Many times, in a relationship, it is common to lose sight of yourself, or even wonder if investing time in the relationship is worth your time.

I’ve had a lot of ladies reach out to me to say, “How and when can I define a relationship?”

The truth is, if you always have to contend with doubts and uncertainties about the status of a relationship, it is a clear sign that it is headed in the wrong direction. Nobody should ever be forced or pleaded with for love. It is important to understand why you are getting into a close-range kind of relationship with anybody.

Usually, what happens is that two people start talking. You know… you meet this guy who is giving you attention, is always present in your life, and eagerly inquiries about your thoughts and feelings. Your guard drops, and before you know it, you become vulnerable—all because you’re waking up to his messages, he is asking you about your work, he is proving to be very nice to you, and his overall pleasant conduct leads you to assume that he is the one for you.

Unfortunately, some of these guys do not even make an effort to ask you out, leaving many ladies to continue to fall in love with their kindness alone. Ladies, please get this straight, the fact that a man is kind to you does not equate to a romantic interest or a desire to pursue a deeper connection. He might simply be enjoying the moment, seeking something different from what you think, or just not ready to take things higher. Therefore, stop falling in love based on acts of kindness alone—they may be temporal. When individuals want something from others, they strive to impress. So, you have to be very clear about the motives of someone who is getting closer to you in a relationship.

Here are 5 signs to look out for:

  1. Undefined relationship.

If a guy doesn’t come out straight to say “Hey babe, I like you and I’d want us to be serious. Will you be my girlfriend?” It’s best to assume that nothing serious is happening yet.

In such a situation, stop giving boyfriend privileges to someone who hasn’t officially asked you out.

If you’ve been close to him for about 3-5 months, and he is yet to pop the question but continues to act all nice and present in your life, you should withdraw some level of emotional availability. This will serve as an eye-opener to know if he will notice the withdrawal or salvage the relationship by popping the question or nudge him to make things a bit more serious. If you notice his keen interest but can see that he is shy, make it easier for him to speak up.


I, therefore, implore you to do your best to redefine how you connect with people online or offline, especially if they have not expressed their intentions yet.

  1. Emotional abandonment

This occurs when you are clearly in a relationship, but you find yourself being the one chasing and doing the pursuits. You’re the only one who reaches out, calls, shows kindness, requests quality time, gives words of affirmation, or all other romantic gestures required in a relationship.

Understandably, your partner might be truly too busy or distracted to play their role, but you should seek out time to openly discuss why your partner is not giving the expected vibes. Communicate your expectations to your partner, and if every time you do so, your partner continues to say they are busy, they don’t have time or you’re asking for too much, then you may want to redefine that relationship.

Nobody is appreciated when it appears they are desperately demanding the show of attention and love.

  1. Unhealthy Control

Here, a partner always wants to know where you are, who you’re with, what you’re doing, where you’re going, and every other question that spells control. Don’t get me wrong, it is quite normal for a partner to, out of care for your safety, check on you from time to time. The category of persons being referred to here are individuals who are desperate about making sure nobody else takes center stage in your life.

This kind of partner will complain about spending too much time with your family, friends, and even at work; they just want to be your alpha and omega. If you’re in this kind of relationship, please don’t confuse the attitude for love—it’s possessiveness, and it’s unhealthy for a relationship.

  1. All Shades of Abuse

If you’re with someone who abuses you physically, emotionally, verbally, etc, now is the best time you set your boundaries.

You should not feel compelled to marry someone simply because they have proposed to you or appear to be suitable for marriage. Rather, you have to evaluate the character of the person you are dating. So, if are currently dating someone who constantly belittles you, slaps you, and later says it’s a mistake or cheats on you and offers empty apologies, these are clear signs that the relationship is going to become even more toxic.

In such circumstances, my advice would be to let go and prioritize your well-being.

  1. Insecurity

If you’re dating someone who consistently dampens your self-esteem through criticism, nagging, condescending remarks, and insults for every minor mistake, argument, or difference of opinion, I would recommend that you reconsider the relationship.

A healthy relationship should be characterized by a partner who builds you up and leads you towards the process of growth, not someone who tears you down. If your partner is insecure and always talks down on you, it is essential to have an open and honest conversation about it. As you listen to what they have to say, assess the following:

Are they willing to go for therapy?

Are they willing to work on themselves, or do they believe they are justified?

If the relationship is the type you truly want for yourself.

If you struggle with low self-esteem, it may be difficult to recognize the unhealthy patterns at play. So, prioritize self-reflection and make informed decisions about your relationships.

If you’re currently in a relationship, and you’re unsure if you should end it, I’d advise that you read my book. “Uncovering Red Flags.” It’s a book that explains the four main kinds of red flags that exist and breaks them down into their various characteristics.

Get your copy by visiting:

About the Author Nike Folagbade

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