• Parker

Don't Ignore Red Flags.


What is it about our incredible ability to ignore warning flags when we are in an early relationship? We get so absorbed in the magic and excitement of new love that we tend to overlook character flaws that we should see from a mile away.

Love is a powerful drug, and like a drug it can cause us to become, well: less observant than usual. Some of this is chemical—endorphins, dopamine, and adrenaline can all override our judgement and rational thoughts. Some of this is emotional—hope, joy, and desire trigger our most basic needs to be loved and wanted. So, it’s good to be reminded that sometimes our bodies and brains aren’t always at the top of their game when it comes to forever-matchmaking. We want to feel good NOW. . Trust your instincts, but also seek outside council. Ask for opinions of your trusted inner circle, give them permission to be honest with you, and LISTEN to their feedback. It may not always be easy to hear, but if multiple trustworthy people are telling you to be careful, you should be. . I’ve had many friends who haven’t been candid with me in the past, and man, do I regret it. I understand why they weren’t…it’s hard to give tough relationship advice to someone who only wants to hear the good. Either they didn’t want to upset me, or they doubted their opinions since I was so sure. In hindsight, I wish they had been real with me and I wish I had heard them. . We premptively set up defenses to avoid hearing what we don’t want to hear. We avoid phone calls so we don’t have to defend our decisions. We offer inarguable statements (“I think he is the most wonderful man I’ve ever met!”) and we shut down any criticism that we do hear (“She was just having a bad day.”) If you find yourself doing this repeatedly, that is a warning flag in itself.

Now, you are the best person to make decisions about your life and who you share it with, but remember: Missing red flags is common and everyone does it. If the excuses start to add up, if the warnings are validated by feedback from your friends and family, and if they repeat…take notice.