Listen to your gut. If something doesn’t feel good or right, walk away. And even if it feels good most of the time, don’t ignore that seemingly small issue that makes you uncomfortable. If she tells you it’s no big deal and you should get over it, don’t. Anyone who consistently tries to disrupt your understanding of reality is probably not the best person to be in a relationship with.
Pay attention to her. Don’t spend too much time focused on just the physical. Get to know her. Talk to her, ask her questions about things that are really important to you and what is really important to her. Pay attention to how she responds to stress—does she take things out on others or does she have a strategy for dealing with tough situations?
Keep a journal. This is not just for yourself but for her as well. Writing things down will remind you of what it is you really want. It will help you notice patterns and hold you accountable when you ignore repeated red flags.
Pay attention to your own behavior. My ex told me that I was the problem and she was partly right. We both had problematic behavior, but no one person bears the brunt of all the relationship’s problems. If you find that your behavior in a particular relationship is out of alignment with who you want to be, it may be a good indicator that this is not the right relationship for you.
Get an accountability partner. Get feedback from a trusted friend who truly loves you and has no trouble telling you the truth. Hearing another person’s perspective, especially someone who has seen you go through terrible relationships, can help you stay on track.
Date yourself. When you consistently treat yourself well, it’ll be obvious when your new lady deviates from what makes your heart sing. People treat us the way we allow them to treat us. We show them and give them permission to either treat us well or like a back up plan. Once you show yourself what real love is, you’ll never accept someone else’s counterfeit version.
Trust. If you don’t have it from her from the get-go, then you’ll probably never have it. This also means trusting yourself. You know when something isn’t right so don’t try to convince yourself otherwise. I don’t deal with dishonest people period. And if you have trust issues period, then that is a separate issue that you cannot bring on someone else. Be honest about that and work on building trust.