Dating Warning Signs: Help Us with Our Survey

© 2017 Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq. and Megan Hunter, MBA

We are writing a book – Dating Radar - about “high conflict” relationships, why they are so difficult and how to avoid them. We have written other books about managing high conflict relationships, including at work and in divorce. One of the things we have learned over the past 10-15 years, is that many people see high-conflict warning signs before they make a commitment, but ignore them or believe the high conflict person will change with time and love.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way, especially if the other person has a high conflict personality pattern. While this pattern is often hidden at the beginning of the relationship, it eventually includes a lot of:

  1. All-or-nothing thinking;

  2. Unmanaged emotions;

  3. Extreme behavior; and

  4. Preoccupation with blaming others

This is usually a narrow pattern that repeats and repeats, without getting better or changing at all. In many cases, the relationship gets worse and worse. Many of these relationships end up separating or divorcing, with one or both parties feeling worse off for having spent time in the relationship.

Now we are focusing on how to help people avoid getting started in such relationships. In the modern world, people seem to have less tools for recognizing possible high-conflict patterns, in their dating partners or even in themselves.

We have posted a survey HERE, where we ask about a dozen questions, such as: Have you been in a relationship with someone you consider to have a high-conflict personality? And: Did you see any red flags before you moved in or married this person? And: Did this person seem to change (displaying high conflict behaviors) overnight? Or did the behavior changes occur over time or later in the relationship?

Answers to these questions are totally anonymous and may be very helpful to others when we publish the results in our upcoming book. So far over 200 people have taken the survey and their answers have been very informative and will be helpful to others.

We are especially looking for input from men, as the majority of our comments have come from women so far. So here’s your chance to show a man’s point of view, especially the warning signs you may have seen and the suggestions you have for other men and women in recognizing and avoiding or dealing with high-conflict partners. 

Bill Eddy is a lawyer, therapist, and mediator. He is the co-founder and Training Director of the High Conflict Institute, a training and consultation firm that trains professionals to deal with high-conflict people and situations. He is the author of several books  and methods  for handling high conflict personalities  and high conflict disputes with the most difficult people.

Co-founder Megan Hunter is a speakerauthor, and international expert on high-conflict disputes, complicated relationships, and Borderline Personality Disorder. She has over 13 years experience as the Family Law Specialist with the Arizona Supreme Court, and Child Support Manager of the Dawes County Attorney’s Office in Nebraska.