As a relationship progresses, it's tempting to pretend everything's OK even when it isn't. It may be embarrassing to end a relationship when you've told all your friends that this is "The One," but that's a whole lot better than ending up sad, betrayed, and/or broke. Some questions to ask yourself, while you're reveling in the new romance:
-- Do I know my partner's past? Someone who doesn't seem to have a history may be concealing a spouse -- or a prison record.
-- Have I met my partner's friends, roommates, or family? You don't need to have dinner at Mom's every Sunday, but someone who doesn't seem to have any social contacts may be married and cheating, or may be isolating you from people who know his or her real story.
-- Does my partner express anger appropriately? Everyone gets frustrated sometimes. If your partner's anger is out of control, doesn't seem to subside, or if you're somehow the one apologizing every time, there's a pattern of control going on.
-- Does this person seem to be making the relationship a priority? Some people genuinely have tough schedules. Or you may be dating a "player" who is concealing other loves.
-- Does this person seem to rely on alcohol or drugs? An active addict (one who is still using) will ALWAYS put the addiction ahead of everything else.
-- Are words of love accompanied by real listening and consideration for your needs?
-- Has this person asked you for money?
-- Does this person blame others for all his or her troubles?
-- Does this person put you down?
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