Let’s be real: dating sucks sometimes. The absolute worst is when you and your boyfriend (wait, is he my boyfriend?!) are not on the same page about commitment. How can you really know whether the guy you’re dating in it for the long haul — or whether this relationship will be shorter than Kim Kardashian’s last marriage?It turns out there are some telltale signs that can clue you in to his lack of readiness — AKA, big red flags that signal Girl, it’s time to move on.
- He’s not where he wants to be financially. “Women tend to commit when they’ve met the one,” says Wendy Walsh, relationship expert and author of The 30-Day Love Detox. “They adjust their lives to go along with the fact that they’ve met the perfect guy. Men tend to commit when they’re in the right place at the right time, when the ducks are lined up for them.” Most men want to be in a certain (read: secure) place financially before they’re ready to be in a serious relationship, points out Walsh. If he’s just launching his career, his focus is likely on climbing the corporate ladder and building up his savings account, rather than settling down in a relationship.
- You have separate social lives. Does he discourage you from heading to a party with him or coming to a game with his friends? Think about the time you spend together and how much your life overlaps with his. “Does he keep you in a compartment or do you have mutual friends?” asks Walsh. “Have you met his family? Or do you just text and have sex?” If your lives aren’t starting to merge, your relationship isn’t moving forward.
- There’s no physical evidence of you at his house. Play detective for a moment and look at the actual physical evidence: do you have a spare set of work clothes or a toothbrush at his place? Your answer is right there. “Are you leaving stuff at his house and he’s running to give it back or hiding it all away?” asks Walsh. “Is there a picture of both of you in his house? If you’ve been dating a guy for five or six months and every evidence of you is swept clean every time, that’s something to think about.”
- He relies heavily on texting. As Bridget Jones would say, “Have been seduced by informality of messaging medium into flirting with office scoundrel.” If you’ve been dating for a while and you’re mainly texting or IMing rather than having regular conversations on the phone or hanging out in person, he may be keeping you in a holding pattern while he investigates other options. And by other options we mean other women.
- None of his friends are married. If his friends are all single (and loving it), gleefully flying off to Vegas for debaucherous boys’ weekends on the regular, getting into a serious relationship probably isn’t on his radar. Some men, especially younger ones, have a herd mentality when it comes to their friends and their own life choices.
- He’s never had a long-term relationship. You might be tempted to convince yourself that he just hasn’t met the right girl (you!) yet. But it pays to be more skeptical. “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior,” says Walsh. “Ask him, ‘What is the length of your longest relationship?’ If he’s 30 and it’s never been a year long, it’s time to roll away.” Give him a chance to prove he is willing to commit in the long-term and if he won’t do it, buh-bye.