When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.Maya Angelou
The dating world can be extremely exciting, however it can also be daunting and a lot of work. More than in any other realm, we would be wise to use our intuition and our observing self. If we don’t, we risk ending up one of the many couples who separate, end in divorce or even just in loveless marriages.
Many times, we choose to ignore the red flags that pop up in a relationship. We might ignore something about this person that is potentially emotionally dangerous or unhealthy, but if the red flags are ignored and the relationship continues, then most assuredly the relationship will be tumultuous or even disastrous. And, many people who end up divorced acknowledge that they noticed these red flags early on, however they chose to ignore the warning signs, and then the issues became larger.
According to Urban Dictionary, a red flag is a warning of any impending danger. Have you noticed any of the below about your partner, and perhaps chosen to ignore it?
Is / Does Your Partner…
- Emotionally or physically unavailable?
- Have too much tension?
- Tend to get angry easily?
- Drink more than you are comfortable with?
- Treat you disrespectfully, i.e. with derision, sarcasm, silence, or with disrespect for your feelings and needs?
- Not prioritize you in the relationship?
- Have other compulsive or addictive behaviors, including gambling, excessive porn, shopping, and compulsive spending?
- Not able to own up to their part in an argument?
- Not have similar values?
- Not share similar approaches to child-rearing, money, or social engagements (for instance, if your current partner never wants to leave home, but you want to travel the world…)
We often believe that many of these issues can be worked on, or that the person will change (with our help and guidance), however if a person is already exhibiting worrying behaviors even before the wedding or union, then most likely, these behaviors will continue afterwards, also.
One psychological trick that we play on ourselves is our continued thinking of “well, we’ve been together for five years. All of that time will be wasted if I break up with her now.” Not true! More time will be “wasted” if you get married, and then end up divorced after five additional years.
And, moreover, there is no such thing as wasted time in terms of your heart. Each relationship is a learning process, and if you have learned to recognize what it is that you do want from another person, then you can take that knowledge into your next relationship.
Learn about more red flags, as well as reasons why we choose to ignore them.
My wish for you today is that you listen to your intuition in your relationships.
---- Kathleen Dwyer Blair, LCSW, BCD, Director.