After all the swiping on Tinder, you’ve finally met someone IRL. He’s hot, smart, funny and you have great chemistry. You fall instantly, smittenly, madly in love with this guy – (or at least you lust after him and follow him on social media). “He’s perfect!” you tell your friends.
Sure, there are a few red flags that you have overlooked. I mean, everyone has his flaws, right? That doesn’t mean you can’t have a perfectly fantastic relationship with the hot object of your affection! You just have to work through your issues.
Should you ignore those red flags and hope for the best? In some cases, we are our own worst enemy when it comes to dating, and we do look to sabotage our own happiness. But as is more often the case, we really want the idealistic vision of “true love” to happen, and so we view our relationships through rose-colored glasses until we are willing to look at things a bit more objectively.
So, is your new relationship toxic?
A recent essay in The New York Times brought this reality home for me. A woman fell madly for the perfect guy of her dreams – one who brought her flowers, took her to nice dinners, and really listened to what she said. The problem? She ignored the red flags.
Her man never talked about himself. She knew nothing about his life. She had no idea where he lived, though he was happily picking her up at her apartment for their evening rendez-vous. But after a few weeks, he became unavailable. He didn’t respond to texts or calls for days at a time. A friend noticed the red flags before she did – and when she finally confronted him, she found out he was married with kids.
You can imagine this woman’s devastation. But you can probably also imagine her recalling all of those red flags she chose to ignore.
[Tweet “We really want the idealistic vision of “true love” to happen, so we ignore those #redflags”]
Are you ignoring red flags in your relationship too? Some of these signs can help you understand when your date is really not who you think he is:
He gets angry for no reason.
Were you a few minutes late for your date, or did you make a negative comment about his choice of restaurant? Small problems and miscommunications that lead to long or heated arguments are a sure sign of toxicity.
Does he ask where you’ve been and who you’ve been with on a regular basis? Does he accuse you of cheating even though you’re not? Does he make you feel beautiful and then turn around and make you feel insecure in the next breath? You could be dealing with a man who is toxic – or worse, verbally abusive. Seek help to extract yourself from this relationship.
If he doesn’t tell you about his life, where he lives, what he likes to do on weekends, or if he refuses to introduce you to his friends, it’s a sign that he likely has another life with someone else.
He drinks too much.
This can be an easy one to overlook, because people sometimes drink a little more on dates to ease their nerves. But if drinking is his typical way of dealing with emotions – either his nerves, or unhappiness, or anxiety – then the relationship isn’t going to change his habits. It’s time to let him go.