In a rush to be loved, we often find ourselves accentuating the good parts of our relationships while minimizing the bad. In hindsight, after the disaster, we often reflect and notice warning signs and feel stupid and vow that we’ll never be that woman again. Then it happens…again. As a therapist, I talk to many women and men who hope to not repeat the past. Here are a three signs to give you 20/20 vision and keep you clear-headed in matters of the heart.
I Was Only Kidding. Hurtful Things Are Done in Jest. Your mate teases you, degrades you, or says something hurtful and when you react as such, he or she blows you off as being “too sensitive” or complains that you “can’t take a joke and are overacting. This is emotional abuse and is a sign of more to come. He or she may also test your boundaries in this way physically, under the guise of horseplay or rough-housing. I once knew a woman, whose boyfriend would “play” with her by pinching her nose until it turned painfully red then call her Rudolph. Her face would remain bruised for days. Pain and hurtful words are never fun or humorous. If someone finds pleasure at your emotional and physical expense, it is time to reconsider their place in your space. They don’t respect your body, space or emotional well-being.
What Had Happened Was... Excuses & Lies. We all tell little white lies - well some of us. Others are psychologically and or behaviorally prone to flat out lie when asked about this simplest of indiscretions. If your partner constantly makes up excuses or blames others for their mistakes, faults and mess-ups, this is a big redflag. They may even guilt trip you about your past mistakes while ignoring their own. Aside from being untrustworthy, they have the propensity for other high risk behaviors like impulsivity, theft and the like.
You Two Got Close…with the Quickness. On the first date you spend most of the time talking, and your mates says “we have so much in common”, and shortly after, they suggest you are meant to be and should move in! True love takes time. The rest is merely brain chemistry and hormones, or what I like to refer to as the “love brain”. The euphoria we feel in the beginning of a relationship, or during courting, is a result of the release of dopamine and other brain chemicals. If you had sex too soon, you can add to that cocktail of chemical the hormone oxytocin, which aids us in connecting with our mate. Be cautious of anyone who declares you their soulmate early on. They may flatter you, stroke your insecurities and declare you as “perfect”. Their goal could be to conquer, isolate and become controlling. Is your vision getting clearer? I hope so. Relationships are meant to be healthy, liberating and the foundation for becoming your best self. You are worthy and deserve such love.
As always, wishing you wellness,
Ce Anderson, M.S., A.L.C (@ceandersonlive) is a licensed therapist, speaker and domestic violence expert living in Montgomery, Alabama. She is the author of the new book Love TAPS: Red Flags of An Abuser & How to Get Out. Visit website at www.lovetapsbook.com