity because of this.


When we first met I really wanted to take things slowly. She lived about 20 miles away so we arranged to go out for dinner in her home town. Because I wanted to take things slowly and really get to know her before making any commitment I had made a conscious decision before going that I would intentionally go home on the last train no matter what. I even explained to her early on into the date that my last train was at 23:05 so needed to leave about 15 minutes beforehand so that I didn’t miss it. I told her that I’m a patient bloke and think that all good things come to those who wait. After dinner we had some drinks and I said I needed to get going but she did not want me to go. We walked to the train station but she asked me to stay out longer, saying that I could get a cab back later, which I agreed to so we went into another bar and had some more drinks. It was getting later and later so I decided that I needed to go. I’d had a lot to drink by this time but was still adamant that I was going to go home. As we were walking back to the train station for a second time (to get a cab from there), she asked if I wanted to go into another bar. I was having a really good night so decided to go in there for just one more. We ended up staying in this one until 4am. We were pretty wasted at this point and all of my ‘I want to go home’ logic had completely gone out of the window, one thing lead to another and I stayed at hers. Now, don’t get me wrong, I had an amazing night but one thing I know about women is that the majority of them like to wait and probably given the opportunity, they would do. I think they use it as a test to see how serious you are about them i.e. whether you are interested in them or just after one thing. I had already told her that I wanted to be patient and I was clearly interested in her but kind of saw her wanting to sleep with me on the first date as trying to rush into a relationship for whatever reason.


We saw each other every weekend from day one but there was something inside me that felt something was not quite right about her. Like I couldn’t trust her or she was desperate to be in a relationship. I did ask about her previous relationship, which lasted 2 and half years and asked how long she’d been single. She said she’d split up from him about 5 months ago but whether that was true or not, I do not know.


Everything was going so well, we’d go out for dinner, go to the cinema, have nights in watching films, go for walks, talk on the phone for ages. I felt really happy and was looking forward to what the future may hold for us.


A couple of weekends ago she came over to stay but she was in a strange mood, she said she was just in one of her ‘fiery redhead moods’ (she had auburn hair) but it just made me feel on edge being with her. That night in bed she said that she wanted someone who would tell her what to do or put her in her place all the time, someone bossy. I didn't think this was me at all so wanted to make sure that it was me who she was looking for. We didn't have an argument about it, I just wanted to let her know that I wasn't this sort of person and kind of wanted to know if she felt the same about me. She completely backtracked, saying she wasn't sure what she wanted as she ‘may’ not have met them yet. She always said that she attracted the wrongun's. I did try to explain that she wasn’t some sort of bad boy magnet but maybe it was her who was attracted to their characteristics. This stumped her and she went quite quiet for a bit. I left her on Saturday to think about what she wants and she spent the night with her mate. Sunday, I went over hers, we had a talk and she said that she still didn't know what she was looking for in a man but assured me that she still wanted to be with me. She cooked me dinner, we laid down cuddling on the sofa watching TV and everything felt good again. We spoke about going out with her mates at the weekend and that she'd come down and stay with me one night during the week.


Every morning, from the day we started speaking, we always sent each other a text saying morning, hope you have a good day etc. I sent her one on the Monday morning but I didn't get a response at all. After I came in from the gym, I rang her but she just didn't want to speak to me, she was really distant and started suggesting that I see my mates at the weekend, instead of what we had planned the night before. I couldn’t understand how she had changed overnight.


I knew something wasn't right so an hour after sitting there, wondering what was wrong, I thought I'd check the website that we met on to see if she was on there and she was. I sent her a message on there saying that, as she was on there, she obviously didn't want to be with me anymore, good luck with everything and that I'd had fun. She immediately logged off. Tuesday came, nothing, then Wednesday morning I got this really defensive text saying that I was pathetic that I had to send her a message on the dating website, that I had upset her because I couldn't talk to her about it, that I had made her feel uncomfortable round my house asking her what she wanted in a man, saying she was just online changing her e-mail address because she didn't want anymore e-mails coming through (you can press a button and hide your profile so no one can see you anymore and you don't receive anymore messages) and that it was my insecurities that had split us up.


I wrote this long message to her explaining my point of view, saying she that she had ignored my text, she didn't want to speak to me on the phone, I thought something was wrong so I checked the website and she was on there. What on earth did she expect me to think? I explained in great detail where my insecurities about the relationship came from but she just replied with a really short message saying I had upset her not talking to her/jumping to conclusions, she still didn’t know what she was looking for and that was that.


She was back on the dating website the day after, day in day out, 24/7. It hurt so much seeing her on there, I kept checking to see if she was online so I had to delete my account. I couldn’t understand how everything had gone from so good to so bad in a matter of days, it was like someone had just flicked a switch and she’d completely lost all of her feelings. This again made me think that she may have been desperate to be in a relationship again.


I know I have insecurities, my biggest one is the fear of being rejected. My Mum had an affair when I was younger and walked out leaving my Dad, my Brother and myself; I feel pretty confident that this is where this comes from. I didn’t handle this at all well, I completely shut my Mum out of my life for hurting my Dad so much. I didn’t speak to her for years, in fact, at the time I was adamant that I would never speak to her again. I happened to bump into her one New Years Eve, where I’d had a lot to drink and I just burst into tears. I did not stop crying for hours. I had supressed all these feelings I had about her, which came out all at once. It was crazy, I didn’t realise I had all this emotion built up inside of me. Shutting all my feelings out had had a massive affect on me.


I just feel I need to sort my emotional insecurity out. I have tried counselling (with two different counsellors) but this doesn’t seem to have helped. I used to smoke a lot of weed which I think caused depression for years. Every winter I’d be on anti-depressants so I stopped smoking it a year ago and my depression has not come back this winter. I felt ready to be in a relationship again and really thought it could be it this time but I can’t help but think that I keep putting up barriers or finding reasons as to why I shouldn’t be with this girl. I feel I have a lot of love to give and think if I can just get passed this then my life could be so much happier.


Any help, advice, opinions, treatments, self-help books, anything you may think of that could help me would be greatly appreciated. I really want to help better myself.


Thanks again for taking your time to read my post.

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I can understand why you felt hurt seeing her online after you two had spent so much time together, but I think if you were feeling this way, you two should have had a face-to-face conversation about it (emails and text messages can be misconstrued, but speaking in person is so much better because you can see the person's face, their mannerisms, and hear their tone).


The fact that she didn't respond to your last text message though and you did see her online after the fact, makes me wonder though. If I were in your position, I would think games were being played. But, the only way to know for sure is to speak with her in person. Then you would have to determine whether she's worth the investment.


I've experienced situations like this before, and even after having discussed my concerns with the other person, my instinct was telling me to walk away (despite how much I wanted to make it work). My instinct and brain would be telling me one thing (i.e. - to walk away), while my heart was telling me to stay and work things out. Unfortunately, I knew deep down that my instinct and brain were right.


Good luck!

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Thanks Milly, I appreciate your reply. I kind of knew I shouldn't have got involved with her in the first place after she lied the first time about being online but thought I'd sweep it under the carpet. I know what you mean about your head and your heart, she was new and exciting and I wanted to get to know her before I made judgement but I think I should have trusted my intuition. Still, if I hadn't got in this mess then I would haven't learnt anything about myself and started to look for ways to sort it out. Thanks again for your reply.

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Don't think you overreacted. She seems shady as heck. I think you're better off for being without her. She doesn't know what she wants and in a relationship you don't get to teeter-totter with the person on whether they're what you want or not; you just don't be with them. Red flag about the Family Guy thing. I have dealt with insecurity too but I am also a very intuitive person and just be reading your description of her she rubs me the wrong way. You have issues stemming from your family and past but it seems to me like she may also have insecurity issues, if she is so indecisive and neglectful and on dating websites all day long.


May hurt for a week or two, but I think you're much better off without this "woman."

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Thanks mmnyc5052! I know I should have walked when I knew something wasn't right but kind of felt like I wanted to give her a chance. Yeah, it hurts pretty bad but I've kind of had enough of it now, I know that when the right one comes along that she wont make me feel like this. Like with everything in life, anything that sets me back is just an experience that I can learn from. Maybe she was insecure, she would constantly ask me if 'I'm ok', or 'having a good time' and I mean excessively, sometimes about 8 - 10 times in a night, she'd always ask after sex 'if she pleased me in bed?', I couldn't think of what else I could do to show her that she pleased me in bed, I was doing all the same things that I'd done with any other girl.....maybe she was expecting me to get up and knock on all my neighbours doors and tell them how much she pleased me.


Having spoken about narcissistic people with her, just giving her a broad understanding of what type of people they are and what they are really like under the skin, she did say that she thought that her older sister had these characteristics so maybe she did have insecurities from being down trodden by her older sister throughout life, I do not know. Both her Brother and Sister had settled down but she was 34 and although she was doing well with her job, maybe she felt some family pressure to also settle down. She did want kids and I think also wanted to get married. Her sister was married with two kids and also her Brother was going to get married in August so maybe it was. I definitely think that she wanted someone to go with to her Brothers wedding so maybe that's why she was desperate to meet someone.


What I do know is that this is just another life experience that I'll use to better understand what makes people tick, pick myself back up, brush myself off and go and find what I know what I'm looking for in a girl. Thanks again for your reply.

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While you sound pretty self-aware, which is good, I think you might be getting close to the edge of over-analytical. Don't get caught up in diagnosing people as narcissistic or trying to figure out what makes them do what they do. I think in this case it doesn't sound like she was fully invested, but perhaps a face-to-face conversation would have been better than a dramatic email. You may have felt better about the ending of it if you had simply told her calmly that you feel she was still looking, and that you would like a committed relationship. Keep working on yourself and chalk it up to a learning experience.

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