There comes a point in every relationship when the person you are dating will do or say something that is out of line. How you react to those situations will determine if they will gain respect for you or whether they will start to see you as a doormat and begin to misbehave even more. I call these points, “Moments of Truth”.

Here are some answers that will immediately let the other person know you won’t put up with their nonsense. I suggest you become very familiar with them, so you’ll be ready to respond when the situation calls for it.

1. Now was that called for? – A 21 year old said this on me when I was 27 and I was blown away that such a young guy was being a lot more mature than I was at the time. I realized he was someone that had his act together, and I wouldn’t be able to get away with anything. It made me immediately respect him and I’ve never forgotten him.

2. Don’t start. I once said this to a guy who barely knew me. He was starting to get upset with me because I was 5 minutes late. Some people might have been tempted to appease him, but I felt his reaction was totally out of line. I did apologize for being late but I didn’t think he needed to make such a big deal out of it.

3. Such ugly words from such a handsome man/beautiful girl. This is a great one because at the same time as you are calling someone on something they said, you’re also giving them a compliment. Keep this one handy and use it often.

4. You can think that, if it makes you feel better. I remember saying this to an ex boyfriend who was jealous of a male friend and he said to me, “He just wants to sleep with you”. When I came back with this zinger, he was speechless. This is another good, all around line to be used anytime, anywhere.

5. I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that. This should only be used for minor infractions, especially if the person has a history of saying “I was just kidding.” Your next response is, “I wasn’t”. Definitely don’t use this one if the person just told you they slept with someone else!

6. I not going to believe that you (fill in the blank). I know you’re better than that. This line was also used on me and it stopped me dead in my tracks. This is a sneaky one. If you disagree with whatever the person was not going to believe about you- that you would lie, cheat, steal, etc.- then you’re saying that you’re not better than that. No one wants to look bad, especially in front of someone they want to impress, so you’re obligated to show them that indeed, you are better than that.

7. If this is who you are, I don’t think it’s going to work out between us. This should only be used for major infractions. These could be big lies, cheating, accusing you of cheating for no apparent reason, driving drunk, stealing, etc. If, for some reason, you don’t want to break up with the person and are willing to give them one more chance, this is a way of doing it without actually telling them you’re giving them another chance. They’ll either a) step up to the plate, apologize and never do it again b) promise not to do it again, knowing that if they do, you’re out of there or c) know you’re not going to put up with their tawdry behavior and move on to the next victim. Either way, you win!

8. That’s not acceptable. This can and should be used often. It lets the person know you have boundaries and are not going to be walked on. I remember one guy I was dating disappeared for the weekend and didn’t return my calls. When I asked, “Why?” he said, “I don’t know…” This would have been a perfect time to use this line, but instead I said, “Okay. Well, don’t do it again.” Ugh! A few weeks later he broke up with me.

8. How are you going to make it up to me? This is a great line to use if you just started seeing someone and they call at the last minute to cancel a date. You of course want to be understanding but you don’t want them to think they can do this anytime and get away with it.

10. Silence. It’s been said that well-timed silence has more eloquence than speech. If someone tells an off color joke or says something totally ridiculous, a silent glare from you will let them know you’re not amused.

Lucia is a dating and relationship expert, syndicated columnist, keynote speaker, author of “Lucia’s Lessons of Love” and host of “The Art of Love” radio show. She’s appeared on Dr. Phil, The CBS Early Show, 60 Minutes Australia, The Tyra Banks Show, E! Entertainment, The KTLA Morning Show and numerous radio shows across the U.S. and Canada

For more information go to: Lucia’s Lessons of Love

Contact: lucia@theartoflove.net

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