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Dating

Warning signs

He's just got out of a long term relationship

The average length of a 'long term' relationship is variable at best, but we're going for 2 plus years as a guide. What's more important is whether he's single and emotionally available when he meets you.

Asking around MEN R US we came up with a completely unscientific guide of no proper dating for 2-4 months for every year a person has been in a relationship. So, a guy finishing a 5 year relationship might need between 10 and 20 months. This may seem a lot... or a little... but factors to consider include the quality of the relationship, how it ended (eg: a bust up by mutual agreement, or something in between) and the emotional maturity of the guy.

Complete bollocks maybe, but at least take away from this that when relationships end we need time to heal, clear some head space, and sort out life's practicalities before we start dating again. Forget this, and we catch guys on the rebound, or are rebounding ourselves.
And while you may be perfectly entitled to run for the hills when he says “We still live together but are not in a relationship” just bear in mind the practicalities of separation can take time, particularly if they've bought property together.

He's flirting and checking out other guys

It's quite amazing how subtle guys think they are when they're scoping out the restaurants, crowds, wherever, when in fact his eyes should be on you. Particularly when we are looking at someone, we can pick up the tiniest flicker of when someone is looking elsewhere. Trust your gut and gaydar on this.

Unfortunately, we can be remarkably forgiving when we're really into someone and think we've made a connection. Short answer is this guy is probably not for you, and it's not a good sign if you're looking for something longer term.

The worst though is when the guy has no interest in you whatsoever, is checking out other guys, and you're waiting patiently for the date to end. If you can do it, if you can pluck up the courage, say what you have to say and leave, head held high.

He wants to go to a bar

This can be a really bad sign and is it really a proper date if you are surrounded by a pile of other dudes, a high percentage of whom may/ will be cruising. Suggest you go for a walk, go for a wander, do anything else except stand in a bar.

He drinks too much too fast

There is nothing wrong with a drink or two but you don't want your date becoming rude, loud, clingy, violent or sick. For example, a bottle of wine between two over a meal sounds about right. Several bottles and/ or a stack of liqueurs with the dessert menu perhaps not so good. Also think about whether you are being actively encouraged to line 'em up and drink at a rate which is not comfortable for you. This stuff is tricky and subjective; what might be a lot for one person might be very little for another. In the end, it's your date.

He is rude to others

It's a surprisingly revealing trait if your date is dismissive or rude towards waiters, bar or theatre staff for example - often they don't realise they're doing it. His behaviour also shows you up by association and can be very embarrassing, particularly if you catch the staff's eye, both thinking the same thing: "what a dick!" It also begs the question how is going to treat you in a few months time.

He says he's 'discreet'

A guy who says he's 'discreet' may suggest he may not be out, or comfortable in his own skin, and/ or is embarrassed or fearful about being around others who might imply or indicate he's gay, or a type of gay person he thinks is unacceptable.

This may also indicate internalised homophobia which is when you take on negative messages given to you by society, culture or religion and you incorporate these into the way that you view yourself.

Don't be with anyone who is less than you want to be.

Sex

If he wants to have sex on a first date (or the first 2 or 3) then it's not dating, is it? A date should be just that, uncomplicated by sex and all that it entails. Either you've not been honest with him or he's not been honest with you.

He talks too much

If he does all the talking, this may mean he's more interested in himself than you and a relationship with him would be me me me! We are flattered and feel special if someone takes the time to listen, ask questions and draw you out. It is important that you both have a chance to learn about each other, but try and make sure that you are listening as much (or more) than you are talking.

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