If It Looks Like a Duck…
Lesson # 2: Pay Close Attention to What a Man Does, Not What He Says
How do you separate the prospects from the suspects? Most of us can agree on the desirable qualities we look for in men. Rather than focus on the obvious, women should pay close attention to potential red flags during the early stages of dating. These potential red flags include…
(1) Recent and/or Ugly Divorce–This is one of the more common situations. Unless you are the cause of the divorce, the odds are stacked highly against you on this one. Even in that situation, you expose yourself to a whole new set of high risks (as the saying goes, “a man who marries his mistress creates a job opening”). A man who has been recently divorced and/or experienced an ugly divorce is in no position (psychologically or emotionally) to commit to any one. Throw this one back in the water because it would be like trying to domesticate an abused animal–not impossible but definitely an uphill battle.
(2) Regular Last-minute Dates–It’s one thing to guess that you are a part of a man’s rotation of dates during the early stages of dating. It’s another thing to know it. There is nothing wrong with dating multiple people at the same time. That is what you are supposed to do until you become involved in an exclusive relationship with Mr. Could-Be-the-One. However, pay close attention to how he courts you. Yes, I said it. At the end of the day, what we all want is a good, old-fashioned courtship. Courtship is alive and well. It just needs a good marketing campaign to educate those who are ignorant of it.
(3) Signs of Disrespect–Women know when they are being disrespected. However, many are in denial. When a man shows that he has no respect for you as a person, believe him and move on. This is truly a blessing in disguise because he has given you a glimpse, through his behavior, of things to come should you stay and put up with this nonsense. Remember, you are not a garbage disposal.
(4) High Spending Habits–When a man spends a lot of money relative to his income, he is probably not looking to settle down any time soon. Why? His primary goal is to have a good time and this will likely not include focusing most of his energy on cultivating a committed relationship. The word, “fun”, is his mantra and that is his priority. Although marriageble men may not say much about commitment and/or marriage, you can bet that it is on their agendas. Men who are ready for marriage tend to save for the future (this is not to be mistaken for men being miserly).
(5) Bachelor Friends–Birds of a feather flock together. This is especially true if the birds are men. Despite conventional wisdom, men actually succomb more to peer pressure than do women. If a man’s army of friends are all party-going bachelors, it’s a safe bet that he has absolutely no pressure to settle down. His feeling about marriage is that he’ll be “missing out” on all the fun and exitement of bachelorhood. What he fails to understand is that even men have a shelf-life in the dating world. At some point, being the 50-year-old guy at the bar trying to pick up office interns gets old.
(6) Extreme Success–Everyone is familiar with the expression, “there’s no free lunch”. This is especially true when it comes to dating extremely successful men. The definition of success, of course, is relative. In this case, I am referring to self-made financial and/or professional success. While this kind of success is admirable, it can also be a hindrance to relationships. Unless you are content with taking a backseat to your significant other’s career, you should look elsewhere. Why? The qualities that allow a man to be extremely successful in his career are not necessarily the ones that make him a good husband.
(7) Young Children —This is a controversial topic. You should not date a man with children (especially young children) unless one or more of the following applies to you: you are over 40, you have a child or children of your own, and/or you are content with the prospect of your not being top priority. Enough said.
(8) Your Intuition–Kim Basinger summed it up when she said, “I feel there are two people inside me–me and my intuition. If I go against her, she’ll screw me every time. If I follow her, we get along quite nicely.” Need I say more?