When we talk about subtle red flags in a relationship there are two kinds: danger zone red flags and incompatibility flags. Is your date showing either?
Look, everybody has issues. So when it comes down to red flags there are two categories.
The first category is the danger zone category: Are you dealing with a person who is dangerous to themselves or others, or just too selfish to really consider you?
The second category is the incompatibility zone: Does the person of your inquiry seek conflict or are they self- aware and seek harmony?
A person’s past will tell you a lot about their future. Of course, people can change and they certainly don’t have to live as a hostage to their previous life experiences: but oftentimes, they do. Making changes within yourself takes an enormous amount of work, time, and energy. So many people don’t have access to the information or assistance that they need to find positive coping strategies. Some ways of coping are negotiable and others are flat out deal breakers. If you or your date have been abused, betrayed, or unloved in any way, it can make a new love difficult but with the right support you can negotiate your way through.
Understanding the way a person has related to their life experiences and how they’ve been supported in coping can give you indications of how they are likely to be in a relationship with you. The alternative to change is to accept people as you are receiving them in the moment.
Isn’t that a gem? To be able to just accept someone as they are?
To do this, you must be willing to recognize the subtle communications we all make as we meet and begin to get acquainted. Danger Zone flags in this context are or have the potential to be literally life threatening. Incompatibility flags are the anti-namaste experience. The God in me does not see the God in you and it’s best we not continue this.
Danger Zone Flags
In the beginning of a relationship, people will always tell you who they are. Either directly or indirectly, remember that. Always.
It is imperative that you at the very least listen to your gut instinct that gives you good or bad feelings when there is the necessity to pay attention to what someone is saying or doing; and at most, listen to the intuitive voice that will speak to you the very information you need. The last sociopath I dated told me on the first date exactly who he was, my inner voice showed me the moment over and over again, but being enamored as I was, I put it aside for later review because it wasn’t a Danger Zone flag.
These are the things to look out for in the danger zone.
Someone who has opinions about you or your behavior as early as the first date, or who needs to know what you are doing and who you are doing it with within the first month. Also, as you become sexually active, take heed to a partner who won’t use birth control or condoms. Sexual coercion and intimate partner abuse are more common every day. A lover who wants to get pregnant or who wants to get you pregnant immediately, is a sign of control that can easily be misconstrued as love.
Stories of Self-Sabotage:
A person who starts out a conversation with: “My last DUI…”, or “Nobody likes me.”, or finally, any indication of self-harm are leaders to needed help beyond which you can give in a romantic relationship.
Obvious Anger Management Troubles:
Statements like, “That guy cut me off on the road, so I followed him for five miles.” Or, “He/she made me so mad I popped him/her in the mouth.” Any indication of violence without the concern for the impact on others, any remorse, or with complete entitlement are certainly more than you might be interested in for your new significant other.
Stories of How They’ve Hurt (with No Remorse):
What they’ve done to others, they will do to you. People who cheat on their lovers do it because of their own fears and insecurities in a relationship. If they are unable to talk about sexual or intimate emotional needs, it may be easier for them to cheat then to speak to you about what they want. The biggest red flag in this arena is someone who will justify their cheating or blame it on their previous partner.
Incompatibility flags, on the other hand, are when your date holds views and values that don’t align with your own. Of course, opposites attract but can they stay together? I’ve always loved a good debate or someone who loves adventure, but there is a fine line between a person who is interesting, passionate, and will take a risk with care or a person who needs to participate in high risk behavior continually in order to feel the rush of life.
Here are a few things to look out for.
People Who Seek Conflict:
A person who seeks conflict oftentimes sees the world through a personal lens. Which means everything is happening to him/her. Life cannot be peaceful if it’s happening to you. Inviting this person into your life holds a pre-requisite of extraordinary communication and boundary skills. Wouldn’t it be nice if on the dating site it could say: Communications 101 and 201 needed to take this course.
People Who Lack Self-Awareness:
Folks who are unaware of their deeper feelings or what drives their behavior often times create conflict as a spiritual way to understand themselves. Not that they deliberately seek it, but that it is in fact the outcome of the lack of self-awareness. This phase of development isn’t necessarily who a person is but more where they are at with themselves. Of course we all lack self-awareness regarding some aspects of ourselves, so a person’s attitude to self-understanding and change is paramount to their relationship fitness.
Someone Who Points Out an Issue (Rather Than Recognizing it in Themselves):
This person is actually in the best place to have a breakthrough if they stay engaged in the process of understanding. If they’re only interested in looking at what you’re doing and how it makes them feel, there may be some challenges to this relationship. Honesty 301 would be recommended as a pre-requisite.
A Person Who Focuses on Money:
This is a person seeking to create stability on some level in their life. People who are generous with money or give it easily sometimes can be manipulated if they’re not careful. On the other hand, a person who is stingy or withholds money most likely has been taken advantage of in some way and is looking for safety through the control of their finances.
Red Flag Disclaimer:
We are all human and imperfection is our specialty. It’s our purpose in life to learn and grow while cultivating a stellar attitude. It is possible to mold harmony out of conflict, raise fear into joy, and transform confusion into clear cut boundaries and communication if you are willing. Letting others be exactly who they are is a sign that you accept, love, and embrace yourself. Put that on the flag you carry and go out and have some fun!
[image: via shutterstock]