It’s love month and you’ve still got time before Valentine’s Day to assess whether the guy in your life is romance-worthy. We get it. Sharing some sexy on February 14 is a wonderful thing. But in all the excitement to meet someone new, it’s easy to fall brain over heels for the wrong guy. And yet, if you don’t give men a chance, you’ll never find The One. Of course, we all have our off days, but most often, we’re on our best behaviour on those precious first dates, so it’s easy to get fooled by what looks and sounds like Prince Charming.
Need help deciding if he’s a Dude or a Dud? There’s no time to waste. Of course, if he’s a stalker, or controlling or mean, you’ll know it right away. The more subtle hints are harder to spot.
So take notes with these expert tips and warning signs that will help you decide if he’s just not right for you. They are all courtesy of therapist Michelle Skeen who wrote the book LOVE ME, DON’T LEAVE ME: Overcoming Fear of Abandonment & Building Lasting, Loving Relationships. Simple, and smart, you’ll find these easy to keep in the back in your mind (and heart).
DATING TIPS GUIDE: HOW YOU KNOW HE’S JUST NOT RIGHT FOR YOU
4 THINGS YOU NEED TO DO
First, take action so that you won’t be blindsided by the 5 signs that he’s not right for you.
1. TAKE NOTES Make a list of behaviours that give you cause for concern. If he shows patterns of being unpredictable (cancels plans, changes plans), unstable (changes friends frequently, no solid base), or unavailable (you’re getting intimate with his voicemail), then he’s not the guy for you. Take note of the absolute deal breakers when finding a mate and don’t deviate.
2. GIVE 3 CHANCES Use the 3-strikes-you’re-out rule for eliminating the wrong guys before you get too invested. Keep track of the consistent toxic behaviors that will create roadblocks to a healthy loving relationship.
3. FOCUS ON VALUES One of the important components of a healthy, loving and lasting relationship is to be with a partner who shares your values. If you value health and fitness and he is a big party guy who doesn’t go a night without drinking, it’s not going to be a great match for you in the long-term.
4. STAY GROUNDED Dating someone new is an exciting experience, but expectations can be high when there is a lack of knowledge about the other person. It’s easy to fill that void with what you hope is true. Stay in the moment, and keep your expectations realistic.
5 SIGNS YOU NEED TO WATCH FOR
As you’re getting to know this new someone, here are some behaviours that signal you need to hightail it in the other direction.
1. He’s the black-and-white thinker. This guy views life in extremes and has strong opinions about everything. In his opinion, there are good people and bad people. Period. That means he’ll have a very hard time getting your point of view and is bound to leave you feeling devalued when you cross him.
2. He’s the Don Juan. This guy is constantly flirting and engaging other people when you are together. You’re talking to him and he’s looking behind you for something or someone more interesting. He requires too much attention to be satisfied with one person, no matter who she is. So be warned. He will leave you feeling not quite good enough.
3. He’s the Externalizer. This guy thinks everyone in the universe is the cause of everything that befalls him. He can’t consider his own actions because he’s got no insight. Examples? You’ll hear him calling the cop an idiot for giving him that speeding ticket, and his boss a loser for firing him. Give him some time and this guy will be blaming you for the fact that his life sucks.
4. He’s the “Ex” Talker. This guy cannot stop talking about his ex, who invariably is the worst person alive. Seriously, this woman was a monster. In fact, not only is the ex to blame for everything that went wrong in their relationship but she’s pretty much caused all the grief in his life. Stick around long enough and he’ll soon be pointing fingers at you, too.
5. He’s the Idealizer. This guy will put you on a pedestal and worship you. He just can’t seem to believe how perfect you are—the way you look, the things you say, everything you do. Stay tuned for the inevitable, though. Unfortunately, it won’t be long before he’s knocking you off his imaginary pedestal as he struggles with the unavoidable fact that everyone has flaws.
Michelle Skeen, PsyD is a therapist and the author of LOVE ME, DON’T LEAVE ME: Overcoming Fear of Abandonment & Building Lasting, Loving Relationships (New Harbinger, 2014). Read it to start recognizing behaviours that are harmful to relationships, so you can get closer to the loving and lasting connections we all deserve.