At 31 (shit, when did that happen?), I feel I'm at a place where I can share with some confidence a few handy "how to know it's time to break up" tips. I've been dating somewhat steadily since I was 13, and considering I've only had a couple of relationships last longer than a few months... well, you do the math.
Fun fact: I'm a commitment-phobe. Sometimes. I'm not sure I really want to commit to that label. Sometimes I'm all OMG YOU ARE THE ONE FOR MEEEEEEEEE. At least for a month or so.
Often, knowing I'm scared of relationships and might be too quick to judge harshly in an attempt to find a reason to run away (a la Seinfeld), I will let things slide that I probably shouldn't. I waver between "I definitely can't date this person because HOLY CRAP have you SEEN how long his 2nd toe is?!? I CANNOT LOOK AT THAT!!" and "no no, I need to be forgiving of his belief in chem trails! That's just a... quirk! I am such a judgmental bitch, and he is reeeally cute!"
So, a handy list for you, based on my own real-life experience! Because I love lists.
Hints that it is definitely time to say buh-bye:
1. He touches you, even accidentally, and you flinch away.
2. If he tries to talk sexy to you, your automatic reaction is to roll your eyes and/or vomit.
3. Being around him stresses you out so much, your eye develops a constant twitch.
4. ...after a while, the other eye joins the party. He insists it's because you're using dual monitors at work, ignoring the fact that you've been using dual monitors both at home and at work for, oh, 4 years now.
5. He blocks you on Facebook, but pretends nothing is amiss and gee, he just doesn't know how that happened. Isn't technology CRAZY?
6. You have to develop a sneaky, casual method of wiping your face off on his shoulder after he kisses you, because your neighbor's puppy slobbers less than that.
7. He only comes over at night, and you never actually leave your apartment, ever. Every time you suggest a date, he hedges and says he's really busy.
8. He has a picture of his ex-girlfriend on Facebook, with a caption reading "the LOVE of my life!!... still!"
9. "We can't go back to my place because... um... I live with my girlfriend.Um."
10. "I'm not looking for a relationship right now."
(yes - all of these have happened to me. stories to come!)