Relationship Red Flags

If you have been a reader of my posts, then you know that I often tell you that good relationships are quite rewarding -- but in order to have one, you have to work at it. Today, I want to address some of the ways to know if the person you're meeting will even make a good candidate with whom to have a relationship.

I've also cautioned you, as the reader, that a person is unlikely to change once they're in a partnership. Who you see is who you are going to get. And for sure, you don't have the right to expect to change the person.

Why you get in trouble

But there are indicators to help you make a decision -- yes, those "red flags."

Before I spell some of them out, let me tell you about a well-known theory in relationship work presented by Harville Hendrix. He maintains (and I support this) that you tend to be drawn to people who, at some sub-awareness level, remind you of a person in your family of origin with whom there are unresolved issues. You meet this person and he (or she) just feels so comfortable, like you've known him (or her) for years; that's because you have ... in a way.

You choose to be with this person because, again without you realizing it, you're hoping that through your relationship, you will be able to resolve those issues with open wounds. So, as an example, if you grew up with a very unemotional parent, you might be attracted to someone who is emotionally closed in order to change things around from your past. That's why when one relationship doesn't work out, you seem to get drawn to the same type over and over again.

The signs

So, though I certainly can't offer an exhaustive list, here are some pointers. I've divided them according to gender:

For the females, watch out if:

  1. The guy expects you to split the bill on your first dinner date. Be gracious about paying but don't make another plan with this person.
  2. Pay attention to his relationship with his mother. If it's highly negative or too close, either can signify a problem.
  3. On the first date, if all he does is talk about him and never asks anything about you, watch out. Maybe he's nervous ... okay, give it a second try, but if it happens again, don't repeat.
  4. If he has children, find out if he acts responsibly with them -- but also make sure his custodial rights will allow him to have time with you.
  5. Is your relationship with this man the result of an affair ... be careful based on the old adage: "if someone did it for you, they're likely to do it to you."

For the males, watch out if:

  1. On the first date, she orders the most expensive item or drink.
  2. If she has kids, is she able to discipline them?
  3. If she has children, does it seem to you that she is expecting that you be a part of their lives much earlier than it's appropriate?
  4. Does she get all bent out of shape if you do not call/text/email or somehow connect during the day to account for your time?
  5. If you have children, does she respect your responsibilities to them?

For both of you:

  1. Find out about past relationships and why they ended.
  2. Be aware of the similarities or differences you have in regard to how much time you each feel is needed to spend together in a relationship.
  3. AND ... if other family or friends notice a trait that you don't see -- pay attention. They have the advantage of not being blinded by emotion.

Yes, relationships are hard. But when you choose someone initially who you will start off with good footing, it will make your partnership that much easier to enjoy!


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