I'm a romance author who hails from the garden state! I lovingly reminisce about growing up in New Jersey in the 1980's and often incorporate the decade in my work. I am a lover of art, erotica, animals, flowers, coffee, and wine. I think coffee should have been first on the list!
If you're looking for honest talk and steamy romance (in the books! I hardly know you!), I'm your girl!
You met someone and things are going great. You laugh together. You have a lot in common and of course the sex is fantastic. As things progress. you spend more and more time together and may even start to use those three little words. You’re in love and surely ready to move this situation into relationship territory, right? Well, you might be but the mere mention of making a commitment causes your partner to shut down. Maybe they hit you with every reason in the book why you should stay how you are; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Maybe they just stop calling or become distant, or maybe, they sabotage the whole thing and you leave them. You ask yourself how you could have been so easily played by someone who didn’t care as much as they led you to believe but you may not have been played at all. Your partner truly love you but may also be suffering from a pathological fear of commitment.
Gamophobia is the fear of commitment and can also be defined as an irrational fear of marriage. Although not a diagnosable mental illness, the psychiatric community agrees that it is very real. Fear of commitment or long-term relationship anxiety could be linked to early experiences or even trauma. Someone may fear commitment because they’re afraid of being abandoned, hurt, or betrayed, for example.
An article in Psyche Central states:
It’s possible for someone to experience gamophobia only. They might feel comfortable committing to their job, other relationships, and events that require long-term responsibility.
If your partner has a fear of commitment or commitment phobia, that doesn’t necessarily mean they:
don’t love you
don’t value you
are rejecting you
don’t want to spend time with you
are cheating on you
are playing with you
It may be difficult for someone to deal with the commitment itself but not the feelings. They may be in love, want to spend time with you, and even desire to get closer. Yet, they might have a hard time dealing with the dedication and engagement this may require.
If they live with a phobia, the irrational fear this involves may trump their feelings.
So, how do you know if your partner is playing you or if they truly fear commitment? What are the signs of commitment phobia?
Sadly, those who fear commitment demonstrate the same behaviors as those who consider themselves “players”.
They don’t make long term plans and if they do, they don’t include you in them.
They don’t readily open up about their feelings or have deep conversations.
They may avoid contact with you, particularly is you’ve mentioned making plans or moving your relationship to the next level.
The best way to approach a partner with fear of commitment is through open communication. You can’t threaten or trick them in to committing to you. These tactics will only drive them further away. Be real with them. Tell them that you understand that they are confused about taking the next step and assure them that you know that they love you. Agree to move slowly as long as they agree to work on the problem.
Some suggestions include:
Individual or Couples Therapy
Practice Commitment – Leave items in their household and have them leave some in yours. Hold hands in public. Go out as a couple with other couples. Take weekend trips or a vacation and plan future trips together.
Be empathetic. Most of us have experienced a breakup that left us a little shell shocked. Talk about it.
The bottom line is that fear of commitment doesn’t make some one impossible to date. It just means that the relationship will take more work, lot’s of trust, and honest communication. It’s not easy to be with someone who fears commitment and not take it personally, but if you’re willing to put your feelings aside and they’re willing to work on the issue, it is possible for your partner to overcome their fear.
There are as many reasons that relationships fail as there are failed relationships but some relationship issues don’t have to be fatal. If they can’t be avoided, (they’re already happening) they may simply need to be addressed so that behaviors can change.
You meet someone and think, “He’s great, but…” We’ve all done it. We find someone that we like who has many qualities that we really dig but there are some things about them that are kind of a turn off. We weigh the good against the bad and decide if we want to go any further. Deciding to over look a partners personality traits or behaviors that we find annoying is fine as long as we commit to acceptance. The problem is that more often than not, we don’t. We go in to it thinking that we can change them. We believe that once they see how great life can be with us, they’ll change for us. In most cases, they won’t.
Over time we get frustrated with our partners and either demand that they change or use passive aggressive ploys to elicit a modification from them. We may even make insensitive comments about them or worse, point out their flaws to others in an attempt to shame them into complying with our will. These doesn’t work. They may even agree to make changes but, depending on the issue, the changes are unlikely to stick. They may grow to resent us for our overbearing behavior.
How do you avoid this pitfall? There are two ways. First, talk about these things before getting serious. Some things need to be ironed out ahead of time. For example; if your partner isn’t ambitious and works a low paying job that they love but you expect them to foot half the living expenses when they move in, you can’t just assume that they’ll leave their great job for a higher paycheck. Let’s say that you believe your partner spends too much time out with the boys. If you’ve accepted this behavior when you were dating, they are likely to expect you to accept it when things get more serious.
Second, simply accept your differences. You picked him and for better or worse, if you value him, you need to let him be himself, no matter how flawed you think they may be.
Lack of Trust
The only things as bad as wondering if your partner is unfaithful is being accused of being unfaithful when you’re not. If your trust issues are justified, forgive or run for the hills but if the lack is trust is manifesting without justification, you need to find out where your trust issues are coming from. We carry our baggage from one relationship to the next and it’s unfair to our partners. I was once told, “You carry the burden of proving that you’re better than every woman who came before you.” but that shouldn’t be the case.
If you find yourself cracking the lock code on his phone while he’s sleeping or sniffing his laundry for left over perfume when there have been no signs that he’s been cheating, you probably have trust issues that you need to address. If you don’t, they’ll cause you to do “Crazy Ex” things until he leaves you.
For some, a romantic relationship is the most important aspect of their lives. For others, it’s just a part of the equation and things like family, work, friends, or a hobby hold equal or greater value. If one partner expects to be the center of the universe while the other wants to spend a large part of their life apart from their partner, one will end up with hurt feelings while the other feels smothered.
Relationship building is like building a fire. If you just toss a bunch of logs on the fire without leaving room for air circulation, your fire won’t burn. If you’re relationship can’t breath, you also run the risk of losing the flame.
If there is trust in a relationship, there is no reason why partners can’t have aspects of their lives that they keep separate from the relationship.
I saved communication for last because it’s a pivotal part of the other three. Proper communication helps to avoid most pitfalls in relationships. If you communicate your expectations in the beginning, your partner can decide if they’re willing to change for you. If you communicate rather than being passive aggressive your partner is more likely to hear you. You can’t just assume that you hold a place of importance in someone’s life. You need to know where they see your relationship going. If you’re uncomfortable speaking honestly with your partner, you need t evaluate the situation and determine if it’s a problem on your end or not. If you are justifiably worried that communicating with your partner will make them angry, you may be dealing with a gas lighter or narcissist and it may be time to move on.
“I don’t want to hurt you,” he whispered as he clipped the leather cuffs to my belt and I quivered.
His big hand cupped the back of my head tightly guiding it down until my face was buried in the black, silk pillow.
An eternity passed. My bare legs growing goose flesh from the chill of the room. He believed that the cold intensified the pleasure. I flinched as his bare hand made contact with my bottom. He rubbed it with his cold fingers, then gave it a thunderous smack. My insides swelled and I let out a whimper.
He leaned forward placing his thick erection firmly between my cheeks and tickled my back with the leather strips of the red and black flogger. I tried not to tense up as I awaited the first strike.
“Crack!” the sound echoed in my ears and my hunger for him grew.
He gently ran the leather straps across the strike zone, then, struck me two more times. I would be incapable of holding back much longer.
“What do you want? Say it!” he told me as he stuck his hand between my legs and squeezed.
“Fuck me…” I whispered.
He slapped my ass hard and said, “I didn’t hear you?”
“Fuck me…” I said, louder this time.
He struck me again, ‘Who are you talking to?”
“Fuck me, Daddy! Please!” I cried.
He grunted, satisfied that I’d learned my lesson. He placed his big hand on the small of my back and plunged his cock inside me.
Let’s face it, in today’s social media world, we hear a lot about women who crave constant attention and validation from the opposite sex. They’re girls who post multiple selfies each day. They’re the ones who have discovered every filter on every app and can photoshop like pros. Most of us understand that, unless these girls are using their looks to earn an income, what they’re really craving is validation. They long for attention because they’re insecure. They know that they don’t look like those thirst trap photos that they share and they don’t care. For whatever reason, they have a need to hear that they’re beautiful. They need to feel wanted. At times they fail in real life relationships because the adoration of one person isn’t enough so they continue to seek it from strangers causing their partners to dump them. In many cases, these women suffer from what’s called Histrionic Personality Disorder, a disorder which is characterized by a pathological need for attention and low self-esteem.
We see so many of these women on social media that we’ve practically normalized their behavior but do we ever really think about attention seeking males? We’ve been taught to believe that women care more about their appearance than men do. We are conditioned to see men as having an unfair advantage because they can “let themselves go” and still be accepted in society. Sure, we roll our eyes at the guys that flex their pecks and practice their boyish grin but in many cases we just assume that their posturing to score. They just want sex, right? No, not always. Men can, just as often, suffer from a pathological need to seek and receive attention. They just don’t always go about it the same way that women do.
Men who are addicted to attention are very similar to narcissists in behavior but have differing motives. A narcissist feels superior to others and wants them to know just how superior they are. A pathological attention seeker is battling feelings of inferiority and hopes that the opinions of others will somehow fill that void.
Signs that your man may be an attention seeker
He can’t go to the gym without posting a gym selfie so the world can tell him how good he looks or how dedicated he is to his work out. He can’t go out for a night of fun without posting pictures of himself with every girl who will stand still long enough to pose for him. He wants all of his boys online to tell him how jealous they are of his player status.
No matter the subject all of your conversations end up being about him. He often says things like, “I don’t want to make this about me but, I can relate to your situation,” and then proceeds to tell you all about the time the same thing happened to him and how he handled it. Next thing you know, he’s moved on to another topic and has completely forgotten that the conversation was about you.
He fishes for compliments by putting himself down or asking for opinions on photos that he’s posted or changes that he’s made to his appearance. He also likes to mention compliments that other people have given him. He acts surprised and asks, “Is it true that I have really nice eyes? I never thought about it until (insert name here) mentioned it today.”
He posts memes of himself using his own photos and posts about hot button topics intentionally to shock or trigger others.
He is obsessed with acquiring social media followers and knows when he’s unfollowed and by whom.
He flirts and chats up every woman he meets. While it’s very possible that an attention seeker will be physically faithful to a partner, they are by definition, emotional cheaters because one woman’s attention will never be enough of a fix for them.
He focuses relentlessly on personal appearance. He is obsessed with own appearance but also comments on the appearance of other men and women.
He is emotional and moody. He suffers from frequent and sudden mood swings as a result of his underlying mental health issues.
If you get tired of stroking his ego, he will pick a fight or lose interest in you.
Why you should steer clear of an attention seeker
Attention seekers may date simply to see who they can get. Their needs are met from knowing that a woman wants them. They don’t need the actual relationship because they already know that they can have you. Now, it’s time to see who else they can have and they are keeping score.
No matter how great a partner you are, your partner will ALWAYS need attention from other women. You will never fill that void.
Their need for attention will always be more important than your feelings.
Their behavior is a sign of a deeper emotional problem and they live in denial. They will not readily admit how badly they need attention and may be hiding other emotional trauma or disorders including childhood abuse, depression, bi polar disorder, drug and alcohol abuse and frequent thoughts of suicide. If you love them, you will confront them and recommend that they speak to a professional but don’t expect this to lead to your happily ever after. This type of disorder can take years to treat and the person at the healthy end of the journey will have to learn to love himself before he can love anyone else.
I used to wonder how any man could think that using the same lines from the Fuck Boy dictionary over and over with different women could possibly work, Then, I realized, they believe it will work because it does! It’s liken to those parents who hear the same ridiculous excuses from their children, over and over, and still choose to believe that little Johnny is telling the truth. It’s not that we’re stupid or naïve. It’s that we choose to believe the bullshit that they sling at us. Yet, when he turns out to be nothing more than a fuck boy, we’re heartbroken and surprised. We say things like, “Why are all men dogs?” but we fail to realize that we blind ourselves to all of the warning signs. We think we can change them. The problem is, no one can be motivated to change when they are getting exactly what they want by staying the same. You can’t earn his respect by loving him more, or better, than the other women. You can’t reward his inattentiveness and failure to commit with more attention and expect him to value you. That’s just not how it works. While some men are genuinely looking for a relationship, others are simply looking to score something for the short term, Sex, money, emotional support, or an ego boost may be his driving force and the more you give him these things, the more he’ll play the game.
I’ll Take Things a Fuck Boy Says for $500, Alex
In the early stages, he says things like, “I don’t like talking on the phone, what’s your (insert social media here) screen name. This is generally because he is having the same conversation with several women and can’t talk to all of them at once.
He may also make plans and then break them because he’s too busy at work or forgot he had plans with his family. This is because he was working someone that he’s more attracted to and hoping that he’ll score. If he doesn’t score, you’ll get the after 2 am “WYD?” text. This translates to “I’m home alone and horny so I guess it’s your turn.”
You’ll find yourself sending messages that go unread for days even though he is always online. When he does answer, he’ll tell you he was busy at work and, miraculously, his phone is never charged.
Once you’ve had sex with the fuck boy, he wants to be a stay at home guy. Instead of going on dates, he tells you he wants you all to himself. You’ll eat a lot of take out and watch movies and you’ll have a lot of sex because that’s why they put the “fuck” in fuck boy. He also doesn’t want his friends to meet you and he certainly doesn’t want to meet yours.
In general, fuck boys are low quality players. They lie and manipulate to get what they want and they are smart enough to realize that if they stay too long they will get caught.
Sometimes, we get stuck with a fuck boy who sucks at it. When this happens, we can end up spending months or even years in a non-committed, one sided situationship. It’s not because he wants to be with us, per se, it’s just that his game isn’t strong enough to allow him to find another victim.
This is when we hear things like, “I’m afraid to move to the next level with you because I love you and don’t want to lose you by screwing things up.” There’s also the famous, “We have a good thing, why does it need a label?” And my favorite, “I (or you) have trust issues that need to be worked on before we can plan a future together.”
I hope you enjoyed the Red Flag Series. Let me know if you want to see more!
Social media red flags span the gamut from huge to almost trivial and likely depend a lot on your partners age. The younger the man, the larger the role social media plays in his life. The red flags are different at different stages in the relationship as well. A little predate spying may uncover red flags that cause you to call of your first meeting while a change in social media behavior during a committed relationship may be a sign that your partner is unfaithful. Whatever the case, you have boundaries for the way your partner behaves in public. The same should be true for how he behaves on social media..
He values his single status more than he values you
If you are in a committed relationship with a man, he should want the world to know about it. Heck, he should love you so much that he wants to brag about it because he feels lucky to have you. If he drags his feet about changing his relationship status on social media or comes up with excuses why he won’t do it, he is probably trying to keep his side chicks or potentials from knowing about you. If he changes his status to “In a relationship” but doesn’t tag you, he doesn’t want people to know who you are. This may be because he feels like he could do better than you or because he fears that women that he has wronged will reach out to you. Either way, red flag!
The same is true if he never posts about you or pictures of you. You tag him in a photo of you together and sometime later he removes the tag or archives the post.. He’s not that private, he’s hiding something.
He’s never deleted the public pictures of himself with his exes
These photos are his bragging rights. He’s saying, scroll through my photos and see what I can bag. If these were simply fond memories, he’d keep them on his phone or on a hard drive. He’s keeping them public so other people see them and that’s disrespectful. As women, we know that when we break up with a guy, we delete their photos from our social media. Normal men do, too.
He picks fights on social media or flaunts his good deeds all the time
You know the guy who is always up in someone’s comments flexing his imaginary muscles? This guy either has anger issues or an intense need for social acceptance. Both of these traits are toxic.
Is he a good guy because it’s his nature or does he do good things for social status points? If he has to pose for a selfie with the homeless man before he gives him his spare change, he has issues.
He wants you to text via Snapchat
There are two possible reasons he wants to only communicate on Snapchat. One is the lack of permanence allows for fewer inhibitions. You may be more likely to sext or send nudes if you know they’ll disappear in 24 hours. The other possibility is that he’s seeing someone else and worries that they’ll check his phone. Snaps disappear within seconds so his other significant other is less likely to catch him in the act.
He’s always online
When a man, or woman, is always online, they aren’t present in the real world. Social media addiction is real and those who suffer from it rarely have real hobbies or interests. Who wants to date someone like that?
He follows a lot of sexually explicit accounts
You may be thinking, “Hey, he was single when he added those.”, but is he still liking the photos or commenting on the posts?
The same girls keep liking and commenting on his pictures and posts
Huge red flag! While he can’t control who interacts with his social media, if he isn’t reciprocating in some way, most women will simply stop and move on. If they keep coming back, you can be sure that he’s throwing them a bone!
Another woman is commenting intimately on his posts
Perhaps she eludes to the fact that she may have been the one who took that picture he posted of himself in the bar, or worse, in his bed. In my case, a girl used language like, “I’m proud of you,” and “I love you.” When I questioned it, he replied, “I don’t know why she’s like that” Later, I stumbled upon the nudes that they were sending each other on his phone.
He’s reacting to other girls’ pictures
This one is huge! If he’s heart reacting a female friends graduation photo or birthday celebration or leaving a cry emoji when her dog dies, that is probably acceptable. If he’s doing the same to her selfies, particularly the scantily clad selfies, he’s a dog. Let him go.
More red flags
He goes dark to hide when he’s online from you. He has to approve anything you post on his timeline before it becomes public. The number of likes on his posts don’t match the number of profiles you see when you click to see who is liking his stuff. When this happens, someone has intentionally blocked you from seeing their activity. He was big on Facebook when you met but now he only uses Snapchat so you can’t see his interactions. You can see that he’s online but he doesn’t read your messages. He shields his phone from you when he’s reading his messages or looking at timelines on apps like Instagram where only he can see posts from those he follows. He has reconnected with an ex as “friends”. He has thousands of friends and the majority of them are female. And, finally, he paused but didn’t delete his Tinder account.
Tune in tomorrow for “How to Translate Fuckboy” and let me know if you like this red flag series.
You’re getting to know a guy and, naturally, you’re curious about his relationship history. When I was younger, I didn’t think this was very important. Call it naïve but I was one to take things at face value. I thought that knowing about his exes would just lead to me comparing myself to them or obsessing over how many sexual partners he had. Yes, I can be a bit possessive and jealous at times. It wasn’t until I acquired some experience with the opposite sex that I realized how many red flags can be uncovered simply by asking a person about their past relationships. Here are a few that stand out.
He has a grocery list of exes and never had a long term relationship
If you question this, he will probably say, “I just haven’t found the right one yet,” followed by a sheepish grin and a playful poke but is that really it? You would think that at least one would have stuck for a while, right?
The most common reason a person has a string of short term relationships is that they either fear or look unfavorably upon commitment. They like companionship and exclusive access to a lover, but they aren’t interested in investing in anyone for the long term. They are either secure enough to know that they can find someone new when the ether wears off and the relationship is no longer fun and easy or too insecure to invest themselves deeply enough to risk being hurt.
I know a man who told me that he has never loved any of his romantic partners. Not even the ones that he cohabitated with. He said that he dated people who were just easy to date and didn’t require a lot of effort on his part. That way, when it was time to walk away, he could just cut things off and move on with no regrets or second thoughts. He has never had a relationship last longer than seven months with the noted exception of his first relationship.
One day, I decided to ask him about his first love and his tone and demeanor instantly changed. It was easy to see that he had loved this girl completely. He put her on a pedestal and gave her everything he had to offer both emotionally and materially. What happened? She broke his heart and, subsequently changed his perspective on relationships. Now, I know, we’ve all had our share of heartbreak, but for him, this first experience tainted the way he looked at relationships for the next ten years of his life. He was not willing to endure that kind of pain again but he didn’t want to be lonely either. So, when he felt like he wanted someone in his life, he sought out what I call disposable partners. They never knew that he considered them disposable. They’d settle in together and he would watch for their flaws. Not because he wanted to have dialogue about them, but because he wanted to make a mental note of them so that when the flaws outweighed the fun, he could pack it in.
I imagine these women waking up in the morning to find that the man that they went to sleep with was just gone. He would block their numbers, block them on social media and just disappear. They would be left to wonder what went wrong and never get any closure.
You are probably thinking that this guy is a real ass and from a relationship perspective, you’d be right but what about these women? They would have been able to see his lack of dedication to their relationship if they’d only asked a few questions. They failed to protect themselves because they made assumptions instead of seeking truth.
Asking a man who fears commitment about the future can close him off fast. A man who dislikes commitment may gas light when confronted with questions like, “Where do you see this going?” or, “Do we have a future together?” You need to find the truth the way a detective elicits a confession.
First, listen to what he talks about and how he responds to you. A man who is only in this for now will not connect deeply with you. Your conversations will mostly be light hearted and casual. He won’t sit down to share his deepest secrets, fears, and longings. You’ll tell yourself that women are just more emotional than men or that he’s the strong silent type, but this lack of desire to connect with you is a giant red flag.
When you talk about your own fears, heartbreaks, and dreams, he may offer words of encouragement or empathy but how quickly does he try to redirect the conversation? How well does he retain what you’ve told him?
When he talks about his goals and future plans, do they ever include you? When you ask serious questions or try to make plans, do you get half-answers or no answer at all?
If you want to know how committed a man is, talk to him about summer plans in the dead of winter. If he breaks a sweat just thinking about it, you may have a problem.
All of his exes were crazy. (According to him)
Never trust a guy who calls all of his exes crazy. Crazy is just a catch-all phrase that guys use to discount women. Calling them crazy is just a way of writing off the relationship without taking any blame. Men like to label women as crazy when they react to things in ways that they don’t like. When a woman calls a man out for lying or flirting with other women, she’s possessive crazy. When she gets upset because he continually breaks commitments and cancels plans, she’s needy crazy. If he’s a big enough jerk, she’s labeled as all kinds of crazy and it’s very likely that every woman who he refers to as crazy is referring to him as a big loser.
When he tells you they’re crazy he is only giving you the convenient parts of the story. The parts where he is the victim. They call their exes crazy but never say what they did to bring out the crazy.
While he’s cutting them down, he’s telling you a lot about his character. If he can’t speak respectfully about the women who have been in his life, he isn’t a man who respects women and, one day, he’ll label you as crazy, too.
I was casually involved with a man who I’d known on a friendly basis for many years. Because we’d known each other for so long, we shared parts of our social circle. One day, one of his exes reached out to me and told me that I should be careful because while we were seeing each other, he was also trying to renew his relationship with her. After I read the message I asked him, “What would you do if you were casually seeing someone and their ex contacted you and told you that they were also seeing your partner?” He replied, “I’d consider the source. She’s probably crazy.” To which I replied, “You realize that by calling the ex “she” you just made yourself the person who is being accused when I asked you what you would do if your partners ex accused them, right?” He looked like a deer caught in the headlights. I didn’t need any more proof. The “crazy ex” was the one who was being truthful.
I’ve started talking to my ex again but she’s just a friend. I’d never want a relationship with her again
World population – 7,874,965,825
Percentage of the world population that is female – 49.6%
You may not want to hear this, but with that many people in the world, if he needs a friend and choses an ex, and she agrees to be his friend, they are going to sleep together.
Maybe you’re saying, “Oh, Tomi, you’re being insecure. They might not sleep together. It may just be that they have a bond and he trusts her.”
Okay, if you’re willing to date a man who seeks emotional connection from other women, go for it. If you aren’t troubled by the idea that he is so bonded to a former lover that he would turn to her to talk about, oh, I don’t know, you? Rock on with your bad self. I don’t want it!
Ask Google why men want to be friends with women after a break up and this is the most common answer:
The reasons why he wants to be friends after dumping you are to soften the blow of ending the relationship, finding comfort knowing you’re still in his life when he experiences uncomfortable feelings and to keep you as an option. In some situations, he wants to be friends after dumping you out of guilt.
Raise your hand if any of that sounds appealing to you.
He has a string of committed relationships and has never been ‘single’
He might be a serial monogamist. A serial monogamist feels most comfortable in committed relationships. They have a series of monogamous relationships and don’t take breaks between relationships to be single or to casually date.
You may think a serial monogamist is a good guy to have. After all, they like commitment which may seem refreshing in a world full of fuck boys but serial monogamists are no more ready to settle down with you than the fuck boys are. They offer you monogamy with a limited life expectancy and aren’t likely to make good partners.
What are the red flags of the serial monogamist?
They’ve never been married or engaged but have a history of long term relationships that went nowhere. They lack independence often living with their family or several roommates. They show no interest in meeting your family even though you spend all of your time together. They have no interest at all in your romantic past. This is because they’re on a superficial ride and are only concerned about right now. All of their goals are career oriented. They never talk about future plans as it relates to marriage, children, or their personal interests. They don’t care about your personal opinions. Your religion, politics, family values…none of these things interest them. They get caught up in the moment. They are spontaneous, passionate, and intense but if that intensity fades, they will tire of you and move on.
If you like this red flag revelation, tune in tomorrow for part three!
What is a red flag? According to dating psychologist Madeleine Mason Roantree, a red flag can be defined as “something your partner does that indicates a lack of respect, integrity or interest towards the relationship”. Over time, we’ve broadened the definition to include personality traits and behaviors that indicate that someone would not make a good partner, like, lack of drive, addictive qualities, and a history of commitment issues.
By now, we’re all pretty familiar with the existence of red flags. But, sadly, we’re also adept at overlooking or ignoring them.
As a romance author, I have researched and written about all kinds of relationships and one thing that stands out to me is that, no matter the decade, romance books about bad boys are always on the best seller lists. What is it about the bad boy that we find so irresistible? We claim to want loving, loyal, responsible men, but our knees get weak when we fantasize about the rude, crude loner who treats women like toys.
Whatever the draw of the bad boy, it could be our desire to change him that causes us to dismiss so many red flags when we see them.
What about the guy who seems perfect in the beginning? You’ve used your natural gifts as a woman to stalk him better than an NSA agent. His apartment is tidy, his dog is fed, there is an actual bed frame under his mattress and the food in his refrigerator did not expire last year. Do we become complacent in his perfection and blind to the red flags when they appear? Maybe, or maybe because women invest emotionally so quickly, we make ourselves believe that we can love the red flags right out of him because we don’t want to admit that our time and investment were wasted.
Now, I don’t want to come off as man shaming. As women, we have some red flags, too. Some of us are too needy, some of us have trust issues, some of us are narcissistic; the list goes on. Because we are all imperfect creatures, it is important to know when red flags are real and when we invent them as excuses to disconnect from someone. Sometimes, it’s our red flags that do us in. Our own insecurities and tendency to overthink can have us accusing men of all sorts of horrid things when in actuality, they really did just fall asleep on the couch or get too busy at work to answer your text.
The world can be crazy and, believe me, as a single “cougar” aged woman, I know there’s a lot of pee in the dating pool.
I’ve asked a question to myself, and my girlfriends, more than a handful of times; “Is this a problem, or am I overreacting?” I believe most of us have. If you’ve ever had to question your own sanity because of his audacity, this journey is for you!
I’ll be back with part one of my Red Flag Ramblings soon! Stay tuned!