On April 7, Eva Longoria discussed her divorce on "Piers Morgan Tonight," where she broke down in tears, leaving the host incredulous. It was hard to see her in such unabashed heartache.
Recently, I was able to help Melissa Rivers through a tough time, and I want to offer Eva -- and you -- some tips.
Keep your eyes open watch out for these patterns to avoid heartache in the future:
1) How To Foresee Your Relationship Future
It is essential to listen closely to how past relationships are described. You can open up the psychic hotline when you recognize that just about every singe syllable he utters about past relationships will be the exact behavior you will see in the future. Frankly, I got to see this up close very recently. It always struck me as odd that my boyfriend said that after 20 years his ex-wife's parting words were, "I don't know who you are." A few months later his behavior swung dramatically. He acknowledged that he had acted like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I left the relationship and my parting words were, "I don't know who you are."
Tip: Listen very closely for how past relationships ended. If there is a pattern of broken agreements and him being a "runner," be aware that he may have an immature view of keeping his commitments.
2) The Guilty Giver
Most women think that being showered with gifts is a sign that a man is interested. However, it can be a warning sign. Often a man that over-gives is pre-paying for the pain he knows he is going to inflict on you later. It goes against all our Cinderella thinking. A man with healthy self-esteem knows that he doesn't have to buy affection. He knows his value. He is aware that he is a positive presence that will protect and provide for you over the long run. This is going to be tough for you, Eva. Guys think that they have to give celebrities like you lots of goodies. So pay attention to this, because most people don't see that being showered with gifts early in the game isn't necessarily a good thing. This story might make you think twice about getting lots of stuff.
True story: A dear friend had an experience with The Guilty Giver syndrome. She was dating a real estate broker from Baltimore who she thought was The One. They had a wonderful time; they fell in love; he showered her with gifts (that she didn't ask for). At one point she asked him to take his gifts back because they were over the top. He proposed and convinced her to close her business to move to Baltimore to plan the wedding and their new life together. Then this man woke up one morning and informed her, "I don't know if I want to be in a relationship with anyone." He treated her like a piece of trash and insisted that she pack her bags and leave in five hours of his change of heart. He completely devastated her financially and emotionally.
Tip: Be wary of men bearing way too many gifts. It usually is a very clear indicator they know that they will let you down in the future. They are pre-paying on the guilt that they know they are going to feel. Too many gifts too fast are not a good thing. It could be an indicator that you will discover that you are in the middle of a game of bait and switch.
3) The Potty Mouth
Does the man you are out with bad-mouth his exes? This is a clear indicator that he isn't taking responsibility for his part of what didn't work in a past relationship. The more a guy bemoans the past, the more his unresolved issues are present.
Tip: Look for a man who is conscious of his behavior. A healthy person will see what they did to contribute to something not working. If a guy hasn't learned from past relationships, he isn't a good candidate for a happy future.
4) The Hanger On
If you meet someone who was in a long-suffering bad marriage, take a close look. The number-one reason people stay in bad relationships is low self-esteem. Not valuing oneself is not a noble quality. It will usually lead to self-destructive behavior that will impact you. If someone has a great deal of self-loathing, they will not opt out of being one half of an unhappy couple. Why? They are usually profoundly lonely and don't think that anyone else will want them.
Tip: Beware of people who won't leave bad relationships. Sure, they sound like the long-suffering spouse, but don't fall for it. You will discover that it means that they wouldn't be comfortable in a healthy relationship.
5) The Fast Faller
Those that have a pattern of "falling in love fast" usually have something to hide. If they have to close the deal quickly, they don't want you to do the due diligence to find out who they are over time. Often, they will have a hidden addiction or an anger problem.
Tip: Take your time. Some relationship experts advise the 90-Day Rule. That means no nookie for the first 90 days. Take time to develop the foundation of friendship. Many people confuse sex with intimacy and then wonder why they have difficulty communicating later in the relationship. You are someone who values people, and the person you are dating needs to take the time to get to know you. If a guy is a great guy, he will be willing to get to know you over time.
What where red flags you ignored in a relationship? What have you done to overcome your own heartbreak? How have you turned around after a bad break up?
Eli Davidson is a nationally recognized motivational speaker and executive coach. Her book, "Funky to Fabulous: Surefire Success Stories for the Savvy, Sassy and Swamped" (Oak Grove Publishing) has won three national book awards. Check out her blog at funkytofabulous.blogspot.com.
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