The following article originally appeared on www.midlifebachelor.com on June 14, 2009 ...

Choosing to invest in a new relationship directly affects your own level of personal happiness especially in the near-term ... and so it is extremely important to keep your eyes and ears open, and be aware of any potential incompatibilities as early as possible. There is absolutely no shame nor harm in cutting one's losses - because you are doing everyone a favor by ending it early if you know in your heart that things will ultimately not work out.

So what types of incompatibilities or behaviors should you as a single person be on the lookout for? The answer will be different for everyone - as each person has different tolerances and preferences. One good golden rule-of-thumb is - anything you notice right away that bugs you a little right now is guaranteed to bug the daylights out of you in the future ... so always keep that in the back of your head.

Here is a quick list of early relationship-stoppers that pop into my mind ...

1) Drama
I've found that overly dramatic women are usually really good in bed - especially early in the relationship. Later on, however, you may find that your life has no peace - due to her drama. [Same applies to men, if you are a woman reading this.] Early signs of drama might include yelling, or other extreme behavior.

2) Lack of consideration of others
No matter how hot your date is - if he or she treats other people poorly, then it is only a matter of time before you can expect the same treatment.

3) Destructive criticism
Someone who always hands out criticism of others will eventually get on your nerves - especially when YOU eventually become the object of their criticism.

4) Bad Hygiene
People typically put their best efforts into their appearance when a relationship is new - so if you notice any evidence of poor hygiene early on, then it's a safe bet that you haven't seen anything yet.

5) Appearance
Just as with hygiene - whatever bugs you right away will increasingly haunt you later. Could be the way they dress, their hair, tattoos, piercings, etc. Go with your gut feel on this kind of stuff.

6) Jealousy
A lot of people out in the world today are extremely jealous - and I personally find that quality terribly unattractive. If you notice any jealous behavior on your first date or two, then RUN (don't walk) in the opposite direction.

7) Obsessive Compulsive behavior
Unless you also have the exact same OCD, then anyone with obsessive compulsive tendencies will probably drive you crazy in record time.

8) Poor family interactions or relationships
The way your date treats their other family members will show you how they treat the people who they are closest to. If you don't meet the family right away, you can always ask about your date's family - and pay close attention to the response!

9) Bad table manners
Maybe I'm obsessive compulsive about table manners - but someone who talks and eats, or chews with their mouth open, or has food on their face, or anything even remotely out of place just drives me nuts in a hurry. Makes me wonder if the person was raised by wolves or something.

10) Lack of intelligence
I should probably call this "intellectual incompatibility" but what I'm referring to is when you notice that your date just says dumb stuff. The flip side to this is - if you think your date uses words that are too big. ha ha If it bugs you now, then just wait!

11) Drinks too heavily
I've dated really just one woman who turned out to be a fairly consistent alcoholic - and although she was great in bed, her drinking got worse over time, and it eventually made her very unattractive to me. It also led to a lot of unnecessary drama. If you think they over-indulge early in the relationship, chances are good that you haven't seen anything yet.

12) Smoking
No disrespect meant for the smokers out there, but I really cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke - there is nothing more unattractive.

13) Major political or ideological differences
They say you should avoid discussing religion and politics - but either of those can be a source of extreme incompatibility in a relationship. I usually like to ask questions to figure out where a person stands (not make bold statements). And if I hear an answer that sounds like we have major differences in our way of thinking – then that's certainly a sign.

14) Religion
I’ve never had relationship problems based on religion – but I know of others who have ... and it usually was the result of one party being so absorbed in their particular faith that it caused them to insist on certain things. I'm talking about telling someone they would have to convert to their faith to marry them, etc. Or telling them they have to go to church with them. You get the idea – if one party has to insist upon it, there is a problem.

You might find yourself able to successfully tolerate ONE of the above incompatibilities - but if you notice two or more, then you might just be delaying the inevitable by not ending the relationship. You can always be friends ;o) Or you can simply drink more, and see where that takes you. ha ha

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You can read the original article, as published on midlifebachelor.com at the following URL:

http://www.midlifebachelor.com/articles/earlysignsarelationshipwontlast.html