I’m going to operate under the base assumption that you know about the concept of red flags when it comes to a new relationship. If not, go educate yourself, and return when you’ve mastered a ninth grade education.
Historically, I’ve done well with spotting red flags early, and escaped many a full on relationship with a potential psycho by checking myself into rehab, moving to a different state, or getting said person fired. Just because I wasn’t dealing with the situation ‘directly’, doesn’t mean it wasn’t being dealt with. One time in college, a girl I’d been seeing told me her dad use to lock her and her sister in dog cages, so I dropped all of the classes we shared together. That was an easy one though.
Maybe it was being newly free from heroin. Maybe it was living in Pittsburgh again for the first time since I graduated high school. Maybe it was the new antidepressants and gabba-agonists I was on. Who’s to say for sure? All I know is that I did an abysmal job of spotting the red flags when it came to Denny.
Here are a few of the most glaring, in no particular order. Hopefully they will help you avoid signing a long term lease with someone you actually hate.
He identified as an elitist.
Nothing wrong with this at first glance, other then being grotesquely pretentious. Let’s remember though that Denny grew up in group homes after his mom went to jail. He also never graduated from the mediocre state college he only got into for being half a minority orphan. How can said person call themselves an elitist? RED FLAG.
He had too many visible tattoos.
I grew up around wealthy conservatives, and often still have to impersonate one to reap the societal benefits. My one visible tattoo can be covered with a tasteful Tag Heuer watch. Denny would have needed arm length body spandex for my family not to push the panic button on the alarm when he came over for Christmas dinner. RED FLAG.
He was once addicted to meth.
Obviously, I am an outspoken advocate of drug abuse, but of all the lovely chemicals in the world, he chose meth? Gross. Also, if you looked closely you could see the wear on his teeth. RED FLAG.
He was briefly engaged.
Again, not alarming at first glance, but when the details began to emerge, I should have promptly changed my number. I never got the full story, but the ex ended up smashing all his car windows with a hammer and slashing his tires. Even I, someone with questionable mental stability, have never resorted to such an act. Denny must have really dicked this kid over. RED FLAG.
He loved the evil corporation we worked for.
I think he was looking for guidance from the corporation, since he didn’t have any parents. He actually once told me not to work on a project at home because the firm ‘really wanted us to find a work/life balance’. I did hang up on him, but I didn’t leave the relationship. RED FLAG.
He wanted to spend all of his free time with me.
This was cool at first, when I was still infatuated with him, but after a month my genetic desire to spend most of my time alone took over. His behavior spoke more to the disconcerting fact that he had no actual friends. RED FLAG.
He gave me mouth herpes.
Let me underscore mouth herpes, and technically this was my fault since he did warn me that he had a cold sore. But I was in love. Like everything else (DUIs, heroin addiction, pregnancy scares), I just assumed catching herpes only happened to other people. I can no longer proudly slur over martinis that I’ve never had a cold sore. RED FLAG.
He was interested in dating me.
This should have been the first and most obvious sign that he was fatally damaged. When your own loving parents tell their friends’ kids to stay away from you, you can almost guarantee that you are a hopeless train-wreck of a person.
Like everything unfortunate that’s happened in my life, I am forced to take some personal responsibility here. I should have realized that a delusional, tattooed, former meth addicted, self-centered, corporation loving, unfriendable, herpes giving, dullard was no one to date for an extended period of time.