As human beings it is in our nature to be cautious about everything we do in order to ensure the safety of our lives and the lives of the people we love. We heed the warnings of others and take preventative measures to avoid potentially hazardous scenarios without developing a severe case of erratic paranoia. And even with the aid of warning signs dictating what we should and should not do, what's good and what's not good for us, we still seem to stumble into compromising situations.
Warning signs are everywhere, from the electrical mechanisms on our car’s dashboard to the health warnings on our cigarette boxes. They remind us of how fragile we really are and how unpredictable the world can be, and even though most of them are staring us right in the face, we sometimes miss them. My recent smoking habit got me thinking about the dangers of dating and relationships. Just like smoking, falling in love can become highly addictive. The rush to your brain on those first few dates, the craving to see that person one more time, the smell they leave on your skin. The prospect of a new relationship can become so intoxicating that we forget to heed the basic warnings like taking it slow, getting to know someone before moving in, or wearing a condom. We throw caution to the wind and forget that relationships, like smoking, can also cause serious damage to our physical and mental well being. At least tobacco companies have the courtesy to shove it in our faces.
My friend Miranda had starting seeing Mr. Perfect. He was wealthy, successful and charming with an SLK Mercedez and beautiful house in Fresnaye to boot. She had fallen head over heels for him in such a short time and in no time she was picking out curtain samples. They wined and dined, had amazing sex and before we knew it, they were engaged. We were all flabbergasted? One fateful day Mr. Perfect came home and offered her a line of ketamine. Thinking this was a one-time experience, she tried it out even though she knew it was bad for her. His little habit became a more and more regular occurrence and it was not long before Miranda realized that Mr. Perfect was actually a functional drug addict. How the hell did she miss this? Miranda knew it was over the moment she was serving cocktails to a room full of drug dealers who she assumed were old varsity friends. Needless to say her relationship with Mr Perfect dissolved as quickly as a Dispirin. Miranda has never quite recovered from this and is paying huge amounts of money in therapy in order to sort out her ever-growing trust issues. Is this the price we pay for not knowing any better? Are the smoke and mirrors of new relationships simply too thick for us to see through people’s bullshit? Do we really need visible warning signs in life to help us along the way?
The world would be a much better place if we walked around with signs above our heads. WARNING: This guy is a douchebag! or CAUTION: She’s emotionally unavailable! or DANGER: Asshole ahead! Think about all the time, money and energy we would save, and in a less than perfect world we need all the help we can get. In life, warning signs are not always in black and white so we need to be extra vigilant about the people we allow into our lives. Listen to warnings, take your vitamins and for God’s sake wear sunscreen.
In a world full of dangerous liaisons and cruel intentions, when it comes to relationships, why is it so hard to see the signs?