She said, "It's not you, it's me." Here's the truth--and why this will never happen to you again
It's the one-sided rejection and door-slam finality that bites. Things seem to be going swimmingly until she hits you with "Look, I like your hustle, but I just don't feel it anymore." Which, processed by the male brain, registers as "Get lost, loser." And you're left standing alone in the rain. The worst part? Most of the time, you don't even know why. You just know it hurts.
We surveyed more than 5,000 women in a MensHealth.com and Glamour magazine Web poll to find out why women dump men and what's going on in those vicious heads when they do. For starters, ignore her "It's not you, it's me" cliche
"Actually, it's you," said 40 percent. Only 4.8 percent said, "It's me." The rest said, "It's a little of both."
"Women don't enjoy ending their relationships," says Logan Levkoff, a Ph.D. candidate and New York City-based sexologist. "It's not a decision they make lightly." So why do they? Here's the rundown.
Watch Your Step
If you're always fighting with each other and the thrill is gone, be happy she beat you to the trigger. And if you're cheating, you deserve it, man. You can assume that's automatic grounds for dumping. Heck, 18 percent of women said they'd pull the plug even if you just kissed another woman, and 9 percent put chronic flirting on the must-dump-him list. So focus your charm on her, not the one over there.
"Cheating usually results in a dump by default, because you're never given the chance to have 'The Talk,'" says Kristina Grish, 28, author of We Need to Talk. But First, Do You Like My Shoes? Dress Codes for Dumping Your Man.
Other than that, if you don't want to get dumped, there are ways you can avoid it.
What's Your Father Potential?
61% said a man's potential as a husband and father was "extremely important." And 33 percent thought it was at least somewhat important.
"I broke it off with a man I was head over heels in love with because he just couldn't seem to get his life in order," says Nicole Beland, 30, the Men's Health Girl Next Door. "Everything about him screamed bachelor: the dirty futon that served as his couch, the extremely low balance in his bank account, the fact that he was still going out 5 nights a week. He didn't do the things a man would have to do to show he could be a good husband: calling me to make sure I got home safely when I was driving late at night, including me in his future plans, pampering me a little when I was feeling sick. Things like that. And he was 32."
Tip: Don't let it freak you out. "A lot of the qualities that create attraction in women are the same things that would make a man a good father: affection, trust, and communication skills," says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., a clinical sexologist and the author of She Comes First. "When guys think women are evaluating them as husbands and fathers, they're missing the point. It's really about quality of character."
Are You in for the Long Haul?
76% of women have considered dumping a guy in the first 4 months. Women know very quickly. "I've never gone on a third date with a guy I didn't end up staying with for 2 years or more," says Beland.
Then they give it a few months before reevaluating. "At the 4-month mark in every new relationship, I start to think about whether I want to continue dating a guy or break up with him," says Grish. "They're unconscious inclinations, but by then we've spent enough time together that I can't help but listen for the L-word or look for signs that indicate whether he's with me to have fun or because he actually sees a potential future together."
Around 4 to 6 months is a common transition point. "The early stages of a relationship are very exciting--all your sex chemicals are really firing in the brain," says Kerner. "After that, it becomes more about security and well-being. Some people have a hard time transitioning from the falling-in-love phase to the attachment phase."
Tip: If you're attached and committed, make sure she knows it. If you love her, tell her--and show her. Talk about the future with her in it. Give her a reason to stay, and she will.
How Smooth are Your Moves?
40% said a man had talked them out of dumping him. There's always hope, even on D day. "I was mid-dump with a man," says Anne, 24. "I told him I couldn't have a relationship with someone who was so closed off. He didn't say anything. After a few minutes, he started crying and explained that this was a problem he had with women. He said he wanted to try harder to communicate with me. His honesty and openness gave me hope, so I decided to stick around."
Tip: Magic words that convince a woman to stay: "I love you" or "I'll change." Sounds too easy, but hey, that's what the survey said. But don't say them if you don't mean them. "Truly take into consideration what she's saying and think about whether you can change these things," says Levkoff. "Sometimes you can; sometimes you can't. But don't sacrifice your own identity or you'll wind up unhappy."
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