Warning Signs to a Long-term Relationship

If you live in the Northeast as I do, spring has finally arrived. I don’t know about you, but I find that there’s something magical about this time of year — everything seems to take on a more positive glow. Trees blossom and birds sing.

Maybe that’s why people come out of their literal and figurative shelters and have a greater sense of openness. With that type of positive attitude, it’s easy to understand how love is more likely to occur. I think it’s great!

Since we live in a coupled society, what could be better than falling in love? Emotions generally override clear thinking and love being a powerful emotion is certainly going to get in the way of thinking things through. So, you don’t want to be blinded by this filter and get involved with someone who isn’t really the right person for you.

It’s true that each person puts their best foot forward as they begin the relationship. That’s part of the reason that it’s a good idea to not make a commitment to a permanent relationship too early on. As the relationship progresses and each of you becomes more comfortable in it, you’ll display more of who you are. Of course, by that time, it may be too late — you’re already hooked.

However, there are indicators right in the beginning that can let you know if the person who you’ve started to date is going to be someone you’d rather not be involved with long-term. This post is being written to help you be aware of some “red flags.” There are warning signs to a long-term relationship.

Though this list is not exhaustive, here are some things to watch out for:

1. Does the person tell you too much about their personal history too early on? There’s a pacing that is normal in any relationship. If someone reveals too much too soon, it generally suggests that there are boundary issues.
2. Does the person have a habit that you find annoying right from the beginning? If so, this is only going to get more annoying. Remember each of you is on your best behavior right now.
3. If you’re dating a divorced gal with kids: does she expect you to be a part of their lives too soon into your relationship? is she able to discipline them?, does her “ex” do the right thing by them?
4. If you’re a divorced guy with kids, does your lady accept that you have to make time for your children or does she find this an imposition?
5. What has the other person told you about former relationships? Does he or she totally blame the other person for the problems or are they willing to accept some responsibility for the break up? Rarely is a problem (other than an abusive situation) the fault of only one individual.
6. Have there been other long-term relationships or does the person just go from one individual to another? The latter might indicate a commitment problem.
7. What kind of relationship does the person have with his or her parents? If someone’s either overly involved or not close at all, it tends to be indicative of a problem.
8. Look at the behavior on the first date. How does the gal order — does she go for the most expensive item on the menu? Does the guy pay?
9. Not including the first time you get together because an individual can be nervous, is he or she only talking about himself or herself? Is there an interest in you and your life?

As I said, this list is not complete. If you’re uncertain, ask your friends. Research has actually shown that when it comes to matters of the heart, your friends will know better what is good for you than you will. As upsetting as that may sound, it’s because they can be more objective in assessing the situation.

One more point: be aware that if there’s an attribute you don’t care for in someone, it’s unwise to think that eventually you’ll change that trait in him or her. You don’t have the right to change another person; rather, you only have the right to change your reaction.

Pay attention to the warning signs of a long-term relationship because though I may have taken the “springtime” romantic version out of love, hopefully with these tips, I’ve helped some of you make choices that will bring you long-term happiness!