Most of the letters I receive from people asking for advice feature so many red flags I’m surprised the LWs can see anything else, let alone miss the red flags entirely. Of course, most likely, they aren’t so much missing them as they are ignoring them. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Years ago, I ignored the prominent red flag in the form of a new boyfriend who couldn’t stop bad-mouthing his most recent ex-girlfriend. Any kind of seeming obsession over an ex is a bad sign, even (especially, really) when the obsession is from a negative perspective. I ignored that red flag for months, even when the boyfriend called me by his ex’s name (twice!) and even when he compared me to her. (She was a clothes horse, apparently, and I was not so much; she liked spending money on her appearance and I prioritized cocktails at bars and delicious meals over leg waxing and keratin treatments). Eventually, we broke up, and a few years later, when I Googled him out of curiosity, I learned that he had married that former ex. If I had taken heed of the red flags when I first noticed them, I would have saved myself months of anxiety. But then… who knows how the trajectory of my life would have changed, and, fortunately, I like very much where, and with whom, I’ve ended up.
But I’m curious: What red flags have you ignored? Was there an old boyfriend who was a little too fascinated in your brother and then later came out of the closet? A fling who refused to let you come to his house and you later found out he was married? Maybe a guy from your past who clammed up any time you mentioned the upcoming election and then he confessed he was … Republican? 😉