The Little Black Book of Big Red Flags: Relationship Warning Signs You Totally Spotted… But Chose to Ignore, by Natasha Burton, Julie Fishman and Meagan McCrary.
Ah, those red flags, those glimmers and hints of bad intent and very bad behavior, flags that indicate there is, underneath that princely exterior, a very toady man, waiting to exhaust, frustrate, use and abuse you all he possibly can. Red flags are signs that your prince is too good to be true, that you’re wasting your energy, and that he’ll certainly break your heart.
I like this book. Straightforward, wise, and gives specific examples and missions to help you identify red flags — and know what to do about them. Of course, identifying red flags and responding to them wisely is something lots of people don’t do — love has that effect on people. Which is wonderful for the rest of us, because then those poor gals will keep the toads (those red-flag-waving assclowns) busy and far away from the rest of us. Thanks, gals!
The main message of the book is something Aunt Alex believes in with all her heart, which is about cutting your losses. As this book says, the best way to keep a toad from breaking your heart is not to get involved with him in the first place. And how, you might smartly ask, should you do that? You aren’t left to wonder what to look for, or how to interpret his adorable little moves that upset you so. No, this book tells you what to do to help set things straight.
An example of this: Ask. You’ve met a guy, you like things about him, you’re interested in a future with him. You’ve been seeing him for a while, and your stomach feels twisty, like something is wrong. Maybe it’s just butterflies, right? Well, if you feel yourself becoming more emotionally invested, and you aren’t sure of where the two of you stand, ask him. Yes, ask the poor doofus if you’re his girlfriend, and if the two of you have a future. Then listen to the answer. Here’s Aunt Alex’s contribution to this excellent suggestion: Any answer that isn’t “yes”, is “no”. If, after two months together, you ask him if the two of you are a couple, and he says, “maybe”, or “I’m not sure”, or “I need more time”, or “we’re really cool friends”, then you’re his back-up plan, and he’s waiting for someone better to come along (or isn’t “waiting” at all, and just wants to be a stupid player all his life). So, what to do then? Cut your losses. Move on. Buh-bye, toadface.
Does he still have his Internet dating profile up? Does he sleep with you and take up your time, but never really helps? Does he treat you like a booty call, always putting the sex as the #1 most important thing in your relationship? Does he say he loves you, while he’s dating someone else? Does he make a lot of promises for the future, but ignore you in the present?
Men get away with hooking up because women let them. Devaluation hurts, and so sometimes women put off the inevitable indefinitely. They don’t want to hear it, or feel it. They assume the deception hurts less than a break-up. Those women couldn’t be more wrong.
Real men have the strength to be held accountable, to talk about relationships, to share honestly their intentions, and to be monogamous and committed. They fall in love and stay in love. They don’t take advantage of people, or lie to get what they want, or take far more than they give. Toads are never going to change, and so the best thing we can do is to stay away from them.
Is going to the gym his idea of “getting his life together”? Is he embarrassingly immature and inappropriate? Does he make fun of your body? Is he an addict? Is he passive aggressive? Does he trigger your “caregiver” instincts? Does he leave after sex? Does he say marriage is “just a piece of paper”? (It’s not.) In hard times for you, is he nowhere to be found? Has he accused you of cheating, only because he “feels like you might”? Does he say he can’t commit right now, because he’s “going through a lot”?
What does your gut tell you — do you deserve better? As the book exquisitely puts it, “If you have to think twice about whether or not your man is treating you right, you’re already thinking too hard.”
And a red flag from Auntie Alex: Does being with him impact your credibility as a smart, balanced gal? Yes? Sweetie, cut your losses.
Have confidence. Don’t pay attention to his BS instead of your own future. Cut your losses. It’s the Army Way.
Five out of five Army stars.