“Oh my gosh, I think I met my soulmate!”
How many times have we been sold this line from the romantic comedy industry, and how many times have we bought it hook line and sinker?
Don’t worry, I’ll wait while you count.
It’s that time of year again when love seems to be all that is talked about. It’s Valentine’s Day season. That’s right, even before they put up all the Christmas stuff you could see it out on shelves. Red, white, and pink nonsense everywhere. A color combo no one else would use but it’s on every store shelf lined with chocolates and teddy bears because nothing says true love like a toddler-sized teddy bear or labor-exploited chocolates.
From someone who has been married for over 11 years to the same person and who loves him deeply, let me let you in on a little secret: Long-lasting love doesn’t start out that way. It’s easy at first, sure. Most things are. They seem effortless. They seem like they’ll always be that way. But long-lasting love takes work and it takes effort. And it’s all worth it IF you have the right person on the other side of that love-receiving end.
However, if you don’t, it becomes a very one-sided fight where you end up giving and giving until there’s nothing left of yourself to give, and then they move on. This is what happens in a narcissistic and/or toxic relationship, and there are red flags along the way to guide you there.
Do you know what they are?
First and foremost, if something seems too good to be true, it’s not that it probably is, it just is. If they are showering you with love, affection, attention, and giving you everything you want, no holds bar…run. There’s an ill intent behind that. It can be a grooming tool used for manipulation. Eventually, they WILL want something from you that you won’t want to give but will be unable to refuse because of the level of grooming said person has done. This happens in all kinds of intimate relationships. It is well documented that cisgender het men can be narcissists, but so can cisgender het women, as well as members of the Queer Community. So can any other person, human being walking this earth. Narcissism and toxicity exist in many forms and have many faces.
Second, what do others think of this new person in your life? While peoples’ opinions shouldn’t be ruling your life, there should be some weighing in. Do you have trusted individuals in your life that have given their honest opinion on your new love? What do they say?
And lastly, I always like to talk boundaries. Do you have them? Does your partner have them? Remember that love is about the gushy feeling sure, in the beginning. But love is also about a mutual respect. Does your partner respect you? Do they respect your boundaries? Anyone that tells you that love has no boundaries is trying to get something from you. Don’t give it, or yourself away so easily.
Be careful out there in the sea of chocolates, stuffed animals, and jewelry. Not everyone deserves you. Find the one that does and don’t settle for less.
For more info on Love-Bombing and the differences between love and love-bombing, download our FREE PDF for the month of February.