That notorious red flag. We’ve all seen them. We’ve all ignored them, and later acted like we didn’t see a thing.
You know the role, we’ve all played it well. When we act like the person we’re dating, changed into a different person overnight—when they were the same person we discovered them to be a week into the dating process. They never changed, they were always the same. Those blinders are semi-permeable. We see what we want to see at times, to, “enjoy the ride,” or, “maybe it’s nothing.” When in fact that red flag is, everything.
Dating Is Already Difficult
While dating can be fun, the process of vetting can be exhausting. There are countless dating blogs about the misadventures of each dater, where they chronicle each experience they’ve had. So, the challenges are well documented.
So how do we still fall for the, “banana in the tailpipe?”
“The mind is the most skilled Photoshopper. It can rationalize anything and paint any picture of anyone, depending on our initial perspective. There is a psychological phenomenon known as the ‘confirmation bias,’ where we are inclined to discard all evidence that does not align with our views and only keep those that do. And with a potentially toxic person, they have worked to create a false positive impression to worm their way into your heart. So even if they do something bad or say something that’s off, you may think, ‘He’s only this way because he went through X.’ This is when ticking boxes of ‘Is he rude to the waiter?’ ‘Is he nice to his family members?’ doesn’t work. He could be all that — the sleekest toxic people are. But underlying it, if he says things like, ‘So they’ll treat us better the next time,’ or he has a mean mouth towards some people, and if you find yourself justifying his transactional mindset or meanness, then it’s time to pause and step back. Our brains work overtime to convince us of someone who’s not good for us, even when our guts know it.”
A Few Red Flags
Their communication is spotty…
…and inconsistent. Nothing is worse than rarely being able to reach someone. I’m not just talking about a phone call either. I”m talking about all forms of communication. Direct messenger, text message, email, smoke signal, and carrier pigeon are all unsuccessful.
This is why communication is so important. This person doesn’t necessarily have to be doing anything disrespectful or unsavory. They truly could be busy, or bad with prioritization—which is another issue (or red flag).
They love to challenge you
This is one of my pet peeves. Every-single-thing you say, or do… they have to interject, show they’re better, offer some opinion to the contrary, or confront you . This reeks of
insecurity, or an inferiority and/or superiority complex. Don’t be surprised that when you find an inferiority complex within, that there’s a superiority complex hidden beneath it. One compensates for the other.
This person cannot bear the idea of their inferiority, so they overcompensate in other areas that will test you. They feel as though they are superior (in compensation mode) when
they are actually not. An example would be… a man with a small penis would feel inferior to a well-endowed man. So he will overcompensate with an over-exuberance of oral sex. Another example would be someone who truly feels they are inferior to another race of men/women, and uses every opportunity to tear them down, so they can feel superior. This may occur when you give a compliment to someone in the race they feel superior to. These comments may come off as jokes, or back-handed, passive comments.
They want to test your boundaries constantly
This person wants to see how far they can get you.
- You tell them you’re not ready for sex, and they still try to seduce you, or engage in sexual conversation.
- You’re not ready for them to meet your family, or children and they make you feel bad about it with a “guilt-trip.”
- From the beginning you told them certain days you are unavailable, and they still try to plan outings or meet-ups on those days.
- You may not like talking about how much money you make, so they ask you, “what do you do you?”
- They may not like your style of dress, or the way you wear your hair. Or, even the way your house is decorated. So they “low-key” offer suggestions.
Your intuition, foresight and “Spidey-Sense” kick-in
Then, your gut tells you…
- “Nah… something ain’t right…”
- Then you say to yourself…”he/she is cool, but I just don’t know about them…”
- You feel this tingling in your head that says, “THIS AIN’T THE ONE!”
- She complains a lot, but maybe she’s going through something.
- I’m always pulling my wallet out when we spend time.
- Why are all her photos from the neck-up?
- They talk about themselves all the time
- He/she is always talking about his/her ex.
- They are a total narcissist. Always pointing the finger, always projecting.
So what do you do?
You date them anyway. When they mess up, or manage to arch your eyebrow, you justify their actions. You overlook the red flags that are presented to you on a silver platter. Later on down the road, maybe a few months or so, things go Topsy-turvy, and you’re now in reflection/hindsight mode.
My point… signs are always there. Although they are difficult to read at times, they are always there. Some people can detect red flags immediately because they literally look for them. Others do not look for them and get, “caught slipping.” Of course there are those that fall in the middle. They see the red flags, question them, and when the line is dropped in the water—they bite. Typically this is because they want it to work out so badly, you love them… or, you’ve had sex with this person, and their judgement is clouded. Even worse, they know there’s something wrong, and stay regardless out of desperation, or low self-esteem.
We always have a choice. We can act on the red flag(s), or, we can can ignore them. If you choose to ignore them, be ready to reap the whirlwind. Remember, not all red flags are truly red flags. It’s best to communicate your concerns. If the person becomes defensive, that could be another red flag. Regardless, you need to voice your concerns. Never hesitate. If you do, it’s to your own detriment.
You may find out that the red flag truly was a false alarm. If you never bring it up, you will never know until it’s further down the line. Even worse, you may never find out, or you may find out when you’re in a relationship, or married to this person. Obviously this isn’t ideal.
Keep your eyes open, and happy discerning!
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