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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

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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