Life and Love

Red flags: When to call it quits!

Author: Elle Canada

Life and Love

Red flags: When to call it quits!

1. He has to fix his car this weekend (again!).

We all have busy lives, filled with plenty of work, errands and chores, but a guy who is invested in his relationship will find time to spend with you. Yes, it's that simple. If he's forever "too busy," he's showing you where you fall on his list of priorities.

Bottom line: His excuses start making excuses? Dump him.

2. You find pictures of your bikini-clad best friend on his computer.

Infidelity comes in many forms -- no pun intended. A lot of dilemmas on Should I Dump Him or Not? involve virtual flirtations and cyber-relationships. But this kind of "innocent" (at least that's how he might explain it) involvement outside your twosome can be just as damaging as an actual affair. And your best friend? It would be hard to imagine a legit reason for this one.

Bottom line: Buh-bye.

3. He "just wants to cuddle."

Problems in a relationship will follow you both into the bedroom, too. There's nothing wrong with a guy who wants to cuddle, but if that's all he wants, well...there's probably something going on that you two need to talk about. Don't assume he's cheating, though. He could be stressed out, depressed, experiencing the side effects of medication or feeling distant because of a problem you two are facing. Delicately broach the subject without accusing him of not satisfying you and see what you can find out.

Bottom line: Give it time.

4. He calls out someone else's name during nookie.

Hmmm, not a lot of excuses for this one, either.

Bottom line: Unless he gives a plausible reason even before his clothes are back on, adios.

5. He cheats...again.

Another common subject on Should I Dump Him or Not?. And while an affair -- emotional or otherwise -- can do serious damage to a relationship, it doesn't have to mean the end. According to much of the advice given on the site, if he is truly and sincerely sorry for the affair, willing to identify and address the issues in your union that caused him to stray in the first place and makes a commitment to earning back your trust, there may be some hope. On the other hand there's that old saw, "Once a cheater, always a cheater." How do you know if you've got a player on your hands? Pay attention to his actions and not just his words. If repairing what's broke in your union ain't top of his list -- and that doesn't mean through superficial gestures like buying you a nice gift or turning on the charm for a spell -- don't be surprised when he cheats again.

Bottom line: Then there's that other old saw: If the mule kicks you once, the mule is stupid. If the mule kicks you twice… Dump him.

Find out what he thinks about a one-night hook-up on the next page...

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I heart you: Online dating and infidelity 6. You find out he's been lying about his finances and couldn't possibly pay off all his debts until, using conservative calculations, close to the year 2050.

A reasonable amount of debt does not necessarily signal a bad catch, but lying about major issues does. Maybe he fibbed because he didn't want you to think he can't manage money, you say. Maybe that's true. But how did he accumulate so much debt? (Paying off medical bills from a sudden illness? Online gambling addiction?) If you two are talking long-term, are your money management styles compatible? Will you be able to trust him with the checkbook? More importantly, why is he hiding something that would obviously have a big impact on you and your life together? Not to mention your credit rating.

Bottom line: You're not insensitive and materialistic if you show him the door; it means you're looking for someone who won't fritter away your hard-earned cash -- and who is open with you about his shortcomings.

7. You tell him how excited--and a little nervous--you are about going back to school and he tries to discourage you.

If he's to be a keeper, your guy should be your lead cheerleader. Not that he shouldn't share his opinion when he thinks you're headed down the wrong path, but -- if he truly cares for you -- he will push you to accomplish your goals.

Bottom line: Don't waste your precious time with anyone who tries to hold you back, belittle your ambitions or seems jealous or bitter about what you want out of life.

8. He has been "looking" for work since you met him but never seems to have any solid prospects lined up. And although he spends a lot of time on the Internet, you've peeked over his shoulder and he's not on work-related websites.

There's no reason each partner in a relationship shouldn't contribute when it comes to money, but do you want to shoulder the entire burden? Finding employment can be extremely time-consuming since there are a lot of avenues available when one is diligently looking for work; if he's got so much free time in his schedule, he's not looking as hard as he claims. Talk to him about how you can help -- maybe he feels overwhelmed or a little depressed by his lack of success.

Bottom line: If he takes steps in the right direction, give it time. If he spends more time surfing than polishing his résumé, it may be time to resume your own search -- for a new beau.

9. You suggest seeing a counselor together and he refuses to even try it.

Not everyone feels at home in a therapist's office but if it's important to you and he won't budge, that says something about how he's going to approach other decisions in your relationship. What's the harm in indulging you for a session, especially if there's a problem you two need to resolve? Try to find out what his objections are. Why does it make him uncomfortable? His answers should shed some light.

Bottom line: A couple needs to have ways to work through problems together. If your methods are very different and you're each closed to the other's approach, you're going to run into repeated roadblocks.

10. He tells you to shut up, swears at you, pushes you down "by accident" or even "just once," tries to keep you from spending time with your friends or accuses you of cheating on him or looking at other guys.

Girlfriend, you're out of there -- these are common early warning signs of abuse, and you're putting yourself in danger by sticking around.

Bottom line: Seek outside help if you need it, and put your safety above everything else.

Read more:
Mr. Wrong: Look at our signs to see if you're missing out on Mr. Right
Wandering eyes: Signs your sweetheart has swayed
Internal affairs: The dirt on love at work
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Life and Love

Red flags: When to call it quits!