There’s a major red flag you don’t want to ignore.
No big lead up. No crescendo to a finale. It’s simple. If you’re dating someone and you’re reading an article to give you insight into whether they're not right for you, odds are that person is not your person.
That is one serious nightmare of a sentence.
Some of you read that and had your heart fall a little because you knew this already but didn’t want to hear it. Some of you now hate me, think I’m crap, and are still reading only to find out what other crap I'm filled with. Some of you have been up and down the proverbial block a time or two and know exactly what I’m talking about.
If you’re reading an article about whether someone is wrong for you, there is some level of unsettling in your gut that has compelled you to seek out answers. This is an enormous red flag. Please don’t ignore it.
I learned a long time ago that advice serves a specific purpose for us based on what we want from the person giving it. When we seek an opinion, it’s because we either a) have no idea what to do and want someone else to tell us which direction to move or b) we already know how we feel and want someone to validate it.
It’s rare that we’re just shopping around for ideas. Think about why you’re reading this article. Is it the former or the latter?
One of the best pieces of relationship advice I’ve heard was from one of those sweet little old ladies sitting on a couch in When Harry Met Sally. I certainly should have given it more merit several times in my life when I fell into the first category noted above. Asked how she knew her husband was the right one, she answered. “I just knew. Just like when you know you’ve found right melon.”
The simple honesty of this statement can’t be ignored. Take it from a woman who has walked around the romantic grocery store with the wrong melon more times than she cares to admit.
There is no litmus test you can run on your relationship. Algorithms do not apply to love. Checklists do not apply, either. You have your gut. That is it. Use it.
There’s a lot of pressure on us at the beginning of a relationship, especially if we feel like we’ve failed in this area before. There’s even more pressure when you’ve been with someone a long time and have come to a crossroads.
It’s perfectly normal to question if you’re in the right place. This is very different than questioning if you’re in the wrong place. It’s a different set of questions.
Let’s go back to the grocery store and the melon shopping. Right now, if you think you’re holding the wrong melon, you are. How do I know this? It’s that when we’re holding something that’s not right, we know to put it down. It’s real easy to do with fruit, less easy with people.
This doesn't mean that when we find the right melon, streamers are going to fall from the ceiling and music is going to start playing. Certainty takes time.
When we’re trying to figure out the level of compatibility we have with someone, it’s a process. But, when things are right, the gut feeling that something is off isn’t there.
Relationships have to evolve so we can continue to move through these things and keep checking with our gut. As long as we keep hitting markers that don’t send our gut into alarm mode, we naturally feel safe to stay the course. If it doesn’t feel natural because something doesn’t feel right, that’s the red flag I’m talking about.
If you came to this article looking for that mythical litmus test, odds are you know something is not right. There is something unsettling inside you that is causing doubt. I’m not saying you have to jump ship. If you are in a relationship and it’s safe, meaning that there is no physical or emotional harm happening, feel free to stay and enjoy the ride. Not every relationship has to be your last one.
Mr. or Ms. Right Now is a perfectly acceptable label to give the person you’re dating with one caveat: it is essential that they understand that this is their role and they accept it. Not making them party to their place in your life is selfish and cruel.
If you’re looking for forever, it’s time to be more cognizant of instinct. It’s okay to recognize that your gut is telling you to move on despite the fact that you may just really like someone. If something is missing or feels off, it’s rare that will change. Trust me on that.
Choosing partners isn’t easy. What’s harder is letting one go and what’s worse is staying with the wrong one longer than you should have. Your gut is brutal but it doesn’t lie to you. It knows you better than anyone. Hell, it’s part of you. Let it do its thing.