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Just like in the game of baseball and in the game of dating--we need to have hard-set rules. We need to come to a point on what we will tolerate and what we will not tolerate. We don't have to go by the 3 strike rule as this is not realistic and we are all human! Yet, there comes a time when relationships become more of a liability than an asset. If you are going to cultivate solid relationships, you must cut off the unhealthy relationships that are seemingly going nowhere. If a pattern tends to develop and there is a shortage of progression--you might part ways before you become too invested in the relationship. A healthy relationship has a purpose, values, morals, trust and a sense of unity. Know that hurting people hurt people and you need to be strong enough to realize that the relationship is not helping you or the other person out. This is why dating is important. In order to find out what works and what is not permissible, we need to go through the experience. Make a mental list or compile a physical list of the pros and cons of the relationship to help you. There are only so many strikes a relationship can receive without it becoming virulent. Here are some strikes to consider.

The are inconsiderate.

They are inconsiderate of your feelings on a regular basis. This means they never call when they are running late or they cancel dates to be with friends and never remember special occasions. Good relationships have moments where behaviors are toxic but we are not talking about the occasional mistake. We are identifying those things that could be detrimental to your future. In this case, if they are consistently not considering your feelings and you tried to work it out--cut them loose.

They are abusive.

If they are verbally or physically abusive, get out of the relationship! There will be nothing, but heartache if you remain involved in this roller coaster ride. If you think you can change them, don't be fooled. “Think of a scale — from nourishing on one end to toxic on the other," author and psychologist Clinton W. McLemore wrote. "A toxic relationship is with someone who continually throws you surprises, curves or keeps you off balance and raises your anxiety for no apparent reason." When it comes to abuse in any manner, there is no second strike and there can't be a relationship. It is simply not worth it.

They manipulate you.

Sometimes a bad relationship doesn't seem that bad. There are tell-tale signs of a bad relationship such as verbal, emotional or physical abuse. Then there are those subtle ways that can be damaging like emotional blackmail and manipulation. For example, if you don't do what they want or when they want, they threaten to leave you or play games to punish you.

They lie to you.

We all lie and mess up, but if you are dating someone who you are consistently catching in a lie about where they came from, their history or even lied about where they were last night? Girl, strap up those heels and run like the dickens!

They cheated on you.

Some people will remain in a relationship if there is infidelity. It is estimated that 30 percent to 60 percent of all married individuals in the United States will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage or in their relationships, Truth about Deception reported. "Emotional infidelity, compared to pure physical infidelity, can inflict as much if not more hurt, pain and suffering." Did they cheat on you? We have 2 words: "You're out."

They are too possessive.

Wounded people tend to attract wounded people. If you are insecure then, your partner might be insecure. When this happens--we create a mess. If your partner is so possessive that you need to make sure your phone is always by you--this might be an automatic disqualifier.

They won't work on the relationship.

If your partner refuses to forgive and won’t work on the relationship over a period of time, it could be time to walk away. The communication may have broken down over the years and if only 1 person is making an effort, the relationship won't work and it will be exhausting.

They take their anger out on you.

This can be very disconcerting when someone is taking out their anger on you. We are all guilty of this. But if this negative emotion is on a constant basis, it can't be allowed. Raising your hand is more damaging than raising your voice. Anger can become potent. People start to lose self-control and it may become physical. If the person can't walk away and the situation escalates, you need to leave. You don't want this kind of behavior following you into the future. Remember you can't change anyone unless they want to make a difference. Even then, you need to reflect on how many strikes in this area are admissible.

You don't have anything in common.

Sometimes you have to accept that you are not harmonious in any way. You don't want to find this out when you get married! Remember when you enjoyed doing activities together and enjoyed each other’s company? If things seem amiss, it is fine to come to a point where you both part as you will be holding each other back.

Just because someone shows up to the game, does not mean that they are qualified to play. We all need to have boundaries in the dating world. It is what you are willing to deal with and how many strikes that really call you to end the relationship. With anything, carefully examine if any relationship is worth pursuing wholeheartedly.
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