By: Elle Alexander
According to an article in Psychology Today, some of the most common Flags in relationships are as follows:
- Lack of Communication
- Irresponsible, Immature and Unpredictable Behavior
- Lack of Trust
- Your Friends and Family don’t Like them
- Controlling Behaviors
- Feeling insecure about the relationship
- A Dark or Secretive Past
- Non-Resolution of Past Relationships
- The Need to Feel Needed is the foundation of the Relationship
- Abusive Behavior
Sounds like common sense, right? You’d be surprised.
Some of these things can seem fun or flattering in the beginning, or otherwise harmless. You may even expect some of these things to be present. However, the idea is that they dissipate as things grow, or as you get to know one another better and develop a mutual respect and trust.
Look at the above list, though. What do almost all of these things have in common? Go ahead and take a moment and really think about it…Do you see it?
The answer is: Low Self-Esteem.
There’s some truth to the fact that you can’t truly love someone else until you first love yourself. That also goes for being able to be loved. And a lot of these behaviors go hand-in-hand with abuse, which I believe to a large extent comes from low self-esteem to begin with, in combination with a bad past.
Generally speaking, though… you don’t just wake up one day and things do a 180. It happens over time and your gut will usually try to warn you when something isn’t right. The problem is, we don’t always listen to it or trust it. And we continue to make excuses for people because we want our gut to be wrong. How often is it wrong, in hindsight? If you had to look back on failed relationships, wasn’t there usually a red flag that you felt or saw that you probably ignored? I bet there was.
I went to counseling after being in back to back relationships that had me feeling very bad about myself, where my self-esteem was at an all time low. And I said to my counselor that every time I was in there, she’d listen to me for an hour but she wouldn’t ever give me advice (they’re not truly supposed to tell you what to do.) And she handed me a packet and told me to read it. I wasn’t sure why and almost felt slightly offended at the time, but I get it now… That packet was about self-esteem.
The next session, I asked her why I keep ending up in similar situations. And i’ll never forget what she said to me:
“Were there red flags?” She asked.
“Yeah.” I responded.
“So… did you listen to them?” She asked me.
“Not usually,” I said.
“Well, that’s your problem,” she frankly replied.
“You always, always, ALWAYS…need to listen to them. They’re there for a reason.”
It was like at that very moment, whatever dark room I was in had the lights suddenly come on. It was an epiphany to me. How true is this… When you stop to think about it, how might have things been different had we listened to these little instincts?
And furthermore, that has probably been the most important and influential piece of advice that I’ve ever received. But I’m one that has to know the why to everything, because I need “proof,” I guess.
Scientifically speaking, there is some evidence that suggests that our “gut” is usually right about things, even before we realize it or understand why. Article on Intuition
So if you want to save yourself from heartbreak, start paying better attention to your intuition and trust your gut.
Congratulations: You’ve possibly just saved hundreds or thousands on therapy that likely would have told you the same things.
So go out there, do what makes you happy and never apologize for what you want/need or who you are. The right people will come into your life and stay and the others, well… good luck with things.
With that being said, I’m going to post a few songs that remind me of this sort of situation, by Maren Morris, Taylor Swift & John Mayer. If you listen to the words, it all sort of comes together.