Relational Red Flags…

Erin Schaden
4 min readJul 9, 2023


Women talk. Men act. Most especially in relationships. Women communicate. We discuss. We perseverate on the nuances of relationships. All kinds of relationships. Language and communication is important to us. Action is just something we do. What we do is less important generally speaking than what we say. If you listen to us, we will tell you we are sad, mad, fearful and all the other emotions, long before our actions show that we are not ok. We do the action by rote. We take care of others, go to work, wash the dishes, clean up after everyone, with a great deal of action and not that much discussion. But when we start discussing it, it would be good to pay attention.

Men are different. Men can say pretty much anything. They will tell you all kinds of things, mostly to get you into bed, but words with men tend to come cheaply. But men’s actions? Those mean a great deal. If a man is showing up and doing the laundry and taking you out to dinner and calling you (this is super important because most men I know hate talking on the phone) he is showing you he cares, you matter to him. He is putting in the work, doing the deal, not just talking about it.

What I have learned over the years is that you tell where a woman’s heart is by her words. She can act like she cares all damn day, but if her words aren’t matching up, she isn’t telling you that you light her up, she loves you, she wants you, she values you, then you are in relational hot water.

Similarly, men can talk the pants off of just about anyone. They can and do say all sorts of things to get their needs met and so I have learned that words from a guy just mean less. Like a lot less. But actions, if a man is acting, doing, showing up, then that is a whole different ballgame.

Of course this overly simplified. Of course I am making gross generalizations. There will always be exceptions to every rule. I mean these not as rules, but guidelines and signposts for when you might not have the relationship you think you do and aren’t likely to get it from your current relation.

If your woman is showing up and going out and doing all the things, it really isn’t all the significant. Women show up and it isn’t even hard. But words of affection, love, desire and lust, those are things that we do not give out freely. We hold them near and dear. So if the woman you are into is saying all the right things, it is a great indicator that she values you and your relationship.

If your man is showing up and going out and doing all the things. It likely means he values you and really wants to be with you. If you are getting very hot and sweet texts randomly, it likely means nothing. He is probably texting like twelve other women the exact same thing. Words are cheap where men are concerned. They have learned that if they say all the right things, it likely will get them what they want. While women, we tend to show up opportunistically and take what the guys is giving, while we have a whole host of other thoughts and feelings about the man that is showering us with affection.

My purpose here is not to call out men as wordy jerks and woman as opportunists, but to highlight some relational red flags. If the woman is showing up, that doesn’t really mean much. But if she is telling you how she feels about you, that is significant. If a man is showing up, that means something and if he is giving you lots and lots of words, that likely means almost nothing.

I am sure you all have examples of where this wasn’t/isn’t true. All men and women are not the same. I offer this observation up as a guide to relating and dating. It isn’t going to be true all the time with every person, but I think, if you take the time to observe the dates you have or the people you are in relationship with, you will find that there is quite a bit of truth there…

For women, showing up is easy. It is intimate words that do not come cheaply to us. If we say we love you, we fucking mean it.

For men, words are easy. Showing up and being there with you and for you does not come easily to them. If they show you they love you, then they fucking love you.

Happy Saturday! Happy dating and relating.

Please let me know if this rings true for you and your experience. I would really enjoy reading your thoughts on this subject!

This was the only picture I could find that really captured how I feel about this whole red flag thing…I mean no disrespect to men, we women stand there in front of men with our own bouquet of red flag flowers too.



Erin Schaden

Who am I? I am all that I write, all that I learn, share and grow. Read and find out? Check out for more.