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Thursday January 8, 2009 12:44 pm

How to Deal with the Relationship Red Flags

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Sometimes women put up with quite a bit from a guy to make a relationship work out. We ignore some obvious signs that this guy might not be the one, all for the hopes that everything will work itself out. Sometimes these red flags are waiving right in our faces and we push them aside. For what? To not be single, or alone? Sometimes, it’s just not worth it.

Half a decade ago I was in a really bad situation with one of those “bad boys”. You know, that guy who is so bad for us, but for some reason we must have. The guy that we think we can change (which never happens by the way). After the first three weeks of dating this guy, he completely blew up at me, I mean he had a MAD temper and it came out early (lucky for me right?). So of course I ended it. Hello? Major red flag! I didn’t want to be with a guy who yelled for no reason, right? The he apologized. And for some reason I gave him a second chance. I don’t think most women would, but I did. I liked the idea of him (having a boyfriend) and of course, thought I could change him.

One of the many other red flag occurrences with this guy was just so ridiculous. At this point we had been dating a few months, been on a trip together, and constantly argued (the red flags keep coming). One night we decided to make dinner at my apartment. I think he actually cooked for me that night which I’ll give him credit for. So we sat down at the table and began to eat. And then it happened. He all of a sudden looked at me like, I don’t know, like I did something terrible, inexcusable, like I disrespected his Mother or something. And I said “what??”. And he says, “did you just scrape your teeth on your fork?”. Ok, so I had to think about this for a second… I never really listened to myself eat before. I said, “I don’t know, did I?”. And he said “YES!”, like it was the worst offense of table manners he had ever witnessed. I just sat there, so perplexed and not quite sure what to do next. Do I take another bite? Do I throw my plate of food at him? I think I would up rolling my eyes at him and eating the rest of my meal angry.

Although I get a kick out this story now the truth is it was rude and mean, which is really how this guy was all the time. I honestly can say I’ve never had a guy blatantly point out my flaws as much as this guy did, and sometimes I wished that I had never taken him back after that first three weeks. I did learn a valuable lesson though which was to follow my gut. My initial feeling about him was right, and nothing good really came out of that relationship (except maybe a trip to the Bahamas).

So how should we handle the red flags? For one, if you have a bad feeling right away, don’t try and talk yourself out of it like I did. Go with your gut. Secondly, never settle. Yes, being with someone makes us feel good, but if we keep ignoring the bad things about this guy or red flags, is it really worth it? The most important piece of advice I can give is that when the “one” comes along, there is never and I mean never any struggle. It’s easy, it’s fun and that’s when you just know.

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