Red Flags!!!!

I saw something today that set off a "red flag" for me and I immediately remembered a conversation I had with my good friend and confidante, "Omar," last summer.

We were deep into a conversation regarding the relationships we were pursuing and how we'd already seen alarming habits or routines our potential mates were exhibiting or engaging in.  She went into this interesting rant about how we lose all common sense when we like or start to fall for someone.  She said that she saw our relationships with all people as a race in which we steer off obstacles and as we run towards these potential mates, we pass these "red flags" that set off small alarms in our heads; which are clear signs we shouldn't continue because there is some sort of danger ahead.  Yet, we decide to ignore these flags and continue to pursue this path towards disaster.  As the flags get bigger and wave harder, we tend to go out of our way to ignore them until we have no choice to face the danger because we've fallen into some deep pit along the way we need to struggle to climb out of.

Or something like that.

Looking back at that conversation, I can see now that I ignored every single red flag I passed making excuses for someone's behaviors because I was so in love with them and determined to make "us" work.  I even recall moments in which I pointed out some waving red flags and chose to just keep steering myself in the wrong direction.  Clearly, a 31 year old man who never has "minutes" on his phone in 2012/2013, never has enough money to eat but always has money for recreational drugs; who hangs out with 18, 19, 20 year old's and calls them his "best" friends; has a plethora of female "friends" (also 18, 19, 20) that he constantly praises and spends time with; and doesn't have heat/hot water in his home - should have made me think twice, maybe three times, about attempting to pursue any sort of relationship (even friendship) with him.  A 31 year old grown ass man that has  no heat in his home during the cold winter months; who refers to his ex as his "boo" publicly after going on a rant days before about how disgusting she is (a woman who is 41 and apparently has a personal hygiene problem that extends to her 5 children), and stutters any time he is trying to offer an explanation for a simple question that only requires a "yes" or a "no." --- ALL red flags that I decided to bypass.

(Now, maybe, you want to judge me right off the bat because obviously I was an idiot and if you know me, I'm MUCH better than that! However, if you know the full story, you'll refrain from calling me stupid even though I definitely lacked some common sense and intelligence in those months, or 23 years, depending on how you see it.....  But anyway, this isn't just about me.)

We all do this.  We all tend to gravitate towards people and situations that are obviously no good for us.  We try to justify why we're wasting our time on these things and while our friends and families try to beat us over the head with common sense, we choose to look passed that and rather than use our brains, we use our  hearts/emotions/desperation and ignore all the things that make us uncomfortable about these situations.

I encourage everyone to take a minute and process this.  I think it's important for everyone to truly grasp how important it is to keep a good eye on those red flags that are waving directly in front of our faces.  These flags can save you money, energy, emotional anguish and anxiety.  Are these people, ideas, situations worth any negative force?  Keep yourself on the up and up at all times and remain alert regarding what's going on around you.  And when you see that very first red flag, convince yourself that the best thing you can do is stop running towards it and run in a different direction.

The grass is not greener on the other side of that flag and if it is, it's only because it's full of shit.


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