How To Identify A Relationship That's Going Nowhere, Then Run Away

by Megan Grant

I’ve had a solid decade to make the dumbest choices I possibly could when it came to men. This is no easy task. It takes sadly low standards, horrible judgment and a major lack of self-esteem.

Unfortunately, I’m not alone.

We can’t change the past, but we can learn from it. Before you get your panties in a twist, keep in mind that I know there are exceptions to every rule.

Still, if you’re in the world of dating and happen to get involved with one of these guys (or girls), you might consider stopping what you’re doing, setting them on fire and running away quickly.

“I swear, baby. It’s really you who I want.”

Sneaky dates at random locations, sitting in the booth in the back in case someone you know walks in. Lengthy excuses as to why he can’t see you. Heartfelt requests to “just be patient – it’ll be over in a week.”

Well, hate to break it to you, but there is rarely ever a happy ending when you’re The Other Woman.

If he didn’t want to be with her, he wouldn’t. If he said he wanted to break up with her, he would. The reason he’s still with her, while keeping you on the back burner? You’re the backup, the just-in-case, the vacation from his troubles when his number one is giving him a hard time.

You don’t understand it; you’re smart, beautiful, loyal and kind-hearted. Why does he only want you when it’s convenient for him?

Because he doesn’t understand it. And guess what? It’s not your job to teach him. You think he’s worth waiting for? Sorry. If he knew your worth, he wouldn’t make you wait.

And this is important: No matter how much you like him and no matter how innocent you feel, you are part of the reason another girl out there is getting cheated on. Let’s stop doing this to each other.

“I’ve never wanted to sleep with a virgin. They get attached.”

“Virgins have asked me to be their first, like, four times already.”

This guy is famous! Virgins have asked him to devirginize them before because he’s the best devirginizer in the whole wide world. He never wanted to do it, though, because, “Uh, yeah. I dunno, dude. I just wouldn’t want you to get attached.”

Ya hear that?! Captain Devirginizer doesn’t want you to get attached! Meaning he doesn’t want you to stick around. Meaning he doesn’t want to stick around. Meaning he doesn’t care.

You’re fortunate; this guy laid it out for you upfront.

But, you should definitely sleep with him anyway.

“I’m fine. I was over her long before we broke up.”

They called it quits three minutes ago, but he’s totally okay. He swears their relationship was long dead; his feelings were gone; he’s ready for you.

But, don’t be fooled. There’s only one word that adequately describes what you’re about to become: r-e-b-o-u-n-d.

One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions of rebound is “to spring back on or as if on collision or impact with another body.” Fill in the blanks. He made impact with another body (his girlfriend) and on the way back, he grabbed you.

He’s not in his normal state of mind. You’re his distraction from the heartbreak he was left with that he’s desperately trying to avoid. He’s vulnerable and emotional. Does this mean he could genuinely believe he’s in love with you, even if he really isn’t? Yes.

Does this give you an excuse not to be cautious? No. He could be totally innocent. He could also be fighting to win the adrenaline-rushing game of "I moved on first" between him and his ex. Don’t you deserve a guy whose attention is 100 percent on you?

“I promise: Only one, tonight.”

Have you ever gone on a date with him that didn’t involve alcohol? Does he become suspiciously more comfortable toward the end of the night? Don’t make excuses for him.

Sure, he works hard and wants to decompress at the end of a long day. So does everyone. Doesn’t he want to be sober so he can fully enjoy how awesome you are?

You become the designated driver every night. The first time you try to have sex — in fact, nearly every time you try to have sex — ends in failure, as he is too drunk for his soldier to even stand at attention. Five minutes later, he’s asleep.

Countless fights erupt in his driveway because you tell him he’s drinking too much and he tells you that you just don’t understand him. I guess it’s your fault.

Except, you’re better than that. Because you care for him, you’ve become the DD, the crutch and the enabler. You're the one who rescues him every time the Jack-Daniel’s-infused sh*t hits the fan.

You have better things to do with your time. Where are you standards? Love yourself!

“This is NOT a vacation. You CAN’T pay.”

It’s a strange dynamic; he’s kind of cheap and always complains about money, yet every movie, dinner, event you attend, the road trips you take and the things you buy, he won’t let you pay for a cent.

One day, you’re out for dinner, and you absolutely insist on picking up the check. He becomes angry and frustrated. He snaps, “This is NOT a vacation. You CAN’T pay.”

What does he mean, “vacation?” If we’re not here for pleasure, then we’re here for… business? Hate to break it to you, but the reason he doesn't want you to pay is not because he loves doing it himself; it's because he’s deducting you as a business expense.

Yikes. That’s humiliating.

“You are the most beautiful woman in the world. How did I get so lucky?”

He worships you. He spoils you. He gives you the world. You’re his one and only and he gets sincere pleasure out of bragging about you to anyone who will listen. He makes time to be with you and you’re always a priority. He encourages you and supports you and admires you.

Here’s the catch: There isn’t one.

You finally got this one right. It's about damn time.