Navigating the world of modern romance can be quite confusing and frightening. There is a plethora of advice out there from dating gurus, Oprah, Tinder, and your mother. What if I told you that everything you needed to know about love was a remote control click away?  Hard to believe, right? If you have several hours to kill and a bottle of your favorite beverage (I highly recommend Moscato or Scotch on the rocks) then start binge watching Dateline on ID, Who the Bleep Did I Marry? or Stalked - Someone’s Watching. Hell, the entire Investigation Discovery Channel is like a bible for avoiding Mr. or Mrs. Wrong.

If you don’t have the time to spend because you have a job or some other silly pursuit, don’t worry! I have done all the leg work so you don’t have to! So, sit back, grab a pen and a notebook, an iPad, a laptop or your phone and take notes.  You will thank me later.

  1. Your new man or woman convinces you to drop your friends, forget about your parents and stay close to home because he or she doesn’t want to share you with anyone. Hmm. This is a HUGE red flag. Yes, it sounds all romantic and he is just like Noah in the Notebook or she is just like Alex in Fatal Attraction. Run, don’t walk to the nearest exit or be prepared to get creepy texts with crying, angry Emojis saying, “If I cnt hv u, no 1 cn.” This text would make me mental because who has time to go all Da Vinci code on it? Drop this loser!
  2. You have only been together for three months but your new significant other encourages you to increase your life insurance policy. Really? You might think that they are looking out for you and have your best interests at heart.  Heaven must be missing an angel, right? WRONG. If they start encouraging you to take up a daring new hobby like zip lining, bungee jumping or sky diving shortly after you have raised your policy benefit, just ghost them. Who needs that kind of pressure? You don’t. Oh, and call your agent ASAP to change that beneficiary.
  3. Your co-workers think it’s scary that your better half starts showing up unannounced on your lunch breaks or randomly throughout the week. You tell them that he or she is a spur of the moment type and you love the impetuousness. This already sounds like a stalker. Don’t they have a life, friends, a job? Yikes! The next thing you know, you will wake up in the middle of the night with this person sitting in a chair staring at you because they “love to watch you sleep.”
  4. It is your weekly night out with friends. Your boyfriend or girlfriend has called and texted you repeatedly. “Come home, I miss you.” “Hey, it’s 9 pm. I thought you would be home by now.” “Where are you?” “ANSWER ME.” “I can’t believe you would leave me alone like this.” While your pals think what an asshole, you find it endearing. They are just showing you how much they need you. No, that is the wrong answer. This guy or gal is a control freak who has to have you in their sight at all times. You know how I would respond? I would immediately change my Facebook status to “It’s complicated” and then unfriend them. Now, you are officially on the market and ready to find your next true love.
  5. Their last girlfriend or boyfriend left them unexpectedly and broke their heart. They still don’t know where their former loves went. They tell you that he or she probably ran away to Bermuda and that they even went looking for them but had no luck. How heartbreaking, right? Not so fast! This is definitely a sign. If people suddenly go missing, maybe it is time to re-evaluate this relationship. You don’t need a surprise extended vacation. Let’s face it. Those duckface photos of you from your Instagram account will not look pretty on a “Have You Seen Me?” flyer.
  6. Your new squeeze drives a van.  It doesn’t matter if it is paneled and doesn’t have windows. It’s for their job! Or that is what they tell you but hey, at least they own a car.  Seriously, who in their right mind owns an unmarked van without windows or a business name on the side? I will tell you. Serial killers. I have a van but it has windows and it is not questionable if it is parked on the neighborhood street.  
  7. This one is for the ladies. Your new man loves his mother. She is very important to him. He still lives with her. Of course, he has his own room! It is in the basement but that is so he can work on his hobbies and not disturb her. Even though he is in his 30’s, there isn’t anything wrong with living at home.  He is devoted to his family. While I will agree loyalty to family is touching, he never invites you over to his place. He always says it’s a mess. Did you happen to know that his job is managing his family’s roadside motel and that he refers to his mother as his best friend?  Enough said.  
  8. Sometimes your love will go on spur of the moment business trips over the weekend. When they return, they refuse to talk shop with you. You might think it is all about that work-life balance! Maybe it’s time you bought a police scanner. Just saying……
  9. When you have used your companion’s computer, you have noticed that they do quite a bit of research on national park hiking trails.  When you ask them about it, they tell you they are planning a romantic getaway. Hiking and romance? Who in their right mind would equate the two? You hate walking around your neighborhood. What makes them think that you would appreciate a jaunt into a forest on a trail in the middle of nowhere?  Oh. Now you get it…. I could see the lightbulb coming on.
  10. Your guy or gal has a deep bond with their dog, Sam. They communicate with one another. Sam speaks to them. This is great. You always were a dog lover and it will be like having your own Cesar Millan. Not so fast. I have two words for you. David Berkowitz. If you don’t know who that is, get to Googling ASAP!

See, this list is proof. You can learn from binge watching television! Oh, and good luck with the love game!

Have you learned anything from watching a television show? I would love to hear your opinions on the subject!  Please feel free to post your comments or contact me at or hit me up on Twitter @SusanontheLedge. You can also visit me at

Published by Susan Leighton Woman on the Ledge