For anyone that has ever been single, the perfect relationship is the Holy Grail. That perfect person with the right looks and the right personality to make the grade and become ‘The One’.
The problem is the idea of dating is pretty flawed. Comedian C.K Lewis makes a joke about that fact that men are the biggest threat to women on the planet, and yet, they accept an invitation from a man they barely know to meet up, usually at night and hope he isn’t a sex pest.
It’s one of my favourite stand-up routines ever because he is completely right, and of course it works the other way as well. Women may not be seen as a threat to men but in the world of dating, they can definitely become dangerous!
I was told early on in my life by an older friend that there are dating ‘red flags’, and when your date starts to do things that raise these red flags, you quite simply, run. Make your excuses, any excuse you can, go home and never accept a call from them again.
What I also discovered early on is that these red flags are different for everyone, and it appears the lonelier we get and the more we want to find real love the more we are happy to look the other way, even when a red flag is being frantically waved in our faces.
Before I met my boyfriend, I went on a handful of dates. None were successful in any way and their red flags varied from small, to the size of Africa.
There was Richard, who took me for cocktails, talked about his mother all night and shook my hand at the end of the date. Small flags, but I sensed a mummy’s boy and I stopped answering his messages.
Then there was Simon, who all the way through the first drink we had together kept looking and nodding down at his penis. For me, trying to make me aware that he had genitals within 20 seconds of meeting him was a red flag.
By far the biggest red flag though came by surprise. Chris seemed normal. A forces man, we dated for a few weeks before the flags started to show. It started with a hat being left in my flat. He had a parade that day and had to get his hat so I lent him my key to let himself in.
This started to happen a LOT and every time I would give him my key, and he would bring it back an hour later. I should have noticed that this was a red flag, but I didn’t. I was too busy telling myself he was just forgetful. Then, one day, he borrowed my key, and five hours later when I finished work, he still had not returned it.
I get home to find he has MOVED ALL OF HIS STUFF INTO MY FLAT. Without asking, without so much as a conversation, three weeks into dating. Needless to say, him and his stuff were ejected pretty sharpish and after about a month of Facebook abuse, he disappeared to be mental somewhere else.
The message I want you to leave this article with is do not ignore red flags. As soon as you see them, do what my friend said and run, run so far the other way, because if there are red flags in the beginning, trust me, the rest of the relationship is not going to go well!