By Maxine Browne
“He is just so perfect! I can’t believe I finally met someone like Romeo. He is so nice, so handsome, so wonderful. He listens to me, and he likes to do all the same things I do. Finally! I just know he is the ONE!”
Does this sound familiar? When we begin a new relationship, it’s hard to tell the good from the bad, the prince from the frog. Especially with dating websites creating long distance romances things may get fuzzy. You may think you have one thing when, in fact, you have another.
An abusive relationship usually begins with a whirlwind romance. He says things like, “Where have you been all my life. We were meant for each other. This must be our destiny.” Now what woman would be upset about words like that! After all, you have been looking for Mr. Right for forever, and Romeo is saying, “Here I am, Gorgeous.”
You put on your rose-colored glasses willingly – like a thirsty soul in the desert! And you trust that what Romeo says is fact. But just because he says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. How can you check him out?
What are his friends like? Birds of a feather flock together. If you don’t like his friends or he doesn’t seem to have any friends, this is a red flag. Every healthy, well-balanced person has friends. He should have at least a few good friends he hangs out with in his spare time. Check that out.
Talk to the women in his life, if possible. How does he talk to his mother? This could show you what he thinks about women. He should honor her and respect her. Does he have any sisters? Ask his sister what he is like. You may be surprised by what these women say. If they warn you about him, run for your life! Then, notice how he talks about his ex-girlfriend or ex-wife. He should not paint her as a crazy nymphomaniac, who cheated on him with every man in town. Most of the time, the more he calls her crazy, the more crazy he is. There are two sides to every story and they broke up for a reason. Does he take responsibility for any part in that? He should.
One last thing, if he admits to you that he had a violent incident with his crazy ex – and I don’t care why – he may be a violent person. (Remember that every person is justified in his own mind in what he does. There is no justification for violence.) Has he had a restraining order against him? Does he have a criminal no contact order against him? Does he complain that his crazy ex doesn’t want him to see his children for some reason? Be cautious. Take things slowly. The truth comes out with time. You cannot cover a lie for long. Just remember, he may lie to you because he has an agenda. He may want to gain your trust, win your heart, have sex with you or possess you. Depending on how badly he wants to succeed with his agenda may motivate him strongly to pressure or rush you into some kind of commitment. If he is the real deal, and he is serious about you, Juliet, there is no hurry. You are worth waiting for. If you feel pressured, red flag!
Maxine Browne is NOT a sociologist, counselor or psychiatrist. She is a woman with 35 years of experience in abusive relationships. She met man after man who insulted her and made her feel fat, ugly and stupid. Some took her money; others took advantage of her sexually; all crushed her self-esteem. Maxine is the author of Years of Tears and an inspirational speaker whose goal is to increase awareness of domestic violence and to help people experience happier, more respectful relationships. Contact Maxine to speak at your next event at www.dv-recovery.com. Follow Maxine on Twitter. Connect with her on Facebook at http://ow.ly/gZ8i8.