Red Flags or Walls?



“I know this is cliche, but I need to take a raincheck on tonight?”


“What do you mean by that? Something has come up and I really can’t make it!”


You can feel the frustration and disappointment coming through the phone.  The slow response mixed with the forever seeming dot dot dot that lingers before someone sends you a message.

I’m here again. I’m back at this same place. I found a nice person to talk to, and I back out. I am the one that had to take a raincheck.

What is the big thing that came up? My sister came to town to visit me with no notice, she’s from South Dakota and there is so much that we need to catch up on. We haven’t talked in months.

Was it true? No. 

I talked to my sister yesterday and her weekend was packed with family outings and appointments. What is my reason for acting like a ‘typical girl and blowing someone off?’

Red flags.

Personal walls.

I couldn’t decide.

Picture it, my apartment December 3rd…

I decided to put Tinder back on my phone and within minutes we had liked each other’s account. We began chatting and hit it off right away. A week later we were still talking and wishing each other a happy morning and a good day. Two days ago he started saying, “so I have something to tell you.”

I’m Indian.

OK? I’m white. What’s the big deal? Is this a fact I need to know, because it will matter if we get together, should I prepare for your family only wanting you to be with an Indian woman? What is the set up?

He explained women had stopped talking to him because of his nationality. I informed him I am attracted to people, not nationalities. With relief he began texting even more and we started sharing likes and dislikes, then another, ‘I have to tell you something.”

I’m separated.

As in not yet divorced. OK…Ok…I can work with that. I know a lot of people in relationships that have ended and the legal process takes a while. We talked about it and moved on.

Then he would say again, “I have something to tell you. I own my own bowling bag.”

Was he testing me? Was he sharing all these truths because he wanted to cover up the real issue? Were these red flags?

I laughed it away, but in my head I thought, how can I date someone who has their own bowling bag? That’s just weird.

Flash forward to last night as I fell asleep in my rocking chair like grandpa at 8 p.m. I drifted away to what our date would be like the following night.

We would meet, have a social exchanges, play some bowling, I would win. He would cry. It would be great. However, this morning when I woke up I just knew I had to cancel the date. I don’t know if it was red flags during our texting or if it was due to my own insecurities of dating. Starting over, having the first meeting, who buys, how much of my personality do I let out, how do we end the night, how do I make him respect me, does he find me sexy, etc.

Red flags or built up walls.

How do you know which is which. I watch so many T.V. shows where woman go on a date and end up murdered. While watching I get frustrated at all the red flags they over looked. How do you know the difference though between a red flag and walls that built around you to prevent from getting hurt.

Walls that will prevent another ‘one that got away.’ Walls that will prevent another agonizing crying session that lasts for weeks because your heart was truly broken. Walls you put up after you wiped away the last tear and told yourself you would never get hurt again.

Walls or Red Flags?

I may never know…


Copyright of Kristin Marthaler 2017

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