Ask Mary Jo: Red flags in new relationship & visiting divorced sibling's kids

Hey Mary Jo,

This time of year, during the holidays, many of my friends are rushing into relationships. What are potential red flags we should look out for? Melissa


The holiday season is a romantic time and sometimes the idea of being with someone blinds you to potential red flags in your new relationship. When you see or experience any of these, it’s a good idea to slow down. It’s better to have no one than someone who is going to be gone before the New Year gets started.

  1. They cancel dates and don’t reschedule or are too busy to plan another date. When there’s a continual pattern of canceling a date or being too busy to make plans, it’s a good idea to block them from further contact. This relationship is going nowhere.
  2. They haven’t let go of an ex or past Christmas’s memories. People who can’t move forward after an ex have a conflict personality disorder. They can’t accept responsibility for what happened and live a life of blaming someone else. They struggle with emotional maturity and if you continue dating them, you’ll eventually be someone they blame for their failures.
  3. They are too complimentary and want to move too fast. Anyone who moves too fast in a relationship is afraid of being found out, or they feel the need to hide their true self. Ask them up front what their intentions are; better yet, tell them directly what yours are. If they cannot accept your truth, having a real and honest relationship with them would be impossible.
  4. They don’t want you to meet their friends or anyone close to them. Someone who really likes you wants to show you off. If they want to hide you, that’s a big warning sign that they aren’t being honest about the relationship.
  5. You catch them in little lies and inconsistencies. People who tell little lies are the very same people telling whoppers.

Hi Mary Jo,

My brother had twins recently, and I really want to see them over the holidays, but they live with their mother and she and my brother aren’t on good terms right now. How can I ask to see the babies without making family matter awkward right now? Melanie


I am glad you are reaching out to connect with your new family members. Babies need family, and the more love and support you can give their parents the better. I advise you to call or text to see if you can schedule a time. The mother needs sleep and may be exhausted so offering to help in any way you can so she can get a much-needed nap or pamper herself is a supportive gesture of support. If she has plans over the holidays, schedule your visit after the holidays. Being flexible and keeping your intention to see the babies your primary goal can help her feel secure. It would be nice to take her a small gift of something new moms may need; something as simple as her favorite coffee, tea, or light lunch will be appreciated and your kindness will be remembered long after your lunch is over. Good luck and congratulations!