By: D. Kay Hutchinson/Yourtango.com
You’ve joined an online dating site and are excited to meet new people and explore possibilities. Finally, you discover one person in particular with whom you have a lot in common and feel that wonderful bubbly sensation of looking forward to meeting and deepening the relationship. Yet, you begin to notice a few things.
1. He avoids communicating evenings or on the weekends. You notice that your date only seems to talk to you during the week, or while in transit during travels (e.g. while at airports or hotels). If your date consistently stops texting, emailing, Skyping, etc. on the weekends or evenings then reappears during the week or during the day, that date could be a person who is married or involved.
Often times, people who are married or are otherwise attached will avoid communicating when their partners are around, usually evenings or weekends. People who are truly unattached and available will usually communicate equally on the weekends and evenings compared to communications during other times.
2. He gives mixed messages. He drops out of communication for stretches of time yet still expresses interest or desire for you. Usually when people cheat, they are wracked with guilt. They may love the excitement and adventure of pursuing someone outside of their relationship, yet they may also feel awful that they are cheating on a partner.
This conflict often manifests as the behaviors of pulling away from the new person for a while, returning to the existing marriage or relationship only to discover that there is still unhappiness, then reaching back out to the new person again. A person involved in another relationship might say to you, “Oh I’ve just had a lot of work or have a lot on my plate so have been a bit out of touch but let me make up for that — let’s plan a romantic weekend get away!”
It’s true that everyone gets busy from time to time, but the way to tell if someone is truly busy and not distancing because of conflicts about cheating, is to look at the frequency of this distancing behavior. If it is happening on a regular basis and is more the trend than the exception in the relationship, this is not a good sign. Dating partners who are truly single will progress a relationship in a way that is consistently forward moving such that communication and interactions are happening in a way that does not swing between being distant and unavailable to being passionate and romantic.
Also, some people, who are in relationships but are unhappy, use online single sites to create fantasy relationships as a diversion. When they realize that they are talking to a person who is the real deal, single, sincere and serious about finding a nice person to date, they then may pull back (especially if they have a conscience and want to avoid hurting you).
What that might look like is a person who professes deep interest and desire for you, then as you move forward, just suddenly breaks it off and says, “I hope you understand but I have to move on.” It can leave you quite confused and with that feeling as if someone has just pulled the rug out from under your feet. Usually when people genuinely lose interest and no longer feel that a relationship is a good fit, there is discussion about what they perceive is not working well, rather than a vague expression of, “I just have to move on.”
3. He gives inconsistent explanations or avoidance. Almost all of us have had the experiences of dating a person who is inconsistent with explanations. For example, you might make plans to get together and find that the person cancels at the last minute or just doesn’t show up. Later the date may explain, “I’m so sorry but I had to drive my cousin to another city so was a bit out of pocket.”
This sounds reasonable enough until the person lets slip, “Yeah, it was a long four hours trip driving my daughter to college.” Whoops! Was it a cousin or daughter that got driven to another city?
When you say, “Oh I thought it was your cousin,” then the story changes to, “Well actually it was a family trip because my ex went along since we both wanted to support our daughter. I didn’t want to call or text you because our energy together is so negative since we still don’t get along. I really didn’t want to expose you to that.”
How considerate of the date … not! The real story is that the person is probably still hooking up with the ex but did not want the ex to know that he or she is actively pursuing another relationship with you.
Similarly if you are dating someone that travels a lot and you ask, “Oh when you travel to New York, do you stay with friends, family or grab a hotel or an Airbnb lodging?” and the answer is silence or a change of subject, that is not a good sign. People, who travel frequently and do not have other relationship in other cities, have no difficulty saying, “I grab a room or rent a condo, or stay with friends.” They will also stay in touch with you while they are away.
Online dating can be a wonderful adventure but keep the above signs in mind to help you sort through the wonderfully abundant princes and princesses who do exist, and the frogs who may be people in attached relationships masquerading as being single.