Getting back into the dating game after a long time is an adventure. Winks and suggested matches on dating sites, endless swipes on Tinder, midnight sexting with that hot stud you exchanged phone numbers with who eventually ghosts you, a few awkward dates with men that you don’t have anything in common with.
After weeks and weeks of this back and forth game, you end up thinking “I just can’t be bothered” and settle down for a guy who seems to be ok: not too shabby in terms of his looks, smart enough to keep up with a conversation, maybe not exactly your type, but oh well. “You need to compromise”, – your friends say and you do your best. You overlook the things that are essential for you and put up with his ways while totally forgetting your own needs.
When somebody asks you “Are you happy with him?”, you just shrug your shoulders, “it could be worse I suppose”.
You deserve better than that.
Here are 5 valid reasons it’s time to dump him.
He doesn’t show enough attention
The days when he texted you all day every day (that lasted for the first couple of weeks when you started dating) are long gone. Now he doesn’t text you much if at all, doesn’t reply to your text messages and there are no more cute emojis in his texts. You might think it’s not a big deal, but in fact, it signals a couple of things: it’s either he is not an attentive person and doesn’t see a need in putting an effort into a relationship and igniting the fire or worse – he has lost his interest in you.
When was the last time you received flowers from him? Does he treat you with any gifts every now and again or take you out on a date? Does he give you compliments? If it hardly ever happens and you find yourself in a boring couple’s routine, it is not a good place to be.
You are aware that a relationship is a two-way street and you try to put a spark into your relationship but he does nothing. You cook a nice dinner. He complains that there’s not enough salt in the food. You buy a new dress. He doesn’t even notice. You score tickets for an exclusive theatre performance. He says he’d rather go for a beer with his mates.
Let’s face it: he doesn’t appreciate your effort and takes you for granted. The paradox is that you try even harder hoping that it will eventually pay off. It won’t and he’ll end up sucking your energy like a leech.
Everything bugs him
No matter of your effort he is not happy with it and sometimes it seems there is no way you can please him. Every little thing that you do or you don’t do flares up in an argument. At first, you were trying to stand your ground and explain your position in a calm and logical way, but that only enraged him more. Being a rational woman as you are you decided to take a different approach and let go of those minor things.
Now you end up apologizing for everything and it encourages him to keep on pushing the limits and makes him feel that he is always right. His ego grew to the sky and he feels he can nag you about everything. Did you put his dirty towel in the laundry? “You should have asked me before doing that!”, he roars. Did you order a dessert after dinner? “You should watch out for those calories”, he snarls. He questions every choice of yours and wants you to be his mirror image – as perfect as he is.
The relationship with him feels like a battleground where he is ready to fight you in every single step. He is paranoid that you are fighting against him and somehow trying to harm him. All your good intentions are turned around and interpreted as bad and you don’t know anymore how you should act to avoid the collision. If you are trying to be yourself, you crash. If you are trying to be somebody who could please him, you crash again. Do you see a vicious circle here? Most likely you became a victim of a manipulative man and you put all your efforts to please him that will never happen anyway.
He wants to have his independence
Having a partner who likes the exact same things as you would be naive: you are a unique person and it’s natural that you have slightly different preferences. However, the gap between your lifestyle and your hobbies seems to be as big as The Grand Canyon. You enjoy going out for dinner, while he always wants to stay in and order a takeaway.
You prefer a healthier lifestyle and he can’t live without his burgers and fries. Your ideal weekend is going on a road trip, while all that he wants to do is close the curtains, sit in the dark and play video games. When you try to find some compromises, he says his independence is very important to him and suggests you go and do your own thing.
You find yourself spending most of the weekends alone, going out only with your girlfriends and traveling solo. All the time that you spend together is when he pops over to yours for dinner and a sleepover before disappearing again in his man cave. When you mention the importance of quality time together, he gets back at you with the importance of his private space.
Living together is not even in the cards. While having separate homes can have advantages, eventually, you will start questioning yourself where this Living Apart Together relationship is taking you. The lack of intimacy and shared experiences is not a solid foundation to build your future as a couple.
He is emotionally unstable
You find yourself in this never-ending emotional turmoil as his mood is constantly fluctuating. One day he might be nice and affectionate (and that’s when you start thinking maybe your relationship is not that bad all in all) and the next day he is unhappy about the whole world. It might not necessarily be related to you, but his pessimism and bitterness unavoidably rub on you.
He likes to be in the center of attention and he expects you to support him when he is feeling down. However, when you have a bad day, instead of empathizing with you he gets frustrated himself and starts pointing out to you your weaknesses. Instead of giving you a hug and trying to make you feel better, all that you hear are his sarcastic remarks “You are such a cry baby” or “Come on, get your sh*t together”. That’s totally not what you want to hear.
The worst part is that his mood swings are totally unpredictable. Anything can throw him out of balance and cause his fury: a bus that came 5 minutes late, a restaurant that was closed when you arrived or coffee that was served too hot.
Sometimes he even blames you for his own life choices or the consequences of them such as gaining some weight. When you subtly hint at him that you always suggest ordering a salad instead of fries in the restaurant, it infuriates him beyond words and he concludes that you should stop going to the restaurants altogether.
He controls your life
Even though his life seems far from perfect, he feels he has a right to say what you should or shouldn’t do with yours. While he’s been watching Youtube at work all day every day and that is the reason why he hasn’t advanced in his career, he nags you that you are wasting your potential with your corporate job, meanwhile, you’ve been promoted to a senior position recently. He is opinionated and he has high standards for everything apart from those of his own life.
When you have some ideas about the activities to engage in, be it a new business opportunity or a hobby, he is always skeptical and does not support you. He sees the negative side of things and he doesn’t believe you can succeed. The doubt creeps into your head and you get discouraged of pursuing your dreams and ambitions.
You feel like a puppet in his hands and every time you try to resist him pulling your strings, he still finds a way to do it. He might even make you believe that you are not worthy without him and he defines the whole purpose of your life. He criticizes you for the choice of your food, clothes or friends as well as for your suggestions or opinions on certain things. Your confidence slowly vanishes until it totally disappears.
No wonder you long for the days when you felt strong and independent, but the false sense of security while being with him holds you back from making a decision to cut off the ties. Loneliness is what scares you the most and the current connection seems like the only tangible thing that you have.
Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction. Take a step aside to reflect it all. Book a weekend getaway with your best friend. Make a list of things you always wanted to do that you sacrificed for the current relationship. Create a vision board of your dream life. Is this relationship – a part of it? If the answer is no, take a leap. You deserve only the best things in life and you can have them.