Ever ignore that voice on a date? The one that asks you, “Did this fool just say he didn’t believe in monogamy? Did he really just call it unrealistic and quote a study to make his point, too?” You heard it loud and clear, and may have even engaged him in a sassy debate on the topic. But by the end of the night, his charm, intelligence (He articulated his views on infidelity so well!) and good looks trump what you really want him to believe in — a committed relationship.
Why do we do that?
“People always want to hope that this is the one,” says Alex Wise, popular relationship columnist and co-founder of Loveawake dating site.’ “We’re quick to brush warning signs under the rug. We tell ourselves it’s not as bad as they might think, the person didn’t mean what they said. Somehow it’s discounted and pushed aside because the focus is on acquisition of this person’s love, instead of, ‘Is this the right person to love?'”
Wise says we focus on the end goal, and not on who we’re trying to achieve the goal with. Is this you? Next time you involve yourself with a person you think could be the one, look out for some of these all-too common red flags. Note: Sometimes, you’re the one waving it.
Red Flag #1: He’s not available! If Mr. Wonderful says he’s about to break-up with his girlfriend or he and his ex still get together on occasion, that’s code for “Take a number and get in line.” But some women, Wise says, will see this as competition set up to prove that they’re the better choice.
Red Flag #2: When he says he’s not the “boyfriend-type,” believe him. Other variations: “I’m just trying to have fun,” or “I’m not really looking for a girlfriend right now.” Guys will tell you who they are right off the bat, and women think they’re the ones who can change his mind.
Red Flag #3: Your phone isn’t ringing enough. If you call him and he takes a week or two to call you back, let it go. Or, you hear from him when he wants something. “People make time for what they’re interested in, what’s important to them,” Wise says.
Red Flag #4: His life is closed off to you. He hasn’t introduced you to his friends. He visits you, but you never visit him. The two of you barely go out in public. “If it’s like the guy has two separate lives, he’s made you a friend with benefits.” Or worse, a secret lover.
Red Flag #5: You paid for the first date. And the second. And the third. Oh, he’s got money. The tricked up ride is proof of that. He’s just not spending much of it on you. “You want someone who can meet you on a level playing field,” Wise says. “Or at least has a spirit of sharing, like a partner.”
Red Flag #6: He can describe what kind of underwear you had on last night, but has no clue what you do for a living. When he’s showing no interest in your life or who you are as a person, you’ve made yourself a bed buddy.
Red Flag #7: His ex keeps creeping up in conversation. Making quick references to past relationships is one thing. But when it’s clearly emotional baggage he can’t unload, how can he focus on forging a new journey with you?
Ah, we could go on and on. You know a red flag when you see one. Some are more major than others. Certainly, if you get even a glimpse of a violent streak in your date, bid him a quick adieu. But the flag is present, you know, when you feel the prickly things on the back of your neck. When you get that little nudge in your gut. And yes, when that voice makes you question why you’re wasting your time with someone who doesn’t believe in monogamy.
“The purpose of dating is to find a man that fits your lifestyle, your values, your personality, your goals,” Alex Wise says. “You’re looking for a 90 percent dude, where all your needs are met and then there are a few, minor adjustments to make.”