1. He tells you he “needs space.”
This is never a good sign. Ideally, if you’re in a relationship, it’s because you two came to a mutual understanding that you’re attracted to one another and love spending time together. A boyfriend who “needs space” is an unhappy boyfriend and, furthermore, will not continue being your boyfriend for much longer.
2. You find a portentous event in your Google calendar.
Here’s a pretty good sign you’re about to be broken up with: you wake up, sift through your emails, and see that your boyfriend has invited you to join a Google event, today at 4:30, entitled “talk.” You turn over in bed to inquire about the nature of this meeting, and he’s gone—all that’s left is the imprint of his body.
3. He gives you nonchalant answers.
A boyfriend who says “sure,” “meh,” and “okay” a lot is an unenthused boyfriend, and one you will not be able to count on for much longer. If asking him to go out to dinner is met with “eh,” then your relationship probably doesn’t have staying power. Likewise, if “I miss you baby” is met with “word,” then he’s probably not the one for you.
4. He orders the “girlfriend getaway.”
There’s an organic food store in Brooklyn—a popular spot amongst the lumberjacks—that sells a smoothie called “the girlfriend getaway.” I once went there with my ex-boyfriend and he ordered a “girlfriend getaway” for himself. “Awesome…” I mumbled under my breath to the waiter. The waiter laughed, which felt good. Then just six days later my boyfriend broke up with me, which felt less good.
5. Extended periods of silence.
Yet another glaring sign that you’re about to be snubbed. No girlfriend should ever feel like it’s at all strenuous or taxing to get her boyfriend to talk to her. Going away on an extended trip should never be an excuse for long bouts of silence. And any boyfriend who ever suggests a desire to talk less doesn’t deserve to have a girlfriend.
6. He keeps trying to lose you.
He keeps distracting you with things like “Ooooh! Free donuts!” and “Look! Puppies!”—things he knows you can’t resist. Then when you turn to look, find nothing, and turn back around, your boyfriend is already three blocks ahead of you sprinting.
7. He’s always taking drugs or getting black out around you.
The clincher here should be that he developed this dependency only after you guys started dating. Situations like this are often precursors to break-ups: You walk into his home. “Oh, not you again…” moans, while frantically reaching for his medicine cabinet and swallowing a handful of pills.
8. He has made plans a month in advance and you’re not invited.
Does your boyfriend keep a calendar? Is there a “couples camping trip” scribbled in it for next weekend and he still hasn’t told you about it? then girl, you better buy yourself some weed because you’re about to get dumped.
9. He boxes you out.
Emotionally, yes, but also physically. For instance, you’re out at a bar with him and suddenly his friend runs up to you and screens you as if you’re a real defensive threat in a basketball game. “What the fuck is going on?” you ask, as the friend continues to body-block you and your boyfriend tries to discreetly run past you without you noticing.
10. He tries to bang your friend.
Really, truly, nothing says “I’m going to break up with you” like a dude who tries to bang your friend. In fact, this is not only a sign that your break-up is imminent, but that he has so little regard for your feelings he’s willing to get in an extra one-two punch-to-the-gut before jilting you forever.
11. He tweets about a “live breakup, IRL.”
You notice he’s been tweeting really strange things about a “live break up” that he’s apparently going to air in 15 minutes. Oh, also he just called. He wants to talk.
12. He pretends he doesn’t know you.
There are absolutely no silver linings to be found in this sort of instance. If you approach your boyfriend at a bar, who happens to be chatting up a girl, and he greets you as if you have three heads and then calls over security, you can rest assured that at least you won’t have to share a bed with him ever again. Sure, it’s a roundabout way for him to express his feelings, but it gets the point across too.