These dating red flags can SAVE your future!
As I was swimming last week, a young couple came into the pool. Instead of doing laps or walking, like most of the gym members, they were just enjoying themselves. He started splashing her, and she said, in a whiney voice, "Joey, stop it!"
He just kept splashing her. I bit my tongue because what I wanted to do was tell her she was teaching him to ignore her and push past her boundaries. For all I know, he was a nice guy, and I worried for nothing.
But I do know that this is how abuse begins — with small incursions over boundaries.
When a potential abuser (male or female) learns that the victim won't oppose his or her actions, he or she then assumes it's OK to become more pushy and demanding (and perhaps abusive). In a new relationship, it's important to notice if the other person is being inconsiderate, disrespectful, or selfish.
While anyone can make a mistake or fall short of perfect behavior, someone who is repeatedly inconsiderate or obnoxious — someone who won't take "stop" or "no" for an answer — is showing signs of narcissism and emotional immaturity.
Keep in mind that any person you're in a new relationship with is on their best behavior, and it's not going to get better as you grow closer.
Here are five sings your date is nothing bad news:
1. Pay Attention To Your Date
The most important aspect of a date, in addition to having a good time, is to get to know each other better.
No matter how excited, turned on or thrilled you are about this person, listening to what your date says, watching what your date does and understanding how your date feels are still your primary objectives.
2. Your Business Is What You Think Of Your Date
One of the easiest ways to lose your objectivity and balance is to worry about what your date thinks about you. If you spend your time essentially trying to look at yourself through your date's eyes, you'll miss what's really happening.
Pay attention so you know what YOU think of your date.
3. Look For Integrity
Make sure your date walks his or her talk. Anyone can talk big. Actually, some of the best people DON'T present themselves well.
So don't overlook someone who's not gorgeous and charming BUT has all the qualities you really need in a partner.
4. Sexual Safety
Be very consistent and careful about your sexual safety until the relationship progresses to the point that you become monogamous, and both tested for STD's. Even the nicest people can be infected with a disease and not even know they have it.
If you have had unprotected sex, have your doctor do a screening for STD's. Don't assume your partner is monogamous — especially if you haven't discussed it in detail.
5. Know The Signs Of Emotional Blackmail
- A Demand: Your date won't take "no" for an answer, and requests are really demands.
- Resistance: When every discussion turns into an argument.
- Pressure: Your date pressures you to go along.
- Threats: Your date uses threatening or coercing tactics — threatening to end the relationship, tears, rage, badgering.
Hopefully, because you've thought about the serious issues in advance, you'll still be able to relax, have a good time and maybe even decide to keep dating each other.
Then you'll need a whole NEW set of skills.
From the The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again, © Tina Tessina 2012.
This article was originally published at Tinatessina.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.