I’ve been there before. Sweaty palms, racing heartbeat, and that familiar knot in my stomach. Anxiety. I clenched my fist. The plastic of the inside of my glove was getting uncomfortable.
I gripped the handles of my basket even tighter. Am I going to eat pasta or chicken stew tonight? I was trying to distract myself. Pacing down the pasta aisle. Macaroni or spaghetti? My mind was racing. I was clinging on to the thought as it was the most important choice I needed to make right now. Do I still have hand sanitizer? Have I sent Janiece the email? I rushed myself to the checkout.
My phone rang. Fuck, it’s Danae. My heart jumped as I saw his name on my screen. He reminded me of my father. God rest his soul. Danae was a charismatic handsome young man with a past that was so traumatic he couldn’t get it together. He had a good heart but was troubled. My mind went back to all the times I’ve dated men that were charismatic and loving but could not get it all the way together. We unconsciously or sometimes even consciously pick the same type of men hoping for a change. Especially when we have experienced our fathers giving us this same treatment. I wasn’t going to repeat this cycle of ignoring red flags for the sake of having a partner. Even though the truest love might be unconditional a relationship without conditions, a relationship without boundaries would be a disservice to myself.
Initially, Danae seemed to be consistent, loving, encouraging, God-fearing and many other beautiful things. He wasn’t perfect but was perfect for me. We moved rather quickly but I had full faith in him as he had shown me a type of vulnerability and consistency I had never experienced before.
He was future-orientated and seemed dedicated to making my life easier. He’d get me food whenever I wanted, took me out on dates, showed me off to his family, contributed to my bills without me asking, encouraged me to have a connection with God.
He was always concerned with how I was feeling and wanted us to start a family of our own. I felt deeply loved. He wasn’t only a lover to me he was my friend and was eager to get to know me fully. He wanted me, as he always said, to be my greatest self. We had a common understanding that life should be a journey towards becoming the best version of yourself. He often mentioned he loved being with me and was only grateful to play a part in my life.
Ladies, I had a waiting to exhale moment. I was in LOVE love lol. Things were going great until they weren’t…
More and more of his other side started to reveal itself. Initially, he seemed deeply concerned with something but was unwilling to share as he had done before. I could tell his mind was somewhere else. Arguments and discussions about silly stuff became more frequent. Danae started distancing himself quite often. I gave him his space and he ran with it. I pleaded with him to be open with me. He told me he was worried about our future because his business was diminishing in profit.I don’t know if it was the economical strain or the burdens he personally carried from his past, but Dane changed right before my eyes.
He eventually became aggressive on two separate occasions. I left him immediately the first time. We separated for about 2 months. Don’t get me wrong the only reason he ever got a second chance was because he didn’t hit me, we were previously communicating about marriage and he promised to change and I am all for giving people second chances. Lord knows there have been times when I’ve needed a few second chances in my life.
The phone rang again. I contemplated answering and cussing him out. My eyes welled up as I put my items on the conveyor belt. My emotions were all over the place. I missed the old him but I know that he wasn’t good for me anymore. I could tell his childhood was a traumatic experience and the poor thing was obviously looking for himself. I did not believe in reconciliation as I believed the cycle would continue without some deep therapy work. Work that I know he wasn’t going to do as he was running from his past and I wasn’t going to be no man’s rehabilitation centre. Fuck outta here with that shit!
I thanked the cashier for her services during these tough times and rushed my way to the Uber. My heartfelt heavy. I took my mask off and put my hands on my chest. Breathe, I said to myself. My anxiety was bothering me for too long now and only increased when Danae called again. I planted my feet firmly on the floor of the car and started to breathe deeply into my belly. I needed to ground myself. I imagined the roots of trees growing out of my feet and growing into the earth. I asked God and my angels to assist me in relieving me of my fear. I felt the heavy energy in my chest slowly dropping down into my feet. That dreadful feeling was terrible, but I know that I had to feel it in order to let it go. I could feel my heart slowing down and my mind became more clear. My anxiety was gone.
Eventually, all communication stopped between me and Danae as he was unwilling to change and I had enough of his behaviour. My intuition told me several times that it wasn’t going to work out and so it didn’t.
As a woman, it is so important to listen to your intuition, be wise enough not to ignore red flags. I know as women we are nurturing creatures and often want to forgive those who hurt us. Which is fine, because forgiveness is for yourself. But do not entertain anything that doesn’t make you happy for the sake of love.
Hold not only the men in your life but yourself accountable for the choices you make. We often experience so much anxiety around dating that we forget that anxiety is not our natural state. Trust that you will receive the correct treatment when you stand firm in what you want. Trust that you are guided on your journey in life by those that were put in place by our Creator, to assist you in whatever you which to accomplish in this world. Believe in wanting the best for yourself and believe that all the bad dating experiences you have had only will only lead you to a more preferred dating experience, as you naturally will become more selective in who and what type of treatment you wish to entertain.
What red flags have you been able to avoid that served you well in the long run? Share with a comment and don’t forget to react to this post with an emoji!