Monday, July 25, 2011

Why Smart Women Miss Red Flags.

Relationship red flags, we've all seen them and we've all ignored them at sometime in our lives.  I know I've turned a blind eye a time or two in my own life (okay it's probably more than that) so this whole thing of 'relationship red flags' always gets my attention.  Because recognizing the signs early can save us a whole lot of pain in the end.  It like the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is work a pound of cure.  Or something like that.....  

So, why is this that we miss huge red flags when dating?  Why is it that hind sight is always 20/20 but foresight is more like 40/60? We can look back on a past relationship and slap our hand to our forehead and think, 'Whoa!  How the heck did I miss that?'  Not to mention the fact that we can seem to spot a red flag a mile away when it comes to our girlfriends, yet when it comes to our own lives we miss big GLARING red flags!  

 This very conversation came up with one of my clients.  She, like many women, is that friend that all of her friends come to for advice and she gives them great dating advice.  That was the problem,  she could instantly recognize a red flag when her friend was dating someone but somehow scoundrels continued to sneak into her life undetected, until their dastardly deeds were somehow exposed.  By the time she recognized the red flags, it was always too late.  "What is wrong with me?  How can I give other people such great advice and not recognize those same red flags when I'm dating someone? ", she asked.    

 We talked a little more and 3 basic reasons emerged as to why she missed or sometimes outright ignored relationship red flags.  I realized that these were things most if not all of us had done at sometime or another in our lives.  So, I've decided to share them with you guys.  Drumroll please........  Here are the top 3 reasons why smart women miss red flags.   

  1. You don't want to know.  Now this is always a good one.  Not wanting to know or 'ignorant bliss', as I like to call it, is always a wonderful way to set yourself up for heartbreak.  This happens when we unintentionally or very intentionally turn off our radar.  We usually do this when a man is saying all the right things, has got our head swimming and we are feeling so good we don't want to hear 'no bad news'.  So we ignore the obvious until the evidence can no longer be denied.
  2. Desperation.  Now this is a low down dirty one.  The worst part of desperation is it creeps up on us.  Slowly seeping into our subconsciousness. Desperation says things like, “You are getting up there in age.  So what, he’s not working consistently, you make good money! You can support him until he gets on his feet.  You don’t want to end up alone do you?  This could be your last chance, you better make it work!” 
  3. Then there is the unmet need.  Sometimes we are not aware of how much we are craving things like attention, admiration or appreciation until someone gives us a little.  We try to convince ourselves that we don’t need something that we actually need very much!  Not staying in touch with ourselves and our needs can make us easy pickin’s when it comes to dating ‘Mr. No Good”.  Because if I don’t know that I am hungry for attention and the wrong guy figures this out (and the odds are he will) AND  he begins to fill that need, I’m in trouble! 

        So, here you have it.  Three of the main reasons that we miss red flags in our own relationships.  Well, these are 3 of the main reasons that my client and I came up with for why she found it hard to recognize red flags in her dating life.  But I think they are pretty universal and I can relate to every single one.  And I know some of your guys can relate too. So, take a minute and take a look at past current or past relationships and ask your self the hard question.  Where are you guilty of doing one or all of the above?

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