Some warning signs of an abusive personality can be well hidden, particularly early in a relationship. When they do come to light, it can be difficult to acknowledge them because of the emotional investment. I’ve noticed that weaker personalities (or those which could prove abusive) actually start out seeming “too good to be true”. That’s not the case in every relationship but it can be a good sign that you should carefully scrutinize this person’s personality. For me, it took other people looking at my situation and pointing out that his X, Y, and Z personality traits were abusive.
When entering a new relationship, especially if you’ve experienced an abusive relationship prior, it can be intimidating. How will I know I’m not just stepping into the same sort of situation? How can I trust myself to read his/her personality properly? Will I just end up hurting again because of something I’ve missed?
There are actually quite a few Perks to Being Someone’s Ex. What you’ve experienced will give you better insight into abusive personality traits you might not have noticed in the past. Past abusive relationships do not mean that you are doomed to face abuse in a new one. However, before you invest too much in this person and become emotionally involved, try to take a step back and purposefully consider their personality. Are there any red flags? Talk to mutual friends and ask, “Do you think X is a good fit for me?” That’s not just to be sure you both like dogs or that he’d be willing to eat Mexican every Christmas Eve. Is he/she a good fit based upon how they treat other people? How they react in certain situations? What they believe to be important in life and relationships?
Other warning signs are, thankfully, much more obvious. If he/she mistreats animals or is routinely rude to waitresses, you might want to carefully consider those flaws before accepting another coffee invitation.