Heeding Warning Signs of Danger When Dating
Ten Signs to Run
BY: T. Franklin Murphy | August 2015 (Revised November 2020)
Some behaviors lead to a lifetime of regret, broken dreams, and emotional trauma. Before committing, look closely.
We aren't perfect. Potential partners must be afforded the same. If we expect perfection, everyone will eventually let us down. When I first compiled this list, my perspectives were rigid. Any list, such as this, must be used with flexibility, understanding the limits but honoring the wisdom.
Signs of danger are important. We must pause and examine, stepping away from the blinding chemicals of attachment that dim views and build false hopes. If we have a history of dating narcissistic partners that hurt, the signs must be heeded. Take time, use your head and your heart, and then move forward in a life of love.
Ten Warning Signs
1. Boundary Violations
When a potential partner makes frequent unannounced visits, calls, and a barrage of unwelcomed text messages, while ignoring your requests there is concern. The narcissist dismisses your obligations (as unimportant). Making plans without your input and then claims victimization when you don’t comply by missing work, cancelling appointments and adjusting other social engagements.
"If you’re afraid of your partner, that’s a big red flag. You may be scared to say what you think, to bring up certain topics, or to say no to sex. No matter the reason, fear has no place in a healthy relationship."
2. Too Perfect
Your date is too charming, has all the right lines, comes across as excessively smooth. Your date loves everything you love and hates everything you hate. This too perfect romance is often headed for unresolvable conflicts.
3. Hidden Life
When a person conceals important information about him or herself, the hidden story often conveys disturbing truths. If you discover inconsistencies, routine missed dates or extended disappearances, you should be suspicious. Evaluate how much you know about this person after several dates. If much is still unknown, such as where they work, live and play, there is most likely much more to the story then what has been presented. Ask direct question; if the answers are vague, it may be time to flee.
4. Excessive Jealousy
Your prospective partner discourages time with outside interests, family, and friends. They invade privacy by searching your phone, email, or documents. When partners spy, experiencing extreme mood swings when you say “Hi,” or text someone else, they are driven by powerful insecurities that may eventually lead to abuse. It may seem cute at first; but very troublesome as the relationship progresses.
"Jealousy is a sign of insecurity and lack of trust, but the abuser will say that it is a sign of love. The abuser will question the victim about who they talk to, accuse them of flirting, or be jealous of time spent with their friends, family, or children."
5. Life Instability
When a person’s life is chaotic, the relationship is most likely to also be chaotic. Do they have frequent jobs changes with extended times of unemployment, unmet financial obligations, high credit card balances, and no secure housing? We want a lover not an unfixable project.
6. Dating Partner Lacks Respect for You (your ideas, work, feelings, friends, etc...)
A date that pesters you to do things you already expressed a desire not to do, they are disrespecting your individuality. They don’t not respect your right to say “No," to their requests, arguing that your boundary is defective. This suggests they will manipulate, lie and continually ignore your personal autonomy.
"Domestic abuse is not about violence, it's all about control."
Buddy T | verywellmind
7. Past Dysfunctional Relationships
When a date’s past is littered with broken relationships, lawsuits, continued fights with parents, children and ex-lovers, the evidence suggests they don’t know how to conduct themselves with others.
8. Drug and Behavioral Addictions
Drugs, pornography, gaming, easily take over a life. Inviting an addict into an intimate relationship doesn’t solve the problem, it makes the problem yours.
9. Immediate Serious Attachment
If your date pushes for immediate commitment, introduces marriage talk early, and drowns conversations with Soul Mate references, beware. Those with dangerous tendencies seek commitment early to avoid the difficult process of getting to know each other first. Self-exposure may have been fatal to past relationships and is threatening.
"Claims love at first sight. Pressure for commitment. Says you are the only one who can make him feel this way."
Portland Oregon Police Bureau
10. Uncontrolled Spending
At first a high rolling partner may be fun. Behind the adventures, new car, and fancy dinners may be burdensome debt. Beware, uncontrolled spending spills over into many aspects of life. Soon you may find that you are shouldering an expensive spending habit.
Certainly, people change. We all grow with experience. We all have personality hiccups that when carefully observed and thoughtfully attended to may be molded to a healthy life. However, many of these personality glitches also can linger, infecting other aspects of our lives. The warning sign could signal something dangerous hiding beneath the shadows.
While many people change, not all changes are for the better. Bad habits linger, than hurt and may even become abusive. Noe of us want a ten year relationship that forcefully damages our wellness, smothering our aliveness, leaving us broken, afraid, and depressed. We can't change people. We can only help people that choose to change.
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