Ask Wendy

How Can I Tell If a Relationship is a Bad One?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
meeting good guy
Hey Wendy,

I’m just going to lay it out for you. I’m 28, I’ve had two failed marriages with cheating, beating, and verbal abuse. The two relationships that followed were ones where I was safe, but still cheated on.

Suffice it to say I feel I make bad choices in men. So, my fear is with my new relationship forming (we're currently taking it slow and building on friendship and then upward, which is new to me) that I made another bad choice.

I never see the flags until months in, after I've poured my heart into it. So, what should I watch for early on? What are the red flags?

WF – Washington D.C.

Dear W,

I’m sorry you’ve had to endure abuse. And I’m happy to hear that your past is in the past and that you’re taking it slow and becoming friends first with the new one.

The first thing you can do to see if he’s a good guy is to have a another guy in your life (like a brother, mentor, or friend) meet him — and soon.

Have you ever noticed how women can usually see right through another woman when men can’t see her nefarious agenda? Yeah—this works in both directions. When you have someone who cares about you check out your guy, he will be able to sniff out pretty quick if he’s an overall good guy to give a chance to or if you should bolt. If he tells you to run for the hills, then I’ve got a question for you. Are you willing to trust your friend and not defend the new guy?

Thinking or saying, “you just don’t know him like I do” or “you haven’t seen his good side” in response to someone you trust telling you that they think your new dude is bad news is a red flag. And trust me, it’s DIFFICULT for your friends to give you any bad news — they want to like him too. So if you’re hearing negativity from them, take it in.

If you’re over-accommodating, changing your life around, and making excuses for him—even silently to yourself—that’s a red flag.

Anytime he shows you that he cares more about what he wants than what you need by overriding a boundary you’ve set—that’s a red flag.

Your own biological instincts are working hard against you catching red flags. Be vigilant, get your guy to go out with your pack of loved ones sooner rather than later, and take the feedback.

Do you have a dating, sex or relationship question for Wendy? Send it to Wendy@WendySpeaks.com.