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Are these warning signs after a second date? Should I give it a go or run?

Tagged as: Dating<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 April 2019) 7 Answers - (Newest, 13 April 2019)
A male United Kingdom age 30-35, anonymous writes:

Hi all,

I am mentally quite stuck and would really appreciate some advice.

A bit of background. I am 35 years old and have had 2 relationships in my life. One for 3 years from the age of 24 and one for 6 years from the age of 28.

Both were flawed which is why they ended. The first I felt damaged me emotionally a bit and the second had many good points as we were good friends but left me feeling very lonely at times as we were different people when it came to communication and emotional connection.

Whether this is of relevance or not i'm not sure.

My current problem is as follows. I have been single for about 16 months and started online dating a few months ago. I have been on 4 dates and have not really enjoyed the process. But the last date has been a different experience to anything I've had before.

Physical attraction wasn't really there. There were distinct elements that I wasn't drawn to about her physical appearance but there is no need to detail them here. I just felt she wasn't my 'type' physically. However, we had been talking before by text for a few days and I liked the initial impression of her personality. She seemed creative. artistic, compassionate and spiritual. All qualities I respect in a person and have not had in a relationship before. So I didn't want to let initial physical attraction be a complete deal breaker.

As the date went on I got mixed feelings. The positive qualities above were still there and I found myself wanting to find her attractive. We were together for about 10 hours and conversation flowed well. I was unsure after the date but she asked if she wanted to take her dogs for a walk on a second date a couple of days after and I said yes.

But there were also a few warning signs which started appearing as time went on. Maybe I shouldn't be leading the text with these as i'm sure it will lead people's opinions in one direction but bear with me please. I will detail positives after.

Things that I wasn't sure if I should be concerned about or not and could do with opinions on:

-She very quickly told me about all of her very major historical issues. We're talking very deep personal problems and events including the fact she got a reputation sleeping around when young in her home town, 2 rape incidents when she was a child and a teenager and a miscarriage a number of years ago. I was flattered as she said how easy I was to talk to and that she doesn't normally tell people these things but in hindsight wonder if that was a bit forthright?

-She also told me about how she made a bet with her friends to find a guy on a dating date and sleep with him which she succeeded with. I don't believe I am the same deal but felt it was an odd thing to admit to.

-She mentioned her ex boyfriends and the problems with the relationships. A bit early on a first date?

-She is a strict vegan and said it was ok for me to order anything but was distinctly disgusted when i ordered lamb and she actually had to move away and avert her eyes when it arrived.

Things I am definitely concerned by:

-She would ask me an opinion eg. where do you want to eat or which way do you want to go and when I would say 'I don't mind' she rolled her eyes and forced me to make a decision. She would then make her own mind up regardless. I appreciate indecisiveness can be frustrating but I am not really an indecisive person. I simply didn't want to dictate on a first date and also didn't know the area.

-Some stories she told made her seem quite aggressive towards others when it came to moral issues. She said she got a kick out of putting people in their place. For example she said on that day she got in an argument with a woman on the bus because she had her dog on the chair and the other woman didn't like it.

-She also tutted, sighed and turned her head towards people walking by if she thought they had done something wrong and then muttered under her breathe. She did this a surprising amount.

-On the walk she would keep pointing out things people were doing wrong with their dogs and seem really angry about it.

-She actually came across as a bit racist at times...She works in a hotel and I actually can see where some of her comments came from regarding the more obvious seemingly negative aspects of some cultures but I was surprised by the aggressive nature in the way they were said and with the regularity. She made regular comments about 'immigrants' etc (and yet she is from a different country herself which baffled me....)

So I have thrown a whole bunch of negatives at you! Which i'm sure you are all thinking 'why is he even considering it'?

But I will now focus on the positives. These incidents were not a constant and were interspersed with a completely contradictory nature. She was chatty, friendly, generous, complimentary and inspirational with her stories, creativity and deep conversation which I really appreciated.

She was actually nicer to me than I think any girl has ever been before. I felt like she was truly listening and taking on board what I was saying. She kept constant eye contact and made funny quips. She said how comfortable I made her feel which is why she could talk so openly.

On the second date, we went for a dog walk and she said she'd bring lunch. She bought me a fancy lunch and treats and also 2 gifts, a gift-wrapped journal and a printout of her personal poetry which she said she had never shown anyone before! I was really flattered but a little bit taken aback. I am completely out of touch with the dating game so am unsure if this is unusual or not. Is this a bit much after having seen someone twice?

We walked around for a few hours and then sat on a bench. I could tell that she was pushing for me to put my arm around her or instigate something but I just didn't feel ready. I will admit I am very shy when it comes to sexual encounters or instigating contact, especially after only having been with one woman for the last 7 years and a couple before that. So there are multiple reasons I didn't make a move.

But she then suggested we go to the seaside over the weekend. I wasn't sure what to think but thought I'd go with it for now. She then said 'great, you can stay over at mine' and I know that she is insinuating a 'romantic encounter'. I have never been one to sleep around or to sleep with someone just for the sake of it. I have a had a couple of one night stands before and hated doing it. I know that I want to be connected with someone before sleeping with them. But people have often suggested to me (herself included on the date) that I take it too seriously and that I should have 'some fun'. She even told me that I wasted my 20's because I didn't experiment and sleep around when she asked me if I had.

So the date ended and we went our separate ways. In the next day and a half I got a lot of messages, which is fine, but she also sent me a picture she had drawn of me which once again, i was flattered, but also maybe a bit freaked out.

So I am struggling to figure out what to do. I have never had someone so 'into' me or be so nice to me. Am I just holding on the idea because I feel flattered and am enjoying being 'doted on'? I really like and respect so many of the qualities she shows. In fact a lot of them are exact things I have always wanted in a partner. But the other 'warning signs' seem such a juxtaposition to these qualities.

Are these gestures,gifts and comments she is making to me simply really nice or are they a bit strange so early on?

Is it odd to invite someone to stay round theirs on a third date?

I'm so clueless with all this as i say...

I can't tell if it's my intuition telling me to be wary, if it's my ego and low-self esteem liking all the attention that is wanting me to give it a go when really i should leave, or if it's my insecurity and fear having not been with a woman for so long that is pushing me away from a woman that might be good for me?

For all I know she may just be looking for a quick bit of fun herself and I am taking it all too seriously.....

I need to make my mind up as she is making plans for the weekend and I just don't know if I should keep giving it a go or jump ship now?

thanks for reading!

View related questions: her ex, one night stand, shy, text

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (13 April 2019):

Ciar agony auntIt's your intuition and plain common sense telling you to be wary.

She's unstable and has vague boundaries. Passionate, quick to judge, and present herself as a victim. Don't be too quick to believe the rape stories. I'm not saying they're definitely false, but with this type of person, it's not unheard of. She may have her good points, most people do, but the bad ones are serious, in my opinion, and the fact that you're seeing them so early is significant.

I suspect breaking up with this one, after months of dating, could be very ugly (restraining orders, social media slander campaigns, false rape accusations, etc) so I recommend you get away from this sooner rather than later.

One point about the indecisiveness though, it is annoying. If you're asked to pick a restaurant then just pick one. Your date is always free to decline and choose something else. (Don't say all that to her though, because she already knows and it makes you look wishy washy, which is very unattractive to most women).

Also, adjust your expectations of dating. Try not to hope each woman is 'the one'. Just go out on dates, go to places you've never been or wouldn't normally go to. Go OUT, enjoy the company and if something more comes from it, great if not, you've lost nothing. You gained an experience and, more often than not, had a decent time.

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (12 April 2019):

N91 agony auntOh god.

She sounds like nothing but drama. I’m all for people doing whatever they want in life and living how they want to be happy. But people that have overbearing opinions and look down their nose at others drive me insane. Vegans are a big one, I can’t stand how a lot of them think they’re better than you because of what they eat. Forcing their viewpoints down the throats of others is infuriating. Oh great, she ‘allowed’ you to eat whatever you want! She’s not your mother food goodness sake, I’d of found her response to your meal incredibly annoying also!

I think you know this one isn’t right for you. If you need to come and ask strangers on the internet for advice then it’s not a great sign is it? She sounds like she’s very invested already, she’s sharing lots of personal info very early and showing off all of her baggage.

She may have an intriguing personality, but that doesn’t give her the right to show racist views and exhibit signs of a superiority against others. Those two alone would of put me off immediately. I tend to find it’s the ones who try to seem spiritual and at one with nature are usually the ones who show behaviour trying to indicate that they’re above others. Acting as if not using animal products and trying to preserve nature makes them better than others! I bet she has no issues using a car and public transport, contributing to damaging the environment and then trying to act like you’ve murdered a lamb in front of her very eyes!

I think you’re clinging to anyone as you’ve been single for what you deem a long time! If you truly were interested you’d be gravitating towards her naturally and wouldn’t need to ask for advice.

Avoid like the plague, way too much drama for my liking.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (11 April 2019):


I forgot that vegan-issue. I have no tolerance for people who sit in judgement over what I have on my plate. It's bad manners and nothing but a bunch of snobbish BS! That alone would be a deal-breaker for me! I love lamb!

I'm not much into pork, and I don't eat beef. It's my choice, and I shut my pie-hole about what other people eat. I have vegan-friends, and when I serve; I include meals they'd appreciate. They'd be ejected from my house; if they put on those phony vegan-airs! We are tolerant and polite at my table!!! Now smoking and drugs...that's not food! I don't have to judge, but it won't happen in my home. In your house, suit yourself! I'll politely leave and keep my trap shut!

I'd give her a respectful and straight-to-the-point phone-call! If you're too uncomfortable to do so in-person.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (11 April 2019):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntHave you ever watched the film "Fatal Attraction"? If you have, you know the definition of a "bunny boiler". This woman comes across as exactly that.

Please don't tell her any personal details. Don't tell her where you live. Don't tell her where you work. Don't give her any clues of how to find you because, I strongly suspect, when you finish with her, she will not accept that as the end of the relationship. And definitely do not have sex with her, not least because you do not feel ready.

I strongly suspect, if you stay in this "relationship", she will make increasingly more demands on you. For instance, how long can you stand eating meat if she creates such a scene when you do? While I admire anyone's choice to be vegetarian or vegan, it is exactly that: a CHOICE. She cannot impose it on other people. My closest friend is vegetarian for ethical reasons but would never expect someone else to not eat meat just because she chooses not to. That is imposing your choices on others, which is unacceptable. While it is find to try to show people why YOU make certain choices, it is not acceptable to make them feel guilty for making other choices. Any desire to change needs to come from YOU.

You know we have a gut instinct to protect us, right? Your gut instinct is screaming at you to get out. Ignore it at your peril.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (11 April 2019):

I think you're very good at expressing yourself; so answering your post isn't difficult for me. I do see that you're very conflicted; but you're also trying not to hurt her feelings.

You're also afraid to come across as a weakling. No, I don't pick that up at all. You're "conservative." Your approach to women is a bit too cautionary; but that's understood, considering what you've explained.

You're leaning towards running for the hills! You don't seem to want to be a jerk about it; and you're trying to avoid our harsh judgement or criticism towards you. You've come to the right place. You'll get several great responses. You'll get a little bit of self-righteous finger-wagging as well. You can handle it. It's for your own good!

You're not physically-attracted to her. The lack of physical-attraction for men is different than that for women. You need the right visual-criteria to spark your animal-attraction. You can't get an erection for what you're not visually-attracted to. It's quite necessary in males. Only it's easy to judge that as being superficial. To be honest, many guys play out of their league. Everyday average-guy/Mr. Bald & Chubby, only seeking super-models! Unless you're quite of luck with that!

How high do you set the standard on looks, and how well do you meet it yourself? Sometimes you raise the bar too high, based on the male-ego. I have to be honest and fair here.

Logically, if there is no chemistry; there is no attraction. People on dating sites aren't searching for friends, or risking their vulnerabilities to be sidelined in the friend-zone. Don't waste her time.

From the male-perspective, it's a little disconcerting when we first meet someone; and we're immediately hit with all their inner-most dark-secrets. If we've had a few bouts with psycho-females, and personally suffer with our own set of insecurities; we can easily see a train-wreck about to happen. We don't step out of a car-accident, and go pick a bar-fight. Know what I mean?!! We are reasonably weary, or hyper-sensitive to the potential confrontations and drama.

Connecting two damaged or emotionally-traumatized people, is how you make a dysfunctional-relationship.

For now, she is lovely. She is on her best behavior; because you both have to be. She has been on other dates; so she is self-conscious from past-experience. Which means she is practicing by putting forth her best face; by doing extra-nice things for you. As many fatal-attractions would begin. (I'm only kidding here!)

Leaving the questions: Is she really nice? Or, is she a black-widow spinning her best spider web?

Leaving the possibility that she will unleash her demons somewhere down the line. (Not kidding here!) You'll walk on eggshells to avoid that; based on what you've learned too soon. She's a little ticking time-bomb! One trigger either-way; and you'll instantly have flashbacks from your now dormant relationship PTSD. (Baggage leftover from your past failed-relationships.) She'll have instant recall of all her past-trauma; when you act out-of-character, or show your temper! That's when the drama begins! You're already judging her! I think the cons outweigh the pros, compatibility-wise!

You're sensing your fight or flee instincts based on her backstory. She's uninhibited, flawed, and bluntly-honest. She's also fickle and scary. "This is me and how I am. Take-it, or leave-it!" Consider it fair-warning! Leading her on would be a huge mistake. You're intrigued, but rightfully on your guard! I'd be!!!

Of course she's going to stroke your male-ego. She's a woman. Intuitive, cunning, and naturally-manipulative. She is also the aggressor in your romantic-connection; and you're dodging a lot of signals. You're slightly afraid of her. If you would just be honest about it. Trust your gut!

I sense this is an incompatible-match. She laid all her cards on the table; so you'd see what she's all about. You don't play with fire, if you've been burned twice.

When you're aware of your own flaws and issues, you should be proactive in working on them; so when dating, you offer the best you can be. You wouldn't be so confused; or feeling you'll have to tolerate really bad-traits in others. Lowering your expectations, or setting deficient-standards in your romantic-pursuits. Just to justify or to cover your own flaws. Not if those flaws are fixable; and you're just too lazy or prideful to correct them.

It's a bad endeavor in the dating-world to go in interchanging or negotiating your weaknesses. You base your criteria on strengths! That makes your relationships last. Don't dismiss obvious red-flags!

It's not being nice, fair, or tolerant. It's being stupid!

Use discernment and good-judgement. Learn from past mistakes!

You don't date people with a high-end checklist; if you wouldn't pass your on character test. You don't try to match yourself with people with flaws that send-off buzzers and alarms either! That young woman sends off buzzers and alarms! Banners and flags!!!

You're not Mr. Fix-it, or auditioning for one of those DYI reconstruction reality-shows on TV. Avoid fixer-uppers and rescues! Unless you're adequately qualified and really up to the task! I don't think you are! Not from what you've written. Just because you can ride a motor scooter doesn't mean you're ready for a Harley-Davidson! You need a modest, yet self-confident, and conservative-leaning female. She won't appreciate being practice-material or a lab rat to gain your experience. You're too old!

Bailout politely before she's too attached! You've already gone too far! Being so conflicted, you've written a very long post about it. You're feeling guilty, and afraid of how she might react to your rejection. Not well I would suppose; but better than she would if dumped months from now!

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (11 April 2019):

Honeypie agony auntI think you should RUN for the hills.

Sorry. The woman has WAY too much baggage and personal hang-ups.

I don't care of people want to be vegan, vegetarians or eat whatever they want, but for someone to "have" to AVERT their eyes when you get served lamb? Seriously? That you got "permission" to order whatever you wanted but she still made a theatrical about it? No way, is that OK behavior in a GROWN ASS person.

Then giving you her personal poetry on a second date, to me that is HER trying to make you FEEL special and that you NOW "owe" her more of your time.

I can't really see how this woman would be good for anyone right now. But then again, I'm not the one who could potentially date her.

From what you write I see WAY more red flags than positive things.

Betting with a friend that she can find a guy to sleep with on a dating site... HOW old is she? And seriously? How ridiculous is that?

If you are the one who wrote the "how to dump someone after two dates post" as well, then I think you know that this is NOT going to be a healthy relationship for you.

JUST because she has SOME qualities you like doesn't mean you should DISREGARD all the negative ones.

And IF you can find ONE woman with some good qualities you CAN find another.

Sorry, I'm blunt here, but I would run for the hills rather than date this one.

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A female reader, janniepeg Canada +, writes (11 April 2019):

janniepeg agony auntI think you are asking the next question which is how to break up after two dates. Seems like you already decided. I think you should break it off because you will be used as therapy and an emotional punching bag. She is pushing for emotional intimacy not because she wants it, but because it is her pattern with men, to get it over with. Given her history of abuse she may yield to sex because it makes her feel in control of the situation. There is a difference between liking life, male attention, being free spirited versus being a people pleaser and using sex to hook people in. Her describing her early history is considered emotional bonding with you. I personally cannot relate to it nor do I want to. It makes me very sad that instead of talking about family members, what you did on vacations, celebrations. Her only thing to tell you is about her sad history. Her negativity towards the world is her emotional expression to you.

I also have a problem with strict vegans. They are lacking in nutrients and will develop severe health problems. Her being a vegan could be a response to suffering and injustice in the world. Meal times with her will be unpleasant for you both.

When you've been single for long, you will be tempted to grab the first one who responds to you promptly. I have to warn you, the reasons people are single can be different from yours. In a way I am saying lots of people are single for messed up reasons. You can't just continue a date just because she is easy to talk to.

As to how to break it off, say you think you aren't a good match and wish her well. I don't think you need to meet in person for that.

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