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Red flags are everywhere and I was just blind to them because I just was in love with the person.

Between the third and the fourth date.

So. At this point I had to make a decision. Should I tell her that this is too much? Is telling a potential partner about your mental illnesses only after they have shown themselves in the most extreme way a red flag? If I had known I would have been more prepared. To be honest I don't know if I would have reacted any better or worse. Mental illness is such a vast and complicated topic! And I tried to get into it, I tried to develop an understanding, I even read a few comics about it! And half a year later I still feel so lost!
But it would have helped me that night, to know that ultimately this is just an extreme episode that will pass in a day or three. That night had quite the effect on me. At the time I was writing with a lot of people on dating apps and suddenly I started asking them about prior mental problems. And the result was fascinating. The vast majority had a history of, not just a mild depression, but a serious clinical diagnosis. All of a sudden I felt surrounded by “craaaazy people”, I took this way too serious and started to ask myself why I might be attracting women with mental disorders, when in truth mental disorders are just much more common than most people think. It’s just a huge stigma, so we don’t hear about it nearly as often as it happens. Also. My brain likes to be dramatic about things and I was looking for some simple explanation on why I was single and alone.

What is a red flag anyway?
Regular panic attacks?
An unwanted child at around 20?
Boasting about the amount of drug experience one had?
Trying to study philosophy?
Watching the Kardashians?

Failing to be understanding to all or just one of the above?
Failing to properly talk about important feelings, emotions and expectations?

I guess it depends. And in this case it depended on me.
I talked to a lot of my friends about it, hell, I even talked to other dates about it. Some told me to completely cut ties. Ruuuun while I still can! She’s obviously a broken person and she will continue to make me feel incredibly depressed! She might pretend like she needs me but she probably also tells that to the twently other guys. Others told me that if I wanted to be there for her I should try. And I really felt like she did need me. She told me multiple times that she didn’t really have a lot of friends. And I guess that’s a thing I like a lot. Helping people.
The oldest person I have ever met on Tinder once told me that she felt like I was the kind of person who likes to take care of a partner. I don’t know how the fuck she managed to come to that conclusion within the maybe 20 messages we had exchanged. But fuck me she was right. I love being there for people. I love it when somebody thanks me, even though I always pretend to be very modest. I love the feeling of power you have over somebody when you suggest something in their interest and they actually do it. (I know that sounds creepy btw. but I don’t really know how else to put it. There just always is a power aspect to helping people.) Since I’ve heard about it for the first time I wanted to go on one of those boats in the mediterranean sea that helps refugee rubber dinghies. My secret plan in case the movie thing fails has always been to work as an emergency physician. Those are mostly fantasies. But you get the point.

To put it in very simple terms: She wasn’t making me happy anymore.
So I chose to write her goodbye. I told her she’s awesome, I wished her and her kid all the best, I thanked her for her time and all the great things she showed me.
But it didn’t feel right to just loose her completely. I wanted us to stay friends. I wanted to be a grown up about this! She's incredibly interesting and even just from a storytellers perspective - I wanted to know how her story continues!
But I also didn’t feel like she ever really cared about me. And that's not how friendships work. So I gave her an option. A way out. Some way to write in case she actually gave a shit.

You‘re welcome to continue writing me on Instagram etc.
I‘d actually like that, because I really like you.
But I don‘t have the emotional experience for anything more than that atm.

I think at the time this was less of a conscious decision, but she would later get really mad about my intentions here. Calling me words such as “toxic” and “manipulative”. For? Well. I guess for making her write me again after a week? For trying to find out if she cares about me as a human being? And not just a chat bot with the sole intention to make her feel better about her shitty life?
Maybe it was a bit manipulative. Or maybe she's just extremely good at making one feel bad. Idk. What do you think? I’d actually really like to know. (Do the guestbook thing!) At that time I honestly couldn’t imagine ever being together with her. I also think I have a small phobia of loosing friends. But we’ll maybe get to that in a few days.

Did you see that last fucking sentence btw? The one about the emotional experience. Right now I am literally none the wiser, than I was half a year ago! One week later we started to write on WhatsApp again and everything continued as if nothing ever happened.

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