“I want to see you tonight, even if it’s only for a few minutes.”
At first glance, this looks like a sweet thing to say. One might think a guy is so excited about seeing his crush that even the briefest of exchanges with her would be a gift. But this meant something entirely different when it was said to me in college during an ill-advised, drawn-out fling with a classmate/colleague. Though he’d give me all his attention on the rare, short-lived occasions we did see each other, he acted like I was a stranger whenever our work shifts aligned. He had no qualms bragging to the office about all the other women he was pursuing or planned to pursue, but no one knew he’d actively gone after me. He’d throw parties and invite everyone on staff but me, only to call long after the guests had headed home to see whether I could “stop by” real quick.
It might seem fun and maybe a little mysterious upfront, but being someone’s dirty little secret is a pretty lonely (and unnecessarily shameful) experience in the long run. You deserve to be with someone who knows just how lucky he/she is to be with you, so if any or all of the line items below apply to your life, run for the hills, ladies.
1. You never meet his friends
Sure you know of them, but he hasn’t introduced you yet. Meanwhile, your friends know every detail of your encounters with this guy. His buddies probably don’t even hear about you, and that’s not right.
2. He doesn’t talk to you around others
One-on-one, you’re his whole world, but when there’s an audience or just a handful of folks nearby, he doesn’t acknowledge you.
3. He calls at random times
Read: times that are only convenient for him. A major red flag, of course, is a dude who texts after 10 p.m. every once in a blue moon. At this rate, you’ll start seeing the dentist more often than this guy.
4. He brags about mingling with other people on social media, but never about seeing you
You see the pictures on Instagram, the Facebook photo tags, the suggestive tweets and status updates, etc. He wants the entire Internet to know about the supermodel he just met at a bar but would never in a million years flaunt you on social media. His loss, I say!
5. You don’t hang out in public
Holding hands, taking a stroll through the park, sharing a bottle of wine and pizza at dinner, or grabbing drinks at a bar were never in the cards for you two. He only wants to enjoy your presence in the comforts of his own home on his time.
6. He tells you to go home early so you don’t cross paths with his roommates in the morning
If anyone ever tries to get you to leave so the people sharing his living space won’t ask questions, you have to move on to someone new. You can only go up from here, and before you know it, you’ll wind up with a person who lets you stay as long as you’d like because he genuinely loves being next to you. As he should.