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DANGER!DANGER! - DATING TRAPS

Russell Irving

'Know thy enemy' conjures up images of wartime or rivals locked in bitter conflict.

But if you take the concept and turn it on it's head so that it reads, 'Know thy lover', than you have a most important warning for today's single guy or gal.

Pretty much gone are the days when friends would fix us up with their cousin, best friend, or roommate. Nowadays, we hook up with someone whom we met at a club, online, or perhaps through work. And, we tend to know very little about this person.

If you own up to how you behave, you might acknowledge having sex with someone whom you have known for only a short period of time. You might admit to spending a lot of time with this person, but in 'controlled' settings. Even spending a bunch of your hard earned dough on them.

Even though we live in a fast-paced, 'we want it now', society, you need to learn to slow things down when first connecting with a new, potential long term relationship.

'Danger' can, in fact, lurk around the corner with some disastrous results.

So, here are some precautions that you should take before you get in too deep (no pun intended).

#1 GOOGLE CAN BE YOUR BEST FRIEND It's difficult to imagine that there is anyone (especially those under 30) who escapes the watchful eye and net of this search engine giant. - You might be amazed at what you discover regarding your date! Perhaps they lied about their age. Their marital status. What they do for a living. Or... - Now, be careful here. There are bound to be many people who share the name of your new love interest. So be discerning when searching for background information. Much can be learned, free of charge. Then, of course, you can opt to pay one of many services that will provide you with vital statistics regarding someone.

#2 KNOW THAT YOU WILL BE HAVING SEX WITH EVEYONE ELSE THAT THEY 'DID IT' WITH Fact is that virgins are not so commonplace these days. But STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) are.

#3 BIRTH CONTROL, BIRTH CONTROL, BIRTH CONTROL. - Believe it or not, people do become pregnant even when it is not part of 'the plan'. Abstinence is a sure-fire way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. But, next to that, birth control should be practiced if you are inclined to become sexually intimate. Know that there are some women out there who will claim to be using the pill, patch, or... but who are not. Their goal is to get a marital commitment from you, one way or another. Likewise, some men will not be prepared with a condom when out on a date. (Careless! Stupid!)

#4 STALKERS DO EXIST. MALE AND FEMALE. - We see them in movies and read about them in the news. Yes, stalkers do walk among us. So, be careful. If they don't want you out of their sight or they show up everywhere you go, then you have a problem. Seek professional help in dealing with this situation.

#5 NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON'T Although the odds are small, con artists are out there. Both genders. They might ask you for a large loan to help them through a tough time. Not a good idea, especially if you have not known one another for long. - You might discover jewelry or other valuables missing from your home.

#6 ALREADY TAKEN Imagine! Some married folks like to cheat on their spouse. They slip off the wedding band when going out. They remove family photos from their wallet or purse. So, how would you know whether or not they are secretly wed? Telltale signs include: They will never let you pick them up at their home or go into their residence. You do know their work schedule, yet there are nights and hours when it's never acceptable to see them. You aren't given their home phone number. Or, are told to never call during certain hours. You don't get to meet their friends. Or, family as in their parents, siblings... Spending time together at holidays are for some reason taboo.

#7 ADDICTED TO MORE THAN LOVE Addicts... Whether alcohol, pot, cocaine, gambling... You will likely see signs of it, early on in your dating. Don't accept excuses, such as: 'I'm just so stressed out today. I don't usually do this, you know.' - 'I can stop anytime that I want to.' - 'For the right woman (or man), I would stop.' - Addictions are extremely difficult to overcome or keep in control. It's usually best not to go down that road, in the first place.

#8 YOU GET WHAT YOU SEE By the time that we are adults, we are pretty much set in our ways. So, don't try convincing yourself that you would be able to change the other person's behaviors so that they match your expectations or your desires.

#9 LET'S GET HITCHED, NOW! - True love takes time. Yes, I do believe that for some people, love at first sight, is a reality. Yet love is not enough to base a marriage upon. Friendship. Common beliefs. Common goals. And, so much more go into the equation if you want the answer to be a lasting marriage. (Take it from me! I've been wed to the same woman for decades.) - If someone broaches the topic of marriage right out of the gate (other than stating that they are seeking a long term/ marriage relationship, in their future) and keeps bringing it up, then watch out!

#10 TIME That's what you need to pay attention to. Great relationships develop over time. When you see the other person deal with stress, disappointment, a crisis... When you watch them handle great news and good fortune. When you spend time with each other in a non-structured setting. When you have had disagreements and worked them out to both of your satisfaction. When the initial lust begins to quiet down some. - You've heard the saying 'Don't rush to judgment'. Well, don't rush a relationship. If it was meant to be, then it will likely happen!

'Nuff said.

Copyright Russell Irving 2013