Friday, 21 September 2012

My 463 Bullet Point Checklist

As I matured in life (okay - got older) the women I met had more baggage and often turned out to be slightly bonkers. And that's not counting the people I have met in the Twelve Step Rooms. Even then only a very few had anything like a full-blown DSM-IV personality disorder.

I think about this stuff for way too long, and it slowly dawned on me that any one of those DSM-IV type symptoms is a big red "Uitgang" sign. Some, like self harm and actually attempting suicide, are obvious enough for anyone to notice and consider a reason to be leaving. Others are a little less obvious. So adapted from DSM-IV, and my experience here's the Single-Symptom list... 

a) a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation,
b) Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self, 
c) impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, excessive spending, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving)
d) chronic feelings of emptiness
e) a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
f) a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
g) a belief that they are "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
h) a need for excessive admiration
i) a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations)
j) a pattern of being interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
k) A lack of empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
l) arrogant, haughty behaviour or attitudes

(Symptom b) sounds abstract, but it translates into things like missing appointments, not keeping promises, changing her mind a lot, changing her likes and dislikes a lot.) 

Add to this minor and less psychological stuff like...

m) Is a princess / flake
n) Is on prescription anti-depressants
o) Has substantial credit card debts
p) Is divorced / has children / is in a long-term relationship / married
q) Is unemployed
r) talks about what goes on at work as if it matters a damn
s) Has divorced parents
t) Says she'd like to get married / have children "sometime" (this is a girl's way of saying "never")
u) Says she's focussing on her career
v) Eats a lot of take-away or prepared meals
w) Has cats
x) Has more than fifteen pairs of shoes
y) Watches reality TV / reads celebrity magazines
z) Doesn't exercise or play sports

As people you might want in your life on a full-time basis this cuts out a lot of women, at least for me in London at my not-so-tender years. Affairs are different. A little craziness and / or baggage is okay for a few weeks, but not a whole year. The old me used to think that "share my life" meant "share her problems", but I'm not in the rescuing / White Knight game anymore.

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