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  • Writer's pictureHelen Victoria

Safe in Love? The Dating Red Flags I Wish I Knew.

Updated: May 20, 2021

Hello, world. Thank-you for joining me here. It has been a few months since I last wrote a blog entry and what a few months it has been for us all. The continuing pandemic situation is causing disruption for so many of us and my heart is with you if you’re struggling. At least amongst the chaos, we are in this together. This thought carries me through often!

I have also been gifted with the incredible news that my partner and I are expecting our first baby, which still blows my mind 3 months into the journey! I spent a very long time in unhealthy relationships where I wanted to be a mother but knew my previous partners were not going to be the co-parents I wanted for my children. With Richard, I am clear of doubt and excited for our new adventure together. I could not be more grateful.

I have been posting more professionally toned and self-help focused articles in the past year or so, since my sweet long-running blog page became a social enterprise. I wanted the website to be packed with easy to access information that anyone could grab and put to good use no matter what their situation or timeframe might be.

I realise that I miss speaking from my soul. When my blog began in 2012 it was a series of honest open letters, written from a place of ongoing healing after leaving a highly abusive relationship. I was emerging as a professional dancer into the world, casting aside my previous locks and chains to embrace my freedom. This is the true heart of Living Liberté.

I would like to marry together my old style of writing with the support resource information I also now have to share with you. I will still be providing the tools to freedom I have been, but with the voice of my own experiences and thought processes. I feel freshly inspired as I write these words, which is all the confirmation I ever need to know I am headed in the right direction.

To begin, I would like to share some ‘red flag’ deal-breakers to look out for when dating someone new. This is something I am frequently asked about and an area that I didn’t understand properly when I was younger and lesser informed. As we all know, attraction can skew our sense of clarity and having a set of boundaries to refer to can be useful:

If you have ever described yourself as someone who ‘seems to attract the wrong ones’ then you are certainly not alone in your feelings. When we are looking for our soulmate it can be frustratingly easy to fall for the charms of a mismatch. Our intentions are hopeful from the start but it can lead to heartbreak faster than we realise.

Here are some fast red flags to be aware of:

  • Rude to serving staff but switches to being charming with you.

  • Love-bombing (overwhelming romantic intensity)

  • Describes all their exes (and soon, yours) as ‘psychos’.

  • You feel as if you’re on a rollercoaster of emotions with them.

  • They make excuses about why you can’t meet their family/friends.

  • Unlikely amount in common with you from the start.

  • Orders for you or otherwise takes over date plans.

  • Uncomfortably frequent but impersonal compliments.

  • Changes the subject from talking about their past.

  • Strong feeling of ‘this is too good to be true’.

  • Unaware of any apparent discomfort from you, or finds it ‘cute’.

Do any of these feel familiar to you? Many of us have been in situations like this, including within a friendship situation. The key to knowing if someone is right for you is rooted in your personal intuition. How does this person make you feel? What emotions do they trigger most often when you connect with them?

The key to healthy relationships is building an honest and supportive bond from the start. The values of the person you’re with will determine much of the potential success of your future together. If you choose someone who prioritises their needs above yours, there is a very little you can do to remedy the situation. No amount of love can fix toxicity!

If you come home from spending time with someone and feel self-conscious or agitated then this needs paying attention to. It could be a sign that they are bringing out your insecurities or manipulating your emotions in some way. However, if you feel liberated to be your true self in their company then this is a major positive.

To be safe in love, check in with your emotional health regularly. If you are struggling with the trauma of a previous break-up or pinning your hopes on a new relationship ‘fixing’ your life, then it might be time to take a step back to rejuvenate your energies and focus. Unfortunately, abusive partners tend to gravitate towards vulnerability.

Let me take this opportunity to remind you that you are an incredible person who does not need another person to complete them. You deserve to be in a relationship where you are seen for who you are—and to have those qualities celebrated. The right person won’t leave you doubting. They will help you move in the right direction—pandemic or no pandemic!

With love.

Helen x

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