We are dedicating this blog to singles who may have been longing for a significant other to share life with. Perhaps you have just met someone new recently, maybe even around Valentine’s Day. You’ve gone out a few times. Some of you haven’t dated in a long time. Some of you are always out and about. Regardless having someone in your life feels good. Your heart skips a beat when you think of going out together again. The attraction is definitely there.
This is an important time to be grounded in reality, not fantasy.
None of us would purposely ignore a warning light that goes on in our car to signal a potential problem. Similarly when we are infatuated we can’t ignore the warning lights that signal potential relationship problems.
It’s easy to be so thrilled that you’ve been chosen that you forget you are also choosing!
No matter how much you get a severe case of the stomach flutters when Mr./Ms. Wonderful enters the room, if any of these 10 warning lights flash, step back. Beware! All that looks great may not be so wonderful after all.
It’s as important to know what we won’t tolerate, as it is to know what we desire.
Clients have shared these ten warning lights with us over the last few years.
If any of these warning lights are blinking step back and reconsider…
Warning Light # 1: They are inconsiderate to anyone serving the two of you.
Be it the Uber driver, the waitress, the ticket agent or whoever, if your date is demeaning, critical, arrogant, or demanding, score that a ten on a 1-10 scale of unacceptability. Unfortunately their arrogance and rudeness will soon show up in your relationship.
Warning Light # 2: They have a history of broken relationships and from their perspective, it is always the other person’s fault.
If they keep painting themselves into the “victim corner” perhaps you need to consider another paint class. If his/her past relationships are drama filled, look closely. Why do they need so much drama in their life? You certainly don’t need that kind of drama in yours.
Warning Light # 3: They have an “I” problem.
Do they only talk about themselves? Do they try to one up you every time you tell a story? Do they fail to ask you any questions about your life? If you have answered, “yes” to these questions, know that you would need more than an optometrist to correct your vision. If your relationship starts out with you being invisible, it probably won’t change.
Warning Light # 4: They refuse to tell you anything about their history.
This is the opposite problem to the one described above. If they refuse to let you in on their story and yet seem so interested in yours, don’t be flattered. There definitely are some monsters lurking in their closet. If you don’t want them to become your monsters, slam the door shut.
As marriage and family therapists, we are astounded by the number of married couples, who know very little about their mate’s background. We guarantee if it can’t be talked about and faced, it will end up biting you in the rear end.
Warning Light # 5: They Don’t Keep Their Promises.
They say that they’ll phone you and never do. They text you one day and then they seem to drop off the planet for weeks. When you mention your disappointment, they act as if you have the problem. Each of us is only as good as our word. Need we say more?
Warning Light # 6: They can’t hear your “NO!”
Your “no” seems to be their invitation to pout, distance, have a temper tantrum or try to guilt you into changing your mind. You have just had a living demonstration of a lack of boundaries. They don’t respect yours and they don’t have any themselves. If you want to be married to a bully, stay in this relationship.
Warning Light # 7: They talk with disdain about their ex’s.
Beware: It won’t be long until they trash talk you, if you disappoint them. This is a sign of both unfinished business and a refusal to own their own stuff. Your life will soon be polluted by their choices. You will always be the problem in their world.
Warning Light # 8: If they act as if they know who you are even if you have had only 1 or 2 encounters.
A woman went on a date with an attorney. It was a pleasant enough experience yet her gut was unsettled. The next day he phoned her and proceeded to tell her all the weaknesses and dysfunctional patterns she had exposed to him while on the date. All we could say was “run for the hills! He is a danger to self and others.”
Warning Light # 9: They want to isolate you.
It can sound so romantic. “I only have eyes for you!” If they don’t’ want you to know their friends, or don’t seem to have any friends, or they aren’t interested in meeting your friends, beware. If they criticize you for spending time with your family and friends, if they ridicule you for needing time with friends, beware.
The only time it is appropriate to keep you hidden is if there are children involved who have already been through a divorce. Until the two of you are in a committed relationship (that is not 2 weeks or even 2 months) please don’t bring the children into the equation too soon. They don’t need to suffer any further grief if your relationship doesn’t last.
Warning Light # 10: They have a short fuse.
If they go from 0-60 in seconds when you disagree with them, when you attempt to influence them, when they are inconvenienced, or when they have to take a turn, get out of Dodge. Watch how they drive. Listen to their business challenges and their relationship with their parents and siblings. If they demonstrate only two emotions on their emotional spectrum…happy or angry… flee! Intimate terrorism is not what you choose to sign up for.
As Clark Gable said,
“It’s an extra dividend when you like the girl you have fallen in love with!”
As Joyce Brothers said,
“No matter how love-sick a woman is, she shouldn’t take the first pill that comes along.”
Need we say more? Let’s not call bad behavior, love! Let’s not call a lack of boundaries attractive!
Until our next Conscious Lover’s Blog…