Relationships are built by individuals of like passion who share a common goal. Relationships between individuals can exist in various forms such as business relationships, family relationship, religious relationship, romantic relationship among others. Of all these relationships, romantic relationship tends to be the one burdened with the most flavors of deceit and dishonesty because it consists variables that are very volatile.

Romantic relationship also is the most devastating when things go south due to the high level of emotional commitment involved. Most emotional and psychological breakdown women experience stem from unbearable disappointments in romantic relationships.

Despite all these scary facts, it is interesting to know that romantic relationship has the highest number of entries when compared to all other forms of relationship. This is because people crave for the pleasures associated with it. By “the pleasures”, I am not just talking about the sexual gratification alone but also the feeling of being loved by another and being a part of that person’s life. Most times, this feeling of being loved becomes so strong and overwhelming where one of the parties in the relationship gets so caught up that they immerse themselves completely in the life of the other party forgetting that they have their own life to live.

In fairness to the one giving all, they do so with genuine intentions. However, when that genuine intention is to the wrong heart, it seldom counts because it is never reciprocated. (100% of 0 is 0). This leaves the one giving all in a state of lovelorn or something even worse…. Depression. If the one who has given all and received nothing is a lady, she might develop some resentment towards men and define them on the basis of him who dealt terribly with her. In some extreme cases she builds a mental cage and locks her heart inside, far beyond the reach of any man, even the ones with honest intentions. On the other hand, if the one who has given all is a man, he might learn to treat other women the same way he has been treated. He becomes a playboy who toys with the hearts of women but deep down somewhere in his heart, he is hurting.

In both scenarios you’ll see that the ones who caused the pain in the first place might get away with it leaving the victims to lick their wounds.

I have had the opportunity to talk to people who have gone through this phase and they all admitted to one thing…. THEY IGNORED THE RED FLAGS. The signs were there. The red flags were waved right in their face, but they chose to look the other way with the hope that things will get better.

One of such people I talked to who is now a single mother admitted to being afraid to leave the relationship because she had been with him from her days as a teenager. Though they weren’t married, they were living together in her house. A house where she had her freedom restricted and could not complain for the fear of being beaten beyond recognition. Was she beaten? Ooh yes she was and guess what?  After any beating episode, she would apologize to him so he would not leave the house. It was during one of such beating episodes that her first conception was beaten out of her womb. You would think that should be the straw that broke the camel’s back but nope! You are very wrong. She still stayed with him and according to her, she apologized to him for loosing their first baby. She was heads buried in the relationship that she voluntarily discarded all warnings that came her way and thirteen years after she nurses her wounds.

Though she has become a stronger woman (of course she has. Even strong enough to share her story), she still admits it feels like she deliberately subjected herself to five years of pain.

You don’t have to wait until it is five years before you open your eyes to reality and make the right decisions.

Some guy out there might think this is peculiar to ladies because they are always at the receiving end. If you have that kind of thought, I am happy to tell you that you are wrong. If deceit in relationships is a game, then two can play at that game. Remember that age old saying, whatever a man can do, a woman can do much better. You don’t have to be a lady before you watch out for red flags in your relationship.

Andre (not his real name) was a young man who shared his story with me. He was in love with a girl whom he thought was also in love with him until he realized she was actually in a marriage-bound relationship with another guy. What makes this story hilarious is that she was financing that other relationship with Andre’s finances. “Couple of friends told me what was going on but I was too proud to admit that I was being played until I saw their pre-wedding photos on Facebook” Andre said jovially. Even if he is now in another relationship, he still feels he would have done a lot with the money his “ex” ripped off him.

Here are some of the red flags they ignored. (Just so you know, I am taking time to do this so I would not have to interview you about failed relationships related to this.)

  • There was no real proof of emotional commitment: Most ladies think men express their love to them by buying them things. Nothing is as deceiving as that! A man can buy you the world and still not love you. If you sense a lack of commitment from your partner, it might be a sign that he is committed to another person or thing that has precedence over you. If any of the above is the case it might be time for you to walk out the door and never look back. Material giving do not quantify love neither is it a proof of it.

 

  • Their place in the relationship was not defined: It is not enough to have a place in your partner’s life, know the place you occupy. If your partner tells you they love you from the bottom of their heart, ask them if there is someone they love from the top of their heart. (you never can tell, his heart may have different compartments.) You cannot afford to let yourself be treated as an option or a contingency plan. If you have given all you can to them, then you deserve better than to be seen as an option among many. Always know your place.

 

  • Observable pattern of lies: Come on! If she tells you a lie today and another tomorrow, chances are that she will tell another lie to cover up other lies. Sometimes when a guy realize you ignore his lies, he takes you for a fool. He calls to tell you he is still at the office and would be staying late to finish up some work when his secretary just told you he called to say he wouldn’t be coming to work today.
    You see her all over a guy at a party. You ask who he is and she introduces him to you as her elder brother only for you to find out she is the only child of her parent.
    I don’t know about you but I believe if lies start creeping into relationships, it is a confirmation of unfaithfulness.

 

  • You suddenly feel like a breathing ATM: It doesn’t matter if you are a guy or a lady, if you feel like your partner is milking you dry then it is because you are actually being milked dry. I am in no way against spending on your partner but if the demands become preposterous then there is something fishy.

 

  • Lack of Communication: Relationships grow naturally when there is healthy communication. Most people do not often realize that they will spend the larger part of their time in a relationship talking. When problems arise in relationships, you try to solve them by first talking about it. That is the way things should be in a healthy relationship but when one finds it difficult to talk about issues or is reluctant to express how they feel, it shows they are deliberately distancing themselves emotionally thus leaving the other partner hanging. In such cases, whatever is communicated is expressed through moodiness and silence.

 

  • Domineering and Abusive Behavior: One of the ladies I spoke to recounted how her partner (now an ex-partner) wanted to be in every sphere of her life. He chose the friends she could visit and sometimes when she could visit them. He wanted to know who was on the phone with her, where she went and who she spoke to there. Whenever a guy treats a lady this way, he no longer sees the lady as his partner in a relationship but as a property he owns. On the other hand, some ladies want to make all the decisions in the relationship. They employ the infamous “divide and conquer” strategy which puts the man in a difficult position with key members of his family and friends.
    Sometimes the victim might be forced into choosing the other over significant others as an expression of love.

 

If you ask people who have been in troubled relationship where they were abused emotionally or and physically, they might tell you that they were shown red flags at the beginning of the relationship but they choose not to look.
When in a relationship, activate your sixth sense. Learn to see things that are concealed and hear things that are not said.

If you ignore red flags in your relationship, you might be another writer’s story. Stay wise, stay loved.

– Kingsley Thomas

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