You’re dating a new person. You think it’s all going well, maybe even going great! Then, abruptly, they disappear. If this has never happened to you, if all your relationships continued for as long as you wanted them to, you are so very fortunate. And unusual. In this age of meeting people online, (although these red flags are just as red wherever you meet!) it’s pretty darn important to understand enough about what your date is bringing to the relationship table, so that you can better recognize potential trouble sooner rather than later.
Sound like a good idea? Good! Please read on.
The first item for you to consider is actually about you! Does that sound counter-intuitive? After all, I’m writing about recognizing red flags in a date, right? Some of the flags you could recognize in a date are only really “red” in relationship to what you know about yourself. Let me give you an example: If you know that you will only be satisfied with investing your time in a relationship that will ultimately lead to marriage, then it’s potentially a red flag when you meet someone who describes him or her self as a serial monogamist, but who has never met “the right person” after a number of long relationships. There are certainly questions to be asked of that person. But if looking for a permanent partner is not that important to you, then that person may be worth getting to know a lot better.
YOU NEED TO BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR! Only then will you be able to identify the red flags that will tell you it’s time to move on.
I know that dating sites ask you to think about what you are looking for, and some of that information is used to complete your profile. I also know that being too narrowly focused or too rigid can cause you to eliminate people who could be quite interesting. That’s why creating an honest profile of your ideal date/mate/partner FOR YOURSELF will be so enlightening.
Your ideal profile should contain the characteristics you’d like but are flexible about, and the ones that you must have. Think about why that characteristic is absolutely necessary, and make a list. In my work coaching people on dating, I have rarely met anyone who has completed this simple yet extremely valuable exercise.
Part 1 Homework: Create a list of the characteristics you hope for, and the ones you MUST have, in a potential date,lover,mate or partner. Then, check back here in a few weeks for Part 2.