Nili continuously dated the kind of people she wished she hadn’t? She told me she never ended a relationship with someone just because the attraction was no longer there or because they didn’t have enough in common. Rather, her relationships ended because they reached a point where she could no longer handle feeling mistreated.
Nili felt most men she dated began well, but over time they began to disregard her and make her feel like an old dish rag.
Have you come out of a relationship recently where you feel like banging your head against a wall because yet again you’ve dated someone who turned out to be a bad apple? So you go into this mantra of telling yourself there must be no good people to date, because everyone you go out with ends badly.
Your dating pattern may look something like this. You meet someone, they make you feel really good in the beginning, they treat you nicely, take you to nice places and show you a good time. Then slowly they show less interest in you. Maybe they distance themselves from you, start saying things that are hurtful, or seem to care less about your opinion?
The change is so subtle, you hardly notice.
Initially, you make excuses…tell yourself you must be expecting too much or are too needy.
You carry on remembering the early part of the relationship, because things felt so good then. By holding onto those memories, you don’t allow yourself to see that the person you met initially, and this new manifestation of that person are wildly different.
What makes us hold onto those early memories?
Lack of other options?
Like most of us who’ve dated a lot, you’re hopeful that the nice person you met early on in the relationship will return. You loved how you felt then…who wouldn’t want to hold onto that? After all, you don’t connect with everyone. That person who stroked your ego, said such nice things to you, who made you feel good lives in this person’s body, so where did they go? What changed?
Most of us start out nice in the beginning. Nearly everyone knows they need to put on a good game face initially. Let’s face it, we all up our game in the beginning of a relationship because we were all taught that if you want someone to like you, you have to be nice.
Over time, we drop our guard and no longer feel we have to put on our best front. The person you’re dating does the same.
We all make mistakes. Some of us come late for dates here and there, forget things, don’t speak to you as nicely as they once did. Certain mistakes are forgivable. If they happen infrequently and there is a genuine display of regret.
Where we may consider looking at a person as one whom we can’t trust is if over time (yes this does take time to uncover) they begin to disregard you, make you feel your opinion matters less, or your feelings don’t matter.
The following are actual red flags to look out for:
Coming a bit late, wearing mismatched socks forgetting to say please and thank you all the time, are forgivable acts.
Doing things that actually make you feel unsafe, uncared for and unimportant is unacceptable behavior.
We all trip up and occasionally make mistakes. The difference between red flags that we need to pay attention to and those we don’t is the intention of the person waving them.
The way to determine the difference between a red flag and an honest mistake is by the level of responsibility taken. If no responsibility is taken on their part:
- If they try to pass the buck and blame you for their mistake
- Make excuses to avoid having to apologize
- Or worse legitimize their behavior
Don’t walk, Run!!! This is not someone you want to be with.
If however they genuinely show remorse and over time can take responsibility, validate your feelings and make you feel good about yourself, you can safely assume this person is good dating material and continue on.
To answer the question above, what makes us miss these red flags? The answer lies in how we genuinely feel about ourselves. People who feel worthy of respect, validation and good feelings, will invite those people in and won’t give the time of day to people who make them feel bad or uncomfortable or unsafe.
If you find yourself similar to Nili, constantly inviting people into your life who treat you poorly, find out what that’s about. To just chalk it up to bad luck would be a pity.
If you’ve been attracting too many bad apples, drop me a line, I’d love to hear about it and even try and help you identify ways to encourage the good ones more. Email at: [email protected]