Following are leftover questions from my online chat, “Recognizing Red Flags,” (May 13):
I met this woman online who seemed really nice and pretty. I wanted to meet her soon, though she lives a few hours away.
She insisted that we keep talking until she felt sure that I’m not playing her, because she’s been hurt before.
So we texted, emailed, and phoned daily for a month. Now she says she loves me and is ready to be in a serious relationship.
But it’d mean a lot of travel back and forth, meeting each other’s families and friends right away.
It feels way too fast for me.
It IS too fast to declare love to someone she’s never met in person.
She’s trying to confirm a relationship ahead of time.
However, you have some responsibility yourself for encouraging her, when you wanted to meet soon, which did involve travelling.
Slow things down. Use Skype to show each other where and how you live, talk more about your interests, etc.
If you decide to meet her, make sure she understands it’s not a commitment, until you know each other better.
I knew my fiancé was a good son, but now it’s worrying me.
Anything I suggest, he discusses with his Mom and brings back her contrary opinion.
If I want yellow flowers, she prefers pink. If I want a small reception, she says we can’t leave out second cousins.
We’re paying for our own wedding. But she wants to take it over (and pay nothing). What’s worse, he goes along with it.
The red flag isn’t his mother; it’s how he handles her.
Don’t waste your energy being angry with her, she’s been manipulating his decisions for years, and he’s clearly not challenged her.
Tell him that now there’s a need for him to draw boundaries as an adult with a partner, so that you two can decide your own lives.
A wedding’s traditionally the Bride’s Day and she knows this. She’s entitled to make suggestions, but not to overrule what you two decide.
If he agreed with you before on a small reception, that’s it. Also, it’s likely what you can both afford.
If she wants to host a large reception, at a later date, all at her expense, you and your fiancé could consider it. Or not.
There’s no need to be mean or disrespectful, just firm about what you both can accept and what you cannot.
He has to understand that otherwise, her “opinions” and intrusions can split you two apart.
I was set up with this guy by a friend, who said we’d be a great match. When he called, he talked for an hour about himself.
On the “date,” he talked all through dinner, and asked me very little. Later, he acted like he expected to stay the night! I had to push him out the door.
The next day he apologized saying that he was already so sure we’d be a couple. He wanted to get together the next night.
I said I was going away for two weeks with a girlfriend. I never heard from him again.
It was all about him.
This was a red flag with flashing lights! He asked nothing, but likely assumed you had a boyfriend, decided you were lying, or is too needy to be un-tended for that long.
Tell your friend that you’ll meet your own dates. This guy doesn’t want a match - he wants constant attention.
I’ve recently been texting a boy. I knew my best friend and he tried texting a few months earlier and decided they were better as friends.
I decided I had to tell her I’d started texting him.
She asked if it was just as friends, or more. I told her I didn't know.
She now won't speak to me. People are telling me to stop being involved with him, although I’m happier than I've ever been.
There wouldn't even be anything between the two of them.
What should I do?
Apologize. Say you didn’t mean to hurt her.
There are unwritten “rules” about going after someone that your friend liked, and you knew this, but told her after the fact.
Texting isn’t dating. It’s a flirty way of testing a connection. He may only want to be friends, so it’s not worth losing your best friend…. unless she decides to lose you.
Tip of the day:
Address red flag issues when you see them, before they become deal-breakers.