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Dating Red Flags

Are dating red flags… romantic? Of course not! But film and TV tend to romanticize totally terrible behavior – to the point that as viewers we might find ourselves longing for an intense, crazy, unstable relationship like the ones we see onscreen.

Big red flags like cheating, not taking no for an answer, stalking, constant fighting, and possessiveness are all often framed as romantic and proof of how the couple are meant to be together. Why do these things keep getting glamorized? Because they’re entertaining! They create conflict and interesting obstacles for the plot, as the characters have to outgrow their internal issues to find love. The problem is that – if we watch too many of these “romantic” narratives – it might prime us to overlook or misinterpret red flags when we encounter them in real life. We may be more willing to tolerate or overlook these red flags because films and TV tell us they won’t get in the way of a happy ending. So as fun as it may be to watch the drama unfold on screen, it’s important to remember real life has a different set of rules - and in the real world, major red flags should send you running for the hills.