Handling Red Flags in a Relationship

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

Have you ever ignored red flags when dating someone you like?

No matter how clear we think we are on our standards for what we will and won’t tolerate in a relationship, most of us have turned a blind eye to unacceptable behavior at one point or another. So why do we do it?

I believe that one of the reasons we get hurt more than we need to is because we tend to fall for people in a somewhat binary way. 

We go, “I’m not interested... I’m not interested...I’m not interested...” And then – there’s a flash of lightning in our mind. 

Suddenly, we see them in a new light. Maybe they look particularly attractive one day. Or they reveal a quirky sense of humor that endears them to us. Or they bring a flirtatious energy that wasn’t there before. 

We all of a sudden decide, “NOW I like this person.” 

In binary terms, we go from that “0” to a “1” just like that, and now we stick on the “1.”

The danger of this is that it creates a kind of static image of a person. So we now say, “This person’s right for me. I really like this person. I want to be with this person.” 

And we’re no longer qualifying that based on what’s actually happening. We’ve made a decision, and now we’re trying to make reality fit to the vision that we have in our mind.

But it’s important to look at all of the little moments that happen between you and another person that become signposts for whether they are actually right for you. 

If you think about it, even if you don’t acknowledge them in the short-term infatuation stage, you have all these requirements for the person that you would want to be with for the rest of your life… whether it’s the way that they would treat your family, the way they handle stress, or how they deal with arguments. 

What you need to do is make a vision for the kind of person we want to be with the static part of the equation. 

That doesn’t mean it never changes or we don’t update our vision, but for the purposes of this mental exercise, let’s say that it’s much more healthy and beneficial for that to be the static part. And the fluid part is the behavior we witness in somebody else. If you make that important mental shift, then when the red flags start showing up...

  • they doesn’t communicate well with you

  • they decide for a week to just go off the radar and not text you or not call you

  • they treat you badly or just starts ignoring you

  • they ghost you

… You won’t tell yourself, “Oh, the love of my life is ghosting me.”  You’ll say, “Oh, they ghosted me. So THIS Person must not be the love of my life.” But if, in those binary terms, you’ve decided, “This is MY PERSON. This is the person I want to be with,” then the fluid part becomes your vision, becomes your boundaries, becomes what you will and won’t accept, what behaviors you’ll justify or not tolerate.

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