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Red Flags When Dating

One may have gotten through a traumatic divorce and is now on the path to recovery. Perhaps a stint in therapy gave insight on how to avoid repeating the same relationship patterns that contributed to the demise of the marriage. A charming suitor enters your life and is breaking through your barriers. How does one differentiate between someone who is potentially dangerous from a soul mate?

  • Trust your gut feeling. What is your initial reaction to this person? Are you comfortable or a tad uneasy? Your subconscious is screaming at you that something is not right, and a bit off. Things do not quite synchronize, actions vs explanations. It is easy to give someone the benefit of doubt a few times. When this becomes a pattern, then it is a red flag. Does he seem caring, yet you feel like pulling back, but are trying to analyze why? Listen to your body, are you tense, but not sure of the cause? When you have an unsettling feeling, then investigate the cause of it.
  • The new relationship moves too quickly and becomes intense. One may rationalize that it is love at first sight, but that is still not a reason to move from just meeting someone to becoming a tight couple. We may have lost self-esteem in our marriage and here is a person who thinks we are absolutely wonderful. Some very charming individuals are cons who prey on vulnerable people. Whether they are conning elderly out of life-long savings, or on the verge of proposing, they are after something.  In retail, the saying, “If it seems too good to be true, then it is” also applies to dates. If someone seems too perfect and just what you need, take your time in getting to know that person. If it is love, they will not rush you into a situation that you are not ready to be in.
  • When one’s friends and family are asking if you have taken leave of your senses that is a major clue that something is not right with your new partner. Are you getting angry with the negative feedback from loved ones or really listening to unanimous lack of approval? Put your feelings and ego aside and determine just what their uneasiness is about regarding your new girlfriend.
  • How do you know this person is trustworthy? Ask to meet their friends. What is their family situation? Are they secretive or more like an open book? If there are gaps in what they tell you about their personal history or family life that is a red flag. Some women have unwittingly dated men who had spent time in prison.  I started going out with a fellow who was so attentive, but did not want me to see his apartment or know much about his life when we were not together. I broke things off quickly, but found out later he was married and they were expecting a child. If you cannot seem to get a guy to open up, consider doing a little online checking or hiring a private detective. No that is not romantic, but it is better than having your heart broken or your money gone at a later date.
  • Do they blame others constantly for their life woes? Is it someone else’s fault that they do not keep a job or have money? Has he asked to borrow money and then has excuses why it is not paid back? Does she like to go shopping with you for her expensive baubles?
  • If someone is rude to wait staff or salesclerks, then that is not a nice person. Some people are social climbers or do not care about people who are not in the position to help them to succeed.
  • Listen to their jokes and stories. One newly married woman was appalled at her husband’s “joke.” The punchline was a man was having sex with a beautiful woman, but it was against her will. The shocked wife said “that is rape.” The husband said no, it is just that the woman did not want it. The wife discovered that women were objects in her husband’s eyes, and that couple eventually got a divorce.

There is something to the Biblical quote:

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast,
It is not proud. It does not dishonor others,
It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.

Get to know a potential partner slowly over time. See how they act around others and if all are treated with respect and kindness, including animals. Meet their family and friends. Determine if there is a firm foundation to your relationship, with similar interests and ethics. Avoid these red flags and enjoy your friendship which is changing into love.







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