You met just a few weeks ago, but already you’re talking up a future together. He’s brilliant, you have witty repartee, and he sends you the sweetest text messages. No one has ever seemed so smitten with you. And the sex? The best you’ve ever had.
Still, you have these niggling feelings that something’s not quite right. You text more than you actually see each other and she has a hard time committing to your next date. But just as you’re starting to wonder if you can trust her, she texts you to tell you that she can’t stop thinking about you and she can’t wait to see you. So you tell yourself that it’s normal to feel anxious in the beginning of the relationship — isn’t it?
Yes, it’s normal to wonder if a new relationship is going to last. It’s too soon to know otherwise. So if you spot red flags flapping in the distance, you need to slow things down. Below are five signs that the person with whom you’re hoping to ride off into the sunset with isn’t good for you:
- Emotional Intensity
He burst into your life with the force of a tsunami. He wants you, needs you, and has to have you. He makes you feel like the hottest, most amazing woman ever. The relationship is fueled by drama and intensity, not substance. But you are too mesmerized by all the razzle-dazzle to notice.
People who aren’t good for you bust your boundaries. They’re overtly sexual from the get-go. They insert themselves in your life, offering to help you with your career or creative endeavors. They sext you without your permission and talk you into why that’s okay. They don’t ask for consent in the bedroom and you find yourself going along with things that make you uncomfortable. Why? Because they have disrupted your life to the point where you’ve lost all sense of your boundaries.
- Conversations That Aren’t Substantive
Because you’re drunk on emotional intensity, you don’t notice that the quality of your conversations is actually pretty thin. She asks you superficial questions that don’t lead to meaningful answers. If you stop to think about it, you know a lot more about her then she knows about you because the conversations revolve around her agenda. Yes, you talk for hours, but you don’t talk about anything real. That’s because she’s not interested in you — she’s addicted to drama.
- Keeping You on the Hook
Shortly after your relationship becomes sexual, his hot pursuit cools. You don’t hear from him as often. He can’t commit to anything because he’s swamped at work, or his college buddy suddenly came to town, or he feels like he might be coming down with the flu. You end up keeping your schedule open in the event that his schedule frees up.His mixed messages keep you on the hook so he can swoop in for a dose of you when it suits him. He’ll play cat-and-mouse until he realizes you have needs and expectations, at which point he’ll vanish into the ether — until the next lull in his sex life, when he’ll suddenly reappear.
- Seeming Like Different People
Yesterday he was so romantic and tender, totally taken in by you in a schoolboy way. Today he’s distant and irritable. When you ask him what’s going on, he’ll tell you he’s just distracted by work, and he’ll try to “do better.” He does better for a while, and then he doesn’t. The person you thought was your soul mate is now someone you don’t even know.
People who thrive on this kind of drama aren’t usually capable of sustaining a healthy relationship. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to create anything meaningful with a boundary-busting, excitement junkie. And don’t waste time trying to figure out if they’re intentionally exploitive or just self-absorbed. The bottom line? Someone doesn’t have to be a bad person to not be good for you.