At the end of a relationship, you look back over your experience. You covered some ground together and took a road together that only the two of you traveled. What does it look like as you look back? What do you see along your road? Some curves, some hills and bumps, but if you look closer, you will see something else I bet. Lots of little red flags littering your relationship highway.
My single friends recently shared what red flags they wish they had seen through their rose-colored relationship glasses. I set down my glass of wine long enough to take notes before the wisdom floated right out of our foggy memories.
- Your partner looks at their phone screen with more love and attention than they show to you.
- They cuddle and talk to your dog more than to you.
- Foreplay? What's that? Sorry... we digress.
- There's no room for you. No room to ride in their tractor, their car, their Facebook feed or room for you in most of their life.
- Dissing your date ideas. Where do you want to go? Nah, let's not do that; its so far out of the way. Let's do what I want to do again. OK, then why did you ask me?
- Smooth texting words, but face to face communication fails. Just because someone is a good writer, doesn't mean they would be date-able. (Self excluded, of course.)
- Hasn't read a book in a year. Or whatever your passion is. You could also say, "Hasn't watched a football game all season," or "Eaten at a nice restaurant in this decade," if that's what you're into.
- Forgets your birthday and Christmas. I'm just not into recognizing such trivial events... or YOU, now that you mention it.
- When you keep lowering your expectations to allow yourself to stay in the relationship. It's not really that important to have a date for your friend's wedding is it? After all, you are dating, but that doesn't mean you have a date for important events they just don't feel like going to.
- You haven't had a compliment of any kind in a long time, or better yet, the compliments thrown your way are back-handed. There's a compliment somewhere in that sentence isn't there? Its a game; you're supposed to search for it.
- There is no evidence you even exist in their life. No pictures, no mementos, and you don't socialize with mutual friends. I guess to socialize with mutual friends you'd have to actually have some.
- Their family either hates you or doesn't even know you exist. You're not sure because you've never met them. Maybe they don't exist?
- Your growth in life feels stunted and dragged down by balancing the weight of this relationship.
- You hide parts of who you are so that you don't cause them to feel uncomfortable around you.
- Your friends tell you that you deserve better, and have been hitting replay on that speech for a while now. You know who your real friends are. They are looking out for you and have your best interest at heart. They are more objective than you are because they aren't wearing the rose-colored relationship glasses.
- Instead of helping you with the heavy suitcase, awkward ladder or 20 pound bag of water softener salt, they just watch you struggle. What? Is that entertaining?
- Casual relationships have a shelf life. Yours has expired.
- Your energy is showing for all in your life to see. It's like a light that glows from your soul. What is it showing? Is it bright and glowing? Is it shining in power and warmth? Or is it dark, closed off, void of life, cynical and bitter?
- If you "discovered" something on social media about your significant other you should have been told, trust that is just one in 50 you will never know about. What you see on social media is only the tip of the iceberg. If you see concerns on such a public viewing area, imagine what's left truly private that has left you in the dark.
- You have lost your hope, misplaced your smile and don't believe in your heart you are with someone good for you.
And just a couple closing thoughts when giving action to your situation of realizing your highway is littered with little red flags...
You can rip the band aid off now or a year from now when its good and sticky, dirty and tattered. The longer you wait, the more it will hurt.
Just because it's comfortable doesn't mean you should wear it. This is true when you look in your closet and when you look at the people in your life.
Go get a pair of clear-tinted relationship glasses, and look for red flags that pop up when you least expect it. You got this. New roads await you.
(This article originally appeared on www.dawnmhafner.com)
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