When we enter into a new relationship with someone we tend to see all of the positive things about them. We see past the flaws and look for the good in that other person, even if months down the road we realize there was no good, or the tiny flaws that we at one time glanced past come to a head and you really see that person for who they are.
So what is a red flag and how can you prepare yourself for noticing it before it’s too late? It could be something completely harmless like noticing he spends a lot of time with his mother. This could show signs that he is a genuinely caring and family oriented guy, or it could be that you have landed yourself a stereotypical mama’s boy. Be aware of the depth of that relationship, if it seems like mom is the one calling all of the shots now, there is a chance that isn’t going to change.
Some other red flags that you should be on alert for are seeing how he treats people when you are out. If he is nasty to your restaurant server or makes jokes about the homeless person on Public Square, chances are he is lacking compassion for others.
If he makes you pay for everything while you’re out, he may be taking advantage of you. I am a huge supporter of splitting the bill or taking turns picking up the check when you go out. But if you find yourself turning into his sugar mama, that’s a surefire red flag that he is just going to continue to take advantage of you and your generous nature.
If he only calls or texts you late at night or when he is drunk, you may find that you are nothing more than a booty call or space filler. Now certainly if you know he works an odd shift and sleeps during the day, this could be just his normal time to shine but if you know he is out in the world during the day and posting pictures and things on Facebook but can’t take the five seconds it takes to respond to a text, you may find that he has you on the back burner. If you are serious about being in a relationship and it’s not just something casual, you need to let him know that you’re a priority, not an option or convenience.
Another big red flag is if he is over critical of everything you say or do. If he is making you feel bad about yourself to the point that you are making changes in your life that aren’t for your greater good, it may be time to jump ship. Sure, he says he loves you for who you are. What he is really saying is that he likes the modified version of you that he has molded with his criticisms. Your relationship should never leave you questioning your worth. You should never feel insufficient or less of a person because of your partner’s criticisms.
Trust your gut. When something is off, deep inside you know it. Don’t ignore your friends when they raise concerns about your relationship. Sometimes they can see the red flags waving when you ignored what was right in front of you. A relationship should make you happy. If you are making excuses and justifications for why you aren’t, it’s time to waive your own flag and let it fly high because you deserve the best.
Girl Talk began in 2012 as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and has evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa also has a weekly Girl Talk TV segment on PA Live, WBRE, and a radio segment every Wednesday on 98.5 KRZ.