Three dates are all it takes to spot a loser in love. If your date is displaying red-flag behavior that early on, the guy has got some serious problems. Head for the door as fast as you can, unless you want to waste time and emotional drama on a guaranteed romantic disaster. Pay attention on those first three dates and watch out for these behaviors that are dead giveaways, says relationship expert Tracey Cox. They’ll break the two of you up and break your heart.
They’re control freaks.
This guy will literally take charge immediately. There’s no guessing who’s in control or to what degree. Does he plan where you’ll go on the date and what you’ll do? How does he react if the restaurant, the meal or the service is not to his liking? Is he rude to wait staff? Is he making suggestions about what be appropriate for you to wear for the occasion? This relationship is headed toward a constant battle to see who’s the boss.
They’ve got drinking problems.
Does he always plan to meet at a bar? Does he fidget when it’s clear there’s no bar in sight on your walk around the neighborhood?
He shows up for the date clearly tipsy, keeps on drinking even though he can tell you are disgusted, and gets belligerent when you won’t join him in knocking back a few. He never knows when to stop. If that’s the story of your first couple of dates but you’re still not sure about his drinking habit, suggest a no-alcohol date and see how he reacts. That will tell you everything you need to know.
They run hot and cold.
Here’s the word of warning: The longer you stay in a stop-and-go-and-stop relationship, the more trapped you are. You’ll notice the pattern about four or five weeks after you start dating. They’re unreliable and you forgive them thinking they’ll shape up. They do straighten up for a while and then they go right back to forgetting about the date, showing up late for dinner, being rude to your friends.
You call the whole thing off. They turn up with flowers, apologies and charm that goes on forever.
You’ve fallen victim to the “variable-ratio reinforcement” syndrome. You’re hooked on the “if-only” principle, and it’s just as addictive as gambling. If you get burned every time you put your hands on a stove, you’ll stop putting your hands on the stove. But if you get burned sometimes and other times you don’t, you won’t know what to expect. You’ll keep trying. The same pattern works with this guy.
The more effort you invest in the relationship, the stronger the pull of thinking “maybe this time it will work out.” Wake up, girl! It won’t. Cut your losses and run.
They’re all drama all the time.
Stormy, tempestuous romances found in steamy novels are for the birds, not real life. The first five dates should be nothing but fun. But if your date starts out moody, defensive and overly sensitive, there’s a problem. Some people will deliberately pick fights because they like arguing.
Are you already fighting over work problems or family issues or money dramas? Too many dramas equal incompatibility. Are you feeling smothered by jealousy or possessiveness after just a few dates? Are you feeling jealous yourself? The two of you may have explosive chemistry and tons of passion, but if you’re knocking heads over life issues before you’ve reach Date No. 10, you’ve got a compatibility problem.
Read More: How to Spot a Loser in Just Three Dates