The Relationship Red Flag You Need to Look Out For

woman sits hand in face sadly crying
by Vance Larson

There is no such thing as too busy. I tell my clients all the time. It has gotten to the point where I decided to write about it. My latest dealing with this issues was from a client of mine, who is dating someone that often takes several weeks for them to respond to a call or text. When asked if that is upsetting to them? They, of course, respond with a resounding yes!

I think many of us overlook when a loved one takes advantage of us. We probably do it for several different reasons. But what happens when a pattern forms and feelings of resentment build? That is what has happened to my latest client. They start by justifying that they have a great relationship when they are together. However, their significant other often does not respond to their attempts to communicate via phone, email or text. They go on to explain that weeks go by before they hear from them. And because they are at different colleges, this is causing those feeling of resentment. 

I often have to explain that there is no such thing as too busy. With my work schedule and acting as my wife’s primary caregiver {for health reasons}, I have little time to spare. But should my wife, my family or any of my inner circle say they need me, everything gets dropped. We’re never too busy. We just find out where we fall on the list of someone’s priorities. The same holds true for my inner circle. If I were to say “come now”, they come without asking questions. Yes, there are times when we will be busy. But not responding to someone’s attempt to speak with you, say’s it all. 

I had to break it down to my client like this. Their significant other said that they were busy and could not respond to their text. It doesn’t matter what the context was. It literally takes minutes {if not seconds} to check in. In this case, they wanted clarification on a personal matter. Their defense was that it would take a few minutes to process and respond. Fair enough. But 3 weeks later they got around to answer you? I’m telling you, it’s a matter of where you fall on the list of priorities. 

Being a college student, I explained, suppose your significant other won $500 from the local radio station and needed to pick it up within the next 72 hours. The round trip would be 20 minutes. Do you think they would find 20 minutes for that $500? Or, would they really be too busy? Let’s simplify it. Suppose they were offered $50 to keep an eye on the neighbour’s house while they were on vacation. They didn’t have to do anything, just perform a quick visual as they leave for school in the morning. If nothing looked out of place, no need to even go over and check the house. By doing so, they would get $50 upon the neighbour’s return. All they had to do is walk across the street and collect their $50. Total time invested would be a mere 5 minutes. Do you think they would find the 5 minutes to collect their $50? In both cases yes.

Life gets complicated. We all get busy. And yes, there will be the rare time that we will not be able to return a call or text in a timely manner. So here is the key. What we allow is what will continue. In the case of my client, their frustration had gotten to the point where they actually hired a coach because they wanted to know if this behavior was inappropriate? If we have to ask, more than likely it is.

Know your value. Know your worth. Be forgiving but be honest with yourself. Are you making excuses for a loved one’s bad behaviour? Do you feel that you deserve better? Most importantly, are you starting to feel resentful or frustrated? If the answer is yes to any one of these questions, guess what? They may be busy. But they just showed you where you fall on their list of priorities. 

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