• DeAara Lewis

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Didn’t You See the Red Flag? Signs of Relationship Doom that Women Often Ignore…

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Admit it, you’ve asked yourself this before, “What the hell was I thinking?” after you’ve finally gotten over a relationship with a guy that you swore was “The One.”  The stars seemed to align, the signs that the two of you were meant to be seemed to be everywhere, even your grandmother was smitten by his charm and then something changed.  Something happened.  The relationship was suddenly on the rocks and that old feeling of when the love is gone crept back in. It seemed like it was overnight, but usually if we are brutally with ourselves, the signs were there all along.

I am no stranger to any of this.  My love life has been that of a roller coaster that is just recently starting to see stability.  So I decided to make a list of “red flags” that I have experienced and ignored and paid a serious price for ignoring.   This list is a little different however because I’m addressing common thoughts, feelings and beliefs women face when dating someone they want to be “The One” but find themselves constantly at odds.

Red Flag #1:  He repeatedly shuts down emotionally on you and does not tell you why.  Nothing pisses a woman off more or hurts her deeper than when a man shuts down on her.  It can be for various reasons and we all can do it when we feel overwhelmed, attacked or exposed.  However, if you find yourself walking on eggshells constantly trying not to say the “wrong” thing or trying to overly control your anger or vulnerability because you fear he will check out on you, you may want ask yourself why are you still there.  No matter what you do, nothing will change this behavior unless he decides from a core place within himself to do something about it because he wants to, not you.  Trying to force therapy or some type of recovery process, ultimatums or manipulation games won’t do anything but backfire and drain you and cause resentment in him.

Red Flag #2: Although the two of you don’t see each other often, he constantly needs space. Taylor Swift just talked about this in an article I read and I was giggling loudly.  At the tender age of 22 years old, she even smells a rat when a man starts asking for his space when you seldom see one another to begin with.  Keep in mind this is no justification or permission slip to be clingy and not have a life of  your own, but if you do have a full life outside of him and he always has to cancel you all’s plans or needs “time to himself”, he may either have something else going on with another woman (or man) or may not be emotionally mature enough to be in a relationship.

Red Flag #3: You have forgiven him more than once, for an indiscretion. This is one I definitely have experience with and the old cliché’ is true.  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.  Fool me multiple times, then I deserve whatever the hell I get.  It hurts deeply when a woman learns her man has been unfaithful.   For me, I felt ashamed, enraged, believed that I wasn’t good enough, my anxiety rose to an epic high and I was too afraid to leave because I didn’t want to be alone or for him to find “happiness” with someone else, especially one of the women he was cheating on me with.  As a result, I had held him hostage and I held myself hostage.  I tried to control his every move and he rebelled, I gained 30 lbs., my face broke out, I lost months that were crucial to my film career and I probably missed out on meeting other potential mates.  The result?  He cheated on me again and when I finally put him out, he moved in with the girl less than a week later, looked the other way when she started harassing me, then she got pregnant and they got married.   Sometimes I wonder how much more peaceful my life would have been during those time had I walked away the first time and especially the second time I learned he had cheated.  Who knows, we probably would at least be friendly by now.

Red Flag #4:  He seldom compliments you and/or makes you into his competitor.  If you shot every woman up with truth serum (or maybe not), all would confess that at the end of the day, what they want is to be cherished.  Bottom line.  For every strong, independent woman, inside, there is a vulnerable species who wants to be loved.  Women love compliments.  Yes, we keep ourselves looking nice because we like to look nice and we also do it because we like to look good for our mates and love it when the man notices.  Nothing is worse than a bitch dude who cannot tell his woman she is beautiful.  Or yet, he tries to compete with her in some type of way and I don’t just mean in the “looks” department.  Actually most women who have careers often complain that they often meet men who try to compete with them on that level.  That was definitely one of my experiences.  One guy I dated found it difficult to not only compliment me on my looks but also on my professional accomplishments.  Of course, he was a sponge when I complimented and encouraged him, but found it very difficult to give it back.  With men like this, you will constantly clip your wings so you don’t outshine him.  A part of you will mistake relief for happiness and you run the risk of wasting the prime years of your career to keep your relationship together.
You may stay in a city that you no longer want to remain in and a job you have outgrown.  You will probably make excuses for his behavior, try to play therapist or try to force his support so that you can feel more comfortable.  Once again,  it is seldom any of this will work.  If you have expressed your feelings and his behavior doesn’t change, it may be time to re-evaluate the relationship.

Part II of Red Flags will be available in the next few days.  Please read and share with your friends who you think could use it.  And for the men and/or the LGTB, switch genders as you see fit 😉

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