“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” — This is my favorite quote by Maya Angelou. It so succinctly conveys an important life lesson, that when followed will prevent a lot of disappointment (in more areas than just your love life). Recently one of my clients began dating someone and while each date was "good" there were signs, that now in hindsight (she has broken up with him) were distinct warnings that the relationship was doomed.
He was an attractive, charismatic guy who said all the right things, but his actions were subtlety contradictory. It started out very small — he said, “I’ll call you back in an hour” and that turned into the next day. She was able to rationalize this because he works long hours and has a lot on his mind. But with nearly each interaction, the inconsistency between words and action grew louder — he “loves” kids, but EVERY one he saw when they were together was a “brat” or “annoying”. Luckily, she was cognizant of each sign and was able to exit the relationship before things went too far. Hearing her story reminded me of how important it is to be aware of “signs” in a relationship. No different than if you were driving down an unfamiliar street, you need to be aware of every posted sign, otherwise you may never reach your intended destination. Here are some telltale signs that the person you're dating is conveying suspect behavior.
Changing plans once, I get. Twice is bad but I could understand. Anything else is just downright disrespectful. His actions are saying that you are not a priority, you’re an option and not the best choice at the moment. Say bye-bye!
Sure, they could be on a quick mission to Afghanistan to execute the world's most feared terrorist, but chances are they're not. Be leery of those who disappear for a few days, stop all communication, and then call suddenly. No thanks!
Is he pushing for sex on the second date? Asking you why he hasn't met your parents, and it's only date # 3?? Any behavior that is forceful, especially early on, will only progress in the future. Just say no!
"I don't know. What do you want to do?" If that becomes their most frequent line when preparing for a date, prepare for a life of boredom. This guy lacks spontaneity and creativity. He’s telling you that he only wants to follow your lead or simply has no motivation. Pass!
"Can I come over to your place?" is his version of date night. Inviting someone to your house early in the relationship (or going to his) is an overall bad move. Let it be known that your home is not conducive to dating...there’s a world of activities outside of it. Anytime someone continuously makes this request, it’s clear they’re not interested in a serious relationship. Peace homie!
Living in the past is extremely dangerous. If he can’t stop talking about how great the old flame was or how he enjoyed the things they did, chances are he still wishes he was in that moment. Do yourself (and him) a favor by letting him go to pursue her or to really prepare himself to be in a new relationship. Flag on the play!
I'll never forget what my wife told me the first time (and last time) I compared her to my momma. I said: I used to get a home-cooked meal every night. Her reply: perhaps you should move back in with her then! If you’re always being compared to someone else in their life, they haven’t yet fully appreciated your uniqueness. Later!
When you met, he was so polite. He even talked about how important it is to treat others the way you would want to be treated. But, it’s your third date and the waiter forgot the extra lemon wedges... before the waiter is out of earshot, he shouts “Stupid Motha F…” Hmmm...Is that the way he would want to be treated? Next!
Now, I’m not saying that any one these behaviors exhibited alone is the key to issue your man his “pink slip”, but if one or more of these signs persist in your relationship, don’t be afraid to show him who you are by standing up for what’s important to you and communicating those things that you will not tolerate. Doing otherwise will have him to believe that you will accept whatever is dished. Open dialogue is the key to sustaining a healthy relationship.
Please share this list with friends and be sure to add in the comments section any other flags that weren’t mentioned to help someone who may be dealing with that situation. If you have further questions for me. I can be contacted on twitter at @PaulCBrunson on facebook.com/PaulBrunson or online at www.onedegreefrom.me