Psychology - How to spot a loser, and red flags - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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All these threads with horror stories of men who seemed perfectly normal at the outset of a relationship, who later had their heads pop off and an alien head grow back in it's place inspired me to post this.

Disclaimer: I'm not saying that ALL men are losers, or treat women horribly, but they are out there, and I'd like to know how to ferret them out. It isn't always readily apparent.

I would like to know if there are a series of seemingly innocent questions you can ask someone over the course of a few weeks to determine what kind of personality they REALLY have. I know there are personality tests out there, but I just don't know that I'd be comfortable asking a potential date to take a Personality Index Test.

This would be for the guys who seem to have their shite together. They have a job, a home, bathe regularly, don't have any (apparent) addictions, and aren't openly chauvanistic or misogynistic.

Why do you always learn too late that a guy might be a worthless, lazy, abusive, asshole who wants to be waited on hand and foot and how do you spot it from the outset?

Just curious. Would love to hear from from psychologists!
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#2 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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not a psychologist here, but I have a minor in psych. Does that count?LOL

Here's my advice.

Stay away from men who drive loud things. Sure sign of someone who still wants to feel macho.

If the first date pays with cash because he doesn't have a credit card, make sure it's not because his credit is bad.

Bounced checks, run

If you start sleeping over and find dirty underwear with huge skidmarks on the floor...run! (this happened to me and I ran!) incidently, he also had bad credit, bounced checks and a loud truck I'm still grossed out to this day and he was really cute

If the guy pulls up at a stoplight and tries to race the person next to him, RUN
Also, if he makes an effort to "cut off" the car who just cut him off, run

If the guy whines about his exes or how others treat him badly, run

If the guy mentions having 3 jobs in one year, run

If the guy can't sit through a nice dinner without having to go do something (smoke, talk on the phone) run!

If the guys definition of being "clean" is drinking smoking cigs, mj and just a few painpills he got from a friend....run!

If the guy insists (through red squinty eyes) that he drives much better when he's had a few beers, run!

If he's married, run.


Lisa

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#3 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, those are obvious. I avoid guys with those behaviors like the plague.

I'm talking about the NOT so obvious personality cues that seemingly normal guys (who are actually abusive/psycho/lazy/worthless) have and how to ferret them out.

How can you really delve into a man's personality without making it seem like the Spanish Inquisition? (nobody expects the Spanish Inqusition)

Thanks!
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#4 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 01:01 PM
 
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I think most people, men included, will give you clues about who they are. They might even come out and tell you. The key is to listen and believe them. As my brother once said to me when I was talking about a guy I was dating and trying to figure him out - "Clues are clues."
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#5 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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If a guy warns you about himself...believe him.

Never listen to a word he says, watch what he does instead.

If there is "something I just can't put a finger on..." Run.

He doesn't take any responsibility for the failure of his past relationships.

Has nothing good to say about any of the other women he's been with.

Has children he never sees.

Rushes to "seal the deal" and expresses the want for relationship to move faster than you want. Declares his love and devotion after only a few dates.

Is cagey or coy about basic details of his life.

Tells you things that when you repeat them to your friends, they give you "the look" and you find yourself needing to defend him to them.

You catch him in even simple lies.

Inconsistencies in his lifestyle. (Ie., says he's a management executive, but can't afford to take you to dinner once in awhile.)

Never has you to his place.

Is cagey about his cellphone. Would freak if he saw you holding it or if you answered it.

Has ever used the phrase "If you loved me..."

Has ever made you feel anything less than 100% safe.
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#6 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 01:18 PM
 
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Sorry. You mentioned what you wanted and I had a little too much fun thinking of too obvious signs.

There's a book called "He's just not that into you" that apparently is really eye-opening. I've never read it, but I've heard great things about it.

The thing that was different about my husband than anyone else I ever dated was that he really didn't view me as any kind of adversary. If I was offended, he didn't defend himself, he apologized and talked about it. And, his behavior changed to reflect that he listened. I've dated many guys who seemed to like to fight. Little fights, but enough where it didn't feel like we were on a team, but actually on different teams. It's hard to explain.

I also paid attention to how he interacted with other people. He liked hanging out with his friends, but didn't seem to be trying to impress them. He had/has many friends and seems comfortable talking with new people. There is a time and place for friends/family, but a lot of time for me. I've never once thought that he put anyone else over me or himself. That shows security (mental, emotional), which is important IMO. It's not a question you can ask, just something to observe.

Like a PP stated, clues are clues.

Lisa

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#7 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 01:24 PM
 
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Also,

Suggests that you should start saving money together when you've only been dating for a few weeks.

Screams obscene names at a gay man (or, really, anyone) when you are walking down the street together.

If you actually have the thought "I wonder if he is driving me somewhere to kill me."

If he brags to your friends or his about your bedroom activities.

If your mother sees a bruise on you and wonders if it is from him, even if it is not.

If your friends don't like him.

If you feel inhibited around him and not like you can be yourself.

Calls you "buddy" or "pal" and never refers to you as his girlfriend.

Always cancels plans.

When you haven't seen him for a week and the first thing he says when you show up at his house is "You're early."

(This list brought to you by M., P., J. and the letters R-U-N.)

--

And if a guy "seems to have it altogether", check your gut. Check it again. There is no quiz you can give him, no question he will answer correctly that will give you all the information you need. You just need to keep your eyes and ears open, think about if you are glossing over things that don't seem right, or making excuses for his behaviors.
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#8 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 01:28 PM
 
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A wise woman once told me that every man will show you exactly who they are from early on and when they do, BELIEVE IT! I really believe that the signs are all there, sometimes as early as date one, but almost always by date three.

If you find yourself telling your girls about a man you've met and you find yourself omitting various details... PAY ATTENTION TO THAT. There is a reason for it, even if you don't know it yet.

A good test? Put him through the Spanish Inquisition. I put my now fiance through a couple of them. I was conversational about it, but I asked him hundreds of questions and I offered very limited info about myself so that he couldn't customize his answers with what he would think I'd want to hear.

Not only did I get a lot of info, but it showed me he was a patient, mellow guy who could understand why a woman might need to do a little interrogating.
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#9 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 01:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fek&fuzz View Post
If your friends don't like him.
Boy can I second this. It's not ALWAYS an indictator, but it's a darn good one.

And as stereotypical as it can be, loud cars/big trucks have been a huge warning signal for me....often a sign of machoism around here unfortunately. Driving habits are a good sign too....are they aggressive? Cut people off, tailgate? Flip people off? Drive wayyyyyy faster then the posted speed limit, dart in and out of traffic?

How do they treat waitstaff/people in the customer service industries?

How do they treat animals/think of animals?

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#10 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 01:35 PM
 
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I dated a guy for 5 years. Lived with him. Loved him. He loved me. But one of the things I wrote about him in my journal after our first date was "I don't think he's very smart." Sadly, the blood was not all in my brain at the time, and I pushed that thought aside. I spent the next 5 years loving him, but not always liking him or respecting him and it ended horribly. I knew that first day he wasn't right for me (not because he wasn't "smart", he was, just not in the way my 20 year old superior-self thought he should be.) I also knew along the way when he wanted to marry me and I didn't want to marry him, when we moved in together and I spent the first day in our new home in bed with horrid stomach pains, when I feared getting pregnant (and thankfully never did) because I never wanted him to discipline my child or have his mother anywhere near my child, and on and on.

He had a job, a home, friends, a nice family, no addictions - but was wronger than wrong for me.
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#11 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 04:43 PM
 
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If he hasn't lived comfortably by himself, run.

In looking back, my stbx had gone from one caretaker (his mother) to another (his ex) to me. It's no wonder that after I did his pile of dishes after my first overnight there that he clung like hell, and I wound up being his caretaker for the next 8 years.

If his cleaned up, trying to impress a new girl routine ...isn't impressive? What is it going to look like when he's letting it all hang out?

Watch your own behavior. It's easy to fall back into those same routines, so if you find yourself feeling how you did in a previous, bad relationship, even because "gee, it's familiar to be doing x, y or z", that's a huge red flag to me.

And I can't emphasize enough...listen to your family and friends. They might notice more than things about him, but also about how YOU change when you're with him.

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#12 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 04:48 PM
 
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If you start sleeping over and find dirty underwear with huge skidmarks on the floor...run! (this happened to me and I ran!) incidently, he also had bad credit, bounced checks and a loud truck I'm still grossed out to this day and he was really cute

Lisa, ROFL!!!

Hope
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#13 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 06:33 PM
 
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okay folks so tell me what you think. I was married for ten years to an abusive guy who is now as an ex, a fairly decent person. In the five years I have been divorced I have dated several guys who for whatever reason, didn't work out and am now engaged to the father of my baby (i'm three months along). My question hinges on this; we hit things off immediately, he appreciates and believes in practically everything that "Mothering" stands for, family bed, no vax/selective vax, organic, no circ, etc. etc. He has a great job, is trying to get his children full time because their mother doesn't care for them appropriately, doesn't have a lot of debt, we seem to have many of the same values......but he wanted me to abort or adopt and when I said hell no, he came around and said he would help support the baby and that he still wanted to be with me but he never asks me how I am feeling, hasn't asked when my prenatal visits are, who my midwife is, and seems really uncomfortable with my family. I feel like I can't talk to him about this pregnancy, that he isn't interested, and doesn't care. I feel like I have to hide the whole thing from him. He is pretty stressed out with his own kids, sometimes I'm worried that he and his kids are self centered and sometimes they make fun of people which makes me feel uncomfortable and they as their own family don't seem to have a great deal of concern for others. Of course I don't want to put my own values on them and they don't do it in public but it does bother me. On top of that, his house is a complete disaster and he has been living that way for over two years. My jaw dropped when I first went there. I helped him clean it up but they don't clean......

Is this crazy? I don't really trust myself to find a man who doesn't have something really wrong with him but I thought he was a keeper, now I'm not so sure. What do you guys think. Sorry if this is off topic but it sort of fits....I'll raise this baby on my own, whatever happens, I'm not worried about that........
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#14 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 06:35 PM
 
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Time will tell all - don't rush into anything and listen to your gut.
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#15 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 09:48 PM
 
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I am LMAO cause my STBX hubby did not display these signs till the last 6 months of our 11 year marriage! And he has dates like freaking crazy! These women are obviously nuts for not knowing these things

~Carla~ LOVING~ LIFE~
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#16 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 10:03 PM
 
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okay folks so tell me what you think. I was married for ten years to an abusive guy who is now as an ex, a fairly decent person. In the five years I have been divorced I have dated several guys who for whatever reason, didn't work out and am now engaged to the father of my baby (i'm three months along). My question hinges on this; we hit things off immediately, he appreciates and believes in practically everything that "Mothering" stands for, family bed, no vax/selective vax, organic, no circ, etc. etc. He has a great job, is trying to get his children full time because their mother doesn't care for them appropriately, doesn't have a lot of debt, we seem to have many of the same values......but he wanted me to abort or adopt and when I said hell no, he came around and said he would help support the baby and that he still wanted to be with me but he never asks me how I am feeling, hasn't asked when my prenatal visits are, who my midwife is, and seems really uncomfortable with my family. I feel like I can't talk to him about this pregnancy, that he isn't interested, and doesn't care. I feel like I have to hide the whole thing from him. He is pretty stressed out with his own kids, sometimes I'm worried that he and his kids are self centered and sometimes they make fun of people which makes me feel uncomfortable and they as their own family don't seem to have a great deal of concern for others. Of course I don't want to put my own values on them and they don't do it in public but it does bother me. On top of that, his house is a complete disaster and he has been living that way for over two years. My jaw dropped when I first went there. I helped him clean it up but they don't clean......

Is this crazy? I don't really trust myself to find a man who doesn't have something really wrong with him but I thought he was a keeper, now I'm not so sure. What do you guys think. Sorry if this is off topic but it sort of fits....I'll raise this baby on my own, whatever happens, I'm not worried about that........

If you find yourself saying "you like him, but......" or "we would be perfect together if...." To me, that says that you don't really accept him for who and what he is whether that is good or bad.

When I was in a bad relationship, it seemed like I was always asking for other people's opinions and advice about our relationship. I was always afraid that my judgment was clouded. When I found the "right" guy, I didn't have to ask people for their opinions because 1) Everyone made it perfectly clear that they liked him and 2) Nothing he said or did gave me weird feelings or made me second guess myself.
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#17 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 10:13 PM
 
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Gretae, your current bf is giving off some signs my ex did before I married him. My ex turned out to be an extremely selfish 10 year old in a 47 year old body. I have a question though: Is his ex really a bad parent or is he just going for full custody to get back at her? I don't want you to answer here, it's just a question to ask yourself. The reason this is important is because if he's doing that to his ex then eventually he'll be doing it to you. If he is going for custody for vengeful reasons and you know that before you have the baby, you don't need to put his name on the birth certificate. It will save you much, much trouble. Keep in mind here also that I totally suck at picking out men. I always find the ones that really wanted either a mother or a shrink or both.
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#18 of 106 Old 06-13-2008, 12:03 AM
 
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People show their true selves. Watch for it. Take any red flags or small inklings of not feeling good about something, seriously.

My tactic, when meeting someone is to double back on questions in a different way. I'll ask for a value or something then later follow up with a behavior question to see if it matches. Like if someone says they hate the bar scene. Okay. Then later in the conversation (or the next conversation) I'll find a way to ask the last time they were in a bar.

I'll show how to uncover things by pretending to hit on my ex (who, by the way, lies).

Me: So you have kids!
Him: Yes. They mean everything to me.
Me: How often do you see them? (double checking the value with behavior)
Him: Every second Saturday!
(CAUTION: If his kids mean the world to him....why doesn't he see them more often)
Me: They don't sleep over?
Him: Oh, no. My ex won't allow that. (dig for a little more info)
(CAUTION: Blaming his ex ...may be unaccountable)
Me: Really? That's too bad. (digging a bit more)
Him: Yeah, well, what can I do about it.
(CAUTION: Not really interested in parenting and/or does not have a backbone and/or some major thing may have happened here --- must ask more questions about this as we go along)

My favorite book for stuff like this is "Never Be Lied to Again" by David Lieberman. It is a really good book on how to read if someone is telling the truth or being dishonest. It's a book I would recommend to everyone...especially anyone who's ever interested in dating!!!
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#19 of 106 Old 06-13-2008, 12:04 AM
 
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Gretae,

I would be concerned if I was dating someone who was totally disinterested in our pregnancy and child.
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#20 of 106 Old 06-13-2008, 12:17 AM
 
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Clues:

How is his relationship with his mother/family? Does he talk horribly about her or them (if so I would think BPD, sociopathic or abuse issues). Is he still her little baby (who will then be my little baby or will I never compare?) Does he treat her like a queen? I think these can be good clues as to how he values a family relationship or views women.

I also take a good long look at how talks about his ex - I once went on a date with a man who talked non stop about how much he hated the mother of his children. Um...no. My partner now, even though his ex wife abandoned him and his boys to live homeless out on the woods strung out on meth, has never, ever said a bad word about her and only has compassion for her. I think actions speak louder than words. Pay attention to how he talks about his ex. If he speaks poorly about all of them, I would tend to think he's not very humanistic and may objectify women.

Does he compliment you? Say you look pretty? If you hear things like, "Are you going to wear that tonight?" RUN!

Are you finding that you're always doing what he wants to do? Does he make all the plans and then tell you where you are going? Ie, I will pick you up at 7 so we can go to x...if so, he's controlling. Do you find he's never asking for your opinion, or for what you would like? If not, RUN!

Can he say sorry? If not, RUN!

Does he seem moody, or get grouchy for no reason from time to time? If so, RUN!

Do you feel like you would be friends with this person? With anyone I've ever been serious with....well, we've felt like a team. Like it was me and him against the world. Partners. If you don't get this vibe. RUN!
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#21 of 106 Old 06-13-2008, 12:36 AM
 
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great thread!

ITA will all of the above. I don't think there is a magic method though. You have to listen you your inner nudgings, and use practical technique like MCA mentions (I will check out that book btw, thanks)

I have gotten pretty good at weeding out potential partners who are not right for me. Hard experience is the best teacher, if you listen.

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#22 of 106 Old 06-13-2008, 12:38 AM
 
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Clues:


I also take a good long look at how talks about his ex - I once went on a date with a man who talked non stop about how much he hated the mother of his children. Um...no. My partner now, even though his ex wife abandoned him and his boys to live homeless out on the woods strung out on meth, has never, ever said a bad word about her and only has compassion for her. I think actions speak louder than words. Pay attention to how he talks about his ex. If he speaks poorly about all of them, I would tend to think he's not very humanistic and may objectify women.
AMEN to that. How he talks about his exes, particularly the mother(s) of his child(ren) is a HUGE clue! BTDT! Even though I hated to hear my ex badmouth his children's mama and I let him know that I thought he was being disrespectful, he did it constantly and it wasn't enough to make me run..

Never again will I look past that sort of thing in a man!
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#23 of 106 Old 06-13-2008, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by JenniferH View Post
How can you really delve into a man's personality without making it seem like the Spanish Inquisition? (nobody expects the Spanish Inqusition)

Thanks!
Get a book on handwriting analysis! Seriously!

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#24 of 106 Old 06-13-2008, 01:10 AM
 
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You know looking back the warning signs were all there. Just open your eyes.

Some things I should have taken more seriously -

when he messed up he didn't face the people he had wronged. he tried to sneak out the back door (literally). when he failed at something he also refused to face up to it and instead just tried to sneak out of the room (literally) without being noticed and left them to confront him.

wanted to make out with me but did all the fun stuff with his friends. notice I was not amung his friends.

always felt like he was geting the short end of the stick even when I would have loved to trade places with him. grass was always greener.

talked about people behind their back and made fun of them, also made racist and perverted jokes.

quit without giving two weeks notice to his boss. I know I know petty but this is so irresponsible and it really bugged me. it showed a certain level of entitlment self centeredness.

wasn't enthusiastically on board with my life plan but then suddenly reluctantly agreed. reluctantly agreeing to things that are core non-negotiable values is never a good sign.

was always pushing me physically even when i wanted to slow things down or shift the focus.

Does he share his food with you? I know, again stupid but if he won't buy you a candy bar or give you a bite of his desert or a couple of french fries what else will he with hold from you?

Evrything had a price (I don't know if I noticed this before or after I was married but he wasn't ashamed to make money off a friend even if he was selling something had generously given him. it was always about the money.)

another thing to consider . . . .

If he has kids or was previously married does he whine about paying child support or alimony? doe she pay enough? how would you like to be treated if you were the ex wife? does he see his children? is he a good a fair co-parent? does he trash talk his ex wife? blame everything on her?

if he has been divorced more than once I would assume it was his fault. My husbands cousin is wife #4. is there really any hope there?

Does he lie to get what he wants. even if he calls in sick to stay home with you if this seems too easy or happens often run.


I am extremely biased though. I doubt i wil; ever trust anyone again.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#25 of 106 Old 06-13-2008, 02:17 AM
 
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to the pp who said he wanted her to get an abortion and now he doesn't ask how she is doing??? He should be at least like a cave-man bringing you good food to eat. I would not stay around a family that regularly made fun of other people. THat is just mean. Maybe you could sneak off and tell him you are no longer pg and raise your baby in peace......
I hope you have a wonderful rest of your pregnancy and love your baby with great joy!
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#26 of 106 Old 06-13-2008, 02:23 AM
 
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Lilyka, your post resonated with me...looking back on the two serious relationships I've had, the warning signs were all there pretty early on...I just didn't acknowledge at the time that they were warning signs. I was on the "nobody's perfect" train and didn't get off until recently. I was trying to see and prove the good in them even when they were telling me the truth about themselves.

Things I should have taken more seriously:

-Slob tendencies

-Smoking/drinking/drug habits

-No job, or seemingly inabilty to hold one for longer than a few months

-Talking badly about their mother/past women in their lives (both the guys I was with called their mother a b*tch...so why was I so shocked and offended when that happened to me??)

-Trying to move quickly on the physical end

-Early talk of love/devotion/marriage

-Overcomplimenting (1st guy) and undercomplimenting (2nd)

-Gender role and parenting ideas that just don't jive with mine

-Getting into lots of petty arguments, for the sake of debating

-Telling me that they are irrisponsible, or are an asshole (1st guy told me straight away that he was bad news...and I was like "No you're not")

-Believing without doubt that they are over their past bad habits (1st guy was previously on meth, claimed he was never touching the stuff again, BIG LIE)

-Afraid of or uncomfortable around my friends and family (1st guy wanted to show me off to everyone he knew, but refused to meet any of my friends or family....2nd guy, the father of my boys, always seemed at least slightly uncomfortable around my friends/family)

-Sensing that they are not that bright (but then a voice in me said to give them the benefit of the doubt, not everyone is smart but can still be a great person...but I should have listened to the FIRST voice!)



And last but definitely not least, the not sharing of food! Lilyka, I actually laughed reading your post, because X DP would always take the last bite. He would also eat super fast, even if we were sharing a meal and I would only get a few bites in. Now, looking back, I'm thinking "How rude and selfish!!" but at the time I just attributed it to him being hungrier than I. LOL

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#27 of 106 Old 06-13-2008, 02:26 AM
 
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If he invites you over, and you have to leap over things to sit on his bed this could be a sign there are deeper problems.

If he checks his car door 10 times, or walks around his car ritualistically, this could be a problem. I remember being deeply in love with my ex, and so excited that he was on his way over. I was standing at the window looking out, and was shocked and perplexed that he was doing this to his car. It wasn't till years later that this behaviour exploded in our home (exactly 1 year before our seperation).

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#28 of 106 Old 06-13-2008, 08:26 AM
 
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My additions to the list:

- Guys who push boundaries, even about little things

- Guys who live beyond their means, and/or evasive about basic financial information, and/or are willing to go into big debt to date you

- Guys who have to be pushed or dragged into the next steps of life
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#29 of 106 Old 06-13-2008, 11:22 AM
 
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You're right, if I am asking other folks whether this guy is good then that might be a warning sign. It's so hard to trust myself and so hard to trust men. Thanks for your comments, it gives me some perspective, some things to think about. Lots to think about..............................somehow I'll figure it all out.

Some warning signs I've had are:
-guys who are perpetually "in the red", you have to consistently pay for dinner
-guys who describe taking care of their children as "babysitting"
-those who allow their children to play video games constantly

I'm still trying to be aware of other warning signs, it's a learning curve really,and as I become more comfortable with myself and learn to trust myself I think things will become more clear. I trust my gut with most things, guess I stink at the gut feelings with potential partners.
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#30 of 106 Old 06-13-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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reading through all the posts I see where you were coming from, driving habits, living on his own, allow playing video games constantly, drinking smoking drugs.

HOWEVER

the intent behind these things is more important then the act.

DH (who is my soul mate in every sense of the word) Drives like a jack@$$. BUT he races cars (and has since he was 16) so I trust his driving, generally, he lets me drive because he knows he gets angry when he drives etc.

smoking, drinking drugs, this was me actually. BUT I always went outside, I never left a meal or a nice occasion to smoke, generally only smoked when I was alone and board.

I will say that if your sisters don't like the guy RUN AWAY! of if he teases your family or you, in a way that is mean and not playful get out.

I'm crunchy... Like a Dorito.
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