Finding the right guy isn’t easy. Scads of self-help books, talk shows and magazine articles are dedicated to the art of finding, and keeping, a man. Even the most fiercely independent women can find themselves searching for Mister Right, then inadvertently scaring them away with these ten early-relationship snafus.
- Drop the Premature L-Bomb – One surefire way to send a great guy running for the hills is to introduce “I love you” before he’s ready. Those three little words strike fear into even the strongest of hearts during the early days of a relationship.
- Introduce Them to the Parents – Introducing a boyfriend to your family implies a heavy commitment, which might be too much when a love affair is in its infancy. Being cautious about staging a family meeting is the best way to avoid putting too much pressure on him.
- Suggest Moving In – The subject of cohabitation is one that’s best handled delicately; on top of the initial stress of trying to combine two lives into one space, there’s always the worry about how to proceed if things don’t work out. In order to avoid that potential disaster, a man might check out early if you press the issue.
- Start Dropping Hints About Weddings – Marriage can be a terrifying concept, even for a man who’s madly in love. Though you might think that subtle hints about popping the question are harmless, he may panic.
- Any Mention of Babies – Despite an inherent biological urge to propagate the species, the thought of actually becoming a parent is staggering for most men. Sometimes the mention of “baby carrots” or “Sugar Babies” is enough to put a guy on red alert.
- Become Clingy and Needy – A man who was initially drawn to you for your independence and strength will be immediately put off by displays of neediness. Resist the urge to stick to him wherever he goes; if he feels stifled, he’ll be gone before you even know there’s a problem.
- Talk About Your Ex – Mentions of past relationships are inevitable, and not usually a problem. However, if you’re constantly comparing him to an ex, even favorably, he may start to wonder if you’re really over them. No man wants to play second string, and he may opt to leave rather than compete with a former lover.
- Ask Too Many Questions About His Ex – Prying into his past or digging for details on an ex will almost always come across as insecurity. Even if curiosity is driving you to distraction, don’t be too nosy about old love affairs.
- Get Insanely Jealous – Just like being overly curious about his exes, becoming the Jealous Girlfriend smacks of insecurity. There’s nothing sexy about a jealous rage; in order to avoid the dramatic scenes, your guy may just leave.
- Start Nagging – The old cliché of the nagging wife is a staple of sitcoms and film, but it’s not cute in real life. There’s a vast difference between expressing your opinion and becoming a nag; you wouldn’t like to be on the receiving end, and he doesn’t either.
Pay attention to your sweetie’s body language and other non-verbal cues. If a subject makes him uncomfortable, it might be wise to wait a while before introducing it again. Everyone moves at their own pace, and we all have a tendency to balk in the face of pressure.