After working with one of my private coaching clients this week, I was reminded of something very important. He came to me after a difficult divorce and now a difficult break-up. He’s literally one of the nicest guys on the planet. It makes me sad that he continues to find himself heart broken and alone.
He just wants to meet a woman who will love him for who he is, who is kind, and who will appreciate his kindness in return.
We sat down together one evening and I asked him to make a list of at least 5 must-haves that he wants in a partner. I gave him 5-10 minutes and told him to really think about what he wants, what he needs, and what will make him happy at the very basic level.
We reviewed the list and worked together for another 25-30 minutes on refining that list. By the time we finished the list transformed into a much longer and more detailed list. I asked him questions and we discussed each trait so that it was perfectly clear to him what kind of woman he was looking for and also what kind of woman he needs. We also clarified some areas where he was confused and needed some direction.
Of course this naturally progressed into discussing what he doesn’t want! As a result, we discussed some red flags that he needs to begin looking for. Like I said, he’s a super nice guy. As you know, nice guys or nice people in general tend to attract unstable people. It’s just the way it is. When a person is kind it means they’re willing to look at another person’s perspective. It also means they tend to be more patient and give people the benefit of the doubt who don’t necessarily deserve it. Of course this poses a problem with dating.
Are you too nice?
Nice people tend to attract the crazies, unfortunately. I often have to help people who are super generous and kind by nature with this issue.
Fortunately, the nice guys and gals begin to figure it out after they’ve been taken advantage of enough times…
You have to identify the red flags. There’s a ton of things to consider when dating someone. Below I list what I consider to be red flags when you’re beginning to date someone new. They’re not all taken from my sessions with him, however. Some are taken from my own personal experience.
I used to be a push over and let people take advantage of me. I used to give people the benefit of the doubt who didn’t deserve it. Then I went completely 180 and wouldn’t put up with anything for a while. I was a real diva and that didn’t work either! You’ve got to find a happy balance.
What’s the best way to do this? Make sure you date people who are stable. When I say stable I mean that they’re in control of their emotions.
They don’t drink or do drugs to escape their problems. They don’t play the victim and it’s not always another person’s fault.
Please be aware of the red flags below if you’re dating someone new. This is not just for the pushovers like I used to be!
#1. Anyone who tells you that you’re wrong for feeling a certain way and makes you feel bad about feeling that way…. that’s a red flag.
We all have feelings. We all feel things that we can’t control and that we don’t always understand right away. We can, however, control how we react to our feelings. When someone tells you that you shouldn’t feel a certain way, that’s a red flag. When someone tells you that you’re wrong for feeling a certain way or for having a certain belief, that’s a red flag. We all have different beliefs, and we come from different back grounds. We all have different experiences in our life that frame our point of view and our thoughts.
If you don’t agree with someone or understand someone, then talk about it. If after talking you still don’t agree with someone’s beliefs or think that they shouldn’t feel a certain way, then don’t date them anymore. Don’t tell them that they’re wrong for feeling a certain way. Maybe you just don’t agree, and that’s all it is. No one has to wrong or be the bad guy. Let’s just be adults shall we?
Sometimes what works for you simply doesn’t work for another person.
Find someone that listens to you when you need to talk about how you feel. Find someone that wants to work with you to figure out how to make it better. Find someone that genuinely cares about your feelings and it’s not always about how it makes them feel.
Your feelings matter. Everyone’s feelings matter. Make it about how you feel. Don’t make it about what the other person did wrong. Please never tell someone they shouldn’t feel a certain way. If you don’t agree, then fine. Own up to that and move on. Find someone who wants to resolve the issue. Find someone who you can agree with. Find someone who can communicate in a healthy manner and it doesn’t always have to be a fight, or unnecessary drama.
Find someone stable and emotionally mature.
#2. Anyone who tells you that you’re crazy (unless of course you are crazy)… that’s a red flag.
If a person really thinks that you’re crazy then why is that person dating you? What’s wrong with this person that they would date someone who they think is crazy? Put it back on that person. We all have feelings and emotions. You should be trying to figure out why you feel a certain way and why you hurt a person. You should not tell someone they can basically take their feelings and shove them!
You deserve to have your feelings heard and your needs met.
We all do, as long as we’re being reasonable, of course.
Nobody deserves to be told that they’re crazy. Now, if you don’t have your emotions in check and you’ve heard that you’re crazy from more than one person that you’ve dated, then you need to look into that. You’re probably not a crazy person, but you probably don’t know how to manage your feelings. That’s okay because you can learn. Go to therapy and figure out why you’re having a hard time managing your emotions so that you can maintain a healthy and positive outlook on life. Learn to manage your emotions so that you can be with another human whose feelings you will also need to take into consideration. If you can’t manage your own emotions, then relationships will be difficult for you. If you can’t manage your own emotions, you won’t be able to handle another person’s emotions.
Plus, telling someone that they’re crazy is rude and mean, and it solves nothing. If you think you’re dating a crazy person then break up with that person. Don’t tell someone that they’re crazy. It’s name calling, so please grow up.
#3. Anyone who tries to pressure you to progress the relationship too quickly… that’s a red flag.
Watch out for anyone who tries to marry you too quickly, or asks you to be exclusive too fast. I’m talking the first few dates here… or only a month or two into getting to know this person. If you meet someone and immediately they ask you to be in an exclusive relationship, just say no! This happened to me and it was a horrible experience. The guy turned out to be the worst person I ever dated.
This is especially important for super nice people. When someone sees you as super kind and a great catch that’s great, but why the rush? Unstable people have a tendency to latch on to the “nice” guy very quickly. It’s almost as if they need to seal the deal before it’s too late! They’ve got to lock it down before you realize what you’ve gotten yourself into and start to back pedal. If you’re known to attract the crazies then you need to make a point to take it slow. You need to take it slow every time you date someone and you need to pay special attention and watch very carefully for the red flags.
If someone truly loves you then it’s not a race. Love is a marathon so just take your time, get to know each other, and make sure that you really know what this person is about. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into a relationship. A healthy relationship is one that is mutually beneficial and both people feel like the relationship is progressing at a steady level. Both should feel comfortable with the pace.
The next two red flags are so very important! These are the biggest red flags of all. If you already know these then I’m relieved, but you would be surprised how many people don’t. In fact, I didn’t for a while and I learned the hard way. I was simply too nice and I didn’t know how to stick up for myself.
#4. Anyone who tries to isolate you from your friends or family… that’s a HUGE red flag!
Listen, if someone bad mouths your family that you care about, and that you have a good relationship with, then that’s a huge red flag. If a person has something negative to say about the important people in your life, again that’s a HUGE red flag. People who are controlling, selfish, or narcissistic, (unstable) will try to isolate you from the people in your life that have any sort of influence over you. Anyone who tries to isolate you from friends or family that you care about, is trying to control you.
These people don’t want anyone else to have your ear. These people don’t want anyone else feeding you any information that conflicts with what their plans are for you. These are selfish and controlling people and it’s super unhealthy. You should always be able to spend time alone with the people in your life that you care about. In fact, they should urge you to do this, not try and prevent you. You should not have to deal with getting any flak if you spend time with the people in your life that genuinely care about you.
If someone tries to isolate you, that’s HUGE red flag. It can even be dangerous so get out now.
#5. Anyone who loses their temper whether it’s yelling and screaming or physically putting their hands on you… biggest red flag there is.
If anyone lays a hand on you, call the police, turn them in, move on, and never look back. Get out now and fast. Get help from friends and family and your local authorities. Period, the end. Nobody has the right to put their hands on another person, ever.
Now, if someone is yelling and screaming at you and then they tell you it’s your fault they behaved that way because of what you did, please run as fast as you can. This is called verbal abuse. This is also a person who is unable to be accountable for their actions. If you’re afraid you may be suffering from verbal abuse, I have some books I recommend. (links below)
We’re adults and we’re responsible for our own behavior. If we yell and scream at someone, it’s our fault. I don’t care what that person did. If you choose to yell and scream at someone and call them names, and punch the wall, that’s your fault. That’s your problem and you need help. Period.
It’s not okay to be a doormat. It’s not okay to have someone yelling and screaming at you, ever. It’s not okay to have someone tell you that you’re stupid or that you’re a loser.
Thanks for reading today. Whether or not you’re too nice, or you’re new to dating, these are red flags for everyone.
Stick up for yourself and don’t be afraid to make another person unhappy if that person is taking advantage of you. Don’t put your feelings aside for the sake of another person who isn’t treating you kindly. You deserve to be treated with respect and you deserve to take a relationship at a pace that’s comfortable for you.
Nothing is 100% (except for the last two red flags) but if your gut is telling you something is off then you need to listen to it. Listen to your gut. Your gut is your best friend. If you express a need to the person in your life that you’re dating and they don’t listen to you, then that person is not being a good partner. You’re not wrong for wanting what you need and you should be able to talk about it with your partner.
Take care of yourself and find a person who will treat you kindly and with respect.
Link to books on Verbal abuse below.
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