My Unplanned Pregnancy Story

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I wanted to share this story for anyone struggling with their pregnancy.

In 2012 I became pregnant. I was dating the father on and off.  In the past, there was some cheating in on his part. I had finished college but he hadn’t despite my pleas to be be more focused. Still, I loved him and saw a lot of good and charisma in him. Sexually, we had a few hiccups. I stopped taking the pill, I couldn’t find a prescription that didn’t have adverse side effects and it was was becoming too expensive for me. It was like $60 a month for it, and you needed to buy at least three months which was $180 upfront at the time. I fixed these hiccups with morning after pills on 3 different occasions; I had no idea what kind of effects it would have on my body longterm. One day we had another oopsies moment and I told my boyfriend, “I’m not taking the morning after pill. I don’t want to.” He agreed. I was worried about the effects these pills had on my reproductive system and knew I shouldn’t use them as a form of major contraception.

Lo and behold I become pregnant. Oh how I wished I took the morning after pill, I was not in a position to have a baby yet! I had just started a new career in real estate, I literally made -$6,000 in my first year and had tons of student loan debt. I had quit law school a few years ago due to cost and still had loans for my 1 year in law school. My boyfriend had seemingly no prospects, his only work history was as a delivery driver for a Mexican restaurant.

I told my boyfriend while he was visiting family in Puerto Rico. He was shocked but agreed to be there for me.

The first couple of weeks were incredibly tough. I was unprepared for the hormonal changes, and the question of how we were going to pay for a baby and all that’s required gnawed at me. I would have terrible mood swings. I cried a lot.

Things were not getting better and by the 2nd month the thought of abortion entered my mind. I did my research and started looking into it. The abortion pill was easier to digest, it was like a miscarriage. Easy. Happens all the time to women. But I needed to decide soon because I wouldn’t be able to do this after 3 months. After that, I’d be looking at more invasive procedures.  With the D&E procedure it was like, “how is this not murder?” I wrestled with the idea for a while but came to the conclusion I would always live with the abortion, the abortion would not erase this pregnancy.

I vowed not to tell anyone other than my boyfriend of the pregnancy until the period which I could take the abortion pill passed. I did not want to be influenced by anyone telling me I wasn’t ready. I was already feeling really concerned about that.

I started telling my parents when I was 4 months pregnant. I remember making the call and in the weakest, shakiest voice saying, “Mom, I have something to tell you. I’m pregnant.” There was silence as the other end and it was deafening. My mom hoped I would return to law school, she must have realized with pregnancy that wouldn’t be an option. I forget what she said but it was full of disappointment. I got off the phone with her as soon as I could and just cried. I cried a lot during the pregnancy.

I told my best friend who seemed sympathetic and tried to help me as much as she could. But I don’t think she saw this as a good outcome for me, in her eyes I was ruining my life.

I was working two jobs to make ends meet. I sold perfume at Macy’s for their holiday season and also worked at Target. I was barely making my $650 rent for my roommate share and we were going to need new housing soon for the new baby. This happened while I was 3-6 months pregnant.

My boyfriend still didn’t have a job but he was looking. We would get in constant fights. I blamed him for the pregnancy and for not being ready to support a child. I would throw tantrums and flip out. I also wanted him to marry me but he was scared to commit to me while I was so crazy from hormones.

We had a conversation I’ll never forget. He knew my parents were not happy with my pregnancy out of wedlock but he didn’t feel like he should marry me just because my parents thought so. I looked at him and said, “I don’t want to be with anyone else. You don’t have to marry me but just know that’s how I feel.” He told me he didn’t want to be with anyone else either. Even though things were not ideal, he had some pretty great qualities that I knew would make him a great husband and dad.

A week later he agreed to marry me. It was a quick 1 month planning, civil ceremony and family dinner type wedding. His parents helped cover the costs of the dinner. My parents still refer to it as a gunshot wedding. This was in December when I was 6 months pregnant. I remember running into a Davids Bridal with my best friend and just buying any dress that fit! The consultant was kind of in shock.

In January we got a big break. My boyfriend was hired at the local Casino for their surveillance department. One of my roommates saw an opening and mentioned it. Thank God he got the job. It was full time, paid $15.00 an hour and was an overnight gig. I prayed and hoped that he would get it since after the holidays the perfume work dries up.  All I had was the Target hours which also dried up to only 20 hours a week. I was getting too big and tired anyway.

Things were really starting to pull together and we needed housing for the baby. We started looking at small two beds and big  one beds. Every two bedroom was $1700+ and we did not have the funds for that. We looked around and miraculously an apartment showed up that was for $1400. It was only 2 blocks from where I was currently living. It was a house that was converted to a two family home. It was the smallest two bedroom I ever saw, could not been bigger than 700-750sqft but it did the job and was renovated. The owner was kind of sketchy. From what she told us, we didn’t know if she was the owner or the property manager and here we are trying to give her two and a half months rent. Pretty much all the money we had. We had no idea if this was legit or whether she would take the money and run. Thankfully, we signed the lease and and got the keys.

My husband got another job offer, this time for the TSA at the airport. It was amazing. He could work nights at the Casino and days at TSA. It was another miracle we needed. It was  going to be incredibly tough on him, working some days 16 hours running from TSA to the Casino. (FYI, we didn’t have a car so public transit it was). I’ll never forget that time, he knew how hard it would be but rolled up his sleeves and did it. I was 7 months pregnant when he was working those two jobs.

Meanwhile, I was keeping up with my prenatals and doctor appointments. I looked very young and would get dirty looks at the appointments from the older pregnant women. I knew they thought I was just another single mother. One of the lab technicians told me that she thought it was good when people decided to keep it. At the time I didn’t realize how many abortions happen in a year.

Things were finally beginning to settle down at 8 months, we were getting financially figured out, we had our own apartment for the incoming baby, we got the baby furniture as a gift from the inlaws, we got married, and had most of what we needed from a baby shower that my parents threw for me. They came around especially after they saw my boyfriend marry me. They were happy and felt more secure about the whole thing. Things were coming together.

My time at Target was ending and though I did not work enough to get disability from them, I was eligible for FMLA so could return to work there. They were kind and let me work the dressing room with a chair so I could sit during my final weeks.

The actual labor was very intense but because I was very active during my pregnancy, it was short. I was in active labor for 6 hours. I wasn’t managing the pain well and 3 hours in I begged for the epidural and was able rest after it was administered. The doctor was in surgery doing cesearian so all I had was a midwife, her name was Janet, the sweetest woman ever. I felt the need to push, pushed for 20 mins and had my baby! Janet gave me a kiss and a hug.  She showed me how to breastfeed. It was an incredible birthing experience.

After we got home with our baby, it took us bit of effort to get acclimated to the change in our lives. My husband was exhausted from working 2 jobs and 16 hour days. It was still hard. But we managed.

I started getting an itch to start working literally 4 weeks after giving birth. I thought I would start looking again and just get myself out there, after all it might take weeks for me to find a job. I responded to this craigslist ad for a receptionist position at a new rental building. The building was being constructed and they needed someone as reception for the 6 month project while they started leasing it. I was overqualified for the position as receptionist but saw it as a way to get my foot in the door. The woman I interviewed with was shocked to learn that I had just given birth and was a licensed real estate agent interested in the building. She was a mom of 2 kids herself and saw my drive as something worthwhile. She hired me on the spot. I surprisingly started at $33 an hour as their receptionist. The total compensation was supposed to be $40k for six months but the project was extended to 10 months and I made $70k during that time. This was a blessing from God because my husband was getting worn out from working two full time jobs for 3-4 months and now he could let go of one while I went back to work.  He could then help more with the baby.

That job I got was a godsend, it opened the door to so many other opportunities and five years later we are no longer financially insecure. Debt almost paid off.  We had our baby and just had our second one.

I wanted to share this story as encouragement to those families are starting out rough. Life is unpredictable. There’s no plan. Your plans will always be derailed because life brings challenges and surprises at every turn. All you need to do is support each other, take it day by day and always be open to every opportunity that comes to you. Life will sort the rest out.

Wishing all the young families many blessings.

Check out my other post on pregnancy

My Postpartum Experience: What I Didn’t Expect

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Tags:  unwanted pregnancy, accidental pregnancy, options, pregnancy counseling, dealing with unplanned pregnancy

 

How To Get A Guy To Commit Without Pressure And Fall In Love With You

Kissing couple in love
Kissing couple in love outdoors

There are just some girls who have that oomph. That special something that makes guys turn their head and and want to get to know you. I used to wonder how those girls always got the guy I wanted or why they always had men hanging on their every word.

Over time I learned their secret on how to get the guy of your dreams and keep him. It’s actually not that hard. And I know you’re going to say “how can you know how to get my guy? All men and women are different.. Dating is different for everyone!” Actually no, it’s not. Let’s not remake the wheel. For thousands of years women have been attracting men and only the best women who knew these tips and stuck to them got the best man in their lives.

To make a point, I think we can all agree that nearly all women want a man they consider attractive, who is reliable, kind, honest, (at the very minimum) able to hold his own, and without baggage. Now we might want more or less but this is the bare bones of what most women desire.

How do we get this guy that most women want? I was often plagued by self doubt thinking that I was just one of many women being considered.

Here are my 3 top secrets: 1,2, 3 need to be executed together, this is key ?!!!

1. Be physically attractive

No matter your age, being put together and having a style that says you’re confident in your own skin is essential. You might think this is shallow but men are visual creatures, though their tastes may differ. But I would say most men find healthy and clean women attractive. That’s it. That’s the all you need to be considered physically attractive to men.

But surprisingly, a lot of women end up neglecting themselves. And in this increasingly demanding world, who can blame them? But the issue is when you’re neglecting yourself, it says to the world how you feel about yourself. I know this is an unpopular opinion because of “women don’t need to do anything to attract men” feminism. But it takes two to tango and men do get to choose their preferences. I also recommend to always be prepared to meet Mr. Right wherever you go. Not to say you should be dressed in cocktail attire with a full face of makeup all the time, but you also shouldn’t be walking outside with holes in you shirt and stains in your pants.

Here are some tips to help get guys to look your way

A.Exercise: a must do for all women to keep their minds and bodies in a good place.

B.Makeup: this is a bit controversial. Not all women want to wear makeup. At a minimum a good moisturizer is needed for women going without makeup. You also don’t need to cake it on, just to enough to highlight your features.

C.Manicures and Pedicures: there is something about this that just gives a woman a polished look. It doesn’t even have to be all out crazy, even a clear manicured set would look better than ragged, dirty, overgrown nails. I’ve been guilty of going out like that and it always made me feel gross.

D.A Diverse Wardrobe: I think it’s important to have a wardrobe that’s diverse enough for all occasions. How you dress says a lot about you. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot, just a few staple pieces that can go with everything else. Wearing yoga pants everyday doesn’t say much about you other than you like to be comfortable.

2.Personality/Confidence

Having a good personality isn’t a given. Some people have it naturally, others are good at faking it, some totally lack it. I won’t define what exactly a good personality is but at a minimum it includes social grace, kindness, self-awareness and empathy. Without all 4 of these things your personality is unbalanced and will likely cause a rift with your partner.

Confidence also plays a large role in your personality. I’ve written a few posts on confidence.

What Does It Take To Be Charismatic and Likeable?

What Does Your Body Language Say About You?

Be Charismatic By Mastering Small Talk

It’s easier said than done, but getting to a place mentally where you can stand firm in yourself and your decisions is attractive. Social grace is almost impossible to achieve without confidence. Self awareness requires confidence in oneself. Empathizing requires seeing outside of yourself, understanding how others feel and being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Not to say that women can’t have personality but with technology dominating our lives, constantly on our cell phones and social media, developing personality has taken a backseat. Constantly searching for likes and reposts has caused us to become a bit more self absorbed and we’ve lost our ability to empathize.

Together with being attractive, having the confidence and personality, guys will notice you and want to get to know you on a deeper level.

3.Modesty

This is going to be a very unpopular opinion but I’m going to be frank. Women who have sex with their dates immediately and are able to get a long term commitment are in the minority. Often times guys aren’t thinking about their long term relationship goals when they are jumping in the sack with a woman they just started dating.

I’ve made the mistake of thinking, “if he doesn’t get it from me, he’ll get it somewhere else.” And that’s really flawed thinking because a guy that thinks like that is NEVER going to commit to you no matter what you do and is a waste of your time.

Now l’m not going to specify how long to wait. It’s different for everyone. But think of sex as a cake topper. It goes on top after all the other layers of the cake. So after you’ve established trust, understanding, knowing the other person and all the other things that builds a basis for relationship, you can then feel confident to have sex with your partner without it hurting the chances for a long term commitment.

4.Youth

This is optional since obviously not everyone is able to find their partner in their youth for a variety of reasons. I’m not saying that older women are less attractive. But the main benefit of seriously seeking out a partner in your youth (early 20s-early 30s) is that most people are still unattached. Especially men who are emotionally available and working towards financial stability. By 35 most men and women have children and/or are married. During those prime dating years, there’s less pressure to find a partner. Essentially you still have time to comfortably date someone for some time, become engaged and get married before you seriously need to think about children, if you want them.

When looking for a partner in these years, it’s important not to waste time on the wrong incompatible men. Things to consider are attraction, financial stability, personality compatibility, religion, and any other personal deal breakers.

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Finding the man of your dreams and keeping him has a lot to do with you and what you want for yourself. Implementing these 3 or 4 concepts together is what makes for an irresistible woman. All men and women are different, but these core tips will absolutely help you to snag your man and start building the relationship of a lifetime.

Feel free to check out my other posts:

Dear Single Friends, This Is Why You Are Still Single. Love, Your Married Friend.

My Favorite Dating Book: Why Men Love Bitches

The Biggest Red Flags In A Relationship

Why Dating Culture Doesn’t Work Towards Marriage

 

 

 

Tags: Best relationship advice, healthy relationship tips, love and relationships, break up, marriage relationship, relationship problems, help me with my relationship, relationship guidance, love help, in love, fell in love, when a man falls in love.

Get Over Your Ex Now! With These Easy Tips

Breakup of a couple with sad girlfriend and boyfriend walking away with city in the background

Not all relationships were made to last and I’d be lying if I didn’t linger a little too long in past relationships but I’ve definitely learned over time how to kick the bucket quickly when a difficult breakup with boyfriend has gone sour.

I’ve written a few posts on love before including Biggest Red Flags in A Relationship and What is Love, so this is just a follow up on ending relationships that just aren’t meant to be. And is my best break up advice for women.

1 Cut Contact

Cutting contact with an ex is the hardest thing to do, especially when it’s someone that you’ve been dating for a while. You might have gotten used to them being there for you for nightly chats, companionship, financial help and overall support. Cutting the cord can be scary and daunting. You have to want to get over a breakup with an ex.

I recommend starting with blocking the person on your phone so they can’t call or text you. You’ll also need to cut them from social media and remove their ability to contact you from there. I wouldn’t say that email is next, because it’s a pain in the ass to move all your emails and notices to a different email. The best thing to do is to create an email rule that pushes emails from your ex to Trash or Junk.

In a very deep entanglement, I highly recommend changing phone numbers. When I tell my friends that, the first thing they say is, “Why should I have to be the one to change my number, it’s been my number forever!”

My response is, “keeping your phone number is a way of letting your partner have easy access to contacting you.” I mean, think about it, your phone is always with you!

2) Get rid of memorabilia

Break off all memory. They say “Time heals all wounds.” But it doesn’t help if you keep tokens of the relationship or photos of your previous love.

Some of you might shake your head and say, “I shared some important memories with this person, I just can’t get rid of them.” And I completely get that point of view but In that case, I would recommend storing the items, photos, and memories for a later time when you’ve finally gotten over that person. Store them with a friend, family member or even in mini storage until you can look back at the relationship and feel nothing.

Things I would list as emotionally triggering: photos, jewelry, old clothes from your partner, emails, texts, gifts and any place that you used to frequent with them. The mind is a powerful place and you can easily find yourself visiting memory lane and feeling a lot of nostalgia and heartache with any of these reminders.

3) Sharing friends:

This is probably the hardest thing to manage since friends will likely feel torn if they are closely connected to you and your Ex.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t establish boundaries for what you’re comfortable with.

If your friends are torn between two partners, you don’t need to make them choose. You can establish that for right now you just can’t be near that partner, even as friends, and to not include you in events their attending.

You can also request privacy from your friends. There’s no reason why your Ex should be able to check in on you through friends. True friends wouldn’t gossip about how you’re doing behind your back and would choose to stay neutral.

In the end you might lose some friends, but that’s their choice to make whether they want to pick sides or not. A breakup like this can be very eye opening as to who your true friends are.

When do you know when your finally over an Ex?

When you can look at pictures and not feel any remorse, regret or sadness. One day you’ll be able to look back at pictures or visit an place you used to frequent and feel a calm nostalgia like, “this was a part of my life, but now it’s not.”

Being over an Ex means that you’re able to pass them in the street and not feel embarrassment, fear, shame or sadness.  You can kind of look back at the time you spent with them and feel little to no emotion over what caused the breakup.

Most importantly, FORGIVENESS is the tell-tale sign of being over an Ex.  Because only when your able to forgive, are you able to move-on.

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Feel free to read my other posts on relationships including:

What is Love?

My Favorite Dating Book: Why Men Love Bitches

The Biggest Red Flags In A Relationship

Dating in Your 30s vs Dating In Your 20s

 

Tags:

How to get over an ex

Getting over a breakup

How to get over your ex

How to get over your Ex fast

Marriage, Finances And Money: The Benefits And Pitfalls

The bride counts the money. Wedding expenses. Bride with a piggy bank

When we think of marriage, we think of wedding bells and dresses, flower girls and ring bearers, and a couple expressing their everlasting love to one another.

No party is as fun as a wedding and very few life experiences can alter your life in such a meaningful way.

I’ve written a few posts on love and relationships but I don’t think I need to remind anyone that there is a financial consequence to marriage.   In fact, I think most of us consider FIRST the tangible benefits of being with a partner more than the intangible aspects like character, honesty, integrity etc.

A perfect relationship is a balance of the two. A perfect compromise of tangible and intangible benefits. I’m going to talk about the financial pitfalls and benefits that come from marriage.  In this post, I’ve discussed some of the more intangible benefits.  Sometimes money and relationships can mix like oil and water.

Benefits:

1. Sharing expenses in a relationship and couple finances:

Definitely something couples discuss when moving in together but when married, you need to take it to the next level. It goes beyond utilities, rent and groceries. It’s time to talk about retirement, spending habits, saving and buying a house.

Two people are better than one in this type of division.

To give you an example, imagine this scenario:

Jim lives on his own, he rents a $1400 one bedroom right outside of NYC. He has one car. He pays $300 between payments and insurance. Groceries cost him about $200 a month but he orders out a lot so it adds up to an additional $200. His utilities for electric and internet cable are $150. On the weekends, he likes going out to dinner/drinks with friends. His entertainment spends are around $300-$400 a month.

Jim works as a IT tech earning 75K annually or $6250 monthly. After taxes he brings home $4275.

Take home income

$4275

Minus

Expenses

-$1400 apartment

-$300 Car

-$400 Food

-$150 Utilities

-$400 entertainment

-$600 Misc.

Net savings to go toward personal savings, 401K and Medical savings accounts.

$1175

*This is a very simplified budget but you get the picture.

Now let’s look at Jane and Sam.

They are newly married. Jane works as a teacher and makes 40K. Sam works in construction and makes 60K between hourly and overtime. They live in the same apartment building as Jim and pay 1400 for rent. Actually their spending is almost identical. They spend 600 on food, share a car for $400, $150 on utilities and spend 600 on entertainment and $600 on misc.

Together they bring in $8333, after taxes it’s an estimated $5,833.

Take home pay

$5833

Expenses

-$1400 apartment

-$400 Car

-$600 Food

-$150 Utilities

-$600 entertainment

-$600 Misc.

Net Savings for personal savings, retirement and medical savings:

$2083 or $1041 per person.

The point of this example is that even though Jane and Sam both make less then Jim, their still able to save roughly at the same rate each because they are pooling together for their major expenses and budgeting as a couple.  This is one of the best financial things to consider when either moving in or marrying.  The couples budget is everything and couples who are able to leverage their joint spending will come out on top in the long run.

2. Sharing Manpower.

They say two people are better than one.  And I would say that when it comes to domestic tasks, couples find that they are able to get more free time by splitting it up.

I’m not sure this is the biggest financial benefit to being married but it can definitely pinch a few pennies and save a lot of hours.  Having an extra pair of hands  for 1) doing laundry, 2) cleaning, 4) grocery shopping, 5) cooking meals for the week, 6) bargain shopping can add up to a lot of savings.

A single person only has so many hours available them, they have to either do these tasks themselves and lose some free time or pay a 3rd party to handle these tasks like a housekeeper, or eating out/ordering in, wash/fold services, and food delivery like FreshDirect.  They can either keep their free time to themselves to do other endeavors or pay for these conveniences.

3. Spousal Employment Benefits.

One of the biggest is insurance.  You can’t really quantify how important insurance is until you don’t have a job that offers it to you.  Then you’re either paying hundreds out of pocket just to get simple blood work done or you’re paying $500+ premium for a private insurance for married couples that still has a large deductible or copay.

One benefit of being married is that health insurance for married couples is generally cheaper than paying health insurance for two single people.

Being able to add a spouse to your work insurance is amazing and something only allowed for immediate family members/dependents by most insurance carriers.

For my Husband and I, we’ve always had insurance that covered us through work.  But there was this one year that we had to go without and that was the sketchiest year I ever went through.  We never went to see the doctor because it was too expensive and we prayed neither of us were ever involved in an accident because how could we ever pay?

My job also has some married life insurance benefits that if I die, K get’s X amount and if K dies I can get X amount.  It’s comforting to know that we’ll have some fall back if (God Forbid) either of us ever pass away.

Pittfalls

1) Spending habits

Sometimes people can get so caught up in the love and the connection they have for the other person, that looking at habits like spending can seem like a non-issue.

You might look at someone who never seems to wear the same piece of clothing twice and never wonder how they can afford to such a large wardrobe.

You might see someone drive an Audi and not realize that their car payments are near $500 a month and it’s a squeeze with all their other expenses.

It’s not until YOUR money is commingled with your partner’s that you start to realize how small spending habits can add up to big expenditures.

For a long time my husband liked to play poker with his friends. He became so good his friends stopped playing with him. It was always, “maybe next time.” They were scared to lose money to him.  Eventually he joined some poker clubs in the city and played there once or twice a year. Then he found some casinos near us that offered poker comps and he would go occasionally there too. He loved the game of poker but it was bleeding us $500-$1000 every time he lost.

Thankfully he doesn’t play anymore, we had a pretty serious conversation about his gambling and now I have complete control over the cash. But it just goes to show how a small insignificant habit can turn into a ravenous expense.

The same story could be told with shopping addicts or forever entrepreneurs who can never seem to get their business off the ground.

The solution is to think long range about how your finances with your partner would work and weeding out financially incompatible partners out. In my case, I nipped out early what was potentially a serious gambling addiction.

I would recommend financial planning for couples before getting married.  Sometimes when things feel out of control, it’s great to consider a financial planner for financial help with married couples.

Expensive Wedding and Even More Expensive Divorces

“My husband and I, fight over money.”

People spend an average of $27,000 on a wedding.  Those are pretty expensive parties.  I don’t have anything against big fancy parties to celebrate the joining of a couple but when we start to look at divorce rates, those big weddings start to look like a waste.  It’s estimated that nearly 40%-50% of marriages end in divorce.  According to an article written by CNN, couples that spent more than $20K had a divorce rate of 1.6X more than those who spent only $5K-$10K.

In some ways marriage is a crapshoot, you can never know if some devastating skeleton is going to come out of your partner’s closet and change your whole relationship with them.

It’s when you consider that the average divorce costs $15K, marriages have a risk of being a financial hole once everything is said and done.

Then Add Children and Divorce

If your divorce included children, then there will likely be one party that pays child support.  There will still be an increase in housing costs because the divorced couple will need separate places for themselves and for their children.

It can be very costly and difficult to manage your time and finances when expenses increase and resources are nearly cut in half.

Unfortunately in some cases, divorce is the only option for two people who turn out to be incompatible to stay sane and happy.  But children can definitely make divorce messier and more expensive.

I’m not writing this section to make children sound like a burden but for the most part, nobody has children to make a profit.  They have children for the generational and personal wealth that it brings to a family.  We grow our family to keep tradition and create memories.

Nothing brings a family together like children, but nothing makes it harder to separate and divorce cheaply than children.


 

I would say marriage comes with a lot of different types of benefits but something we should never take our eye off of is the financial outcomes that can result from saying “I Do.”  Ignoring that important fact can lead to marriage troubles over money.

On the other hand, marriage can be a blessing that can pay itself back in ways that can’t even be accounted for.  For many, the risk is worth taking.

I hope you read this with hope in your heart and practicality in your mind.

Feel free to read my other relationship posts:

The Biggest Red Flags In A Relationship

Why Dating Culture Doesn’t Work Towards Marriage

Dear Single Friends, This Is Why You Are Still Single. Love, Your Married Friend.

The Biggest Red Flags In A Relationship

Sad couple having conflict and relationship problems

Have you ever found yourself in a relationship with someone who checked all the boxes you were looking for, but after a few weeks together you start getting uneasy feelings about them? Like something isn’t right…

It’s actually fairly common for people to stay in relationships WAYY longer than they should. If you’re someone looking for true love, avoid wasting time with duds by keeping an eye out for these red flags. This advice should be taken with some intuition and a pinch of salt, exhibiting one of these signs does not mean the relationship is unsalvageable. But a LOT of these signs is a good reason to run and cut things off without a second glance.

Compulsive Lying

We all tell white lies once in a while and it’s not uncommon for people to tell each other what they think the other person wants to hear. But what we need to keep an eye out for is consistent lying, dishonesty, and falsehoods. One lie could easily be the start of larger lies or omissions.

To be honest my husband used to lie compulsively. About little things and nothing at all. He would just give me an answer he thought would be the easiest to digest. I always caught his lie and called him out on it. We’ve fought over these useless lies too. “If you can’t even be honest about a small thing, how can I trust you to be honest about bigger things.” He realized I had a point. He really doesn’t lie anymore and we’ve found his triggers and have dealt with them for the most part.

Doesn’t want to introduce you to family or meet your friends

This happens a lot in couples that are not fully committed like friends with benefits or f*ck buddies. Sometimes this happens in regular committed relationships too. If your partner isn’t able to let you hang with family or friends, consider this a red flag. Something to keep an eye out.

Partners who are committed to long-term prospects are more likely to want to meet friends and family. Getting to know you’re inner circle can give them insight into your background, how you were raised and your interests.

Gas lighting

When two people argue it can be hard to keep emotions straight or even keep to the facts but gas lighting is more insidious than occasionally bending the truth to your argument.

Gaslighting is the intentional misrepresentation or recollection of facts to make the other party feel like they are in the wrong. And doing this consistently.

Example:

“Mark, were you able to pick up my prescriptions?”

“Sally, we talked about this. You’re supposed to pick up your prescription every Friday after you go for your appointment.”

“I know we talked about running errands before that appointment but I don’t remember discussing the prescription. You had mentioned you would pick it up nearly 2 weeks ago”

“This isn’t the first time you’ve forgotten something, remember last week we talked about meeting for lunch and you totally stood me up! I don’t know how I can keep being your babysitter.”

“I’m sorry Mark, I swear I thought the time you said was an hour later. I would have met you on time.”

This systematic changing of facts to put you in the wrong is TOXIC. It requires social knowledge of the types of things you won’t remember and a manipulation of truths. This is probably the one red flag that if you see it happening, you should run without second thought. When gaslighting is done, it’s done purposely.

Nitpicking

It’s ok to have things that you like done a certain way. It’s ok to occasionally critique your partner for things that you want done in a specific way.

What’s not ok is when someone is trying to change everything you do and say into their “correct” vision of how people should act.  This kind of behavior is common in control freaks, type A personalities, and perfectionists.

They might correct how you behave, do things, speak, dress, etc.  We’ve all met that type of person:

MIB

Comic courtesy of MarriageIsBliss

Inconsistent or hot/cold

So many people are just so inconsistent or unreliable.  I think this speaks for itself in dating life.  I used to wonder why people who were inconsistent or cold would treat me that way.  It used to be a problem with me that I felt I needed to resolve.  But really it’s not an issue with me, it’s an issue with THEM.

Someone who plays the hot and cold game is just showing you how unimportant you are in their scheme of things.  It has a lot to do with their own ego and narcissism. Stay Away.

Selfish with time

People who are selfish with how they spend their time are also solipsistic, they see the world as existing from only their perspective.  These are people who won’t meet you for a date unless it’s close to them, or will only call you if their weekend is barren.  They’ll make you just through hoops just to plan a date out.

“It has to be between this time and this time.  Before I have this appointment and then after I’ll be meeting up with some friends I haven’t seen in 5 years.  Let’s meet up at this location because it’s close to the two places I have to be.  I can’t wait for our date!

Not gonna lie, my older sister is kind of like this.  She tends to prioritize her needs over the needs of others. If she’s visiting home, one of my parents will have to drop what their doing to pick her up from the train station and again to drop her off when she leaves.  Even though she’s a doctor and could easily afford a $10 Uber or cab ride.

My parents threw her a birthday party and she didn’t even help set up or clean up! She was too busy with her own appointments and catching up with friends.  Not cool! Red flag!

Doesn’t like your family

This isn’t obvious, especially when you’re young but if your partner has a big problem with your family, then it’s time to reconsider the strength of your relationship.

As relationships grow more serious both families will eventually become more involved in supporting you.  K and I, we’re both are close with our families.  Over the years our siblings and especially our parents have helped us and supported us.  If he or I were unable to get along with each others parents or siblings, I don’t know how our relationship could have worked.

Family drama can be avoided by choosing partners that are compatible with, not only you, but your family too.

Of course this red flag should be taken with a pinch of salt. Not everyone is super close with their family so I would imagine this wouldn’t pose such a problem with them.

Keeps in touch with exes or has lots of girls who are friends 

This is a huge red flag.  A lot of people miss this and think, naively, that these relationships are platonic.

There are very few friendships between opposite heterosexual genders that come without strings attached.  You might disagree with this and think that your friendship is the exception, maybe it is, but most likely it’s not.

It’s even more of a red flag when there are multiple women who are in your partners life that were past love interests.

The past is in the past! Why keep them around?

In my honest experience, men and women who are keeping “friends” around, are generally keeping backup options who will fill your place once your relationship ends.  I’ve never found it to be a healthy dynamic and would generally say to watch out for people like this.  What seems innocent, can easily not be.

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That’s my list! Let me know your thoughts and own experiences with red flags you’ve found in your life.

Feel free to comment, like, share and follow!

Other Posts:

What is Love?

Dating in Your 30s vs Dating In Your 20s

Why Dating Culture Doesn’t Work Towards Marriage