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In order to have a healthy relationship, you ‘ve got to be IN a relationship . . . with that in mind, Angie offers these Red Flags:

You may have to kiss a lot of frogs, but as soon as you KNOW they’re frogs, you’ve got to throw them back into the pond, that is, if you want to be available when the real Prince Charming comes along.  Here are a few early warning signs (imagine a tsunami-horn alert):

He wears a jail bracelet.  This is a true story.  I gently suggested to a friend that I didn’t think it was such a good idea for her to date a guy who was wearing a jail bracelet.  She said, “Oh, but kid, he is doing so much better!”  Shockingly, he ended up having advanced stalking skills along with a serious drinking problem.  So, not dating guys with jail bracelets seems like a good rule.
He sends you flowers and it bugs you.  You know you’ll have to call and thank him, but it’s uncomfortable because the feelings are not reciprocated.  Not a good sign.  If you liked him, you’d be thrilled.
His arm “accidentally” (?) touches your knee in the movie theater and you want to jump six feet.  Not knowing whether you are attracted to someone in the beginning is o.k.; being repulsed is not.
You start stretching your dates out to every other weekend, hoping you will start liking him.  This is not a good thing.  He’s good enough looking.  You even thought he was cute before you started dating.  He’s nice.  More importantly, he likes you.  He’s someone you think you should like, but you grit your teeth at the thought of another evening of strained conversation with him.  Give it up.  It ain’t gonna happen.  There’s someone out there who wants him.  Send him back to the pond.
You are out on a date and you think you’d rather be ironing a blouse.  This really happened to me, and I was alarmed at the thought floating through my mind.  I hate to iron.
You are out on a date and you start thinking you’d have a better time with your four-year old daughter because she has a better sense of humour.  (Really happened to me, too!)
He lives in Hawaii, you live in California, and neither of you will move or gets much vacation time.  Now this is embarrassing, so let’s just say it happened to a friend.  Took her a couple of years to wise up.
He’s married.  Not only bad karma, but dumb.  And without self respect, how can you be ready and feel worthy when the real Prince Charming comes along?
He’s a priest.   I did have a friend whose husband left the priesthood to marry her, but in general this situation is fraught with angst and best avoided unless you are doing personal research for high drama.
He has you pick him up from a recovery house on your first date.  True story.  Now, I have nothing against men in recovery from addictive substances.  However, it is not a good sign if they still live in a recovery house.  (And, if you yourself are in treatment, it’s best you wait before dating anyway.)
On your first date he paces back and forth asking why you would go out with him.  Another true story.  This guy said he was so sure that I would break the date that he almost called to beat me to it.  He quizzed me repeatedly about why I went out with him.  Nothing against men being shy or insecure, but clearly he was not emotionally equipped to date.
It’s Valentine’s Day on Monday, and your birthday falls on Thursday of the same week, and he does not make plans with you or acknowledge in advance.  This is true.  In addition, he had not made any attempt to see me for the previous two to three weeks.  Duh!
He’s gay.   Enough said.

Relationships can be hard, but the beginning should be easy.  Either you like a guy or you don’t. If you really like him, he can’t do anything wrong.  If you don’t, he can’t do anything right.

By Angie