In tests, psychologists found that all of us understand what ‘red flags’ are – in other words, the intuitive feeling that something is not ‘quite right’. However, despite the fact we all understand the concept of a red flag, this does not mean to say we pay attention – until it’s too late. And nowhere are we more likely to ignore them than when we are dating. Very often we ignore our gut feeling because we’ve bought into ideas around romance – about being ‘swept off’ our feet or worse, that we can change someone. So, if you’re just embarking on a new relationship – or are in a relationship and have questions about it, what are the four major red flags that nobody should ignore EVER if a happily ever after is their goal?
1: It’s going too fast. You feel ‘breathless’. You’ve only just met someone and suddenly you’re spending almost every waking hour (or spare one) in their company. We tend to equate this with romantic notions around being ‘swept off our feet’, ‘love at first sight’ and more recently the concept that unless they want to spend a lot of time with you they are ‘just not that into you’. So, the fact that they want to be with us so much equals that they must be in to us! Although it is exciting and flattering when someone sets out to woo us with their time, love and even gifts, often this masks other problems. And by jumping in too quickly we find ourselves heavily involved before we really know too much about them. No matter how romantic it may be, don’t be afraid to set the pace and slow things down. Someone who has no hidden agenda and truly is in to you won’t mind you doing this at all. However – if they try to guilt trip or shame you into keeping up their pace – this is your cue to pay attention to that flag!
2: Rebound or serial relationships. It’s only been a few weeks since their last relationship but now they are professing undying love for you. And telling you that you are ‘different’ to their previous partner(s). Multiple failed relationships can indicate someone who has problems being on their own or who replays issues all the time they are unwilling to confront or work on. I’m not saying this is a given but listen to whether or not they take responsibility for their part in why the past relationships failed and also what they have to say about their ex (es). Are they dissing them? Is there a pattern with the type of person they get involved with and are certain themes emerging? Chances are if you get further involved a few months down the track you will be one of the exes they are running down to someone new.
3: History. Yes, it does repeat itself if the person does not take responsibility. We all have our soul challenges and lessons to learn in this lifetime. But the person with a history of alcohol and/or drug abuse who refuses to do anything about it or seek help is likely to draw you into their drama. Chronic debt? Mental health issues that they don’t seek treatment for? Criminal records? Gambling? Cheating? The inability to hold down a job? All are problems that are likely to increase over time unless the person is actively doing something about them. And no, you can’t change them.
4: Who Do They Love? Potentially abusive or needy partners target a specific type. This requires a lot of soul searching and honesty on your part and also soul strength if you find you share characteristics with their ex – or exes. Some people target those with low self-esteem or people who are emotionally or financially dependent. Others may be needy and target potential partners they believe will ‘take care of them’ either emotionally, financially or both! Seeing similarities between you and someone’s previous partners can be very confronting but represents an opportunity for us to use this knowledge to heal deep seated issues. If you discover you have too much in common with someone’s ex for comfort, have the courage to commit to your relationship with yourself before embarking on a relationship with someone new. That way you’ll be sure you’re making the right choice.
Red flags are there to slow us down and get us to think. Remember, if you are not sure about what you intuition is telling you, only time will confirm whether you are right or not. Chances are however, that you higher self is picking up on something you do need to at the very least pay attention to. Remember – all relationships are soul learning opportunities no matter what form they take or how long they last. If your relationship is destined for the long term, stepping back and taking things slowly is not going to change that! Always remember – you are in charge of the pace of the relationship and your own destiny.
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