Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

15 Signs Your Relationship Is Going Nowhere

dead end Inspired by this thread in the forums, I thought I’d write up a little list to help those of you in questionable relationships figure out whether you’re facing an eventual dead end. Keep reading for 15 signs your relationship is going nowhere.

1. Every time you broach the topic of your future together, he looks at some far off point behind you and says, “What’s that! Do you see that?”

2. You found an engagement ring in his underwear drawer once … three years ago.

3. His family lives ten minutes away and you still haven’t met them even though you’ve been together over a year.

4. When you suggest moving in together, he asks if there are any apartments with three-month leases available.

5. When you ask if he wants to go away for the Fourth of July weekend next week, he says: “Well, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.”

6. He still hasn’t accepted your friend request on Facebook.

7. Even though you live together, he refuses to make any joint purchases with you on household items saying, “What if we break up?”

8. It’s been two years and you’ve never spent a single holiday together.

9. You’ve been long distance for more than a year and still haven’t even discussed what your end date is.

10. He goes to his friends’ weddings solo because he doesn’t want you to get any ideas. Also, it’s easier to hook up when you don’t have a date.

11. He just got a tattoo that says “Bachelor for Life” on his forearm.

12. He thinks “engaged to be engaged” is an actual thing and when you ask when he’s going to finally propose, he says, “But you already know we’re engaged to be engaged!”

13. You used to have sex, but haven’t touched each other in months.

14. The best reason you can think of for staying together is that you have been together for so long.

15. You can’t remember the last time you had fun together.

36 comments… add one
  • GatorGirl June 25, 2013, 3:07 pm

    I dunno about #9. I know it’s anecdotal, but we didn’t have an end date for over 3 years…we actually didn’t have a solid end date until about 6 weeks before I moved. Neither of us could move, financially for me and grad school for him, so we couldn’t set an end date really until either he graduated or I got a new job in his city. Neither happened so I ended up quitting my job and hoping to wing it…luckily I was offered to work remotely. But yeah, we didn’t have an end date and it worked out.

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    • Addie Pray June 25, 2013, 3:17 pm

      Wait, does that mean you waited 3 years but if you had quit sooner to move to be near GatorGuy you would’ve been able to work remotely then? Man that’s kind of funny. Like what-a-waste-of-three-years-aggravating-funny, not necessarily haha-funny. I would have been pissed, then laughed hard.

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      • GatorGirl June 25, 2013, 3:21 pm

        Yup. Exactly what you said. It was super frustrating. I don’t know if they would have let me work remotely immediately, but probably after like 2 years. Oh well.

    • Wendy June 25, 2013, 3:12 pm

      You did have an end date then — his graduation or your potential job offer. An end date doesn’t have to be a specific date, but it does need to be a mutually agreed-upon general time in the not-too-distant future when you know the distance part of your relationship will come to a close. For you, you knew that the distance would end as soon as he finished school if not before. That’s an end date.

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      • Addie Pray June 25, 2013, 3:15 pm

        *OR* it means GG’s relationship is still doomed. Dun. Dun. Dun.

      • GatorGirl June 25, 2013, 3:15 pm

        Yeah, I guess I was taking it as a definitive date (like May 1) not a definitive end point. Yes, there needs to be a definitive end point.

      • kerrycontrary June 25, 2013, 3:22 pm

        Yeh we had a general end date of his next project, which was around 2.5-3 yrs of longish distance. I wouldn’t have done more. Luckily his project was in my area!

    • MMcG June 25, 2013, 7:54 pm

      I was feeling you GG on that one… fellow LDR with a southerner that led to marriage;)
      Its even harder when you have/had the date and then things things change, but it worked out for us so all good!

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  • bethany June 25, 2013, 3:32 pm

    Re: #6. Shit. My husband still hasn’t accepted my friend request!
    jk 🙂

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    • othy June 25, 2013, 5:11 pm

      Mr Othy doesn’t have a Facebook account, so he’s not my friend. It is probably for the best, if he realized how many cat videos I repost 🙂

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    • Jessibel5 June 26, 2013, 12:50 pm

      Off topic, but it took my brother 4 years to accept my sister’s friend request. He kept denying her request just to piss her off. It was HIGHlarious.

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  • bittergaymark June 25, 2013, 3:34 pm

    These are amusing… but a more serious list would be great. Clearly, some people need it.

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    • Wendy June 25, 2013, 3:55 pm

      Amusing as it may be, this is serious. If 50% of the LWs who write to me saw these 10 things as signs to move on, they’d be in much better places.

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      • bittergaymark June 25, 2013, 10:41 pm

        Really? WOW! I had no idea… So many of them seem so… obvious.

  • kerrycontrary June 25, 2013, 3:56 pm

    About the holiday thing…So we usually stop by each others houses on Thanksgiving (we do thanksgiving 30 mins apart so why not) but we usually don’t see each other on christmas eve/christmas day since our families live 1.5hrs apart. We’ve been together going on 4 years. Is that weird? My extended family does a big party christmas eve, and his opens all of their gifts on christmas eve so we’re going to hurt feelings on both sides no matter what we do. I don’t think it bothers either one of us. I just think we aren’t willing to give up that time with our families until we are engaged/married and a family unit ourselves, if that makes sense.

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    • rachel June 25, 2013, 4:01 pm

      I don’t think it’s weird. I bet you spend July 4th or Memorial Day together at a bbq, or celebrate birthdays together. It’s only weird if one of you wants to and the other gives sketchy excuses.

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    • GatorGirl June 25, 2013, 4:04 pm

      I don’t think it’s weird. We had not planned on splitting Christmases until we where married, but it worked out for him to come to my family this year (5 months before our wedding) because his sister was going to be at her husbands. I think your logic makes perfect sense.

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    • bethany June 25, 2013, 4:08 pm

      I don’t think it’s weird at all. Even if you were married and wanted to do them separately, I don’t see a problem with that! As long as it works for you!

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    • theattack June 25, 2013, 4:08 pm

      I don’t think that’s weird either. We didn’t start spending our major holidays together until we were engaged. For a lot of people, holidays are about family traditions, so unless you are officially family (married) or about to be family (engaged), holidays are spent apart. I really didn’t agree with this point on Wendy’s list. Sorry, Wendy!

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      • kerrycontrary June 25, 2013, 4:31 pm

        That’s how I feel. Like we aren’t officially a family unit so until then I’m going to enjoy the last few holidays with just my family I guess since I know I’ll have to split them up sometime. But I think Wendy meant that if it’s 2yrs and no one makes a point of spending a holiday, or at least time around a holiday, as a couple together. Or if one person makes weird excuses about it.

    • Lyra June 25, 2013, 4:25 pm

      Agreeing with bethany, we come from different countries and don’t share any national holidays and our families are different religions, so we’ve comfortably spent holidays apart so far. Our families also live very far apart and traveling to see both sets for the same holiday is impossible. I imagine this will change once we have kids, but until then we’re fine spending holidays separately.

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    • Wendy June 25, 2013, 4:03 pm

      Do you spend any holiday (that means something to you) together? Do you ring in the new year together? Watch fireworks on the Fourth of July? Do you go to Memorial Day BBQs together? If you NEVER spend ANY holiday together, then yeah that’s a little weird.

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      • kerrycontrary June 25, 2013, 4:28 pm

        Yeh we always do NYE together, and actually most years its just been the 2 of us doing something special privately (fancy dinner or going to a bar just ourselves). Aw now I feel cute about that. haha!

    • Christy June 26, 2013, 8:14 am

      Fascinating! Your system totally makes sense though.

      GF and I have spent every holiday together since we very first started dating. Her family’s on the other coast, though, so she comes to my family’s to have a place to go for everything. (God bless her too, she even went to my uncle’s three Christmas parties in one week this year.)

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      • kerrycontrary June 26, 2013, 8:51 am

        hahah yeh I think it’s easier when there’s a cut and dry “this family is closer”. But I know a lot of people who struggle scheduling the holidays because the families are like 2-3 hrs apart so it’s too far to visit both families in one day without being exhausted/cranky, but it’s not far enough to totally split up holidays. This year I think I’ll be with his family more though because my family is exploding with babies and no one wants to travel with their baby.

      • bethany June 26, 2013, 9:45 am

        We did that one year for Christmas, it was HORRIBLE. We got up, drove an hour and a half for Christmas morning at his mom/Step Dad’s, then Christmas afternoon at his Dad/Step Mom’s (5 minutes away), then a 2.5 hour drive to my parent’s house for Christmas dinner. We ended up skipping presents at my parent’s house and did them the next morning. We’re never doing that again.
        Now we do Thanksgiving wherever he wants, since it’s his favorite holiday, and Christmas where I want, since it’s mine.

    • Jessibel5 June 26, 2013, 12:58 pm

      We didn’t spend Christmas or Thanksgiving with each other until right before we were married. It just happened to work out better that way because he’s got the “multiple stop divorced parents” family in this area, and I had to travel 5+ hours and then 7+ hours or 10+ hours to see anyone in my family at all for holidays. However, we always made sure to be together for NYE. Now that we’re married we’re going to try to switch off, like, this year Thanksgiving with his family, Christmas with mine, next year vice versa. It doesn’t help that his side’s Christmas is slightly depressing to me. No presents, no tree, no party, no lights, no sitting all day in your pj’s watching the dvd’s you unwrapped. When we do Christmas with his side, it’s just like every other day, nothing really special about it except dinner together, which we do once a month anyway.

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  • Addie Pray June 25, 2013, 4:43 pm

    I see a LOT of the No. 14 (The best reason you can think of for staying together is that you have been together for so long.)

    heartsamess from the forum, this seems applicable to you. Good luck!

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    • MMcG June 25, 2013, 6:52 pm

      Points for connecting to a forum issue!

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      • Addie Pray June 25, 2013, 7:12 pm

        I love points!!!

      • MMcG June 25, 2013, 7:58 pm

        Its all about positive reinforcement!!

      • Addie Pray June 25, 2013, 9:07 pm

        I’m a sucker for positive reinforcement. The mountains I would climb for a fucking sticker.

  • Boosker June 25, 2013, 5:59 pm

    Ooooh, for #2, my friend’s (then) boyfriend dumped her very unexpectedly when they’d been talking about getting engaged. Then she took him back six months later with the understanding that they’d be engaged/married soon. Two months later, he asked her dad for his blessing (gag, I know). Then another 5 months went by before he actually proposed. She was so embarrassed and frustrated and scared that he was going to bail again. He did propose and they’ve been married for a few years, but I never really understood why you’d want to spend the rest of your life with someone who’d treat you that way.

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    • MMcG June 25, 2013, 7:52 pm

      Love conquers all…

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  • Nookie June 26, 2013, 4:07 am

    The last three are so sad.

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  • thyme June 27, 2013, 7:20 pm

    16. You’ve been together for more than 2 years and you’re still waiting for him to get his life together enough for you to feel confident about marrying him.

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