Okay. You’ve been on a few dates with this new person. It’s been fun. The excitement is there. But you are discerning that something may be “off” and you don’t know if you should continue growing this early relationship. Here is a list that can help you discern better.
- Being inconsiderate regarding time or commitments.
- Not following through on promises or commitments. Ding. Ding. Ding. This is a sign of his/her integrity.
- Disrespectful comments that are degrading or otherwise hurtful. These are not necessarily directed at you but are a regular part of his/her conversation.
- Overall negativity. Now, of course negativity will be a part of any relationship in life, but it shouldn’t be so obvious over a positive attitude. A negative outlook on life will translate into negative thoughts, and ultimately, a negative mind. People who focus on the negative tend to have low energy, blame others for their problems, and in general, won’t be the most fun, inspiring people to hang around. Yuck. This is not a match for you. You are worthy of someone better.
- Pushing any of your boundaries which you have set up. You may or may not yet have declared your boundaries in a black-and-white sort of way. Those usually involve a heavy conversation and this is just the beginning of your relationship. But if this person is already uncomfortably pushing any of those boundaries, the two of you may simply not be a match. He or she is simply “not on the same page” with you.
- Pushing you in the physical relationship already. See boundaries above.
- Monitoring your activities already such as trying to get a handle on where you are 24/7 and who you are spending time with already. I’m not even sure this is appropriate when you are deep into a relationship or married. This is a trust issue and a major red light.
- Over-texting you already. Does he/she have a life outside of you—and you two have just met? Over-texting is already a sign that your activities are being monitored. Doing it already is also saying he/she could be ready to give up all of their personal identity to be attached to you. And that is not a match. While it may feel good to have so much attention, you do want to date someone who has their own identity. Even after you two may get married. The miracle of marriage is two whole people becoming one.
- You already feel not listened to.
- There is a resistance to meeting your friends, any of your team members, anybody in your circle. Yes, meeting friends is a step that says “this may be going somewhere” and the when of that needs to be decided wisely. But if you are already sensing a resistance to this, especially if he/she is saying such things as needing to spend time with you alone, consider this a yellow light. Note: I didn’t mention meeting your family as that is clearly a solid step that says “this may be going somewhere.”
- Noting significant inequalities already. If this new relationship has a more respected job, is wealthier, or comes from a higher socio-economic background than you, watch that he/she isn’t throwing these facts up already. It is a sign that you are already viewed as “not enough.”
- You already are catching yourself making excuses or developing defense mechanisms or minimizing something that is already bothering you to excuse his/her behaviors.
- Something was inadvertently said but it triggered a shame reaction inside of you. Pay attention to that shame reaction. Do not dismiss it. Do not minimize it. This does not necessarily mean the person you are just getting to know is a bad person. This could mean that you have learned something about yourself and you need to get to the hard work of healing that.
- Pressuring you to come “first” in his/her life. Not yet. You are just in the beginning stages. This is a sign of insecurity, clinginess, neediness—do I need to keep listing these unflattering words?
- He/she is already trying to have the DTR or “defining the relationship” talk with you. It is too early. This is a growing relationship which means it is beyond defining yet. But if this is being tried, he/she is telling you that there is a fear of vulnerability problem. Warning.
What did you learn about you in this new relationship? Remember that mistakes are experiences.
(Photo credit: http://www.timdecker.com/blog/corporate-event-planning-checklist/)