We have all been there- desperately wanting comradery or maybe our fling just seemed to drag on for a few years longer than you originally planned.
*The truth is, sometimes we simply do not see the red flags right in front of us.
Here are a few early signs that this person is not healthy for you:
They are here to save you! Wait, he sounds like the perfect Knight in Shining Armor or she is finally someone who understands your needs! How is this a problem? Run now, because you are walking right into an imbalanced relationship by putting them on a pedestal and letting them take care of you. When one person holds the power in the relationship, arguments quickly ensue. If someone wants to “help” you, or “fix” you, then they are subtly telling you that you are not “good enough” yet. If you are looking for someone to take on this caretaker role, it is time to take a good luck in the mirror.
You feel the need to save them! The reality is, sob story aside, if your crush is not financially independent by about 25 years old, this is going to be a source of conflict sooner than later. Sure, you may feel good helping them out by letting them move in with you, helping pay their debt, or updating their resume… but take a moment to think about why you have this “savior” complex. Why are you looking for dysfunction? Chances are, you are going to get just what you expected- more dysfunction. Lack of responsibility and independence is a big red flag. No thanks. You can find someone you enjoy who is also independent and responsible for meeting their own basic needs.
“I love you, already!” It feels good to have someone so head-over-heels for you! I have been there…but we all know the saying, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Although I have heard of a few couples who met young, married quickly and have lasted for over 50 years- I hate to break it to you but the statistics are not in their favor. If you are with someone who is trying to rush things, chances are they are either not very mature or have some serious dependency/codependency issues. People who quickly jump into serious relationships are also quick to jump out. They are impulsive- a trait you definitely do not want in a partner.
Overt or covert control-seeking. At first it feels as if they really care about you. “I just want some “us” time” or “I don’t think Sarah is a good influence on you…” If you find yourself constantly trying to adapt to their interests, people, preferences and behaving in a way you think they are attracted to, you will quickly find you have lost your sense of you. Anyone who overtly or covertly (ie. negative glance, attitude, physical rejection) tells you what to do, wear, say, think, etc. needs some serious therapy.
Passive aggressive communication. Conflicts will arise and one major way I test my couples for relational health is looking at how they communicate when they face challenges. Dysfunctional forms of communication can range from silent treatments, cold shoulders, sarcasm, non-responsiveness and stonewalling (ie. acting cold but verbally expressing that they are “fine.”) to manipulative behavior. If your crush cannot be honest, transparent and direct with you, these communication skills must strengthen before you can sustain a long-term relationship.
Poor relationships with others. If your crush does not have many close, long lasting relationships with others, it is time to do some serious investigating. Your close friends and family- you know, those people you trust and who would jump in front of a moving bus to save your life- are the best test. If they do not like him or her, I would take that very seriously. I know, “They just don’t know him yet.” Trust me, they know enough and, more importantly, they know you. I am not talking about traditional parents who “just want you to marry a nice Jewish girl.” Yes, sometimes you may differ on certain generational values, but I am talking about your mother pulling you aside and saying, “Joe, I just don’t trust this woman…” Statistically, they are usually right.
They are not available. They are still married but have convinced you the relationship is long over, or they are still admittedly grieving and old relationship, just don’t do it! As much as it might be smoothe move to serve as that shoulder-to-lean-on while your crush grieves, statistics show that the rebound relationship rarely lasts.
You are worth a healthy, balanced, mature, supportive relationship! No settling!