Dating and relationships can be a minefield or a garden of roses. With minefields, at first everything looks like it will be plain sailing. There’s no sign of danger until you hit a landmine. Then everything is up in the air.
Rose gardens can be just as deceiving. Your senses are lulled as you take in the sweet aroma of the roses. The soft petals between your fingers make you believe nothing could ever be more beautiful, until you’re pricked by a thorn.
Spotting that a potential, or even current partner is not the one for you can be hard. Feelings cloud your judgement, but if you look out for these five signs, you could save yourself heartbreak.
1. He Gets Angry When Plans Change
My new date and I were due to spend the day together. It was our first official date but we’d been friends for a few months and had been talking on the phone regularly. I thought he was a great guy. I thought I knew him well.
On the morning of our date I woke up feeling unwell. Rather than cancel, we’d both been looking forward to the day, I decided I would go along. Perhaps we could choose activities that didn’t require too much effort, I reasoned.
When I informed my date, he flipped. I mean totally lost it. You would think I’d ghosted him or was paperclipping him. I expected a little respect at least.
When I shared my experience with friends later they said I would have been better off calling off the whole thing. Now I know.
2. He Always Wants You to Meet His Women Friends
The man in my life made me feel special. He made it clear that I was the best thing that had ever happened to him.
I would have believed every word if he hadn’t followed it up by, “Let’s go for a coffee. I’d like you to meet a friend of mine.”
This happened quite a few times. Although I was happy to go along, something didn’t sit right with me. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was.
Then one day we went to meet yet another of his women friends. I witnessed muscle memory in action as he gave her the most passionate kiss, right in my face. I thought I was seeing things.
When he pulled back he realised what he’d done. “It’s not what you think,” was his response when I quizzed him. He even tried gaslighting me by saying I was imagining things.
A few burnt fingers later, I realised two things:
He’d had a thing for said friends but they’d rejected him. He introduced me to them to prove he could be with someone else.
When the “friends” realised he was no longer on the market, they now wanted to be with him. Or maybe they were just using him to advance their own agendas, who knows? It’s a strange world.
3. Everyone Thinks He's a Saint, Except You
In public, this character will come across like the most perfect human being. They’ll be kind to homeless people, help friends and family whilst neglecting their own partners.
They do this to score points with others. If you’re wondering why they do this one reason could be that you’re a trophy that’s already in their possession. They’ve won, so they don’t see the need to be nice.
4. He Always Chooses the Places You Visit
Martha (not her real name) thought she’d met the perfect man. It was a match made in heaven. He treated her like a princess, made all the decisions about what activities they did and what places they visited.
At first it was exciting. After all, what’s wrong with your loved one wanting to take you to his favourite places? The problem was that he never agreed or wanted to go to any place she suggested. He wouldn’t hear of it.
Turns out this perfect man was having a full-blown affair with someone on the other side of town. All activities and outings had been carefully curated to avoid clashes or even bumping into the wrong people.
5. He Has a Different Face for Every Occasion
When you’ve been around this person for a while you realise that all their conversations are scripted.
Pay attention to how they address or speak with different individuals or groups. A pattern will soon emerge to prove that they put on a different face for every occasion.
The danger for you here is that you might unknowingly say something which derails their strategy. When that happens you will pay — one way or another. They make sure you do.
The minute you spot this behaviour, stay away. They’re not worth the effort.
I learnt these lessons the hard way. You don’t have to go through the same experiences. Just remember there are people out there who can love you for who you are, just as you are. They’re worth waiting for.