My friend LJ Salceda wrote the foreward to Learning the Hard Way: True Stories of Heartbreak, Healing, and Hope. Here’s one piece of advice she gave:
“. . . when “red flags” appear, please take them seriously.”
So true! With this in mind, I’d like to talk about warning signs–things that may help you to know your relationship is in trouble or you are being deceived.
Keep something in mind: I’m not writing this for those of you who are paranoid or overly jealous. I’m writing to those who have legitimate concerns (or should have them).
What are some things to look out for? Here are just a few that come to mind:
*A gut feeling something is wrong. This may be the least reliable way to know something is wrong (especially if you are the insecure type). Having said that, many of the people I talk to say they had this deep sense that something just wasn’t right.
*Suspicious messages in text or email. You may see a message on his/her phone, email, or facebook that is just too sweet to be from a “friend.” You may even find pictures of the same nature.
*Hiding his/her cell phone from you. I don’t necessarily recommend going through your loved one’s cell phone messages without reason. Having said that, I don’t see why anyone would need to hide his/her cellphone.
*Secret accounts on facebook, etc. Granted, many of us have more than one facebook account. But an account you knew nothing about may be a sign of a double life.
*A noticeable change in behavior. Your guy/girl is just not treating you as well as he/she used to for a prolonged period.
*Lies or deception. If you’ve caught him/her in an outright lie, it means trouble. It may mean there are other secrets/lies you know nothing about.
Here’s one of the major issues with warning signs: our emotions can cloud our judgment. It can be hard to think clearly if you really like (or love) someone and want the relationship to work. But that’s where you have to take a step back and try to be objective. You have to look at the evidence–not your feelings.
I’m reminded of the chapter in my book called Choosing Blindness. The young woman continued to keep in contact with a married man even after she found out he was lying.
Back to LJ’s advice: be sure you take “red flags” or “warning signs” seriously. Don’t ignore them.
Maybe I should write a book called Warning Signs . . . .
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