As you get to know someone, evaluate these questions:
1. How does he/she treat others? Are they often condescending or do they display a lack of respect? Are they generous or cheap, quick-tempered or patient and gracious? How someone treats one over time will be how they treat everyone. Respect confers dignity and honor to the recipient. In contrast, lack of respect leads to all kinds of relational ills. It can even include painful putdowns, dishonesty, and cheating, any of which are sure to eventually sink a relationship.
2. Is he/she generally happy and do they have a mostly positive outlook on life? Persistent pessimism and negativity will cast a dark cloud on the best of times and may signal depression.
3. Are they easily overwhelmed by everyday frustrations? Daily life is full of aggravations, and most people learn to deal with them reasonably. Beware of the person who gets easily rattled and highly agitated. What shows up when they travel?
4. Do you notice any addictive behaviors? A person who has an unaddressed addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography) is a skilled deceiver and often develops intricate webs of dishonesty to conceal their behavior.
5. Do they ALWAYS tell the truth? When a person feels compelled to deceive you (or anyone else), it’s a sign of shaky character. You want a partner with a rock-solid commitment to honesty and integrity.
6. Is the person often irritable or always impatient? All of us get cranky sometimes because of stress, sleep deprivation, or other factors. But watch out for the person who seems grouchy most of the time.
7. Does he/she always have to be right, to win every argument? We all have egos, but a general lack of tolerance can wear thin very soon.
8. Do they ask good questions, listen, and show interest in you and others? If not, it may be a sign of narcissism.
9. Is your partner a “Drama King or Queen?” The person who plays “mind games” stirs up unnecessary drama and turmoil. This is often a symptom of deeper issues.
10. Is the person a “control freak?” Being proactive is admirable, but being overbearing is not. Some people feel the need to take control of every situation and be in charge.
11. Are they constantly bragging or showing off? These qualities and conspicuous consumption scream of insecurity.
12. Would you describe he/she as a giver or a taker? An emotionally healthy person will have a balance of both traits.
13. Does the person have an isolated lifestyle? Be aware that a lack of connection with friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors can be a sign of intimacy problems or being excessively guarded.
14. Are they a hoarder or excessively messy? Either conduct may signal other emotional challenges, and at the least, may not be a good match for you.
15. Does he/she hold grudges and is unable to forgive? The inability to forgive will eventually infect all their relationships. Frequent ill-will expressed about others is a big red flag.
16. Have you noticed an inability to manage anger or unusual mood swings or volatility? If the person is hot-tempered, easily provoked, and quick to lose control, take this as another sign of danger ahead.
17. Does he/she belittle you or others? A little banter or playful teasing is one thing, but if someone always puts you down or tries to make you feel inferior, consider this a sign of more trouble ahead.
18. Is your potential partner overly needy or clingy? Do they show signs of obsessive behavior with you? Are they overly anxious and dependent or unusually quick with displays of attachment? Emotionally healthy people will be happy already and don’t need anyone though they may want someone in their life. There is a big difference between the two.
19. Is the individual detached and remote? This kind of person is highly defended and doesn’t want to let anyone get close.
20. Is the person bossy and demanding? The need to tell others what to do is a sign of someone with an obsessive need to be in control.
21. Are they resilient and have a healthy sense of self and humor? Life and relationships all have their ebbs and flow. Humor and resiliency are the tonics that renew and restore the health and vitality of all relationships.
Any of the issues involved in the above questions may also have their attractive aspects included in them, but beware that they are also signals of emotional, personality or mood disorders that doom healthy relationships and make divorce lawyers wealthy. And if you spot areas for improvement in yourself, professional counseling might help open the door back to a newly promising future!