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Relationship expert Mike Dow stops by. He explains relationship deal breakers and the three things your partner MUST know the answer to in order to make your relationship work.
He's a commitment-phobe.
If you see the warning signs like: won't say I love you, won't DTR (define the relationship) after months of dating, or doesn't like to look at you during sex or even kissing, then you may be with someone who isn't ready for a serious relationship. About 25% of the population is what’s known clinically as “avoidantly attached,” meaning they are literally afraid of commitment. This is a very hard thing to change in people. Now, this might be fine for you if you're just having fun, too. But if you want more, it may be time to find someone who is able to give you what you deserve.
He's mean to his mother.
Let’s consider for a second what happens in the brain during a relationship. In the beginning stages of love – the first three to six months -- the brain floods with dopamine. This makes being kind, romantic, and sweet very easy. It’s almost like being drunk. But beware, because this early stage of love soon wears off, and then you see who that person really is. So in those early stages, keep a close eye on how he/she treats other people around them. If you see him/her being unkind to his mom, waiters, flight attendants, colleagues, or friends – beware. That lack of kindness, respect or warmth could be how he will soon be treating you.
He doesn't value money.
In the beginning stages of a relationship, it’s easy to overlook that a guy might be unemployed or likes to spend his money. But when you get married, and you have kids, and you inherit his debt and his bad credit – that is going to matter a lot. Someone who is in serious debt, makes bad financial decisions, or doesn't take his/her job seriously should be a red flag for you. It really says something about who they are. Ask yourself -- do they have pride in themselves? Do they respect money and work?
He's not on your side.
I always go back to the “Sex and the City” episode where Berger says to Carrie, “When did you stop being on my side?” This comes up with couples I treat all the time. When he/she is no longer on your side, it is literally death in a relationship. And kids can sniff this stuff out, because they're really good at splitting parents or stepparents when they sense parents AREN'T on the same side. If you feel that this is an issue in your relationship, you really need to have a very serious talk about how we can get back on the same page with one another.
He can't answer three important questions...
There are three things that every partner should be able to name:
1) your best friend
2) the moment he knew he was in love with you
3) your favorite place on your body to be touched.
They are all a sign of true intimacy, which means so much in a relationship. I do couples sessions and when I ask people about the moment they knew they fell in love with their partner, their face lights up. Your partner needs to know these things! And it’s up to you to make sure they do.