Red Flag definition from Urban Dictionary: a sign or warning of any impending danger, disaster or doom.
A disclaimer before I start: Don’t mistake quirks as red flags. Annoying habits generally are not dealbreakers.
It’s such a sad thing to see all these red flags running amuck in our society with cultural influences encouraging serial dating, treating people like objects, cheating without remorse, holding onto pride as a prized possession, and winning without loving. I watched “Gossip Girl” for a couple seasons and you realize that there’s no sense of loyalty — everyone hooks up with everyone and cheating is in every episode. Taylor Momsen is by far the most annoying character, playing this uncontrollable, incorrigible, unappreciative daughter who doesn’t even know why she’s acting the way she is. Same with “Desperate Housewives” with vindictive neighbors, murderers of murderers, malicious children…and every household has a cheater. Can’t they be a bit less melodramatic and a bit more creative??
Red flags turn into turn-ons when they’re changed quickly and permanently. Nothing says “I love you” more than changing yourself for the better and compromising. This is said from experience, with my boyfriend having his own few red flags when we first met. I resolved to end the relationship because his red flags were deal breakers for me but I saw him quickly changing and maturing. I’ve also had the chance to see my own red flags and grow with his support. Isn’t that what relationships are about? You constantly have to compromise, grow, but support each other through the process. The best way to see yourself at your worst is being in a relationship. That’s normal. But what happens when you see your inner demon? Do you cling onto your pride and place all blame on the other? Good luck finding a lasting relationship. Or do you humble yourself and admit you’re as broken as your partner? Relationships are live entities constantly needing attention, care, and growth. Stagnant relationships are dead. Even relationships that fall backwards a bit are healthy.
Much of this information is familiar and hackneyed, but it’s surprising how often we justify red flags to avoid tears and heartache. Now for some general red flags that I’ve identified over the years in my own relationships, from friends’ relationships, and through my clients.
1. Often breaking promises. It can be something as serious as cheating or as menial as forgetting to take out the trash. What is the point of promises if they’re so easily broken? Aren’t relationships a sort of promise…committing to each other and promising loyalty, dedication, and selflessness? Broken promises also maintain distrust, which is the bane of any connection.
2. Too many differences. I’m talking about the bigger issues like religion, how to raise children, culture, goals, politics. You could also apply this to little things if there are too many of them. “Opposites attract, but similarities last.” Multitudes of psychological studies have shown that relationships with similar partners fared a lot better than different. The explanation is that it is human nature to want to surround yourself with the familiar. It may be fun to disagree and debate with friends once in awhile, but don’t you realize how tired you are afterwards having to defend your position? Imagine having to do that constantly with your spouse. Lovers quarrel enough as it is and many times it cannot withstand the added pressure of being too different. Isn’t it nice to have your thoughts and opinions often validated by the love of your life? Of course I’m not saying you need to be with your twin, but similarities need to outweigh differences. There are complementary aspects that actually help relationships (like sibling order), but I’ll tackle that subject in another post :)
3. Parental treatment. How do your significant others treat their parents? Are they rude, vengeful children? Do they have a Freudian, too-close-for-comfort, co-dependent relationship? Remember, the person most people are closest to before marriage are their parents. The way they treat their parents is a good window into how they’ll treat you 10 years down the road. It’s easy to be accommodating, patient, and understanding with people we’re not entirely comfortable around to keep up that facade of being good citizen of society. How many of us are short-tempered, unwilling, disrespectful, and even rude to those who raised us and invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into our well-being?
4. No passion. When people have no passion in their lives about anything, there’s a good chance they won’t be passionate about you. It’s a sign they don’t know what they want in life, so can you trust they really want you? Do you want to be with someone who is not motivated and haven’t identified something wonderful in life that they thoroughly enjoy?
5. Messy place and unkempt. Isn’t this obvious? If they don’t take care of themselves, can they take care of you? The opposite is true as well: TOO neat is an indication of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It’s neither fun living in a pig sty nor a spotless prison. As is the case with most things…moderation is best! Extremes of any kind are usually red flags themselves.
6. Leaving someone for you. When someone is invested in another relationship, how did they find themselves falling for someone else? Do you consider that person trustworthy? Does it sit well with you that they left a committed relationship for someone they considered “on the greener side”? What makes you think they won’t do the same to you? It’s easy to be swept off your feet thinking you’re special and s/he won’t do it to you but s/he most likely will. Also…what are YOU doing falling for someone who’s taken?!
All in all, it’s easy to make excuses for red flags but don’t invest your time, energy, money, and emotions only to end up MORE hurt later. Of course every situation is different and you would love to think yours is…but try to objectively assess and be careful. Open communication is always the best key even if it leads to arguments. Also, your red flags may differ from another’s, so feel free to share yours and/or disagree with mine!
Now onto the yummy conquests I have embarked on!
My boyfriend took me to San Mateo to eat amaaaazing pasta. Now I actually am not a big lover of pizza or marinara sauce. I think I’ve had too too much pizza in my life because it’s always the go-to food to get during meetings and parties. The idea of putting ingredients on top of bread isn’t very creative to me either. Marinara sauce is easy: it tastes and smells like throw up. I’ve thrown up a lot in my life cause my stomach is a weakling and I can’t handle my alcohol so I’m very aware of the taste of vomit, which is equatable to the taste of marinara sauce. Blech. BUT! Ristorante Capellini makes fresh pasta in-house daily and it was an added pleasure to have a $50 coupon we paid $25 for.
Homemade, fresh gnocchi. You can eat it with just your tongue! I’ll be eating this everyday when my teeth fall out.
The sauce was not overly sour but more meaty and spiced well so I did quite enjoy it.
Fun Fact!: Gnocchi is thick, soft dumplings usually made from potato. Gnocchi comes from the italian word “nocchio” meaning a knot in wood (because that’s what it looks like!) It was originally a food for peasants first developed in the Middle East and provided vast quantities that fed the quick and large expansion of the Roman empire into the European continent.
Boyfriend’s clam linguini. The linguini was SLIGHTLY undercooked and had that doughy texture. Very very good.
Baked oysters. Slightly too creamy but still satiating.
My champagne cocktail and the boyfriend with his Pilsner.
Fun Fact!: Pilsner was the first beer to implement the bottom-fermented beer. Top-fermented beer refers to the yeast being on top and creates ales, porters, stouts, and wheat beers. Pilsner was first discovered in the Czech Republic using a bottom-fermentation technique instead. This creates pilsners, bocks, and malt liquors. Back then, the top-fermented ales were often dumped into the streets because they became undrinkable from being spoiled by bacteria/yeast. The clarity and quality of ales were also inconsistent and usually consistently unpleasant. Bottom-fermented pilsners provided clear and crisp beer for the bohemians to enjoy.
I guess something good that came out of this recession was all the coupon and daily deal sites that popped up. Now I feel jipped when I have to pay full-price for things!
Lastly, the best pizza I’ve had was in LA called “Pizzeria Mozza.” For some reason, the texture, ingredients, temperature…everything was just perfect. If you’re in the Melrose area, you should definitely try it!
my favorite: goat cheese and bacon
I’ll keep trying to post memorable eats. Goodnight!