Friday, August 9, 2013

Five dysfunctional relationship clues

It’s like your heart’s starring in the movie Groundhog Day: You’re nuts about this person, so you let all kinds of red flags and other bad signs slip through your radar… until the day you decide your self-esteem has had enough, and it’s time for you to do something about it. So, even though it hurts, you decline an invitation or try to pull away from the person you’ve been seeing, because you know that you deserve more than you’re getting out of this relationship. Then, whammo — Mr./Ms. Elusive-and-Noncommittal suddenly notices you’re beating a hasty retreat and launches a charm offensive filled with compliments and loving gestures designed to win you back. For a moment, you wonder if the object of your affection has finally come to his or her senses, so you cautiously crack open the door to your heart again. And for a brief time, it’s bliss… but before you know it, you’re right back where you were before, stuck in the status quo. Then, the cycle starts anew.

Sounds exhausting, right? Unfortunately, many daters find themselves trapped in a similar pattern that literally sucks them back into a relationship that isn’t fulfilling their basic needs. That’s why it’s called “the
Hoover maneuver” in some self-help/group therapy circles (yes, it’s in reference to the brand of vacuum cleaner). And unless you make a conscious choice to stop the cycle from repeating itself again, it can go on for years — if not a lifetime.
Reason #3: He’s only interested in himself At dinner parties, we’ve all sat next to the guy who loves to dominate the conversation by talking about himself. Not only does this behavior quickly become really boring, but perpetual narcissism may be indicative that he’s a person who just isn’t interested in your thoughts or feelings. You have opinions, concerns, and dreams that are just as important as his are, and any potential mate needs to acknowledge and respect that.

Reason #4: He has unresolved addiction issues
A lot of women get into relationships with men living with some kind of addiction and spend the rest of their lives dealing with a host of problems associated with that lifestyle, which eventually overshadow their own lives and goals. Addiction issues — like drugs, gambling and alcohol — often require a lifetime of management and counseling. So, if you suspect your man has a problem, it’s best to keep on moving.

Reason #5: He’s not honest and/or trustworthy
We all bend the truth from time to time, but there’s a big difference between saying something like, “Of course I enjoy your cooking!” and “No, I’ve never been convicted of a felony.” Big lies set the foundation for a lack of trust, and when you can’t trust your man you’re most likely headed for a life of unnecessary anxiety, frustration and big-time drama.

Reason #6: His relentlessly negative outlook
You shouldn’t have to listen, day after day, about the horrors of your boyfriend’s job, the incompetence of every driver on the road, or how nothing ever goes his way. Dealing with constant negativity is not only draining, but it can eventually cause you to take to the dark side emotionally as well. “If you see signs of negativity while dating, they will only get worse as the relationship progresses,” says
Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., psychotherapist and author of The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again. “If he won’t admit his negativity or consider changing it, let go — the relationship will go nowhere.”

Reason #7: He’s got Peter Pan Syndrome
Being in an adult relationship requires both partners to have a mature attitude toward life. It’s perfectly OK to be a kid at heart, but that boyish charm needs to be backed up with a good sense of fiscal and emotional responsibility that only a real man can possess.

Reason #8: He lacks ambition
A man without enough ambition to achieve a goal — any type of goal — typically isn’t a man who’ll make a good life partner for an ambitious woman. “Women that truly understand the definition of ambition have a hard time tolerating a man that has shown…that he has no ambition,” says
Michelle R. Hannah, life coach and author of The Breaking Point: A Full-Circle Journey. You want a man whose credo is, “Yes we can!” as opposed to, “Why bother?”

Reason #9: He’s a cheater
Even if he swears he’ll never do it again, will you ever be able to trust him in the future? Can you believe him when he says that he has to work late/travel out of town on business/stay out a little later with the guys? Life is short… too short, in fact, to be constantly concerned with your partner’s fidelity. Cut your losses by cutting him loose.

Reason #10: He isn’t good boyfriend material
The reason why we all have to be interviewed for our dream job in person by a potential employer is because having a stellar resume doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll be a good fit. Sometimes a man might have the ultimate qualifications, showcasing his great management skills, financial responsibility, creativity, ambition, and every other quality found on your must-have list. But after a few dates, it may become apparent that he won’t mesh well into the company culture (i.e., your friends and family) or he’s just missing that “it” factor that can bump him up to a full-time partner position. Employers don’t waste time with candidates who lack what they truly need, and neither should you. 

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