Characteristics of Promising, Healthy Dating Relationships

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“Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs. This is the principle behind lotteries, dating, and religion.” – Scott Adams, Cartoonist and creator of the Dilbert comic strip

“You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” – Epicurus – Greek Philosopher

Maggie was dating again after a difficult breakup, however she wasn’t confident in her ability to make good choices. She was experiencing anxiety and did not wish to go through another disastrous relationship. Maggie learned how to distinguish a healthy, promising, dating relationship from one that’s destined to go wrong by honestly answering questions about her potential dating partners.

Maggie had been attracted by Phil’s solicitous interest and attentions. She wished to proceed slower but didn’t heed her instincts. Rather, she yielded herself up to Phil’s considerate compliments and attentions.

Maggie was counseled that men who come on strong at the beginning of a relationship are often controlling and in need of affection, attention or emotional support and that’s what occurred in her relationship with Phil

Maggie stated that Phil appeared to be so loving and candid at the start. But things changed when they were in a committed relationship. He began to demand her time and attention. He became irritable, critical and smartparenting when she didn’t give him what he desired. How could Maggie have recognized these warning signs of an unhealthy dating relationship at the beginning? What should she be aware of now that she’s dating once again?

Maggie had gone out with a man named David one time. Shortly after this first date, David told Maggie that he wanted to spend more time with her and take a trip with her. Maggie was reminded of her relationship with Phil and a red flag went up.

Maggie and her counselor explored some of the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship in addition to the characteristics of a promising, healthy dating relationship.

If you answer yes to these questions, beware of an unhealthy dating relationship:

o Early in the relationship does he or she come on too strong?

o Does he or she become withdrawn, irritable, angry, or critical if you say no?

o Does he or she use logical arguments to try and convince you that you’re wrong for your feelings or your position?

o Is he or she uninterested when you talk about yourself and your interests but speaks on and on about himself or herself?

o Are you dating an older man or woman who’s never been married and has been in a number of broken relationships?