His ever-present ex should be a huge red flag to you right from the beginning. Ok, sure, it’s fine to remain friends with an ex, but to be in constant contact with them – particularly if the breakup has been recent – is dubious, to say the least. While you’re at it, check out his other friends. The measure of a person is the company they keep. Has he any interest at all in meeting the important people in your life – or does he want you for himself 24/7?
Late night texting, endless Facebooking, constantly checking his mobile when you’re talking to him – yep, all bad omens. Decisive action is required. In the first instance, challenge him; if you get nowhere – and worse still, outright hostility, then drastic action is needed: check out his browser history. It’s never pleasant to discover that your boyfriend is moonlighting as a human toilet on Recon, but it’s probably better to know before you share the bank account.
The eyes are the gateway to the soul – check his out on a regular basis. Is he just looking through you? Is there any sign of life behind that thick skull at all? This is all about feelings. If he’s closed off and refuses to acknowledge your emotions, then you’re in trouble. Oh, and the killer: he ignores your calls for days and then when he finally deigns to see you and you confront him, he flies into a squawking rage and makes out that you’re the psycho bitch.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? But a relationship solely based on hiding the salami can make you feel like little more than a blow-up sex doll. Does he only take an interest in you when he wants a good seeing to? Time to make it plain that you’re more than a landfill site. Take note of the way he behaves in bed, too. How much genuine intimacy is there? Does he even look at you as he pummels it home, or have you become little more than a glory hole in some basement sex dive?
Have you been reduced to just a page in his diary? Healthy relationships are about sharing: experiences, feelings, and time. While it may at first have felt exciting for him to surprise you with a grand gesture, it’s starting to become controlling and manipulative. And the surprises are perhaps a little less welcome as time goes on: long, romantic walks in the countryside which, just coincidentally, end up in an infamous cruising ground? It’s only a matter of time before he’ll be treating you to a Sunday afternoon down the local ‘health spa’ to bathe in a paddling pool full of baked beans – it’s ‘good for your skin, you know’.
One moment he’s all over you like the advanced stages of Syphilis, the next he’s as remote and disinterested as a Crystal Queen on a ferocious comedown. Does he get prickly when you ask him questions? Perhaps you’re just getting endless silence and shade – and the dreaded monosyllables when you dare to ask him how his day has been.
This is the most important one – and, let’s face it if Aretha Franklin says you can’t do without, then it would be sacrilege to say otherwise. Respect needs to be two ways – it’s all about value. If the balance is wrong, and he’s continuously acting like it is you who desperately needs him, then it’s time to walk away – because it’s only going to get nasty. Walk tall and proud – and call the shots.
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