When it comes to red flags in a relationship, in dating, and even in your friendships…

Have you ever heard the saying “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”?

A red flag is the smoke that no matter how much you try to fan away, choose to identify as fog, or spray with the air freshener of denial and keep walking through, it will always lead you to fire. You may be able to see past the smoke and keep moving for a while, but fire is one thing that we all can agree, you will never be able to move through or ignore into extinguishment.

All you can do is tend to your burns by adjusting your boundaries, understand that ignoring the red flags of others is a major red flag of your own, and make the decision to stop normalizing and personalizing smoke signals when they appear.

The emotional toolbelt you were born with did not come with a hose to put out the fires of relational arsonists.

And their fires/red flags are not meant for you to extinguish, take ownership of, or be “good enough” to change the color.

They are meant for you to get away from.

The problem with red flags in a relationship is that they are the easiest to identify in every relationship but our own.  And when it comes to the red flags in our own relationships…

They only seem to be the most visible in hindsight.

What Is A Red Flag?

A red flag can be a character trait, a certain habit, behavior, or any kind of beliefs or core values of someone else that makes your intuition sound off. This can be an issue in the present moment or something that you may see as a potential problem down the line.

If you struggle with low self-esteem, abandonment issues, and a disease to please, any sign of smoke will make you feel like you have to work that much harder to prove you are “enough” for it to clear.

And when you eventually get locked into the vicious cycle of investigation opening, receipt collecting, truth chasing, instinct prosecuting, and reality questioning…

You will know that you got burned.

There is, however, a way to heal your wounds, right now.

For years, I would prosecute my gut feelings (that naturally came with exposure to red flags) down to nothing and write them off as self-sabotage. This was very convenient because it justified blaming myself and choosing the certainty (familiarity) of toxic relationships over my dignity (which was sadly, unfamiliar).

It was impossible for me to walk away based on a gut feeling that I didn’t know how to listen to as much as I did my fear of ending up alone.

There is a major difference between self-sabotage and the gut feeling that smoke is indeed, a precursor to fire.

Gut feelings are not subtle. They are very often felt in your actual gut and become stronger when you don’t listen to them.

What Is A Gut Feeling?

A gut feeling is when you pick up on a vibe that something is “off.” And it doesn’t add up or make sense in regard to the kind of person you think you’re with and the kind of relationship you signed up to be in.

Gut feelings are impossible to ignore – especially in toxic relationships where it feels just as impossible to walk away.

So, to get out of that uncomfortable limbo, we impulsively flip the switch on ourselves.

We write our gut feelings off as trust issues, self-sabotage, undealt-with trauma from our past, being “too harsh,” not giving him a fair chance, and over-thinking. If you would not put up with dating someone who would dumb you down this ignorantly and immediately, you need to stop doing it to yourself.

This is not about everything that your ex told you and all of the conversations you had. It’s not about every detail of your relationship that you remember and the gut feelings you felt throughout. It’s about what you chose to ignore. And if you can see that you mistook crumbs as a sign of loaves to come, excused red flags, and can identify an overall pattern of convenient misinterpretation in your relationships…

It is your intuition that you keep turning a blind eye to.

Your gut feelings are something that you will never be able to afford the cost of ignoring because they are what your intuition is made of.

What Is Your Intuition?

Intuition is when you just KNOW.

He ignored your calls all night and even though this has happened once before, something feels different this time. You talk to him and you just know in your bones that something happened. The writing is all over the walls of your gut feelings. His explanations don’t add up but they also don’t make you demand receipts, start any kind of drama, or react this time.

That’s how you know this isn’t self-sabotage or insecurity you are acting on – it’s pure intuition. The fact that you feel this way is enough for you. And even though you’re in shock and heartbroken, you’re done.

You know that the relationship you deserve should never involve feeling this way. Later on, you may panic and feel like you need to go back to get the “facts” or gather more evidence but deep down, it doesn’t change the fact that you just know. And the reminders of that knowingness will be unrelenting until you have the courage to act on them.

Your intuition will always communicate with you clearly and calmly.

Unfortunately, it is just as difficult to act on as it is easy to prosecute.

But why is it so crucial? Because it is the only means of communication that your destiny has with you. To ignore your intuition is to literally rob yourself of what is destined for you in this life.

Unlike the gut feelings that red flags sound off, and the calm knowingness of your intuition, the voice of self-sabotage has more of an impulsive, chatty, and negative overtone.

Self-sabotage is not about seeing something with feathers quacking in a body of water, having the gut feeling that it’s a duck, and acting on your intuition telling you that you’re not in the ocean. It’s about having genuinely good things around you and instead of embracing them, you pour poison on the seeds of opportunity so that nothing can grow. And if nothing can grow and survive, you won’t ever have to deal with the loss and sadness of death.

Unconditionally loving yourself is the only thing that will permanently knock self-sabotage off of your emotional shelf.

Gut feelings are much different than self-sabotage. They are instant responses that shake you to your core and make your internal security system sound off by activating your intuition – regardless of whether you struggle with self-esteem or not.

Gut feelings are a natural reflex of red flags. They are there to protect you from the fire that you need to stop walking toward.

Self-sabotage is an internal red flag that’s triggered by insecurities and ingrained patterns. It sounds like excuses, comes with little evidence, and is an all-around low energy feeling that makes for a low energy life.

What separates your gut feelings from any other feeling is that when the fire ran wild and finally dealt your relationship that fatal blow, you can now look back on those same feelings and know that you were right from the start.

Your intuition is the oldest part of your soul; it will always try to get your attention via your gut feelings. And the more you get to know, love, and accept yourself, the more able you will be to listen to and unapologetically act on the smoke (that always leads to fire).

Red Flags In Dating

In the beginning stages of dating, we all project our best selves. We are on our best behavior and give our best effort. Ultimately, we can’t help but return to who we truly are – good and bad.

Looking back on your relationship, you may feel blindsided that your ex could change like this, but many of the signs were there within the first few dates. The signs are very subtle at first, but they are always there.

It may have happened even sooner than that. When he was faced with unplanned problems, awkward social settings, too much alcohol, sudden run-ins, and the kind of life circumstances and situations that were not only beyond his control, but shined a light on everything that contradicted the guy you thought you were getting to know.

And you proceeded anyway, against your better judgment. Which is okay, we all have.

But why?

Instead of acting on the realization that there’s too much smoke to breathe/ignore, we see too much potential to pass up.

At this point, we are so desperate for it to work and invested in every way, we can’t make the connection that it is not possible for smoke to come from the very waterfalls we are chasing.

Red flags are the greatest gift because they give you the opportunity to see exactly who you are dealing with. And any emotional nostalgia that remains for his good qualities no longer has the power to mess with you. Thanks to the red flags, you can see how embarrassingly limited, illusory, and contradictory those qualities are.

Always go for actuality. Never wait around for potential to actualize.

What’s the best thing to do when you come across a red flag? Immediately become more observant than you are invested.    

If you loaned a friend money and on the promised return date, they ignored all your calls and didn’t pay you back, you would never continue to invest. You would halt ALL investment until the smoke cleared. And if it didn’t, you wouldn’t try to be a good enough friend for them to return your money. You’d cut your losses and close the door.

The same mentality needs to be applied to red flags.

Red flags are meant to be acted on. Not investigated and reacted to.

 Just like you had the power to excuse and ignore, you have the power to identify, flush, and prevail.

Red flags are never about you but self-sabotage is. Stop sabotaging your life by thinking that your only purpose in it is to have to work for things like love, honesty, clear communication, and respect.

Relationship Red Flags And Deal Breakers

Going into a relationship with the mission to immediately uncover any and all red flags is not only a terrible idea, but it’s also annoying, unattractive, and destructive. It prevents the opportunity for a genuine connection to occur.

What is helpful, is being able to know when you are in the territory of smoke so that you can keep your antennas up and not get burned.

Red flags tend to reside in three main spots…

  1. Relational Values and Moral Code.

His relational value system and moral code are where many deal-breaking red flags hide and reside. This boils down to the things that he thinks are funny, respectful/disrespectful, exciting, inspiring, a turn-on/off; what he thinks is okay, and what he doesn’t think is okay.

I once dated a guy who would never send me photos of himself but would text me porn – throughout the day and without any other text leading up to or following it. I wasn’t offended, but to me, it felt inorganic, awkward to respond to, and odd. I felt bad because I could tell that he genuinely thought it was a real turn-on to send me multiple videos, every day, of strangers having sex. I’m sure there are some people who would be into this, but it didn’t do anything for me.

I think it’s important to be kind in your honesty – never brutal. So, I told him in a direct but very kind, non-embarrassing way that I wasn’t into the videos. He immediately said “oh, come on,” called me a prude, laughed at me, and then, over the next month…

He slowly iced me out.

I tried everything to get his attention and prove that I wasn’t as lame as he thought I was. Besides feeling humiliated and ending up even more rejected, I got burned.

Looking back, the videos were the smoke that put his value system on display, which led me to the eventual fire of his response (that was just as obnoxious as his texts).

What ended up burning me though was not him. It was ME being so triggered, I tried to be “good enough” to extinguish a fire that I had decided to take ownership of both starting and stoking. (Instead of realizing that the only one who could put that fire out was him).

If your partner thinks something is hilarious that you find disturbing, sexy that you find a total turn-off, or respectful that you feel is disrespectful and it does not coincide with YOUR own relational value system and moral code… You need to identify it as the smoke that it is and stop investing.

Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. The fact that you feel this way is enough to at least acknowledge the presence of smoke.

This also includes how he lives. And it has nothing to do with being materialistic or superficially obsessed. It has to do with preferences, values, and lifestyles. If he is happily living a certain way that would make you miserable, require a tetanus shot or the maturity of an eleven-year-old to proceed… that’s your sign to fold – not your signal to renovate.

  1. Family, Friends & Exes.

Red flags hide out in these relationships and we excuse the inappropriateness for many reasons. It may shine a light on the lack of closeness in our own relationships and sometimes, the lack of close relationships in our lives (which breeds shame). It’s also difficult to bring up because you never want to be the uncool girlfriend who’s giving her partner a hard time for having a relationship with someone that matters to him. Most of the time, I would write off my own gut feelings in situations like this as insecurity. I de-pedestaled myself by ignoring my gut feelings and subsequently, pedestaled his perceived maturity and incredible relationships that “I just didn’t understand.”

Pay very close attention to how he talks about, and the relationships he has with his family, friends, and exes (if he is still in contact with any). Notice if he acts like a different person, seeks their validation, or gets off to being a fixer/rescuer for them.

If he has a relationship with a family member, a friend, or an ex that at best, makes your stomach turn and at worst, has you questioning your place in his life, your relationship with him, your value, his values (and/or sexuality), and your reality

Keep your antennas up because the most deal-breaking red flags hide in these dynamics.

  1. Patterns.

The ability to spot/act on red flags in relationships goes hand-in-hand with your ability to do what the majority of people cannot: look beyond the superficiality of good looks, words, actions, and even personality.

A winning personality can be addicting because it feels just as good as it looks on paper. You can talk all night, finish each other’s sentences and laugh for hours. The conversation back and forth is seamless and the flirting, the chivalry… everything makes sense and feels incredible. None of that matters though without character and integrity backing it up. There is nothing sexier than a person with character and integrity. And the only way to attract someone with character and integrity is to exude the very same character and integrity that you had to abandon in order to even give toxic people one chance, let alone multiple.

Winning the genetic lottery does not require any talent or effort, nor does it last. It won’t last more than a few minutes if ugly, divisive, unintelligent, inconsistent, and contradicting words are coming out of a beautiful mouth.

And just like looks mean nothing without a good personality backing them up, words mean nothing without action backing them up. But there is one more element to this that for years, I failed to see…

An incredible personality supersedes looks, actions supersede words… and patterns supersede action.

Everything you ever wanted to know about someone’s character, ability to evolve, and emotional intelligence can be found by taking a look at their patterns. Actions are great but remember… ANYONE can do something chivalrous.

Anyone can make a buck, spend a buck, book a flight, open a door, buy a ring, send flowers, write a card or physically show up. Personality and looks change and fade with time. Character and integrity are the only things you will ever be able to grow old with because they are immune to the stamp of time.

Character is about the moral qualities that distinguish you. Integrity is the level to which what you say and the actions that you take, match a pattern of those qualities.

The ability to recognize patterns is what allows you to separate the emotional nostalgia that’s tied to the grandiosity/chivalry of his actions from the truth (red flags) of his patterns.

What Are Red Flags In A Relationship?

* As all of my posts are, this is applicable to all genders and orientations.
  • He labels himself.

People cannot help but communicate who they are through their actions and patterns but sometimes, it’s their direct words. If he straight up tells you that he’s immature, undecided, keeping his options open, too good for you, can’t give you want, is a commitment-phobe, etc., that’s not your cue to try to be the exception to a rule that is so deeply branded in his being, he has no problem communicating it.

It’s your cue to fold.

  • He is the victim in all of his past relationships.

If he’s going to spill personal details, gossip, and talk poorly about an ex/exes that he is the victim of, don’t think that you will ever be immune.

Gaslighting in relationships is all about gaining power and control. It’s a form of manipulation in which the gaslighter slowly, methodically and passively breaks down another to a point that they start to question their reality and sanity. If you are being made to feel crazy for what your eyes, ears, and instinct are experiencing in real-time, that isn’t true love.

  • Defensiveness.

If you casually and respectfully ask him a question and his defensiveness seems very strange, unnecessary, theatrical, and disproportionate to the question and energy with which you asked, this is a major red flag. Especially if he deflects and makes you feel immature, accusatory, or “mean” for asking.

  • Addiction.

If he is addicted to something and either refusing or not getting help …or even worse, if he’s in denial, this is a heartbreaking but deal-breaking red flag.

  • Future Faking.

If he always talks about your future together but there’s never any progression…

You need to become more fearful of wasting time (that you will never get back) than you are of missing out on a future that he isn’t capable of actualizing.

Future faking is used to cheaply and very quickly, maximize the intensity of your relationship with little to no effort. It’s also used to get you so excited about the future that you will enthusiastically check every box on the list of his selfish, present-day needs (without any current or future reciprocation).

  • He is a walking contradiction; there is always a double standard.

And when you respectfully address any contradiction in a non-accusatory way, he has a bullet-proof excuse. This makes you feel like a fool and less inclined to bring anything up to him again.

  • He is selfish and shows little interest in your life (but expects you to be his on-demand cheerleader, motivational coach, and armchair psychologist).

The only time he shows any interest in whatever you have going on is prior to getting a need met. Or, if there’s something in it for him.

  • Treatment.

In the beginning, he’s going to be on his best behavior with you.

Use this time to be very aware of how he treats everyone around you – animals, the elderly, children, friends, co-workers, people who are helping him, serving him at a restaurant, etc. Especially those who can’t do anything for him.

  • Empathetic Bankruptcy.

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. If you find yourself empathizing with a man who is unable to empathize with you, this is a major red flag.

If your empathy for him becomes a detriment to your mental health, have some empathy for yourself and walk away.

  • He gets off to making you jealous and keeping you on your toes.

Because you never feel like you have “all” of him, you are in a constant state of trying to get all of him. If you feel like you have to compete with other women, his ex, his family, job, etc…

This unfairly de-pedestals you, obnoxiously pedestals him, and redefines your definition of a relationship as something that you have to compete for to experience.

No thanks.

  • Lies and Unreliability.

Whether it’s a compulsion to lie (about big and/or small things) or deeper rooted in his pathology, you don’t have the time or power to heal someone out of their own immorality and delusional facade.

And if you can’t trust him, there is no way you will ever be able to rely on him.

  • When he says that he’s “trying” with the basics.

Regardless of relational experience, no one should ever have to “try” to love you, be honest with you, respect you, commit to you, value you, stay monogamous, and be a grown-up.

  • Familiarity.

Aside from very basic and less-specific qualities like honesty and kindness…

If they seem eerily similar to and remind you of an ex or either one of your parents, this is a red flag.

  • Confessionals.

If he tells you that he’s cheated on everyone he’s ever been with but won’t cheat on you, fold. He is telling you that he has a history of a repeated toxic pattern. Don’t stick around to see if you can be the one who turns around an immature and disgusting standard.

Let someone else be the crash dummy if they want. You’re out.

  • He repeatedly says, “I’m just kidding” to hurtful “jokes.”

“Joking” in this manner is such a joke. As long as he’s “joking” and you have an adverse reaction to it, you just “can’t take a joke.” As long as he’s kidding, he can be cruel and get away with it because “it’s just a joke.”

He is the joke here and you need to be done.

  • He has an allergic reaction to your success.

If your success requires you to give him more attention during your moment, that’s a huge red flag.

If you’re made to feel bad and apologize for your success, this is because your success shines a light on his lack of it. And anyone who can only amplify their light by dimming yours is not worth your time.

  • His definition of love, monogamy, honesty, and respect are not the same as yours.

You deserve a man who defines these things in the same (or an even better way) than you do. Think of how you would advise someone you care about and do the same for yourself. Walk away from this red flag. If you don’t… How are you any better than your ex?

Just because you aren’t directly hurting other people (like he has), that doesn’t make you any better for hurting the one person you will never be able to afford turning your back on – yourself. 

x Natasha

If you need further and more personalized help with your relationship, please look into working with me here

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30 comments

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I would add – has no purpose or thing that he gives back (even a job). I dated a man of means, but all he did was go to concerts (75 that year), yoga and watch netflix. He melted down when I pushed on him doing some writing about the music (he had said he wanted to, I did not suggest it).

But he also called his ex wife a narcissist and a c@nt. And spoke badly of his other exes as well.

He would send me stuff to listen to or watch. I did until I found something nice to say. He listened to one song by a band I love and turned it off. So dismissive.

Anyhow, yep.

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75 concerts? WOW – To ALL of this.

Thanks so much for sharing and for your input!

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I like that you address the fact that we ourselves choose to ignore the red flags.
Unconditional self love is great and all but if we refuse to understand and be honest about our own “why” then really we are doing ourselves a disservice. Accountability for our own behaviours and beliefs are vastly overlooked. Great article!

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Agreed 🙂 Thanks Colleen! xox

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Natasha. Thank you for writing this article up and give out best perspectives and reflections for the readers ONLY those are willing to be brutally truth with self. Experienced with many red flags I ignored because I gave it chances to adjust. Even my instinct scream me! Save yourself from self destruction. Listen your instinct REGARDLESS you agree or disagree with your instinct because she is hot to hang on. The worst part that THERE WAS NO FRIENDSHIPS BUT HER CONDITIONS & TERMS from day one which end up hurtful endings. Again thank you Natasha. John.

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So happy it helped! Thanks John 🙂

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Hello Natasha.

Wow! This truly was a post that said a great deal. I really value the part about intuition.

I have always had a very powerful sense of intuition but I have ignored it many times. It just led to problems. I believe that women have been born with the gift of intuition. We have to listen though and trust. I can remember my intuition being so powerful, it was physical and I was really stopped me in my tracks. Those experiences are hard to forget.
Now I pay attention more because it will benefit me and usually, intuition is completely correct. Scary to face at times but necessary I think. Linda

Thank you Natasha for this powerful post. It is really a labor of love as I see it.

Love you and all you do. Miss you!
😘💕🌸🦄

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Thank YOU Linda for taking the time to comment and share 🙂

I love that you got so much out of this post and I agree with you about intuition.

So glad that the post provided value for you.

Stay safe during this time and all my love to both you and your Mom. xox

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Thank you for posting this. I am currently dating this widower who lost his fiancé due to cancer a few weeks before dating me. I didn’t realize at the time until 5 months later when he said the wrong name. Long story short, he made me believe that he was ready for a relationship and painted a future of us. We have dated for more than a year now and I haven’t met any of his friends or family nor has he posted anything of us on social media. My gut was telling me something was not right but I ignored it. He said that he was working it up to introduce me, but that was three months ago and nothing has been done. During this quarantine in my own home, it dawn to me what my gut was trying to tell me. As I’m reading this post, it help validate my feelings. I was blinded by a fog and I was afraid to be back to square one in dating. I think I am ready to move on and cut the cord. Actions speaks louder than word and I am at the point that I am mentally exhausted. So thank you, Natasha, for this post. I need this to help gain clarity.

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I just realized it double post. Sorry!

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No worries Alisha 🙂 xo

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Alisha,
How are you doing ? I ask because I am very grateful for your sharing of your vulnerability.

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Your posts are always so spot on. Super short version….I pushed aside my gut feelings and it turned out, the guy who had all the red flags had a completely separate life that I was not aware of because he didn’t want me to be aware of it. He portrayed himself as a single guy who enjoyed to travel everywhere (“by himself” but it was with his girlfriend) and had some crazy “ex” drama. Things didn’t start to add up and the reality was, he had 2 kids from two different women, and one of which was his on again off again person. When I finally stopped doubting who I was, what I stood for and had the guts to speak up on all the red flags, he ghosted me. He text me not that long ago, which was predictable and I told him I didn’t want anything to do with him and for him to never contact me again.
As much as I would never wish what I went through on anyone, it made me realize that there are some very toxic people out there and I myself was not in a good place. My boundaries were so weak, people pleasing at an all time high and I lost my sense of self. It has been a rough but positive 4 months of focusing on who I am, what I stand for and strengthening my boundaries. I know not to ignore my gut because it is always spot on and to never doubt myself. This blog has really helped me A LOT over the past year, you have no idea, I’m still a work in progress but I am happy. Thank you.

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Hi Blondie!

First of all, thank you for sharing <3

I'm so sorry that you've had to go through this all (I've definitely been there). But I hope you know just how many people you are helping by having the courage to share what you just did.

And I am honored to help/have helped in any way 🙂 You did the right thing and you are never, ever alone. What an inspiration you are. Thank you for taking the time to comment and thank you for being you. All my love to you. xox

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Dear Natasha,
I love how the guide introduces with defining our defenses and the red flags and the difference of self sabotage. I had a 💔 heartbreak this past year, it does hurt. Like hell. Then came along someone who was friendly and cute and amazing that the hurt, hurt a little less as I moved on with him. Well as things progressed the confession of how he overcame gambling. Ew. Ew. Sorry. I am happy for you, but thanks for saying as the 2 bingo cards fall out of your pocket and you scratch off during a lunch. He took himself out of the vice but brought vice candy to the table. Gave just enough, of a rude? comment, when drinking ‘just a little’.
Point is, I was having a hard time during the last heartbreak, that my heart grew enough muscle to immediately say STOP moving forward with Mr. Nuance. Saying this, and doing just a little of that. He was a northern 🌟 . I didn’t hurt and I used my relational logic with no apologies. Thanks to your choreography of the heart workouts, I’ve been tending mine. I became an aerobic-anaerobic heart exerciser off of your words.

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What an incredible writer and beautifully old soul you are Frida. You did the right thing.

Thanks so much for sharing. What an inspiration you are.

I wish I could put into words just how much the fact that I’ve been able to help you means to me. It’s what I live for.

Let’s be thankful for the northern stars. Not only do they allow our standards to raise, our resolve to increase and our self-love to grow, but they lead us here… to each other.

Happy that the post helped 🙂 Sending love to you and your family during this time (and always). xoxx

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Hi Natasha, another brilliant post , as usual❤️. I love this , it serves as an important reminder, as a former people pleaser it can be so easy to go back to old patterns of putting others first and letting your intuition take the back seat. Currently dealing with this, going back and forth on a particular friendship, I’m not getting the same energy I put in… a subtle sign to put myself first.
Thanks so much for this post Natasha. Hope you and all the PMS followers are safe during this pandemic. My love and prayers are with you all❤️

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YES! Have your own back and always, protect your mental health 🙂 Without it, we have nothing.

I’m glad that this post helped! Thank YOU, Denise, for being such an incredible sister, friend, and support. I always look forward to your thoughts.

Right back at you, sister. Hope that you and your family are safe, secure, and healthy. Love you. xox

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Thank you for posting this. I am currently dating this widower who lost his fiancé due to cancer a few weeks before dating me. I didn’t realize at the time until 5 months later when he said the wrong name. Long story short, he made me believe that he was ready for a relationship and painted a future of us. We have dated for more than a year now and I haven’t met any of his friends or family nor has he posted anything of us on social media. My gut was telling me something was not right but I ignored it. He said that he was working it up to introduce me, but that was three months ago and nothing has been done. During this quarantine in my own home, it dawn to me what my gut was trying to tell me. As I’m reading this post, it help validate my feelings. I was blinded by a fog and I was afraid to be back to square one in dating. I think I am ready to move on and cut the cord. Actions speaks louder than word and I am at the point that I am mentally exhausted. So thank you, Natasha, for this post. I need this to help gain clarity.

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Alisha, From a gentleman. I was in similar boat as you was. “Hide you under the bus” and my heart goes to you. Yes it pains more than hell. Actions itself prove “you are no worth to him/her” but oneself interest. (Selfish). “Me Yes You No”. (No balance) Excuses-baloney. That what instinct been trying to convey and we ignored. Empathize and Mentally bankruptcy. Stress off chart. Frustration off chart. Love too hard? (Love-ruptcy? Ridiculously). Faith & Patience ruptcy and gone. Doubts you. Positive to Negativesville. List goes on. Way you sounded like…. You are worth more than that and deserve better. That what counselors will tell you. You will find someone better. If you are still emotion-ruptcy Suspend dating or relationship until you are ready to trust again or “bankruptcy off your credit” 😬 (Feeling your a SUPERGIRL!) Start friendship and go the flow. See how it turn out? 🙄🤷‍♂️ Try to find something you enjoy for now. That what I’m doing now. Yown it’s super hard to retrust… Especially traumatized from betrayals and cheated. Lucky your case not that bad. Again lucky you you got out much sooner rather than being “compared” to someone else or worse if he might is doing or whatsoever. In my opinion 😊👍. John.

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Thank you, John. It’s tough. There are days I would cry myself to sleep but I think I was sad of the lost “future dream” that I picture with him. Most movies romanticize the widower/widowed status but they fail to grasp the issues that came along with it. It takes a chip of our own self-worth and we lose ourselves during the process. I didn’t like that. I thought I was being selfish to want to be known to his friends and family as his girlfriend because he lost someone, but I came to realize, if your significant person is ready, he won’t hesitant to show you off.

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Thank you so much for sharing and for being a part of this tribe 🙂

I could not agree more. xox

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Your comments mean so much to us all. Thank you John! 🙂

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Thank YOU, Alisha, for taking the time to share 🙂 Happy that the post helped.

I am so sorry that you’ve had to go through this all. In a way, this quarantine sounds like it was a blessing in the sense that your heart stopped holding your intuition hostage (which in turn, is now allowing you to ACT on it).

The level of self-awareness, self-compassion, and understanding you have is inspiring. Keep having your own back and just know that you are never, ever alone.

All my love to you, your family, and your loved ones during this time. Stay safe. xoxo

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The mann I found toughest to get over actually said to me early on in the relationship that I was “Every guys worst nightmare”. I thougt he meant every Other Guy’s worst nightmare. But he meant himself too. It was the reddest flag. But I just tried so hard not to do the things he disapproved of. It ended up being hundreds of little
things I had to remember over the years, to avoid setting him off. I never got tired of performing “best girlfriend ever”. He still left. And its okay. I lost time in that mess but it worked out.

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Thank you *so much* for sharing Bettina.

And yes, it worked out in the end – with lessons learned and a newfound appreciation for the good.

Thank you for being here and for being you.

Much love to you and your family during this quarantine and always. xox

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Hi Natasha, I love your blog. Can you write about getting over someone who left you to be with someone else, and the pain and insecurities that come from it? Im going trough a really hard time and I see no end to it.

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Hi Mary!

I will definitely try to write about this soon 🙂 You are not alone. xox

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Natasha. I second Mary’s request as I believe it will help readers struggle going through. Mary, I do understand those agonies you are going through. Happened me TWICE! Yes twice! Betrayal and cheated with some one else. Unfortunately it destroys esteem when he/she “chose” other over you. That makes one feel “I’m not worth” blahs. “I’m not good enough?” Blahs. Am I lousy in bed? Is he better than me? Something Wong with me? Many many many other negative thoughts. Angry of thoughts that “our sacred love being shared with someone else or treachery”. Heavily invested on him/her and not invest back to you (imbalance) (if you invested more and I understand you my heart goes to you. Motivation lost! Not care anymore. True color of him/her that left one for someone else CLEAR conveys that there’s a reason that they left you for and that reason they will go after again. I suspend relationship! Focus on me (unfortunately sound like selfish) over time it gradually heals. Time heals even it takes months or years.. It is a real long progress to overcome and rebuild esteem and whether to be able to trust again? I have read many of Natasha and her troops posts. Until January 24, 2020 “Ghosted out” post that triggered me and rapid healing start to process. Possible late 2015 hence 2016 she met him and found out midst 2017 My ex gf/friendship left me for someone else. Guess what!?! Turns out future faker to her! Her karma! Mary. Under any circumstance. Do not take him back. He left you for a reason and that reason will never go away. Not worth another heartaches or esteem destruction. Try to find something you enjoy which I’m doing. As soon Natasha do you a loving favor to do a post for you and others hope that frees you up like one of her troop did with ghosted post. 😊. Natasha. If possible with your knowledges that might help men readers as well? (As mentioned above that most men would feel). I want clear perspective how women and men feel. Look forward for that! Thank you. John.

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Hi Mary,

I can sympathize. My last boyfriend, who I thought was my friend of 30 years and the greatest (most honest, humble) guy on Earth (people used to tell me that I was lucky to be with him), lied to me, insulted, invalidated, criticized, and tried to control me in various ways. He told me that he thought of me as his friend but never posted any photos of us together (although he wanted to take photos with me, at least for awhile, nor mentioned me in social media in the 2.5 years we were together (as a couple). 2.5 years ago, he discarded me for the last time, telling me one moment that he loved me and then the next day telling me that I could hang around him but ‘no lovey dovey’ and he didn’t want me to ‘pine for him by the phone on a Friday night.’ He shows many signs of an (altruistic) narcissist. He often emotionally hurt me with what he said and didn’t say. I stayed anyway for the good times and out of denial—I would have thrown myself on a grenade for him. Immediately after discarding me for the last time, telling me that I wasn’t good enough for him (professionally advanced as him as he was an executive who made a sizable income, and although well-educated, I did not hold a lofty, high-paying job, even in middle age). he moved in with and married his amazing (brilliant, rich) work subordinate who is almost young enough to be my daughter: I have been devastated for years. and this abuse came on the heels of abuse (physical, emotional, financial) from my husband (now etc-husband), who had sex with prostitutes while married to me and repeatedly broke the law, harmed our kids, and left me before I started dating my last boyfriend. In my fifties, as a divorced mother (of young kids) who has been alone for years, I have given up hope of ever finding a (decent ) partner. Reading Natasha’s posts does mute the pain a bit, though. I ask myself less often, ‘Why did my boyfriend treat me this way?’ and more, ‘Why did I tolerate such disrespect and dishonesty over the years?’ I think that I was raised to accept terrible behavior.

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