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is this a big red flag? Or am I a big red flag?

(649 Posts)
aquickfiresidechat Sat 25-Jan-20 23:19:19

I've been dating someone for a year. He works in the Geneva office of my company and he travels to London, and I to Geneva, once every other week, so it works out that we have seen each other for a period of days (2 or 3) each week staying at each other's flats/or hotels.

In the company we have a bulletin that goes round daily saying who is in which office within Europe. New man and I also have access to each other's calendars so some days I like to see what he is up to and imagine him going about his day and I always imagined he liked this too.

Anyway, we both went away separately for Christmas and came back early January. We were talking and chatting regularly on the phone like we always do about when we could next see each other. He then went on a business trip and was busy with meetings and time difference, so we did not get a chance to speak much.

Two weeks ago, I noticed on the company bulletin that he was due to be in London the next day. I assumed he had just forgotten to mention it being so busy and that he would make arrangements with me shortly. The next day came and he was not in the office. I double clicked on his diary and saw that he was in meetings in London but not coming into the office.

I sent him a message and said "why didn't you tell me you are in London? Can we see each other tonight?" He texted back a bit short and told me to meet him for a drink after work.

I arrived and asked him how he was. He said, "shocked." I said "why shocked?" he said "because you have been going through my diary and checking up on me." I said "but we have access to each other's diaries, I saw you were in London, and I assumed we'd see each other?" He sat there open mouthed for about 10 mins while I tried to justify why I had looked at his diary and questioned him.

When I got upset he became softer and said he wanted to make me happy and he was sorry for not telling me, but he had terrible jetlag, was completely underwater with work and not yet recovered from Christmas and just felt he needed a night to sleep. He cancelled his client dinner and we spent most of the evening talking about it. I was actually crying because I was so shocked at the sudden attitude change. He asked me to stay the night and I was still quite upset and said no, and we went our separate ways and he flew back to Geneva the next day. We agreed that we would communicate openly about when he is in London going forward.

The next morning he rang me before his flight, quite agitated and said that he had not slept a wink because he felt quite angry that I would demand he see me every time he is in London. He said it had nothing to do with seeing anyone else or not wanting the relationship, but he would be travelling to the UK more frequently and just the thought that, that would be my expectation every single time he was here felt very demanding. His justification for this was that he was most often knackered and would have evening meetings with clients or customers and therefore would not want to trek over to my flat at 11pm or midnight and then fly back to Geneva the next day. He said "you are my priority, but you cannot be my priority all the time." While I wasn't really happy with this, we agreed that he would tell me when he was in London even if he was not going to see me.

I found this new arrangement quite difficult to understand, as this was obviously not our previous pattern, so I didn't feel I was delusional or imagining the relationship was more than it was, for expecting the previous pattern to continue, even though at the time he was telling me this I was apologising rather than justifying my thought process. I felt that he reset the relationship and bamboozled me into thinking that questioning him or his behaviour was stalker-esque or obsessive.

We carried on speaking on the phone every day and texting a lot (it's always him initiating contact. He calls me about five times a day just to chat,) Three days later the company bulletin came again saying that he was in London. He had not told me this.

I double clicked on his diary only to see that he had codified it. Ie, replaced information with a letter and a number. All bookings and reservations that he usually made and I could previously see were now password protected and then diary entries had been made private. Seeing this made me feel like a stalker and made me think that he thought I was a stalker.

He carried on throughout the day communicating with me as normal. I did not ask him where he was. At around 7pm he said he was off to a client dinner and that he would sign off the the night as it would be late. I assume he thought I thought he was in Geneva.

I don't know what got into me but I felt I wanted to know for sure, so at midnight I went to the hotel he normally stays at while here, and I waited in a bar over the road where I could see the door. Lo and behold, I saw him returning to the hotel and going in late. Alone.

I texted him. "Hey can we talk?" He replied immediately. "Sorry, no. Off to bed."

I felt humiliated and embarrassed of myself and like a true stalker. The next morning I decided it was over. I felt that if I told him the reasons why (I was upset he had coded his diary and I had spied on him outside his hotel) it would give me more reasons to feel embarrassed. So I just stopped communicating with him entirely.

Two weeks went by and I ignored all calls and messages and took a week off work to go away and switched my phone off. When I came back to work, I found him in my office, beside himself. Why had I done this to him? What was my problem? Why had I not replied to him? What did I think I was doing? He had been in London looking for me etc.

I've agreed to chat to him about it all on Wednesday when I am next in Geneva. I don't trust him. I cant tell him why.

I don't know anymore whether his behaviour is the red flag or whether mine is.

What do you think??

Poppyfields21 Sat 25-Jan-20 23:25:26

No I think his behaviour is strange and because of how he acted he made you entirely doubt yourself.

I think watching outside his hotel was strange, I don’t think you should have done that, or needed to do it.

I think it’s best this relationship does not continue as I don’t think you will ever (or should ever) trust him.

McTits Sat 25-Jan-20 23:28:05

WTF? I wouldn’t even give him the time of day after that behaviour! What’s the problem with him telling you that he’s going to be in London but that he might be tired? It’s weird that he would be in the same country as you and not even bother to tell you this when you’re in a relationship. Plus if you don’t see each other that often then surely he’d want to see you at every opportunity he could? I would be ending things if it was me...

sunshinestanley Sat 25-Jan-20 23:28:09

Crikey that's all a bit of a mess isn't it? I think your behaviour was very unreasonable and yes, stalkerish. You spied on him then went underground leaving him to wonder what on earth had happened. I don't suppose either of you covered yourselves with glory but you were way, way out of order here (IMHO)

HollowTalk Sat 25-Jan-20 23:28:57

If ever you find yourself stalking a guy like that, you know that something is so wrong and you need to end the relationship.

He seems able to compartmentalise in a way that suits him but when you do the same, he hates it and becomes frantic.

I would want a man who took every opportunity to see me, so I'd say Bye Felipe to this one.

AutumnCrow Sat 25-Jan-20 23:30:11

I don't imagine your company is thrilled with all this. It sounds a bit like a film treatment.

tenlittlecygnets Sat 25-Jan-20 23:30:12

Sounds like his feelings have changed for some reason and he doesn’t know how to tell you.

He changed his diary coding because he didn’t want you knowing where he was - why? Have you asked him?

Then when you went awol, he didn’t like having the rules changed for some reason. I don’t know. He’s being inconsistent and blowing hot and cold.

You should be able to communicate better than this! You need to talk to him!

I would not tryst him after all this, though. I’d take a massive step back and think about what I really want.

tenlittlecygnets Sat 25-Jan-20 23:31:18

Plus if you don’t see each other that often then surely he’d want to see you at every opportunity

They see each other 2–3 days every week - quite a lot, no?

category12 Sat 25-Jan-20 23:32:22

Nothing about this is right. Do yourself a favour and get out. You're becoming someone you don't want to be. This is very unhealthy and dysfunctional. It doesn't really matter who is at fault, it's broken.

slipperywhensparticus Sat 25-Jan-20 23:33:33


Anyway yes it is a red flag you should not let your boundaries be eroded further by him and WTF to him looking for you in London he knows where you work I'm assuming where you live too and he has access to your diary so he isnt going to have to look far is he

WellHolyGodMiley Sat 25-Jan-20 23:35:52

This is just a work schedule right? That is hardly a violation of his privacy. It was just his location, which was not secret. He doesn't have the right to keep his location private if it's part of his job.

At some point you got access to his schedule and he to yours.

I think you caught him out and he did the classic ''blame and guilt shift gas lighting number on you.

Maybe I"m being unfair to him........... If he had said ''look I was in London but I prioritised other things above seeing you'' and let you digest that, then that would be upfront, but he has made you feel like shit whilst still keeping his options open with you. He hasn't ended it........ He's just busy making you feel apologetic to him. You now feel like you've overstepped a boundary by looking at a work schedule (ha!)

Don't make it up to him.

Just text him to say ''take it easy, good luck''

dellacucina Sat 25-Jan-20 23:37:03

It all sounds like bad news. If you talk 5 times a day, it's weird he wouldn't tell you he was in London. Changing his diary is also weird. Watching his hotel like that is a sign that you're super uncomfortable.

Cherrysoup Sat 25-Jan-20 23:37:13

Can he see your calendar? So he must have known that you can see his. Very odd that he’s contacting you 5 times a day yet doesn’t want to see you every time he’s in London.

OldWomanSaysThis Sat 25-Jan-20 23:38:07

Well, there's stalking and then's there's wanting a reality check.
He became shady and defensive and you wanted to know the truth.

Dieu Sat 25-Jan-20 23:39:20

Sorry, but it all sounds a bit nuts. If a man behaved like that towards me, I'd actually find it rather scary!

DeTwamps Sat 25-Jan-20 23:39:47

To me you sound stalkerish. I would hate my time to be owned by someone else.

Strongmummy Sat 25-Jan-20 23:41:52

You behaved like a stalker because you wanted to have your thoughts validated. He sounds like quite an odd person , so you may have had a lucky escape.

Eckhart Sat 25-Jan-20 23:50:50

It looks like you didn't discuss his increasing trips to London, and how you'd manage that as a couple. From there on in, you both did odd stuff (stalker/hiding)
I can understand how both of you would feel very upset. But the fact that it never got discussed in the first place means you're not on the same page.

aquickfiresidechat Sat 25-Jan-20 23:52:04

We shared diaries by mutual consent. The way he acted it was like he expected me to have access to it but not to actually read it. Or rather, use it like a colleague rather than a lover.

We had been seeing each other in London or Geneva, 1-2 nights a week every week since last January.

The reason I went away is that experience of waiting outside his hotel was awful. I didn’t know myself anymore.

The trouble is that if I break it off for this reason I feel he will just use it to make me look like more of a stalker. Ie if I say “you’ve coded your diary, and you were in London and didn’t tell me so I don’t trust you anymore” he could easily take that out of context, like he has done everything else

inwood Sat 25-Jan-20 23:55:11

Jesus, that you could write a post that long in the first instance.

You sound slightly stalkerish and he sounds disinterested.

CalmFizz Sat 25-Jan-20 23:55:18

Truthfully, do you expect to see him every single time he’s in London? That’s what it comes across as.

He knew he had more work lined up in London and knew your expectation and didn’t feel like he could manage to meet those expectations.

kaldefotter Sat 25-Jan-20 23:56:33

I think his initial response was peculiar. You would hope he’d be keen to see you where you’re in the same vicinity, but he wasn’t, for some reason. It is odd that he seems unaware of the bulletins and/or that you had access to his calendar, and it’s odd that he made you feel like a stalker.

These are things that warranted you both having an open and honest conversation about how you fitted into each other’s lives, and how you both see your future.

But, you responded by actually becoming stalkery. Then you ghosted him, and caused him alarm. When you say you had decided it was over, I presume you didn’t communicate that with him? Just disappeared?

End it. You don’t appear healthy for each other. In the first instance, do what you need to do to protect your job and your reputation at work, because I don’t imagine any of this would impress an employer.

Then consider how you’re going to approach relationships in the future. Top tip, don’t be stalkery. Don’t ghost them. Have grown up conversations. Do act in your own interests and protect yourself, but you don’t need to emulate other people’s bad behaviour to do that.

category12 Sat 25-Jan-20 23:57:25

Simple answer is, don't use this as a reason. Just say "it's no longer working for me, it's been fun, but it's not fun any more" or some variation thereof.

Sidge Sat 25-Jan-20 23:58:05

Neither of you have behaved well.

You sort of stalked him and then ghosted him.

He evaded you, became secretive and keeping you at a distance.

Communication seems lacking - relying on checking work diaries rather than actually talking to each other about it, despite talking 5 times a day? Bizarre.

Seems to me like there’s a mismatch in expectation here and his idea of the relationship is much more casual than yours.

Cheeryandmerry Sat 25-Jan-20 23:58:31

Is he definitely single?!

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