Ask Paul B: Mistreating Peeps — Clear Sign Ken Might Turn Into Earl?

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Dear Paul B,

I have been dating a man for ten months. He is quite the gentleman, and seems very cordial to my friends, and my family. But, when we go out, he is enormously short and rude to car hops, clerks at retail stores, and even worse with blue collar workers. I felt uncomfortable when he was verbally abusing a man at a car wash recently. I thought he was going to attack us. Otherwise, Ken’s a great boyfriend. Should I be nervous with this behavior? I feel like we might be engaged soon, and I am turning 37 next month. My best friend tells me that this is a red flag.



Dear Marcia,

Your friend has a point here. If she is a close friend, she may be more perceptive than you, since she has no ulterior motive, nor an emotional attachment. There is an underlying personality issue when Ken clearly abuses anyone who he considers “not his equal.” You could be a victim of this behavior at some juncture. Spend more time dating before you accept a ring. You can even ask Ken why he needs to condescend upon others, and that this makes you feel uncomfortable. And btw, why is your age a determining factor in becoming engaged, Marcia? Do you think that this will be your last “chance for romance?” Please, do not allow your age to dictate “terms of endearment.” A life of misery is in no way, shape or form a better life than being single. Stick with your “red flag alert,” and take it slow. Ken may expose his real colors and save you from a HUGE mistake.

Paul B

Music video by Dixie Chicks performing Goodbye Earl. (C) 2000 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.


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