Some of us get into relationships where we’re pretty much destroying each because we ignore initial warning signs that the person we’re attracted to is an emotional train wreck or ticking time bomb.
Very often we are swept off our feet by the physical, mental or sexual attraction only to end up heartbroken, angry, bitter, revengeful or caught up in an emotional roller coaster.
These five warning signs will help you tell right from the beginning if he/she is an emotional train wreck or ticking time bomb:
1. Has shallow emotions – He/she is quick to share too much early in the relationship or say “I Love You” or want to marry or commit to you. Typically, in less than a few weeks of dating you’ll hear that you’re the love of his/her life, he/she wants to be with you forever, and he/she wants to marry you. You’ll be showered with instant attraction, endearing names and overwhelmed with attention and promises. Remember the old saying “If it’s too good to be true it probably is (too good to be true)!” The rapid warm-up is always a sign of shallow emotions which later causes him/her to detach from you as quickly as he/she committed.
2. Cannot handle emotions – He/she is easily overwhelmed emotionally and holds grudges, clings to bitterness, cannot handle frustration, criticism or rejection. In the first few dates you will frequently hear stories of what others do or did to him/her and how “evil” the world is etc. But these stories quickly turn to what you are doing or not doing that is hurting him/her emotionally. The relationship becomes one of blaming, accusing, arguing, explaining yourself, defending yourself, trying to talk him/her into feeling differently about this or that etc. You feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells
3. Shows no emotions – He/she doesn’t get emotionally involved, isn’t emotionally expressive (e.g. finds it hard to get excited about things) and doesn’t sympathize with other people’s pain. Coldly put, he/she is emotionally bland and cold. From the very first date, he/she will toy with your emotions – he/she shows up late, promises to call you but doesn’t, agrees to meet and “forgets” to call you to cancel, “forgets” things that are important to you etc. Most of the time you feel uncertain where he/she stands in regards to his/her feelings for you. He/she when confronted may admit that he/she really has no feeling towards you – and does so very coldly.
4. Prone to emotional outburst (short fuse)- He/she blows up easily – shouts at or is rude to a waiter/waitress, customer service people, others drivers and even perfect strangers or does dangerous things, like driving too fast because he/she is mad, breaking/throwing things, getting into fights, threatening others etc. He/she is clearly letting you know that he/she has that ability and capability – and that it might come your way. There will come a time when he/she has no one to let out his/her temper on and you are the obvious soft and easy target. And it is not just men. Women may not necessarily be physical with their temper, but every sentence she speaks and the many lies she can invent are equally hurtful.
5. Uses emotions to manipulate – He/she creates situations in which he/she becomes the centre of attention – everything is exaggerated and distorted to dramatic proportions. This playing victim such as being persecuted by others (“I am a very misunderstood person”); feigning or exaggerating illness or causing or inviting injury (e.g. shows up with bruises and cuts and expects you to feel bad for him/her and even take care of the injury) etc. You find yourself spending all your time trying to make him/her feel good about him or herself. The more attention you give the more schemes he/she comes up with. It’s like trying to fill up a bottomless pit!
Take some words of wisdom from someone who’s been there: if it doesn’t fit – don’t force it.
If you are emotionally healthy yourself your emotions are your energy sources for making good decisions, reading and dealing effectively with other people’s feelings, optimizing your ability to have healthy relationships, enjoying work and taking pleasure in life.