It’s a fact of life. Love can make us blind. We all know people who have become love-blind and many of us remember a day when we were love-blind. This is primarily a condition that affects the early phases of a new relationship. Sure, there’s a certain bliss that comes with this phase of romance, yet we must be aware of the dangers as well. My objective is not to rain on anyone’s love parade, but I think wisdom demands you know the signs of becoming love-blind.
Sign #1: Unhealthy distance from trusted family and friends
It is normal and often a very good thing to dedicate unequal time and energy to a new relationship. However, as things stabilize, your new found love can cause you to create unhealthy distance from the trusted people in your life. Some people can be downright rude to their loved ones. The danger is isolating yourself from needed insight and wisdom from people who know you best. Without the presence and voice of those trusted people surrounding you, you could be blind to helpful advice and observations that would ultimately benefit you.
Sign #2: People pleasing
Love can intoxicate you to the point that you act outside of your character within the relationship. Your eagerness to keep the relationship positive can keep you from being honest. You discount your own opinions and simply try to please your significant other. This is a pattern that can lead to very unrealistic expectations in the relationship that could backfire down the road. Every heathly relationship should welcome honesty and vulnerability.
Sign #3: Major decisions too early
The excitement of the new relationship can lead to making major decisions too soon or in the wrong order. I see this most often with couples who have sex before marriage. You feel so “in love” you give yourself to one another sexually. Your intimacy has far exceeded your commitment and you are now precipitously dangling over the rapids of insecurity. Moving in together, relocating for love, merging bank accounts, buying pets, etc. before appropriate commitment is in place are all examples of making major love-blind decisions.
Sign #4: Overlooking the red flags of someone’s past
“It’s no big deal.”
“That was a long time ago."
I’ve heard nearly every excuse in the book from love-blind men and women trying their best to dismiss the red flags of someone’s past. Now, I’m all for forgiveness, redemption and true change. However, love-blind people don’t wait for proof. That’s the problem. If you see red flags in someone’s past, don't dismiss them, don’t make light of them . You don’t have to run away from the person, but you owe yourself and the relationship the due diligence to ensure the indiscretions of the past are truly history and not zombies coming back to get you! You must be head’s up and look for dependable changes in patterns of behavior. Whether it’s financial, ethical, or moral indiscretions, talk is cheap, you must look for consistent action.
Sign #5: Excusing obvious bad behavior
There is no good reason to allow obvious bad behavior to go unchecked in a relationship. Love-blind people are suckers for being taken advantage of by bad behavior. The last thing love-blind people do is confront negative issues. However, bad behavior NEEDS appropriate consequences to incite change, if change is possible. It is never a good idea to let obvious bad behavior to be swept under the rug. I’m not concerned about the occasional misstep. I’m concerned about the deep character flaws behind ongoing disrespect, critical spirit, profanity, pornography/sexual addiction, substance abuse, deception/lying, and all forms of physical, emotional, verbal and sexual abuse.
YES, you should say something.
YES, you should create safe distance to make sure these issues are addressed before moving forward.
YES, you should expect him or her to take full responsibility for their actions.
YES, you should expect consistent change if you plan to move forward.
NO, you should not try to “fix them."
NO, you should not “hope for the best."
NO, you should not fear this is your last chance at love.
Are you love-blind? If you see these signs in someone you know, I encourage you to send them this post and have a loving conversation about the issue.
You can also listen to the radio show I did on this very topic here