Celine was just starting to date again after a difficult breakup. She was feeling anxious because she didn't want to go through another unhappy relationship, but she didn't trust herself to make good choices. She sought my help in learning how to discern a promising relationship from one that is bound to fail.
In Celine's last relationship, she had been pulled in by Gary's ardent pursuit of her. She had wanted to go slower but didn't listen to herself. Instead, she gave herself up to Gary's attention and compliments. "Celine, my experience with men who come on strong right away is that they are often controlling and needy. Is that what happened with Gary?" The Feeling Of Love, The Actions Of Love
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"Yes. He seemed so loving and open at the beginning, but once we were in a committed relationship, he started to pull on me for time and attention. He became critical and angry and petulant when I didn't give him what he wanted. How could I have known all this at the beginning? What should I look for now that I'm dating again?"
Celine had gone on one date with a man named Mark. After this first date, Mark emailed her, saying that he wanted to spend a lot of time with her and go on a trip with her. "Shades of Gary," she said. This is a red flag, right? Celine and I explored some of the red flags as well as some of the signs of a promising relationship. The Hidden Dangers Of Online Dating
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Some Red Flags
- Comes on strong at the beginning of the relationship.
- Becomes angry, critical, or withdrawn if you say no.
- Becomes logical and tries to talk you out of your feelings or your experience. Tries to make you feel that you are wrong for your feelings or your position.
- Talks on and on about himself or herself and doesn't ask you much about you, or is uninterested when you do talk about yourself.
- An older man or woman who has never been married and has been in a series of broken relationships.
- Numerous broken marriages.
- Had an abusive childhood and has not had therapy.
- Has abandoned his or her children.
- Not open to learning from relationship conflict.
- Participates in addictions that are unacceptable to you: smoking, drinking, drugs, addictive eating, gambling, TV and so on.
- Financially irresponsible.
- Not truthful.
- Has few friends.
- Judgmental of self and others. Talks about self and others in disparaging ways.
- Is possessive and jealous. Gets upset when you do your own thing.
- Totally different views from yours regarding religion and/or spirituality.
- Few interests and hobbies.
Celine and I discussed the fact that you get what you see.