By Jarrod Thalheimer
“How can I tell he’s not that into me?” You ask your friends, check your star charts and maybe even try some pathetic magazine lists (Hey, wait a minute …) desperate for a clue, any clue at all. You need help but instead you get hack-y advice like “dump him if he buys you bad gifts” or “if he just won’t talk, move on.”
Look, most guys hate gabbing, bury their emotions deeper than dead relatives and can’t buy a thoughtful present to save their lives. That’s no reason to kick ‘em to the curb. These are reasons to dump them. For your own sake, match at least three and then get yourself gone, girl. Fast!
- Family/Friends in Witness Protection. He has never included, mentioned or even indicated his family or friends around you. This is either a sign he’s a non-bonding, anti-social orphan or that he’s consciously keeping you very separate from what is closest to him. Whether his family tree is bat-poop crazy or not doesn’t matter. If he’s not introducing you to his world then you’ll be staying alone in your own.
- The First Date Score. OK, we can be as progressively evolved about sex as you like, but any guy scoring a home run his first time at bat treats anything that follows as a let-down. Just because we all act like doing “the nasty” is no big thing doesn’t mean it’s actually so. No guy anywhere wants to face his future daughter and admit that mom “gave it up” on their first date. There are exceptions, but guys rarely move a first date conquest into any column outside “booty call.”
- Technological Hide And Seek.In the 21st century we rely on texts, voice mails and all manner of time-saving P2P digital communication, but there is a limit. Who uses such things to avoid a lady he claims to love? If he isn’t answering your texts or calls and is leaving voice mails unreturned for hours on end then you’re either IMing way too much or he’s caring way too little. Relationships mean intimacy so if he’s using the tech defense to avoid you, it’s time to disconnect – now!
- Never Protector. These days, guys have fewer defined roles than ever. In general, women handle their own wants and needs without really turning to men much at all. This is why the classic male role of “protector” matters so much. Sure, it’s silly stuff like moving heavy things, offering his coat or answering the door late at night, but they matter. So, if your guy almost never steps between you and whatever threatens your day, it means he’s saving his inner hero for someone else. Show this fool the door …. and lock it behind him!
- Mr. Germaphobe. Let’s get something straight: The same dude you kiss on the mouth and swap bodily fluids with somehow can’t stand to be around when you’re sick? Life is full of mucky gunk, which means any guy who can’t bear a little snotty mucus, bad breath or red eyes isn’t likely to be around for much of anything. Love is a messy business so if Sammy Squeamish doesn’t have the stomach for it, it’s best to wash your hands and move on.
- Back to the Future. It’s great to hang around with a man who loves to reminisce about the great times you’ve already shared but when he continually (and conspicuously) avoids any talk about the future, you’ve got a problem even Doc Brown and a DeLorean can’t fix. The future is all you have going forward and if your man can’t (or won’t) face the idea of what could be farther down the road, it’s likely he wasn’t planning to see it with you anyway.
- Separate Trips, Separate Lives. When the heck did this become a thing? All the time you hear about couples who take “individual vacations.” Not with friends, alone. Any guy asking for this is sending a very clear message: “I would like to experience the world by myself, without you.” Unless you both live and work side by side, 24 hours a day, this makes no sense whatsoever. Pairing up with someone is what getting together is all about. If that reality is so dreadfully tiresome that he needs a solo vacation, then you might as well make it permanent.
- Superfreak … in The Bedroom. No one wants to be a prude, but if your man is treating your intimate moments like his audition for a freaky porn site, you’ve got trouble. Sex is a two-way street and when a guy is putting more effort into getting his rocks off than making sure you’re not feeling uncomfortable (or even humiliated), all signs better say “stop!” Spice is fine but when the sex gets weird it’s usually because he’s treating you less like a lover and more like a word that rhymes with “chore.”
- Skips Your Parents. Yes, your dad is routinely embarrassing in public and your mother knows exactly the right buttons to push that make you crazy, but that’s no excuse. If your guy has no interest in meeting M&D (or anyone else from your clan), then he has no long-term plans for you. Everybody eventually ends up a whole lot like their family so if the guy you’re playing house with can’t be bothered for a preview, he’s probably not figuring on staying for the show. Change seats now!
- Pregnancy Test. There is no rule that says everyone has to have (or even want) kids. but there’s no denying that even the possibility of children provides the ultimate lock-down test for any couple. Kids are the best glue ever invented for cementing a relationship into position, so if the idea of a baby gives him a bellyache and hot flashes, you know exactly where you stand. Hint: It’s not about the kid – it’s about being tied down, with you. Kiss his cheek, pat his head and move on.
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