Eight warning signs you shouldn’t ignore

So you’ve met someone special and you’re thinking maybe, just maybe, they’re ‘the one’. But at the start of a relationship, it’s easy to be blinded by lust and excitement and ignore warning signs that the person you’re dating could be a bit of a wrong’un. Wondering what they are? Read on…

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The ex factor
We all know that classic saying – you never really get over someone until you get, erm, to know someone else. And often that’s true, you might well still think about your ex until someone new occupies your thoughts. But if the person you’re dating is mentioning their ex on a frequent basis, be it in a good way (“They’re just such a fun person”) or a bad way (“They’re a lying cheat”) perhaps they’re not ready to move on yet. Do you really want to enter into something that could be a short-lived rebound, or with somebody who still harbours feelings for, or pent-up anger towards, something else?

Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup!
A really easy way to spot if someone’s a keeper or not is to watch how they talk to waiters, shop assistants and the like. If they’re often rude – shouting that the service isn’t good enough or generally treating them with no respect – it’s not a great sign. No one wants to be with someone who thinks they’re better than others, and someone who sees red because their plate isn’t warm enough could be tricky in a relationship.

No laughing matter
Picture the scene – you’re on a date with a potential partner when they ask you what you do for a living. “Oh,” you say. “I’m an illustrator”, to which they reply with a snort of laughter then say: “So what you just sit around drawing pictures all day for a living?” This, reader, is a warning sign. No one wants to be with someone who puts them down – a partner should make you feel good about yourself, not bad. Be especially wary if they don’t apologise when you look hurt – empathy is key for a happy relationship.

Private lies
Imagine you’ve been seeing your partner for a while but a few things are bugging you. You’ve never been to their home, they can only ever meet at specific times, they often take secret calls and start mumbling when you ask about their private life… Ask yourself – are they really as single as you think? Or are they keeping something from you, like another partner? It could be totally innocent, so don’t go jumping to conclusions, but do be wary.

Commitment phobia
It’s a classic warning sign but so many of us ignore it. If the person you’re dating tells you, “Listen yeah, I’m just not really in the right place for a relationship right now,” then tread carefully. They might have just come out of a big relationship and genuinely need some time and space, but sometimes it’s simply that they like you, but not quite enough to commit, and no matter how many times you tell yourself you can change their mind, chances are, you won’t. If you feel the same – you like them but you love your single life – then you’re onto a winner. But if you’re looking for something more serious you might want to search elsewhere.

No-friend zone
On a similar note, beware the partner who doesn’t want to meet your friends. Whether they won’t see them one-on-one or avoid going to parties with them, someone who isn’t interested in your mates can mean trouble. Why? Well it could mean they’re not very invested in the relationship. Meeting the family is a different matter of course, that’s a big deal to many people and they might want to wait until the relationship has developed before taking that step.

How deep is your pocket?
We all know the whole paying for dinner issue can be a bit of a dating minefield. Some people believe that if you’re with a man they should pay, while others think going halves is fairer. But be cautious of someone who never offers to pay for anything. Even if you want to cover the costs, it’s good to be with someone who will at least offer their pennies.

Green Eyed Monster
Some people are more jealous than others – that’s just a fact. But while a small amount of envy is completely normal in a relationship, too much jealousy is relationship poison. Do they quiz you endlessly about your exes, what you did last night, or why you looked at that person that way? People who get very possessive and regularly stop you seeing your friends because they want you all to themselves can quickly lead to stress and can chip away at your self-esteem, so try to sort that out pronto.

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