Dating

Early Warning Signs Of A Potential Abuser

There are early warning signs that you are in a relationship with a potential abuser. After divorce, one may have joined an online dating site and now has a string of first and second dates. While people put their best foot forward and hide their darker side – it is still possible to catch a glimpse of who that person really is. One may feel it is love at first sight, however if something does not quite seem right, put the brakes on. Trust your gut instinct. Your subconscious is screaming at you to back away when these signs of a potential abuser appear:

  • Are they disrespectful to anyone? While no one agrees completely with another, people can agree to disagree in a respectful way. When a date treats others callously so early in a relationship, this is bound to get worse. This may include name calling or derogatory labels. If women are called obscene terms, hit the road.
  • Are they controlling? They want to plan your social life and dictate whom you may see. They may tell one how to dress or where they can go. They want their dating partner to get their permission to do various activities.
  • Potential abusers excel at using sarcasm with little jabs at others. They may mock what you say. They make “jokes” at your expense and say you are “too sensitive” if you are hurt or object. They are critical and judgemental. There do put downs which may begin in private and progress to belittling you in front of family and friends.
  • They are possessive which may seem flattering at first. One can mistake this for affection, when really it means you are their property. For example, a person may keep their arm permanently attached to you in a group setting. Instead of love, it can be marking their territory. They may call multiple times of day to check up on you.
  • They are jealous of your relationships and may attempt to isolate you from others. In some cases, the person is jealous of their date’s children. They resent the time the parent spends with their kids and competes for attention. These potential abusers want to be the centre of the universe and get upset when forced to share their date.
  • They blame you for their bad mood or blame others for any misfortunes. They cannot handle feedback that points to any mistakes they have made.
  • The biggest sign is that they have violent behaviour which may not necessarily be directed at you. They start with a small action at first, such as throwing a book across the room in rage. It progressively increases in intensity, such as hitting the couch near you, or tossing your possession at something. It is only a matter of time before you become the target of physical abuse. It is so important to get out of this relationship immediately and not listen to any excuses. Leave after the first violent act and not wait until you become the punching bag.

This true case illustrates several points mentioned above. Violet dated a medical student from a fantastic family. Ken appeared to be loving and caring, yet a few things bothered her. He blamed others for his mistakes or said they were wrong when his discrepancies came to light. He belittled Violet in front of others and her mum begged her to leave him. She did not. Right before her trip abroad, Violet asked Ken to drive her to a store to get some cosmetics. He refused –saying he did not want her to look pretty for other men. Then he gave her a prominent hickey on her neck which was very visible.

When Violet returned, Ken put a fist through a door inside her flat. Shortly after that he threw her shoe at the wall, which resulted in a hole. The violence scared her and she realized what would be happening next. Violet realized she had given Ken too many chances and promptly broke up with him. A few years later an acquaintance revealed that Ken married and got divorced the next year. She knew why.

It is easy to fall into the trap of listening to excuses and giving extra chances as Violet did. When any act of violence occurs – no matter how small – end the relationship.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine    thedivorcemagazine.co.uk

 

Top Ten Concerns That Divorcees Have about Dating Again

The time will come when you might want to consider dating again after your divorce.  It may seem a bit of a leap into the unknown and it’s not unusual to feel worried. We asked divorcees what things most worried them about dating after their break-up, and there was quite a range:  from worries about sex, to finding a someone who will love their dog!
Here were the 10 most common.
1. Am I ready? 
Well done! It’s good that you are asking yourself this question. Only you can really decide, but bear in mind that you can just try a date and if it doesn’t feel right, you can stop again.
2. I don’t know if I’ll remember how to date!
There’s no right or wrong way (within reason). A date is just an opportunity for you to be yourself with someone else. Your date can expect no more of you.
3. I’ve never done online dating
It may feel like a scary way of doing things – or something you are eager to have a go at. Give it a whirl, trying to keep hold of your common sense and enthusiasm – nothing ventured, nothing gained.
4. I’m the wrong side of 40, I need to find someone quick…
Try not to rush things.  Do you know what you want in a date or a relationship, and what you need to be happy?  Taking time to think about what you need will help you find a partner who is a good match.
5. All the good people are taken – only the crazies are left!
This is NOT true! Although you could say we all have our crazy moments!  Lots of people are starting again for all sorts of acceptable and common and NORMAL reasons. And if you are on the market again, why not someone like you?
6. I’m scared of rejection
If you are feeling very fragile, take some time before you start dating, particularly online dating, which can require a bit of a thick skin. Ask a suitable friend, family member or therapist to support you in building up your self-esteem.
7. No one will want me. I don’t like the way I look, why would anyone else?
Many people feel less confident in their bodies or looks than they once did post divorce. This has knock on affects on their sexual confidence.
Try not to date until you feel confident and desirable – work on your self-esteem before you hop into bed with someone.  Remember you probably fancy people for qualities other than
their appearance – it’s the whole package. Make sure you remember everything that you have to offer.
8. Will I have to have sex on the first date?
It’s a common misconception that you are expected to have sex on the first date.  NOT TRUE!  You should only have sex when you want to and feel comfortable – ‘make friends before you make love’.
9. Dating makes me miss my ex
This is a not uncommon, especially if you meet someone who you don’t click with.  Make a list of why your ex was not suitable for you and a list of what you are looking for. This should help you to focus on why you should move forward instead of looking backwards.
10. How will my children take it?
Make sure that you allow your children enough time to grieve and adapt to your new situation. Before you introduce your children to a new partner, wait a sensible amount of time to understand and trust the person you are dating.
Authors of this article, Lucy Davis and Isabelle Hung, run  The Divorce Club  www.divorceclub.com     an online support network for people going through divorce and separation.     Wendi’s Note: The Divorce Club in London is a great way to meet others who are going through similar experiences. Wisdom and laughter are shared at Lucy’s get-togethers through this MeetUp.com group.

You Could Be Hindering Your Teen’s Dating

you could be hindering your teen's dating potential     You Could Be Hindering Your Teen’s Dating Potential  

While some parents may be hindering their teen’s dating potential, I don’t necessarily think it is a bad thing. I am not advocating for overly strict parenting where you don’t allow your teen to date at all, but there are some important precautions I think all parents should consider when their teen starts dating…
Set Clear Curfews

Not too long ago, my teenage son took a more serious interest in girls. He became interested in spending time with girls outside of school for dating purposes or “hanging out” as he calls it. So he wanted to renegotiate his curfew. His curfew changed when he moved from middle school to high school but hasn’t been updated since. I saw no need to change it, as he could stay out until 9:30 pm Sunday – Thursday and 11:30 pm Friday – Saturday. 

He decided to challenge this when out on a group date and came home at midnight on a Saturday. While he tried to argue he was only a half-hour late, he knew the consequence for breaking curfew was a week of grounding with a week added for each curfew-breaking offense.

Tips for parents who want to curtail bad teen dating habits by setting a curfew:

  • Set clear curfew rules.
  • Set reasonable and relatable consequences for breaking these rules.
  • Follow through with punishment or curfew breaking will be a regular thing.Teen Date Nights and Money

Part of teaching your teen how to date responsibly is teaching your teen how to deal with their personal finances. The sooner your child understands basic savings and financial planning, the better equipped they will be later in life.

My teen son knows I won’t play the money tree, being a backup when his personal funds are running low. When he takes a girl out on a date, he has to think creatively and within a budget. Sometimes that just means a movie night at home with some popcorn, which helps me keep an eye on the dating couple.

I have found this has made my son more responsible overall. If there are activities and dates he would like to go on, he has to plan them in advance and secure the finances to do so. He has felt the sting of not having enough money to take a girl out that he likes and it’s a good reminder for him to manage his finances responsibly to obtain the things he wants. I also like to think that by not offering to pay for his extravagant dates, he thinks of creative, less expensive dates and therefor doesn’t rely on flash or funds as a crutch for getting to know girls.  

Everyone On Same Dating Page   

Not only does your teen need to be on the same page with any rules you set up but so does your parenting partner. This can be tricky for co-parents who are divorced but is possible when working with clear communication.

Author of this article, Tyler Jacobson  enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative designs. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | LinkedIn