We ignore red flags without even being aware we’re doing it. Almost everyone has at one point or another ignored them and even though you want to believe that you’re above it, it can happen to you, too.
There are behaviors we can see before we even start a relationship with someone. We see the way they treat us and others, and something just doesn’t feel right.
We’re women! Our gut is probably the most accurate thing there is and yet we still choose to ignore it. And there are actual reasons behind this.
We don’t purposefully choose to ignore them. It’s not like we see them and then deliberately brush them aside. It happens subconsciously.
At this point, you’re remembering every red flag your exes showed that you’ve ignored. You think that it’s up to you, but sometimes it’s really not. There are real reasons at play.
1. We see his potential
More often than not, you’ll see the potential in a man and completely ignore his current state. This happens more often than we’d like to admit.
For example, you met a guy and you’ve been dating for a couple of months now. He treats you like his entire world, he keeps spoiling you with awesome dates, and he always remembers to bring you flowers.
Not to mention the fact that he’s super kind and caring. However, he says that he can’t be in an exclusive relationship with you.
You thought he’d change his mind over time, you saw the potential in him, so you ignored the red flags. It’s inevitably led to him cheating on you, but you simply ignored the warning signs.
We ignore red flags because we believe that someone will become the person that we need. Sooner or later, we learn that they never will and that the potential we see will stay unused.
2. Society pressured you into it
We learn to believe that when we’re being abused or mistreated, it’s always our fault. Society teaches women to be submissive, patient, shy, silent, gentle, soft, forgiving, and caring.
When we learn to always forgive people for their behavior, we also learn to ignore red flags. We write it off as nothing more than a mistake and that people are allowed to make mistakes.
But you never give yourself the permission to speak up about it or ask someone to change their behavior. Society would see you as heartless or over-sensitive (depends on the way you handle things).
Societal concepts of how a woman should be set the standards in a way where we don’t even know how to stand up for ourselves and walk away the second we see red flags.
We’re supposed to be the caretakers, so if someone shows signs of trauma, we want to care for them, however bad that might affect us.
You have to understand that it’s not your fault that you’ve ignored the red flags. You’ve been conditioned to.
3. You’ve been gaslighted
People who’ve experienced gaslighting have been manipulated into not trusting their own instincts. They question their own reality and sanity because they’ve been repeatedly told that they’re crazy for feeling or thinking something.
We take the opinions of others into consideration before we even create an opinion of our own. That’s because we believe that everyone is smarter than us and that they’re capable of perceiving other people better than we are.
You may have been gaslit without even realizing it – by a friend, parent, boss, or ex-partner. They created a reality in your mind that suits them best and made you feel bad for having an opinion of your own.
So when a new man comes around, you don’t see any red flags because you don’t trust your own thoughts or instincts. People previously made you feel crazy for thinking that there was anything wrong with anyone else but you.
So again, it’s not your fault. You can work on this and become aware of your own reality, but it’ll take time. Until then, you’ll continue ignoring red flags.
4. You’re scared of abandonment
“His behavior isn’t that bad! If I said anything right now he’d probably leave me, so I’m just going to ignore it for now.”
You might not be flat-out ignoring his red flags, but rather downplaying them.
Perhaps you just want to keep the peace right now, so you store it somewhere in your mind and reassure yourself that you’ll address it later down the road.
But the thing is, you’ll never feel comfortable talking about it. You’re not just ignoring the warning signs, you’re also convincing yourself that everything’s fine simply because you’re scared of being alone.
If he had to leave you, you wouldn’t know what to do or where to go. You’ve depended on him for validation, affirmation, and so many other things. That’s why the thought of living without him is so scary.
You’re not alone in this, though. There are many people who have gone through the same thing. We ignore red flags because we’re scared that if we address them we’ll lose that person. So it’s easier to stay quiet.
5. Women have always endured abuse
Look around you. How many women you know are in healthy relationships? How many of them are with a man who they don’t have to tolerate in some way?
We’ve always been taught to endure abuse, toxicity, manipulation, and all the red flags that are screaming to be noticed. Why? Because we’re women and we should teach men how to become grown adults.
“He’ll grow out of it, you’ll see.”
We can also connect this to something we talked about already. We see the potential in others and who they could become if we help them on their journey. But this is even more than just that.
Throughout history, women have had to be the punching bags for a male-dominated society. We endure mental and emotional abuse on a daily basis, so we don’t even understand what a healthy relationship with a man should feel like.
We ignore red flags because “it could always be worse.” When a man doesn’t hit you, you’re grateful. How twisted is that though? Why do we set the bar so low?
And when he doesn’t hit you but he gaslights you, you’re happy that it’s just that. That it’s nothing more.
So once more, it’s not your fault.