Four Rules For Dating – #4
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time” – Maya Angelou
For those of you who are old enough, on Oprah’s long running show she would frequently quote her favorite poet and wise woman Maya Angelou. “If someone shows you who they are… believe them the first time. I realize this has not so much to do with physical self-defense, but it’s very important just the same, particularly since assault can happen when you don’t believe somebody the first time that they do some thing that is a red flag. The problem with red flags is that most times it’s an insidious process. That means the person that you’re getting to know will typically put their best foot forward. Maybe for several months at a time. But inevitably something will pop up –maybe he cheats on you, maybe he steals from you maybe he has a bad temper or you catch him in a lie. Any one of the number of these things can clue you in that this might not be a good candidate for a long-term relationship.
The problem is that it never happens all at once. It’ll happen once after three or four months, and then it’ll be another two or three months before it happens again and so it becomes a slippery slope. But the more you put up with it the more frequent it gets. That’s why Maya Angelou says “believe them the first time” because if it’s a red flag one time, probably there’s going to be other and another, etc. I read an article one time by a woman who had a three strikes your out rule. She gave the person the benefit of the doubt after one incident or one Red flag. After the second one she made up her mind that there was one more chance for the person and then that was it. If the person messed up the third time then she kicked them to the curb – no ifs ands or buts. She stated in the article that she wished she had followed that rule earlier in her life – because it would’ve saved her a lot of heartache. By lying, cheating, stealing or hurting you – that shows you who they are.
Every relationship has its ups and downs but hers was three strikes you’re out. It’s understandable if someone lies to you because they are protecting someone else. Or there could be other reasons that a red flag pops up that are legitimate one off freezers. But after three times it’s not just a one off anymore. And that’s where she drew the line.
She decided on this rule because she had always been too timid to stand up for herself and it had cost alot in terms of mental and emotional turmoil and distress. She believed that the rule of three had made a huge difference in her life. It might do the same for you!