Relationships. Most people want to be in them, but most people don’t think about the kind of relationship they want before they get into them. Boy meets girl, boy asks girl out (or vice versa), and people just let things happen from there.
While ‘letting things happen’, somewhere along the line, things don’t always go right, and when the inevitable breakup comes, the woman is quick to b*tch about how men are dogs, and the men are quick to say “Woman again”, even if, unlike their female counterpart, they’re not going to broadcast their bitterness on Facebook or Twitter. But why b*tch and moan when the signs were there from the start? You can’t ‘bad talk’ someone, when he or she showed you clear signs early in the game. You just weren’t looking.
So how about we pay attention early on, and throw on our buss-up Nike, and run, when we realise that something’s off?
That’s the purpose of red flags. They let you know when danger is around the corner, and when to make a diversion. I know sometimes the hearts in our eyes keep us from clearly seeing tell-tale signs, but it really isn’t that hard to identify a red flag. Simply put, if something the person does makes you say, “hmmm”, then it’s a red flag.
So, if you’re dating or you’re just getting to know someone, but argue constantly, then kiss and make up without resolving anything, this is a red flag. If he or she says some questionable things here or there that tell you that you’re not on the same page, or have vastly different values, this is a red flag. If he or she tells you, “I love you”, but lives with someone else, this is a … Need I say more?
Pay attention to what you see from the start. Experience has taught me to always listen to my gut. Don’t ignore second thoughts or when something makes you uncomfortable or nervous. Don’t hate on men or women when they do you wrong. Just pay attention to the signs, like…
Hot and cold
If the person is always changing his or her mind about you, this is a good time to bounce, because really, you don’t want to be an option in anyone’s multiple-choice test. Indecision is not good for your blood pressure. There are people who, one minute they want to be single, and the next minute they want to be in a relationship.
You mostly hear about women falling for the guy who toys with them by implying that maybe they can tie him down. “Baby you might be the one for me.” Ever heard that line? I think it’s a reverse psychology thing where a woman feels like “wow, he didn’t want to be in a relationship, but I’m so special he has to say yes”. No. He’s just using that ploy to keep you around in a pseudo relationship, accepting what you shouldn’t.
We mostly hear about this happening with women, but fellas go through this too. The point is, if you end up in a relationship with this person and they just ups and bounce one day, you can’t b*tch and moan about it, because the nomadic signs were there from the start.
Alyuh doh reason the same way
Some of us deal with things differently. Some of us are mature. Some of us are immature. Some of us actually listen to another person’s grouse, and try to resolve matters, especially if we’re in the wrong. Some of us, however, like to be proud, defensive, and a$$hole-ish. Some of us shut down, and expect the next person to ignore his or her feelings and not discuss things. You need to be emotionally compatible; otherwise, there’ll be no communication. So an expressive person and an emotionally distant person just can’t work in a relationship. If you can’t communicate, you can’t reason. If you can’t reason, you can’t work out. So yeah, this is another cue to jump on a BMX and ride out.
Lies… even small ones
There really isn’t much explaining to do here…
The apple doesn’t fall from the tree, so if everyone in the family mad, chances are he or she is missing a few screws too. You need to find out which ones… fast.
They hardly spend time with you when you’re out
If someone takes you to a party or some other social gathering, and you’re not anywhere near the centre of their attention, something’s up. If they spend more time away from you than with you, and when you find them talking to someone, they look a bit suspect or antsy, this should be a cue that they’re being shady, and will be probably have you paranoid as hell that you’re being horned (aka cheated on) every time they’re away from you.
If someone wants to know every, single thing about your whereabouts or who you talk to, they don’t just have great potential to be on “How to be a Stalker”; they’re also extremely controlling. In the beginning, you might pass it off as jealousy, but nah, sometimes you really have to pay attention, because controlling people don’t only like to control who you talk to or how you dress. They also like to hit, curse and abuse yuh. Yuh doh want dat!
How they treat other people
Often, when we’re getting to know people, we overlook some of their difficult ways, because they really didn’t get to us. But there are just certain things, like the way they treat us, the way they treat others, or their refusal to act in ways that make us feel emotionally safe that should make you think for one second, something’s not right here.
Ladies, if he curses his mother. He will curse you. If he dares to hit his mother, he will definitely hit you. Fellas, if she screams at her friends, she will scream at you. I know the fellas who have dealt with some crazy chicks in their lifetime can safely say they saw the signs before. Good punanny (or piggy) is never an excuse for crazy. Irrational or short-tempered behaviour shouldn’t be ignored.
If you see this early on, and you get that ‘hang on there a minute’ feeling with someone, then this is not something to sweep under the rug.
Growing up, we all learn self-preservation, and the types of behaviours that trigger emotional stress for us. Unfortunately, we also talk ourselves out of responding to our instincts at times. If a potential love interest makes you tense, agitated, paranoid, constantly upset, or makes your heart sink too often, it’s time to pay attention to your reactions. If you keep saying, “he (or she) is an a$hole, but I love him (or her)”, then chances are he or she really will continue to be one. Sometimes things can be resolved, if Mr or Miss Red Flag is willing to do their part, but if things seem set in stone, then it’s onto the next one.
Like one of my favourite rappers Talib Kweli says, “Love cause(s) the same chemical reaction in the brain as insanity”. Past relationships teach you what you like, what you don’t like, and let you know your threshold for what you can and cannot handle. You don’t want to find yourself smack in the middle of a relationship, battling issues you didn’t want to have to deal with, and plain accepting sh*t that sends you mad, St. Anns mad.
So if you want to avoid being feeling like an idiot in the game of romance and love, because you ignored the signs, tune in to your red flag instincts, because if you prolong the inevitable, it’ll be even worse when things don’t go your way, and you don’t want anyone to be justified in telling you, “Doh complain now. Yuh look fuh it”.