The difference between signs and flags when dating

A sign is not a red flag.

Think of it this way.

Signs are like condiments. They fall under the category of preferences.

Flags are foundational. They will be or not be the legs of a relationship.

Okay, let’s go through a few.

Here are some signs

Mannerisms and common curtesy stuff. If someone doesn’t open a door or kinda chews with their mouth open, forgets to say thank you and you’re welcome.

Now of course if this continues forever it can turn into a flag. But at first glance, they shouldn’t be deal breakers. People aren’t perfect. We forget. We are unpolished. Onion over apple. Or whatever has many layers that doesn’t smell like sweat. Just keep peeling. You get the point.

Doesn’t have the same taste in music and movies.

I get it. The arts are important. But you’re not in high school anymore. It’s okay to like different things. You guys are two adults with individual tastes. Let it go. Now if there’s absolutely zero overlap at all in any of your interests, that may be a flag. But remember, you’re not seeking your twin. Differences can be a good thing. Until they’re not. But you won’t know until you stretch.

Doesn’t speak the same love languages as you do.

You can express love in different ways and still build a healthy relationship. As long as you both understand this and work on adjusting how you show love. If he / she isn’t willing to adjust, adapt, and compromise, that may be a red flag. But different love languages isn’t a make or break.

Diet, fitness, lifestyle. Has different views and opinions about life and the world.

We all see the world differently. And there’s beauty in that. We all have our own journey with diet and fitness. If you don’t try to force each other to conform, you guys will naturally rub off each other. You will take from him. And he will take from you. This is what growing together looks like. Now this is different than core values. Like character. What a good human looks like. What love looks like. If you guys have completely different core values, that’s a flag. Yes religion and politics can be a part of that but not always. There is room to have some difference politically and spiritually and also build a solid relationship.

Loves cats.

No comment. Other than I’ve learned that it’s okay. Even though I’m allergic!

There’s some miscommunication. The banter is a little off.

No communication is definately a red flag. But miscommunicaiton is different. That’s part of the dance. We all communicate differently so we have to adjust to each other’s styles. Especially now with all the digital ways we connect and communicate.

The sex isn’t mind blowing.

Sex is rarely mind blowing in the beginning. It takes time to discover bodies, build trust, learn what one likes and doesn’t like. There’s also different types of sexy. To have Skittles sex — taste the rainbow, it takes time and practice. Enter love and that takes sex to a whole new level. And love doesn’t happen in a few weeks. So if the sex isn’t the best you’ve ever had, that’s okay. That doesn’t mean it won’t be in the future.

Here are some red flags

Assassinates yours character. (This is mental / emotional abuse).

Obviously. But many don’t realize it or experience it until they catch feelings or fall in love and so they make excuses. Abuse is abuse is abuse. It’s not just a flag. It’s a siren. Everyone starts with one’s ability to provide a safe space. That is soil.

Treat people of service like shit.

If he/she treats you well but others, like busboys, the valet guy, servers, like shit, it means they’re bad humans. Or at least not consistent and not consistent means unsafe. There’s a high chance you will be treated that way one day too.

Doesn’t communicate.

This one’s really simple. If they don’t communicate, they can’t build a relationship. I’m sorry. There’s no way around it. You’ll be building your house on sand.

Isn’t consistent with their character / actions.

This is basically called lying. Talk is cheap. Actions always speak louder. We can all talk a big game in the beginning. Character is defined by actions. Love is a verb.

No awareness of self.

Probably one of the biggest red flags. Without awareness of self, you are kissing a cardboard cut out. There will be no elasticity when relationship shit hits the fan. And your relationship rubber band will snap quick. Again, building on sand.

If they play victim / complain about everything constantly.

This means they have a fixed mindset, will be a human black hole, and suck you and all your energy. I know because I was one. If they don’t have the ability to own their shit, you are dating a dead end.

If they show zero appreciation for you.

I don’t need compliments every day (one a week would be nice) but I do need someone to appreciate me because I bring a lot to the table. Not just my breakdance moves but my fucking heart and capacity to love the shit out of someone. And you do it. If someone doesn’t see or appreciate everything you are, they don’t deserve you. Because there will be someone out there that will and that will be a better investment. Always.

If they’re narcissistic.

They don’t have to be clinically diagnosed with NPD for it to be a red flag. Basically, if they always find a way to make it about them. It doesn’t matter if it’s situational or conversational, it’s a red flag. Me me me equals red red red. It also means they have low or zero awareness. You’ll be bettet off dating yourself.

Author of “I Used To Be A Miserable F*CK” and “Single. on Purpose.” IG: theangrytherapist

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