Dating and Relationship Advice – 18 Common Gestures From Men That Are Warning Signs – Part 1

There are few feelings worse than being hit by a totally unexpected, out-of-the-blue breakup. You thought things were going so well. There were no signs that your partner was unhappy in the relationship… Or so you thought. Often, hindsight shows us that the clues were there all along. He’d been a bit distant, but you’d dismissed it as him being tired or busy. He’d seemed to look a bit bored when you were telling him about your day, but you’d convinced yourself you’d imagined it. It’s only after the breakup that you realize the warning signs weren’t imagined at all: they were there all along.

Question is, can spotting the signs of a damaged relationship prevent you from eventually breaking up? If you can pick up on little gestures from him early enough, you might be able to talk things through before he decides to call time on your relationship. While addressing them might seem scary, speaking up is a whole lot better than finding yourself unexpectedly single! Thing is, these little clues are often hard to recognize – or are easy to dismiss as ‘nothing too serious’. Here are some of the common gestures from men that suggest your relationship could be in trouble.

18. He Suddenly Wants To Talk More… But Not About The Important Stuff

When you’re in a long-term relationship with someone, it’s likely that you’re going to have moments of companionable silence. You know each other so well and are so comfortable in each other’s company that you don’t feel the need to fill every quiet moment. You’re happy enough to just be in each other’s presence – the constant conversation of the getting-to-know-each-other phase has died down. If your partner is suddenly unwilling to allow silence to prevail, it could be a sign that he’s unhappy with your current relationship. If he’s constantly blabbering about inane things when he’s usually the strong and silent type, he might be betraying feelings of nervousness or guilt. He might be trying to avoid talking about important things by chattering about everything else under the sun. If so, it’s time for you to ask him to slow down and tell you what’s actually on his mind.

17. You Used To Cuddle In Bed, But Now He Pushes Himself Away

We all know that it’s not feasible for a couple to fall asleep cuddling every single night. If you’re one of the rare few that do, that’s fine! You do you! However, it’s not always a practical sleeping position. N0t using it isn’t an immediate sign that he doesn’t love you anymore – unless it represents a radical shift in behavior. If you’re used to snuggling up before going to sleep and he suddenly starts to brush you off without explanation, it’s a bad sign. While passively moving away from a cuddle is often totally normally, choosing to reject one is a whole other matter entirely – especially if your relationship otherwise seems strong. Physical intimacy is an important aspect of any relationship, even if it’s something as simple as a night-time hug. If he’s suddenly denying you that closeness, it could be a sign that your relationship is damaged.

16. He Starts Buying You Gifts Out Of Nowhere, Even Though It’s Not His Thing

This is a classic expression of guilt that can be a huge warning sign in any relationship. That’s not to say that your man buying you a gift is always a clue that something terrible is about to happen to your relationship. Maybe he was just feeling especially generous that day! However, if you start getting frequent and unexpected gifts alongside some of the other gestures on this list, it could well be a bad sign. He could have realized that his feelings for you aren’t that strong anymore, and is trying to overcompensate with gifts. He could be trying to sweeten you up in a misguided attempt to make you feel ‘better’ before dumping you. In extreme cases, extravagant gifts could signify guilt over cheating, either physically or emotionally – especially if you’d previously agreed that gifting wasn’t really your ‘thing’ as a couple. It might be time to ask yourself whether his intentions are entirely good-natured.

15. He Randomly Asks If You Want To Go Through His Phone

If there’s one gesture that totally screams “this relationship is unhealthy”, this is it. If your partner randomly offers you the chance to go through their messages, it’s very unlikely that they have a positive reason for doing so. One explanation could be overcompensation: maybe they previously had something to hide on their phone, and now it’s been deleted they want to “prove” how trustworthy they apparently are. Alternatively, your partner could feel that you no longer trust them for no real reason, and is trying to rebuild the connection you once had. In extreme circumstances, it could all be a ruse intended to end the relationship. Maybe your partner wants to end things but doesn’t have the courage to do it himself. By having you ‘accidentally’ find a compromising message, he creates the perfect situation for you to finally break up. Whatever the case, if a guy actively suggests that you snoop through his phone, be more than a little bit concerned.

14. When You Talk, His Body Language Is Becoming More and More Closed

Never underestimate the power of being able to read body language. It’s one of the most important indicators of how a person is feeling, both about themselves and about you. In a healthy relationship, your partner’s body language should be open and welcoming. They should look comfortable in the way they hold themselves. Their body should be titled towards yours at when you’re together and their position might even mirror your own. Even if you’re not physically right next to each other, your partner should throw you a loving glance every now and again to show that they acknowledge your presence. However, an unhappy partner is unlikely to be doing any of these things. They may sit angled away from you and close themselves off with crossed arms or legs. They might actively avoid looking you in the eye, and they might shrink themselves to be as far away from you as possible. In this case, their body is trying to tell you that something is wrong – even if their mind hasn’t quite caught up yet.

13. When He’s Around You, He Constantly Seems Bored

Any relationship in which one partner displays constant and obvious boredom is quite clearly on the rocks. While it’s not feasible to expect someone to be constantly talking about how interesting and engaging they find you, at least some interest in what you’re saying or doing would be nice. They could even just feign interest to spare your feelings – let’s face it, we’ve all done it at some point in our lives. If your partner isn’t even bothering to try and hide his boredom while you’re together, he’s probably already emotionally checked out of the relationship. Things might be salvageable, but only if you find ways to spice things up between you – and fast. Find a shared hobby or interest, or make more of an effort to engage with each other. If you don’t, you could find yourself single before long.

12. He Once Found You Hilarious, But Now Can’t Even Crack A Smile

Similar to the obvious boredom issue is a barely-disguised sense that your partner doesn’t find you funny anymore. Having a shared sense of humor is a crucial dealbreaker for a lot of couples – you want to be able to have fun together. Often, though, once the honeymoon period is over the laughter dies down a little. This can be a sign that things aren’t going to work out between you and your partner. If making each other laugh is crucial to you and you can’t seem to do that anymore, it might be time to seriously evaluate where the relationship is actually going. If things have gone further than that and your partner can’t even manage to crack a smile in your presence, things really could be in trouble. Either your relationship isn’t making him happy anymore, or there’s something else going on in his life to get him down. In any case, a serious conversation needs to happen.

11. When You Bring Up Your Problems, He Automatically Rolls His Eyes

One of the most important roles of a partner is to support you when problems crop up in your life. It’s not a one-sided thing: you should be willing to do the same for him. However, if your partner suddenly isn’t interested in listening to your worries and issues anymore, he might not be as caring as you’d previously assumed. It’s especially an issue if he still expects you to listen to him complain about his problems, but totally shuts down whenever you do the same. Relationships are a two-way street: you can’t take someone’s emotional support and give back nothing in return. This kind of disregard for your feelings suggests that your partner simply isn’t interested in your happiness anymore. He just wants you there to massage his ego and act as a free therapist. If this sounds like you, don’t tolerate it. If he truly loves you, he’ll realize his error and try harder to take your emotions into account. If he doesn’t… Well, there are plenty more fish in the sea who might actually care about your feelings.

10. When You’re Relaxing Together, He Turns Away From You

For a lot of people, the most comforting and enjoyable part of a relationship is just being able to kick back and relax with the person you love. Even if you’re sat in companionable silence while doing your own thing, just having your partner there next to you can make the world of difference. However, your partner’s view of this chilled-out time can say a lot about how they see your relationship – especially if they suddenly don’t really care about having you around. If they get totally absorbed in their own hobbies to the extent that they ignore you for hours or even days on end, it could be that they simply don’t value spending time with you anymore. Even at times when you’re both quietly doing your own thing, there should at least be some kind of connection there – a slight touch, an occasional kiss on the cheek, even a smile. If that’s missing, it could be time to re-evaluate how happy your relationship actually is.

Tune in tomorrow at noon for the rest of the list!


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Rob and Laura – Thanksgiving – Food and Beverage Dilemma

I’ve been friends with Rob and Laura for a few years now. They’re a really cool couple and I love hanging out with them. They’re a smart good-looking pair that both have good jobs.

I’ve had lunch with Rob a couple of times in the last year but I haven’t seen the new house they bought recently.

So I was thrilled when they invited me over for Thanksgiving this year. They said it would be a small intimate affair.

The reason I entitled this post as “Food and Beverage Dilemma” was because that’s what initially was going to be the theme of this post. It certainly begins with that, but takes on a completely different turn later in the post. But I decided to leave the title the same because that’s all I want to remember of this Thanksgiving.

If you’ve been following phicklephilly, you’ll know how I feel about Thanksgiving these days. (See: Thanksgiving Tradition ) I’ve had tons of great thanksgivings in my life. My family was always big on Christmas, not thanksgiving. I get it. I’m very grateful for everything I have in my life, but I don’t need to stuff my head with tons of food that takes hours to prepare to feel that.

But when Rob and Laura invited me to their new home I really felt special. I was actually getting excited for Thanksgiving to arrive.

My buddy Church gave me a motherlode of liquor last year so I decided to re-gift a bottle of whiskey to Rob. (See: Church – 2014 to Present – The Motherload) It was a bottle of Westland American single malt whiskey. 90 proof and apparently very good. I also was going to bake some of my own chocolate cookies for the event. I figured bring them a nice bottle of something and some of my cookies for dessert.

A few nights before Thanksgiving, I was looking at the bottle and decided to look it up online to learn more about it before giving it away. This way I could talk about it at the table.

I find it online and it’s going for between $80 – $100 a bottle!

Wait a second. That’s really expensive. Am I prepared to part with a $100 whiskey? I need to rethink this. Shouldn’t I keep this bottle because it’s so valuable and just get them something else? Funny what money does to your mind.

Well I’ve got a few days. I’ll think about it.

I go into the salon and run my predicament by Achilles.

“Are you gonna drink it?”

“No. It’s too nice for me. I like my boxed wine and vodka that comes in a plastic bottle.”

“How much did you pay for the whiskey?”

“Nothing. It was given to me a year ago.”

“Well, if you’re not going to drink it, and you got it for free, why don’t you just give it to them and maybe they’ll realize that it’s expensive and reciprocate someday. But if not, you had a nice Thanksgiving with your friends.”

“You’re right. And I’m going to bake cookies.”

“Fuck that. Just buy a few gourmet cookies, put them in a paper bag and be done with it.”

“Yea. You’re right. That’s what I’m going to do.”

But the night before Thanksgiving I was still torn. I walked out of the salon after I closed and headed to the liquor store a block away. I got half way down the street and turned back.

Screw it. Achilles is right. I’m going to pick up some cookies at my local grocery store and pack up the bottle of Westland Whiskey for Rob and Laura.

Each one of those cellophane bags has two cookies in side so I’ve spent a total of eight bucks on Thanksgiving this year. Good to go!

The next day I did the long trek to Fairmont. It probably took over 40 minutes to get there. It was so nice to see Rob and Laura.

But they have a two year old son that was just up from his nap. I know Rob has been telling me about how challenging it’s been being a parent. They both have big jobs, the kid’s in day care all day, and when they get home they’re so exhausted from work they don’t want to deal with him.

I’m a parent and like my parents before me children are like intelligent puppies when they’re little. Those dogs need to be disciplined. A trained dog is a happier and more calm dog. And boys are tough. But once I’m there for awhile I realize very quickly this isn’t happening.

He’s a winey, wild, child. That must have worked and he knows when he does it they will yield to him. He’s like a little drunken tyrant midget. I even played with him on the floor for awhile with his animals and trucks and it was tough but I feel like no one’s doing that with him. He certainly lacks order in his life. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I’ve never raised my voice or my hand to my daughter Lorelei. But I was consistent in my words and deeds and brought order and calm into her life. She knew exactly where the fences were and still are.

But it’s just not happening here and it’s stunting this child’s social development.

I love Rob and Laura, but they need to get on the stick about raising this boy. It’s not his fault. He’s just an untrained puppy who sadly has got his parents by the short and curies and they need to take back the power and straighten this boy out. Just like my friend Marigold and her crazy kids. No one is disciplining these little monsters!

The child’s behavior ruined my Thanksgiving this year. I don’t have the will to go over there again if he’s there or even awake. Lunch or happy hour but adults only!

So in closing, my food and beverage dilemma wasn’t the problem at all. It took on a whole new form.


Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day 8am & 12pm EST.

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