We are usually so excited to meet someone new and begin dating that we can often and easily overlook qualities and traits that are barriers to the healthy, loving relationship that we deserve. It’s important to give everyone the benefit of the doubt during the “getting to know you” process.
We can all have an off day or a bad date, but most people are going to be on their best behavior during the early stages of dating. With that in mind, take note of these patterns of behavior that are warning signs that he’s not right for you.
Do look for patterns of behavior that are deal breakers for you
Keep a list of behaviors that give you cause for concern. If he shows patterns of being unpredictable (cancels plans, changes plans), unstable (changes friends frequently, no solid base), or unavailable, then he’s not the guy for you. Take note of the absolute deal-breakers when finding a mate and don’t deviate.
Do implement the three strikes and you’re out rule
Use the three strikes and you’re out rule for eliminating the wrong guys before you get too invested. Keep track of the consistent toxic behaviors that will create roadblocks to a healthy loving relationship.
Do look for signs that your values are compatible
One of the important components of a healthy, loving, and lasting relationship is to be with a partner who shares your values. If you value health and fitness and he is a big party guy who doesn’t go a night without drinking, it’s not going to be a great match for you in the long-term. In order to be a good match, you have to be compatible.
Do keep your expectations realistic
Dating someone new is an exciting experience, but expectations can be high when there is a lack of knowledge about the other person. It’s easy to fill that void with what you hope is true. Stay in the moment, and keep your expectations realistic.
Do use this experience to learn more about yourself
The dating world is filled with ambiguity and uncertainty. But, you can use this time to learn more about yourself. That increased knowledge will help you navigate your interactions with awareness.
Do not date a black-and-white thinker
This guy views everything in extremes and he has strong opinions about everything. He tends to not be very understanding about opinions that differ from his. He will leave you feeling devalued when you have opinions that differ from his.
Do not forget to be wary of the Don Juan
This guy is constantly flirting and engaging other people when you are together. He requires too much attention to be satisfied with one person. He will leave you feeling not good enough.
Do not date an externalizer
This guy blames everyone else for what happens to him. For instance, he might say, “The cop was an idiot for giving me a speeding ticket,” while there is no mention of the fact that he was exceeding the speed limit. In time, this guy will be blaming you instead of himself for his own mistakes.
Do not get involved with the “Ex” Talker
This guy cannot stop talking about his ex. According to him, his ex is the worst person alive. The ex is to blame for everything that went wrong in their relationship. This guy doesn’t take any shared responsibility when things go wrong in his relationships. Stick around and he’ll be blaming you too.
Do not date the Idealizer
This guy will put you on a pedestal and worship you. He can’t believe how perfect you are – the way you look, the things you say, everything you do. Unfortunately, it won’t be long before he’s knocking you off the pedestal when he struggles to come to terms with the fact that not everyone is perfect, and everyone has flaws.
Again, it’s important to recognize behaviors (toxic and healthy) as patterns–he engages in them with frequency. You want to be aware of behaviors that are barriers to creating a healthy, loving relationship that you want. And, you want to recognize behaviors that are compatible with yours.
The early stages of dating are challenging because there is a lack of certainty. This can lead to fantasizing and making predictions – leaving the present and getting caught up in the future. Stay aware. Stay mindful. Stay in the moment.
Source: Michelle Skeen, PsyD via expertbeacon.com
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