Think about the past several relationships you’ve been in. Why did they end? Think back to the first time you met and the 2-3 dates that immediately followed. If you’re really honest with yourself, did you see any red flags? Ones that, unfortunately, you ignored?
Why do we do this? Falling in love is a rush — but you are still you. Your heart, mind and intuition are still intact. Use them, never ignore them. The Good Men Project recently published an article on the common red flags people overlook.
In order to help those who might wander down similar paths toward unhealthy relationships, here are the five flags to keep an eye out for, followed by 3 basic tenets that ensure your valuable time isn't wasted on valueless relationships.
- How They Talk About Their Exes
If the only thing they have to say about their exes is negative (and they bring it up constantly), then they either aren’t finished emotionally processing their baggage, or they are a resentful and bitter person who engages in trash talking former flames.
- They Use Sex as a Tool
“If you make dinner tonight we can have sex…” RED FLAG! Sex is not a bargaining chip. This type of behavior indicates an assumption that sex doesn’t benefit both of you equally. Sexual intimacy should be a loving exchange for both parties. If a partner uses sex (either as a reward, or withholding it as a punishment) as a tool to get what they want then you can be sure this is a massive red flag. This type of behavior is manipulation pure and simple. Perhaps you need to have a conversation about what would make it more fulfilling for your partner OR just end the relationship.
- They Can’t Apologize
In any relationship, it’s inevitable that you are both going to mess up and need to apologize. If your partner is unable to apologize for any wrongdoings then you might need to re-evaluate your relationship.
- They Don’t Fight Fair
Does your partner bring up past events that happened months ago as ammunition during your arguments? RED FLAG! Perhaps they keep score and also can't apologize, yikes! Either deal with issues as they arise or watch out. Know this — the longer you're in a relationship with this type of person, the more ammunition they will collect. The blow-ups will only get bigger and nastier.
- Listen To Their Language
If early on in your relationship your partner talks exclusively in “I/Me/My” statements without throwing in the occasional “We/Us” statements, then this might allude to the fact that they don’t see you in their future, they are narcissistic, or that they have intimacy issues. In other words, all RED FLAGS!
Follow these 3 basic tenets and you might just find that your valuable time is not wasted on valueless relationships.
Learn from the past...
but don't be consumed by it.
Be honest with yourself...
does this relationship serve me?
Follow your instincts...
If it doesn't feel right, it likely isn't.