The guy you’ve been dating is great and all, but something doesn’t feel quite right. How can you know for sure whether he’s “the one,” though? For starters, trust your gut. It’s often on target.
But what if you don’t have the feeling that something is missing — and everything seems dreamily headed toward Happily Ever After? Then how do you tell whether he truly is Mr. Right or Mr. So Wrong It Isn’t Funny?
Here are nine signs he’s definitely not the one for you.
1. He’s a little too charming
If your man is the perfect Prince Charming, that’s a good indication that he’s faking it and isn’t husband material. “When your date is not at all nervous or awkward and never at a loss for words, it can be impressive,” says Tina B. Tessina, a licensed psychotherapist known as “Dr. Romance” and the author of the forthcoming Dr. Romance’s Guide to Dating in the Digital Age. “A polished approach is very attractive and pleasant, but there could be a downside. It may indicate a ‘professional dater’ who’s been single a long time, dated a lot and is highly practiced.”
2. He’s flaky
If your guy isn’t reliable and can’t be trusted to follow through on what he says he’ll do, that’s a sign he’s not the one. “When your phone calls are not returned or your date is late a few times or doesn’t show up at all, you are not being respected,” Tessina says. “Things will not improve later. If your date cannot be responsible, don’t make a commitment.”
3. He’s controlling
A man who needs to be in charge and get his way at every turn won’t make a good life partner because he isn’t open to another person’s input. “If you feel controlled by him, he’s crossing the line from being ‘gentlemanly’ to actually making decisions and choices for you,” says Jeanette Raymond, a licensed couples therapist and the author of Now You Want Me, Now You Don’t!.
Controlling men are often very suave at first, so beware. “A date who has it all together, can’t wait to see you again, phones frequently, sends cards or flowers and arranges things to perfection often feels very good, at first,” Tessina says. “The attention is nice, and you may not notice how your date has to have things go his way. Controlling people can be very smooth until you commit and bond, when the control can intensify. Be careful of the ‘too perfect’ lover.”
4. He’s too macho
If your guy has very set ideas about the role of men and women in marriage and beyond, watch out. He probably isn’t the one you’re going to tie the knot with. “If he has fixed and rigid expectations about the role of females in relationships and marriage,” that’s a sign he’s not the one, Raymond warns. “He presents a macho image on the outside but reveals a helplessness and dependence on the inside.”
5. He has money issues
Whether he’s cheap, a spendthrift or overly controlling with money, any financial issues are a giant red flag about your future with him. “If your date is wildly irresponsible or obnoxiously controlling, you’ll have a tough time working out the smooth financial partnership part of a committed relationship,” Tessina says. “A tightwad partner may make you account for every cent and fight you on every money decision. Someone who can’t control money can create a huge financial disaster, such as credit card debts, bankruptcy and foreclosure.”
6. He drinks a lot
Plenty of guys like to drink and can put quite a few away, so it can be tough to tell when it’s actually a problem. Tessina has some advice as to how. “If your date is able to drink a lot without showing it, it’s a sign of alcohol tolerance and indicates frequent and heavy drinking,” she says. “You may be dating an alcoholic whose drinking doesn’t show readily but who still has serious problems. More than one or two drinks in an evening or two glasses of wine with dinner should ring a warning bell.” So can out-of-control behaviors like depression, rage and frequently missing work.
7. Every woman he dated before you was a problem
Your man always seems to be talking about all the things his previous girlfriends did wrong and all the ways they were flawed, without mentioning his own mistakes or contributions to the breakups. Bad sign, says Tessina. “If your date’s past relationships didn’t understand, were unreasonable, addicted, selfish, crazy, mean or always at fault and your date takes no responsibility, you could be the next one on that list,” she says. “Every relationship disaster takes two. He should know what he could have done better.”
8. He doesn’t want to hear about you
It’s a good indication that the guy you’re seeing isn’t your future husband when he just doesn’t seem interested in hearing what you have to say. “If he doesn’t want to hear about your feelings and experiences — shuts you down, changes the subject, gets anxious when you show your vulnerability,” says Raymond, then he most certainly isn’t the one. That can often manifest itself in how attentive he is on dates. “Using a cellphone at the dinner table or leaving repeatedly to answer a pager is rude,” says Tessina. “Rudeness says your date doesn’t respect you enough to give you undivided attention.”
9. Your heart isn’t in it
It’s not a good sign for the future if you’re just not feeling it with your guy or if something seems off. “You find yourself doing things out of duty and obligation rather than desire,” says Raymond. And sometimes your heart is trying to send you a message even though your head is rationalizing the whole thing. “If your feelings are at odds with your thoughts about the person you’re with, your body’s reactions could be wiser than your thinking,” Tessina says. “Feeling tense, stressed or physically uncomfortable, intimidated, frightened, uneasy or inexplicably angry means your body is trying to tell you something. Honor these feelings, be cautious and go slowly — until the truth is revealed.”