It doe s not matter whether you are dating as a teen ager, thirty-something chic, or a seventy- two year old divorced male! Unless you want endless heartbreaks, mantra this rule of dating: Catch the Red Flags! They should appear in the first three months. Extend that time period if you are dating a skillful player in the dating world.
Leah meets Jeff
Leah is sitting at the bar and sees him enter. He hesitates at the front door of the bar, with the best view of every woman in the place. He is a gorgeous guy, whose perfect height, weight, smile and shoulders unsettle Leah. While she is observing him carefully, he orders a drink, looks over the bar clientele, and gives her eye contact. Leah looks back, smiles and then looks away. He catches her eye again. Again she smiles. Very deliberately, he lifts his drink into the air, in her direction. She does the same. Slowly, he picks up his drink, looks back at her for any indication that she might not be interested. When she doesn’t immediately head for the ladies room, he walks slowly around the bar. Flashing a Hollywood smile, he introduces himself. “Hi, Jeff. Jeff Cole,” he says, with just the slightest hint of a southern drawl. Nice name, you think.
“Hello, I’m Leah.”
Leah has been dating for a long time, with limited success at finding anything permanent. Experienced at chance meetings, she quickly learns that he has a studio apartment in Manhattan, a summer share in the Hamptons and drives a black Mercedes SLS because it is easy to park in the city. His credentials dazzle!
No point in wasting time on a loser!
Instead of proceeding with caution with Mr. Perfect, who could date any woman in the city, and probably has, Leah is already planning a long-term relationship leading to marriage. After all, they are probably a perfect match.
Jeff arrives for the first date with six perfect yellow roses and an apology for being two hours late. He offered that he could not find a florist in this city with a parking lot. He would have called but his phone battery was low. Instead of being suspicious or annoyed, Leah is impressed that it meant that much to Jeff to bring her flowers.
Arriving at the restaurant in his Mercedes, they valet park at a west side French Restaurant, Alain Ducasse, at the Essex House. Jeff is recognized by everyone from the Maître D. to the bus boy; Leah is awed.
The waiter arrives with a huge wine list but Jeff orders two Bombay Sapphire Dirty Martinis, with ice on the side. He smiles and says affably, “I hope that’s ok with you.” Leah is impressed; he really knows his way around. Leah usually drinks wine but why not be flexible? This man is Mr. Right.
Jeff orders dinner for both of them. He chooses Escargot in Garlic Sauce with a dash of Cognac and Soufflé Lapin. Unfortunately, Leah is not a fan of Escargot and does not know what Lapin is. French class was a long time ago. However, Leah does not want to offend him, so she pushes the snails around the plate and nibbles at the Lapin, which she later learns is rabbit. “How can anyone eat a rabbit?” she asks the universe.
However, she rationalized that eating rabbit was a small price to pay for being with this achiever.
While Leah and Jeff chat, his phone beeps incessantly. Leah doesn’t question how his phone is suddenly teaming with life! However, she is annoyed that he has to at least email or text back to each contact. In the midst of being slightly annoyed, she notices he smells of Kenneth Cole Black and his eyes are a deep blue. The waiter arrives with Crème Brulee for dessert.
When the checque arrives, Jeff casually drops several large bills on the table without even looking at the cost. By Leah’s random math, Jeff left an eighty-dollar tip. Leah looks at the money and Jeff says, “I eat here all the time; I take care of the staff.” Leah’s heart sinks! Somehow she imagined that the evening was special to her, having completely forgotten that when they arrived everyone in the restaurant knew him.
Three Months Later!
Needless to say, Leah is nowhere near a long term relationship with Jeff Cole. Happily ignoring every Red Flag, it has been a roller coaster of emotions. Dates made, dates broken; arriving on time, too late with little explanation.
She can’t figure out exactly what he does to make so much money. He is vague, but mentions something about real-estate investments. However, he spends it liberally on her, so she doesn’t care. While he has called her and texted on a daily basis, often he has been so busy with work that he often only sees her during the week. But, the dates are fabulous! Ignoring a sign that he might be dating two women, she feels she’d rather be out on the town than sitting home. And, Leah calculates that he is not going to fall for her if she doesn’t spend time with him.
Curiously, she has not met any of his friends, family or co-workers. Jeff says he doesn’t want to share her during the limited time he has with her. Instead of holding her emotions in check, she becomes more and more determined to make him fall in love with her.
Let Us Leave Our Heroine and Heartthrob, and Focus on You.
While the example is exaggerated for illustrative purposes, Jeff’s first date behavior was disrespectful of Leah’s time. He was two hours late. In addition, he proves himself a liar as his phone was working fine, as it rang incessantly during dinner. Dinner was a display of controlling behavior as he chose what she ate and drank. Just about everything Jeff did indicated a controlling, self -absorbed, insensitive, player. His lack of information about where he works and his inability to give Leah prime dating time are both Red Flags. He is hiding something. Clouded by infatuation, Leah was willing to overlook all of his behavior.
Many relationship-a-phobe players do not think past the physical. They do not see sex as a comcommitment! If you do believe sex is a commitment, be sure you have discussed where the relationship is going. Fearing what the truth might be will not change the outcome.
If you invest your emotions before such a conversation, it will only be dumb luck if the person turns out to be as wonderful as you had hoped. On the other hand, if luck is not with you, and you ignore all the warning signs, you are headed to a quickie for him. And, looking to the future, you will be disappointed, hurt and dumped often! Pay attention to the Red Flags!