We hate to break it to you, but just because the guy you met over the weekend looks good on paper doesn’t mean he’s good for you.
Below, relationship experts share seven signs your relationship isn’t likely to last.
1. He puts you down in front of friends and family.
He can’t wait to tell all your friends about how you completely butchered the pronunciation of “cache” — and brags about his Ivy League education while gently chiding you about your state school degree. Initially, you might laugh it off as no big deal, but as marriage therapist Kristina Fecik points out, do you really want to be in a serious relationship with someone who thinks it’s OK to mock you?
“It’s especially bad if you tell him that it bothers you and he continues, dismissing your feelings of embarrassment,” the Fort Lauderdale-based therapist said. “Well-known marriage researcher John Gottman has found that contempt — any statement or non-verbal behavior that puts you on a higher plane than your partner — is the single best predictor of divorce.”
2. You’re polar opposites.
Opposites attract but only up to a point. If you’re a left-leaning introvert who lives for takeout-and-Netflix weekends and he’s an extroverted Republican who can’t pass up a party invite, you’re going to butt heads sooner than later, said Marina Sbrochi, a dating expert and the author of Stop Looking for a Husband: Find the Love of Your Life.
“Get ready for battle around month five,” she said. “It might be fun for the social butterfly to enjoy having his homebody all to himself… until his friends come calling and endless invitations for social events start pouring in. Then he’ll find you boring. The truth is, if you don’t have any common ground, you don’t have any common ground to have a long-lasting relationship.”
3. He’s resentful of your friends, family and outside interests.
At first, you may find it flattering that he wants to spend all his time with you. But it’s a red flag if he goes overboard and picks a fight every time you choose family and friends (or your hobbies) over him, said Alison Patton, a San Diego-based divorce attorney and mediator.
“You could be dating a controlling narcissist,” she said. “This type make you feel special and pampered during the dating phase — gifts, outings and trips for two — but underneath it all is a need to be the center of your world all the time. Throughout your marriage he will undermine your attempts to have outside relationships and your own interests.”
4. Your friends and family want nothing to do with him.
Your friends and family were never going to be as head-over-heels in love with your S.O. as you are. But if the majority of them think there’s something seriously wrong with your Mr. Right, you may want to stop and take notice, said Patton.
“Our own inability to see the truth about someone while dating is the reason the divorce rate is so high,” she said. ” Often your friends and family do know best. In the words of H. Jackson Brown, Jr., ‘Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90 percent of your happiness or misery.'”
5. There’s no sexual chemistry between you and him.
The hot and heavy, we-can’t-keep-our-hands-off each-other phase isn’t going to last forever; after all, your desire for your spouse ebbs and flows through the years. But if there’s not even a sexual spark in the beginning, it should give you reason for pause, said Virginia Gilbert, a Los Angeles-based marriage and family therapist.
“You tell yourself that’s OK because he’s a ‘nice guy’ and you’re looking for stability, and you think he can provide it,” she said, “But while you don’t need to marry Mr. Best Sex Ever, you do need to walk down the aisle with a guy who turns you on. Most couples have to work to keep sex exciting over the long haul, but you won’t be able to do that if you don’t have a strong foundation of mutual sexual attraction and desire to begin with.”
6. He’s really, really ridiculously good looking — and that’s about it.
He may look like a young Johnny Depp but if there’s no depth there, you’re probably going to get bored with him, Sbrochi said.
“I’ve been down this road and it does not end well,” she instead. “Instantly you are imagining how amazing you would look together walking down the aisle — but on each date you find that it’s like pulling teeth to even get a sentence out of Mr. McDreamy. When he finally does talk, it’s lacking substance and depth. Face facts: his good looks can only take him so far.”
7. You’re more invested in sharing a wedding day with him than sharing a life.
Don’t allow yourself to fall for the good-on-paper type without digging deeper to see if you’re compatible. And certainly don’t cast aside your doubts just because your biological clock is ticking, said Fecik.
“It’s common to get caught up in the fantasy of the wedding day — or see a guy as a decent candidate for a husband just because you’re baby-ready,” she said. “But take the time to get to know your partner before you get to know the wedding planner. Don’t wait to discuss the important issues eight years later, when you and your hubby are on a marriage therapist’s couch.”
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