I hold my hands up, I ignored red flags to experience my first fall into love, but I wouldn't change a thing. I emerged into love, I embraced love, I felt love, my heart opened and flowered in ways I had never felt before and for this I am grateful to my past lover, but this does not mean I have not also learnt a lot from the experience.
What do I want?
What don't I want?
And most importantly recognising the signs when a relationship is not good for me earlier on. But again, I would not turn back the clock because my heart showed me love, divine love pure love pouring out from within me. I know what it feels like now, and I have no regrets.
Initially when things ended I had regrets. I felt angry, frustrated with myself for not seeing earlier what was not good for me, angry at him for not being the love I had wanted, sad for the loss of what 'could have been', but I know the Universe brought me this experience to experience my first taste of love and to know what is healthy and what is not.
There were some beautiful times in my relationship. Some sublime blissful love filled moments. Playing and laughing together, spending time together exploring, making love and being held and holding him. I love cooking for a man, I love caressing and touching a man, being in tune and in the moment when being intimate, laughing at his jokes and more. It was really hard to say goodbye to the blessings I experienced, but when the cons outweigh the blessings you have to let go and walk away.
Looking over my life so far, I realise there were a lot of red flags in many of my previous relationships and as I am in my late thirties, I am finally glad to see what they are and what I am needing to pay attention to in future, if needed. It is good to know that I am worth so much more. I now see that I am finally, after such a long time, learning to value myself and to love myself. It is a long journey, but I have begun.
20 Red Flags To Look Out For
*These are some of my own and others' experiences in relationships.
- Wanting to do what they want all of the time. When you suggest something you would like to do and they don't let you do it, and if they do let you do it, they interrupt this activity with something they want to do.
- Not hearing your fears sexually and seeing their own desires as more important than your insecurities, being insensitive to your needs.
- Taking sexually more often than giving.
- Control issues - Letting you know that if you just did as they ask, the relationship would be fine (big red flag!).
- Blaming you for all of the problems in the relationship and not taking responsibility for anything and not believing that they have any issues that require them to do the work and make changes.
- A narcissistic need to be right all of the time.
- Warped idea of generosity.Being generous materialistically, but not generous in other areas. Money can never be a substitute for tenderness and sensitivity.
- Being your therapist. When you disagree about something and it turns into an argument and they consistently become your therapist insisting you need therapy, need help and have major issues. Seeing you as a project to be improved/fixed.
- Wanting Only Half Of You. When they inform you that they want only the 'better' you and do not want to experience your anger or other emotions. In a sense they do not want the whole person, you are not enough in their eyes. If they are unable to and unwilling to handle your emotional landscape when you are going through challenges, let them go. If they don't take seriously major life difficulties you are going through and prefer to ignore them - red flag!
- Not listening to you speak. Wanting the centre stage all of the time and when you do speak, distracting what you say, so that the conversation and attention is brought back to them. Not taking an interest in what you have to say or your feelings... things have to be done their way.
- Criticising how you look, asking you to change your appearance for them and when you are at your most vulnerable (naked in bed) pointing out what they think you could change. And only complimenting those areas that are under clothing. If your lover does not mention your face ever, the first thing he/she will see when meeting you, you have to wonder why. If he loves your chest, breasts, ass, legs, six-pack, and these get more attention, wonder why - you may be an object of sexual attention rather than viewed as a whole person.
- Ex partner issues. Red flags when he/she talks about their ex partners as having anger or rage issues and how all of them did the same thing - red flag! Don't think you are going to be the one to change them, there is a reason they were that way. They were the common denominator in all their broken relationships.
- Friends With Benefits. They say it is okay for you to sleep with other men/women. This is a red flag flashing neon light. They want you to do this so that they have permission to screw around with other women/men and they are not invested in your relationship whatsoever.
- Humiliate you in public. Make jokes at your expense, put you down in front of others.
- Chronic lateness. When a partner is more than 10 minutes late every time, this is not on. If it goes past 20 minutes regularly, this is very disrespectful and insensitive.
- Compare you to former partners. If your partner compares your love making skills, your looks, your attitude to their other partners, this is insensitive and rude.
- You initiate physical touch outside the bedroom far more than they do. If you must always be the one reaching for his or her hand, if you are mainly the one initiating kisses or physical contact ask yourself why.
- Publicly not proud. Not wanting to touch you in public as if they are ashamed of you.
- Don't put effort into the relationship. If you are consistently trying to make things better, make changes and they are not, best to walk away. If a man or woman is unable and unwilling to take responsibility to make the relationship work, they are not boyfriend or girlfriend material - period!
- Sorry on automatic. Saying sorry, but never following it up with a change in their behaviour.
There are many more red flags, these are just a few. If you type in 'Red flags in relationships' into Google search you will find countless articles and different perspectives on this subject.
There Has To Be Balance
Relationships always have ups and downs, people disagree and argue, we have differences of opinion, but if the relationship is more one-sided than balanced you need to ask yourself if it's worth it? Is the joy and love worth the eroding of your self worth and esteem? What would be the longer term effects on your soul if you were still in this toxic relationship 5 years from now? Do you think your partner will change? If not can you accept what is taking place? Are you afraid to be single and alone and staying simply because of this? Or do you have children with your partner/lover/husband/wife and feel the need to stay for them? What are you teaching your children about relationships? Are you teaching your daughter that it is okay to be treated in such a way or your son to treat women in a toxic way (and vice versa)? Maybe it's far better to show them healthy boundaries and love for self so that they can make relationship decisions based on being 'enough' and on kindness.
If you want to know more about what a healthy relationship looks like, check out this site What Evolved Women Want for relationship tips. I am learning a lot from this site. Unfortunately I cannot find the 'What Evolved Men Want Blog' but find this Facebook group Sacred Masculine helpful to understand further from a man's perspective. There are more articles online on evolved women and evolved men if you are looking for a deeper relationship and to find out how to be ready for one.
You may not be evolved yet in your relationships, but you can take steps to self-reflect and embrace who you are. As you begin to accept and eventually love yourself you naturally attract men and women into your life who mirror this appreciation.
Keep your heart open, don't shut down your heart because of previous experiences with lovers, the right man or woman will come along when you are ready. I believe in divine timing and I trust this now.
And to read A Beautiful Letter For The Single People Waiting To Be Loved Click Here
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