This is something we should all take note of - these always help in life, and as writers of romance, we need this insight to present that Mr. Maybe as Mr. Wrong right away in the reader's mind (of course, we need to torture the heroine a bit first. What's the joy of writing otherwise? *grin*)
The article is from Cosmopolitan Australia, and if you click the link, you'll see the original slideshow with all its quirky images.
The 12 relationship red flags
It’s easy to be blind-sighted when you’re in a new relationship, and we’ve all been guilty of sugar-coating deal breakers as “quirks” or “traits”. Here’s a list of the top 12 relationship red flags that you need to look out for.
1. Chronic lateness. Two times, it’s a red flag. Any more than three times, and it’s a deal breaker. Cars break down, appointments run late, and no doubt your date has a fantastic excuse for his lateness. But if he’s more than ten minutes late each time, it’s a pattern. And that pattern says “I don’t respect you enough to turn up on time”. If you’re left hanging yet again after the third time, don’t wait for his arrival. Leave.
2. You’re always the designated driver. There’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine with dinner. But if you’re forever playing taxi while he’s playing King of Beers, something isn’t right. It’s not hard to share the responsibility here, and if he’s relying on you to drive everywhere he’s not exactly a gentleman.
3. Rudeness. There’s nothing attractive about a man who talks down to people. This includes rudeness to waiters, taxi drivers, or anyone else who is just doing their job. Do you really want to play the role of the apologetic girlfriend? It’s boring, and people (including yourself) begin to wonder what the hell you’re doing with him. Move on, sister.
4. Crazy ex stories. While its generally not good manners to bring up ex stories, listen carefully if he does. Is his ex the “villain” in all of these stories? This is a good indicator of his maturity and what you can expect. Also, listen out for the phantom ex – the one that keeps mysteriously turning up in conversations. Major red flag!
5. Protective vs. obsessive. Note: there is a major difference between protective and obsessive. Protective is putting an arm around your waist at the bar. Obsessive is making you wear a fake engagement ring on a girl’s night out. Guess which one raises the red flag?
6. Money matters. The general rule is this. If he asks you out on a date, he should pay, and there should be no request from him to split the bill on the first date. This doubles as a red flag and a cheapskate alert. Having said that, if the first date turns in to multiple dates, make sure you offer to foot the bill sometimes – and if he declines at least offer to pay your half. A good rule of thumb is the more dates there are, the more the costs and planning should be shared by both parties. But just remember that chivalry never goes out of style.
7. Bad sex. Granted, it’s only one part of a relationship, but let’s face it – it’s a very important part. Part of the fun of a new relationship is learning what the other person likes and exploring new things, but if the sex doesn’t get any better after the first, fumbling time - or the times after that - you can be sure that there will be unhappy endings in every sense of the word.
8. Parents. Everyone has baggage of some form, but keep an eye on his relationship with his parents. Very strong emotions (they can be positive or negative) about one’s parents can sometimes mean relationship death. Everybody Loves Raymond, anyone? If things have progressed you can always try and work on it if it becomes an issue, but if you’re just starting out and its already annoying you? Raise your red flag and get outta there.
9. Bad breath. Okay, we don’t need to spell this one out. It’s a date, you’re probably going to kiss, and it’s just not that difficult to pick up some gum before said date. This is more of a hygiene issue than a deal-breaker, but it gives a good indication of how he takes care of himself!
10. He puts himself down. Everyone does this at some stage, but if you find he constantly puts himself down on your date, you might want to re-think your new potential partner. It’s a date, not a counseling session.
11. He’s constantly distracted. If he’s constantly checking his phone, texting, tweeting, or taking phone calls while meeting you for the first time, it demonstrates that he either has no boundaries, cannot disconnect, or more importantly he simply doesn’t care about connecting with you – which is a deal-breaker. Leave him and his Blackberry to it.
12. He flirts with other girls. If he’s genuinely flirting with other girls, that sour feeling in the pit of your stomach isn't going to go away easily and it's going to cast a pall over the entire relationship. If you bring it up with him and it continues, that’s a definite deal-breaker. If you let it slide you’re only cultivating bad behaviour.
From Mauritius with love,