An important lesson I have learnt in 2013 is that abusers are often your knights in shiny amor.
I’m not joking. The person who jumps to your rescue without asking for anything in return (at first glance), making it out to be only their golden heart that makes them do it,…
I have had two friends like this. I think all of this is very good advice, but it also may be helpful that, in my experience, they tend to offer ridiculous amounts of help very early on in the relationship, before you have had a chance to become very good friends or get to know someone very well.
For example, I have had two emotionally abusive roommates who did this. One would do my laundry and stuff for me because I have sensitive skin that is irritated by even hypoallergenic detergent, which became us only doing our laundry together, which became us doing everything together and her getting upset if I did anything without her. Another offered me and others to help ourselves to her weed whenever she wanted, but when her lack of boundaries showed, she would cry, “But I gave you free weed!” which of course we couldn’t deny, so we gave up arguing, thereby enabling her to continue behavior that made us upset and uncomfortable.
This is different than with my best friend/roommate of two years, who comes over and cooks for me any time I ask her to. This is because 1, she knows that I struggle to feed myself sometimes after having lived with me and 2, she loves to cook for other people. We are far enough along in our relationship that I know she wouldn’t try to use this to guilt me, and also I know that she would feel comfortable saying no if she was busy, didn’t feel like it, or felt that I was asking too much of her.
Moral: I am not saying that you should be distrustful of people, but it may be good to be wary of those who give way more than the situation warrants very early on in a relationship.