By Hayley Dyer
Red flags. They pop up in every relationship – usually quite early on, like when you’re minding your own business at work, wearing a classic Diane von Furstenberg wrap-dress, and in walks a nicely dressed man who is intent to woo you. Now, Betsy, think about it… what kind of man walks in off the street and says “Hey! I saw you from my cab and thought that you were hot and would you like to go to dinner? I won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.” Betsy, a weirdo does shit like that. I know you’re slightly scared and slightly charmed, but seriously, you should listen to your Wellesley-groomed instincts and just say no to the guy.
When he takes you on your first official date, he’ll be wearing the same outfit he wore the day you met him. Betsy, that’s strange! He doesn’t own a different jacket? You show up wearing Hermès and cashmere, and he’s wearing the same damn coat. His big red jacket is a big red flag.
He will take you to an adult theater in a seedy part of town and you’ll let him know that you’re uncomfortable (AS YOU SHOULD!) but you’ll still go in because you kind of like him and think he’s charming and he gave you a Kris Kristofferson record(!) and you are hopeful that this is just a misstep in what will be a very successful relationship. Betsy, unfortunately the dude doesn’t get social norms and what you see is what you get! GET OUT OF THERE! And Betsy, you finally do jump up and leave the theater – but Betsy, if you had just paid attention to the previous flags, you would have saved yourself some time and embarrassment. Kudos to you for saying “Boy Bye!”
A few months later you will hear that he’s been in a vicious shoot out with a pimp and thug-lord. “Wow, I hope he’s doing okay,” you will think. “Wow, he’s so brave!” In all actuality, he’s a crazy dude who is certifiably INSANE and you should forget you ever knew him or that he ever said anything sweet to you at all. FORGET IT, GIRL!
After a few weeks of over-thinking about him, you will have changed your mind about everything you have ever thought about him. “Oh he was sweet!” “He’s not that bad!” “He may have made me watch porn in a theater on our first date, but wow, he saved a child-prostitute and that kind of cancels out all the bad!” Betsy! Get a grip!
Even though you’ve seen the red flags, you’ll ignore them and seek him out. One sticky New York night, you’ll crawl into his cab like none of the crazy ever happened. Oh Betsy, you’re just asking for trouble! You’ve decided that the pursuit of love is more important than listening to your very knowledgeable, rational brain.
It’s tough, but ladies, I urge you to take stock of the red flags in your life. Recognize the signs and try to stay strong – leave the crazies and insomniacs to clean the back seats of their cabs while you strut off into the sunset.