I’m seventy-five years old, still dealing with a demon or two from the past, but basically pretty well back on the rails these days.
There was a time in my past however, when things were seriously out of balance. I was angry, focused on my own needs, and determined to get what I wanted, whether or not it was at someone else’s expense, and most frequently it was at a woman’s expense.
Growing up at my house was a prolonged exercise in emotional abuse. It was a painful, long-term, mess. Leaving home, I was angry, I was emotionally isolated, and I trusted absolutely no-one.
The motivation to isolate myself emotionally was powered by the rage I carried. Honestly, I wasn’t even aware of the depth of my anger. (It was years later I realized my anger was actually a disguised expression of the grief I experienced over the love I wanted, but never got from my dad.)
It was a deeply unhappy period in my life.
Sex, human physical touch, became the only relief I experienced from the isolation I felt. It literally became the main, focus in my life. Out of my need for human connection, I became skilled at being whomever I needed to be, in order to win a woman’s interest.
The women I involved myself with never had a chance to break up with me. As soon as I began feeling vulnerable, I would fabricate some sort of conflict in order to blame and break up with them.
Varying versions of this same scenario played out over a seventeen-year period. I developed unhealthy, self-serving behaviors during those years. I was a walking Red Flag. I was unable to maintain a relationship.
I became an example of the guy your mother warned you about.
I’m sharing my story, in hopes it will benefit women who are vulnerable and tend to ignore Red Flags. And also, to men who may recognize themselves in my experiences.
These days with social media and multitudes of dating sites, the dating jungle is filled with Red Flags. Some Red Flags are so blatant, you know immediately you’re not getting involved with this guy. You meet him, warning lights start flashing, there’s no connection. It’s an easy decision. “Thank you, it’s been nice, but don’t call me, I’ll call you.”
Those “in your face” Red Flags, are the easy ones.
It’s when no one’s asked you out in months, or you’re going through a period of emotional isolation, or maybe it’s after a recent breakup, that’s when you’re in a vulnerable state and you’re more likely to ignore Red Flags. You may find yourself excusing poor behaviors in the person you’re involved with.
We’re social critters, inherently driven toward closeness and connection. It’s in our DNA. An emotionally vulnerable woman may disconnect from the respectable person she believes herself to be, in favor of decisions that may not serve her well. Especially when she’s feeling that she’s missing out, experiencing isolation and aloneness, or that somehow, she’s not complete without a partner.
She may decide to go ahead and share a night in bed, even with a person she’s already convinced doesn’t really make the grade. The comfort and relief of a warm body, of being held, can heavily outweigh the distant voice of caution and warning. Our longing for connection can lull us into ignoring our inner voice of warning. When we do so, we’re more likely to make excuses for attitudes, values or behavior we otherwise wouldn’t accept.
Ignoring the warning signs, satisfying your yearning for connection, a one-night stand can turn into two nights, then another night, and another, and where does it go from there?
There are many unhappy couples in relationships that started in similar circumstances. That’s not to say their problems can’t be worked out.
It’s just that by initially exposing and seeking resolution to early Red Flags, (Intuitive hits) they could increase the odds of resolving conflict that might otherwise remain below the surface.
I was drawn toward women who wanted to be “rescued,” vulnerable women less likely to set or maintain clear boundaries.
I was never successful with strong women, solid in their identity and values; women aware of the Red Flags I was waving, who immediately saw thru my questionable motives.
A painful part of my learning experience and motivation to change, was the humiliation I felt when I was putting out my “best stuff” and a strong, grounded woman would “accurately accuse me of exactly what I was doing and laugh me off.”
You can imagine, feeling stripped naked and exposed, how powerfully I was motivated to change. Being caught in the lies I was living literally altered the course of my life.
The women with a strong sense of self, who knew who they were and what they were or weren’t willing to put up with, are the women who initiated serious, long-term change in my life.
I’m married to a woman like that today…
… Angeline and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary a year from this coming April.
In our upcoming free webinar on December 4th, “Boundaries & Red Flags,” we’ll be discussing the necessary connection you need with your intuition for reliable guidance regarding Red Flags and how to strengthen and fortify your “sense of self.” Your sense of who you truly are, your Boundaries.
In our Webinar, we’ll be discussing the unconscious effect of past trauma, negative emotions and limiting decisions on how you function in your life today. It’s an intense, highly informative, 90-minute presentation that will provide a fresh and innovative perspective. It will enhance your connection with your intuition and your capacity to set and maintain your boundaries and clearly recognize Red Flags.
Join us. Bit.ly/redflagswebinar