10 Ways To Tell The Difference Between Warning Bells vs Wedding Bells

couple kissing Are you seeking your Prince Charming and getting lured in by Prince Harmings?

In my book Prince Harming Syndrome, I humorously describe a Prince Harming as a guy who turns out to be either trouble or trouble-d – although he never starts out this way. Basically, a Prince Harming lures you in with superficial lures – like sexiness, funniness, wealth, charisma, compliments, love letters – and then – WHACK!

In the same way there’s “bait and switch” in advertising, Prince Harmings pull a “date and switch.” I recognize the appeal of Prince Harming because I’ve been there, dated him. There’s always something terrific you can find about a Prince Harming. Every jerk has his silver lining.

(Note: YES – all of what I’m saying applies equally to Princess Harmings, as well. They too are out and there! But for the simplicity of this short essay and my Prince Harming Syndrome e-book, I only reference the words “Prince Harming.” If you’re someone dealing with a Princess Harming, simply replace the gender difference as you read along!)

Admittedly, trying to differentiate between a Prince Harming and Prince Charming can be as daunting as those visual games in magazines – where you’re shown two almost-identical drawings, then challenged to identify what’s different. Eventually, as you look closer, you’ll see: “Ooh—unlike a Prince Charming, this prince has two faces, not one! Aha!”

Trust me. You don’t want to date a two-faced prince. He’ll be a royal pain in your heart.

In order to make sure you are able to quickly assess how many faces your prince is sporting, here are 10 of the 50 questions you should ask either your Prince Crush and/or yourself – each excerpted from my OPRAH.com recommended book Prince Harming Syndrome.  Basically, if you want your prince to “pop the question,” you must pop these questions up front! These questions will very much help you to tell the difference between warning bells versus wedding bells!

1. Ask your Prince Crush if he feels he could live a happy life if he never got married. It will be a fun way to find out his views on marriage without being frighteningly direct.

2. Ask your Prince Crush if he has happily married friends or unhappily married friends. Again, this conversation will get him to reveal his views and readiness when it comes to marriage.

3. Ask your Prince Crush how he has grown in the last few years. Does he talk about how he’d like to grow in any specific areas?

4. Good looks fade. But a bad personality is forever. Does your partner titillate your mind as much as your body? Do you respect your partner’s beliefs and knowledge and insights? Your ideal partner should feel lust, love and like for you and vice versa. A good royal coupling is a passionate best friendship.

5. Ask you Prince Crush if he feels partners should be honest about everything, and if not, what shouldn’t they be honest about? Remember: It’s relaxing to love someone you trust. Someone you know will not hide parts of his life and will happily offer up the truth, without you feeling as if you are yanking it out of him.

6. Size does matter. You must look for a partner with a really big heart. Ask yourself if you’ve seen evidence that your Prince Crush is intrinsically warm, open and kind, or the opposite? Have you witnessed your Prince Crush doing small acts of kindness like leaving a very big tip or helping someone with their shopping bags?

7. Has your Prince Crush talked with you about lessons he’s learned about pain and disappointment? Does he show signs of empathy for your pain and disappointment? Does he express nurturing and supporting behaviors?

8. What’s one of the sexiest qualities to look for in a partner? The ability to listen and compromise! Why? Because listening plus compromising keeps you feeling appreciated and connected, even over small things, like which movie to see or what place to eat. Have you experienced your Prince Crush being able to listen and compromise? Have you heard him utter the four sexiest words ever: “I’m sorry. You’re right!”

9. Do you know the dirtiest of details about your partner’s mental health history? Is he bipolar or on medication? Has he ever had a meltdown? Does he have anger management issues? Drug or alcohol addictions? Ask your man directly to explain why and how he broke up with his last relationship. Listen for long-term anger and Drama King stories.

10. If you want to live happily ever after, your man has to be happy. Ask yourself and/or your man if he’s truly happy. If he’s unhappy all the time, he will view you through non-rosy life glasses! You need a man who embraces character values that help him be emotionally stable, even-tempered, addiction-free and full of high self-esteem. It’s corny but true—it’s hard for someone to love you happily if he’s not happy with himself first. Do you sense your Prince Crush feels proud of who he is in his life? Does he allow people to walk all over him? Does he treat himself with self-nurturing and self-respect?

TWEET THIS: 10 Ways To Tell The Difference Between Warning Bells vs Wedding Bells via @notsalmon’s blog http://notsalmon.com/?p=10492

Want more information on finding a loving, happier-ever-after relationship? Read all 50 out of 50 of Prince Harming Syndrome’s questions to ask your partner/yourself! Plus, get tools to let go of the pain and anger from any ex-love, so you can move forward happier, more confident and wiser for your next love. Prince Harming is now available as a convenient e-book you can download right away onto your computer or ipad (or anywhere where you can read pdf’s!).  Click here now for more info and freebie excerpts! 

I’d love to hear your insights on the comment section below! What’s something which comes to your mind and heart when you read my essay?  Be specific! Share your personal story or a personal happiness tool! I LOVE it when you share – because I love to find out about my community! Plus, it boosts your happiness when you write down your thoughts right away after reading something – because it helps to engrave your positive takeaway into your permanent positive belief system! Plus, many thousands of peeps read these essays – so, what you share could be a helpful inspiration for someone else! Anywhichway, thanks for reading – and adding your loving insights! xo Karen

Written by Karen Salmansohn (Founder)

Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.
  • Prairiewind2

    I haven’t read your book yet, Karen, so I don’t know the other 40 on this list. I’m sure they are really good, thought-provoking questions. But I am concerned that my former Prince Harming would have passed most of these (10) questions… as someone decidedly on the NPD spectrum (Narcissist Personality Disorder), he knew/knows how to charm and create illusions and manipulate… and play the trust card. Until he’s ‘in’, then he creates unbelievable chaos in women’s lives, to the point of crazy-making (gaslighting) and causing PTSD. I am leery to trust my instincts after missing the warning bells before…

    • Rixanne

      Feel you on this one for sure Prairie. Same situation. It has been over a year since I’ve last had any contact with my ex, and it was on the fritz pretty hard for a year before that, and I am JUST NOW starting to feel like I might be able to trust myself again. It isn’t a sudden thing that happens, it is unfortunately in my case those damn baby steps. It’s going from screw it I’m isolating and never talking to anyone ever again, I’ll just be by myself, to begrudgingly having to trust some people with some things, and then realizing you didn’t die from your encounter with the ultimate evil, the ultimate let-down (of yourself by yourself), and that there ARE things you know better now than you did then. That’s when you start experimenting with trusting yourself again. Ultimately whether someone passes the test by “pulling the wool over your eyes” doesn’t matter in the end. What matters is knowing that YOU can handle it, no matter what they do. That you will be good, that you will build security into yourself and your next relationship by creating healthy boundries that will be deal-breakers the first time, not the third, not the 30th, and that you know that you can step out of a relationship, survive and thrive even if it ends. Much love to you on your journey.

  • maa


  • L

    i wish I had known about this book a long time ago, but I am so happy to have read this! thank you!

  • Amdee

    I agree, Prairiewind2! These questions are great but some of the harmers are like super bugs and play a very very good game. I too, have trouble trusting. Thank you Karen for the preliminary sorting tools, though.

  • Venetia Flowers

    Like WOW!

  • valerie cheers brown

    Karen, I always love reading what you have postive but honest to say about everything! I love this article and my sweet farway love passes the test and he is one of the most patient kindred spirited men I know and he aced these questions! He is a Leo and I am a Scorpio and we are water and fire and need each other most definitely, and hard to break up. Check my book out coming out “Second Time Around” about our long-distance relationship and how we managed all of this time and many good pointers of how long distance can work if you stay close to God and we pray together long-distance, yet in each others heart we remain! I would say near Thanksgiving will be our launch date! Thanks Karen and love ya!