Dating jerks

You need to know how they see their own world, how narcissistic they are, how mature, how well they empathize.

How do they monitor themselves when you're not around to monitor them?

Van Epp said there are three distinct patterns he discusses within the RAM.

"There are three patterns I talk about in the book," he said. How they act will give you an understanding of what this person will bring to their relationship with you." "Then look at their family.

"Each time we invest in a person in a highly accelerated way, and it doesn't work out, it tends to affect us even once we're out of that relationship and into a new one.

The person that you do eventually marry deserves something better than a bunch of baggage from these accelerated relationships." How do you know if a person is a jerk?

"And then by the end of the third month, they're saying things about the relationship that not only disturb them but disturb everyone who cares about them. I kept hoping they were going to change.' And it's about how much they have wrapped their lives around this person.

John Van Epp, author of How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk, is a clinical psychologist with an expert's perspective on dating.

After helping many patients deal with unhappy relationships, he realized many people didn't understand what to look for in a mate. I'd been in counseling practice about ten years and had worked with a lot of individuals who were in unhappy relationships - nasty relationships," said Van Epp.

"I always start presentations by asking people to think of someone they've known who's a real jerk," said Van Epp.

"The answers are always different: selfish, self-centered, doesn't handle emotions well, it goes on and on.

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