One of the biggest mistakes both men and women make in the Dating Game is to ignore or overlook obvious warning signs. This can be a very easy trap to fall into if you’re desperate to be in a relationship – or have had too much to drink! When looking for love you will meet a variety of potential candidates for a relationship, and the ability to identify certain warning signs can save you a great deal of time, disappointment or even distress.
Potential warning signs are missed by:
Ignoring obvious warning signs
Reducing the importance of obvious warning signs
Making excuses for the other person
1.Abuse of Alcohol
Many people have the stereotypical view that a person who is an alcoholic gets drunk every day, only lives to drink and is a social outcast who has lost everything. A person can be a binge drinker and have a problem, while others who go out with the sole intention to ‘get wasted.’ may also have a problem. This type of behaviour can be encouraged by some peer groups and can be easily observed in many Western cities on a Friday or Saturday evening. Enjoying a few drinks responsibly at the weekend is quite acceptable, but someone who needs to have a drink every evening indicates alcohol has become a way of life. This is a person who probably needs alcohol to function. Someone who needs a drink every night can be fairly described as an alcoholic just the same as someone who needs to drink all day long. You will often hear people say they just need a drink to ‘settle their nerves’ or will claim they’re generally a ‘social drinker.’ Some people will rationalize their drinking by saying they just stick to ‘light’ drinks like wine or beer but if they are drinking everyday they have a problem; it’s just a question of how much of a problem.
When you meet someone new or go on a date with a person for the first time pay attention to their alcohol intake. How much does he drink? Does she drink to excess? Does he use hard drugs? People often use excess alcohol and other addictive drugs to try and escape their negative emotions and fears, or even themselves. They want to be numb emotionally so they will not have to feel and deal with their issues. Alcohol dependency often causes huge problems in relationships so if you suspect a man or woman you’re dating drinks too much it’s sensible to walk away sooner rather than later. Do not deny the warning sign and compromise yourself to accommodate their drinking habits, which could indicate an addiction to alcohol. If you are already in a relationship and you have been ignoring your partner’s excessive drinking the issue has to be confronted. They have to agree to seek help and be serious about giving up alcohol or you have to seriously consider leaving the relationship.
- Abuse of Illegal or Prescription Drugs
Those who use illegal drugs or abuse prescription drugs can become physically dependent over a relatively short period of time.
Illicit drugs are expensive and dangerous with addictions to drugs such as heroin and cocaine often having severe consequences for addicts damaging their:-
Intimate & Family Relationships
Smoking marijuana is now considered to be socially acceptable by many people with some claiming they enjoy medicinal benefits or relief from certain illnesses. Despite its wide spread use the consistent use of marijuana also has dangers. There are many different varieties of this drug and the stronger enhanced ‘skunk’ types are many times stronger than the natural herb as it is cultivated by using additional chemicals. The consistent smoking of marijuana, and especially of ‘skunk’, can have long-term effects on a person. It can make them paranoid, forgetful, lethargic, mentally lackluster and emotionally insensitive. The constant use of illegal drugs can accelerate a person’s decline into oblivion. In many cases addicts destroy their lives and severely damage the people who love them.The reality is anyone with a drug addiction problem isn’t ready to be in a relationship. He or she may promise to change and even display a genuine willingness to resolve these issues but it’s usually a mistake to become involved with a man or woman when there are clear and obvious warning signs. Jumping to conclusions can be counterproductive but make sure you pay attention to patterns of behavior and use your common sense. If you identify a pattern (a minimum of two incidents that are the same or very similar) don’t ignore it! Make sure you address the issue immediately and don’t waste time trying to fix him. If you suspect the person you’re dating has any kind of addiction problem and they aren’t prepared to acknowledge and discuss any possible solution you should walk away without looking back.
When someone is in denial it doesn’t matter how much ‘potential’ you think they may have. The myth that ‘love conquers all’ is just that – a myth. This advice may seem harsh especially for women as they generally are nurturers by nature but addictions and destructive patterns of behavior are usually caused by emotional issues that you will be poorly equipped to deal with. While it is possible for anyone one to change, any meaningful transformation is very unlikely without the assistance of a support group or therapy.
If you are already in a relationship and you know your partner is using drugs or clearly has a drug problem then the issue has to be confronted. They have to agree to get help to quit or you need to get out of the relationship now!
- Disrespects the Women in His Family
This one is for women. The majority of men grew up with a mother and may also have sisters, aunties and nieces. If he lacks respect for the female members of his family he will eventually disrespect you. One of the exceptions to this would be if he experienced abuse from female family members – it does happen. Pay attention to how he speaks about female members of his family or how he treats the other women in general, and don’t be deceived by his chat up lines or how charming he may appear to be.
- Poor Relationships with Friends & Family
How a man or woman treats their family members, parents, friends and siblings will usually be a reliable indicator of their general personality. When someone’s life appears to be full of broken friendships, betrayals and difficult or dysfunctional relationships, you should see this as a very clear red flag. If they avoid discussing details regarding their family background or has very little contact with them this may indicate concealed resentment, anger or rage concerning family members and their negative emotions will eventually be directed at you. Do not become involved unless you’re prepared to be the next person on their list of failed relationships.
- Disrespectful & Demeaning to You
When a man or woman doesn’t respect your ideas, opinions or choices this is a clear warning sign not to become involved. Relationships require compromise and being with a bully who undermines your confidence will end in tears.
- Possessive & Controlling
Controlling or possessive behavior is a clear warning sign you’re dating a man or woman who is probably a physical or emotional abuser. They may try to convince you there is nothing to be concerned about and he/she is just confident, outgoing or very assertive but don’t be fooled. Also pay attention if a man or woman is too quiet or intense. Always trust your gut instincts.
- Difficulty Maintaining Regular Employment
It’s common and perfectly acceptable to experience short-term periods of unemployment especially in the current economic climate. A freelancer is likely to have periods when there is little or no work. However, if he or she has a constant pattern of being hired and fired, alarm bells should start ringing loud and clear.
The inability to hold down a job could be a warning sign of:-
A problem with authority
Bad time-keeping skills
A poor work ethic
A poor attitude
An invisible health condition that needs attention
Any of these warning signs can indicate an inherent instability or an irresponsible attitude towards managing his or her life. These types often have a pattern of looking for someone to bail them out when they hit their next financial problem or crisis and there are no prizes for guessing who that will be if you become involved!
- Has a pattern of giving Up
When someone has a pattern of quitting on things like their career, relationships, education, or any other major responsibilities they will probably lack staying power for a long-term relationship. Sometimes in life it’s wise to know when to quit or to walk away but a pattern of giving up should be a major cause for concern.
- A Lack of Personal Goals
Sharing goals and planning ahead is the key to a stable and satisfying relationship. The majority of people enter relationships with an idea of what they want so both partners should set mutually agreed goals for the relationship. You should also pay attention to his or her personal goals; if he or she doesn’t have any medium to long-term goals then it’s unlikely they haven’t seriously considered being in a committed relationship.
Nigel is a contributor to the movie documentary ‘Looking for Love’ released in the UK on the 21st August 2015. Please check the official website for screening times and dates.
Please follow me on @Nigelbee1
Author Nigel Beckles