Romantic encounters can last until “death do you part”…or, alternatively, one night. But for lengths of time in between, your goal is to separate the girl who should stay from the rest who should go. To help you weed out the bad seeds, our experts break down the actions that signify she’s simply not worth your time. Wouldn’t you rather hit the gym or hang with the guys than put up with this BS? Yeah, us too.
1. It’s always about her
You got a promotion (score!), and your lady wants to talk about the Kardashians. Sound familiar? When you’re excited about work or life goals, but she’s switching the subject to involve her interests, she doesn’t care about you. “This is a sure sign she is selfish,” says Jonathan Alpert, psychotherapist and author of Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days. “If this is the case then jump ship now, and save yourself the trouble of being involved with someone who isn’t caring.” (Hint: If she gives a damn, she’ll ask follow-up questions).
2. You have different values.
Opposites attract, but not when it comes to values and world views. As a die-hard Yankees fan, overcoming her love for the Red Sox might be sports suicide. But other issues prove to be more problematic, like ”if you have different religions and this can’t be reconciled, or if you have different ways of managing money and expenses,” says Alpert, who insists these dissimilarities can lead to complications.
3. She’s too busy
Work can be demanding, family matters need attention, and errands must be run, but if the lady in your life is constantly MIA, it’s time to break it off. “When a woman is interested in a man, she makes time for him,” says Brooke Carsner, owner of Intuitive Matchmaking. “When there is always some other person, some event, some commitment that is taking up more of her time, that is a clear indication that you are not as high on her priority list.”
4. She name-drops her ex
It’s bad enough to hear about one ex-file, but an entire encyclopedia worth of info? No thanks. “This means that she has not grieved him, and you are in danger of being the rebound boyfriend,” says Todd Creager, a licensed marriage and family therapist. “She is using you to escape her pain, rather than choosing you out of desire.” Getting a little history on her most recent relationship, to gauge if enough time has passed since her ex, is acceptable, as it’s important to ensure she’s had space to be alone.
5. Initiating contacts is one-sided
Women appreciate men who make the first move, but if she’s legitimately interested, she will reach out in due time. “There should be a balance of communication initiation by both parties if there is truly attraction and mutual interest,” says Barbie Adler, founder and president of Selective Search, a professional matchmaking service. “Communication is a two-way street.”
6. The relationship is hot and cold
Kind of like that overplayed Katy Perry song, but in real life. She’s nice and then not-so-much—and it’s always your fault. That’s not fun. “Some women have been socialized to believe that they have to torment a man before he’ll value her, says Judith A. Swack, a relationship specialist at the Boston Center for Adult Education. She explains the flawed thought process: “If he puts up with her and stays with her, it proves that he’s the right man.” Don’t put up with the games—unless you like to lose.
7. She’s changed since you started dating
Oh, that awkward moment you realize your “hockey-loving” lady friend doesn’t know what a puck is. “Most people start out a relationship trying to be on their best behavior. If your girlfriend was putting on an act to get you to like her, she won’t be able to keep it up,” says Swack. “Eventually her true personality will come out. Don’t keep hoping that her act was the real her and wait for her to bring it back.”
8. You aren’t your best self with her
If her habits make you want to scream, she points out your flaws, and she brings you down, she isn’t going to help you grow. “If you fight a lot and feel irritable, drained, defensive and never good enough, she’s not for you,” says Swack. The point is to be happy. “When the first thing out of her mouth is a complaint, [you] begin to dread what she has to say,” adds Risky Listing realtor Jason Lewis.
9. The damsel in distress needs a saviour
Feeling like Superman can be a rush, but it’s not your job to save her from her own problems. “If you meet someone who acts helpless, needy, and dependent or is wounded or mentally ill, she needs support and therapy,” says Swack. “As much as you may like the idea of being her hero, that kind of relationship is not really a partnership, and gets old really fast.”
10. She’s unfaithful
Game over. Time to move on—ASAP. “There can be no love without trust. Biologically, human beings pair bond for life,” says Swack. “If she cheats on you, the trauma is so bad that it will break the connection.”