A friend of mine was devastated by a recent break-up. The man she was dating told her that he wanted to be with her forever – that she was the one for him.
Looking at things from an outside perspective, I saw how he was treating her, how disrespectful he could be, and how he became jealous and angry far too often. But then I also knew that each relationship has its own dynamic – that the people in it see parts of their partner that touch them deeply, that others don’t necessarily see. But I also saw that my friend focused on his good qualities to try and justify the bad behavior.
Have you ever been in a relationship where you felt that it could work out – that if he changed, just a little – that he would be your perfect match?
Chances are, you have. We all have at one time or another. We fall in love with someone who just isn’t right for us.
I’d like to share a few things I’ve learned about being in relationships that I really, really wanted to last – but they didn’t. If I’m being really honest, there were red flags along the way that I chose to ignore. These relationships weren’t right for me, but I didn’t want to believe it.
Following are some of those red flags to watch out for:
His Behavior Isn’t Consistent
Does he seem warm and affectionate some days, moody and distant on others?
Does he “disappear” from time to time – not returning texts or calls?
He might not be ready for a serious relationship, or he could be hiding something from you. Whatever it is, if you feel instinctively that something is off or wrong – listen, because you’re probably right.
You Feel Like You’re Riding an Emotional Roller Coaster
Does he take you along with him when he’s incredibly happy, sad or angry?
It’s fantastic when he’s in a good mood, and you get swept up in adventure and romance, but when he’s in a bad mood it’s awful. If he gets easily frustrated, angry, impatient, or jealous – it’s a sign that he might be struggling with some unresolved issues that will hold him back in a relationship.
You Think You Can Change Him
Most of us are guilty of this – we like being the savior, the knight in shining armor helping to turn your love around. But a good relationship doesn’t need saviors – a good relationship requires two people who are capable of standing on their own two feet, willing to grow, and willing to rise to the challenge of building something together. If one of you isn’t up for the experience, it’s best to move on.
You Defend His Actions, to Yourself and Others
You see all the best parts of him – his kind heart, his intelligence, his charm, his willingness to try anything. But then you see his painful baggage, too – a stressful childhood, his temper, his jealousy. You want others to see him how you see him, so you defend him when he says something inappropriate, or condescending, or mean – even if it’s to you. If you find yourself defending him more often than enjoying his company, it’s not the right relationship for you.
You’re Afraid of Being Alone
It is a difficult thing to admit – the fact that you’re still with someone because you don’t want the alternative – being single and starting all over again. But sometimes, this is what is called for – you only grow as far as you’re willing to grow, and if you choose to remain in a relationship that isn’t serving you out of fear, then likely you’ll remain in that state of fear, and unhappy in your relationship. The pain of getting out of a situation that isn’t right is brutal, but always leads you to a better place. Just trust in the process.