Hello, dear readers! Sometimes, when we’re brainstorming ideas for this newsletter, it often leads to conversations within the Vitamin Stree team. Points are argued, articles are cited, and there is a gradual discovery of a way of looking at the world which is different. So, this time, we decided to bring those conversations to you, unfiltered! Here’s just a chat that Nidhi Mathur who’s the Senior Manager for Business Development and I had. We were talking about dating red flags.
I recently heard of someone who was dating a guy for two years exclusively, and she very seriously asked a friend for a "guy's perspective" on what it meant that he hadn't told any of his best friends that they were together.
Everyone was thinking it but nobody said "GIANT RED FLAG, please get out now." It got me thinking about red flags in general, the big and seemingly obvious ones and also the small ones we tend to miss. What are yours?
Oh man, that's a pretty big one. I would say for me a big red flag while dating is if your partner seeks to change your behaviour; in a way that isolates you from your friends. We don't give it much importance because we think, "oh! in a relationship everyone learns from each other" but more often than not, a partner who truly cares for you will never make demands of you that feel unreasonable. Or worse, will take you far away from people who were there in your life before them, right?
Agreed! I think any time anyone tries to put a wedge in between you and the things you care about, it's a red flag. This could be anything from having a problem with your closeness to other support systems to feeling annoyed whenever you spend time on experiences that don't involve them.
These are very easy to disguise this in ways that don't make them seem like red flags ("but don't you want to hang out with just me instead") but when they happen over and over again, it moves towards codependency.
Yes! You know another red flag that somehow we don't talk about enough? It's when your partner makes decisions that somehow undermine your independence -- financial, or otherwise. Because slowly those decisions start undermining your self-confidence, self-esteem, and even self-respect. If you're making a decision as a couple, that's different. But what about when someone else makes those decisions for you, and assumes you will be okay with it? It's what I thought of when I saw "Thappad" (2020). Even before Taapse Pannu's character was slapped, there was just no respect in that relationship!
That’s so true! It’s easy to assume that the slap is the turning point in that movie but there were a ton of red flags before.
I’m wondering what’s the right way to address a red flag once you spot it. In the past, I’ve often ignored red flags, giving people the benefit of doubt or telling myself it just happened one time so it’s fine. Do you think red flags are a sign to call things off when you spot them? Or talk about them if spotted, and see if there can be a course correction?
Uuugh, controversial opinion forthcoming. I think red flags are a sign to call things off when you spot them, and when you've had a chance to talk it over with people you trust. Though, there are people who think that it also depends on what red flags are non-negotiable for you. Just yesterday I read this post by Meera Vijayan on Instagram where she wrote that it's not as easy to call out red flags, because if it's a person you love, you also know that they have green, yellow, blue flags. I admit I hadn't thought of it like that. But still, I don't know. What do you think?
I think some action does need to be taken when red flags are spotted, ignoring them can be harmful in the long term. I'm not sure whether calling it off is the right option for everyone- that would depend on the context of the relationship and whether the red flag is leading to a deal breaker. If a relationship allows for open conversation and growth, I think it could be a viable option! For me, I'd be careful if the same red flag keeps cropping up and makes me uncomfortable or unhappy more often than not.
What do you think? We’d love to know. Join in the conversation, by just hitting that “Reply” button!