I’m sure you’ve had loads of dating tips about winning the man or woman of your dreams. You may even be an expert at spotting the signs of genuine interest from a mile away. But what happens when the spark starts to fade?
Have you ever spent time with a couple where it was obvious that one half of the couple was just itching to get away and the other half was completely oblivious to the fact? What if, scary thought, you are the oblivious one? How do you identify the difference between a true lover and a fake lover? Are you mistaking what you think are signs of genuine interest for what is actually a rapid cooling off or even behaviour to cover up an infidelity?
There’s surely nothing more damaging to your self-esteem than finding out the partner you thought was your dream date can’t wait to get away.
So, to ensure you can keep your head held high and your heart intact, check out the list below the next time you are on a date or spending time with your lover.
Whilst the signs of genuine interest are often easy to recognise, spotting when things are cooling rapidly can be trickier because, so often, we don’t want to admit what is happening right before our eyes.
Here’s how to spot the signs of a love that’s definitely past its sell-by date.
1. They are frequently late for dates.
2. You have to chase for a follow-up date.
3. They never phone when they say they will.
4. They always text and never phone.
5. They are always on their phone – even on dates.
6. They are always ‘working late‘ or have to go for a drink after work far too often.
7. They never talk about you as a couple. It’s always ‘I’ and never ‘we‘.
8. Months on and you still haven’t met their relatives or close friends.
9. They are not making future plans with you.
10. They don’t like holding your hand in public. Public displays of affection are definitely out.
11. They never take you anywhere new.
12. They forget your birthday.
13. Valentine’s day is a “load of commercial rubbish” they refuse to acknowledge.
14. They never want to dance with you.
15. When they do dance with you they’re eyeing up the rest of the room.
16. Women you’ve never met or even heard of greet them in a way that just a tad too familiar when you’re out together.
17 They try to check your behaviour. A bit too lairy when you’ve had a drink? They’ll be telling you to shush.
18. They don’t want to linger over coffee.
19. They always have to leave early because they have an urgent appointment next morning.
20. They would rather watch TV than go out
21. They flirt openly on the basis that ‘they’re just being friendly and are like that with everyone’.
22. They don’t hold doors open for you or help you with your coat.
23. If you’re ill they say “oh dear, I’ll catch up with you when you’re better then“.
24. They never offer to pay. Or expect you to pay for everything.
25. They criticise your appearance or weight.
26. Their clothes are always immaculately ironed but you’ve never seen an ironing board.
27. There’s a strange white patch of skin on an otherwise tanned wedding ring finger!
28. They smell of a different perfume.
29. They always pay by cash (card payments can be traced).
30. They always take you to out of the way restaurants and pubs where you don’t know a soul.
31. When you stand close together, their feet are pointing away from you, ditto legs when they sit cross-legged.
32. If you feel instinctively in your gut they’re not really interested, you’re probably right.
Are there any others you’d add to this list? Remember. You deserve someone who loves and values you just as you are. Don’t put up with anything less.
If you do spot any of these behaviours, it’s time to have ‘the talk’. Stay calm, address your worries and be specific. Giving examples is much more useful than vaguely saying “you just don’t pay me enough attention”.
We teach others how to treat us and if you think there may yet be some mileage in your relationship, it’s time to take action and to set some expectations and boundaries to keep things on track.
You’ll find more dating advice on my weekly problem page.