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I got a new girlfriend this past month, but already I'm concerned about a lot of red flags I'm getting in this brief time we've spent with one another. I'm conflicted, because I don't want to give up on something potentially great when I've already invested so much into it within a short time, but I don't want to waste anyone's time or have a relationship with a person who is wrong for me. Let's start with the good things about her, the things I really appreciate. She is close to me in age, which is something I've wanted in a partner since my ex and I had a big age difference. We are close in height, and I am slightly taller, which is also something I've wanted since I am short and it creates a lot of issues for me socially to date someone taller. We have a similar sense of humor, and enjoy a couple of the same funny shows and movies. She is quite attractive, probably the prettiest girl I have dated so far. I like that she is accepting and was willing to give me a chance, and doesn't judge me too much for being uninteresting, having a low-income job or being out of shape. She also seems to enjoy being affectionate with me, and she seems genuinely close to her family. She is fairly intelligent, and seems to care a lot about things, which I can admire. On the other hand, there are several issues. Despite having some things in common, it seems like a lot of the things I'm especially interested in, she is not. She doesn't have quite the personality or appearance that maybe I was looking for in a partner. She is friends with lots of people, and talks to lots of guys over social media, though she claims they are just friends and that in fact many of them live out of state. I've seen how she lives, and I feel like she doesn't keep a very clean house or show enough care for her safety or well-being. She has a drinking problem. She smokes, which I hate because it was a battle I also faced with my ex. She does lesser drugs, which also bothers me because it is illegal and perhaps unsafe, and seems like a waste of money to me honestly. She is extremely political and argumentative, which is very aggravating at times. And perhaps worst of all - she has anxiety issues, which she says have such a tremendous impact on her life that it prevents her from doing most normal things like keeping a job and driving. This last issue is especially difficult for me to deal with, partly because I don't feel my girlfriend is incapable of holding a job or managing in public. I just have trouble seeing how this issue exists when she maintains all of these social friendships and is constantly giving me the names of new people in her life to keep track of. Too, I fail to completely believe that what she suffers from is really a mental illness, since I believe that all of us deal with the same symptoms and feelings she describes - most of us just have learned to cope and deal with it better. It becomes a point of many heated arguments as well, since many of our arguments conveniently come back to her anxiety and how it determines what she is and is not capable of doing with her life. I want to give this girl a fair chance, and we've had mostly a good time hanging out and getting to know one another so far. I try to see past her imperfections because I realize I have many as well. As the picture of her becomes clearer and clearer each time we hang out, I know what I am getting myself into and I do accept that. But should I? Is it right? The fact of the matter is, I am not sure if I should introduce this woman to my parents. And I'm not sure if I need to give things more time or what, since she has told me that she feels like we rushed into things, and she wants to enjoy that "dating and getting to know each-other" period more. I don't want this woman to be with me because she feels bad for me, or feels obligated to. I want her to care for me because I care for her, and take a chance on me because I take a chance on her. But I'm not sure how she sees things. Maybe she just isn't serious enough for me? Curious to see how other people view the situation. I would like to at least hear some good advice, even if just for the perspective of it.

Unsure about new relationship

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First off let me say I am a fixer and I truly believe in working at relationships, giving people a chance and the benefit of the doubt. I myself have been seeking advice since I have recently gone through a horrible breakup with a girl I truly loved and she herself suffered with some fo the same issues you have described. But I also overlooked some massive red flags and have been massively hurt as a result. In terms of your situation Id say that my interpretation of it is that the things you've described as liking about her seem really superficial. Whilst the things that you don't like seem much more significant and important. For example, you like that she is close to your age...but so are millions of girls... The year she was born has nothing to do with her personality or who she is as a person....on the other hand you don't like that she drinks or smokes, which are a part of who she is as a person. So it sort of seems you like arbitrary characterics of her that actually apply to many people, but don't like characteristics that define who she is personally. So that's probably and important point to think about. I'd say if she's not a girl you'd be happy to bring home to your mum, she's not really the girl for you. Don't get me wrong I've had fun with girls I wouldn't want meeting my mother and there is nothing wrong with that. But there is also no real future with a girl you think that way about.

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Hey Tek, thanks again for responding. So your point was valid, and to be honest I did struggle to come up with some really strong positives. In my defense I would say that we get along pretty well for the most part, and there are some things we both enjoy, but over the past couple of days I feel like a lot of her interest in our relationship is running thin. It is becoming difficult for me to think of things to text her and talk about. It's a little disappointing that this is happening right now, but I want to blame it on some sort of mental block I am having, and issues that my girlfriend has going on in her household right now. I think there is definitely some decline in our dating excitement though. Another thing that I realized we have in common, and something that I kind of like about us, is that we are both kind of imperfect and have problems. I feel like maybe I deserve to have someone who is more on my level in some way, even if that means having to accept substance-abuse problems and disorders at the trade-off of having someone really understanding and attractive. I'm not really sure if it's right or justified, but I guess that's one way I've chosen to look at it. Another issue our "ladies" have in common, which I forgot to mention on your thread, is that they both are stuck on some former flame. Shortly after we started staying at each others' places, her ex began trying to get back in contact with her. He wanted to "see how she is doing" and "be there for her" since their breakup and after learning that she is in a new relationship. She claims she keeps turning down his requests to keep talking, but judging by how she is texting me back less lately, I'd reckon he's gotten to her. Her own admission that she "honestly doesn't know what she would do if he came around again" leaves me feeling like she will never be over this guy. Which is a shame because as she puts it, he probably didn't care for her as much as she did him. To be honest, I guess I am kind of already realizing that this probably won't last long-term. I keep being hopeful, but it's like I have to keep showing up every week to recharge her interest in me, and even then, it seems like we are growing distant as the weeks continue to pass. It's hard not to feel a little bit used. But then again, I really can't complain because I have longed for love and female attention for the past year. So maybe as you say, this is something I shouldn't take too seriously. She keeps telling me we should go with the flow and just enjoy the present, and maybe that is what I need - maybe I deserve to have a little fun for a change, anyway! But then again, perhaps I need to stop treating this lady like someone who I have such a certain future with. Maybe I shouldn't let her continue to buy things to leave at my place, and maybe I should pull back a bit and just kind of view this as something more casual. At any rate, I am growing concerned with weather I could handle her ton of problems long-term since reading about your ex's behavior after skiing. I'm not exactly looking to be a pincushion for a co-dependent self-sabotaging person. I guess it's settled - I have been giving a lot of thought to this relationship, and now is probably the time to relax and not put so much effort into something so uncertain.

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Altreal, the biggest issue is that nobody can have another successful relationship with someone else if they're still hung up on their previous one. It's not possible and all we achieve if we do try with another relationship is confusion and doubt. We don't get the predictability that we need and owe a new relationship, if we're constantly rethinking the past or in contact with the recent ex. It's all very well 'to go with the flow' but while it suits this woman, it doesn't suit you and hence your confusion. Most importantly, if she doesn't share your values and standards, then she's better off being just a friend rather than a GF. You are the only one in charge of your life and you have choices as to how you live it and with whom you share it...and you're more than correct when you state that you deserve someone more on your level. It's not a judgement, rather it's instinct which guides us when choosing a partner. If your instinct is reacting to this woman, then you need to listen to it.

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Thanks for replying also, Manalone. Actually in my last post I was talking about deserving someone on my level, I would say that I was viewing that more in a negative light. Like I figure I'm damaged, so it's fair to give things a chance with someone else who is damaged in some way. This evening I've been thinking about things some more, and I would have to agree with things more in the way you suggested, though. I need someone more on my level, someone more like me. Maybe the fact of the matter is, I'm simply not as damaged as this girl who I've been seeing. It almost seems unfair, the amount of issues I have to deal with as a result of dating this woman. It's like I'm supposed to wait around for this woman to get her entire life in order. And even if she did accomplish something, like let's say, she finally gets a job, or stops smoking, there are still so many other issues she will have to deal with yet, and so much she has to learn about the real world. It's like she is an adult woman, with the mind of an adolescent. And I doubt I'm a strong enough person to deal with that for a really long time. I don't have the income and security myself to really handle the strain of it, and I don't think I am emotionally well enough to handle her craziness through all of that. I honestly feel that I am over my own ex, though I do think I have some experiences to reference when considering these newer women I date. You know, it seems like every.freaking.one. of the girls I have dated since my ex is totally hung up on their ex. It'd ridiculous, to be perfectly honest. I get that I was still getting over my ex when I dated that first girl, but honestly by like half a year later I was getting over things. It reaches the point where if this girl isn't seeing the full value of me after I've done a lot for her and have been really damn good to her, and she is still stuck on a guy who cheated on her, or moved away, or who was too chicken-sh*t to even tell her it was over but just stopped talking to her.... Her loss, you know? My ex really didn't seem too hung up on any of her ex boyfriends, in fact I still believe I am probably the best person she had dated up to that point. Hopefully, she even moved on like I am. I think you've got to move on. I am not sure what to do right now, as far as this new "girlfriend" is concerned. She cancelled our plans to hang out today, but said she is still currently interested in hanging out tomorrow. Idk though, if she didn't have so many negative issues I would be more optimistic about our future together, but honestly they are what is realy ruining things for me. But she does have those issues. And on top of them, she and I just plain don't see eye to eye on a lot of shit. And it's disappointing. But it is what it is. It seems like she is really unclear about what exactly she does want. She says she wants to take things slow and doesn't want a relationship yet. She doesn't want us to say we love each other. But at the same time she is leaving stuff at my place, says she isn't talking to anyone else, and she is making an effort to stay in contact with me each day, at least. I guess I don't understand how to take a step back from this yet. All I can figure is to treat her more like a friend than a girlfriend for a while, and see if she feels anything at all. For now I'm gonna go hang out with a buddy, see if I can get my mind off of this for a little.

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Altreal, she's giving you 100% mixed messages (leaving stuff at yours while asking to cool it right down to casual whilst keeping you warm with *some* behaviour that says 'we're Steadies', like phoning daily) because it SERVES her to. She's telling you she has to talk to other males on the interweb due to these 'anxiety issues of hers' because it SERVES her to. She's saying she has to keep entertaining contact attempts from her ex because it SERVES her to. She doesn't give a sh*t for *your* feelings, that much is obvious! It's All About Her. She simply doesn't want to have to be single, solitary and independent while still on the cruise for someone new (or someone used but hopefully improved (ex)), yet, simultaneously, IN CASE you 'take' or (more likely) end up the last remaining, interested egg in her basket, she'd like the dynamic to be master-servant - you constantly anxious and feeling vulnerable, on the backfoot and always chasing-chasing after her giving you back even half of what you give to her, including loyalty and being concerned with your feelings even to the minimal extent of wanting to protect them. In short, she's using you. Sorry, but when you're in it to win it you start as you mean to go on, and Honeymoon Period is when you're supposed to show your very *best* sides. BEST SIDES? Her 'start' features her all-too-cavalierly making you feel very demeaned and rejectable, with nothing but BS as her attempted justifications and placations, and not even into you enough to try to hide the seriousness of her drinking habit (not that you'd want her to hide it but when a person is into you they at least TRY to *or* see a huge need, finally, to change their less attractive and relationship-hampering ways). Your gut is SCREAMING at you to show some self-respect and dump the dud. Even if she then begged you back by vowing to clean up her act(s), at least you could do so safe in the knowledge that you've shown her precisely where your boundaries lay and what happens if she ever crosses them again. But I personally still wouldn't because - who wants a kid in a grown-up suit that, aside from being unemployable, has to be TOLD how one ought behave towards a steady- sorry, REGULAR boyfriend or just plain another person with FEELINGS. She's playing you and stringing you along and I'd have thought that were perfectly obvious. This isn't ABOUT being deaf, dumb and blind, though, is it. You said it yourself, that you feel that whatever faults of yours mean this unfit-for-a-relationship individual is as high a calibre as you can hope for. Get THAT lack of self-pride and confidence issue sorted and then you'll have greater expectations about what you do (and don't) deserve thus will give out the corresponding 'advert' (via your vibes and whole demeanour) that draws you to/attracts a classier type of 'clientele'.

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...One that can behave halfway DECENT!

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Thanks again for replying, everyone. You all gave some pretty solid feedback, and helped confirm some things I was feeling. Soulmate, I checked your response earlier - once again, really good points made. I think maybe she did consider my feelings somewhat, and perhaps that contributed to her being so indecisive about whether we were or weren't dating. At the same time, she didn't really appreciate all I had to offer, or view our short-lived relationship the way I was viewing it, so she really didn't appreciate my feelings or how much I was trying to do for her. I actually just got back from driving to her place to, pretty much, break up. It went well, I really couldn't have asked for a better resolution - we may not have been able to see eye-to-eye on a lot, though we were able to agree that we shouldn't be together. I tried my best to be good to this girl, but at the end of the day she just isn't as ready for something serious as I am. One thing I am concerned about is that she has been sick, and I know the chances are pretty low, but I do worry about the possibility that she could be pregnant. I doubt it, but I even brought this up to her, since I think it's important to be aware of that possibility - especially since I wouldn't want her to hurt an unborn child in some way. I mention it because I realize this is one thing that could potentially keep this woman a part of my life, but I do know she has an IUD so I am still doubtful that she would be. I'm not gonna lie, I do feel kind of down now. Being there at her place with her again, if just for half an hour or so... It reminded me in a few moments of a lot of those things I like about this girl. I still feel like I could have maybe had something with her eventually, if we gave things more time. I guess it just wasn't meant to be, idk. And now I guess I don't have a special girl in my life to spend time with, once more. She agreed we could still try to be friends, and talk and text and hang out sometimes. I am hoping she will keep her word on that. But, my past experiences make me suspect we won't talk or hang out nearly as much as might be necessary in a friendship. After all, my ex and I rarely talk anymore - usually once a month, if that, and usually I am the one who has to initiate any sort of plans. For now... I am anxious, and I think I'll go back out and drive somewhere else and do something to keep my mind occupied.

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Well, practise makes perfect so her playing 'gym equipment' (as had you trying harder than normal, I presume?) might well have helped you finish being optimally ripe and ready for the real deal, a woman who IS ready enough to appreciate who you are and all you bring to the table...in which case, watch that space. Oh, and don't change a thing. It's this: Right Qualities, WRONG RECIPIENT. Just be the very *best* You you can, but still True You. PS: Chances are pretty low with a coil. Unless the woman's mind is gagging for a babbie. But I doubt that if she had no problem fancying you yet wasn't responsive/conducive beyond that level. You're supposed to feel down. It's the rain that primes you to feel the pending sun that much more forcefully and gratefully. No Pain, No Gain... the bigger the pain, the greater the gain. *And* you managed to bite the bullet and dump, which is a little known rite of passage into full and optimum ripeness as positively exudes out from your overall vibe. Not if you keep dabbling with what is now history, though...it'll mar said vibe... water it down, as well as attract to yourself an equally ambiguous counterpart. Same goes for the other ex. Seriously, contact like that holds you back more than you realise. Plus, it's almost guaranteed to put off any future hopeful. Nope - keep dumped, put one foot in front of the other, one day at a time, and pretty soon you'll get your reward.

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