It was a brisk Saturday morning in February when I was fighting the overwhelming desire to travel to my beau's basement apartment and viciously throttle him.
Now, normally I'm not a violent person at all. In fact, I often shy away from confrontation. Something about the vibe of anger leaves a nauseous taste in my mouth, but no one will test your character more than the person you're sleeping with.
Let me give you a bit of background info. Before this relationship, I had been single for three years and desperately in love with the idea of love. At my core, I am unabashedly a hopeless romantic and rooted to the idea of not only a soulmate but a purpose-mate. Yes, you read that correctly.
I believe there is a man out there whose soul not only matches mine but enhances my life's purpose as well.
I believe that us being together means a bit more than the usual sentimental gush you feel when dating someone. Our union will be IMPACTFUL, and more than me just wanting to be in the honeymoon phase.
Back to the story. I had been dating this guy for five months because in the initial stages of our relationship he portrayed himself as a patient, compassionate, and God-fearing man. He seemed like the perfect dream --- until he didn't. Suddenly, he was short with me, uninterested, and incredibly self-centered. Worst of all, there was no more evidence of him even BELIEVING in God, let alone FEARING him. I'd been down this road before, and my subconscious fears were realized.
Once again, I fell head over heels for a counterfeit.
A counterfeit is a romantic companion who is a fraudulent imitation of your purpose-mate. These are people who put on their best front to seduce you but lack the character and substance to build a life with you. You shouldn't want to settle for a poor imitation of the one you're meant to be with.
So how could I spot the signs of deception in the future? I came up with 3 keys of spotting a fake purpose-mate before wasting a huge amount of time. Are you ready for the keys? Yes? GO!
All Bark, No Bite
A friend of mine used to say that you're actually dating a person's representative during the first few months. This is the time of the romantic sales pitch, so to speak. Everything sounds attractive and a bunch of promises are made but rarely fulfilled. In fact, your beau seems to be all talk, no action, and defensive when you hold them accountable. In my case, I didn't want to nag my boyfriend but I envisioned my purpose-mate to be a man of his word, thus leading me to see this as a major red flag.
Still, this red flag doesn't start and end with empty promises. In the case of my ex, he portrayed himself to be wise with money and able to afford expensive clothing. Instead, he struggled with his monthly bills while striving to keep up his trendy appearances. That was NOT the kind of impact I was originally looking for.
Comfort vs. Growth
Another red flag is if they no longer inspire or challenge you to grow. It is very easy to live for the weekend and be distracted by things that don't grow your gifts.
In the beginning stages of our relationship, my ex's actions were very encouraging. He was supportive of me starting my women's encouragement brand and even sent daily uplifting messages. At the same time, he was taking steps to improve himself and his craft. Within three months, however, things drastically changed. The support and encouragement died out, and he was disinterested in both of our passions and goals.
He was content to do what he always did and rejected being bothered.
The whole goal of doing life with someone is not to grow alone. A purpose mate is intentional about bringing out the best in you and will challenge you to go out of your comfort zone. You won't have to force your partner to be on the same page. Iron will sharpen iron.
Purpose Over Pleasure
Finally, something that should get those internal alarms ringing is how often they choose pleasure over purpose. When you're looking to build a life with someone, your decisions are centered on togetherness and longevity. You're both in this for the long haul, so you craft a plan to create the life you want. For example, instead of helping to save money for a new home, my ex would impulsively spend his hard earned cash. He didn't grasp the bigger picture of starting a family later because he was focused on filling his voids right now. It's hard to keep a facade when it comes to financial behaviors. Still, my counterfeit spent more time living up short-term pleasures than investing in long-term purpose.
To operate with a purpose mindset is to make consistent decisions of sacrifice. To operate with a pleasure mindset is to choose your immediate desires over your aspirations and ambitions.
Now, I'm not saying don't treat yourself or administer self-care, but the problem here is in the discipline.
Your purpose-mate will be actively looking to grow and willing to sacrifice short-term rewards for long-term results. Your purpose-mate will want to be at their best for you because love is a verb and you're investing in your future TOGETHER. My ex clearly showed me that he only gave a damn about himself.
So those are my 3 keys to spotting a counterfeit. The next time your gut tells you to err on the side of caution, take a look at these keys and evaluate if this person is really the one you've been waiting on. After all of this year's fake news, a fake boo should be the last of your worries.