After talking about Brian/Otis/Brainard the other day, I was swamped with emails from women and men who found themselves in similar situations. Bamboozled, bewildered, led astray and stole on. It was enough to make me want to launch a show: "Who the Bleep was I Dating?" - I have enough material for at least three seasons. Hell, half of Season One would be my BougieTales of Dating Woe alone.
So it occurred to me that mayhaps we don't know what to look for? We don't recognize those red flags when they are waving so brightly in the wind? (Or maybe we do and just ignore them). Plus, it's been a while since we had a Relationship What Not To Do. Therefore, I've cobbled together a little list for the gent and the ladies. If you see more than one of these going on with your new boo, it might be time to pump the brakes and throw it in reverse. Just saying. Here we go.
Three signs that sumthin' sumthin' just ain't right:
1. Money is funny - When you are first seeing someone, money should be a lowkey discussion. Who is paying for the movie and can I pick up the tip for dinner type of discussion. If someone comes at you out the gate either with a tale of brokeass woe or a bunch of ballerific bling - hold up. Fellas, first few dates and chick is talking about needing some help on her phone bill? No. Ladies, second date and he's buying jewelry? No. In these cases, go Goldilocks Philosophy - you don't want too much or too little - it needs to be just right. There's plenty of time down the road to get into his child support payments or your student loans. But anytime someone is either asking you for money constantly or giving you money constantly - something else is going on. Trust me on this one.
2. Job is sketchy - Unemployment is real. Underemployment is real. We get that. But if we've been going out for three months and you've had (and lost) five jobs - that's side-eye worthy. That whole "someone was out to get me" clause - only works the first time, maybe two. Also, if you say you have a job but you have all sorts of free time and no diggity dollars in your wallet? Suspicious. True story - chick told dude she was a bank teller at Bank of America. At some point, they are in a store together. The total comes to $11.18. She handed the checker a twenty and then argued that she should get $10.82 back. Ma'am... So sure, you can ignore that first seedling of doubt but uh... After that, the perennially "misunderstood" slacker gets tossed into the "can't keep a job category" and left behind. (P.S. People who work at the FBI generally do not go around announcing they work at the FBI - just a tip. Use ti as you will.
3. Your name is what? - Okay, we all know people who have a few names. A person who is the III may go by Trey; if your name is Daphne, you may go by D. You may have childhood and friendship nicknames from along the way. You may have a Twitter name or have been adopted. Heck, you may have legally changed your name once. I understand if you reach a certain point in life and don't want to be Dick LaRue or Chastity Gaines. I get that.You may have been married and your last name changed. But if you are Jolene Smith and have ID in the name of Cassandra Martinez - Imma need some explanation. If you are known in California as Quentin James but known in Arizona as James Quincy - why might that be per se? Don't let they spy thrillers fool you. regular folks do not have multiple IDs in various names. They really don't.
Other signs to look out for:
4. Baby can't stay the night... ever. People who cannot stay the night are supposed to be sleeping next to someone else, live further away than they let on, or can't miss bed check at the halfway house/parole office meeting in the morning.
5. Living situation stays iffy - first they live there, then leave, then in with relatives, then somewhere else.
6. Too much love too fast - Sure I believe in love at first sight but I still say if you met someone on Friday and they want to take you home to meet the parental units on Sunday and move in with you Monday - beware.
7. Mood swings - Hormones (female AND male) are not to be trifled with but when a person is coming across with more personalities than Sybil (Google it)- there's a problem.
8. No past & no people - No one comes from nowhere and knows no one. If everything about your new boo is a blank slate, you may want to collect fingerprints and DNA. I'm just saying.
I'm sure there are a million more I could come up with, but I'll turn it over to you. BougieLand - what's your red flag? What's the sign that sumthin' sumthin' just ain't right with someone?