So I got an email from a TCF reader who tells me that she met a guy on a catholic dating site.
He was doing all the right things – texting her first, initiating contact and it was him who suggested they meet soon.
“No red flags” she says.
The moment she agrees to meet him, he stopped responding and she can see he is online daily, but he isn’t responding.
She is unsure what to do next and doesn’t want to text him cos she doesn’t want to chase a guy and it seems to her that he is playing games
(DING! DING! Listen to that instinct!)
She asks me if I think he is a player?
Now, I do not know if he is a player or not, but her instincts are correct – he does seem to be playing mind games.
And although she mentions that he has not displayed red flags, his behaviour is certainly a RED FLAG.
Abusive, toxic or narcissistic people will throw up red flags early on.
You just have to know what you are looking at.
Normal relationships don’t have this start-stop energy to them.
Toxic relationships or relationships with toxic, manipulative and abusive people do.
This is because they blow hot and cold and, if you remember my list of EARLY DATING RED FLAGS, you will notice that blowing hot and cold is definitely a RED FLAG.
It’s the good ole’ bait and switch that abusive and narcissistic people love to do – they promise you something and then they take it away.
This way, they want to achieve two things:
- make you chase after them
- force you into a trauma bond, which then makes it harder for your to let go of them. PS, trauma bonds are formed through inconsistent messages that the abuser gives, such as being nice one moment and cold the next; being enthusiastic today and disappearing the next
They want you so confused that by the time they decide to return to you, you eagerly lap up any crumbs of attention they give you.
A bait and switch occur when someone displays a certain behaviour or set of actions that are used to gain your attention, affection or trust.
And then when they feel that their goal has been achieved, they change up on you….and not for the better.
Many times, it is also a sign that you are viewed as nothing more than conquest and once they feel they have you, they start to withdraw and go off chasing new targets, which this man clearly started doing.
Manipulative & narcissistic people like to juggle several people at once and texting constantly without much follow-through is how they do this, without any emotional investment.
They cannot invest emotionally in you or anybody – they have NO EMPATHY, remember?
If you are unaware of the tactics of manipulative people, you’d think something was wrong and you’d text them more often or worse, start chasing them by you calling them in an effort to get back the attentive person you thought they were.
Except. That person never existed.
It was a mask…..a facade that they used to lure you in
This blowing hot-cold behaviour is a tactic used by toxic, manipulative or narcissistic people to trap you and keep you hooked on them, forever chasing after that high.
Backing away or cooling down in the initial stages of a relationship IS not normal.
A relationship should be steadily progressing FORWARD, not regressing BACKWARDS
So what do you do when you notice this happening?
It’s very simple – when it is this early in the relationship, you ghost them.
If they contact you again, you block them.
Any further contact with someone who does this to you will result in further lies, manipulation and gaslighting.
Trying to fix this, justify this, make excuses for this and so on will make them see you as game for abuse.
They’ve shown you who they really are. Believe them.
Okay, let’s say he was still mulling over whether or not he should meet her.
Even so, his mini-ghosting is incredibly disrespectful.
Moreso, that he is checking out other girls online, knowing that she can see him when he is online.
It’s almost like he wants to drive her into a jealous frenzy that will make her contact him ie chase him. And this is exactly the wrong thing to do.
With abusive and narcissistic people, everything is a game.
Just like a cat toys with its food before devouring it, these people like to toy with their prey before stepping up the abuse.
Don’t put up with this. You are not a toy and you are NOT prey.
The only way to win is not to play. Disengage and block!
If he resurfaces and she chooses to proceed with him, this kind of disrespectful behaviour will continue and escalate because, by accepting him back, she has demonstrated that she is willing to put up with disrespectful behaviour.
Remember, abuse doesn’t always begin with hitting.
It begins with little acts of disrespect like these.
The best thing she should do is to block him from her phone and block him online so he is not seeing when she is online. She should not pin her hopes on him……or on any guy in the 1st three months of dating, for that matter.
She should continue to speaking with other guys online.
This stage in the Stages of Courtship is the friendships stage and he has already failed.
This is why we advise that the 1st 3 months of a relationship is NOT a time to be exclusive – it is a time of watching for red flags and seeing if this person is SAFE, and if they would even make a good boyfriend, let alone a good spouse.
Don’t let the fact that you met this person through church or at a Catholic dating site blind you to very problematic behaviour.
Toxic, narcissistic and abusive people go to Church too and many times would frequent Christian online or offline communities to target young women or the vulnerable.
Some of them even call us traditional Catholic pushovers, thinking because we are traditional feminine Catholics, we would simply roll over and accept rotten behaviour
If there are clergy within the Church that abuse children, what makes you think there are no predators in the pew next to you or on the Catholic dating site?
Due to the pandemic limiting in-person interactions and growing incels and misogynists who see all modern women as feminists, these men want someone they can easily control and manipulate, and they have headed in droves to online dating sites….ESPECIALLY the Christian or Catholic dating sites.
We are not to live in fear or despair over this.
We are, however, to be discerning, wise and very selective in our friendships or dating choices – all these are traits of a virtuous feminine woman. It is okay to be picky or choosy.
So well done to her for listening to her gut instinct.
Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us!!
ad Jesum per Mariam