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Red flags–if you see them, run

Last week Lovefraud posted an article that described one woman’s experience of romantic manipulation by a sociopath. Another reader responded with advice.

This woman had been married to a narcissist, which in many ways is similar to a sociopath. Once she divorced him and started dating again, she relied on a list of red flags. “If I saw even ONE flag, the guy was OUT of my life, period,” she says. Here is her list.

Red flags

1) Needing to be around you as much as possible and knowing where you are at all times.

2) Refusing to have any meaningful social life, even with his own family.

3) Telling you what to wear and advising what is “appropriate clothing” for you.

4) Requesting that you spend all your free time with him and NONE with friends. (In the beginning, you can see friends on a limited basis, but he has to be there.)

5) Absolutely NO male friends or hugging any male.

6) Dictating what you look like, i.e., you should wear glasses instead of contact lenses, less makeup, less jewelry, etc.

7) No more going to the gym, men might look at you there while exercising.

8 ) Outright anger when you join a church or any other “institution.” The REAL issue is…he is afraid a priest or other “authority” will tell you what to do and “control” you.

9) Encouraging you to engage in unhealthy habits like not losing weight. They use these “bad habits” later to criticize you.

10) You cannot be “too friendly.” People might get the “wrong idea,” especially MEN.

11) You have the feeling of walking on eggshells, waiting for a blow-up if you say the wrong thing or say the right thing in a way he does not like.

12) You know he thinks he is smarter and better than others by his almost constant criticism of others…words like “idiot” and “slow learner” are a common part of his everyday language as he discusses others.

13) He loves the thrill of a good “fight” with nearly anyone, but when he perceives himself as the loser, he is a very poor one and there are always rationalizations for WHY he lost and they have nothing to do with HIM, of course.

14) He acts like he cares what you think, gives lip service to being “liberal” and open minded but his actions are the opposite.

15) He thinks absolutely NOTHING of lying and will take advantage of anyone at anytime if it furthers his goals.

16) You have never met anyone like him…he does things that no one else does…his behavior is simply outrageous to others and they shake their heads and say what GALL!

17) The rules do NOT EVER apply to him…he is above them.

18) He resents, on many levels, having to care for his children unless a woman is around to take on most of the “burden.”

19) He often “forgets” what he is supposed to do for his children (especially when it involves anything to do with money).

20) He says things that simply make NO sense and you, as a rational, logical person, just cannot quite figure it out.

21) He shows up with no notice at your job or home (no common sense of courtesy).

22) When he thinks he is being rejected, he calls, emails, comes to your home or job obsessively and often actually stalks.

23) Early in the relationship you are his “whole world” and he does not want to spend any time with anyone but you.

24) He seldom thanks anyone for anything.

25) These men are VERY adept at fooling others…everyone thinks they are just great and love you so much…BEWARE!

By the way, the woman who compiled—and applied—this list of red flags has healed and met a wonderful man who is now her fiancé.



266 Comments on "Red flags–if you see them, run"

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  1. Stargazer says:

    Hey wonder woman!
    The first time I read about “green eyes” I had the exact same reaction that I have now. A 40-year-old man living with his parents for any other purpose than to take care of them in their old age is most likely a dependent personality. I have a hard time respecting an adult man who cannot support himself and allows his friends or parents to support him. Of course there are extenuating circumstances where this would be necessary in EVERYONE’s life. But if a man wanted a committed relationship, the least he could do is have his own space where the woman would visit. Most men would want to have the woman over to cook dinner for her and entertain her once in a while, rather than depending on her for the place to stay.

    In my early 40’s I dated 2 guys who lived with their parents. One was 38 and the other was 27. Neither seemed to have the resources to be in a committed relationship, and I broke it off with both of them. The 27 y.o. was more of a friend to me, but he seemed to want to transfer his dependency on me, spending all his free weekends at my home, since I couldn’t go to his. With the 38 y.o., I also was not invited to his home to meet him family that he was so close to, even on the holidays, after we’d been dating for 6 months. I did not get into too much analyzing over why he was like this. I just broke it off after the holidays, because it wasn’t what I wanted.



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  2. fahrahri says:

    mine was 52 yrs old and still sharing a place with brother..one bedroom!!

    thats why he was putting pressure on me to marry/move in and then within two months of seeing the other woman was asking her to marry him and she was going to let him move in with her too!! as he was seeing me and wanting to marry/move in with me..looking back on it i see very clear that by the end of dec he was needing something to happen…hence ..why all the pressure…ugh…sick!



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  3. Numb says:

    WOW! I thought I had read alot but The book you suggested
    Women Who Love Psychopaths is amazing!
    I cant seem to leave it and want to keep reading!

    The brain is clearing and I had a productive day as well as some quality time with my 13 yo son………..he is going through so much as well related to his decision to live with his dad……..I want to bring him out of his shell because I know he is confused. More later
    Numb



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  4. style1 says:

    fahrahri,

    Mine had a sick mother and was three months behind on his rent.. so while he paid rent when he could, he was about to be in big trouble..

    So since, I was moving into a new house.. I was perfect for him… then his mom go really sick and was moved into a nursing home… and the pressure was on to get me married to him, engaged or something.. he proposed in the first month.. told me he loved me in the first weeks.. was living with me in four months… and the only way that this worked is that he traveled during the week and was only here on weekends… it was like a universal set up for him..

    Had he not moved in with me.. he would’ve move in with his daughter and her husband in a college town ….

    and when I told him how that made me feel when I found out.. he didn’t get it..

    He was driving his mother’s lease car…

    the man owned nothing…. and was so deep in debt.. that living with me literally saved his azz….

    then I am later told that what he needs is a ‘supportive’ woman….

    Gotta either laugh or scream….

    that is why we need to stay in reality and see who they are CLEARLY! And not buy into the spin and their dream future..



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  5. style1 says:

    So all his love love love and your my soulmate was based his needs not me as a person…

    and he never understood that when I talked to him about the way that I felt…

    Just said that he had other places to go… wow.. that warms a woman’s heart…
    I let it ride and gave him the benefit of the doubt..

    then anytime I needed the benefit of any doubt.. did I get it ….

    NO!

    What I felt when I heard the circumstances is what it turned out to be.. and why that I could not get close to him sexually, etc..

    he was already into my life too much too fast.. I didn’t need to be any closer…



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