The brash wife of a swinging London architect, Zee Blakeley (Dame Elizabeth Taylor), venomously ridicules young widow Stella (Susannah York). After meeting them at a party, she tries to interfere with their blossoming relationship.
Despite her best efforts, Robert falls for Stella, who fulfills parts of his life that Zee can’t. Their love/hate relationship continues to escalate with a series of scheming adventures.
1. They’re a narcissist
Narcissists will lie to cover their tracks, especially when they’ve done something wrong. They’ll use half-truths to throw you off their scent and will make you believe them because they sound so convincing.
They’ll tell you countless compliments and even profess their love for you, but this is all a form of manipulation to get what they want from you – whether that be sex, money, privileges or their own sense of self-importance.
When caught in a lie, you’ll often receive one of the Four D’s from the narcissist: denial, deflection, devaluation or dismissal. They won’t apologize for their actions or accept responsibility, and they’ll never admit that they were wrong. This is because they lack empathy and will only ever apologise for things that will benefit them.
2. They’re impulsive
If your zee lover is constantly buying stuff on impulse, or if they are spending more than they’re earning, you might want to reconsider the relationship. Most healthy relationships have some sort of division of responsibility, and impulsive behavior can damage this arrangement.
When Robert returns to the flat and finds Zee gleefully taunting Stella, he grows livid. Afterwards, he confronts Gordon about her callousness and implores Zee to stop.
Similarly, if your partner is frequently engaging in risky sex or skipping protection, they’re likely behaving impulsively. This can be dangerous to a relationship, as it increases your chances of contracting sexually transmitted infections. It’s also not the best way to demonstrate your love and commitment. Taking the time to consider your actions and make responsible decisions will improve your relationship.
3. They’re a phony
Zee makes her first paid performance as a solo magician at a children’s party. However, the event is interrupted by a flood of bunny spawn that Zee and Kara attempt to contain. They succeed, but the spawn is transformed into a giant bunny monster made of individual bunny spawn.
Despite being startled by Robert’s interest, Stella grows attracted to him. She grows increasingly uncomfortable, however, when Zee mocks her.
When Zee invites Stella to a small farewell party, she is shocked by the crowd that turns up. She is even more distressed when Zee snatches her clothes and throws them in the bin. Eventually, she tells him that she is leaving. Neither of them will ever be able to find peace if they continue living together.
4. They’re a control freak
Having certain expectations in a relationship is normal, but if someone is constantly snooping through your phone or judging you for hanging out with friends they don’t approve of, they’re probably a control freak. This kind of behavior comes from a place of fear, and it can make you feel exhausted and suffocated.
For example, Zee gleefully ridicules Stella at her boutique and continues to do so after she returns to the flat. When Robert confronts her and she responds with calm, he says that it crossed his mind to let her die. As you continue to stand your ground, a control-freak will increase their pressure through more manipulative tactics. They may give you the silent treatment or badmouth you to others in an attempt to get their way.
5. They’re a liar
Liars put a lot of energy into convincing others that they’re telling the truth. This is why it’s important to be able to detect certain lying cues.
Look for microexpressions, such as a frown or a blink of the eye. These tiny expressions leak out hidden emotions and feelings. Liars may also gesture less frequently than they normally do, which makes them easier to spot.
If you’re not sure if someone is lying to you, try asking them neutral questions. This will give them a chance to act naturally, so you can compare their normal behavior to their deceptive behavior. Also, watch how their confidence level changes in a conversation; they’ll be more verbose when they’re confident and clam up when they aren’t. The book, How to Spot a Liar, is an excellent resource for spotting liars.