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Are you attracted to someone new? Are you getting ready to date…or have you already started dating? Before the relationship goes any further, perhaps you should be looking for the markers that signify if you are with a potential mate…or, if you’re wasting your time.
I often coach people who have gone through a divorce. When I ask them, “At what point did you know you were with the wrong person?” they invariably say, “I knew from the very beginning. If only I had paid attention to the warning signs.”
Do you know the signs that point to a relationship failure before it even begins? Think about what you MUST have around the following issues:
The number one important area you need to consider when dating someone is if you have similar values. How will you know? Pay attention to how he or she treats the wait staff at the restaurant if kindness is important to you. Is honesty high on your list? Notice if he or she is consistent in the stories told about their exes or family members. Do you want a generous soul? How quickly does your date spring for the check or offer to share expenses? Do you want to be with someone who is successful? If so, then you won’t want to linger with anyone who whines and complains about anything in life. When you know what your top ten values are, then you can pay attention to the gestures and conversational items that indicate where this person’s character traits lie.
The desire to have… or not have… children in your life is a big issue to identify right away in a new relationship. It’s unwise to think you will talk someone into a life altering family arrangement once you are in a marriage or a committed partnership. If your new love interest holds the opposite view from you on the issue of having children, LISTEN. You cannot force someone to feel the way you want them to. And you don’t want to spend years arguing and hurting about something that wasn’t meant to happen between you and this person. Have this discussion very soon and if you two have strong opposing views, let go and move on.
If you have pets, and you are like most people who consider their pets to be their children, you need to check out your date’s opinions on the subject. Personally…I couldn’t live without my dog (even though I’m known to complain all the way through the chewy puppy stage.) Whatever animals you can and can’t allow around you needs to be discussed right away. If you are a Siamese cat breeder and your date goes into seizures when he or she is around a cat, you have a serious challenge facing you. It all depends on how willing you are to talk and compromise in this area. If you are an ardent animal fan, you want to look for kindness and patience shown toward your furry or feathered friends from your date. If your date has animals you don’t like, can you be courageous enough to speak up and voice your concerns? How you work this issue through speaks volumes about how you will deal with future difficulties in the relationship.
Your date needs to be securely, successfully employed— or on the brink of it— if you want this relationship to work. Great relationships happen when both people are mature enough to take care of themselves. Employment defines and liberates people emotionally and economically. If your date has not had a successful work record, you want to know the circumstances surrounding that limitation and what the person is realistically doing to turn that challenge around. The values to look for are determination, fortitude, and focus.
5. Saturday nights
If your date’s idea for a perfect evening of fun on Saturday night is to hit the bars with his or her buddies and drink themselves stupid—this person is not going to be grownup enough for you. Nor will he be a great match if he is constantly checking out the other women in the room. If you think there is potential for a relationship since he has other good qualities, maybe it’s worth a conversation about what you noticed and how it doesn’t work for you. If he apologizes and immediately starts to alter his behavior, this is a hopeful sign. For the ones who keep ogling every good looking female within sight, you need to say…I’m outta here.
If you want to spend less time with poor choices and more time with “The One” you would be wise to remember the signs. They will definitely make you…a SAVVY dater.