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6 Red Flags To Watch For When You’re Dating Someone

6 Red Flags To Watch For When You’re Dating Someone

We have all been there! We have all been excited about this new person we were seeing only to find out they weren’t as great as they appeared to be! Sometimes we end up staying with these same people weeks, even months, and sometimes years before we find out that we could have spent our time more effectively. We have all ended up feeling hurt, abused, abandoned, and misled by those same people who we trusted and loved, ignoring warning signs that could have helped us avoid our insurmountable heartache.

Red flags are violations of proper dating etiquette and standards. Everyone dating should protect their hearts and minds from those looking to abuse them. Everyone wants love, and everyone deserves love. No one, however, deserves to be abused.

These six red flags below indicate things to watch out for when you’re dating someone. If someone is currently treating you this way or starts to treat you in any of these ways in the future, RUN! Don’t look back!

1. They Want to Change You

Have you only been dating for a short period of time and they are already telling you they hate your life-long friends? That is a HUGE red flag! Have they already been encouraging you to move in with them, or worse yet, move out from where you’re currently living with family, friends, or your own apartment to a place they feel will be more fitting, alone? Do they complain about the way you do your hair, what clothes you wear, and try to watch your every move? Do they laugh at your dreams and goals telling you that they are stupid or that you should focus on something else?

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You, my friend, are dating a control freak, and you should run as fast as you can! Control freaks don’t really love you or accept you the way you are. They simply want you to fit the narrative of what they feel the perfect partner is for them. They want someone they can watch and break down. Life is too short to live it the way someone else thinks you should live it.

2. Some of Their Habits Are Questionable

Does your significant other drink too often or go out too much? Do they not even invite you when they go out? Do they become a completely different person when they do drink? Do they scare you? Do they become sexually coercive or hit on other men/women when they are drunk? Do they do drugs?

If your significant other has habits that are questionable, you should break up with them as quickly as possible and move on. Staying in the relationship can lead to abuse or trouble with the law, and no one wants that.

3. They Are Abusive

Unless it’s in physical self-defense, there is never a good reason to hit someone else. It doesn’t matter if they cheated, lied, or deceived you in any way. Abuse is wrong. This is the biggest and most obvious red flag. If your significant other is being sexually coercive, and then trying to make it up to you with gifts and kind words, that doesn’t mean you’re not being abused. That’s how an abuser keeps the abused around, by messing with them emotionally and psychologically.

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If your significant other is abusing you, making you cover yourself so no one sees bruises, or is telling you to not tell anyone about their abuse, whether it is sexual, physical, or emotional, you should run. Period. Again, there is never a good excuse for abusive behavior.

 4. You Are A Secret

Are you in a secret  relationship? Are you always with your significant other but they refuse to introduce you to their friends and family, and if they do, do they just call you a friend? Have you talked to them about it and they’ve done nothing to rectify the matter? Is your significant other a flake?

You’re being used. So, the question is, are you okay with being used by someone who treats you like a dirty secret and less of a human being? I don’t think so. Also, imagine how many other people your significant other has lied to in the same way? You may not be the only secret boyfriend/girlfriend. They may have a husband/wife on the side. Why settle for less than what you deserve? Dump your secret lover and move on to someone who is proud to say that you are all theirs!

5. You Feel Worse About Yourself In The Relationship

Are you planning out all the dates? Do you go out of your way to make time for them and they always have something else going on or don’t prioritize you in the same way? Do you feel alone in your relationship, as if you’re in a relationship with yourself?

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If you feel sad when you think about the relationship or are wondering why it’s not going the way you would like, then that’s a sign that it’s time to move on. You deserve someone who is willing to move mountains to make you feel special and make time for you.

6. Your Family Doesn’t Approve of The Relationship

Sometimes family members can see when someone is wrong for you before you even know yourself. Sometimes family members can be wrong, as well, but they are always worth listening to.  Your immediate family members love you more than anyone else, and want to see you happy. They don’t tell you they dislike your significant other to be spiteful or rude. They do it because they know how special you are and what you deserve. Sometimes what you deserve is better.

It’s always nice to know someone identifies with you or that you can tell them your deepest, darkest secrets, but that’s not all there is to life! And, let’s face it, who doesn’t appreciate a good cuddle? But, that’s no excuse to ignore warning signs. If you really need someone to cuddle with, go buy a pet! They are more loyal than a person, and they won’t wake up one day and tell you they no longer want to be with you.

There’s always something new we can learn on our own about ourselves, and while relationships can be great, it’s also a wonderful thing to be able to spend time alone and enjoy being single!

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Featured photo credit: Day 14:I Don’t Know ANY Of This!/Lourdes Nightingale via commons.wikimedia.org

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Emina Dedic

TEFL Instructor, Traveler, Professional Writer, Model

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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