Relationship Red Flags: Too Much Too Soon in New Relationships
Red Flag #1: too much too soon
There are so many lessons to be learned from past relationships, and many have written extensively about warning signs of a potentially dysfunctional relationship. Having learned many of my lessons the hard way, I want to share my personal experiences in hopes that others may avoid some of the heartache. The first red flag warning is when a new relationship is "too much too soon".
I realized that I have a history of relationships that are too much too soon. The most destructive relationship in my life started out with an exaggeration of this red flag- after three days of talking on the phone, we determined that we were soul mates and decided to meet in person right away. I was presented with a diamond bracelet on that first meeting, and although I knew it was too much for a first date, I ignored the red flag and accepted the gift anyway.
Before going to bed last night, I searched through some of my old love letters from various people. I found one from someone that I had never met in person- it was an internet romance. This particular person professed that their love for me was their reason for living. In hindsight, I’m thinking oh my god really? We hadn’t even met! But then I scrolled down to see a letter from me that encouraged that type of thinking. What a revelation, albeit shocking and disappointing!
My Aha Moment
Here I was wondering why I attract the type of person who loves too much too soon, and realized it was because I have set up my relationships to be that way. I have always loved a new relationship, and the feelings of bliss and newfound love are like a drug. There have even been a few platonic friendships that felt similar, in which I felt like we’d known each other all our lives, that maybe we met in another life, and that fate has brought us together (yes, I believe in fairy tales). For days, all I would think about and all I would talk about was that new person in my life. I would fall head over heels in love with that person, or rather the fantasy of who I wanted that person to be. Some of my best works of poetry were in those moments!
This revelation led me to also realize that it goes even deeper- many of those new relationships were short-lived, and now I was on to finding out why! Being addicted to the high of new bliss, I realized that each new "soul mate" presented themselves in the best light possible. This is common knowledge in the dating process, and it is only after the bliss begins to settle down that couples begin to let down their guard. As the façade slips away, couples begin to see each other as regular people complete with flaws and weaknesses.
Reflecting back on each relationship, I loved each person just as much when they “became human” in my eyes. The fantasy was great, but the real person was even more endearing to me. So why then, did I flee so many relationships at this point? The reason is simple- as they began to look at the “real” me, noticing all of my faults and annoying quirky ways, I got scared. Rather than face the possibility of losing their love of the “real” me, I took flight and found another new relationship and new bliss to start the process all over again.
Aha! At the age of 44, I started feeling nauseous about the vicious cycle of the “love merry-go-round” and walked away from that carnival. My current relationship is with someone who has loved me for years, in spite of knowing the “real” me all along. Every one of my friends and family also know and love me for who I am. This is good, and I’m really enjoying leaving my guard down. No longer do I need to try to impress someone (well not much anyway), and I have much more inner peace and self-acceptance. It is much easier to laugh at my flaws and various little quirks, and on top of that I truly believe that I’m a wonderful person and a good “catch".