So ladies, how many times have you heard when you're dating someone you should pay attention to the Red Flags? How many times has someone shown you who they really are and you ignored the signs for sake of giving them the benefit of the doubt? Red Flags that may be ignored are the returned calls that come a day later or a text that gets ignored after an extended time communicating or that date that gets called off because he was "Busy" or he got "Side Tracked" or he plays a disappearing act for a couple days. Now, I know some of you are wondering who could possibly ignore those HUGE Red Flags? Well I'm here to tell you, I HAVE!!! I was too busy trying to make this man see how good a woman I was that I turned his Red Flags into Pink Flags. I would cut the man some slack because I didn't want to be seen as a nagger or a bitch or most importantly, I didn't want to lose a potential good "Situationship". I made excuses like "Well, at least he sent me a Good Morning text today." Or "He made up the missed date by making me dinner." Or "He's going through some hard times so he deserves someone who is understanding." Humph! Let's be clear, It's not like I have trouble getting men to approach me or ask me on dates but when you want what you want that begins to take precedence over logic. See, I wanted to be with him soooooooo bad that I'd turn those other men down just to wait by the phone for his call or text or smoke signal. My friends would ask me what it was about him that made him so special. "Girl, is it the sex?" "Does he wine and dine you?" "Is he paying any of your bills?" My response would always be excuses like "It isn't about the sex with him it's the connection we have." Or "We've made plans to go out but we decided to stay in instead." Or "He's going through some financial struggles right now so I don't expect him to foot the bill for me." Now that I'm typing this I feel stupid BUT at the time I truly believed that one day he would see the value in having me in his life. Boy was I WRONG!!! It was almost a full year before I finally had reality slap me in the face. I mean the signs were all there but God, the Universe, and my gut got together and decided they needed to uncover this veil of blindness from my eyes before I got deeper in the abyss of naivete'. I found out that the man that I thought was single was actually in a "semi-committed" relationship, of four years, with another woman. I say "semi-committed" because he was spending time with me and a couple other women so we were his unwitting "sidepieces" while he had a woman thinking she was his one and ONLY. Now, when I say a couple other women I use that phrase very loosely because there could've been more than 2 because the brotha was that slick. Hell, I found out that he also had a dating profile on Tinder. How could he possibly have time for me and all these other women if he had a woman of four years? Four years is a long time for someone to be in a relationship with another person and me not recognize the signs. But how could I when I was staying at his house for a couple days at a time or he'd let me stay in his house while he was at work or I had my own toothbrush at his place? I should have known something was up when I saw the women's body spray in his bathroom drawer or when my toothbrush mysteriously disappeared or when I saw the long hair on the bathroom floor when clearly my hair is short or...you catch my drift. I should have run for the hills, taken my losses, and chucked the deuces. It would've saved me a lot of time and heartache. But I believed him when he told me his roommate owed him money so he was budgeting or he was in class when lower level tickets to an NFL game were already paid for or that he wasn't like most Atlanta men (THAT WAS MY BIGGEST RED FLAG!) When I found out about his girlfriend my emotional scale went from shocked to hurt to angry to disbelief to sad to diappointed back to ANGRY. Then I started thinking about his poor girlfriend. She has been walking around the world thinking she had met the man of her absolute dreams. Instead she's in a relationship with a total nightmare. I could only imagine how she is going to feel when she finds out that she's number one of many, IF she finds out. Is she going to be satisfied with being number one and stay in the relationship or is she going to leave the situation and love herself enough to know her value? Who knows, but all I know is I'm too old to be ignoring especially the signs so big they look like billboards off I75. YES, I am probably more forgiving than most hell I may be a little more naive than most but the dawn of a new day has come. Now, we have all been there before but I just wanted to let you all know that I too have played the fool before and have worn the crown of Queen of "Being Stuck on Stupid"! Not anymore!!! I made a pact with myself to be honest about what it is I'm truly looking for in a mate. I want a committed relationship not a "Situationship". I want to be with someone who knows how to communicate his wants and needs. I want someone who will be honest about his feelings for me and where we stand. I want someone who values my feelings and who knows the value in having me in his life. I want a partner who knows the meaning of love and what it means to truly love someone unconditionally! BUT that can only happen when YOU are honest with yourself about what you want and that takes you getting to know yourself on a deeper level. I believe in self-evaluation, self-elevations, & self-actualization. Ladies, it's time we make ourselves a priority and love ourselves enough to recognize when there's a flag on the play! And remember, to DateYourselfGirl!!!