While we all go into the dating game to find our happily every after, Relationship expert Marina Bakker warns that Prince Charming isn’t always what he seems.
With almost daily stories of domestic violence and more than a million women experiencing emotional, physical or sexual assault by their male current or ex-partner since the age of 15, Ms Bakker is on a mission to share the red flags of dating and relating to help people avoid heartbreak and potentially save their life.
“The truth is there are people in our society who have little to no conscience or empathy. They are manipulators and liars who only look out for their own self-gratification. Their needs are based on sex, power and control and their greatest delight is in deceiving others and causing them pain.
These people fall into the category of Psychopaths, Sociopaths Narcissists and Dark Triads and they are a very real threat to your emotional and physical wellbeing.” Ms Bakker said.
But according to Ms Bakker, it doesn’t always start out that way; in fact in the beginning of the relationship they can appear to be the perfect partner.
“In the beginning they are passionate, affectionate, attentive, and romantic, embodying everything you would want in a partner. But it can be a trap to make you feel safe and secure within the relationship. This is also when the Love Bombing occurs and this is a bombardment of communication you receive from them – you may receive 10 to 50 text a day, emails, telephone calls. This makes you feel very secure about their intentions for you and this only increases your confidence that they are committed to you.
After a while they can start to change. They can become more distant, talk about other women or exes who are “just friends” but are mysterious and secretive about their past or current relationship with them.
They start to cause doubt and confusion drawing out insecurities they begin to Smirk when you try to express yourself. Teasing becomes the primary mode of communication in your relationship. They subtly belittle your intelligence and achievements. You begin to feel anxious worried and every time you want to talk about the relationship or their behaviour they blame you for the problems – a really good sign that you are in a Dangerous Liaison relationship is that it will always be your fault.
But then they go distant again. They can start to compare and belittle you, you can find yourself becoming isolated from friends and family, and you may even start to see a temper come through. But afterwards he’ll be full of apologies, remorse and shower you with loving gestures again. But don’t be fooled, this pull you close, push you away tactic is designed to confuse, manipulate and weaken you.” Ms Bakker said.
To help you identify these people on the dating scene, Ms Bakker says they normally fit into three personality types, the Seductive Charmer, Good Samaritan and the Smooth Talker.
“The Seductive Charmer is captivating, attractive, alluring and gives the right sexy look at the right time. They are sultry, slightly provocative in speech and gesture, yet there is a sophistication about them. It could be how they dress, how they hold themselves, the car they drive or their gentlemanly ways as they escort you to your chair or open the car door for you. But while they are doing it for you, they also tend to be doing it for others.
The Good Samaritan is always there to help a damsel in distress. He is caring, compassionate, will go out of his way to help and will always take your calls. But this also gives them the perfect reputation for attracting other women and the perfect guilt ridden excuse if you catch him out “they were in trouble, do you not want me to help someone in trouble?” Focusing more on the damsel, The Good Samaritan can be quite guarded with what he reveals about himself – like how he is potentially in another relationship.
The Smooth Talker knows what to say and when to say it. Full of compliments they flatter their way into your heart, “you are so beautiful”, “you look incredible for your age”, “wow I can’t believe you are still single”, “there are so many things I can’t wait for us to do together”, “you are so different to any other woman I’ve met”. They are also quite romantic and can appear to be profound with their knowledge of love and relationships. But as you soon find out, they are also very good at talking their way out of their bad behaviour.” Ms Bakker says
One of the ways to avoid being trapped, Ms Bakker says, is to keep a level head about you while you are dating.
“While love is a matter of the heart, your heart can trip you up in the dating game. Convinced you’ve met ‘the one’ your heart will justify the red flags in front of you, or worse still convince you that you are to blame. When dating you need to maintain a level of objectivity, choose to listen to you head, instead of your heart until you really know the person you are with.” Ms Bakker said.
How else can you make sure you avoid the dark side of dating? Here are Ms Bakker’s top dating tips that she shares in her upcoming book “Dangerous Liaisons, Red Flags of Dating and Relating”.
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