By Christy Lochrie, Record Searchlight, July 22, 2007
Katie Jacobsen has a ready list of dating don'ts, things that are sure to send a potential boyfriend to the romantic sidelines. Out are clingy, obsessive and jealous types -- especially if they call her 24/7.
"It's good to have a boyfriend who understands that you have guy friends and you want to hang out with other people," the Cottonwood woman said.
But before ever getting to the paring-up stage, there are quick exits -- and red-flag warnings in the dating game.
North state daters, a psychologist, counselor and gathering of romance novelists, all weighed in on the red flags that send them -- and should send daters -- packing before the first kiss.
Love is truly a battlefield.
Hillary Sieben is a 21-year-old Redding singleton, who just ended a three-year dating relationship.
Sieben recalled a dinner date, which never led to a second one. Trouble started when the hostess seated them, she said.
"He said, We're not sitting here,'" Sieben said. And then went on to say he hoped that a waitress -- not a waiter -- would be serving them.
"He seemed rough around the edges," Sieben said. "You could tell he didn't respect me and he wasn't polite in public."
Derek Williamson is an 18-year-old Cottonwood dater.
Williamson said trouble brews with "girls who don't like my friends. They're my friends. Gotta hang out with my friends."
Pamela Britton is a best-selling romance novelist who lives in Cottonwood.
"I once had a guy ask me how much money I make," Britton said of dating before marriage. "In my opinion, it's not about how much money I make. It's about the person I am."
Denise Nyby is a personal empowerment counselor for Shasta County Women's Refuge. Given her line of work -- working with battered and abused women -- Nyby's focus is on preventing the cycle of violence. She ticked through a warning-sign list, designed to steer clear of a potential abuser. Among the things to avoid: Jealousy, control, isolation, physical violence, hypersensitivity, blaming others for problems and cruelty.
"Even putting you up on a pedestal, like something to worship. That's a red flag because it could mean they're treating you as an object and not as a person," Nyby said. "If they have any history (of domestic abuse), that's another" red flag.
Abuse "will only get worse," Nyby said.
Lisa Altalida is a San Francisco author of "Dating Boot Camp" and The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Getting Girls."
Ogling others in public is a deal breaker, Altalida said.
"The attention should all be on you, the two of you," Altalida said.
Adele Ashworth is a romance novelist from Texas.
Recipe for a dump: "If he talks about living at home with his mother, if he compares you to his mother -- who's at home doing laundry."
Lori Avocato is a New England romance novelist who, in 2006, went on 96 Internet first dates and eight Internet second dates.
"If he's too preoccupied with other stuff," Avocato said, adding that lying on an online profile is another deal-breaker.
Phil Copitch is a Redding family and marriage therapist.
"The way that your date treats the wait staff tells you a lot about how they will treat you," Copitch said. "When the relationship moves along, a lot of times one person tries to subordinate the other person and you can see how they treat people that they have power over" by watching how they treat the wait staff.
The therapist says many marriage problems he tries to help couples solve started on their first date.
"It's really important to ask about the relationship with their family because that tells you about how they deal with intimacy," Copitch said. "We learn our moral beliefs from our families."
"Be judgmental. You're allowed to be choosy. You're trying to find that one-in-a-million person. And I wish more people would be more choosy."
Currents reporter Christy Lochrie can be reached at 225-8309 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read her blog at blogs.redding.com.
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