Except this is the real world, not a Disney movie. Things end. So if you recognise more than a couple of the following signs, the time may have come to man up and ship out. These are your giant, bullfighting-sized red flags. Get the hell out of there.
1) Her laugh starts to grate on you
That belly laugh you always thought was slightly manly but contagious now sounds like Janice from Friends. Every time it happens you have a strong visual of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh or the hyenas from the Lion King. Ain’t nobody got time for those animations floating around in their brain.
2) You’d rather go out with your mates than her
Once upon a time, all you wanted was one-on-one time. You hung on her every word and would have loved to be stranded on a desert island with her. Now you recognise all of her stories are on re-run and if you were in Tom Hanks’ situation in Castaway you’d much rather have Wilson the football as your friend than her. “Whenever she suggested hanging out, just the two of us, I would pretend I had promised friends to meet up as a group, then desperately call everyone to try and find some!” says Andrew, 35.
3) The way she eats starts to annoy you
“Conversation had totally dried up at the dinner table and I started to focus on her chewing,” said David, 28. “It was like it was on loud speaker and totally repulsed me.” You may have once wanted to lick that spaghetti sauce she slurped into her mouth and all over her face right off but now you just don’t tell her it’s even there. Because you don’t give a shit.
4) Your dreams are far too obvious
Your anxiety about your relationship situation affects your sleep. Duncan, 35, says, “I used to wake up in sweats after dreaming I was on a plane that had lost it’s engine. As the plane went down I looked out the window and saw things flying past the window: other women from my past, a ticking alarm clock, my mother shouting ‘What are you doing?!’.. You don’t need to call Mystic Meg to interpret that.”
5) You start to think you don’t want your children to look like her
You’ve had discussions about children in the past but these days the prospect makes you feel nauseous.”My ex named our children-to-be Victor and Hugo (she really didn’t recognise the weirdness of that combination..) I used to join in baby name convos but nearing the end of the relationship I would zone out thinking ‘If my children had your nose, I think I would top myself,'” admits Sam, 29.
6) You can openly admit to yourself you’re just too scared of her reaction
You’ve seen how she shouts at the waiters when they don’t remember to bring her salad dressing “on the side” and how she thought the extra onions came diced not sliced. Basically you don’t want to be a diced sliced side onion when she finds out you’re offskis. The fact you are scared about being an onion in the first place is not the sign of a healthy relationship. If this is what is stopping you, you need to man up and face the music. Unless you can’t win her in an arm wrestle – then we can’t help.
7) She’s miserable – all the time
If you start to notice her comments become more and more pessimistic, she is never hopeful or enthusiastic, rarely smiles, doesn’t want to do new things – this could be a telltale sign that you’re making her as unhappy as she is making you. “It turned out my girfriend hadn’t quite plucked up the courage to leave me. She was miserable and in turn making me miserable. Maybe this was a subconsious thing so I would break up with her…” Relationships are supposed to make your life better and everyday pessimism can drive you into the ground.
8) You find her in bed with your friend.