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How Many Red Flags Do You Need!?

“Not everyone who offers you some comfort is to be trusted.” ― Mitta Xinindlu



Recently, I had a friend go through a break-up and it was heart-wrenching to hear her cry; but it was even more heart-wrenching to hear about the gaslighting that occurred in her relationship. But the gaslighting wasn’t the only red flag; it was just one of many where I constantly kept a tally in my head about how many incongruencies she had with her ex. And it wasn’t like an “opposite attracts” kind of situation either. It was like real-life shit that would not be resolved with time. 


And it made me reflect on the red flags that I’ve had with ex-lovers in the past. Oof…I mean, so many red flags. My heart is big and I love hard, but I believe the reason that I settled on the BS was because I didn’t think I would find anyone better. Like that person was the best out there for me. Such horseshit. I’ve dealt with the traditional red flags of abuse, such as gaslighting, manipulation, and violence, but after many years of going through shit and getting some therapy, I finally learned that I really needed to use my intuition and discuss the red flags before there’s any deepening of the relationship. I was even engaged to one of these people! It still upsets me that my fabulous self would settle with such low vibrational characters.


There are so many articles that talk about what things are considered red flags, but the reality is, is that red flags are mostly subjective. The reason I say mostly is because general red flags are things such as physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual abuse. Coercion, violence, and overall wrongdoing are red flags regardless of who you are. Now, if you don’t recognize these things as abuse or violence, that’s where the problem lies because you may not be able to see what’s really happening while you’re invested in the relationship.


But how many red flags is way too many?


Our “perfect person” doesn’t exist. There are many people in the world that are compatible with you, but it’s really about finding the ones that have one to few of those subjective red flags. Things that a person does that probably won’t change, you need to think about whether you want to tolerate these things for the long-term (if that’s your goal). The fact is, we might get annoyed with things, but we need to think about the questions that matter. Here are some to consider when you run up against something that you find to be a red flag:


  1. Is the red flag physically, emotionally, spiritually, or psychologically abusive/violent?

    1. If yes, get out of the relationship immediately.

    2. If no, keep going.

  2. Is this behavior/trait something that you can tolerate for the long-term? 

    1. If yes, keep going.

    2. If no, time to break up.

  3. Is this something that you think is changeable if you just communicate your needs?

    1. If yes, keep going.

    2. If no, time to break up.


I know you’re probably thinking, “what about the ‘maybe’ answer? Why can’t I be a ‘maybe’?” And the reason is because I’m asking you to rely on that gut instinct, that intuition that tells you that that thing is a red flag. And even if you're unsure, you can use this tool to evaluate the behavior or trait.


Now, if you’re neurodivergent or socially awkward and/or just have a hard time trusting yourself, this tool is going to help you if you may have trouble reading cues or tapping into that gut instinct. Going over this tool with a friend that can help you navigate the red flags can really help you to understand your emotional self in a logical sense.


If you’re dating, I hope this helps you in your dating journey and if you’re married and want to stay married, you may need to start talking through these things because we only have one life to live and we need to really be true to ourselves and trust our own erotic power.


Don't go putting up with bullshit, like I did. You're fabulous and you need to treat yourself as such.


Cheers to your sexual success! Xo, marla


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