6 Signs He’s About To Dump You

Are his pals much more present lately? Are those new shirts in his closet? Heed the sometimes subtle warning signs!

By Lisa Lombardi

e can all agree on the obvious signs your sweetie wants out—like he swaps that wallet photo of you with one of his Mom—but what about the more subtle signs? Spotting them is the key to surviving with your pride—and possibly even your relationship—intact. “Instead of closing up when we’re afraid a romance may be ending, we need to force ourselves to be open,” says Maya Talisman Frost, owner of Real-World Mindfulness Training. “In many cases, open communication can prevent a downward relationship spiral, so pay attention, and watch for opportunities to connect.” Here are six early clues you’re about to get dumped:

Warning sign #1: Your dates morph into group outings
Has he started inviting a few friends—or a few dozen—along when you go out? He may be trying to tell you something, says Matt Kennedy of Orlando, FL. “When I want to end a relationship, I’ll invite my buddies along with us to movies, parties and dinner,” he
You tell a joke; he rolls his eyes. You ask what he’s doing Friday, he snaps, “Why are you pressuring me?”
explains. “That way it becomes more of a group thing instead of a date.” And even more telling than the size of the crowd is the way he acts in it. “If he’s more flirtatious with other women, making you feel extraneous, or he scans the room instead of focusing on you,” he may be ready to move on, says Debbie Mandel, author of Turn On Your Inner Light.

Warning sign #2: He’s Mr. Extreme Makeover
It’s an old wives’ truism for a reason: A person who’s cheating suddenly wants to look better, says Lisa Daily, author of Stop Getting Dumped! “So if he was a blue button-down shirt and chinos kind of guy and suddenly he’s wearing Armani, that’s not a good sign,” she adds. But hey, new threads and a six-pack abs doesn’t mean he’s getting some on the side—just that he’s open to the idea. “What most of my guy friends say is that when they’re not into the relationship anymore, they’ll work out and buy new clothes because they’re looking to impress women,” says Janelle Nicolo of Beverly, MA. “Since most men in relationships get comfortable and ‘let themselves go,’ when your man starts taking better care of himself, he may well be contemplating replacing you.”

Warning sign #3: He’s cranky and critical
You tell a joke; he rolls his eyes. You ask what he’s doing Friday, he snaps, “Why are you pressuring me?” You complain about your boss, he sides with her! What gives? “When there’s a lot of contempt in the relationship and he’s suddenly critical and judgmental, that’s a warning sign,” says Diana Kirschner, Ph.D., author of Opening Love’s Doors. Sometimes when a man feels unhappy but powerless, he’ll act out (kind of like a two-year-old who doesn’t want spinach). Yes, you’re the spinach in this scenario, but don’t take it personally: He is jumping down your throat for absolutely no reason. Remember that you deserve to be worshipped, not tortured, by your man. And dating is supposed to be fun.

Warning sign #4: Something’s different in the bedroom...
Definitely note if he has a new bag of tricks, says Daily. But it’s zero interest in intimacy that really spells trouble. Because, let’s face it, guys aren’t usually the ones who are too tired or busy to get busy. “A dramatic decrease in sex can mean two things: He or she wants to avoid any situation where she might have to express emotion or attachment to you—or he's getting it somewhere else,” says Daily.

Warning sign #5: His body language says “get me out of here”
You know those guys who three days before they dump you say, “You make me so
Wondering why it took him a day to respond to your e-mail when he used to IM you back in ten seconds?
happy” or “We should get our own place together”? We all want to kill them, but the good news is there is a way to see it coming—just check out his body language. Watch for the one-shoulder hug, a sign he’s “distancing” in the relationship, says Daily. Patting your back while hugging you is another bad sign, because it shows he’s uncomfortable. Also, check to see if he’s looking up and to the left as he proclaims his devotion to you. According to private investigators, a guy who does this is lying: The look left shows he’s using the “creative” side of his brain, says Daily—a good indicator he's telling you a whopper.

Warning sign #6: He’s hard to reach—in every sense of the word
Check all that apply: Do you find yourself calling him more than you used to? Wondering why it took him a day to respond to your e-mail when he used to IM you back in ten seconds? Has he cancelled more than one date in the last month because he’s crazed at work? Changed the subject when you brought up a “we” topic—from where to go Saturday night to whether to live together? Sounds like he has outta-here intentions, says Kirschner.

To tell if he’s just genuinely busy or getting ready to break free, tune in to how you feel about his lack of time, says Nicole E. Marquez of Tempe, AZ. “For a month or so before my boyfriend broke up with me at lunch—just like George on Seinfeld—there was a dark cloud over the relationship,” she recalls. ”It was like a sense of impending doom. I think with relationships, your gut feeling is always right.”

Bottom line: If any of these clues rings true, try talking to your guy, says Talisman Frost. Let him know that you want to hear whatever he’s thinking—the less judgmental your tone, the more likely he’ll be to truly open up. In some cases, just being able to vent his relationship anxieties may relieve them. At the very least, by speaking up you gain some ownership of the breakup, making you feel less like a victim and more like the mastermind of your own love-life happiness.

New York-based writer Lisa Lombardi has contributed to Redbook, Cosmopolitan, and other magazines.
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