25 years ago, my late husband wrote a book proposal called “ 7 Steps To The Altar”. He discussed “ Red Flags”. In his day, they were obvious things like drugs or alcohol. A few years ago, I ventured into online dating with the handle “Joyful Widow”, but nobody could warn me of the Twilight zone and red flags that lay ahead.
One of my first responses included a photo of a man in a very suggestive pose with his bathrobe. I primly replied, “No thanks, I am not that kind of woman”. To which I got the reply “Dear Joyful Widow, not so joyful are you!”
The next man wasn’t much better. It had a promising start as he was younger than me, and he told me I was a beautiful woman, then here it came “I really like having sex with older women, they are so experienced, and you look just like my mother”! Oh, Yuck!
Or take the time, I actually met a nice-sounding man for a cup of coffee who came accompanied by his dog. I gazed at the dog as it had not been on his profile. I thought about my three cats.
“Nice dog,”I said.
“He is my therapy dog,”he said proudly.
“Therapy Dog? You don’t appear to be blind” I was mystified.
“I am not blind. The dog is for my depression. I scored 97/100 on a depression scale at McClean Hospital and they thought a dog would help.”
This was not looking good. Polite as ever, I tried a safe topic.
“Where do you live.”
“In a small apartment in Weymouth,” he said “but until a couple of months ago, I lived in a very large house in Duxbury”
“What happened?” I asked.
“I lived with a retired doctor who is now in a nursing home. She paid for everything except the wine.” He added, “I bought very good wine.” He looked at me inquiringly.
“I wondered if you might be interested in a similar arrangement.” My jaw dropped. Who did he think I was?
“No, I only drink Diet Coke,” I replied indignantly. Really, I don’t come that cheap!”
Giving up on online dating, one Sunday afternoon, I explored a new social ballroom dance. Pretty soon a man named Fred spotted me and introduced himself. Fred came up to about my chest level. Cross my heart, this is how he opened, without any preamble.
“Hallo my name is Fred. I am the youngest of 8 children but the rest of them are dead, so I am all alone in the world. I had a girlfriend whom I met in this ballroom 6 years ago, and whenever she comes here my eyes fill with tears.” ( Ahhhh….)
Fred then offered me cake, which I politely refused, and then he asked if it was okay to eat my piece. But he hastened to add that he ate healthy and gave me a detailed rundown of what he ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and proudly said he ate plenty of fruits and vegetables which kept him …. regular. With that he patted his tummy, belched and said “pretty good don’t you think?” I fled the ballroom.
A few weeks ago, I was introduced by a friend of mine, to a widower whose wife had recently died. Perfect, I thought, this is how to meet a man, and eagerly awaited our first phone call. We talked for 1.5 hours, or rather he talked. I was prepared for him to talk about his wife, but then the conversation turned to when he was 27 years old and he picked up women in bars. He went into some detail about his exploits and concluded with “they always took their clothes off for me by the second date”. Then I should have seen this coming, then he said: “would you take off your clothes for me by our second date?”. My jaw dropped! Bear in mind, he has not even met me, so I replied rather firmly “No I would not!”. Needless to say, we never met in person.
My late husband called them Red Flags. I think a better term is “Fatal Flaws”.
I rest my case.