Taking Note Of Red Flags

Today I want to touch on some red flags for those of you who might be wondering whether or not you’re in the right relationship. Often, odds are if you are wondering and continually have the gut feeling that you aren’t with the right person, you probably aren’t. Here are a few red flags that are often pushed aside or ignored:

  • Your significant other has drastically different priorities than you. For example, he values work much more heavily than relationships, and you think family should be the number one priority. Neither of you are necessarily “wrong,” however it is incredibly difficult to make a relationship like this work in the long run.
  • They always tell you one thing and do another. Actions speak louder than words, and if their behaviors don’t match up to what they’re telling you, move on to someone who stands by their words.

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  • Communication just doesn’t seem to be there. If your significant other doesn’t attempt to learn how to communicate with you, there are a lot of problems ahead for you as a couple. I do think men and women often communicate differently, as do people as individuals. It will take work and effort to learn how to effectively communicate, but if you feel like you never get through to your partner, find someone who can learn to effectively communicate with you.
  • If you feel like you need to post quotes and pictures on social media that will hopefully catch your significant other’s attention and make them think, reevaluate why you can’t bring up these points to him in person. A quote or two here and there are great for inspiration and expressing yourself,  but if he is constantly at the back of your mind when you post things like, “Sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone,” find a relationship where you feel appreciated and cared for.
  • Your partner should make you feel secure. If you consistently feel anxious about the  status of your relationship, reevaluate and ask yourself why. Work on any internal insecurities you might have, and communicate those with your partner. They should be willing and open to working on them with you. Love is patient and kind, and the right person for you will know you’re worth working through hardships with. No marriage is exempt from difficulties, and resilience will be a quality that can withstand the test of time.

If in doubt, make a mental note of the little red flags you notice in a relationship. Ask yourself whether your partner’s actions are something you are willing to live with or not. Yes, people can change and work on themselves, but dating is meant to give you data about someone.* Once you are in a committed marriage I do believe unless there is abuse or cheating it is so important to work on any problems to fix the relationship together, but why start off that relationship on the wrong foot? Any couple is going to have trials, but life and love is so much easier if you are both on the same page on what is important in life from the get-go.

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*One of my next posts is going to be all about how to efficiently collect data about a partner before deciding whether they are marriage material.

Your Least Important Love Language Is Still A Big Deal

I am currently taking the time to re-read Gary Chapman’s bestselling book, The 5 Love Languages. Whether you are single, in a relationship, married, or divorced I could not recommend this book enough, as it is all about how you can love the important people in your life in a way that is meaningful to them.

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“Gift giving” has always been one of my primary love languages, as I really enjoy taking the time to give people things that I know will make them happy, and it makes me feel really special when someone picks out something small just for me. Since I started dating Robert, though, I have noticed that “quality time” has become my top love language. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we did a deployment together and I wouldn’t trade time with him for anything.

Physical touch is tied with gift giving at my second greatest love language, and words of affirmation are right after that. Acts of service come in last with a measly 1 point. Instead of focusing on my greatest love languages, though, today I want to focus on my least — acts of service.

I think it’s so important to take this quiz and know what your most important — and least important — love languages are because they help you learn how to love the people around you even better. Something I realized when I took this quiz and saw how low “acts of service” is in my heart is that I don’t necessarily take note of the love in people’s actions when they perform an act of service for me. Having a chronic illness has really made a lot of my friends and family step up to try and make my life easier. Friends come pick me up at my house to go out for dessert (A few even drive over an hour one way to meet up with me on a regular basis!), carry my purse for me when we go out, and my parents drive me to countless doctors appointments with no complaints. These are all ways people are showing me that they love me through their actions.

I always really appreciate when loved ones take time out of their day to do these things for me, and I often feel bad that I can be such a big inconvenience. I haven’t ever thought of this as their way to show love to me, though. In the past I haven’t taken note of these actions as ways to love; I’ve just thought they were people merely being “nice” to me since I have a physical disability. From now on instead of feeling incredibly awkward that I am causing a problem for someone else, I am going to take a moment to realize that this is their way of showing me that they love and care about me.

I encourage you to find out what your most important love language is because you will be able to better articulate to your friends and significant other what makes you feel loved, however I think we should all go a step further and pay closer attention to the ways people give us the love we feel least connected to. Ever since I have decided to be more aware of the ways people give love to me I have actually felt more surrounded by love than I ever have before. Paying close attention to the little things people do for me every day has made me realize that utilizing your least important love language can still make you feel incredibly loved and will sometimes be the way people you care about will choose to love you.

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Macy lives to serve and does a great job making me feel loved each and every day. Here she is, prompting me to keep reading!

Actions Speak Louder

Once upon a time I dated someone who meant the world to me. We often talked about the excitement of conquering our dreams together, hand in hand. We were young, in love, and unsure of a lot in life — but we were certain that we wanted each other around.

After we had been together for some time he told me that he realized he wanted me to be his forever and always. He said that he wanted to hurry up and put a ring on my finger so he could snatch me up before anyone else had the chance. It was romantic thinking about how badly this gentleman wanted to be with me, especially since I felt the same way about him.

We were both at transitional points in our lives, and we had lived with a looming uncertainty as to where we would end up and when we could be together again. His solution was that he would find a job near me. There were so many options thrown out, and we excitedly talked about how he could even bartend for a few months until we had made a decision about school or a career move. Nothing mattered as long as we were together. Until he left. Or rather, never came back. Nothing happened. None of the words that were used in our conversations ever materialized, and instead of creating our love story together, he had a new one with someone else as the lead — himself. We were no longer partners in crime, but instead I became a sidekick in his story.

I held on to his words when I felt confused by a pile of broken promises and I begged for more when I was heartbroken about our stagnant relationship. Words were what kept me around even when his actions didn’t match up. I felt like the promises being made were all I had left of him; I was fine with taking any of the scraps he was willing to give me since I had been hungry for more for so long. The very words that I would swoon at had they been written from a stranger to his love became my source of torture. It was a constant roller coaster of “he loves me, he loves me not,” and I didn’t know how to get off because every time I tried he reeled me back in with sweet nothings about our wonderful future together. I just needed to wait around a little longer to see them materialize. Everything he was doing appeared to be selfish, but he reasoned that it was all for us. He was doing everything “for me.”

Some people tell you they love you. If you’re lucky, though, you’ll meet someone who shows you that they love you and don’t stop once they have you. They’ll keep showing you that they care through their actions, words, and by demonstrating forgiveness in every day life. Love isn’t always easy, but it is absolutely always worth it.

Today’s lesson: Words are beautiful, powerful things. They are what I use to express myself and part of the way I show people I love them. When actions don’t match up to the words that are used, however, the characters become meaningless. Someone could have the best intentions in the world, but if they don’t have the hustle and determination to back them up the beauty is taken away and they just become bland poetry from a stranger.

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