20 signs that you should give him the heave-ho
As an app is launched to tell you if you should dump your partner, Tanya Sweeney lists her tips to decide if he's the one -- and there's not a smartphone in sight
Once upon a time, mobile phones were used for calling and texting other people.
Now smartphones are so ... well, smart, that they've taken on a new role as relationship counsellor. If you don't know whether to love him or leave him, help is finally at hand.
A brand new app helps users decide whether to break up with a partner. If you've reached a point with your friends where they're sick of your relationship woes, the answer to the big question could literally be at your fingertips.
The app provides an online diary and rating service, which is then analysed and displayed in a graph after two weeks.
The graph produces the highs and lows of the relationship based on the diary entries and mood ratings (measured by 'neutral', 'bad' and 'worst') so the user can see whether or not the relationship is making them happy.
"We're quick to forget or dismiss past feelings that don't fit in with our current mood, which is why seeing larger patterns can give you insight you might not have in the moment," says the app's creator Sarah Gray.
"Sometimes, we need an objective voice to help us appreciate a good thing or accept something painful. And this app helps us tap into the best voice of all ... the one inside ourselves."
Yet, truthfully, we don't need the appliance of science to let us know when the writing is on the wall. Here are the deal-breakers, red flags and relationship no-nos that put you in no doubt as to whether you should stay or go.
1 He comments on your weight. Any guy that makes a disparaging remark about your size -- even in a 'constructive criticism' or 'I'm on your side, here' way -- should be shown the door. He's not into you for who you are; he is trying to mould you into the woman he believes he deserves.
2 You don't get on well with his family. An unlikely one, this, but harmony with the in-laws is a crucial ingredient in any harmonious union. "It's a mistake to think you can exist in isolation, or that you can take him away or rescue him from his family," says relationship counsellor David Kavanagh. "To work out in the long term, getting on with the family is crucial."
3 He has a wandering eye. If you notice him checking out other women in your company to the point that he risks whiplash, what is he like when you're not around?
4 You don't actually get on well with each other: "Compatibility should be valued over chemistry," observes David. "Familiarity should take precedence over 'signs'. I often ask the couples who come in for pre-marriage courses, and it's very hard for them to ascertain why they're marrying the person they are. But most of the time, it's about recognising that this person can offer you more than anyone else can."
5 Infidelity. It's the ultimate red flag. And so to the big question: can a bad boy ever be tamed? Like an alcoholic, he is only one kiss away from cheating. If his past is peppered with women scorned, you could be looking at a romantic dead end.
6You are bound together by tension and a battle of wills. "There should also be a lot of fun in the relationship and the person should be able to talk to and listen to you," reveals David. "If neither of those things are there, it's not the relationship for you."
7 He talks a lot about his ex. If he shoehorns his ex's name into casual conversation, he simply might not be ready to commit fully to someone else.
8 He's rude and mean-spirited to other people. If he's impatient and disrespectful to others, it's only a matter of time before he turns this malignant quality on to you.
9You have different aspirations and life goals. It's all very well if he lives at home, makes Star Wars art and has no immediate plans to 'work for the man'. If, however, you are looking for a life partner, it helps if you have the same opinions on where you're headed. "People don't talk much about values but you need to know what he thinks of work, money, having a big house, education, that kind of thing," advises David.
10 He's stingy. Showing up on one date without a wallet is unfortunate, twice is plain careless. If he doesn't even bother to make that semi-embarrassed pocket-checking gesture after a meal, you have a cast-iron dud on your hands. And if you stump up the funds all the time, he will only take you for granted down the line ... and not just financially.
11 He asks to do things in bed that you're not comfortable with. Call it experimentation if you will, but if he is acting out and simply asking you along for the ride, chances are he's in this relationship on his own.
12 He's violent. Sounds obvious, but many women find themselves in a relationship with someone who will put his fist through a wall in a 'fit of passion'. Sorry people ... but that's not passion. It's a problem.
13 You're simply sexually incompatible: "There's not enough emphasis on what a healthy sexuality is. It's not about swinging from the chandeliers; it's more about connection," notes David. "It's very important to address problems that arise sexually early on. You'll fall out of love very quickly if you want something sexually different from your partner."
14 He has a tenuous grasp of the concept of hygiene. If you're willing to put up with the lack of showering/teeth brushing/hair washing, you're a hardier woman than most. But, mark our words; the novelty will soon wear off. Those noxious fumes won't.
15 He has made you cry (and they're not tears of happiness). Whether he has made you upset, overly emotional or frustrated, relationships are not meant to be depleting.
16 He doesn't respect your boundaries. If he shows up unannounced at your 'girlie night', he doesn't trust you (which often means that he doesn't trust himself). And, if he expects you to break plans with others just for him, you're definitely dealing with Mr Wrong.
17 He doesn't want kids and you do (or vice versa). Most people feel they may be able to 'negotiate' on this point further down the line, but everyone has very strong, often unyielding beliefs around this topic. If you're both pulling in different directions, it's unlikely that one of you will back down.
18 He doesn't regard you as his girlfriend. If he only ever sees you on Wednesday nights at midnight, or when he's at a loose end, you are not high on his list of priorities. People in relationships share their lives. But if you're not sure if you're his girlfriend, chances are he doesn't think so, either.
19 You have a lack of chemistry. Chemistry fades, but most couples need the violent shove of a passionate crush to get the romance up and running. In a recent survey, women using the dating site eHarmony have put chemistry as the second must-haves in any functional relationship (after a sense of humour).
20 It's not easy. Very simply put, the right relationship will make you a better person and enhance your life. "If it's too much hard work all the time, he's not the one," warns David.