28 Jul 10 Questions to identify dating ‘red flags’
Are you staying in a situation that is keeping you stuck and causing you to constantly question and doubt yourself? Is there somebody in your life that you’re just not sure about but find it hard to stay away from or leave?
So today I want to talk to you about an experience I think the vast majority of us share. You know the one! Where you’ve had niggling feelings or doubts about somebody you met, dated or had a relationship with (or even married in my case). Where your gut feeling was telling you that something isn’t quite right, but you went ahead anyway?
It’s natural to have some doubts about a relationship sometimes – going through that process in our heads and hearts can help us decide whether somebody is the right person for us, or not.
But what if deep down you already know that this person and this relationships is not right for you.
Why are we so good at overriding our gut feeling and still carry on?
I really don’t have a straightforward answer for this. The reasons are unique to everybody’s individual situation and circumstances and can be so deep-rooted that we’re not even always consciously aware of it.
– It’s often connected to believing you can ‘change’ or ‘save’ somebody. If you just do more or work harder on the relationship or yourself.
– It can also be that you feel that this is as good as it’s ever going to get for you. That you don’t deserve any better or perhaps you’ve never known any better. Maybe this person did a very good job of convincing you that nobody else is going to want to be with you.
– It could be that there are certain habits, patterns or co-dependent type behaviors that keep you stuck or cause you to choose the same type of toxic relationships over and over again.
Can you relate?
As I said before – the reasons for staying can be varied, complex to understand and often hard to admit to yourself. And this is another place where you may be stuck – you already know you need to leave, but finding the strength and courage to walk away is a different story, and one for another day.
I totally get that. – I stayed when I shouldn’t have and I ignored my instinct more times than I feel comfortable admitting.
Overriding my gut feeling by rationalizing, ignoring, finding excuses or explaining away whatever it was at the time. Maybe you can also relate to this.
It takes brutal honesty with yourself to admit that your choices are not serving you. That can be really hard. Especially of you’ve already invested so much of your time, hopes and dreams in a relationship.
It can be easy to talk yourself into a relationship even if it makes you feel insecure and miserable. – While you end up accepting behavior and doing things you wouldn’t normally do just to avoid rejection.
There’re many examples of red flags that can appear while you’re in the early stage of dating someone – or they may appear later on when you’re actually in a relationship. And yes, these are all too clear in hindsight.
Sometimes they are very clear danger signs ie. uncontrolled anger, rage, blame, violence – and other times it can be more subtle, ie. lack of integrity, inconsistent behavior, controlling behavior, deception etc.
When you google ‘dating red flags’ you will find lots of resources. – But once you know what they are and what the look like to you, what do you do next?
I put together these 10 questions to help you think through what is going on for you and to hopefully get some clarity and help you decide what to do next:
* These questions may, or may not be relevant to you right now – but do make a mental note of them so that just in case. – If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re not sure – you can come back to them. Or share them with a friend.
10 Questions to identify dating ‘red flags’
1. Is this ‘insert red flag’ a deal breaker for me? If it’s an absolute non-negotiable requirement for your relationship to work, or not – then you have your answer. This should be a black and white, crystal clear decision.
2.What will my (and my children’s) life look like in 3-6-12 months from now with this person/these circumstances in my/our life?
3. What is keeping me with this person or what it stopping me from leaving?
4. What do I get out of holding on to this person and/or relationship?
5. What is it going to cost me to hold on to this person and/or relationship? What has it already cost me to be with this person/in this relationship?
6. What is it that I need to learn from this situation?
7. What is this situation reflecting back to me about myself?
8. What is my responsibility / my part in creating and choosing this situation?
9. What am I going to choose to do? And by when?
10. What support will I need to help me through this?
Bonus question: How do you really want to FEEL in your relationship? And if you don’t feel like this, what are going you doing to do about it?
You will see that I have used the words ‘choose’ quite a few times. Please remember that you always, always have a choice – and not making that that choice? That is still a choice.
I really do know how hard this can be. I’ve been in that place where I’ve felt completely paralysed – knowing what the right thing was to do, but not having the strength to actually do it. As so often happens in life, when we don’t take control and make the decisions we need to make it gets taken out of our hands and events out of our control or circumstances force us to do something.