If you are seeing someone and are considering a sexual, long-term partnership with them, how do you know if you’ve got a good’un?

Play detective

If you know nothing about them, except what they choose to tell you, it’s time to find out how they have conducted themselves in the past. A player usually won’t give you their previous address or tell you who they last went out with. They like to keep things secret and will get annoyed or accuse you of being nosey if you ask about such things.

A person who has nothing to hide and wants a real relationship with you will understand why you need to know these things. They won’t hold it against you, and if they do, they are immature or they have something to hide. These days, getting involved with new partners is not done within the safety and protection of the tribe, so there are some necessities you should put in place for your safety.

Red flags

When you feel the person you are seeing is keen on you but they don’t want to talk about their past, it’s a red flag. A painful past shouldn’t be kept secret in a close relationship. It’s true that they may simply want to avoid the unpleasantness of going over a painful event like a divorce. But these details are important to a new relationship, as is knowing about any children they may have, and whether or not they are active in their lives and the ex’s life. You should also find out about their primary family and how they get on with their parents and siblings. Why? Because when a person is serious about spending time with you and building a future partnership, their family will want to get to know you. If they are hiding their family for any reason, the family may have information that your partner doesn’t want you privvy to.

Being open and honest

If you want your person to be open and honest you also need to be prepared to provide them with some details of your past. This can be uncomfortable but a person who genuinely cares about you won’t hold your past against you. Instead they will be grateful that you told them, as it deepens the trust in the relationship. It’s important and way more preferable than finding things out further into the relationship, or because someone else spills the beans.

Teach them how to treat you.

In a new relationship you need to teach the person how you want to be treated. Don’t assume that they know, or that everyone will treat you ‘in a certain way’. This means modeling the expected behaviour. For example, if you don’t like to be stood up with no notice, then don’t do it to them. And if they do it to you, make sure its only once by telling them that you aren’t interested in anyone who wastes your time in that way. If they have a genuine excuse – let’s hear it. There are many mistakes when it comes to texting. Some people love to keep in touch by text to show they care, others find it a real intrusion if they are working etc. So be aware that just because you like interacting in one way, doesn’t mean your new partner matches this. Talk about these things. It’s so much easier that getting upset with each other over what’s been expected but not discussed.

Don’t try to change the person – it doesn’t work.

The beginning of a relationship usually goes one way or the other. It is either extremely loving and respectful and greatly validating, or else it can be confusing, upsetting, worrying and leaves you feeling disrespected and ignored. When you experience the second type please don’t think that you will ‘change’ the person. You won’t. You are playing with fire and the longer you play, the worse you are going to get burnt.

The longer you stay in a relationship like this the more your self esteem suffers and the harder it is to exit the relationship. When you hang in there thinking that you can change the person, you buy them time to chip away at your self esteem.

What are you 100% available for?

Decide what you are 100% available for in a relationship, and also what you are 100% NOT available for. When you are clear about this, you will quickly know if the person has what it takes to be in relationship with them. Your radar is working all the time and this is good, because you don’t want to saddle yourself with a relationship that may be very difficult to extract yourself from. And be careful not to settle just because you are lonely or don’t want to remain single. That leaves you wide open for settling for anyone and anything. It doesn’t take a genius to work out how you are going to let yourself be treated.

Know how you want to be treated.

How would it be if you knew how you really want to be treated. I’m not talking about flowers and chocolates and dinner out. I’m talking about the real ‘stuff’ of relationships. Everyone assumes they automatically know this, but the truth is many don’t think this through. And because of that, poor behaviour easily gets ignored to ‘keep the peace’ and maintain the relationship.

If you are clear about wanting someone who is respectful, cares about your feelings, can be aware of themselves, and who can admit when they’ve made a mistake and say sorry. If you can have an open conversation about their past without being made to feel like it’s none of your business, its a good start. Stay true to what you decide is generally good for you and don’t settle for less.

Katie Kalin is a kinesiologist  with over 30 years experience working with groups and individuals. She runs a private clinic in Cork City and also does online kinesiology/coaching consultations.. Access one free half hour onine consultation with her to experience surrogate muscle testing through  www.katiekalin.com