Want to know if you should be in or out? Take the Relationship Red Flags Test. Everything may seem okay, but how many couples are really treating each other in the right ways? Sure, I know some couples who seem totally enlightened, supportive of each other, attractive, loving, living their best life. They make me want to puke, but I wish them well. I really do.
Will You Pass The Relationship Red Flags Test?
Then, there are the rest of us. Maybe we’re divorced, maybe we’ve never met the right one, maybe we’ve found relationships but they’re far from perfect, or maybe we’re in and out of relationships. Whatever the case may be for the majority of people, relationships take work. They don’t fall into your lap, and they don’t flourish if you don’t nourish them.
For myself, a person in recovery, there are all kinds of added issues in relationships. If I’m having a totally honest moment, I’ll admit that serious, committed relationships can sometimes make me feel uncomfortable. So, I work at it. Here are some questions I’ve learned to ask myself along the way that today help me determine if I’m with the right person and if the relationship has sustainability.
1. Am I able to be myself with this person?
This is also known as, who am I bringing to the table in this relationship? The best version of myself? The grown-up who is smart, stable and responsible. Or, am I showing up as a different version of myself? And, if so, why? These are super important things to determine quickly because I’ve had relationships in the past where I knew I didn’t have to show up as my best self. Looking back I know why I did that and my motives were not solid. It’s critical to sort my motives out early so I don’t find myself playing a part I’ll resent later.
2. Are there things about the person I’m keeping a secret?
Sometimes it seems like the path of least resistance to keep something about the person you’re dating secret from friends, relatives, and sponsors because it may concern them and you don’t think it’s a problem. I’ll speak for myself—I was dating someone a while back who had one business venture in a drug business. I neglected to mention this because I knew my friends and family would frown. Turns out, it did make me uncomfortable, and after the relationship ended, I was relieved to not see drugs around the house. If I’m keeping something a secret about the person I’m dating, it’s a huge red flag.
3. Does this person help me stay on the beam, or make me feel like I’m going to fall off?
This is a tough one because sometimes the people we fall for aren’t the best for us. Someone once told me that real, sustainable loves happens with people you feel totally comfortable with—it’s easy from the start, it feels safe, and they don’t make you crazy. I’m not embarrassed to admit I’ve fallen for the exciting, intoxicating kind of love, but it never lasts. Love at first fight, lust, whatever you want to call it rarely translates into a healthy, long-term relationship. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen. There are always exceptions to the rule. My experience has shown me that people who are exciting or intoxicating might be fun but rarely show up as the dependable partners we really need for a committed, long-term relationship. Shoot for people who help you stay on the beam, who understand and respect a recovery lifestyle and NEVER make you feel like you want to act out in a destructive, or self-destructive way to manage unmanageable feelings. People who truly love you won’t make you feel awful.
4. Am I people-pleasing too soon?
The people-pleaser in me LOVES to accommodate. I sometimes find myself suggesting something that I don’t want to do before the sentence is even finished coming out of my mouth just because I think it will make the other person happy. Why do I do it? I don’t know!! But, I have to catch myself and step back. A friend recently told me, “You can always change your mind.” Great advice. When I find myself agreeing to plans that put me out, or I know I REALLY don’t want to do, I need to think about what’s going on with my decision making. This is all about being authentic - with myself and the people I get involved with. That’s not to say we don’t do things for other people or go out of our way for the people we love. I’m talking about something totally different here that involves doing things that don’t make sense because we may think they’ll come with some slap of approval.
Those are the big ones for me. If I've missed something you struggle with, please feel free to let me know!
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