Relationship Red Flags You Can Forgive Vs The Ones That Are Deal-Breakers

by Zara Barrie

The other day, a boy-creature private messaged me and asked how I expect people to live up to my seemingly "impossible" expectations, when it comes to the wild and wonderful world of dating.

I have to say, I was kind of flattered.

As a girl with a history of being a pushover who let's her heart (and libido) rule her head, I thought, Damn baby girl, you've made some good, old fashioned P-R-O-G-R-E-S-S. 

Like, I'm clearly radiating some "high expectation" energy through the static screen of the internet. And I think I'm into it.

I've always wanted to be a world-weary-woman with impossible expectations. My older sister is one of those girls. No one is EVER good enough for her (and she's glam AF).

I think it's pretty chic and glamorous to have high standards.

But I'm actually not that chic girl. Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty chic (shit is genetic), but I'm not the girl with impossibly high expectations.

Maybe it's because I'm just really sensitive (shhh, don't tell) and I love the raw, ugly parts of humanity so much.

Maybe it's because I'm so far away from perfection, myself, that I couldn't possibly expect someone else to be fully-realized. I'm still a glorious work in progress, after all.

Maybe I just don't buy into the idea of perfection at all. In fact, anyone I've met who is remotely "perfect" is a huge bore to me. I would rather make love to my $200 vibrator than a boring person.

Because people who are perfect are vanilla as hell in bed. It's one of the great things I've taken away from being a slut for a decade.

I've slept with all kinds of people, and let me tell you, a person without a dark past, in my experience, does not know how to make a girl cum.

However, I do think the boy-creature who wrote me was totally right. I do (finally) have high standards for the person I choose to date.

But to say I won't date anyone who doesn't have any red flags is ridiculous.

I have red flags, a shit ton of them, actually. (I mean, writing about the most deeply personal aspects of my life on the internet is a pretty big red flag).

However there are red flags you can deal with, and there are red flags that are deal-breakers, kittens.

Here are red flags I can deal with vs the ones I can't deal with:

Red flag I can deal with: You don't have an amazing job.

Look, I'm a very career-oriented, wildly ambitious creature.

I'm definitely attracted to success, let's get real here. I like nice things, I like bright people and I'm interested in you talking business to me, baby.

However, if you're not there yet, I can deal with it.

I think the most incredibly creative, powerful people are usually late bloomers in the job department.

If you're truly smart, you're going to be a risk-taker. And if you're a risk-taker, you're not always going to have overnight success.

Red flag I can't deal with: No ambition.

Nothing will close my vagina right up quite like a person who has no ambition.

You don't have to have the dream career yet, but you have to be boldly ambitious and have big, big dreams.

I have big, big dreams. I want big things for myself.

I will resent you if you're not wired that way because I will feel like I'm working myself to the bone, while my partner is just expecting to ride off my coattails (which might be narcissistic, but who cares? It's true).

Red flag I can deal with: A troubled past.

Girl, everyone has a past.

And if I pull from my personal well of life experience, the most amazingly interesting people hail from some pretty complicated backgrounds.

Plus, how sick and awful are those assholes who judge other human beings on the actions of their youth?

I hate those people with a burning, fiery passion, so why would I be one?

Red flag I can't deal with: Using your troubled past as an excuse to act like a maniac.

Having a past is fine. In fact, it's celebrated over here, baby.

But you know what's not celebrated? Holding on to that troubled past and using it as a "get out of jail free" card to act irrationally jealous, emotionally abusive, reckless in the partying department and using it as a way to excuse your drug addiction.

Red flag I can deal with: Struggling emotionally.

I'm attracted to intelligent people, and guess what, babes? Most very bright, creative people struggle in the ~feels~ department.

Want someone who isn't anxious or depressed? Find someone who's emotionally unaware. Ignorance is bliss, girl.

I struggle emotionally, and usually deeply connect with someone who struggles, as well.

Red flag I can't deal with: Not getting help.

Look, if you're emotionally struggling, I have zero sympathy for you if you're not actively working on your mental health all of the time.

If you deal with anxiety, depression, OCD or are haunted by the scary ghosts of the past, you need to be in therapy. You need to do things that make you feel good.

I have no time for someone who stews in their sadness and doesn't put effort into improving their lives.

I have no time for someone who stews in their sadness and doesn't put effort into improving their lives.

Red flag I can deal with: Feelings of jealousy.

In a perfect world, no one would feel jealous. Jealousy is the most poisoning ingredient to any relationship. I feel jealous all the time.

IN FACT, I'm jealous right now.

I wish I had more money, and I'm jealous of the chick who does. I wish I was 10 pounds thinner, and I'm jealous of the girl three desks over who is.

When you care about someone, it's natural to fear losing them to something better. To be jealous is to be human.

To be jealous is to be human.

Red flag I can't deal with: Your jealousy holding me back.

You can be jealous inside, but you can never let that jealousy boil over into you acting crazy or controlling.

Like I said, I feel jealous all the time. Do I express it? NO. Because nine times out of 10, I'm being a crazy bitch. And I'm self-aware about it, so I stuff it down because my irrational jealousy is NOT my partner's problem.

If you're jealous and you try to tell me not to dress sexy, write sexy articles, write about exes, be fabulous, talk to everyone and do things without you from time to time, I have two words: Fuck off.

Because I'm not going to let anyone's deeply-rooted issues stop me from thriving in this cruel, cold world.