Red and Pink Flags

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Thought it was about time for a quick blog as I haven’t put one out in a while. If you haven’t read my blogs before then you should definitely start from the very first one and read them like a book. Speaking of books, I am writing mine now! Although I can’t give you a date for publication because it’s nowhere near finished and I don’t have a publisher, or an agent….. I can’t do emojis on here but if I could I’d be doing an exasperated one now.  I am very happy but a bit overwhelmed at the moment because I have just quit my day job to pursue Lalaletmeexplain as a career (also really pissed off with myself that I chose that name when I started because it is so hard to say. I started this in February 2017 with no intention of it being something that other people would really even see, I just chose a random name to set up the blog with. Now I’m stuck with this shit).

As it all grew and opportunities arose for me to speak on the radio I became more and more paranoid that a client at work would hear me and grass to my managers and I’d end up getting the sack for talking about dick on Instagram and so I took the leap. I was also really struggling to juggle both things along with Mum life. It’s a bit scary because I’m used to annual leave, sick pay, pensions and a monthly income and I’m now completely reliant on my savings and the few hundred pounds a month that I receive from this, but I had to face the fear and do it anyway, I believe that it will be worth the risk. The BBC Radio opportunity (I have a dating slot every Sunday at 9pm on Cherry Healy’s show on BBC 5 live throughout November Click here to listen) came only a few days after I handed in my notice, and more opportunities keep coming, so it already feels like I did the right thing. Doors are opening for me now because I’ve got the space to open them.

I have also started a podcast, click here to listen to my first episode with StevoTheMadMan. I hate doing all this because it feels a bit beggy, but now more than ever I really need your support. It would help me massively if you could like, share, follow, subscribe, and publicly declare your love for my podcast, radio show, blogs, Insta etc (only if you do actually love them though, I don’t want you to lie). Thank you for all the amazing support that you have given me so far, it has enabled me to begin doing what I really love and I could not have done that without you. You have changed my life, no words can express the gratitude that I feel for you guys.

Anyway, enough of that. I’ve got a story to tell you.

In June I had a minor car accident and I was referred by my insurance company to a solicitor’s firm. Over the past couple of months I have had sporadic telephone contact with this guy Tom in relation to my whiplash claim (which I did not pursue). Tom has a very sexy voice and I really felt like I could tell that he was my type just from how he sounded. We had flirty conversations and every time we spoke I wanted to find some excuse for going down to the solicitor’s office to sign something so that I could see him, but I contained myself and just ended each call with disappointment that he hadn’t asked me to marry him yet.

Last week he called me to tell me that my file was being closed down which I already knew, he didn’t really need to call me to tell me that and I could tell that he kept trying to find excuses not to end the call, so I said “Are you single?” and he said yes and asked if I was. I was very excited, as you can imagine, but I was also anxious because I had not yet seen his face. I asked him for his Instagram and he told me that he doesn’t have any social media. So here we have our first pink flag. It’s pink because there is a possibility that he might be one of the 76 people in the world under the age of 40 who doesn’t have any social media, but there is also a possibility that he is hiding a girlfriend/wife/harem of women/husband/baby and that he doesn’t want certain people to see him interacting with me. On dating apps no social media is also a red flag for catfishes.

Anyway, I overlooked that because he said that I could see his picture on Linked-in which  I did, and I was incredibly excited to find that he was literally my type down to a tee. Tall, slim, mixed race, beard…the whole shebang. You know how my mind works – this all felt a bit like The Universe speaking loudly to me and so I told him that he could add me on WhatsApp. At this point he still hadn’t seen me and so I was actually pretty terrified of how I would cope if he saw my profile picture and blocked me, but then I realised that it would be even worse if he actually announced that he didn’t fancy me so I told him that if he wasn’t interested I would prefer it if he just didn’t start a conversation with me and he agreed.

My profile picture was me and a friend of mine, he messaged to ask which one I was and so I responded by sending him another picture of myself. I got blue ticks straight away indicating that he had seen it and then he went offline and I went into a black hole of despair for about three minutes before deciding that actually he’s not even that great plus he doesn’t have social media and so he can fuck off. But ten minutes later he came back online and said “You are gorgeous!” and so I decided I was interested in him again and that he was in-fact hot. We got talking on WhatsApp, all the basics were really good, he told me that he was 35, had a 6 year old daughter and that he lived about 8 miles from me. He told me that he had been single for a few years and we established that we had a few things in common and so I was pretty pleased. Until I sent him a message and it stayed on one grey tick and his picture disappeared. The man blocked me on WhatsApp.

I was absolutely dumbfounded. All I had said was “I’m a busy woman” in response to him telling me he’s a busy man (This is another minor pink flag. I’m busy, but I don’t need to go around shouting about it because I will easily make time for a man I am interested in. EASILY. It is a pink flag because it can indicate that they are setting out their intentions for not being able to make time for you. It can also be an indication of a girlfriend or other women). But the bigger flag was the blocking. Prick. I was really pissed off to be ghosted mid-conversation like that, I thought maybe he just couldn’t cope with hurting my feelings by rejecting me after seeing my picture so he softened the blow by talking to me for a bit and making me think that it was my personality that put him off instead.

But about 15 minutes later he sent me AN EMAIL asking me for my Snapchat. I don’t need to explain why this is a glaring pink flag. I told him that this was all very fishy and asked him why he had blocked me on WhatsApp. He said he hadn’t and asked me for my Snapchat again. I told him that I don’t use it and that I wouldn’t speak to him unless it was on WhatsApp. He then added me on Snapchat via my phone number. He told me that the WhatsApp had been his work phone and that he prefers to keep it on Snapchat and not share his phone number too early on because you never know if someone is a weirdo. He said “you don’t know how many times I’ve had to change my number because of crazy women”. More pink flags, if they only want to talk on Snapchat it is because the messages disappear and so it makes it less likely that their girlfriends will catch them. And if they say they’ve had to change their number due to multiple crazy women you have got to think hmmmmm….what is this really about.

So I thought I would test him out by asking for a phone call – before you do this you always have to ask what they are doing now so that they can’t make up some crazy excuse as to why they can’t talk. I asked and he told me that he had just got out the bath and was chilling on his bed. Perfect setting for a call I think. So I suggested that he calls me and he said he’s got a headache from being on the phone at work all day (again, I wish I had a rolling eyes emoji). Another pink flag – if they can’t talk on the phone when they are at home then why not?! It’s dodgy. This many pink flags amount to one big red flag and it was completely clear to me that this guy has a girlfriend.

I told him that I was stepping out because it was obvious to me that he wasn’t single and he did the whole “wow, look at you with your conspiracy theories” and I said:

“All my theories are very easily disproved. I am suspicious because you have no social media, you only want to talk on Snapchat, you blocked me on WhatsApp, and you refused to talk on the phone. If you really wanted to prove me wrong you could add me on WhatsApp and call me”

It is very easy to for them to make you look crazy in this situation by acting as though you are some over analytic untrusting woman who needs to chill out, they can also make you really question yourself and whether those pink flags really are something you should have reacted to. If they make you feel that way it’s pretty much guaranteed that they have a partner. Surprisingly though, Tom added me on WhatsApp straight away, so I sent him a voice note which he listened to straight away and he responded with his own voice note. The conversation flowed on all night and it turned out that we had loads in common. I still had some reservations but the positives were far out weighing the pink flags and so we kept on talking. We carried on talking throughout the following days and we had arranged a date. On Saturday morning he asked what I was doing and I sent him a picture of the football pitch that I was on watching my son. He sent back an almost identical picture saying “We have sooo much in common, I’m doing the same damn thing with my son right now!” Insert puzzled emoji.

So I said “hold up, you told me you had a daughter?” and he said “No, 2 daughters, 1 son”.

So I screenshot him the part of the conversation where he told me that he had one daughter, initially as a joke he had said he had six kids, he then said “na, just a 6 year old daughter”. He said “Yeah, that’s when I was messing with you, hence the 6 kids joke. I have 3 kids. A son aged 12 and 2 daughters 10 and 7”

My face was about twenty emojis and memes rolled into one at this point. So I said “You said that you had one 6 year old daughter and now it turns out that you have no 6 year old daughters! You’ve got two kids that you didn’t even tell me about. This is odd”

And he said:

“I’ll be completely honest, it wasn’t even me messaging you at the beginning. One of the guys from work overheard the conversation, took the phone and started messaging you as me because I was a bit apprehensive about messaging you at all. But I am happy that I did”

I told him that this was childish as fuck and that I felt humiliated by it. Like the lads in the office were all laughing and taking the piss while I was sending photos and flirting like a dickhead. I really felt embarrassed. the whole initial WhatsApp conversation I’d had with him had actually been with some weirdo guy who I’d never seen before. This kind of immature stunt is a definite red flag. If EVERYTHING else had been perfect and it was just that alone then it could possibly be a pink flag but on top of the rest of the bullshit this was a sure fire red. I was fucking pissed off and I told him so. He was really apologetic and said that he had not orchestrated it and that he didn’t know how to explain it to me without sounding weird and so he had hoped that he wouldn’t have to explain it. So much of the information that I had got in the first conversation was wrong. He was 32 not 35, 5ft 10 not 6ft 1, and don’t even get me started on the children’s ages, genders, and how many he has. He said that he felt stupid and wanted to rectify it but I didn’t respond, and so about an hour later he rang me. During the conversation he mentioned that he had the kids this weekend and that they were currently at his Mum’s and he was on his way home which made me realise that he lives with his Mum. I asked him why that was and he said he had been there for a few months since separating from his children’s Mother. Insert another highly puzzled emoji…

He had previously told me that he had been single for a few years. He denied telling me that though and I had a go at him for ages for lying before realising that the information about his relationship status had actually been given to me by his colleague, so no wonder it was wrong. He said that he had been with his ex for 13 years but they grew apart. Another clear red flag – if they are still at their Mum’s after splitting from their ex then it’s not fully over, Mum’s is a stop gap not a permanent destination – especially when you are a man in your 30’s working as a solicitor. The other red flag is that he previously said that he’d had to change his number multiple times because of mad women – but how is that possible if you were with your Mrs for 13 years and have only been single a few months?? 13 years ago people were still using Myspace and Snakes on Nokia phones, they weren’t active phone changing times, so were you cheating?? HMMMMM…!!!

He was trying to be jovial and was asking me questions about my son’s Dad but I just couldn’t even think straight. There had been so much bullshit and weirdness. I told him that I didn’t want to talk right now. He was good about it, he understood and said that he would probably lock it off if it was the other way around, but he said that he felt that we had too much in common to let it go like this, he also said that he thought that the way we found each other was so unique that surely it must mean something.

I had felt that too, like this guy was sent to me. I found him so attractive, we had so much in common, we got on well and he seemed to be an intellectual match, and weirdly my gut was telling me that I should give him a chance, but there were just so many red and pink flags that there was no way I could safely overlook them. He begged for another chance and I told him that I needed some thinking time and that I would message him on Monday. I know that you will be reading this and thinking why the fuck did you need time to think Layla?! It seems clearly obvious that this guy is dodgy as fuck, but like I said, my gut, and my best friend Grace, were saying fuck it – give a chance, what’s the worst that could happen? And that really is what you have to ask yourself in these kind of situations, is it worth the risk? So what are the potential risks for me with Tom:

  1. We start dating and fall in love and then he goes back to his ex
  2. We start dating and fall in love and I find out that he was never single in the first place
  3. We start dating and fall in love and I find out that nothing I think I know about him is true including his name, age, etc
  4. We start dating and he finds out about this page and tells his childish friends and they try to ruin my anonymity
  5. Any of the above happening would cause me to be in a state of drama and anxiety which would impact on the strength and confidence I need to be self-employed
  6. As above – that same drama and anxiety does not work when you are trying to be a good Mother. It is hard to parent well when you are in crisis. My son’s well being is not worth risking just because an incredibly hot, bright, funny, exciting man has been delivered to me in the weirdest way by The universe.

He must have been sent for the sole reason of me being able to write this blog. The Universe sent me a big red flag waving man to test me and to provide me with material. So even though I couldn’t stop thinking about him all weekend I text him on Monday, quite melodramatically, to tell him that I thought that there had been too much weirdness and that I didn’t want to carry on talking. I said “Maybe The Universe did bring us together and maybe our paths will cross again some time in the future, but for now I don’t trust any of it enough to be able to relax around you, I’m sorry x” and then he got all melodramatic back and said “I anticipated this response and I understand and respect your decision, I wasn’t looking for anything but you have come along and you are extremely attractive visually and intellectually. I can only apologise for how things have started. The world works in mysterious ways and so I guess we will see how The Universe wants this to play out. Good luck in all you do x” and I said Goodbye and then he didn’t want to let the conversation go:

Him: You look lovely in your pic btw

Me: Thank you x

Him: you have the kind of body I love, and those eyes.

Him: Anyway, here’s to the universe.

Me: Kissing emoji

Him: Carpe Diem

Me: High Five emoji

Him: Bye Layla 🙁

Me: Bye

Him: Whatever will be will be

Me: You really don’t wanna let go lol

Him: No, but I respect your decision.

Me: Thank you

The End.

Don’t forget to keep listening to my podcasts – the second one will be out this week, and please keep sending me topics for the Insta live on a Friday night and for my future podcasts with exciting guests! My next one features my best friend Grace and my male best friend from my teenage years Anthony. And get involved with my random polls on my Instastories! I love hearing from you guys, your stories and opinions help me grow everyday! That’s how I am now able to bat off sexy fuckboys with ease. 2 years ago I’d have been shagging Tom by now, totally oblivious that a crisis situation was looming, I would have overlooked the red flags because of his looks and because there is nobody else on the scene at all and there hasn’t been for ages. I would have clung on to him just for male attention but I really do not need male attention. I am proud of this progress, and if you have ever acted on red flags then you should be proud of yourself too. There are plenty more amazing men in the sea (they don’t seem to be on land though) so filtering out the bad ones is not a loss, it’s a gain. I’m not disappointed that I’m back to having absolutely no male excitement anywhere near my phone or my fanny, I’m grateful that the signs were so glaringly obvious that there was no way I could overlook them, I’m unbelievably happy that I found out after only a few days of messaging, and I’m thrilled that I didn’t accidentally fuck someone else’s man. Life is good, and a new blog man will come soon……






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