If we all have a clear understanding of the kind of partner we want in our lives, why do we usually have to go through several failed attempts at finding the one?
You’ve probably been there too. Initially, they were nice to you. They shared your values and beliefs. They were faithful. They liked your food. They had solid plans and knew where they were headed in life. You ticked off all the boxes on your ideal partner list and became convinced you’d hit the jackpot.
Love and compatibility — what else could you ask for?
Fast-forward several months or years, and you’re sitting on your bed wondering how on Earth you set eyes on a person that makes you feel so miserable and unimportant. If they were a dream come true, how did they become an absolute nightmare?
It’s simple: Several boxes were missing in your ideal partner list. Boxes you didn’t even know existed but were important nonetheless. Boxes that should have described the non-obvious kind of partner you had to stay away from. Boxes that would probably look like this list presented below.
1. The Double-Standards Champion
The Double-Standards Champion believes they’re above common-sense or commonly-established norms in a relationship. Basically, they’re on the lookout to make sure you strictly follow couple-based accords but usually fail to follow these rules themselves.
“Baby, can we buy that foot massager machine? You can’t imagine how bad my feet hurt at the end of the day, working long shifts at the hospital.”
“Sorry, honey. We’ve talked about this. We’re on a budget right now.”
“Well, that didn’t stop you from buying that 4K smart TV for your study last week, did it?”
Double-Standards Champions don’t limit themselves to a single area of couple-based life. According to Sarah Cocchimiglio from Betterhelp.com, double standards in romantic relationships manifest in several different ways, such as spending habits, household duties, dress codes, and social interactions.
Double-Standards Champions are one of the most common types of potential partners you should watch out for. Remember: there’s no room for inequality in terms of duties and obligations when you’re in a committed relationship. After all, one can’t get what one is not willing to give.
2. The Conclusion Jumper
Dating a Conclusion Jumper is like walking on eggshells. Anything you say or do has the potential to upset them, as they tend to read way too much into the most innocent deeds and the best-intended remarks.
“You look great today, honey!”
“So I didn’t yesterday?”
Once they’ve been triggered, explaining yourself to a Conclusion Jumper doesn’t help the situation. They just start sinking deeper and deeper into the quicksand of their defensive mode. Take my advice as a sort of Relationship Miranda Warning: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say to a Conclusion Jumper can and will be used against you in a court of nonsense.”
Deep inside, they are very insecure people. According to Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D. from Psychology Today, Conclusion Jumpers suffer from an interpretation bias called the Threat Anticipation Model. When confronted with an ambiguous situation, they automatically and subconsciously conclude it won’t end well for them, thus their defensiveness.
The Conclusion Jumper is also a control freak. They’re the kind of person who will always ask you where you are, what you’re doing, and who you’re with. They tend to be irrationally jealous and will interpret anything you do as a sign of infidelity.
Dating a Conclusion Jumper is a patience endurance-contest. They will always see ill intentions where there are none, and you won’t be exempt from their poor judgment. In fact, you’re likely to become its main target. Stay away.
3. The Self-Righteous Cheater
An old acquaintance of my brother came over to work on a college project. His girlfriend had dropped him a few meters away from our house, and he was on the phone thanking her.
“Yes, honey. Thanks for the ride, sugar. I’ll buy you dinner tonight, sweetheart. I love you too, pumpkin.”
As he hung up, a short blond neighbor minding her own business passed him by. Without a second thought, he turned to her and said,
“Hey gorgeous, what’s your name?”
Meet the Self-Righteous Cheater. For them, the rules are simple: As long as there’s no touching involved, their ‘faithfulness’ remains pristine. But according to Licenced Marriage & Family Therapist Dr. Christie Tcharkhoutian, flirting and cheating share the same dynamics, making flirting a gateway drug to cheating down the line.
What the Self-Righteous Cheater ultimately fails to realize — or pretends to — is that flirting does entail a form of infidelity, as it involves creating an emotional connection with a third player in a way that goes beyond normal friendship boundaries.
Would you like your partner to wink their eyes at their colleagues and drop compliments at them about their physical appearance, including not-so-subtle sexual remarks? No? Well, you will like it even less when you find them sharing your bed with a stranger the day you get early leave from work.
4. The Nonsensical Liar
Beware the Nonsensical Liar, a rare kind that specializes in hiding the truth from their partner for no discernible reason. You catch them lying to you, and they explain themselves by giving you a new, sometimes even less logical piece of nonsense.
“Honey, I thought you’d said you didn’t have a Facebook account because it was silly and a waste of time?”
“That’s right. I hate that thing. Why?”
“Well, I stumbled upon your profile last night. And from what I can tell, you’re a very active user.”
“Oh, that… Huh, don’t get offended, love. I just don’t want anyone too close to me among my Facebook contacts. But it’s nothing personal, okay?”
That’s an actual conversation I had with a former girlfriend. Now, don’t get me wrong: I didn’t care about Facebook. What bothered me is that she’d lied to me and that she was clearly trying to fool me again with that absurd answer.
After that incident, I couldn’t fully trust her again. And that’s one of the reasons that led to our break up soon afterward.
No one is 100% honest with their partner — everyone tells white lies from time to time — but there’s a serious reason to be concerned when you learn you’ve been lied to and the rationale for it doesn’t even make sense.
If your partner is dishonest with you when they have no logical reason to be, how can you believe anything they say anymore? Lies are always harmful in relationships, but this particular kind of lie is what breaks your trust in your partner. And when that happens, it’s game over for your relationship.
5. The Lukewarm Lover
The Lukewarm Lover is that partner who simply isn’t as invested in the relationship as you are, a situation that becomes a huge source of frustration and resentment down the road, mainly for you.
“Good morning, baby! Did you have a good night’s sleep?”
“Yeah. Thanks for asking.”
The Lukewarm Lover also prioritizes everything and everyone over you. A former girlfriend of mine, for example, had a habit of calling dates off. That was okay, though — there was always a valid reason to do so. The problem was that she never proposed anything to make up for it.
Besides that, we would always meet at my request. She never said she missed me, arranged dates with me, or came over unannounced. As an experiment, I once decided to wait for her to ask me out. The result? We didn’t see each other in three weeks.
And yes, when we finally met again, it was because I’d arranged it.
All relationships should be balanced, but the Lukewarm Lover doesn’t understand this concept. They’re too busy managing their little world, thus they expect you to take care of the relationship almost entirely. Of course, you can’t expect to become the most important thing in your partner’s life, but you definitely deserve better than being their bottom priority.
6. The Center Of The Universe
Here’s the problem with the Center Of The Universe: it’s always about them.
This particular type of partner tends to downplay whatever is going on in your life — be it good or bad — by putting themselves in the spotlight and trivializing your feelings and experiences in the process.
“Guess what, honey! I got a performance bonus this month!”
“Nice. That reminds me of my two-year Employee-Of-The-Month streak. Have I ever told you about it?”
The thing about dating the Center Of The Universe is that they don’t treat you as a partner but as a competitor. They have a need to show that, for better or worse, their life is more intense than yours, invalidating your feelings and emotions.
It’s one thing to listen and show support to your partner by talking about your own life, it’s another thing to constantly diminish their life experiences by comparing them to yours. Unfortunately, the Center Of The Universe simply can’t grasp the difference, making them a less-than-ideal partner for you.
7. The Relationship Terrorist
During a hostage situation, criminals threaten to kill one or several people unless their demands are met. Well, that’s the same modus operandi of the Relationship Terrorist, except their hostage is the relationship itself.
“But Derek, I don’t want to have sex yet. I’ve been saving myself for the right person and I want to make sure it’s you. Believe me, baby, I love you, but I’m not emotionally ready for it. Just give me some time. Can you do that for me?”
“You say you love me, but you won't have sex with me? Sorry, Paula. I just can’t have a relationship with someone who doesn't want me. I guess this is where we part ways.”
“No, Derek, wait… okay… I’ll do it.”
The Relationship Terrorist doesn’t care about your feelings or needs. The only thing that counts to them is their own self-interest, and to get what they want, they’ll try to manipulate you into submission by sheer force of guilt-tripping remarks.
They usually achieve this by playing the victim while threatening to leave if you don’t do their bidding, no matter how irrational, immature, or selfish their demands are. And the stronger your attachment to them is, the easier you make it for them to play with you as they please.
Relationship Terrorists can go as far as threatening to kill themselves if you’re the one who leaves. According to LoveAndAbuse.com, a suicide threat is the ultimate way to control an empathetic, caring person by turning their love into fear. Don’t fall for this trap. In all likelihood, it’s just the last resort in their repertoire of dirty tricks.
Someone who truly loves you will make decisions with you, not for you. So stay away from the Relationship Terrorist. They’re one of the most egotistical and harmful partners you can possibly entangle yourself with.
Do yourself a favor and don’t be a Conclusion Jumper if your partner occasionally displays some of the behaviors described in this article. If you look carefully, you might even discover you’re guilty of making them too at one point or another.
If that’s the case, please don’t feel like a monster. As humans, none of us is exempt from making mistakes in our relationships. And when they’re not recurrent, we can always work on these negative attitudes — either as a couple or individually — as long as we commit ourselves and have the genuine determination to change for the better.
Now, if your partner exhibits these behaviors to the point of compulsiveness, then, you’re probably better off by yourself. The breakup won’t be easy, but in the long run, your future self and partner will thank you for the brave and wise decision you’re making now.