Most guys know when they’ve found the woman they want to spend the rest of their lives with. But these men tell us when they realised they were dating the wrong one.
“She dissed my mother”
“I’d been dating Lisa* for almost six months when I decided to introduce her to my family. The meeting went well – my mother prepared a lovely dinner and spent an hour chatting with us – but the next day, Lisa told me that she couldn’t see herself getting along with the woman who raised me. When I asked her why, she said that my mum was ‘dowdy, boring and uneducated’. I felt so hurt. If that’s how she felt about my mother then I wanted nothing more to do with her. In an instant I went from seeing Lisa as one of the most amazing women I’d ever met to someone I didn’t want to associate with anymore. I ended the relationship that afternoon.” – Mark*, 28, finance executive.
“She told me that she still loved her ex”
“When I started dating Karen* she’d just come out of a relationship. I didn’t pressure her into a commitment, but after a few months, she told me that she wanted us to be together. Things were going well until I saw some lovey-dovey text messages from her ex-boyfriend on her phone. When I questioned her about them, she admitted that she still carried a torch for him. Then she had the cheek to ask me if I minded that she was still communicating with him! I told her that I wasn’t keen to compete with another guy for her affection and broke up with her the next day.” – Trevor*, 32, marketing manager.
“She told me that she was trying to get pregnant”
“I was really in love with Charmaine* and could definitely see a future with her. But I changed my mind when, about several months into our relationship, she told me that she’d stopped taking the pill because she wanted to have a baby. The minute she said that, all I could think was, ‘I’m not ready to be a dad’. But Charmaine told me she didn’t want to wait any longer. After much thought, I decided to stop seeing her because I wanted her to be with someone who could fulfil her wishes and give her the family that she so desperately wanted.” – Kelvin*, 36, computer engineer.
“It hit me how lazy and aimless she was”
“We don’t all have our lives and futures figured out, and that’s okay. But there’s one thing that really irks me, and that’s when a person doesn’t seem to care where his or her life is headed. My ex, Brenda*, was like that. At first I thought she was a cool person who went with the flow. But, over time, it became clear how lazy and aimless she was. She was always calling in sick to work, had no savings, had no long-term career plan, and didn’t bother keeping her apartment clean. The more I got to know her the more I felt bothered by her don’t-care attitude. After six months together I told her that I wanted to be with a woman who was a bit more serious about her life and who already had her act together.” – Colin*, 37, executive chef.
“She told me that she didn’t know how she felt about me”
“I thought that things between Carla* and me were going well. We’d been an item for about seven months and I was convinced that we’d make it to our first anniversary as a couple. But when I told her that I could totally see us getting married and having kids together, she replied, ‘I can’t’. I was stunned. Turns out she liked me a lot but wasn’t sure if I was The One. I felt like our whole relationship up to that point had been a lie. As much as I didn’t want to let her go, I knew I had to. I couldn’t be with someone who wasn’t as emotionally invested as I was in the relationship.” – Daniel*, 25, cabin crew.
“I caught her in a lie”
“Everything seemed to be going well with Tracy*. Even though we’d only been dating several weeks, I had a good feeling about her and was excited about getting to know her better. Then one day, while having lunch with my co-workers, I spotted her alone with a guy in a café. I was about to approach her when I saw her companion put his arm around her and kiss her intimately on the lips. Later that night, I casually asked her where she’d had lunch that afternoon. She told me that she just had a sandwich at her desk. But that was a lie and we both knew it. When I told her what I saw, she apologised for not telling me the truth. I dumped her right there and then.” – Matthew*, 28, scientist.
“I realised that she wasn’t supportive of my dreams”
“When you’re in a relationship with someone, you expect that person to support you through everything, no matter what. Unfortunately, Melinda* only cared about herself and neglected the things that were important to me. Two years into our relationship I received an offer to work overseas. I wanted Melinda to move with me and even promised to help her find a job so that she wouldn’t have to stay home all day, but she refused. In fact, she threatened to leave me if I accepted the job. I knew then that she wouldn’t make a great life partner. The job was important to my career and she knew it, yet she didn’t want me to have it. And if she couldn’t support my career ambitions, what more the important stuff?” – Steve*, 38, engineer.
“She hit me during an argument”
“I’d never known my now-ex-girlfriend to be violent or even aggressive, so you can imagine how shocked I was when she punched and kicked me one night during a heated argument. Although she apologised for it, her abuse really scared me. I forgave her in the end but decided that I couldn’t be with a woman who couldn’t control her temper.” – David*, 32, teacher.
“I found out that she’d slept with my friend”
“A few months into our relationship, Sarah* revealed that she’d had a casual relationship with one of my close friends the year before. When she told me that their relationship had been purely physical, I felt sick to my stomach. Call me a jerk, but how could I continue seeing her, knowing that my buddy had already enjoyed an intimate relationship with her? As much as I liked Sarah I knew that there was no way I could take her seriously anymore.” – Rick*, 28, writer.
“She started telling me what I could and couldn’t do”
“When Angie* started to act like she owned me, I knew I had to break up with her. For instance, she hated it when I went out with my guy friends and would call me every hour to check up on me, she didn’t like me spending time with my family, and she even tried to change the way I dressed and did my hair. When she came up with a set of ‘rules’ for me to follow I said, ‘It was great knowing you but you’re way too controlling and this is not the kind of relationship I want’.” – Michael*, 28, civil servant.
*Names have been changed