Monday, December 17, 2012

Red Flag #6: Quality Check

That title is a little misleading in the sense that the sixth red flag isn't about checking his qualities.  It's about him asking you to check yours. And you know where this is going, I'm going to site some examples for you and hope that it makes some sense (side note: this blog series is teaching me a LOT about the types of men I've chosen to date... I need to pick better dudes!!).

Example 1: One time (not at band camp... I know a few of your minds said that though and it's okay), I was with my boyfriend at the time.  We were at MY friends' house with a bunch of my co-workers and friends for drinks, snacks and laughs.  We were all having a great time and were a few bottles of vino into the evening.  Now anyone who knows me knows that I am loud at the best of times.  I have THAT voice... you know, the voice that carries a thousand miles away without me even trying (makes for a great coach in a loud gym).  So at one point (and this is such a vivid memory for me) someone said something that made me laugh.  It was an all out belly laugh full of joy and others were laughing too.  My boyfriend laughed too and then looked at me and quietly said: "Why are you so loud?" And there was no humour in his voice.  I was so shocked that I immediately stopped, took another sip of wine and stayed quiet for the rest of the evening.  I was so hurt, it wasn't like he didn't know that I was a loud person.  I'd been loud on the day we met and every day since then.  It was and is still just part of who I am and I'd heard all of my life how loud I was.  I accepted it, coped with it when in a professional setting and embraced it when letting my hair down or out with friends that knew me.  I thought that the man I was in love with would accept that trait as well, turns out he was judging me and making me question how I could change that in myself.  I just remember being so hurt that he didn't like something about me that was just part of who I was/am.

Example 2: Another man I dated and then broke up with because I was moving (um... that was his excuse after dragging me along for weeks of don't go, we are just getting started here, you're my perfect woman, let's find a way to meet and stay together junk.).  After I had moved, he was chatting with me as a friend (or so I thought) and then sent me something that caused me to question that (in order to be above board, of good character, I will not divulge what was sent or said.... just like how I behaved at the time it all happened).  I was left feeling excited and confused.  I mentioned it to a girlfriend or two (without any specifics... no one really knows the specifics except him and I  - although I bet you are curious now - ;) ). They all agreed that he was sending confusing messages and that I needed to discuss it with him.  And I did.  He immediately got angry with me and then told me that we could not even try to be friends because I had a serious character flaw... to this day I don't know what that flaw was.  I just remember questioning myself and over analyzing the situation (hey... I am a woman... that's what we do) for weeks.

Long story short... if a man that you are dating or even in love with calls into question your character or qualities that are integral to who you are... you might need to see that as a red flag.  In both my examples I hadn't done anything wrong.  I was being myself.  And in the first example, the hurt from that judgement caused me to try and alter myself... something you should never feel the need to do when you are in love with someone.  You should be trying to find ways to let their personality and qualities shine and they should be doing the same for you.  Sure, some things they do or say will irritate you and vice versa, but as adults you discuss it... you never humiliate the other person or make them feel like something in themselves isn't good enough.... it was good enough when you met.  I guess it comes down to this: Don't date or form a relationship with someone you feel like you have to change.  It's not worth it... it will end in heartbreak and disaster.  Instead, date someone who is, was and will be someone you are proud to call a partner.

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