Ignore it at your own risk
It is no secret that relationships (of any kind) are complicated, so it makes sense that there are negotiable and non-negotiable traits for all of us.
Most of us will have at least one, if not a few, significant romantic relationships in our lifetime, and it may be challenging at first due to lack of experience but time should help us sail across easier. It is also crucial to know yourself in every possible way before you move to commit yourself to someone else.
We often go in search of relationships without this awareness, but how can you know another individual when you don’t know yourself? How can you address someone else’s needs if you’re disconnected from yourself?
As obvious as some issues may appear intellectually, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that seemingly small things may take on a greater importance in the course of the relationship. You may even be shocked at your own behavior and expectations in a relationship. It’s important to evaluate your relationships and check if any patterns emerge, acknowledge your role in them and decide what are deal breakers and what isn’t.
I would actually prefer to ask the hard questions out of the gate, before any solid opinions are formed and watch for indicators that something needs to be questioned and might be trouble in the future. That’s why I think the number one red flag is if they treat themselves badly.
You cannot give what you don’t have, so if they can’t treat themselves with respect, you shouldn’t trust them to treat you any better. On another hand, if they treat you significantly better than they treat themselves, then that’s not healthy either.
Some people have trouble mastering basic life skills and solving crises that arise from how they manage their daily lives could take up most of your time and leave you no time to deal with yours. If you notice them learning and actually putting effort into growing up, you can stay and give them a nudge every now and then but you should never do the heavy lifting for someone else.
When a person finds it hard to trust himself, it may be hard for them to be honest with you. Some of their behavior may not be calculated or meant to be manipulative, but a coping mechanism. You’ll see this in little omissions here and there – if they are secretive about little things, imagine how secretive they will be about the big stuff. Again, you can give them room for improvement, but anyone who doesn’t take responsibility for their actions and hold himself to the same standard they hold you to won’t respect you as a partner. If the “missing pieces” that you, rightfully so, feel are hidden from you, don’t start falling into place soon, you have to choose yourself.
Red flags are intuitive images to help you process what you are already feeling, so I am never surprised when at the end of some difficult relationships, people say that their exes told them who they (the exes) were but they weren’t listening. Don’t ignore or excuse anything that strikes you as strange or makes you feel uncomfortable, but of course, if they have done the necessary corrective work and continue doing so for their own good and for the good of the relationship, that is a different story.
Lastly, don’t build your relationship on the need to be/feel needed. If this is the focal point of your relationship, there may be little or no growth realized individually and as a couple. Their life shouldn’t revolve around you and yours shouldn’t revolve around theirs either.
If Shakespeare was still around, maybe he’d be able help us interpret the ever-expanding language of love better, but he’s not so we’ll make do with what we have – each other.
If you’ll like to read a second part, please leave a comment.
Until next time,
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