I am very passionate about relationships, so I like to talk about them and shed light on certain issues surrounding this great blessing and a curse (depending on how you use it). Today’s topic has to do with Red Flags; everyone who is matured enough to date has probably come across this phrase. A red flag is simply a warning of danger, it brings your attention to something that needs to be dealt with or avoided altogether.
Now, when it comes to relationships, red flags are warning signs that you may notice while dating/getting to know someone, that doesn't line up with what you may personally believe in or that are just flat out dangerous. I don't know all the red flags that are out there, but I will share some that I have come across and have experienced. Let’s Talk!
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When you meet someone for the first time, who you are interested in, it is very easy to think that the person is perfect and can’t hurt a fly. This is because everyone is putting their best foot forward and don’t want to embarrass themselves, so to speak. They answer all the questions perfectly for the first couple of days (well so you think), and you are immediately smitten by them and what they could possibly offer you.
This happens usually during the first couple of days or maybe weeks (I haven’t met someone who has been consistent, who didn’t want anything serious), as people get to know each other, they become privy of what the other person might like and they make sure to impress. Now, if they don’t have genuine intentions towards you, after a couple of weeks you may begin to see cracks in the way you communicate, and your eyes may open up to the fact that said person is not who you really made them out to be in your head.
The Warning Signs
Whenever I hear of a relationship breaking up or in turmoil for some reasons like infidelity (serial cheating) or abuse, I always wonder if the victim didn’t see the signs. I believe that the signs are always there from the beginning, but for some reason, we like to ignore them until we self-destruct. A guy told me after a couple of days of meeting him, that he was controlling. Ask me why I still went ahead with a relationship with him? If you are wondering if that control played out in our relationship, then the answer is yes! It sure did.
If you really pay attention to what a person is telling you, then you will discover a lot of things about the person. Sometimes a guy may communicate to a girl that he isn't ready for a serious relationship, and he just wants to hang out. The girl might process it as since he likes me and wants to hang out with me regardless (because surely there are many fishes in the sea that could have the privilege of hanging out with him, but he chose me!) Let's see where it goes. Hopefully, it might turn into a relationship one day.
Wrong! If he isn't ready and you are, then you have no business being in that situation, to begin with. He will end up resenting you and that is not what you want, if you are commitment-minded, that type of situation would not lead to a commitment. Be wise or sharp! As we Nigerians like to say it.
Here are a few of the red flags I have experienced
He only texts you, and never calls; I was watching a talk show one day and a lady asked the host how she could get men to stop texting and start calling her. The answer was simple, don’t respond to their texts! A guy would only treat you the way you allow him to, if you appear to have no standards, he would carry on with you that way. He would put in little or no effort because he knows that any little thing he does would get your attention. If he is just texting you, chances are that he is occupied with something or someone else.
He treats others with disrespect; I once dated a guy who spoke to women rudely. He would raise his voice at them on the phone and he wasn't kind with his words or gracious towards them. Deep down I knew that it wasn't going to be long before he started doing that to me and I wasn't wrong. When you meet someone, you have to pay attention to the way they treat others if they are mean to their friends, their coworkers, and to those who serve them (this is usually the best indicator), it is a sign that they don’t have a good heart. Flee!
He only wants to hang out with you in the house; I can’t say how many times I have fallen into this trap, they may just take you out on one “date” and that’s it! Then he now wants you to come over all the time or he may want to come over to yours and at odd times. Pay him no mind, if a guy doesn’t want to put in any effort to properly date you, chances are he isn’t the one and he may just be looking for sex.
He can’t control his temper; someone who has anger issues might be someone who could be violent tomorrow. If he gets upset at any little thing, if he can’t take a joke, if he raises his voice at you, I have just one piece of advice for you, honey, run! It is better for you to be single for the rest of your life than to be with a violent man. If he can't get it together when y'all are dating or maybe just getting to know each other, then you can only imagine what will happen if you guys get married. The signs are always there.
He has wandering eyes; hmmm, this is a major issue oh! Dear woman, if your bae or potential bae doesn’t have self-control, then you are in for it. Especially in these days with social media, where there is a sea of different women with different nationalities, if there is no trust, then what is the point of the relationship? It would just lead to countless tears and heartaches, which is definitely not worth it. A man, who is interested in you, should be able to focus on just you. If he is having a hard time doing so, then just leave him to go figure himself out, because this would be a big issue in the long-run.
He isolates you from friends & family; such a man has control issues, some girls may think it’s cute in the beginning when the man doesn’t want her to have a life and just wants her all to himself. A man, who wants to isolate you, has control issues. He is probably an insecure man and wants to control your every move. Once they get you isolated, then abuse starts. And because you have pushed everyone away, you wouldn't want to share with people what you are suffering. Men fall prey to this as well; it is not just the women. Beware of such people, anyone who wants to be in a healthy, long-lasting relationship with you, will want to be a part of your friends and family. Don’t let the devil fool you, nothing good happens in isolation.
He doesn’t communicate with you frequently; if a guy, who claims to be interested in you, isn’t pursuing you, then forget it. Chances are he is chasing after other women or he is not just that into you (who remembers that movie?) pay attention to this kind of person’s actions rather than their words. Move on and make room for someone who will be committed and intentional with getting to know you; a man who is into you will pursue you, so no one else will get in his way. How will you build a meaningful relationship if there is no constant communication?
He doesn’t go to church; if you are a believer, then this is huge for you. As a Christian, I want to be involved with someone who loves God as well, because it just makes things easier. I don’t have to convince you to go to church or that God is real, I understand that not everyone may be on the same spiritual level when they meet, but at least, have a level of relationship with God and we can work from there. After all the bible says that Christians shouldn’t be unequally yoked with unbelievers, and what business does light have with darkness? Also, it says, "Can two walk together if they don’t agree?” If you don’t have the same vision or the same belief system, it is going to be very hard. Relationships are hard enough on their own, why complicate the issue?
Lack of peace; if you are involved with someone and you don’t have peace of mind, that is usually a good indicator that something isn't right. Pay attention to your intuition and move while you have time before something bad happens. I once asked a friend of mine if I should still stick around with a guy, even if my spirit was telling me different. Because said guy would always paint himself as an angel but my spirit was alerting me that something was wrong. Then my guy friend advised me to follow my intuition, and that saved me from a lot of drama. God has blessed everyone with intuition and we should pay attention to it when it is trying to alert us. Peace is a good leader!
Just like any good leader who might see warning signs and advise those under their leadership to take cover, that is how you should treat your life. You are the captain of your ship, you need to protect yourself by guarding your heart and not let any Tom, Dick or Harry (poor guys, haha) to infiltrate your heart. Your heart is so precious dear woman; God has the best plans for you. Get rid of men who just want to play games with you and trust God to bring the one who is worthy of your love.
This reminds me of a nursery rhyme we sing for our kids in school (yes I work with children). The rhyme goes; Traffic light, traffic light, when you see a traffic light, red means stop, yellow means get ready, green means go-go-go. Sometimes the red flags that we may see, are issues that need to be dealt with before we move forward with a relationship. So when you see that red light, just as the kid's rhyme indicates, you better stop and deal with it and if you get a green light eventually, then you can move forward with your relationship.
Ps: Men I am in no way knocking you guys, well just the bad ones (haha). But on a more serious note, I think I speak for all the women when I say that we are sick of all the games. Y'all need to man up and be who God created you to be because, at the end of the day, the only person you will hurt in the long-run with all these games is yourself.
Who else enjoyed this post? Just me? Kidding! I hope you were able to grab a thing or two from it and also apply it to your life if you are still in the dating phase. Leave your comments & thoughts below. Remember to like, share, and subscribe! Until next time, xoxo.