I have been having many conversations recently that have had to do with relationships and partners behaving badly, in some cases. While I am understanding, in some cases, as to why people will tolerate the behaviors – looking at the emotions. It is hard for me to see the flags and not want to wave them in their faces as sort of a wake up call. Because as much as we try to preserve our hearts while in a relationship, it will hurt us more in the long run as we start tolerating behaviors that are truly intolerable under other circumstances. And in the end, we will be trained that those things are “normal” or “okay” thereby making it harder when a healthy relationship does present itself.
So here are my red flags:
1. Inconsistent communication – frequency.
You’d like to hear from him right after an intense date. You would like for him to check up on you. Yet, he sort of wants to talk when he feels like it. “Feels like it” may mean once a week. It may be a one line text. It may mean only when he wants a date. When you request more time – more contact – he pushes back. Or starts to check up on you after a date, but then stops again. The infrequent, inconsistent communication bugs you – but seems to be no big deal for him. This is a flag.
2. Inconsistent communication – content.
She never wants to have the conversation you need to have with her. When you try to have a talk, she goes into little mode or stops providing any real content to the conversation. Communication is one sided. Communication is not full of anything concrete – good or bad. It’s inconsistent. You don’t know where you really stand or what she really wants or if what she wants is what you want.
This is my favorite. A person communicates the need or says they want to have a serious talk about the relationship – and the other person’s response is to pull rank. “I’m your dominant, you get what I decided you get from me.” And the person is not talking sex, or a scene or something of the sort. They are talking about the relationship. That is the sound of a flag flapping.
4. “Let’s not tell my primary partner we do this.”
When honesty and transparency goes out the window, so is your relationship. It is going from open to closed with a side of cheating. Run fast.
5. “Because I’m uncomfortable I am not your primary, I want the world to reorganize around my discomfort including what your primary needs.”
One person’s insecurities about their world start transforming all parts of the other person’s world. I’m talking talking about someone stuck in a rut and looking for help. I’m talking about the person who wants you to rearrange your life to make them feel better. I’m not talking about one time. Or infrequent times. I’m talking about big sweeping changes. Yeah, don’t do it. Sets a bad precedence that the world revolves around that person and their issues. Don’t do it especially if it requires a bunch of juggling by everyone else.
6. Drama is used as a way to control other relationships – used by the primary or secondary to control the other relationships.
I recently had someone tell me that their secondary’s wife liked to remind her that she could make him pull the plug at any time. Really? That sort of drama is not good. That sort of drama means that control is being lorded over the other person. Not a good circumstance. Danger Will Robinson!!
7. Primary starts making threats to the secondary without the knowledge of the common partner.
8. Agreements are made, then violated on one side without renegotiation.
We will always have a Wednesday date. Then they get cancelled 3 out of every 4 times. We will check in with the other after a scene to make sure everyone is okay. Then it never happens. We will communicate with each other if we have other playmates. Then you are surprised when you learn there are other playmates. Actions speak louder than words. Don’t ignore them.
9. Needs of partners are no longer being met – or are met lopsided.
He requires you are at his beckon call, yet if you need him – he is never available even to talk. You want to explore more of a particular kink he is not into, but he keeps you from doing it instead of encouraging you to learn more about it. When insecurity meets with inaction, things will go south.
10. You realize you are not on the same page or even in the same book.
He is happy with what he has – a doll on the shelf – to borrow a phrase. You want to be