There comes a time 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 if 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 that you’ll be ready to respond when the situation calls for it.

"Now was that called for?" A 21-year-old said this to me when I was 27. I was blown away that such a young guy was acting a lot more mature than I was at the time! I realized he was someone who 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.

"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 five 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.

"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.

"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 after saying 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.

"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!

"I’m 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, or any other misbehavior – 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.

"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 infractions could be big lies, cheating, accusing you of cheating for no apparent reason, driving drunk, stealing, or any other reason you feel would be a major problem in the relationship.

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!

(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.

REMEMBER: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

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