When people discover I’m a relationship coach, they often ask me, “What is the number one mistake single people make in their love lives?” My answer is always the same: They don’t listen to singer, Kenny Rogers.
In his song, The Gambler, Kenny offers, perhaps, the most profound and important dating advice ever written for single people when he sings:
“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run”
Here’s the biggest mistake singles make: They put too much attention on attraction strategies and not enough on exit strategies.
I was the “poster child” for this mistake. When I was single, my desire for chemistry, combined with feeling quite lonely, made me obsess about how and where to find my partner. I gave very little, if any, thought to what would make me dump my partner or end a relationship. Why worry about ending something you don’t have?
Kenny would say (and I’d agree) that is a huge mistake. You better know when to walk away and when to run—before you get into a relationship.
Everyone seems to have a list of qualities they want in a partner but very few have a list of things that will cause them to immediately end the relationship.
After years of coaching single people, I know this: The only thing worse than no relationship is a bad relationship. It’s my opinion that you’re not ready to be in a relationship until you know exactly what will make you end the relationship.
A few caveats before I share some “red flags”:
- This article is written for single radiant women currently in the dating scene. Dumping a boyfriend and divorcing a husband are not the same things and each has an entirely different set of “red flags.”
- I’m addressing single woman who are done with “frat boys,” “mama’s boys” and “bad boys,” and instead want a superior man of depth, integrity and maturity.
- Though I share my “red flags” dogmatically, they are merely my opinions. You have to decide what you’ll allow in your life and what you won’t.
- I’m writing briefly about very complex issues, so I expect to hear some “ya buts.” Please communicate with me if you have any questions or concerns.
- Finally, don’t miss my emphasis on frequency in the list below. I’m addressing patterns, not one-time things.
Ok, ready? In no particular order, dump him if…
1. Your close friends think he’s a jerk
If you’ve got a few close girl friends and they all think your guy is a moron, he probably is. Listen to your friends. Have you noticed how your “picker” can be broken? There’s a whole room full of guys and you’ll be attracted to the crazy or controlling ones! Chemistry is amazing, but it’s a terrible judge of character. Your friends see your guy much more clearly than you do. If they say, “dump him,” do it.
2. He breaks his agreements with you regularly
Intimacy is built on trust. If a guy makes promises, and frequently breaks them, he’s revealing that he isn’t trustworthy. If you can’t trust that your guy will do what he says, then there is no basis for a relationship. Though it isn’t sexy, there must be a basic level of reliability and predictability to him and his word.
3. He’s controlling, especially early on.
This is a true story from one of my clients: Their first date was on a Saturday, and in the course of conversation, she mentioned she had a business dinner with a guy at work the following Monday. He said he was not comfortable with that at all and wanted her to cancel. He said when he’s with a woman, he expects her to be exclusive. (I’m not making this up.) She made some excuse for his behavior and two months later, they went through a really messy break up. Why, you ask? Wait for it…. “He was too controlling.”
Here’s a general rule: When you’re dating, assume that negative qualities will get worse over time. If he’s a little jealous in the beginning, he’ll be a lot jealous later. If he’s controlling or abusive or mean early on, he’ll be more so later.
Because dating can be so complicated, I’ve created an in depth, video-based eCourse that describes about two-dozen significant issues you’ll face in the dating scene. Here’s a link to a 4-minute video that tells you all about it:
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…
4. He talks about his ex all the time
If a guy is constantly talking about his ex, he either still wants her or he hates her. Either way, he’s not complete with her. And until he’s complete, there is no room in his heart for you. Run from a guy who’s still caught up in his past.
5. He drunk dials you frequently
If a calls you when he’s hammered, this is a sign of immaturity and that he’s possibly incapable of having an adult, mature relationship. You want a man you can trust and respect. The “frat-boy” persona is okay if you’re in college, but do you want a guy who thinks “Animal House” is a way of life?
6. He often tells “white” lies
Honesty is an absolute must in a relationship. But we often downplay the little “white” ones thinking they’re no big deal. Deception is a dangerous sign no matter what size it comes in. If you catch your guy in a lie, especially if it’s early in the relationship, run for the hills. It’s not too much to expect the absolute truth from your man.
7. He cheats on you
When two people decide to be exclusive, their romance and chemistry are normally off the charts. If someone cheats at this point, what do you think is going to happen as the relationship progresses? Now, we could talk about what’s cheating and what’s not (Is texting an ex cheating?) but dump a guy who seems secretive or if he outright cheats on you—especially if it’s early in the relationship.
8. He frequents porn sites and/or strip clubs.
Going to a bachelor party at a strip club or watching some porn on the hotel TV when traveling for work is one thing. But if porn or strips clubs are a regular part of a man’s life, dump him immediately. The morality is not the issue. It’s about a man’s ability to relate to the full spectrum of feminine energy. A good man is able to be present with all your emotional states, not just when you’re horny. Men that watch a lot of porn or frequent strip clubs are afraid of real engagement with women.
9. He’s addicted to anything.
You cannot relate in a healthy way to an addict. Whether it’s alcohol, drugs, gambling, porn, pot, pills, etc., you must walk away from a guy who’s hooked on anything. How can you entrust your life to someone who can’t manage his own? You’re headed for heartache if you fudge on this.
10. He’s unemployed or hates his job
A man is “on his game” when he’s on purpose. That means he’s tenaciously and passionately fulfilling his reason for being alive. If a guy doesn’t know what that is, or if he hates what he’s doing, his life is drifting and off course. (There are lots of “ya buts” here, like maybe he’s in transition.) Here’s an analogy. A man’s career is like him driving his car. If he’s running off the road, crashing into trees, do you want to ride shotgun? The single best indicator that a man is trustable is how deeply he knows what his life is about.
So there you have it. These are what I consider “red flags.” Ignore them at your peril. I encourage you to listen to Kenny Rogers when he says, “know when to walk away, know when to run.”
Finally, I’d like to point you towards another incredible resource to assist you in attracting a great, lasting relationship. It’s another all-video eCourse and it contains my proven and practical 5 step conscious approach to finding your life partner. Here is a 4-minute preview video that tells you what it’s all about:
Please feel free to comment or ask questions on anything you’ve read in this piece. I welcome your feedback and wish you all the best. If you want to learn more about my coaching practice and all the eCourses I have to offer, visit my website at https://coachingwithroy.com/.