- Talking about an ex may mean a person have may have unresolved issues from their past relationship.
- If someone says they're not ready for a relationship, this is generally true and should not be ignored.
- A partner who has issues about letting their significant other see their phone is likely hiding something.
"He's just not that into you."
I know, you hate this phrase. I hate it even more. Mostly, because it's true—even when we are living in complete denial about it. Sorry, but if he's not calling, it's not because his fingers were lost in a freak texting accident, or he's lying in a coma: It's because he doesn't like you, or at least 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.
I often get asked about red flags in dating and relationships. From my personal experience, and that of so many others 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 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 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, and sexual prowess.
Relationship therapist Jamie Turndorf suggests that if he mentions the ex and it bothers you, speak up: "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 the problem persists, 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. Their partners flat-out tell them that they don't want to commit, but here they are, baking cookies, enjoying naked sleepovers, and gushing to all their girlfriends about what a catch they've landed, because "once he sees how great I am, he will surely commit."
If this is you, find someone to bring you back to 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, like that friend who helps guide you back into reality (but not the one who assures you that he'll come around eventually).
I've been in this situation before, waiting it out. 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 it turns out that neither is moving into a relationship at lightning speed. 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.)
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." Relationships can only succeed when there is a foundation to base them upon, such as common interests and experiences. Just because you both order the Caesar salad doesn't make you eternally compatible.
Similarly, relationship expert and author Lynn Harris advises against premature "I love yous": "The first time you feel like saying it, count to 10, 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 of 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. If you want something more, he needs to make a move in real life. If you're at a point where you don't want to wait anymore, then stop waiting. You shouldn't have to force someone to ask you out.
5. He doesn't let you go near his phone.
I have witnessed relationships in which phones are private property, locked and guarded with military-like defense. If your partner has issues about letting you see his phone, the chances are that he's hiding something. 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 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 still missing. 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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