Frequently Asked Questions


Relational Red Flags

Your friends don't like him/her.  They could be picking up on something that you aren't seeing. Remember, when we are enamored with somebody, our judgement is not in service. This is because when we are infatuated with someone, the activity in our brain's pre-frontal cortex is significantly compromised.  There is truth to the term, "crazy in love".  Really.  (See Levine and Heller, "Attached")

S/he still gets together with the ex.  Without you.  While it's often not a problem when our partners maintain a friendship with their ex, sometimes extended contact might indicate that they haven't completely broken up.

S/he tells lies, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential at the time.  Lying is deliberate manipulative deception.  If they lie about small things, they will lie about the big things too.

S/he tries to control what you do, who you see, how you dress, etc.  People who are controlling are often terribly insecure people who turn out to be emotionally, if not physically, abusive over time.  They get angry if they don't know where you are and who you're with at every moment.  They are not comfortable with supporting and respecting your own choices about how you want to live your life.

S/he has few if any friends outside of you.  NOT a good sign!  They are likely to become clingy and dependent on you and you will start to feel smothered.  Not to mention the fact that there are no doubt reasons why they have few friends in the first place.

S/he doesn't introduce you to his/her friends or family, and/or doesn't include you in certain social gatherings.  Definitely a sign that s/he wants to keep you a secret, for whatever reason or reasons.

S/he expects you to be available when s/he needs you, but is not there for you when you need him/her.  You cannot count on relying on this person if this is the case.

S/he is evasive about prior relationships.  And/or s/he blames the break-ups on the other person.  This is always a HUGE red flag!  It indicates that their relational history is likely sketchy, and that they are not prone to accepting responsibility for their role in why things didn't go so well in their prior relationship(s).

S/he has substance abuse issues and gets defensive and annoyed if you convey your concerns about this.  Run for the hills!

H/she is rude to restaurant servers, cab drivers, and others s/he has little investment in.  This says more about his character than you would want to know.  Don't stick around to find out!

S/he is not kind to animals.  Or, if you have pets, they keep their distance from him/her.  Animals are extraordinarily intuitive about which humans are "safe" and which are not.  If s/he has absolutely no interest in your beloved pets, this is a HUGE red flag!  It demonstrates that s/he is not interested in things that are very important to you.  It also suggests that they might have attachment difficulties and/or difficulty with empathy and/or might be so self-centered that they can't be bothered with things that are dear to you.  Allergies, of course, are a different matter.  I'm reminded of the New Yorker cartoon where two women and a cat are standing in front of the fireplace mantel looking at the photo of a man.  The first woman says, "He said it's  either me or the damned cat."

S/he has a temper.  This is evidence that s/he has poor impulse control, has not learned to handle intense emotions, anger in this instance, in a constructive manner, or both.  It also suggests that s/he has "sore spots" that s/he are uncomfortable looking at or acknowledging.

S/he is continually sarcastic.  Sarcasm is just anger coming out sideways under the guise of just joking.

S/he isn't mindful about what they do and how they do it and that their behavior impacts others.  This could be a sign of self-centeredness, and/or a sign that they have very poor emotional insight.  It could get difficult living with someone like this over time.

S/he personalizes things that have little to do with them.  For example, if s/he arrives home and you are in the midst of an activity that can't be interrupted at that moment, they will feel personally insulted if you don't immediately stop what you're doing and pay attention to them.  This will stem from their assumption that you are intentionally shunning them.  This can be a sign of poor emotional intelligence, extreme entitlement, deep insecurity, blatant disrespect, or all of the above.  Another example would be road rage, which, after all, stems from the assumption that the offending driver's behavior was specifically designed to irk them.  (By the way, a wonderful solution to road rage can be described in two words:  Leave earlier).   LOL!