The red flags are there—you’re just choosing to ignore them and your intuition, hoping against hope that if you stick it out, it will get better. Because it must? If you love him hard enough? No, in fact, it’s likely to only get worse. Much worse. If at least 5 of these 21 below are part of your dating experience, then you’re seeing an emotionally unavailable man. Best get out now, before you put another few weeks or months into a relationship that will only lead back to Square 1.
1. He mentions his ex-girl friend. A lot. Without asking him and very early on, you know her name, her major, where she lives or works, or any of the other myriad details that you shouldn’t really know about a girl you’re likely to never meet from a guy you just met.
2. He tells you he “has baggage.” Because his ex that you know too much about was a bitch. Or evil. Or crazy. Or anything else that he says. His anger or hurt is just below the surface, and he’s telling you to be on your best behavior around him or you’ll “scare him off.”
3. Early on, he flatters you a lot. You’re so kind! You’re amazing! You’re the only girl he’s ever met who does things with a pure heart! You like the praise, but—let’s be honest—you haven’t done anything yet…
4. Early on, he texts/gchats/fb chats you a lot. Your phone vibrates with a Good morning, beautiful! text before your alarm even goes off. And he messages you all day. Non-stop. Until you text, “Yawn, Good night!” You already feel like it’s too much, too soon…
5. He suddenly disappears very early into your relationship. After all the non-stop, daily attention and conversation, you thought it was going somewhere two or three months in. Maybe you even met his friends. Then he disappears—won’t text back, won’t pick up your calls, no explanation, and total radio silence—before he reappears again a week or two later as if nothing happened.
6. You can never make fixed plans with him. If making plans to see him this weekend feels like stabbing Jello to a tree, it’s not a good sign. And, if he’s only available last minute or late at night to see you, that’s a mega bad sign.
7. He shows up late to everything or ditches you last minute. You’ve finally made plans (finally!) and set aside time during your Saturday to see him. And maybe bought tickets. Or made dinner reservations. And he shows up two hours late, or three hours late, or not at all, texting you a lame, transparent excuse…while you sit there waiting for him.
8. He doesn’t want to meet your friends or family. And if he does, he complains about them afterwards to make sure that the last thing you’ll ever want to do again is put him in the uncomfortable position of hanging out with your loved ones.
9. He always has an excuse. For his lateness. For being a no-show. For skipping your birthday or holidays. For being rude to your friends. For anything and everything that happens in his life or that he does to you. Nothing is ever his fault.
10. His apartment is in shambles. It looks worse than a college frat dorm. His mattress is on the floor. His works suits are on the floor. He doesn’t really have furniture. In fact, his apartment is mostly empty and he didn’t just move in.
11. Your sex life never develops into anything intimate. It feels like porn star sex. Every time. And, it’s the best sex you hardly ever have.
12. He picks & chooses when to respond to your text messages. Sometimes, right away. Sometimes, hours or days later with no real reason for the delay.
13. He breaks his own promises all the time. He said he’d help you move, that you’d go on vacation, or that you’d make dinner together, but he just never came through for the 100th time. In fact, you start noticing that most of his promises are empty.
14. He rarely shares anything about his past. And shuts down or makes fun of you for asking about his hometown, family, college experiences or anything else that would let you get to know him more.
15. He does not discuss your relationship. You’ve never had “the talk.” Weeks or months later, you’re not even sure if you can call him your boyfriend. And, he occasionally still says things like, “Why put a label on it?” Or, “we’re together when we want to be together.”
16. He’s weird about you staying over at his place. He prefers to always default to yours. And the few times you’ve been over at his, he’s watched you like a hawk around his stuff.
17. He says he’s too busy at work/with his side hobby/with his friends/with his family to be able to spend time with you more than once or twice a week (See #6).
18. He withholds information about (in)consequential things. Like what he did last night or if he’s already married or seeing someone else. You’re always the last person to find out anything, and he’s a major shadeball about his daily activities.
19. He doesn’t want to hold your hand. And protests against any other signs of PDA.
20. He has a gambling/drinking/drug/money problem.
21. You’re on an emotional rollercoaster. You suddenly find yourself having emotional highs and lows that are mostly out of your control—he’s disappeared, broken up with you, ditched you last minute or made fun of your friends. But, just the other day, he was so sweet to you via text. You need to get off this ride right now because the dips are only going to get worse before the ride eventually ends—and you’re back to Square 1.