5. DON’T STAND FOR BACKHANDED COMPLIMENTS.Once upon a time, when I was far stupider than I am now, a guy I was dating said to me, “I’m surprised you don’t have cellulite for someone your size.” Oh, really? My size? Because I was stupid, I stuck around, but now, as a grown woman, I’d be marching him to the door so quick, he wouldn’t even realize what happened until three days later.
6. TEACH YOURSELF TO RECOGNIZE GASLIGHTING.Although all forms of manipulation are awful, gaslighting, in which you’re forced to question your sanity, is even more so because someone who excels at gaslighting can really get in your brain and mess with you. Don’t let this happen to you. Instead, teach yourself to recognize even the earliest sign of manipulation so you can end it as soon as possible. The more involved you get with a manipulator, the harder it is to leave. In other words, if they tell you, even once, you’re crazy, run. You’re not crazy; they’re crazy for trying to make you think you’re crazy. It’s really basic math.
7. MAKE SURE HE HAS A LIFE OUTSIDE OF YOU.While it’s fun to feel like you’re the center of someone’s world, realistically, it’s not healthy. If you’re dating a guy who doesn’t have a social life or friends with whom he can spend time when you’re around, that’s a bad sign. It could mean he’s alienated former friends because he can’t balance romantic and platonic relationships, that something is a little off there (people who don’t have at least one friend are, yes, likely dealing with issues), or he has an unhealthy relationship with relationships. Either way, any of these possibilities mean that he’ll do whatever he can to put the kibosh on your social life so he becomes your whole world too. No; life is too short for that crap.
8. DON’T ACCEPT THE NON-APOLOGY.People mess up! It happens! And when people who are a healthy influence on you and have a positive impact on your life screw up, they apologize and apologize sincerely. The toxic guy, however, when told he’s screwed up (because he doesn’t ever believe he’s screwed up), will offer what’s known as the non-apology. For example, “Sorry if you didn’t understand what I meant and your feelings were hurt.” See what I mean? That’s not an apology; that’s BS.