Navigating relationships can be difficult. But knowing the signs to watch out for can make your trip easier.
As a therapist, I often talk to my patients about the red flags (the gut feeling they get when they know something is wrong) and how to help them match the trade offenders they have identified themselves.
For trauma survivors, starting dating again requires a discussion of the red flags in the healing process. Many survivors do not know how to normalize or filter out unhealthy behaviors due to a history of denying the abuse they have experienced.
Here are five things trauma survivors tend to normalize:
1. Beats the child’s ex-partner/parent.
I understand that things happen. My heart is broken and resentment builds up. However, if your new dating partner talks harshly about other people on your first date, this is a big red flag. It shows a tremendous lack of respect for others in life and ultimately speaks to their integrity. Take a look at how this is done, as there is an appropriate way and time to discuss concerns and issues with your former partner.
Working with survivors of family trauma and domestic violence, we discuss new partners and how best to approach their trauma history.
Addressing concerns or problems is not the same as maliciously beating a person. We say, “That’s another day’s conversation. Things didn’t end well, but I hope it goes well” or “I don’t have a good history/relationship/relationship with my ex/child’s mother/etc. We can fill in as we get to know each other better” “He said.
Beware of someone who is obsessed with beatings to the point that they are obsessed with their ex. At best, they are not on them and therefore cannot be used emotionally. There is a difference between a bad breakup and an unhealthy degree of anger and resentment. Remember, if they do to others, they will do the same to you.
2. “Then let’s talk about you. What do you think about me?”
It’s important to mention that we all have different levels of comfort in communicating. They may be new to dating or they may have difficulties in social situations, so watch how it goes.
Do they look anxious and talk to fill the space? Do they stop and allow you to speak when you try to interrupt, or do you seem really not interested in what you have to say? Talking about yourself without talking about you usually shows that they aren’t capable of giving you the attention you deserve.
I once went on a date with someone who didn’t notice that I hadn’t ordered anything until the server brought a check. Of course, he asked to share.
3. Making decisions without your consent.
Don’t they want to compromise on a decision or hear your opinion? Every relationship requires compromise, and communication is essential to bridge the gap between different thoughts and desires.
The same goes for sexual intimacy or staying with each other. There is no set schedule for intimacy or cohabitation, but be vigilant when their requests feel irresistible. This is a violation of boundaries.
Any change in relationship status or progress must involve full and open communication between both parties.
4. Pay attention to their qualifications.
Are they rude to the server and valet? It’s very meaningful to watch how the new date speaks to the waiting staff. When someone is essentially being paid to do work for us, they can be an easy target for those who feel superior to other humans. If they are kind to you but rude to others, this is a red flag that their behavior is not sincere. Be mindful of how they treat servers, employees, co-workers, and especially animals.
As Malcolm S. Forbes said, “You can easily judge a person’s personality by how he treats a man who can’t do anything for him.”
5. Feeling uncomfortable with or around them.
Trauma survivors, especially those with a familial origin of trauma ignore Or deny reality. It was literally a means of survival. These behaviors are normalized in adult dating relationships because from childhood you were taught that the person you should love will abuse and hurt you.
How do you feel when you are around this person? anxious? on the edge? invisible? It will say a lot.
The opposite is also true. If you think it’s perfect or too good to be true, it probably is. We all have imperfections, and anyone who describes himself as perfect is in itself a red flag.
how much time you spent deciphering lies or lies, or “It just means nothing.” Trust that feeling.
There are several ways dysfunction and potential abuse patterns can manifest in a budding relationship. Anyone can have a bad day. People can be misunderstood, especially when they’re nervous, but look for patterns in how they treat you and others. While different interests or goals can be healthyly discussed and explored, abuse and abuse are non-negotiable.
It’s easier to get out of a potentially toxic relationship when you first start out.