A couple of days ago I went on a trip from Chicago to Iowa with a friend. He had some business to take care of involving his work and wanted a buddy to ride along. While on the trip, we got a chance to talk about family and relationships. When I eventually vented about some of the things I’ve recently been going through, he did what friends do and just listened. Granted, he’s been happily married for quite some time so whenever he hears about relationship weirdness/drama I imagine it’s tough for him to relate. I think he’s mostly amused and shocked by how things can go down sometimes.
During a lull in conversation on our trip back home, he came out of nowhere with this:
“What made you get with _______?”
He basically wanted to know what were the deciding factors in our decision to be with each other despite the red flags and various warning signs.
My answer was extremely sentimental. Something about feeling connected and blah blah..more flowery bullshit.. blah blah… Of course he remained silent after my reply.
I’m glad he asked.
I’ve observed other people’s dating style and wondered if they gave up too easily or have too many expectation. I’ve looked at men and women who are easy to cut off another if the person they date don’t meet a certain requirement. I can say that I have silently judged that as a shallow act but is that fair?
For example, I really don’t care too much about how much about money a man makes or the title of his job but should I? Aren’t these things linked to motivation, goals and sense of self? Granted, one major reason why I don’t worry about this sort of thing is because I’ve never made alot of money myself. I don’t expect something from a person that I cannot give to them.
However, I do hold a mental check list. I am a Scorpio woman so we tend to keep a keen sense of what’s going on even if we don’t communicate that. The problem is that sometimes we all sense trouble ahead but we don’t act to protect ourselves from pain. Why that is, I can’t say for sure.
The warning signs I’ve seen often have to do with integrity or lack thereof.
Here are a few red flags that I’ve encountered and learned from:
If he shows up late often or makes promises that he doesn’t keep. That’s a red flag for me. How can you be confident that the person will do what they say they will if they’re sometimesy about you and just life in general? Do what you say you’re going to do!
::They’ve just gotten out of a relationship that ended badly.
I’m too good of a woman to be the rebound chick. Don’t you need time to process and heal, brother? My name ain’t Soy so don’t try to use me for filler. You should never rush in and out of relationships. That shows me that you really don’t know how to deal with your feelings and it’s really unfair to use a person as a cover for loneliness. You’re headed for drama because usually the other person is being led to believe they mean more to you than what they really are .
::They talk badly about their ex OFTEN.
I’ve found that when a person brings up their ex too much and talks of what a horrible person they are, there’s a couple of things going on. Firstly, I have to wonder if they have gotten over that previous relationship. Talking badly about someone you once loved is just unattractive and clues that there’s baggage. If you’ve been away from that person and not attempted to leave with peace and resolve then I have to keep my eyes open.
Secondly, there’s always two sides to a story. Don’t just tell your side and what she did to you. Tell the entire story. When you’re bad- mouthing your ex you have to not be oblivious about your role in the decline of the relationship. It doesn’t comfort make me want to save you from all these horrible, ungrateful women out in the world that did you wrong. It just makes me wonder if you’re playing the “woe is me card” as I call it. You’re going to always run into a person who will talk as if they’re the helpless, unknowing one. That’s game (even if they don’t know it). Don’t fall for it.
::Avoidance of intimacy
I want my hugs and kisses. We don’t have to be hugged up in public but I need to know that I am desired and loved. Hold my hand sometimes. Be expressive. Cuddle!! I am not going to smother you or be like “Hiyeee! Whatcha doin’?!” while you’re trying to take care of business but I better know I am enough for you. Once I feel that you can pretty much have the world of me.
::They make assumptions about you and others.
I read something by the author Eckhart Tolle about a year ago that really resonated with me. He basically said that when you assume something about a person, you’ve actually blocked yourself from getting to know who they are. I’ve had things be assumed about me that were completely untrue. For example, I was getting dressed for a dinner date and the guy noticed that I changed my shirt. He took that to assume that I was vain and carried that false judgment of me with him for quite some time. How crazy is that? I changed my shirt because I wanted to look good out in public with him. On the flip side, I’ve had a guy assume that I was “an innocent doe in the forest” .. Dude, get real. We’ve all been through things that has caused us to form an opinion but I make it a point now to be aware of my mess, baggage and assumptions.
::They hate their family
I’m sure many of us has been disappointed with family. Some of us have that one drunk uncle or drug addicted jailhouse brother. It’s true that many Black families carry a pain that we often do not talk about. My own family has issues but I love them. I think that the older I’ve gotten the more I’ve learned to love and understand them more. I can’t imagine hating them to a point where I will hold a grudge for all of my life. As angry as I can get, I can’t hold that anger for long because I know for a fact that those feelings do create illness, stress and just a general malcontent. & One thing to consider is how that person will handle being the head of the household that you could possibly create with them. Our families need to remain intact as much as possible and heal.
::They show lack of respect to others
I don’t want to be with some uncouth jackass who goes around disrespecting people. If he’s rude to the waiter or yells at the customer service rep on the phone why would I think that he wouldn’t treat me the same way? Show some manners and appreciate the lives you encounter. You never know how you may brighten another person’s life just by offering a compliment, saying “thank you” and “please”. That’s a big part of what life is about!
::They tell me that they’re f*cked up from the very beginning.
I’m pretty awesome but I’m not capable of creating miracles. I don’t think that I am so special that I can change a broken, womanizing man into a healthy, faithful, kind and loving guy. He has to want that for himself. Thank you for your honesty and self awareness, brother. We can be friends now.
So, these are just some of the things that indicate red flags for me. When I see them I just have to throw up the white flag and surrender to a different train of thought.
What are some of yours?