"He's just not that into you."
I know you hate this phrase. I hate it more. Mostly, because it's true-- even when we are living in complete denial about it. Sorry, but if he's not calling you, it's not because all of his fingers were chopped off in a freak text messaging accident or he's lying in a coma somewhere. It's because he doesn't like you or doesn't like you enough to call you.
You have to be aware that even though you may be enjoying an LSD-like love high, your new significant other may be feeling something entirely different.
Oftentimes, I get asked about red flags in dating and relationships. From personal experience and those of so many ladies I know, I have compiled a few warning signals to watch out for and how to deal with them. As always, there are exceptions but I am never the exception, and probably, neither are you.
1. He talks about his ex frequently. It's fine to bring up the ex once in a while under very neutral contexts, e.g., "My ex has the kids this week." But talking incessantly about prior relationships is tacky and might also imply that there are still some unresolved issues lingering in his head, whether it's rage, resentment or doubt. This rule applies to you too. Do not mention your previous love life and its contents, including: pet names, restraining orders or penis size.
Relationship therapist Dr. Turndorf suggests, if he mentions the ex and it bothers you, speak up and say something: "The effective way of handling this is to ask him if he knows how he feels when he brings up the subject of his ex? Does he feel hurt? Does he feel angry?" If his problems persist, keep in mind that you don't have to.
In the beginning of a relationship, each party should ideally have a clean slate and be on their best behavior, instead of showcasing their baggage like a badge of honor.
2. He tells you he's not ready for a relationship. I can't believe how many times I've heard women dismiss this statement and continue pursuing unavailable men. These guys will flat out tell you that they don't want to commit to you, but here you are, baking them cookies, enjoying naked sleepovers and gushing to all your girlfriends about what a catch he is. Because, "once he sees how great you are,
he will surely commit.
If this is you, please find someone to slap you back into reality. The truth is-- he doesn't want a relationship (it's the same as not being ready for one), even with someone as delightful and wonderful as you. And you shouldn't waste your time trying to convince him otherwise, because his mind is already set. Bake cookies for someone who cares about you--like that friend who slaps you into back into reality (and not the one who tells you that he'll come around, eventually.)
I've been in this situation before, waiting it out like an idiot. Needless to say, I have yet to see a ring on it.
3. He wants to get into a relationship immediately. Refusing to commit to you is not a good thing, but neither is moving into a relationship at lightning speed. Relax, you aren't Benjamin Button-- you don't have five minutes to fall in love and have babies. If your man tells you he loves you or wants to commit to you during or shortly after the first date, something is up. (Unless of course, you do too, and it's love at first sight for both of you.)
I actually know a guy who asked a girl to be his girlfriend during the first date, then broke up with her two weeks later, because he realized that she was "boring." Well, duh. I'm surprised he even knew anything beyond her first name at that point. Relationships can only succeed when there is a foundation to base it upon, such as common interests and experiences. Just because you both order the Caesar salad, doesn't make you compatible.
Similarly, relationship expert and author Lynn Harris advises against premature "I love yous": "The first time you feel like saying it, count to ten, go home and say it to your cat." You don't want to mistake love for a really romantic evening or a great night in bed.
4. He still hasn't asked you out. This should be a given, but I can't tell you how many times I've heard people texting or g-chatting for months and months before any attempt at physical contact is made. If you're seeking mild flirtation or a virtual relationship, texting is fine-but if you want something more, then he needs to make a move in real life. If you're at a point where you don't want to wait anymore, stop waiting. You shouldn't have to force someone to ask you out.
5. He doesn't let you go near his phone. This is also a given, in my opinion. But I have firsthand witnessed relationships in which phones are private property, locked and guarded with military-like defense systems. If your partner has issues about letting you see his phone, then chances are, he's hiding something sketchy. The mere fact that he turns all Charlie Sheen on you the moment you go near it should be a big clue. I'm not saying that couples need to share passwords or answer each other's phones, but you shouldn't ever feel like he's keeping something important from you either. If you feel weird about something, tell him. Maybe he's got a great excuse, like he's in the CIA or running from the mob. It's way better than finding those naked pictures of his ex later on.
6. He doesn't give you butterflies. He may have a great career, a nice apartment with hardwood floors, a humanitarian heart and killer abs, but if he doesn't make your heart all warm and fuzzy, he's not it.
Chemistry isn't instant-- sometimes, it can be discovered gradually, like in these situations. But, after a certain point, you will know if that spark is missing. And if that's the case, be gentle and kind. After all, wouldn't you want to be let down just as easy if someone just wasn't that into you?
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