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When I began dating I was quite naive. I didn’t know how to protect my heart and I quickly learned that not everyone has the best intentions.
When I was around fifteen, I had the biggest crush on a track runner at the high school, James. James seemed to be interested in me. He wanted to hang out at my house and chill all the time, and the way he smiled at me just made me feel like we were getting somewhere.
A friend of mine asked James how he felt, and he laughed and said he wasn’t interested in me… he just hung out with me because he thought my Mom was hot and he got to see her when he came over.
I wish I was joking, but I’m not; that was a big wake up call that some people have a hidden agenda and not the purest of intentions at heart.
Here are five signs that you are dating someone with a hidden agenda.
#1. They constantly pry and prod about a certain subject
I had a narcissistic ex that pried and pried into my family history at the beginning of our relationship, and I ended up telling him some extremely personal details.
Later, he would use things I’d confided, such as my volatile relationship with my mother, to criticize me. “Oh, you’re just insecure about how you were treated as a child, that’s why you aren’t sure if you want kids” or “if your mom wasn’t able to stay in marriage why would you be able to make things work long term?”
Eventually, I realized that my secrets had been used against me and I realized that he hadn’t asked to get to know me better… he had asked to have ammo for later on when he needed it.
#2. They assume you’ll end up having their same desires
There were two serious relationships I have been in that started out like this.
Me: I don’t know if I want kids or want to be a stay-at-home wife. Is that a dealbreaker for you?
Him: Oh my gosh, hell no! I don’t know if I want kids either, and it’s so sexy that you have a career!
Fast forward one year later
Him: When are you going to be ready to settle down? You’re getting older and have to want kids by now.
In both relationships I was upfront with the fact I wasn’t sure about having kids and they pretended to be fine about it, believing that I would change my mind… when I didn’t change my mind.
Don’t assume anyone is going to change while you are dating. If you don’t accept them for who they are and what they say they want, find someone who desires to match your own.
#3. They lie to get what they want
When I dated my first boyfriend I was clear and upfront with him that I had never been intimate with anyone. He assured me that he was also a virgin which allowed me to feel safe and secure. Eventually, I decided I was ready and we lost our virginity together, or so I thought.
I was completely shocked several years later when he told me during a fight that he had lied about being a virgin and had been with almost a dozen girls before me.
By lying he had created an atmosphere of trust and safety where I didn’t feel pressured because I thought he was in the same inexperienced boat that I was in. When he revealed that he had lied I felt deceived and certain that his agenda from the beginning had been to “pop my cherry.”
#4. They pretend to like you to get to someone else
When I was fifteen I had the biggest crush on this guy, Ryan. We hung out a few times and he would text me, flirt with me, hang out with me and my best friend, Julia. He hinted that he was going to ask me to homecoming.
I was over the moon.
Then one Sunday afternoon Julia came over. She had the strangest look on her face and just held out her phone for me to read the message on it.
She had texted Ryan to see if he was asking me to homecoming, and he had answered, “No… because I actually like you and I think you like me. How about them apples?”
I was absolutely devastated; I realized I had been used by Ryan so that he could get closer to Julia.
#5. They keep revisiting the same topic
Back when I was in college I went on my first tinder date, even though I had heard horror stories I decided to take the plunge. Surprisingly I ended up having a great time and my date (let’s call him Brad) was extremely respectful and we had a great time.
We had dinner on our second date, and I told Brad that I didn’t want to be in a relationship right away because I had recently had a bad break-up.
The entire meal he kept revisiting that topic, prying and prying. Finally, I asked him why he couldn’t stop fixating on the topic, and he admitted that he wanted a serious relationship. That was fine, but as I had been upfront about in the beginning, I wasn’t interested in a serious relationship so we went our separate ways.
If there’s anything I learned from these relationships messes it’s that it’s imperative, to be honest, and upfront about what you are looking for while dating.
If you’re looking to just have fun, great. If you’re looking to have a long-term relationship, great. Just don’t go into it expecting something of someone when they have been upfront about wanting something else.
After all, dating is hard enough without bringing a hidden agenda into the mix.