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12 Red Flags Not to Ignore When You’re Dating

On the First Date He Says, “Let’s Have Sex.”
Men have sex on their minds and sometimes they can’t help but voice their carnal intentions. This is normal: A man’s spoken desire to rip your clothes off may even turn you on. However, if all he seems to talk about from date one is getting you in his bed, he may take you for a floozy. When “let’s get busy” comes before “what’s your name?” it’s a sign that he’s only interested in getting to know you on a sexual, not personal, level.

He Doesn’t Make You Feel Special
Your boyfriend is supposed to love you. He’s supposed to make you feel like the most beautiful, intelligent, wonderful woman in the world. If he’s not making you feel special, it’s time to re-evaluate how he is making you feel. We’d take a wild guess it’s something other than good.

His Idea of a Date Is a Booty Call
You’d be surprised how many women confuse late-night hookups with actual relationships. You should know that if a guy’s truly interested in you, he’s going to take you out, not merely invite you to join him once he’s already at the bar with his boys, or call you after midnight just to “see what you’re up to.” And if that’s exactly what’s going on, then you, my friend, are merely his last resort when he can’t find another chick to take home.

He Gushes About Another Woman
Whether he can’t shut up about his new coworker, yoga teacher, or supposed “friend,” if your guy goes on and on about another woman, he could be guilty of emotional cheating and may not be far from physical cheating. His focus on this particular woman may start with a few short mentions and slowly graduate to extended conversations about everything from her career choice to her coffee choice.

He’s Shady with His Phone
If he’s always receiving calls in the middle of the night, and takes them in another room, or grabs his phone the second it rings in the hopes that you won’t see the caller ID, he’s probably not talking to his mother. Don’t fall for lines like “It’s a work call” or “That’s an old college friend,” because he’s probably telling the same exact thing to the other women he’s seeing when you call. Often the amount of secret texts he sends is directly related to how many women he’s sleeping with.

He Doesn’t Fight Fair
Whether it’s because your guy’s defensive or just a jerk, if he becomes excessively aggressive when the two of you have an argument, he isn’t fighting fair -- possibly the most detrimental trait of a bad communicator. Instead of dealing with the present, a boyfriend on the defense will often dig up the past, diverting the conversation away from him (which almost always means he knows he did something wrong). You should never put up with your boyfriend attacking you on a personal level, which includes telling you “you’re just like your mother,” and, our favorite, calling you “crazy.”

He’s Lazy in Bed
A laggard guy always positions you on top so he can lie there while you do all the work or pass out after you give him head so he doesn’t have to reciprocate. Sure, it may require some effort to get a gal off, but if you continually ask your man to go down on you and in response he sighs and gives a half-hearted “fine,” he’s officially lazy in bed. And we hate to say it, but if your man isn’t proactive in bed, he may be the type who expects everyone else, especially you, to pick up his slack in other areas of his life.

He’s a Stage-5 Clinger
Relationships work best when two people have their own, independent lives apart from the one they share. A man shouldn’t need you to continually entertain him or spend every second with him. You signed up to be your guy’s girlfriend, partner, or wife, not his security blanket. Think about whether his attachment is because he loves spending time with you or because he needs you to navigate each day. If it’s the latter, you’re more compass than companion.

He’s Never Around When You Need Him the Most
A dude who doesn’t support you during a time of real need certainly won’t hold your hand through the birth of your child, the deaths of your parents, and any other high-stress or grief-ridden situations that you’re sure to face. Part of the perk of having a long-term beau is that you don’t have to go through life’s ups and downs alone. If he takes off when the going gets tough, you’re better off going at it alone.

He Tells His Mom Everything
Momma’s boys are in constant communication with their mothers. You may not realize it, but if you’re dating one, his mom probably knows every intimate detail of your relationship, and takes liberty to weigh in on every argument the two of you have. Chances are, you’ll have to listen to her opinion -- a momma’s boy isn’t shy about voicing what’s on his mommy’s mind.

He’s Stingy with Personal Details
Most men aren’t going to pour their hearts out and sob on your shoulder. They’ve been conditioned to believe that real men don’t cry. And while your boyfriend isn’t required to shed tears in front of you, it would be nice if he could clue you in as to what he’s thinking every now and then. If you’ve been dating your man for months, but you still haven’t heard one mention of his childhood or career aspirations, something’s not right.

He’s a Text-a-holic
With e-mailing, texting, instant messaging, and Facebook, a true discussion has become easier than ever to avoid. We understand the inclination to hide behind electronics: It’s easier to tell a gal something embarrassing, devastating, or risqué when you don’t have to look her in the face. If your guy continually brings up serious relationship issues via IM, he’s avoiding a real discussion.


The Dirty Dozen: 12 Relationship Red Flags to Watch For

"He's smart. Sexy. Fun. Sweet. The total package. But there's just one little, uh, problem..." Now, it could take you months of dating to uncover this (huge, relationship-wrecking) blip in your new boyfriend's behavior. But why wait? To avoid romantic tragedy down the line, here are the 12 potential deal breakers to watch for now. The heart you save may be your own.

Chronic Lateness
For clarity, "chronic" here means "three dates in a row." If your date arrives more than 10 minutes late each time, don't wait for his fourth arrival. No doubt your date will have wonderful excuses, and one or two may even be sound. But three in a row is a pattern, and what the pattern says is, "I don't want to get into this." So neither do you.

Ketchup on Eggs
If one of those first dates is brunch, and your new friend reaches for the ketchup to put on his eggs, red flag! I realize this may seem arbitrary or fussy. Or perhaps you think I'm making a class judgment here. Well, maybe I am! What's wrong with that? All I know is nothing good ever comes of ketchup on eggs. And it's really gross.

Rudeness to Waiters
And taxi drivers, and anyone else in a service job. I shouldn't even have to explain why this is a deal breaker. Just remember that it is.

Scary Divorce Stories
It's amazing how much a new prospect will tell you about his life on a first or second date — much more than he knows he's saying. The question is: Do you hear it? If he launches into the story of his messy divorce, is his ex the villain in every respect? To me, that's a red flag right there. Anyone who's emotionally grounded should be able to see that two people, not one, contribute to a divorce.

A Deep Attachment to Disturbing Pets
A golden retriever is fine, and cats are all right if they don't do much. But I'm still haunted by the memory of an ancient, hairless dachshund that would manage to jump up on the bed during inopportune moments and bay. Not until the dog owner chose to disengage herself from me and comfort the dog instead did I know that this was trouble.

Fling-o-Matics
During a first, incredibly romantic lunch with a new prospect some time ago, I mentioned that my most recent relationship had ended after a year. "A year," my new friend marveled. "That's so impressive! All of my relationships end after three months." Of course I resolved to be the exception. Over the next weeks, which happened to include Christmas and New Year's, we had an amazing time, both in New York City, where she had a charming Hell's Kitchen walk-up, and at my house in the Hamptons. One Sunday, after I'd put her on the train home, I came back to find the most tenderly romantic note on my pillow, something about soul mates joined. The next week, for no outward cause, she called to break up with me. No argument, no terrible time, just end of story. Only later did I realize it was week 12. Lesson: When a woman over 35 tells you all her relationships have ended after a few months, red flag.

Demon Children
Children with an issue or two? Maybe. Children who hate you? Watch out. Hopelessly spoiled or angry children? Head for the door.

Money Matters
Money stirs up many issues, conscious and unconscious, far more than any article can cover. For now, let's just list two red flags you can spot early on. One: If a man suggests splitting the tab on a first date, the woman should pay — then bolt. I don't say this is fair, especially if, for instance, the woman is a CEO and the man is a freelance writer. But it's the way it is, and any man who tries to worm out for the sake of saving a few bucks is a creep to be ditched. For men, an early red flag about money may not start waving until the third or fourth date. A lot of women begin life as daddy's girls — a few stay that way. They feel men should provide them with the lifestyle to which they've grown accustomed to with other men who did just that. If you're a sugar daddy yourself, have fun. If not, back off. Over time you'll only be despised — and dropped.

The Parent Trap
Powerful emotions about one's parents — positive or death. One 50-year-old man I know has dated every single woman in New York and found, to his bafflement, that none is good enough — for his mother, that is. (She's still calling the shots at age 85.) One of this guy's many castoffs is a very attractive, successful woman of 42, whom I later dated myself. Now that I know both, I can only wonder who was the first to reject the other. It must have been like two gunfighters at the O.K. Corral. N— rejected me after three really nice dates because she decided my eight-year-old daughter, whom she hadn't yet met, would be an "encumbrance" to our relationship. (Since she hadn't met her, she couldn't claim my daughter was a demon child.) Only after we became friends did I learn how much she resents both her parents. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Bad Sex
I don't need to go into detail here, do I? Except to say that bad sex may get better after a first, fumbling time, but bad sex two or three times in a row is sex that only gets worse. Don't fool yourself into thinking that sex is just one part of a relationship, that laughter and shared values are as important, etc., etc. They're not. Red flag. Big red flag.

Dirty Underwear and Socks
Your mother was right. They have to be clean. Dirty underwear is the hallmark of a secret slob, and every secret slob has many worse habits you don't even want to think about — but will have to all too soon.

The Anger Hum
As he or she talks, not just about past romantic relationships but about work, friends and family, listen for a low hum of anger, like a third rail running along the tracks of your new prospect's life. For reasons I never quite figured out, I used to be attracted to women who had that vibe. Maybe it seemed sexy; maybe it reminded me of my mother. But I now know how to recognize anger — not shows of temper, which may be healthy in moderation, but the deeper, more destructive hum — and to back off when I hear it.

Date: 2011-07-20 05:16 pm (UTC)
thisonething: by bella_sol (Default)
From: [personal profile] thisonething
Some of this is A+ material and other parts beg to be ripped apart. I think I'll have a go at it after we eat, yeah? *g*

Date: 2011-07-22 04:46 am (UTC)
dieforlove: Existing as a strange anomaly of artistic expression and physical precision. (Leather)
From: [personal profile] dieforlove
I like ketchup on scrambled eggs.

I'm bad news.

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July 2011

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