So there you are on your third date, struggling to make small talk over a lukewarm cappuccino and a too-small arugula salad, when you begin to hear (somewhere off in the distance) the dim, dolorous, barely perceptible sound of a tolling bell. As the gal you’ve been courting sighs vaguely and avoids your gaze, the tolling grows louder, and it reaches a Hunchback of Notre Dame-style crescendo as she yawns and glances at her watch.
Ask not for whom the bell tolls: It tolls for thee.
Okay, if you still have no idea what I’m talking about you’re a guy, after all, and guys aren’t very good at picking up clues here are some surefire signs that your sweetie is about to make you (very recent) history.
1. Her friends aren’t as friendly as they used to be. “Maybe she told her girlfriends she’s going to leave you, and the girlfriends have told their boyfriends and acquaintances,” says Py Kim Conant, author of Sex Secrets of an American Geisha. “All of them pull back somewhat, because they’re afraid you’ll somehow sense from them that something’s rotten in Denmark.”
2. She ups her weekly workouts. “If your significant other starts to increase her visits to the gym or adds a new workout routine, it may mean that she’s thinking of finding greener pastures,” says Tina de Lemp, president of B.Fit. “Often, women become lax with their workout schedules when they’re in a satisfying relationship.”
3. She’s not having as much fun you-know-where. “For guys, sex without love is not a new idea,” says Patricia from Florida. “But for a woman, it’s a big deal. Distance sexually means she’s pulling away, as opposed to a guy who can enjoy it passionately with someone he’ll never see again.”
4. She’s increasingly hard to reach. “If you’re playing voicemail volleyball with her too often, the fact is that she’s just not that into you,” according to Liz Kelly, author of Smart Man Hunting. “If a woman really wants to reach you, she will go out of her way to find the right time to call.”
5. She gives you that little pat on the back. “Watch out for this one,” warns Lisa Daily, author of Stop Getting Dumped. “A woman who pats you on the back while giving you a hug is indicating that she’s uncomfortable for some reason. The bigger the pat, the more discomfort she feels.”
6. Her hug is a little bit off. While we’re on the subject, Daily continues, “another important sign that things may not be going well is the amount of contact during her hugs. Full frontal contact is good, but the one-shoulder hug could be a sign that she’s distancing herself in the relationship. She may be pulling away, or getting ready to break things off.”
7. She stops criticizing you. This one may sound counter-intuitive, but, as Py Kim Conant says, “if she stops complaining about you leaving the toilet seat up, it may mean that she’s given up on the relationship, and has no energy to put into further criticism of you. In fact, she may not even notice the toilet seat any longer, since her focus is no longer on perfecting you.”
8, 9 and 10. She puts you off, she makes you mad, and she won’t let you kiss her. “Recently, I went out with a guy for a second date,” says Melissa from Chicago. “Before this, I tried to give him all the tell-tale signs that I wasn’t interested, but he persisted: He wouldn’t stop calling, he wouldn’t stop asking me out. So just to get him off my back, I agreed to go out one more time.
“During the date, to continue to show him I wasn’t interested, I brought up every taboo subject I could think of, and tilted my views toward the radical side: feminism, politics, religion, marriage, etc.”, says Melissa.
“When he dropped me off, I very clearly leaned toward the door away from him, and hopped out of the car as soon as possible to avoid the terrible good night kiss.’ After that, he finally figured it out!” My advice to my fellow single guys? Maybe take a hint and bail before things get that bad.