Updated: Oct 12, 2022
Dating can be strange. If anyone knows, it's me. Hell, I could write an entire book on my good, great, weird, and not-so-pretty dating experiences alone. While that’s not what this is, I did want to give you a sliver of insight on what I have learned to look out for. Red flags if you will. These are my own personal takeaways formed from past experiences, so if they don’t apply to you that is ok. Take them with a grain of salt and use them where you can.
The seven reasons are purely intended to help validate what you are feeling and give clarity to your situation. My partner and I brainstormed on this topic together while in Mexico. We both resonate with each one, and figured it would be good to offer male and female perspective. We hope you find the emotional lucidity you’ve been seeking. Feel free to leave a comment on the article if you agree, disagree, love, or didn’t care for the body of work. I may write something today that I have a completely different perspective on, tomorrow. I value your opinion as my reader, enjoy
1. If they try and take something from you that brings you joy
It is vital that we as humans play. When we play, we release dopamine and experience joy; Something no human should be intentionally deprived of. Especially by another human!
I listed this as the first sign because I believe it is something many people need to be reminded of. Myself included. About five years ago my mom spoke the same words to me for the first time as I endured a less than desirable relationship where my partner wasn’t keen on me traveling. "Carlie, someone that truly loves you isn't going to try and take something away from you that brings you happiness or joy." Her words spoken softly but penetrating deep into my soul.
It wasn't something they were passionate about, which is fine but I still wanted to go. I decided to go with friends or go alone, but this became increasingly hard as time went on. Most of us here know what walking on eggshells in a relationship feels like, and it doesn't feel good.
My mom was right! Traveling to foreign countries where you become fully immersed in the culture means everything to me, so why would anyone on this planet want to take that away if it’s something that brings me joy?
Often times, people aren’t aware of the suffocation that comes along as a result of their superfluous needs and rigid non-compromising ways. In turn robbing you of the hobbies you were once wildly passionate about. In a healthy partnership there must be room for individuality. From personal experience, I believe that when someone wants to take your external joy so they can be your main source they are committing a selfish act that stems from their own insecurities. Some may argue narcissism.
I'm not saying this about this person particularly. They didn't want to compromise on coming with me, and I didn't want to compromise my early twenties by staying. We just simply weren't compatible in how we idealized life. But some people I do believe have darker motives when it comes to depriving you of joy in life. Whether manipulative and intentional or proceeding completely unaware of their own attitude in the relationship. Be weary of this.
2. They speak to you in a disrespectful tone or manner
To this day, I still chuckle at a quick-witted response of mine to being blatantly disrespected in my early years of dating that went something along the lines of, “My own two parents don’t even speak to me like this, so you certainly don't have the right to.” But seriously. You are not someone’s puppet or play toy. If someone isn’t treating you how you wish to be treated, buh bye!
Obviously, this can be easier said than done, but progression doesn’t happen in life without resistance. Speak your truth. Set those boundaries. You are the architect of your own life, and you design and redesign as you see fit. So put the work in on your design. Create a strong foundation that demands respect. Because you don’t deserve anything less.
3. If they don’t want to bring you around their family and or friends
If this isn’t the case for you, don’t worry this is subjective. I have dated people with loved one’s hours, states, sometimes even countries away. I have also dated people with family and friends five minutes down the road that basically didn’t exist in our realm of relation because integrating was an afterthought. Or was it?
My heightened awareness now believes otherwise. I don’t dissect scenarios often because I find that it can kill the vibe, but here we go. My personal subjection to this matter is that when someone is still hesitant to bring you around family and friends after a substantial amount of time has passed their mind isn’t made up about you yet. They still need convincing. This might be the Virgo in me speaking or my age, but life is too short to wait around for someone to pick you!
4. If you aren’t prioritized in their life
If you had to choose between living behind the golden gates of someone’s heart, or living in the streets out front stealing the love scraps out of the dumpster, which would you choose?
Balancing love with your career, social life, mental health, and family/community obligations can be tough. Everyone’s amounting on this will be completely different. Dating someone in another country will look different compared to someone who is dating their neighbor. Whether you’re thousands of miles or merely seconds away, there are a wide variety of ways to be prioritized in someone’s life.
5. If there isn’t a healthy line of communication
Communication and trust are everything. I know being vague and mysterious can feel sexy, but does your heart agree? Does little to no communication feel hot to you? What about someone looking at your Instagram story before responding to you by text, does that turn you on? It shouldn’t, but it might shoot your cortisol levels way up. Remember folks, stress leads to illness.
There are 86,400 seconds in a day. Can someone really not spare two of those to send a quick text, checking in? Healthy communication means being honored in your relationship. So ask yourself if the communication in your relationship is up to par, and remember that it goes both ways.
6. Different views on money, politics, and religion
As I previously mentioned above, this may not apply to you. It doesn't fully apply to me because my partner and I have absolutely differed in opinion before. We look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow from one another. To be more expansive in mindset. This inevitably leads us both to the same general theme of wanting peace on earth, and good will to its people. This brings me back to up to sign number two. There must be mutual respect, meaning it will be important to be able to agree to disagree. Which brings me to number 7.
7. If you can’t agree to disagree
My man and I often find ourselves in intellectually expansive and philosophical conversations. These talks can go on for hours, and we don’t always agree. We have a deep mutual respect for one another, so the disagreements never get vulgar. My one rule is that we don’t go to bed mad at one another. That can be challenging when your pride and identity are feeling pressed, but it is needed. Because without this rule you risk growing accustomed to the emotional distance, in turn physically growing apart. Is the argument really worth this space? You’ll want to take a long hard look in your heart and find the answer to this. I don't think so for myself, unless you have been betrayed and trust has been broken.
Photo by @lightly_photography aka Holly on Instagram! She is incredible. If you're in the Wilmington, NC area I 11/10 recommend using her for your next photo op!