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This is all one big analogy, built for the super human and not for the faint at heart. Read at your own risk. 

My driving record is terrible, let’s just be honest. My horrible driving record has been a stern limiter in several opportunities that have come across my lap. My driving record is compiled of several speeding violations and it all started in 2006 with me OWNING a red light. Nope, I did not get caught, and did not have to pay a fine for my negligence, in fact it’s safe to say that I got lucky and snuck by. Me winning against the law that inglorious day caused me to continue to break the law and eventually, I started to get caught by police. While I’m talking myself out of a job here, surely you can see where this is headed. 

What I did that day in 2006, is what most of us under 30 tend to do when dealing with relationships and looking for a partner; Run red lights. When you think about stop lights, it’s a brilliant mechanism created by Garrett Morgan & J.P. Knight, that was designed ultimately to prevent automobile accidents. Red means stop, it’s not safe to enter due to on coming traffic or because it’s illegal. 


In the dating realm, we actually encounter red lights, known to us as red flags. These ‘flags’, if you will, serve essentially the same purpose as the stop light in your neighborhood; to prevent accidents or wrecks from happening in your life. Much like my driving record, my dating record isn’t a crystal stair either. There are a lot of violations, a lot of  ”wrecks,” if you will, all of which could have been prevented if I would have stopped at the red lights along the way of my dating journey. 

The crazy thing is, I hear a lot of my peers saying, “I know I won’t be able to deal with her [or him] but…” and so it begins. The drama, the annoyance, the “pain”, all could have been avoided if they did not ignore that red flag; Same for me.  Red flags are a gift to us and also a reminder that while you may be the nicest person ever to grace the surface of the earth, there are just some people that you won’t connect with, let alone be able to start a relationship with. 

stop red 2

Gazillions of people on Earth [Clearly, an exaggeration. Is that even a real nominal figure?], surely we all come from different walks of life, different cultures and different genetic make ups that ensure that you will not have the capacity to understand every single being that walks the face of this Earth. You may be friendly, may smile all the time and may read the bible front cover to back cover, every year relentlessly, but there is always one person within 25 miles of you that will rub you the wrong way. Embracing and understanding that, will make your life conducive for relationships. 

Let me personalize this, so that you can see our [my] struggles currently. I’m trying to understand that I cannot date everyone. I cannot connect with everyone intellectually and romantically, and that at some point I have to draw the line and learn my lesson that when someone shows me who they are, I only have two choices to either accept it or deny it. Adding a third choice of ignorance, pretending it doesn’t exist, only strengthens the quicksand that will suffocate me. Does that make sense? 

So why should you REALLY pay attention to the Red Lights [Flags]? : 

1. Fear the “Poor” Driving Record

As stated previously, my driving record has prevented me from a lot of opportunities and also has been a red flag to employers as they try to figure out why I can’t seem to follow the law and get things right. My driving record got the way it is because in the beginning I developed a habit of not following the law. One thing led to a thousand and here I am today; Struggle Drivers Anonymous. Nobody, not even you, wants to experience this. It’s a horrible feeling to have to explain why you have dated so many people and have yet to be one half of a successful relationship. After while, you stop questioning the system and have to start questioning yourself. Yes, it’s you. Ignoring red flags. Stop that. 


2. You Will Get Hurt

Without question, you run  red lights enough and thou will be scolded. Ok, in other words you keep ignoring those red flags and you will get hurt. A red flag in someone’s personality is merely the beginning to a long list of problems. The one thing that you have an issue with, it is only going to get worse and ultimately cause you pain once you reach your breaking point and have to break it off. All those sleepless nights crying over Mr. Wrong Right, can be prevented if you adhere to those red flags today. Ignoring red flags. Stop that. 

3.Insurance Will Stop Covering You Eventually ( Kind of Part II to #2)

This is my second favorite, ok so did I tell you my driving record made it hard to acquire insurance? That’s what happens. In reference to this massive analogy, there will come a point where you ignore the wrong Red Flag and end up in a situation that you can’t get yourself out of, A wreck that the insurance company cannot cover. 


Ok, let’s be serious for a second. His streaks of anger and signs of an abusive personality are red flags that will land you in a situation that you cannot get yourself out of. People show you who they are in the beginning. Not much changes as time progresses, you either connect with someone or you don’t. They either display a characteristic that you like or one that you don’t like. Let’s be completely serious and say that domestic abuse is s terrible situation to find yourself in, and it is one that I want to prevent you from falling in.Pay attention to people when you meet them, and if and when that red flag pops up, it’s important that you submit to it and move on. 

4. You’ll Fear Driving 

This is my favorite. I have a friend, who shall remain nameless because they make great chicken, who you will NEVER see behind the wheel because of her past experiences driving. Her tickets, Accidents, and other mishaps while operating a motor vehicle have placed a hefty amount of fear in her when it comes to driving, and has discouraged her so much that she didn’t even renew her license.

Dealing with abuse 

You continue to date aimlessly and ignore the red flags, and subtle signs of people’s personality and eventually you will give up on dating. Let’s just be honest, you will run out of the endurance and patience that it takes to go in and out of relationships because you have wasted them on preventative situations. You will burn yourself out in stressful predicaments that NEVER end on a high note, because you tried to ignore red flags in your significant  other. Yes, it’s important to get out there and date but it’s more important that you pay attention to the red flags that present themselves. 

My advice to you and the man in my mirror is to simply submit to the Red Flags. Understand and embrace the fact that this person does something that you just can’t deal with. Develop a list of things that you know you can’t deal with, or things in their character or lifestyle that you don’t want to have in your man/woman. Then stick to that list, don’t bend on the rules because they look like a perfect ten. If you don’t stop ignoring red lights, you’ll end up in a wreck every single time. Trust me, I’m in the intersection calling my insurance company… Yet again… You get it?

I mean seriously, do you want your love life to wreck? Stop running those lights!  


@BrianJamesLive (Twitter) @IAmBrianJames (Instagram)  

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