Having a bit of experience in dating as a professional, thirty-something divorcee, there are certain attributes I look out for. One attribute is the way a man deals with their own issues and the role that I play in it. This allows me to understand his emotional strength and how he sees me in his life. Don’t get me wrong, everyone needs personal space to deal with the curve balls life sometimes throws at us.
As a fairly recent divorcee, single mother, independent career woman, I have had a few fast balls thrown at me. I empathize with the typical male pressures (albeit increasingly women pressures too) of proving yourself in the board room, ensuring your work deliverables are effective, concise and error-free, refraining from showing weakness when overwhelmed by demands from superiors and inferiors alike. I also understand the pressures of ensuring bills are paid, landlord-tenant issues are handled, and whether I should do a short sale or deed-in-lieu on my under-water property in another state where the investment does not make sense anymore. I have the anxiety of hoping my entrepreneurial aspirations reach fruition while still doing my best at my day job.
I have all of the male woes and the pressures of a woman/mother. As an aging single woman there is the pressures of maintaining your youth and physique. As you are always in competition with another woman who is younger, prettier, more ambitious and more naive than you that in my case does not have the “emotional baggage” of divorce lingering in terms of career, men and every other life opportunity. There is also the hassle of vetting out potential suitors to determine which ones are “genuine” or just masked “Sly Foxes”. At the end of the day, despite all the stresses, I have to go home and put a smile on my face for my eager sprouts waiting for me at the front door. They are my heart and I have to make sure that despite the twists and turns of my day, they are taken care of and their spirits remain optimistic. While I have my sparingly moments to veg out, they are few and far between. I have to get my act together to make sure the people that are special to me are not neglected.
Thus, when I meet suitors I tend to pause when I see these Red Flags:
- The topic at our dates are always centered around his work day: Yes we all have had hectic work days. I appreciate the gents sharing their stresses. However, if the conversation is always centered on him and he neglects to ask you about your day; this may mean he discounts your daily struggles. Or he is too self-centered and focused on himself that your efforts and strife will never be fully appreciated.
- He drops off for days and is unresponsive to texts/calls only to follow up with an apology later explaining how stressed he’s been: I get it, we all are faced with life pressures and just need to have alone time. However, a quick text message or call stating that you are dealing with personal matters, need space and will get in touch shortly is appreciated. As a divorcee, this tells me plenty about a gent’s character. Especially if they never been married. I can’t just stop being a wife and a mother to my ex-husband and kids for days because I need time to myself. It shows me that the gent will probably not be able to handle multiple facets of life’s fast balls thrown from different angles. Or that this is just “GAME” and he is not keeping it 100%.
- Doesn’t Open Up To You When Faced With Life Issues: Well this could mean three things: 1) He is just not that into you to bring you in his life. 2) He is a private person and just does not know how to let someone in his life. or 3) He is just ashamed of whatever that is going on in his life. If it is the first reason, move on. If it is the second reason, maybe there should be a conversation about trust. However, if this is just who he is, it is hard teaching an old dog new tricks. Pick your battles. If it is the latter, be patient…if he cares he will eventually open up to you.
- When Irritated- Becomes Negative Towards You: Sometimes personal stresses spill out to your personal life. However, if his negativity is a consistent theme and is harming your self-esteem. Please take pause.
Now one of these “Red Flags” I do not deem as automatic deal breakers. But if the man is unwilling to change these methods on how he treats you when dealing with stress, then it is best to move on while the relationship is early.
How Do You Judge The Way A Man Handles Stress? What Are Some Red Flags That You Have Noticed?
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