• Maggie Niemiec

5 Questions That Will Help You Avoid a Dead-End Relationship

Photo Credit: Andrea Rose

There may be a point when you should call it quits yourself instead of choosing to stick things out.

I’ve been in my fair share of relationships. Relationships that, for one reason or another, are now over. And while my relationships have ended for a number of reasons, when it comes time for parting words there is one send-off I dread more than any—the all-too-common “I’m not ready for a relationship” breakup speech.

“I need to find myself first.”

“Things got very serious, very fast.”

“It’s not you; it’s me.”

“I prefer being alone.”

“I’m not sure I’m capable of love.”

You get the idea.

Rejection is a tough pill to swallow but most especially when the reason is that he simply doesn’t do relationships. Seems like something to mention on the first date, right? While I don’t regret any of my past relationships—they have, after all, taught me what I desire and deserve in a relationship—I still can’t help but wonder: Was there a point when I should have called it quits myself instead of choosing to stick things out?

Debra K. Fileta, M.A., LPC, author of the book and blog True Love Dates, helps shed light on five important questions you should ask yourself. Once you’ve begun dating seriously, ask yourself these questions—and if you can’t answer yes, it might be time to cut bait.

01. Do you share the same dating goals?

Shared intention is a basic foundation for relationships. If you desire something long-term, be honest about that.

“What does a date mean to you, and what does a date mean to him?” Fileta asks. “Is dating a series of casual get-togethers for dinner and drinks, or is it an interaction that’s moving toward the goal of commitment? If you’re not on the same page, someone will inevitably get hurt.”

Now, this doesn’t mean you need to tell him your desire to get married on date one. (In fact, you probably shouldn’t.) But a man who is interested in a serious relationship will be happy to hear that you are not just looking for a good time, and a conversation about your intentions will hopefully prevent confusion in the relationship moving forward.

02. Does he initiate spending time with you?

Another mark of a commitment-ready man is his ability to reach out to you. He should enjoy spending time with you and initiate it. If a guy is sitting back waiting for you to make all the plans, he may not see you as a priority. Pay attention to whether he makes you part of his life. A mature man is confident in the life he lives and will include you. Many women give too much without expecting much in return, Fileta says. A healthy relationship is one of equal give-and-take. Consider whether he gives you the time, attention, and energy that you need to feel cared for and prioritized.