Possible to Predict Users?
Q: How do you spot disturbed men who whisk you off your feet and say they want a commitment, only to run away soon after? Are there questions you can ask right away to determine if they are mentally fit? -- Sandy, 48
Dr. Susan: There are plenty of questions you can ask a guy, not necessarily right away but within a few dates, that will give you a much better idea of who he is. Anyone whisking you off your feet is doing the equivalent of getting you drunk so you can't think too clearly and analytically. Some men--predators really--often want something other than what they say they want. For some, conquest is the game. They get a kick out of getting you to go for their lines and to fall head over heels with them, and then they get bored.
Ask a guy who is in a hurry to "get" you questions like these: Where do you see yourself in five years? Why did your last few relationships end and what did you learn from them? (If they entirely blame their partners, they're not very insightful, or honest.) What does intimacy mean to you? Do you think someone in a relationship ought to be a hundred per cent honest? Exceptions? How long would you be willing for me to make up my mind about committing to you? What's his hurry?
If you're not ready to ask such questions for whatever reason, for fear of the guy's anger or whatever, then you're nowhere near ready to be in love and commit. Mental fitness is another issue, but there are a few signs of cuckoo-ness you might look out for. Ask him what medications he takes. Has he ever physically hurt a woman? If he could change you, what would he change? Does he have temper tantrums? Does he talk only about himself? And ask yourself if you have odd niggling doubts about him, and take those seriously and find out more.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.