Why do good, smart, caring people overlook and ignore the vital warning signs when it comes to choosing and staying with a Partner?
Have you been there? I have and it isn’t fun, right?
At the time our instincts are telling us THIS ISN’T THE ONE, but we ignore them, and hang in there hoping for it to change, or worse still think we are over reacting because we’ve invested emotionally.
The results though can be dysfunctional, unhappy emotionally abusive and stressful relationships.
The bad relationship wake-up call that so many of us have experienced, is the perfect time to adjust and re-define our potential partner evaluation and selection method; and prevent another wrong choice.
Often many of us don’t take enough time to do this objectively and with the right support, so the pattern repeats again… and again.
It’s important to be cautious, alert, make smart choices and take it slow to discover each other, before investing emotionally. As Maya Angelou famously said…
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time”
Given enough time together over a few dates, a person who is emotionally unhealthy and immature shows you who he or she is.
This doesn’t mean they’re all wrong or all bad people. They are just not right for YOU!
Remind yourself, that it isn’t your responsibility to change or rescue an emotionally unhealthy potential partner!
Author Wendy L Patrick PhD gets to the bottom of why bad people often look good in her book: “How to spot Frenemies, Underminers, and Toxic people in Your Life.” Based on scientific research.
These 7 key warning signs have helped me personally, and to support my coaching and matchmaking clients to make smarter and more confident choices.
I’m sharing these to help you too.
Everyone deserves a healthy, happy, toxic free loving relationship!
So add these warning signs to your list, and don’t be blinded by the excitement of early romance, even if he or she is gorgeous! The halo effect!
These warning signs apply equally to Ladies and Men.
Here they are:
1. You Feel Like It’s Happening Too Fast
“The speed with which they move in forming relationships is a red flag indicating shallowness as opposed to true love,” explains Patrick.
Manipulative people “often instigate emotionally intense whirlwind courtships designed to sweep women/men off their feet and prevent them from seeing red flags signalling danger,” Patrick writes.
If it feels like things are progressing too quickly, it’s important to make sure that the person isn’t trying to speed-date you into a dominating, controlling relationship.
2. You Find Yourself Distracted From Their Bad Behavior By Their Great Looks
Science has proven People actually excuse bad behaviour in the name of Hotness.
We subconsciously “view good-looking individuals as honest, intelligent, and kind.”
There’s nothing wrong with thinking your date is ridiculously good-looking, but if you also find yourself forgiving the fact that he or she was rude to the waiter, or to you, disappeared for a week after your date without contact, is passive aggressive, or sarcastic or personally critical to you..…. because he or she is so gorgeous!
You need to step back and re-evaluate. There are plenty of attractive people out there who are also respectful and considerate, so don’t sell yourself short for good looks.
3. Over-the-Top Flattery
“Flattery gets you everywhere.” The simple reality is that positive attention is often the most effective form of seduction.
Normal, non-toxic people use flattery sincerely all the time, but Patrick explains how attention can also be used to camouflage sinister motives. Whether the end goal is to seduce you into debt or an abusive relationship, accept compliments graciously and with a grain of salt- don’t believe the hype.
Spending time with someone who makes you the centre of attention can make you feel amazing. You need to identify whether you are “really the focus of someone’s attention, or if they are more focused on what you can do for them” writes Patrick.
You are too smart to be fed lines intended to trick you, so don’t rely on validation from other people that you look or are fantastic. The compliments are great, but believe it yourself first!
4. You’re Excited By Their Bad Behavior
Patrick confirms “that some women are attracted to ‘bad boys’ who are prone to risk taking and exude hard-headedness and confidence.”
Unfortunately, behaviour that is initially perceived as passionate or protective can turn out to be motivated by deep-seated possessiveness, potential violence, and anger. This is how people get caught in abusive relationships, “a significant percentage of recipients of aggression interpret it as evidence of the perpetrator’s love,” writes Patrick.
They are often emotionally immature and incapable of being in a real relationship. Keep the bad boys at a distance, and pursue a relationship with an emotionally mature man.
5. Your Relationship is “Forbidden”
There are a number of reasons people pursue “forbidden fruit” as Patrick calls it — because they’re bored, dissatisfied, seeking adventure, or simply because it’s wrong on some level.
And even though we all know better, “good people sometimes seek bad relationships.”
This is because “our desire to engage in prohibited behaviour is heightened by restricting our freedom to do so.” This explains why some people become involved with their married boss, friend’s partner, or some other inappropriate person.
Although it’s natural to be “tempted by the taboo,” it can be seriously damaging. Men and women who consistently cheat often seem charming and sincere, but the likelihood of them ending a marriage or relationship to be with you is small. Honestly, you’re probably just going to be another notch on the belt.
6. You’re Chasing a Wild One
The thrill of the chase is only heightened when the object of your affection is a sensation-seeker. However, like the “bad boys” and girls mentioned above, the wild ones are rarely relationship material. The thrill-seekers are usually going to view you “as a playmate, not a soul mate.”
You’re likely more attracted to the aura of excitement than you are to the actual person, and you probably have little in common.
Think twice before you invest your time and feelings in a developmentally immature wild child, because you are never going to change their crazy ways.
7. You’re Following the Leader
“Power people are often viewed as physically attractive, extroverted, dominant, and charismatic,” writes Patrick. Unfortunately, these relationships can be a breeding ground for toxicity. They have a tendency to be mutually exploitative, with the power-holder taking advantage of the other person’s youth or dependence, while that person may only be in the relationships because of the status boost or access to valuable resources.
If you are considering dating someone who is in a powerful position, be sure that you actually like the person for who they are. Do you really want to date someone who routinely hits on subordinates?
Are you attracted to her sense of humour and brilliance or her beautiful clothes and habit of ordering bottles of Champagne? As Patrick writes, “it is the inner motivation of how people use what they have that is most revealing of their true ambitions and character.”
SAFEGUARD YOURSELF WITHOUT PESSIMISM
It’s important to remember THERE ARE plenty of great, emotionally healthy relationship ready Ladies and Men out there.
This a reminder not to be blind- sided and to keep the warning signs of an unhealthy toxic relationship in mind.
Control freaks, charming manipulators, thrill-seekers, bad boys & girls, power brokers, and cheaters will only hurt you and waste your time.
Potentially loving, emotionally mature, stable, commitment minded partners are the ones to hold out for and devote your energy and feelings to.
You deserve to feel confident and safe that the partner you choose has compatible high standards with you.
Meanwhile stay hopeful, happy and positive!