We all have our masks that we wear when we are out and about and putting our best foot forward, especially when it comes to meeting new people. And sometimes it can take a while for those masks to start to come off when you’re in a new relationship: you seem to spend a long time feeling quite elated (thanks to those ‘falling in love’ hormones) and even if you do notice things that seem a little odd you’ll probably just brush it aside as an eccentricity and carry on staring starry eyed at the object of your affection.
My girlfriends and I have all been there and together we came up with this little list of things to watch out for. It can also apply to ‘takers,’ psychic vampires, narcissists and also people with addiction problems who are just hoping to be ‘saved’ (with your money, time and energy)!
The dating game changes when you have assets and children who you plan to accommodate through inheritance. It’s all very well to want to remain the Utopian Idealist who sees all people as equal but the stark reality is that there are a lot of people out there – often good looking and charming – who, for whatever reason, through laziness, addictions or a lack of work ethic are quite broke and looking for a meal ticket. They can be extremely hard to spot as they can be quite convincing but there are always subtle clues that will give them away.
1) They spend a lot of time complaining about their financial situation and probably wouldn’t object to you offering them a loan or even giving them cash. They will keep complaining in the hope that they are wearing you down.
2) They seem to have a lot of excuses as to why they are in that financial position and don’t seem to realise the obvious eg: that gambling and drinking vast amounts of alcohol is expensive. They are unable to budget their money.
3) They look worried or confused when you complain that you are having cash flow problems and if you ask them to pick up the tab they may make an excuse or do it begrudgingly. They may then avoid going out with you in case you ask again.
4) If you continue to talk about your cash flow problems you may notice them becoming more scarce and making excuses to avoid contact with you (if they disappear for days at a time it’s probably because they are out ‘playing the field’ hoping to find another, better option than you).
5) They will enthusiastically and repeatedly bring up the notion that selling assets is the best way to be rid of debt instead of adjusting their lifestyle and they may enquire as to when you are planning on selling too.
6) When you bring up the subject of a pre-nup you will notice a mood change, there may be withholding of affection and/or sex.
7) If you mention the future or try to plan for the following weekend they may look worried and distant especially if their plan to manipulate and control you is not working.
8) You may speak of falling in love with them and the associated moods and feelings involved but the same is not returned. There’s a sense of them holding back or not letting you in.
9) The charming and romantic text messages and murmurings in your ear may dissipate as the days turn into weeks and they realise you are not going to be a push-over.
10) Declarations of love may be held back too: a person in love will see you as the most beautiful person on the planet and worship the ground you walk on. It’s a hard act to follow for someone who’s faking it and you’ll notice the difference.
11) You have an uneasy feeling, like a woman’s intuition that something’s ‘just not right.’ It may be something small like seeing a pile of dating service emails in his inbox or the way he talks about a previous lover as though she is somehow better than you. You sometimes feel uncomfortable, untrusting, or lonely in this person’s presence, especially if you are at their house with no way home except for them to drive you.
12) He often talks about his own physique and physical appearance and the supposed impact he thinks he has on women but seems to not ever notice or comment on how good you look some days – just too wrapped up in himself.
13) He still insists on going out to ‘pick up’ joints without you: people in love are NOT interested in going out without their partner – they want to spend all of their time together. People in new relationships that are thriving are NOT interested in being around lots of members of the opposite sex that will flatter and proposition them or dance with them. That’s the last thing on their mind. He’s either an egoist, a player or the alchohol saturated environment feeds their addiction.
14) If your birthday has come and gone and he’s still talking about that present he’s been looking for, for you, and yet he continues to waste money on addictions, um, sorry – alarm bells should be ringing by now!
15) If you ask him to help with projects at home (you’ll probably have to pay cold, hard cash because that’s his only language) eg: home maintenance, but the job never gets done or finished properly you can be sure there is no work ethic or that he got a better offer.
16) Listen to your friends: it’s hard for you to be objective because this is your new guy after all but if they are saying things like, “so what’s he going to do once he has sold all of his assets and has run out of money?” “Where are you guys going to live if he’s broke?” “How are you guys going to manage now that he’s not working?” or looking generally hazy or worried for you in any form, take the hint, leave the loser!
17) Introduce a gorgeous new housemate to your home and watch his reaction. Does he withdraw affection when she comes into the room? Does he behave territorily when another male gives her attention? Does he shamelessly flirt with her right in front of you in an effort to charm her and in complete indifference to your feelings. People that are in love only have eyes for their loved one.
18) Does he act jealously and possessively of you? It may feel like he is trying to separate you from everyone you love, even your children. There’s an interrogation every time you talk to another man and a hissy fit when you spend any time with anyone else. And yet the same rules don’t apply in the reverse: he can do whatever he wants. He sees other people as threats to his claim on your assets!
19) There seems to always be an excuse to avoid getting a job or working too hard and they find it impossible to pay the rent/mortgage because they would rather spend their money on luxury items like aftershave, sex toys, alcohol, cigarettes etc.
20) Once you’ve caught them at their game and confronted them you will never hear from them again. Be certain they are back out there looking for their next victim and wondering how you ever worked it out.
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