One can learn the elusive art to uncovering Red Flags partly through engaging one’s intuition and partly through learning from experience…however, mostly through experience. The reason for this, in my opinion, is because of the fact that red flags are sometimes portrayed to us in ways that do not necessarily reflect reality.
Alas! I believe that there are ways to catch red flags before they can do significant damage to your dignity and happiness. The following example will show some instances of how a simple movie can manipulate our perspective to make us believe that something that should obviously be a red flag, is actually not.
Example A: Twilight
Brief synopsis: Human girl falls in love with Vampire
(Let’s make note, that having fangs, color-changing eyes, and the ability to sparkle in the sun are probably red flags to begin with)
Obviously, this movie was not made to be a realistic portrayal of the trials of young love, considering the whole vampires and werewolves thing. However, there are some behavioral issues that I think should be addressed in this discussion of red flags. This discussion beginning with Bella’s reaction to some of Edwards comments in one of the opening scenes of twilight.
[Scene Opens to deserted foggy forest, where Bella is standing alone as Edward creeps up behind her.]
Bella: “You’re impossibly fast and strong. Your skin is pale white and ice cold. Your eyes change color…and sometimes you speak as if you were from a different time.”
RED FLAG #1
This one seems pretty obvious. Although the “impossibly fast and strong” part might not be so bad (e.g. Ryan Lochte), and the “skin is pale white and ice cold” may not be horrible (I went through a “punky band guys” stage along with the rest of us), and eye color changing and the speaking in different tongues may not be a total deal breaker (What happens in Europe, stays in Europe).. the combination of all of the above is definitely a flaming RED FLAG. Stay away from that home girl.
The conversation continues on with:
Bella: “You never eat or drink anything… How old are you?”
Bella: “How long have you been 17?”
Edward: “A while”
RED FLAG #2
This sounds like an eHarmony.com blind date gone horribly wrong and I don’t care if you’re a beautiful shiny vampire. Just imagine this in a normal context, not in some shady woods, but more like in a seedy house party. If someone told you that they had been 17.. for awhile? It probably wouldn’t be as cute.
So don’t be completely enamored by the creepy guy with really good hair and beady eyes, just because you think he’ll be cool ands call you things like his “spider monkey”. (As a side note, spider monkeys are terrifying. No animal should have arms that long and being compared to one is just as scary.) Anyways, all that needs to come out of this is knowing that a normal guy won’t lie about his age.
Anyways, it keeps going:
Bella: “I know what you are.”
Edward: “SAY IT.. OUT LOUD… SAY IT”
RED FLAG #3
He couldn’t have said please? Bad manners are definitely a deal breaker.
Edward: “Are you afraid?”
Bella: “[Turns around].. NO?”
Edward: “Then ask me the most basic question?”
Bella: You won’t hurt me.
Edward: “What do Vampire’s eat?” (proceed to grab her and fly into some trees)
RED FLAG #4
Now I’m going to shift this commentary a little bit more onto Bella, because I think that there is a point to be made here. After all of the evidence that was laid out in this conversation, that Edward is a bloodthirsty, rabid Vampire, Bella still wanted him to fall in love with her. Now, while this entire situation is a little bit ridiculous, I see things of this nature happen to girls all of the time.
Me: “So your boyfriend made you let him read all of your text messages, but yells at you for not trusting him when you want to look at his?”
Girlfriend #1: “Yes, but he just like being protective of me and is private with his personal life.”
Me: “So your boyfriend has two Facebooks, one of which is blocked, and the other of which is under a fake name?”
Girlfriend #2: He’s just trying to find himself.
What those examples are showing are that RED FLAGS are a two way street. One can either choose to ignore, or heed their message. In all of these cases, the female in the situation ignored the obvious RED FLAGS that were being shown to them, thus putting them in a very shady situation.
So let this all be a lesson learned. RED FLAGS are everywhere, it just takes a weathered and critical eye to see them. Things are usually exactly what they seem; it’s just our jobs as girls to recognize them. Television and movies make things like stalking and obsession seem cool and romantic, but in the real world they are not! So try not to fall in love the next time a debatably attractive man starts hyperventilating and convulsing as soon as he sits next to you in your Chem lab.