I’ve never been public about this until now…it’s safe now. Plus who doesn’t love a good juicy story with a happy ending?
When I became single three years ago I had the very intense misfortune of dating not one, not two, but THREE men who were (according to my therapist) diagnosable narcissistic sociopaths. One relationship lasted way too long … The other two – I had wised up and was able to spot it much quicker and get away from them. All three were covertly emotionally abusive.
Luckily the last two never met my kids.
I know that sharing that information publicly probably makes me look really bad. But thanks to an amazing psychotherapist I was able to identify and change some of those patterns in relationships. I’m very clear about why and how I managed to attract those people into my life. Also, they are usually attracted to strong, powerful, dynamic women… It’s food for their insatiable ego.
The reason I am sharing this is for my over 30, single friends… Unfortunately our dating pool is full of both predators and prey. I could probably write a book on everything that I learned… But here are my top three :
1. ALWAYS do a CRIMINAL background check on anybody that intend to date! Especially people that you meet online! The 30 bucks is worth it!
2. Google furiously and dig to see what comes up BEFORE you start dating.
Then….Openly address any red flags you find. How they handle that will tell you a lot about them.
3. If you have children from a previous marriage or relationship… Do the entire world a favor and adhere like glue to a very strict 90 day rule : Do not introduce your children to anyone that you have been dating for less than 90 days at (a minimum!)
4. If you know anyone that they have dated before, reach out to them. Get the details. For heaven sake at least be as thorough in references and background checks as somebody that you would intend to hire. This is your LIFE.
I’m extremely blessed, not to mention also having done a lot of really hard work, to have a beautiful and loving relationship with my coparent and ex-husband. He has vested interest in me being happy and having a great life because I am the mother of his children. We love our boys. And of course, so blessed to be in an extraordinarily healthy and loving relationship with my current partner Dutch. After some very dark times, life is very sweet right now in the future is so bright.
I’m very grateful for Friends who had also known some of these men in the past and were able to warn me, so that I could see the truth of who these men were instead of buying into the charming façade that they put up. A friend once spared me from a monster…she also was the first to say the following about my new partner, “oh my gosh you two would be perfect for each other… Let me know when you fall head over heels in love.” (Pretty sure she was the first to know when I fell head over heels in love with my new partner.)
By the way, I introduced my coparent/ex-husband to my new partner before my new partner got to meet our children. Even if your ex is a totally difficult person, If they are around and actively engaged in your children’s lives, and you don’t have a restraining order or something like that…they do have the right to have at least a say or some input about who is going to be around THEIR children.
And absolutely trust your gut if you feel that something doesn’t add up. A narcissistic sociopath will definitely have you believing that there is something wrong with YOU, and that YOU are the problem, insecure, needy, etc. And if you are an empath like me, you will be sent into an endless inner spiral of confusion.
That is all. Now, go live happily ever after.