Danae Matthews lives in San Francisco and writes for an on-line women’s health resource Women’s Health Base.
Hit the Brakes
There is a defining moment in every relationship. The first kiss that assures a mutual attraction. Meeting the parents. For all of the flowery displays of affection and exclusivity there are then the “red-flag” moments. Amidst the red-flags it can become hard for us to decipher what are speed-bumps and what are road-blocks. The deal breakers that should send us heading for the hills so frequently become the things that we think we can “work out” together. This is why you have so many girlfriends stuck in dead-end relationships lying to themselves that at the heart of it all, they are meant to be together.
So how do you decode a speed-bump from a road-block? Every relationship comes with its own set of rules of course, but some things to keep in mind…
- Your significant other doesn’t like any of your friends
Who you choose to surround yourself with is a direct reflection on you and your personality. If the person you’re dating takes issue with your best gaggle of girlfriends watch out. This could mean a number of different things, but two big ones could be: he is conditioning your relationship to be exclusively you+him by cutting out the competition, and/or there are things he doesn’t love about you that he sees illuminated in your friend group.
- Major life decisions start being taken off the table
If all of the sudden your boyfriend starts getting really adamant about the things he doesn’t want, listen to what he’s saying. If in the beginning of dating you managed to tip-toe around most of the serious subjects, but now he is making big proclamations about never wanting to get married, or having no desire to have children it could be the symptom of a much bigger problem. The last thing you want to do is think that if you stay together longer, he will change his mind.
- You start getting calls and texts to see what you’re doing
This is a fine line to walk. Some couples text all day long as a way to get through a tedious work-day or stay connected. But if you start getting more and more texts or calls just to “check-in” and see what you are doing it might be a good idea to hit the brakes and convene for a convo. You already have one father and if you allow what may seem like innocent behavior go on too long, you could end up with two.
- Separate religions, but now you’re serious
So this is a really hard one to navigate. Some people avoid this problem entirely by only dating people within their own belief system. But a major speed-bump turned road-block can be dating and then falling for someone of an opposite religion. If this happens you need to sit down and have a serious conversation about where you think your relationship is going and how serious you both are about your beliefs. The last thing you want to do is pass on an opportunity for love without having discussed things first. Just remember- definitely not a conversation for date number one or two!
- You have to instigate all plans
If in the beginning of your relationship/dating your guy made all the plans to go out and now it’s all on you, it could mean more than you think. It is natural for guys to get comfortable in a relationship and get lazy, especially if you live together. But if you are still in the early stages and you are always the one getting together plans this is a red-flag. You should still be the main focus a year, 5 years, heck- 20 years into a relationship!