Why We Ignore the Red Flags That He's Mr. Wrong

Maressa Brown

ashley hebert bentley bacheloretteMy heart really goes out to this season's Bachelorette, Ashley Hebert. She's clearly clueless that villainous suitor Bentley Williams is terrible, horrible, no good, very bad news. But beyond that, she seems to suffer from a syndrome I'd bet MOST women have suffered from at one point or another. It can even be chronic. Symptoms include: Focusing on lust over reality, ignoring your intuition, passing off what your friends say as "jealousy" or "being nosey," and generally obsessing over a guy who just doesn't give you the time of day. On the surface, it sounds crazy, right?! But when you're in it, it's totally normal. You're just head over heels!

But if you're anything like Ashley and can't stop thinking of/wanting/attempting to "change" a guy who keeps evading you, you need a wake-up call.

When we're attempting to snag a guy who isn't into us, it's almost like we're sleepwalking through our own love lives. We can't see the obvious anymore, because it's like a combination of our lust, our expectations and our fantasies just -- woosh! -- completely blindsides us.

Take Scenario #1 (one I found myself in and I've seen friends struggle with, too). Girl meets a guy who loves art/film/theater, whatever (just like us!), dresses really well (sharp!), and maybe even calls his mother almost twice a day (awww). He's taken her out for drinks a few times, but won't make a move? Maybe he's just busy, she says. He's got a "lot on his plate right now." He's upset about an ex-girlfriend? Maybe. Or maybe he is just not interested in women, period, and Girl needs to hone her gaydar! Or maybe he's just not interested in her.

Or how about Scenario #2 ... Girl meets a guy, and it's fireworks from the outset, but then ... he gets sporadic with his calls, perhaps falls off the radar altogether for a chunk of time, only to reappear with midnight calls or random texts or the odd Facebook message out of the blue. She makes up excuses. Loads of them about why he stopped calling. And more reasons to explain why he's BAAACK. (Hint: He's a player who likes the attention, playing mind games, and/or just wants to hook up. But Girl turns a blind eye to all of the above.) He still treats her like trash, and she keeps putting up with it. Because of that initial spark, she insists to herself that it's meant to be. And the (exhausting, humiliating, demoralizing) game of cat and mouse is normal ... right?

No, it is not.

Which brings me to my wake-up call: I once had a wise "big sis"-type roommate who had a perfect, amazing relationship with her soul mate, which I definitely envied. And when I lamented to her that the guy I was interested in was jerking me around, she looked me in the eye and said, "Why are you putting up with that? You DESERVE to be treated better. You deserve a guy who is going to know how lucky he is to be with you. Who treats you like a princess." Not earth-shattering advice there, but something so many of us fail to embrace.

We might ignore the red flags for a variety of reasons, but what it boils down to is that we don't/can't/won't believe we deserve better. And we haven't had the wake-up call that snaps us out of our sleepwalking funk of awful in which we repeat and believe falsehoods like, "He'll call," "He will totally change," "I can make him love me," "I can make him want to get married," "I will convert him, even though he says he will never do XYZ," etc. But once we snap out of it? Wow, it is GLORIOUS!

It bears noting that when it's for real, love doesn't feel like you're playing a game at all. From the beginning, it just feels like both of you have already won. (I know, cheese alert! It's true, though.) And when you turn your attention to pinpointing that feeling instead of getting caught up in The Wild Goose Chase, that's when you'll finally succeed at kicking a Bentley to the curb to make room for your Mr. Right.

Have you ever found yourself ignoring red flags about a guy who wasn't right for you? Why do you think you did?


Image via ABC

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