We all know that it’s best to avoid passing judgment on others, but in the world of dating, a keen sense of judgment can be one of your best assets. In fact, learning when to pull the plug on a prospect that’s going nowhere can save you tons of anguish, frustration — and perhaps most importantly, time! So, if you spot a potential mate showcasing any of the following behaviors, be prepared to drop him like a bad habit — and then keep the dating line moving along.
Reason #1: He calls women the “B word”
Nothing incites women to anger like the use of the word that shall not be named here (see any MTV or Bravo reality show for reference). It can really pack a wallop no matter whose mouth it comes out of, but that word can be especially hurtful when it comes from the lips of the man you’re dating. “Even in the best of relationships, in the heat of anger, disrespectful things may be said, but this is entirely different from a pattern of disrespect, especially one that is established during the courtship of a relationship,” says Beverly Hyman, Ph.D. and Lawrence Birnbach, Ph.D., co-authors of How to Know If It’s Time to Go: A 10-Step Reality Test for Your Marriage. “So challenge any sign of disrespect early in a relationship, and, if it persists, get out.”
Reason #2: He’s attached to his mother’s apron strings
There’s nothing wrong with a man who loves his mother, but if you see signs that his loyalty to mom surpasses all else (e.g. everything from his career path to his apartment was hand-picked by mom), then it’s time to make a hasty retreat. Relationships are filled with complications and decisions, and the last thing you’ll need is a husband who can’t think for himself or always sides with his mother instead of with you.
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Reason #3: He’s only interested in himself
At dinner parties, we’ve all sat next to the guy who loves to dominate the conversation by talking about himself. Not only does this behavior quickly become really boring, but perpetual narcissism may be indicative that he’s a person who just isn’t interested in your thoughts or feelings. You have opinions, concerns, and dreams that are just as important as his are, and any potential mate needs to acknowledge and respect that.
Reason #4: He has unresolved addiction issues
A lot of women get into relationships with men living with some kind of addiction and spend the rest of their lives dealing with a host of problems associated with that lifestyle, which eventually overshadow their own lives and goals. Addiction issues — like drugs, gambling and alcohol — often require a lifetime of management and counseling. So, if you suspect your man has a problem, it’s best to keep on moving.
Reason #5: He’s not honest and/or trustworthy
We all bend the truth from time to time, but there’s a big difference between saying something like, “Of course I enjoy your cooking!” and “No, I’ve never been convicted of a felony.” Big lies set the foundation for a lack of trust, and when you can’t trust your man you’re most likely headed for a life of unnecessary anxiety, frustration and big-time drama.
Reason #6: His relentlessly negative outlook
You shouldn’t have to listen, day after day, about the horrors of your boyfriend’s job, the incompetence of every driver on the road, or how nothing ever goes his way. Dealing with constant negativity is not only draining, but it can eventually cause you to take to the dark side emotionally as well. “If you see signs of negativity while dating, they will only get worse as the relationship progresses,” says Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., psychotherapist and author of The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again. “If he won’t admit his negativity or consider changing it, let go — the relationship will go nowhere.”
Reason #7: He’s got Peter Pan Syndrome
Being in an adult relationship requires both partners to have a mature attitude toward life. It’s perfectly OK to be a kid at heart, but that boyish charm needs to be backed up with a good sense of fiscal and emotional responsibility that only a real man can possess.
Reason #8: He lacks ambition
A man without enough ambition to achieve a goal — any type of goal — typically isn’t a man who’ll make a good life partner for an ambitious woman. “Women that truly understand the definition of ambition have a hard time tolerating a man that has shown…that he has no ambition,” says Michelle R. Hannah, life coach and author of The Breaking Point: A Full-Circle Journey. You want a man whose credo is, “Yes we can!” as opposed to, “Why bother?”
Reason #9: He’s a cheater
Even if he swears he’ll never do it again, will you ever be able to trust him in the future? Can you believe him when he says that he has to work late/travel out of town on business/stay out a little later with the guys? Life is short… too short, in fact, to be constantly concerned with your partner’s fidelity. Cut your losses by cutting him loose.
Reason #10: He isn’t good boyfriend material
The reason why we all have to be interviewed for our dream job in person by a potential employer is because having a stellar resume doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll be a good fit. Sometimes a man might have the ultimate qualifications, showcasing his great management skills, financial responsibility, creativity, ambition, and every other quality found on your must-have list. But after a few dates, it may become apparent that he won’t mesh well into the company culture (i.e., your friends and family) or he’s just missing that “it” factor that can bump him up to a full-time partner position. Employers don’t waste time with candidates who lack what they truly need, and neither should you.
Dana Robinson is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer whose work has appeared on WeightWatchers.com and MediaBistro.com and in the culinary publication, Edible Los Angeles.