Dating Red Flags
Being in love often pulls a veil over your better judgment. But if you know the signs, you can spot a d-bag before he strikes. Here are some relationship traps to watch out for and how to remedy them.
I confess. I have fallen for almost every relationship trap out there. Hopefully you haven't. Even still, I can't complain. Had I not fallen for such relationship traps, I would never be able to see them coming for future relationships to come. And lucky for you, I'm willing to pass on some of my wisdom so you can remedy similar situations before they upset you, blow up in your face, or worse, end relationships that you wish would continue. So what have I learned? Read on...
The Looming Ex
"My ex used to do this, my ex used to do that," he'd say. Ack! That's not a good sign, but before you get mad, panic or walk away from the relationship, consider a few things: In what context is he mentioning the ex? Does he have a lot of animosity towards his ex? Do you think he misses his ex? How much does mentioning the ex bother you?
The Remedy: If it doesn't bother you, then there's nothing to worry about. Odds are, if you don't have a problem with it, it's not a threat, and you can go about your relationship as usual. If it does make you feel uncomfortable, figure out why and talk to him about it. It's OK to be straight and say, "It makes me uncomfortable when you mention her. Our relationship should be about us and us only." It's also a good idea to reiterate that although it might be okay to know about each other's past relationships, it's important to understand how each of you have grown. If the ex is no longer relevant to the situation, then there's no point in bringing up the past.
He is demanding of your time and space. Not only does he want to know where you are at all times, he also likes to control what you do, when and how. Be very weary, lady. If he's this controlling now, it will only get worse.
The Remedy: Don't give him the power. Put your foot down, lay down the law, tell him he can't tell you what to do. A relationship shouldn't be about control. It should be about enjoying each other's company. If he doesn't change and matters get worse, get out now. So often, women get attached to possessive men and by the time they realize it, it's even harder for them to break free. It's your life -- you should be living it, not him.
The Commitment Phobe
You haven't met the parents. He keeps you far away from the friends. And his apartment and the bars he frequents are off limits. Clearly, he's not looking at your situation to be long-term, or he's hiding something. Neither situation is desirable. You might just be his "good for right now" lady -- and if you want more, it's time to take action.
The Remedy: Before you start to look elsewhere, make your point clear. Talk to the guy you're dating, and tell him (without getting too emotional) what you want. If he reacts in a way that disappoints you, be cordial and say something like, "I wish that weren't the case, but I have to do what's best for me." Then, start to look for a guy who will want the same things as you.
A Lifetime of Battles
Many of us have been there -- fighting all the time (sometimes every single day) about stuff that's insignificant at the end of the day. These petty "nothing fights" will eventually lead to your doom if you don't do something.
The Remedy: Remember to respect each other. When you communicate during or after these fights, don't say things from a place of anger. Maybe that will help. If it doesn't, and you've been with him for a long time and think it's worth working things out, get counseling. You can talk about your problems, but that might cause yet another fight.