Where have you been? Where are you now? Where would you like to be? These three questions should be on your mind every morning, and you should have some kind of answer by evening. Without answering these three questions, how are you ever going to get what you want?
Let's look at an example. Since you're reading this site, I can assume that one of the things you want is a healthy relationship with a good man. First, ask yourself, what's your relationship history? Have you been involved with a man who has proved dangerous to your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or sexual health? Do you come from a home where that sort of relationship was normal? Have you seen other women in a relationship with a dangerous man and resolved that it will not happen to you?
On the flip side, have you had relationships with good men, nice men, but just not felt that spark? Have you broken up with a good man because he just wasn't "the one," or because you find yourself more attracted to dangerous men? The answers to all of these questions are extremely important. For more in-depth questions and what to do with the answers, I highly recommend Sandra Brown's How to Spot a Dangerous Man series for all women, whether they have a dating history filled with dangerous men or not.
Carefully evaluate whether your past choices have added to or detracted from your personal happiness. In the case of being more attracted to dangerous men, I'm willing to bet that acting on that attraction has led to significant unhappiness. You can't let yourself be ruled by your passions. You may feel very passionate about a dangerous man, but if your internal warning system goes off you should pay attention to it. If you get a rush instead of a warning, you need to reprogram your warning system. The How to Spot a Dangerous Man series can help you with that too.
Likewise, if you have broken up with "good men" who you just weren't attracted to, there is nothing wrong with you. You need attraction and chemistry in a relationship. It's something you know when you see it, but it's hard to pin down without a plan. That's where the "good man list" comes in. I've posted a starter list for you - these are the basic qualities that everyone agrees a good man should have. If your man is missing even one of these, you are in trouble. There are more to come next month as well.
If you keep breaking up with good men and then feeling guilty because your mother/his mother/ your grandma/ your coworkers keep telling you that you made a mistake, STOP. How are they supposed to know what you want? Everybody wants something different, and if you go by what other people say instead of what you know in your heart, you will spend the rest of your life feeling that you settled for second best. I have a feeling that if there was a "self-seduction guide" out there that would teach women how to force themselves to fall in love with the "right" man, it just might become a bestseller. And then of course every copy would be returned because it wouldn't work. You can reprogram your internal warning system, you can identify the qualities you want in a man, and you can choose to go out only with the best of the bunch, but you can't tell yourself you'll be okay with a man who simply doesn't do anything harmful to you. If he doesn't do anything good for you on that deep level of attraction, you'll sabotage your own chance for true happiness, as well as his. You simply aren't doing anybody any favors by staying with a man you aren't attracted to.
The good news is, you still have some level of control. You certainly aren't doomed to be attracted only to dangerous men. And you aren't doomed to a lifetime of bland companionship. If you monitor the company you keep, you can control the quality of men in your dating pool. If you surround yourself with men who fit your profile of a good man, then sooner or later you will be attracted to one. Here's a secret: Women are emotionally integrated beings. If you are "best friends" with a man, if you trust him and respect him, then attraction will come. This is the principle that predators work on, which is why you need to be aware of this quality in yourself. But its usefulness isn't limited to self-defense. If you pay attention to the signals that your body, mind, and spirit send you, attraction will no longer be a problem, and will in fact help you make better decisions about your relationships.
Signs That You’re Dating Mr. Wrong
Are you dating someone and wondering if he's the man for you? Are you not sure if he's husband quality? Here are some warning signs that might indicate he's not Mr. Right. These are purely my opinion, based on my limited social work experience and relationships I've seen in my life. I believe that these are good indicators that your man is not for you.
Warning Sign #1: He doesn't treat his mother well.
Does he constantly complain about, badmouth, and have no respect for his mother? Does he argue with his mother frequently? Overall, does he not treat her well? That might be a good indication of how he'd treat you someday. If he doesn't respect his mother, that is a big red flag that he isn't the one for you. The same goes with how he treats his sister, grandmother, or other women in general.
The only situation i could think where this might be different, is if he had been abused or neglected by his mother. But even in that case, he should not be mistreating her, perhaps be estranged. If you are in that scenario, I recommend asking a counselor for advice.
Warning Sign #2: He doesn't have a steady job.
I may sound harsh, but if he's not working or in school full time, he's not marriage material. A good man should be able to support his family. Yes, its possible he could change. But you better make sure he's changed before you say "I do." What I mean, is he's had a poor work history in the past, he needs to have had a steady job for at least 18 months or so, before you even think about marrying him.
Warning Sign #3: He is possessive.
If he tells you what you can and can't do, wear, or what kind of friends you can have, it time to say buh-bye. That is a big red flag of abusive men. If he is trying to control you, he's not for you.
Warning Sign #4: He criticizes you.
If he says hurtful, negative things to you about you, then its time to call it quits and move on. You deserve better. It will only get worse, hon, if you stay in this relationship.
Warning Sign #5: He has ever hit, slapped, or punched you.
Yep, that's a big red flag, sweetie. Is this the kind of guy you want to be the father of your children? Please don't make excuses for him, that behavior is not acceptable in any situation or scenario. It's time to move on. If you are in this situation, I recommend you call the national domestic violence hotline.
Warning Sign #6: He is in serious debt and not trying to work out of it.
Has he accumulated a large amount credit card debt or other bills? Does he admit he's made some mistakes and is trying to get out of it? If not, he's not for you. Do you really want to start off a marriage in that boat? This is not to say he can't have any debt (as its understandable to have student loans, car payments, medical bills, etc.), but if he's been frivolous with spending money and is not trying to change, that's a big sign he's Mr. Wrong.
Warning Sign #7: He doesn't share the same religious beliefs as you.
I'm just being honest. If you're not on the same page in the religion department, I don't believe he's a perfect match for you.
Warning Sign #8: He has lied to you.
A good man is an honest man. Liars don't make good husbands. That is just my personal opinion that I feel is a big red flag.
Warning Sign #9: You're not physically attracted to him.
I know this one is obvious! But I really felt I needed to include it, as there are many women who do marry someone they aren't physically attracted to and in love with. If you aren't "goo-goo-ga-ga" attracted to him, then please don't marry him. There are other fish in the sea.
Warning Sign #10: Your family/friends don't like him.
Okay, this is one where you need to use your best judgment. If your family and close friends have told you that they don't like him, by all means listen to them! If it's just one person, you might take that with a grain of salt, but if several people have told you, it's a big red flag! At the very least, please delay marriage for a long time if this is the case.
Warning Sign #11: He is going way too fast in the relationship.
In college I had friends where their boyfriends told them they loved them just a few weeks after dating! And some we're talking marriage within a few weeks. And, you've guessed correctly, some of these relationships didn't last. This is just my personal opinion, but marriage is something that should not be pushed and she be taken very seriously. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's not going to work out (as my grandparents were married for 50+ years and had a very short courtship), but I do consider this a warning sign.
Warning Sign #12:: He flirts with other woman.
No, it's not just you being jealous, it's a sign that this relationship isn't for you. If he flirts with your friends or other woman, he's not a good guy. If he denies it, that's an even bigger sign he's not for you. You need to marry someone who will be dedicated to you 100%.
Warning Sign #13: He uses drugs / is an alcoholic.
I feel that good marriages and drugs / alcohol abuse don't mix. If he uses drugs or you feel he is an alcoholic it's time to let him go. This is not to say that someone with problems in the past could be a good husband - as someone who messed up, got treatment, and stayed substance free for years might have potential. But if it's a problem now, it's time to say goodbye for now.
Warning Sign #14: For single mothers - your kids don't like him.
I'm just being brutally honest, but you need to put your children first. If your children have expressed that they do not like him, and aren't comfortable with your relationship, then that is a big warning sign it will not work out. If you really, truly believe he is the one for you, then you should wait until the kids are grown to get married.
Warning Sign #15: He has a problem with pornography.
This is a tough one because you might not even know about it. But, if you have ever caught him with pornography or found it on his computer, that's a sign this guy isn't for you. If he does admit he has a problem and is seeking treatment, speak with a counselor about continuing the relationship.
Warning Sign #16: He is constantly negative and bitter about life in general.
If he complains frequently about his job, his family, your mother, random people at the grocery store, etc., then please think twice about this relationship. Do you really want to spend your life with a grumpy and grouchy man? It will only get worse.
Warning Sign #17:
He has children from past relationships but doesn't have much contact with them. This one's pretty self-explanatory. If he doesn't pay child support, doesn't act as a father to his children, he's definitely not that man for you.
Warning Sign #18:
He has any kind of criminal history that involves domestic violence or abuse. This one's obvious, but if he has ever had a restraining order against him, ever been arrested violent behavior, he's not Mr. Right. If he has other criminal history, I would think twice (but not necessarily immediately call it quits) about him. You might speak with a counselor on this one. People do change.
Warning Sign #19:
He doesn't meet all of the qualities you've dreamed for in a husband.
This is another challenging one. You don't want to picky and unreasonable, but at the same time you need to stick to your qualifications in a husband. For example, if you always though you'd marry someone who would support you in being a stay-at-home-mom someday, but he doesn't like the idea, then he's probably Mr. Wrong. If you've always wanted 3 kids and he's not sure he wants kids at all, he is definitely not Mr. Right for you. (He could be Mr. Right for someone else that wants a child free life.) You can settle when picking out your next car, but please don't settle for your husband.
Warning Sign #20: You are having some doubts.
If you are having an inkling of a feeling that he's not for you, by all means, listen to your intuition. Do not rush into marriage. I highly recommend speaking with a counselor to help you sort through your feelings.
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