some of their belongings in what were essentially re-useable shopping bags. But he had told her about them fairly early on in their relationship, and she did finally meet them. And let me say, as far as mildly deranged people go, they’re very sweet (I met them at the wedding), and they did a great job at raising their son/nephew.
So the bottom line is that if the relationship has been going on for some time – just to put a number on it, let’s say over 6 months – and he hasn’t invited you to meet his family yet, it’s certainly time to question him about it. If he still doesn’t introduce you? Time to start planning your exit strategy.
9. He doesn’t spend the holidays with you.
I know there are situations, such as when a divorced man wants to spend time with his children at the family holiday get together, but even then he can make time for you either before or after his family time. Everyone knows how special holidays are to us women, and if he doesn’t, then that’s a sign of other issues (for example, not being considerate and thoughtful regarding your feelings). If he’s just taking off on a surf vacation to Bali with his buddies over the holidays because that’s when it’s less crowded, and you’re not invited, then you’re clearly a low priority to him.
10. He’s got lots of female friends – and makes sure you know this.
In my experience, “platonic” friendships are rarely, if ever, that – there are almost always some feelings in one direction. Either the guy is secretly harboring feelings for the girl, or vice versa. And when a guy is in a relationship, he has so much less time to spend with his buddies – why on earth would he ever choose to spend that precious time with another woman? Well, there are a number of reasons he might, and they all involve one deep seated issue or another, and none of them are good. And making sure you know about it? That’s just playing games, and just another reason to get out and find yourself an emotionally healthy man to be in a relationship with.
11. He doesn’t tell you what he’s doing, where he’s going, or when he’ll be back.
If your guy likes to keep you guessing, there’s a reason. This is another sure sign that he’s keeping his options open. In a healthy relationship there’s no hiding or secrets. If he’s not being open and upfront about his whereabouts, then stop worrying about it – just move on.
12. He doesn’t talk about his plans for the future with you.
I’m all for living in the moment and enjoying the “now”. But eventually in a relationship a discussion of future plans has got to come up – otherwise you’ll never know if the two of you are sailing together or heading towards different continents. If he’s not at least occasionally talking about the future with you then chances are, in his mind, you’re not in it.
13. He lets you know he had a life without you and he still has a life without you.
I mean, sure, when you’re first dating, it’s interesting to hear about the places your guy has been and all of the fun times he’s had with his friends. But if he’s still reminiscing about his single life escapades after your relationship has moved to the next level, or worse, making plans to have more of those escapades (without you), then the truth is he still wants to be single. Let him.
14. You feel like if you could just change yourself and not be so needy, this would all work out.
This is by far the biggest warning sign of all. If you start to feel that there’s something wrong with you, or you’re doing something wrong that’s causing him to pull away, and maybe if you just gave him more of the freedom he wants, and wait for him quietly, and…well, you get it. Don’t fall into this trap. If you want a real relationship, equipped with real feelings, real caring, real consideration, and real romance, and he doesn’t, then he’s not the right guy for you and let him (and yourself) go.
If you see any of these warning signs, and especially if you see several of them, chances are that this is not a guy that’s looking for a real relationship right now – or at least not the kind you’re looking for. Your best bet is to walk away gracefully, with your self-esteem intact, and not look back (even if he then starts calling you and chasing you – that’s just a sign of a game-player with deeper issues). Rather than trying to get him to change or waiting for him to come around, try focusing on you and why you’re in a relationship with someone like this. If you find yourself in this type of relationship often, which many of us do, it’s time for some real soul searching to get to the root of it. If you have access to good counseling, take advantage of it, as many times this is the only way to true healing. And it will be worth it in the long run, to get you past the cycle of toxic relationships so you can move on to the kind of true, sustainable love that you want to attract into your life.
Sometimes it’s hard to see when we’re in it, but know that if you’re settling for less than you deserve, there truly is someone out there ready and waiting to give you what you’re looking for – and to treat you the way you deserve to be treated. It’s in believing in ourselves, trusting our gut instincts and discovering who we really are and what we’re really looking for, that all the other pieces of the puzzle fall into place and we find ourselves finally getting it right and discovering the love of our lives – the one who doesn’t come with any red flags. And you deserve nothing less than that, no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve been through.
It’s all out there waiting for you!
Jane Garapick knows firsthand what it’s like to have a broken heart, a broken dream, and a broken you. She writes about adventures on the rocky road to finding Mr. Right at http://www.gettingtotruelove.com.