Optimist that I am, there’s no way around some of the glaring red flags flooding certain relationships… When folks ignore a dangerous confluence of them, I thank my lucky stars and wonder how they got there. Today, we’ll talk about a few red flags so dangerous all you can do is run.
On the last day of my girls’ trip to Vegas while soaking up sun by the pool… I happened to be next to random dude A (we’ll call him Bob) who was apparently in desperate need of relationship therapy.
I’ve a large forehead and my man is bald… Nowhere on those billboards does it flash, “Talk to me, I’ll listen!” But we individually and together find ourselves listening to and advising folks about all sorts of things. Perfect strangers, long-time friends, you name it. I was on a solo mission this time.
Initially I was tempted to squash the conversation with Bob from the outset by pointing out it is NEVER a good idea to say anything remotely negative about your partner to the opposite sex. <–Red Flag #1: Not. A. Good. Look.
I don’t care if they’re your best friend or a perfect stranger, this says: Not only is something wrong… You can’t figure it out with your partner and… Are willing to turn to another woman/man (obviously without their knowledge) for help. At best, they will pity you and your partner, offering advise and condolences in lieu of saying, “RUN FAR AND FAST”. <–Unnecessary hotmessdedness. Save yo’self.
During the conversation a bunch of other red flags flew, each of which alone should be enough to make you run far and fast… All of them at once?!? I do understand if you’re tempted to giggle while you read the following but this was TRUE.
Red Flag Menu: Pressure to marry (Becky (Bob’s gal) to Bob); Fake marriage proposalS (TWO!!!)(Bob to Becky); Living together unmarried*; No social life (Becky); Relationship not a priority (Bob); Few mutual friends; Obsessive behavior (Both B’s); Trust issues (Both B’s); Victimization (Both B’s); General suckiness at relationshiptonness; Emotional stupidity (Both B’s); Tolerating general psychoticness (Bob); Physical abuse (Becky to Bob).
*Yes, I’m an ardent opposer of the unmarried male/female roomie situation. Perhaps, fodder for another blog…
I could go on and on. Basically, Bob felt like he was an idiot failure who was always messing up. He literally joked that he wakes up wanting to apologize like, “Yo I know I’m gonna mess up today so I’m just gonna say sorry now in advance.”
He also feigned confusion about the wrongness of proposing to a bio-clock obsessed older woman TWICE, as a joke to test her and see if she’d accept. He quickly understood the hotmessdedness of his ways when I flipped it for him…
When I asked if he’d think it was funny if she jokingly tested him by saying, “Honey, I’ve been sleeping with your best friend” to see how bad his temper is, he conceded, stunned by his bungholio ways.
Honestly though, even with the half-story filter on, he seemed like a good guy with a long way to go before being relationship ready.
I was saved by the bell thankfully, just after he revealed that Becky got violent after essentially hearing he was in the same room as an ancient ex of his named… Tina.
To make matters worse, the entire time I was there he must have talked to Becky nine times and never once mentioned he was chatting it up with me, which was both asking for trouble and avoiding it all at once.
Here’s why you have to run from these red flags:
That kind of relationship turns logic and communication upside down.
When you’re with someone you can’t trust, you can’t even do the things that build trust because of it! You won’t give them space… They won’t open up to you and ’round and ’round we go.
Pressure: Without exception, pressure only works in three situations: Cooking, massages, and controlling massive bleeding. Even in corporate business negotiation it’s considered cut-throat and manipulative. At best, pressuring your partner will land you an unprincipled, resentful weakling… Congratulations darlings! Enjoy.
Tests: Testing your partner is also a slew of hot, hot boiling messdedness. If you hunger for exams and performance evaluations go back to school and leave your partner alone. Read more:
Living together: Opposite sex, unmarried roomies= Imminent doom.
No social life: Two people in a relationship should be coming in whole, with interests, lives, and friends of their own that they maintain. This is why it’s important to have things in common. If you don’t naturally fit, your lives wouldn’t converge at all. As soon as independence, individual growth and living disappear your days are numbered. I don’t care how intriguing and exciting one of you is, it’s never enough for you both.
Priority: If you’re committed to someone, that person needs to be your second priority (you first). Certain aspects of your career, friends and family are inherently part of you, but that doesn’t mean they come part and parcel before your partner. If you want an intimate relationship with someone who’s truly your team mate, they can’t sit second to your friends, family, work, karaoke night, fantasy football, workout schedule, girl’s night, crocheting, and porn addiction. That’s like benching and blindfolding them, then calling when the game’s done to see how they would have played. You’re both shortchanged.
No mutual friends: Ok. Like I said, there have to be things you have in common. You don’t need to be BFF’s with all their people. How in the flip can you get along with someone in the long term when you secretly hope all their friends and family fall victim to the plague? If you didn’t know, friends are a reflection. So it’s only a matter of time before you’ll end up wishing they die too. This, is usually a side-effect of not having a life, also known as being socially inept.
No trust: Yeah… When they say trust is the foundation of a relationship, they mean it. If you can’t tell someone something because you think they’ll flog you… Or can’t listen to someone because you think they’ll hurt you… That’s not a relationship. It’s a dramatic booty call without the benefits. Heck, sometimes, without the booty. (Shudder) How come why fo’ lawd, is the bukkit-nekkitness gone?
Victimization: I’m annoyed even thinking about this. The “woe is me” complex is a major pet peeve. Woman up woman. Man up man. Step or step up. ’Nough said.
Relationship readiness: Not everyone is ready for a relationship and that’s ok. Unless you’re in one. Get out and get it together.
Emotional stupidity: Here’s the obvious truth. It’s BS to say you can’t help the way you feel and you just want to do whatever you can to make each other happy. Utter bullhonkey. Yes, feelings are real just like life events. Grown ups have to figure out how to deal with them. Never forget none of us can do a goshdarned thing to make each other happy. I said it, and practically sneeze rainbows.
People choose to be happy or not. You have nothing to do with it. Think about your negative, melancholy friend who seems to find something wrong with every possible scenario: They choose not to be happy. There’s a difference between caring for and showing love to your partner and “making” them happy. People have either figured out their problems or not. You’re not gonna fix them.
Tolerating crazies: See above.
Abuse: This problem is so deeply ingrained in both parties it has nothing to do with their actual relationship. Working on it together will get them nowhere fast. It’s like trying to fix the problem of why a cat and dog can’t procreate with fertility treatments.
Remember red flags are only a bad thing when ignored.