Ask Dr. Tracy

When To Not Even Get Started

Often when a man or woman comes to me, they're attracted to someone, but a little voice is telling them, "Warning! Warning!" Together, we look for the danger signs. If you see any of the following, stop before you've made an emotional investment. Even if you despair of ever finding a someone who's normal, healthy, and single, hang in there and keep looking.

1. He Or She Abuses Drugs Or Alcohol

As in the broken popcorn machine story, there are problems that your love and good intentions can't fix. If someone is an alchoholic or a drug abuser, they need professional help. Even if they're bi-sexual leaning toward gay, don't think you can change them.

2. He Or She Hates Their Mother

Someone who can't get along with their own family and has no love for their parents is probably an emotional cripple. Sure, their family history makes you feel sorry for them, but don't try to be a shrink/lover. You may really fall for them, only to have them repeat the mistakes they learned at home.

3. He Or She Hates All Your Friends Or They Hate Him Or Her

If they can't stand your friends, it's a very ominous sign. If none of your friends can stand him or her, beware; they may be right.

4. He Or She's Often Not Nice To Others

They're nice to you, but you've noticed they get angry, lie, cheat, steal or exhibit other anti-social behavior. Someone who treats others badly will eventually treat you badly too. Count on it.

5. He Or She Has A Dubious History

They're mysterious about their past and have no old friends or ex lovers who still talk to them. Beware, they may have treated everyone in their life so badly that no one never wants to see him or her again.

6. He Or She's A Charming Flake

Acting charming is often a way to shirk responsibility. If they don't want to grow up, you can't make them.

7. He Or She Flirts And Threatens To Cheat

Someone who is always looking over your shoulder to see what they're missing is going to make your life hell forever.

8. You've Developed Strange Illnesses Since You Started Going With Him Or Her

Whoops! You may already be in too deep. If your head aches all the time and your back hurts and you have no medical explanation, a likely suspect is the new person in your life.

See "`Qualifying' Someone" for the whole story on how to check someone out (whether they display any of these danger signs or not), and read "The Nosebiter" for the story of a woman who did no checking at all.

Related Keywords: Bad Prospects, Qualifying Someone

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