why e^3? because most of the red flags i did not see in my relationship start with an e. but i should better start explaining it…
what bothered me most and what in itself would (and should) have been enough of a reason for a break up were the excuses i was confronted with and which upset more and more the longer we had been together. whenever i suggested something (as a result of him complaining about his wait and the pain it causes him physically and otherwise), i was offered numerous excuses why this and that was literally impossible, wouldn’t work or couldn’t be put into practice. even the tiniest change of habit was met by a concrete wall. it felt like all he wanted was my comfort but anything that would actually help him improve his situation and which would mean any (physical or mental) activity on his side… …well, my ideas weren’t welcome, to say the least. if you insist on rewarding yourself before you start doing a task and are not willing to change that approach because you would see that as a punishment.. ….you’re a lost cause, not seeking help and wasting my time. i did not see that red flag at the time.
that brings me to my next point: if you bring up excuses in order to avoid any action, it means you don’t want to put in any effort, right? and it will not come as a surprise that in all six years of our relationship i made all the effort. i travelled for 9+ hours twice a year. i made all the bookings. and as he does not have a driver’s licence, i picked up and dropped off friends and relatives, drove him 3 hours one way to a store to shop a new mattress, etc. and even when friends offered to help out with airmiles, he wormed his way out of the possibility to have to board a flight to europe. it would have meant an effort on his part, leaving his hometown and his comfort zone… ….and it was another red flag i chose not to see. even when we were about the break up he phrased it as „i haven’t ruled out in my mind me maybe joining you in europe.“ you don’t have to read it twice to realise that hell is more likely to freeze over tomorrow than him ever travelling anywhere outside his country ever. he did not even make the effort to show enough interest in what’s going on in my life to know that i had a graduation upcoming last year. if you learn about your significant others´ achievements via facebook, you know something’s really really wrong and you should put in a lot more… …effort.
and if you are smart, you will be aware that an economical factor is closely attached to most efforts. of all the flights and hotels booked, SUVs rented and fuelled up (because at 6 ft 8 he wouldn’t comfortably fit into a smaller, considerably cheaper car), it did not occur even once(!) to him to offer to share the costs. nor did i ever get any present that cost him any money (not that i asked for it, but don’t we all love a small token of appreciation every now and then?). as a banker that is the red flag that bugs me the most for not seeing. thinking about his behaviour, it feels like i fell into the hands of a freeloader. i don’t mind saving money myself but him praising me for not being „high maintenance“ now sounds oddly weird. and i can’t get rid of the impression that he was happy to spend my money (he had already planned which car „we“ would buy… …with my money obviously, or whatever would have been left of it….). we ate from paper plates using plastic cutlery (i asked for proper plates more than once to no avail) and napkins that came with delivered food. he did pay where and when he had to (family dinner), when he could leave a good impression with others (friends) and on himself (gadgets). america first… *cough*
i did the maths. it is safe to say that my colour blindness cost me a whopping 15.000 €. money that would come in handy to cover part of my medical expenses.
yet he had the audacity to throw mud at me last year, weeks after we broke up. i did not even have a chance to defend myself for he blocked me on every channel. if he was as mature as could be expected of a man his age, he would want to come clean. but that’s a concept that’s beyond him (that’s a different story, though). which is why i feel no remorse about getting the above off my chest. not that i need to remind myself of those red flags for if he achieved one thing, it is this: i am cured of any wish to be in a relationship again. ever.
thanks for nothing, david.
that’s one ill-fated chapter closed. there are a lot of things i look forward to, plenty of things that make me happy. time to move on, flip open a new page in my book of life and keep on writing. i learned a lot about myself (and others) this past year; and despite everything i am still curious what else life has in store for me…
p.s.: don’t get me wrong. i loved him. loved him dearly.
p.p.s.: i don’t miss him one bit. i am the happiest single on this planet. i don’t mind men and i certainly don’t hate them. but i neither need nor want any one of them in my life other than as a friend (without benefits).