If you are seeking a relationship you need to understand your Requirements for a happy, successful relationship at the very beginning of your search for the one for you. It is also important that you be judicious in selecting your Requirements. Too many and you will rule out most eligible partners; too few and you come across as desperate or a doormat.
Hopefully, there are three Requirements that make your list without much thought. These are the Trinity of all deal-breakers: addiction, abuse, and control. If you have grown up in a relatively healthy, stable home, you probably do not even think about these, and if you met someone with these behaviors you would run in the opposite direction as quickly as possible.
If, on the other hand, you grew up in an alcoholic family where abuse and control were the norm, you may not realize that such suffering is not necessary, nor should it be tolerated. Let us take a look at each of these deal-breakers in more detail.
Addiction: drug and alcohol addiction are very destructive habits. Behaviors such as gambling and promiscuity are labeled addictions, but I tend to define them as compulsive behaviors. Either way, serious compulsive or addictive behaviors will wreak havoc in any relationship. Getting involved with someone with an active problem such as these is unwise.
Abuse: obviously, any type of physical abuse is completely unacceptable in a relationship. Get to know the history of your potential love interest. Ask whether there has been a history of violence either in the family of origin or in adult relationships. Often, it is more difficult to determine whether abuse is emotional. Keep an eye out for name-calling, blaming, hurtful statements disguised as jokes, acting like nothing is wrong, refusing to take personal responsibility for bad behavior, and other signs that the person may use emotional abuse as a substitute for grown up communication when there is a problem.
Control: anyone who has a "my way or the highway" mentality is going to make things difficult in a relationship. Control can also take the form of manipulating to get your way, deception, and outright threatening to make someone do what you want. Some controlling people believe there is only one right way to do things, meaning that your way is always wrong. If you suspect that your love interest is a control freak, get out now. Control freaks do not play well with others nor do they share.
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