Red Flags in Dating

red flagsMy mother taught me early on to pay attention to the red flags. She told me, the issues that you have with a man on the first date you will have forever. I didn’t always want to believe her, but the more I’ve dated the more I realize she was right. You need to pay attention to the red flags in dating. Real life isn’t a romantic comedy. If you hated this person in the beginning, you’re probably going to hate them in the end.

It’s easy to ignore the red flags waving in the background when your new love interest is just so darn attractive and easy to talk to. It’s even easier to make up excuses, like you’re just having fun so it doesn’t matter if they are an alcoholic, cheater, or a gigantic man-child.

Well, are you still having fun six months later when you wind up in a full-on relationship with this person? Because that could happen. I’ve seen it and I’ve actually done it.  Our rationality fails us when we have chemistry with someone. No matter how much we remind ourselves that this person is clearly bad for us, there is just something so attractive about their troubled past and their disregard for the rules.

In some way, you are drawn to this person because you think you’ll be the one to make them change. You’ll be the one that they finally commit to, get a stable job for, or grow up for. 

But that person has to actually want to change for themself. An alcoholic might say over and over again that they are going to quit drinking to please other people, but they are never going to quit unless they really want to.

If they calculate how exactly to the split the bill on the first date, they are always going to be cheap. If they talk about how miserable their life is, they probably aren’t going to be any less miserable when you two are together. The only difference is you’ll be miserable too.

I don’t care if they are as sexy as Ethan Hawke brooding over the meaning of life, they probably aren’t worth letting into your life.

No matter how hard it is to concentrate when they are leaning in for kiss, try to trust your gut instinct about this person. Don’t just blunder through a relationship because it’s interesting and exciting. Having a good life requires so much more than that.

Remember, you want to be with someone who is positive and brings out the best in you, and actually wants to be with you.

If they tell you on the first date that they are not looking for anything serious, believe them. Because they will show you pretty much everything you need to know on the first date, if you’re willing to listen.