“Red flags are moments of hesitation that determine our destination.”
― Mandy Hale
I suppose it’s in grade school, the early years, that little boys do things like pull the hair of little girls, make her cry. Moms used to tell the lie, Oh, he must like you! He’s giving you attention – when he sticks out his tongue, makes faces and calls you names… I never believed a boy liked me, when he did any of this. When I lost my front teeth and got made fun of at church, by that horrid little boy, I never wanted to smile again! Not only did I not like him, but his entire family, who happened to sit behind us. When we had to “turn around and greet our neighbor” I did my best to not have to shake any of their hands. And always failed. I had to see his smug little face, laughing at me. I can laugh at that now.
Through the years, as I grew, swinging between high and low self-esteem. There was always a boy to “put me in my place,” or so it seemed. I wish I had known better, I wish I had loved me. Even when the red flags were so apparent, I felt too far gone to do anything. Lost in the clutches of the only love I knew. But, when you are as hopeful a romantic as I, you see your life in his beautiful eyes. Spiraling from the loss of so much, he rescued me, I thought. Ignoring the red flags, sirens. I thought he was steadying me, instead, we were both free falling. Falling isn’t so scary, when you have someone with whom to fall. He was right about that. Although he walked away in the end, I believe it was I who bailed, falling no longer suited me.
“Girls you’ve gotta know when it’s time to turn the page.” – Tori Amos
I wrote about “Ted” not too long ago. After a few interactions and some major red flags it is clear to me that I don’t even want to be friends with Mr. Single-Single. At what age do men realize that it takes nothing to just be kind. I mean, I totally understand sarcasm and jokes, but there is a line! I really didn’t want to admit the red flags were there. I chalked it up to the age difference. However, when you put me in the mindset of my ex… I must say, that speaks volumes. I even questioned myself, Is this what I attract? Men that are mean – no nice guys, huh? I mean, why open your mouth to speak if you don’t have anything kind to say? I know that I spent way too much time today being way too hard on myself. For putting too much stock in this man’s unsolicited comments to me. Was it simply because in those moments he reminded me of where I used to be? Was it because in that moment I felt like, “this is as good as I will ever receive?”
“Sometimes it takes heartbreak to shake us awake and help us see we are worth so much more than we’re settling for.” – Mandy Hale
My heart is not broken, I had no feelings at all for the guy. I can admit to being shaken, because, well, it took me back to a time and place I thought I had left behind… I know that I won’t settle. As I have told everyone, I had to remind myself, I’m not even looking for anyone! This proves that I should just wait. I was open to the idea, I’m not closing the door. I am just mortified that people can be so… Mean? For lack of a better word. But then, that’s his issue, not mine…