‘The Bachelorette’: Red Flags That Should Be Relationship Deal Breakers

The Bachelorette star Hannah Brown is beginning to encounter a lot of red flags now that she’s getting to the know the guys more. She admitted to being most attracted to Luke P., but he sent out a truckload of red flags in just a few short episodes. Despite his worrisome behavior, Hannah has continued to give him the benefit of the doubt.

When you’re dating someone new, what are some relationshipdeal breakers to watch out for? Showbiz Cheat Sheet reached out to Heather Seguin, a licensedmarriage and family therapist and certified sexaddiction therapist, to learn what signs to be aware of when entering a newrelationship.

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: What are some major red flags tolook for when dating someone new?

Heather Seguin: Are they vulnerable or just open? Ifwe mistake openness for vulnerability, we give trust to people who haven’t yetearned it. Some people just share a lot; that doesn’t mean they’re beingvulnerable with you.

Boundary breaking/pushing. Someone may “playfully”test your boundaries in the beginning (flirting requires a bit of risk, afterall), but when someone doesn’t hear “no” or “stop,” they’re toxic andpotentially dangerous.

Not having their own boundaries. If they’re bendingover backward for you (or someone else) all the time, that’s not romantic. It’sa recipe for resentment and emotional chaos.

Discrepancies in their stories. We inherently (unless we’ve been really burned) want to give people the benefit of the doubt. But if your gut is saying something doesn’t add up, it probably doesn’t.

Blame shifting/not taking responsibility. We all messup at times; what matters is owning up to it and seeking to make it right. Ifsomeone won’t acknowledge mistakes or hurt they’ve caused, they’re not a goodpartner.

Apologies without action. Words are only as valuableas the actions that back them up. Apologizing, but doing the same things is abig red flag.

CS: Which red flags should be an automatic dealbreaker and why?

HG: Not taking responsibility and apology withoutaction are deal breakers. All relationships have challenges that require bothpeople to be honest about and make amends for their own mistakes or failures.When someone won’t accept their role in a conflict, the relationship is doomedto manipulation, resentment, and possibly even abuse. Same with apologies thatlack changed behavior; that’s not even a real apology. If the behavior doesn’tchange, that person demonstrates that their words are meaningless and they’renot trustworthy.

CS: What’s the best way to make sure you’re thinkingclearly when deciding whether to leave or stay in the relationship?

HG: Don’t base your decision to stay or leave onemotions or potential. You can love someone and know that they’re not right foryou in the long run. You don’t have to wait until you can’t stand someone tobreak up with them! Your emotions about a person will fluctuate; that’s a badstandard for decision making. Look at the person’s behavior, not their words oryour feelings about them. The same can be said for “potential.” It’s like Dr.Maya Angelou said, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

CS: What advice would you give The Bachelorettestar Hannah Brown when it comes to choosing the right person to marry?

HG: All relationships come with risk simply because we can’t know the future. A person we thought was trustworthy can disappoint or betray us. We can even disappoint and betray ourselves. There’s no one “right” person and you can’t eliminate all risk in a marriage. But you can determine who’s lower risk by their actions. Do they show up physically and emotionally? Do they own up to and make amends for their mistakes? Can they manage their emotions and communicate their needs clearly (or are they at least willing to see a therapist to help them do so)? That person is a keeper. Being lower risk doesn’t mean you’re boring, it means you have integrity. You can build a marriage on that.

Read more: ‘TheBachelorette’: Two Major Red Flags Hannah Brown Is Ignoring But Shouldn’t

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