How to recognize dating and relationship warning signs before emotions take over in love
Red flags: those signs you can spot so easily in your best girlfriend’s relationship are often difficult to recognize in your own. It’s those subtle, yet you-know-something’s-not-right feelings that are rationalized away which creates obstacles to lasting love. As a relationship coach, I hear stories from women who want to believe they are somehow overreacting to uneasy vibes in a relationship. Most of the time, they describe cautionary cues pointing to what they are trying to hide from themselves: the end of the dream of lasting love with that person.
Be honest with yourself. Does fear of starting over in love lead to avoidance of the subtle alerts?
Awareness of red flags will give you the confidence to back off from dating men who are leading you away from lasting commitment and towards the right relationship.
Signs that he’s not the right one can unfold like this:
The relationship that starts off with a bang. There is nothing wrong with strong mutual attraction, shared common interests and the ability to laugh with one another. Men who express visualizations of spending future time together on trips, attending events and sharing holidays usually are key phrases that most women translate to, “I want to marry you.” Soon after the first rush of dating, something shifts and your guy stops talking of future times together. No matter what caused the change of heart, many women find themselves mentally referring to feelings from the beginning to chase away nagging thoughts of the lack of progression of the relationship. Shifts in love are significant because they serve as alerts to address before you get so emotionally attached that you can’t muster up the courage to approach the subject.
A slide from high priority to low priority. Balance is key in love, especially managing time together. A relationship that is lasting will need mutual nurturance and an unquestionable assurance that you are each other’s top priority. Everyone is busy, but the demands of a career do not exclude one from the responsibility of being accountable in love. Women are prone minimize their worth and value in a relationship, especially if they view their guy’s occupation as “more important” than time spent together.
Awareness of different relationship goals. Meeting someone you click with is always an emotional charge, however finding out that your goals do not match up is a definite red flag. This trap can keep you in the wrong relationship for years. Men can and will date you for a long time if you are pleasant to be around, easy to talk to and share a mutual attraction. If he has said he doesn’t want to get married and you do, run in the other direction! Many women stay because they are confident that eventually their guy will change his mind and figure out she is the one for him. The reality is this type of guy continues to keep his eye on other possibilities. When (not if) he finds the one he wants to marry, he will leave and pursue that new woman. People tell me of long term relationships that ended out of the blue, only to discover their former love married shortly after the break up. The common thought expressed is, “He said he didn’t want to get married!” The part these guys usually leave out is, “ ... to you.”
Knowing your personal relationship goals and having the courage to not settle for less than what you want in love is vital for lasting happiness. Don’t allow fear based thoughts such as “I’ll never find another person as successful” (or any other must-have quality that appears to be the hook for you) to smother your intuition.
Love with the right person is a shared endeavor, holding each other accountable to mutual love, nurturance, trust and respect. The right relationship will happen when you are confident of who you are, the love you have to offer and an unapologetic attitude regarding your dreams and desires. Not everyone you date will lead to this ultimate goal; however knowing where you want to go and how you want to be treated in a relationship will serve as a guide to spotting red flags.
Nancy Pina is a highly recognized author, relationship coach and speaker. She is dedicated to helping individuals attract emotionally healthy relationships through her practical Christian based advice.
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