Life Check Yourself Episode 396 Subtle Red Flags You Should Look For When He is Good on Paper with Chris Gillis
Marni and Chris look at the budding and failing relationships in reality series, Love is Blind, to glean the lessons that can be taken and applied when dating IRL. Looking at the different archetypes that the contestants represent, the duo dissect the situations on the series to answer questions we’ve all had when out in the jungle that is the dating world. The behavioral patterns we all exhibit, at one point or another, are mimicked in the actions of these contestants as they navigate their interpersonal relationships. From the girl who keeps falling for the same toxic guy, to the guy who stays and never gives up, to the girl who lets her mean- girl friends dictate the qualifications of her boyfriend. It’s a trap we’ve all fallen into, and sometimes still do.
Takeaways from this episode:
- Don’t be an enabler
- How sweet is too sweet?
- Don’t mistake the storytelling for a connection
- What’s trauma bonding?
- He’s a good communicator
- Vulnerability has several stages
Getting Real is Scary [07:46]
Being vulnerable with someone is terrifying. And, unfortunately, a lot of us go through life hiding pieces of ourselves from the people we’re dating, where we’d rather keep it fun and light. It’s not just men; it’s women as well.
It’s a situation where as soon as things start getting heavy or too real, we feel like it’s time to exit. And for some, even when they don’t exist, they stay in the relationship for years, without ever really going deep or speaking about their actual feelings. But being vulnerable and expressing ourselves is not only important for the relationship but for our own well-being as well.
Part of being in a committed relationship is learning how to have challenging conversations.
A lot of the time, we keep it light because we want to come off as low-maintenance, or as fun. We want to keep it going, so we hide those parts of ourselves – the feelings and the insecurities – in an effort to not rock the boat. But the effect of that on our psyche is detrimental, whether we realize it or not. There’s inevitably a disconnect.
If what’s on the outside isn’t matching what’s on the inside, that creates internal friction.
And that leaks into our relationship because at some point, when we’re faced with something real, the relationship collapses. If we haven’t shown that part of ourselves, or voiced these feelings, then how can we expect the person in front of us to understand? Being vulnerable is scary, but it’s necessary.
It’s an Uphill Effort [12:28]
It’s an uphill effort, but it’s worth it. A lot of times, when we get into a relationship, and it’s time to be vulnerable, we think that we’ve gotten through the tough part; we can now relax. But the thing is, with vulnerability, it comes at different stages. And with it, there’s always the risk of rejection.
You get through the first part, which is going through your trauma; your past; and the experiences that shaped you. But that’s only the first stage. There’s the vulnerability of deciding on your future together and of sharing your aspirations with that person. And sometimes, you won’t have the same vision.
Chemistry is necessary but not sufficient; love is necessary but not sufficient.
Kwame and Chelsea are an example of getting to the next stage. Compromises need to be made. And it’s a difficult conversation to have with tough decisions required to be made. However, Chris points out that with Kwame and Chelsea, it seems like Kwame is making most of the decisions and Chelsea is coming on too strong. She’s not realizing that she’s asking him for a lot of life-changing compromises, without giving him a minute to process and register.
Relationships should be reciprocal. It’s a two-way street. And the compromises need to go both ways.
Your Friends Need to Stay Out of it [16:45]
It’s great that your friends are protective. But there’s a line that needs to be set. While they may have certain (valid) opinions, the decision is yours and yours alone. You’re dating him, and you need to be the one to suss him out, in your own time, and in your own way.
Don’t outsource the qualifying of the guy you’re dating.
Paul and Micah are an example of that. Marni and Chris point out that Micah’s friends are mean girls that are constantly attacking Paul, and Micah doesn’t do anything about it. And that’s a red flag.
Moreover, it’s time for the mean-girls attitude to be permanently canceled. Pick better friends, and even when you do, set boundaries when it comes to their opinions or negative interactions with your boyfriend or the person you’re dating.
At the end of the day, your relationship should be between you and the person you’re with.