On Red Flags


I like to joke to people about how I don’t have feelings or how I have a switch for it. It’s such a typical, cliché female persona nowadays. Every single scorned woman has an icy cold heart, and no man has ever been worthy of them. We live in this ivory tower with no stairs or doors but has a high WiFi connection, obviously. And if they can’t respect the thorns of this rose, then they can say goodbye. It must make us feel unique, because we are, but it’s a common tale now. Capitalists are using it. They make Netflix series with these characters. I remember listening to Cool Girl by Tove Lo and thinking, this is too accurate. It’s not that I disregard those who are really incapable, I know people who actually do, but for the most part these walls instantly come crumbling down when a worthy opponent arrives. That inside that robot exterior is a soft blub filled with emotions. I, for one, was admittedly one of these losers. Until, of course, someone arrived.

Of course like any other woman of my situation, I was instantly blinded by all the red flags that I saw. Thinking that if I wanted to love them, I had to accept all of them, flaws and all. In the beginning I felt so altruistic, thinking, “This is how I know I love this person, because through all the despites, I still choose them.” I thought it was the bravest thing I have ever done.

Nowadays, the braver decision is to walk away from these red flags.

I know what you’re thinking. “Airah, you’re already so guarded. If you walk away even more, you’ll never find someone.” Well, let me tell you something Karen: I would rather be guarded than keep guarding someone.

I don’t want to keep thinking when this person will change for me, because I don’t want anyone to. Yes, I want them in my life. But if I have to tell them what to do in order to live harmoniously with them, then I would rather not have them at all. I don’t want to have to worry about if they’ll live long or get ruined because of their habits. I don’t have to tell them that they’re a hot mess and how to become a better person. Changing someone, subtle or not, can lead to resentment in the future.

I don’t want to keep thinking where this person is, who they’re with, and what they are doing. I am already paranoid of my own life. I have to check our faucet and sockets three times before I leave the house. I have the crushing pressure of worrying what others think of me. I already feel bothered for the slowly deceasing vessel that is my body, what my purpose is, and what happens to my consciousness after I die. The least I deserve is coming home to someone who will at least make me feel that the remainder of my unsure days are peaceful. I want to feel secure about our relationship.

I don’t want to keep thinking how I need to look, dress, or act in order for them to stay interested in me. My sarcasm and depreciating sense of humor cover a majority of my personality. My love of macabre despite my domestic exterior should not come as a surprise. I can only love three things in this world: animals, the stars, and chicken and if heaven is relative, I will be in outer space, with floating animal-shaped chicken nuggets. They have to accept the close fourth optional alternative.

In fact, with all that is said, I don’t want to have to think at all.

And I admit, I’m sure I have red flags for some people (see all statements above). I’m not my best version at the moment. I still forget that you should turn off and not close the light. Or that I shouldn’t sleep on you in the middle of an online conversation. Or that if I want to disappear for social rejuvenation, the least I should do is inform you. I get that some people disregard them because they love me despite all of it. I appreciate that. I don’t feel like I deserve it, but I am thankful. But to make me think that it’s only fair to disregard the same flags for others is just falling into that same trap again, and it will backfire in the end. I can be stupid sometimes in the relationship department, but I think making the same mistake multiple times would surely make me want to not do it again. And so if you want to leave me behind, feel free to do so.

Maybe I’m being delusional. Maybe my standards are too high. Maybe Karen was right, that I will never find someone. But I would rather be all of these, waving my white flag, than pretending to live and accept their red flags.

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