Ten Signs She Might Not Be “The One”

If you are always worried that she will be socially inappropriate or that she will act out, then you need to get out. You need to be sure that she won’t start yelling in an art gallery or telling dead baby jokes to your mother.

Note: this post is inspired by a similar piece on idatedthatdouche. I am fortunate to be dating someone terrific now, but I’ve certainly dated a lot of ‘not the one’s. I’d also like to take this opportunity to say that this piece is meant to be light-hearted, and the reality is that while we often assume gender binaries, there are lots of men who are too clingy just as there are lots of women who tomcat around. Ok, mini rant done. Here goes!

  1. She Never Talks – If you are dating somebody who is content to sit and never say a word, it is boring as hell. Maybe some guys like that, but for me it is impossible to relate to somebody who never has an opinion on anything.
  2. She Calls Five Times A Day – Five times a day is too many times. You should be comfortable enough in your relationship to not have to check up on your partner after every trip to the bathroom.
  3. She Wants To Get Married…To Anybody – This is a common theme, and I blame the patriarchy. Nonetheless, you should be careful dating somebody who hears wedding bells after the first date with any man, or who already owns a wedding dress. They might be more into the idea of marriage than actually marrying you.
  4. She Never Introduces You –  Have you ever been in a situation where you are with somebody, and they start talking to a friend in a bar, finish the conversation, and you realize that you were just standing there saying nothing the whole time, and they never bothered to make an introduction? I’ve been there, and heck…I’ve done it myself! It’s a jerk move, and it’s a particularly jerk move if you do it to your boy/girl friend. Don’t.
  5. She Never Pays –Ok, I am happy to pay for meals from time to time, and I think men should pay on the first date because chivalry or whatever. Once you are in a relationship, however, things change. If you are both making money, you should both be willing to chip in. Dating somebody who never pays for drinks, food, tickets, clothes, or taxis gets old super fast. If you make your own money, contribute.
  6. You Don’t Want Her To Meet Your Family – I rarely introduce my family to people I’m dating. Very rarely. I just don’t see the point unless it is going somewhere. If you don’t want her to meet your family, ever, then that is a good signal that this relationship has a definitive and short time span.
  7. You Are Constantly Annoyed/Frustrated/Depressed – If you feel like Al Bundy (classic TV reference), you are in the wrong relationship. You should love your partner. If you dread seeing her, or hearing her attack you, or listening to a horrifically boring story about cats, or having bad sex (or no sex), DTMF.
  8. She Is Unpredictable, Quick To Anger/Sadness/Exuberance –Ok, this is not always the worst, as it could be a sign of passion. At the same time, somebody who is truly unpredictable can be very difficult to be in a relationship with, as you never know what’s going to happen next. The fantasy is the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but the reality is spending hours on the phone listening to sobbing, alternated with screaming.
  9. She Embarrasses You Constantly –You should want to hang with your friends and your girlfriend. You should want to be able to go to networking events or social functions with her. If you are always worried that she will be socially inappropriate or that she will act out, then you need to get out. You need to be sure that she won’t start yelling in an art gallery or telling dead baby jokes to your mother.
  10. She Would Make a Terrible Mom – Well, not everybody wants kids, and if you don’t want kids maybe this doesn’t matter to you. I would argue that the qualities of a good mom apply to a good partner as well. Qualities like being loving, caring, thoughtful, funny, open-minded, and direct.

I am going to add a final thought…the right person for you really loves who you really are. More than anything else, they get what you are about, and that does it for them. You both just really like spending time together. You have a similar sense of humour. You are in the same place in your lives. You argue because you give a shit about each other. You are willing to make an investment. You have good sexual chemistry. Love is difficult to find or understand, and a string of bad relationships can leave you feeling pretty jaded. All I can say is that these experiences, hopefully, teach us more specifically what we want and what we don’t want in a relationship. They teach us to be able to spot something special, and how to play it cool. They teach us not to repeat our mistakes. They also teach us to be self-aware, and to work on our own anxieties and issues.


Also read: A Guy’s Advice for Women: How to Turn a First Date Into a Relationship


Image of crazy housewife courtesy of Shutterstock

About Josh Bowman

Josh Bowman is a professional fundraiser, story-teller, comedian, and blogger. He has worked and consulted in Vancouver, New York, and now Toronto for almost a decade. Josh improvises around Toronto, including regular shows with Opening Night Theatre, and also blogs for the Huffington Post. You can email Josh here.. If you want to know more about Josh, check this post and this post out first.


  1. My man and I both hit a lot of marks on this list in our first couple of years together, but we worked it out.

    I think the bottom line in any relationship is this: Are you willing to work it out, to reconnect? Then any ‘red flags’ are just details along the way.

    I never would have gotten sober if I didn’t have love in my life, and I sure as hell was a red flag before I got sober. But now I have become a responsible person. I’m accountable to him and to myself. I handle our finances, and we are in the black. I treat him with kindness, although I certainly have opinions.

    It’s a learning process. No one enters a relationship knowing how to be a good partner. It takes the trials of life. I say, if you want a relationship, stick it out. And if you know you want to get married, just be honest about it and see who sticks around. That’s part of sussing out compatibility.

  2. I’ve personally found in my dating experience that some men want to date, beautiful, younger women who have time to work out, have perect bodies, driven careers, equally pays for everything (despite the fact that he wants someone younger and hotter than him) , puts out for sex when *he* wants and also want to pop out babies and be good mothers while still maintaing hot body and career. Sometimes the pressure seems overwhelming.

    Often we talk about how women have over the top ideals about love and romance. But I’ve encountered a lot of men who do as well.

    I like being treated like a traditional lady on a date. It’s not going to be for every guy and that’s totally cool. If he pays for dinner, I’ll cook him dinner another time. I think cheap fun dates are great. I am actually not impressed if a guy wants to do a big fancy dinner on the first date. I think there should be a build up to that kind of stuff. It should be earned. Actually, the best date for me is when you stay home and cook together. It’s intimate, fun and you are doing something together.

    I will say that I don’t like how quickly men pressure for sex but want to withhold emotional connection from the equation until they feel you out figuretively, for sex. I also don’t like what I see as men withholding generocity by looking for the tab to always be 50/50.

    What I know about relationships is that sometimes you give a little more and other times you take a little more and that no relationship can work if you are too busy keeping your eye on the tally. And sometimes the tally doesn’t equal out by her paying 10 dollars, him matching the 10 dollars. Sometimes the tally works out by her paying 10 dollars for something and he does something nice, like weed wacks her weeds. To me, emotional intelligence is about knowing your strengths and weaknesses and understanding that it’s impossible to make any relationship 100% totally fair and equal at all times. And how boring is that anyway? I tend to believe that people are attracted to mates that have strengths in areas they may be more weak. So that together, each person brings something wonderful and different to the table. But that’s just me.

    Most of the men I’ve dated didn’t let me pay for things and I never felt that they were bitter about it or keeping a score card about it. As long as they felt that our relationship matched in other ways, it was never an issue. One of the qualities I prize in a man is kindness and generocity. Generocity goes beyond money but you can see how a ma nfeels about generocity sometimes in how he approaches money.

    That’s just this woman’s experience. Take from it what you want.

  3. And what if the man sits in silence, embarrasses you, never pays, would not be a good father, never introduces you, is quick to anger, etc.? This works both ways. I’m a little surprised at this she-women bashing directed article from the good men project. Like any of us, or any man, is so perfect That they would not also act like this sometimes. Out of the two of us I would think that my boyfriend would be the one most likely to tell inappropriate jokes! which is part of him and is funny sometimes.

  4. Miss Kae Oz says:

    A sign the He might not be the one:

    He makes list of how you should behave and how You should fit into HIS life.

    Find a real partner, someone who respects you as an individual. Not someone who is trying to fit you like an odd piece into his puzzle.

    • Amen. I didn’t feel refreshed by this article, or these comments. As a woman, I felt boxed in and sized up. I think by and large, I and all my good goodfriends have being a good partner figured out (thus, why we’re all married, engaged or in long-term relationships), but I took umbrage to a lot, focusing on one particular point: the no sex or bad sex line. I agree that bad sex is something that needs addressed because it could allude to other problems, but ‘not putting out’ is exactly the kinda bs that keeps some of the gents single. That’s a privilege, NOT a right, and you’d better earn it. A good girl isn’t going to just hand it out like parade candy because you have ‘needs’ or whatever.

  5. Good list. Most of us know when we’re in a bad relationship. Trying to get out can be tricky.

  6. Now-A-days it’s hard to find a good women every time you turn around there’s beatiful women that are whores hiding behind innocent behavior, prime example: when I was in highschool there was this shy beatiful black girl she was to shy to confront me to tell me she like me personally so she sent her friend to tell me that she like me, I told her friend as of right now I need to get my thoughts together before I have a talk with her 1 day went by and her second friend came by and with this ghetto attitude when are u going to talk to her, she’s likes you, so I said tell her to come by I will talk to her, now mind you Im stil trying to prepare myself for this, to cut this story short, she was always quiet, she was a women with few words, she was always shy, and on the other she was to protective over me, that scared me off, now I’m not to sure how she met with the guy shes with now, it’s only been a year since shes known the guy and all of a sudden she has a ring and tellin everybody shes met the right one, and blah blah blah. I’m really happy for her that she met somebody, because I couldn’t deal with her being so quiet and expected me to say and to do everything, it has to be a 50-50 thing.

    • Jonathan,
      you could try quitting calling women whores (and thinking about them as such), you know. That could help in seeing there are many wonderful women out there.

      • I second and also ask to stop calling women “whores”. Thanks. You don’t have to agree with everyone’s choices but you should still show respect for them as a human being. This is more of a mark of who you are than anything else.

  7. This is a little older, but I thought one point needed adjustment.
    EPID: As someone who takes psychotropic medications, I find it interesting that that in itself can be cause for dismissal as a viable relationship prospect.
    Daily medication doesn’t equate to emotional ineptitude, at least not in my experience; and the perpetuation of this stereotype doesn’t do people with depression or anxiety or other forms of mental health difficulties any good.
    I personally would rather have someone with a mental health issue who acknowledges it & has taken whatever therapeutic (and pharma if necessary) measures; as opposed to someone who’s healthy biochemically but has no idea where his/her emotions are located.
    Seems to me compassion in this regard has a distinct place in romantic relationships – same as elsewhere, if for no other reason than people are more than the sum of their serotonergic/dopaminergic receptors.

    • Miss Kae Oz says:

      I have had a relationship or 2 that might have lasted a lifetime had my partner gone on and stayed on proper medication.
      Doing what you need to take care of yourself and be your best is the best thing you can do for someone you love.

  8. Is someone who never talks worse than someone who won’t shut up? Somehow I frequently find myself surrounded by the latter, so #1 doesn’t sound so bad right now.

  9. Sputnik Sweetheart says:

    “She always needs rescuing” is one sure item that I expected to see on the author’s list. I have many platonic male friends (I’m female), and the classic mistake they always seem to make is falling for the lost cause — the woman who racks up too much credit card debt, who gets her car towed away (often), who ends up in jail, who is always getting fired from jobs, etc. — and always bailing them out of trouble, at the cost of their time, money and mental health. Basically, one responsible party is taking care of another who lacks basic life skills and self-sufficiency in an almost parental way. (In all fairness, some women fall for the “lost cause” man, too.) What’s the allure?

    • Hank Vandenburgh says:

      SS, it occurs to me that this is likely biological, and probably means that men, in general, are not male chauvinist pigs. I think we often confuse men generally with the few douchbags. (But it’s hard for us, biologically, to see the difference between a woman needing help and a dysfunctional woman.)

  10. Hank Vandenburgh says:

    Hmm. I dated and married a woman who was 5 and 9. Pretty nice marriage, but we needed to go our separate ways after 20 years. She never shut up, but she was interesting as hell. I just won’t let a woman pay for a thing, and I think you’re a Yup if you do.

    I would love a woman who was loud in an art gallery. I can tell when a woman will be great in bed. Can you?

  11. Actually I should mention that the comment about not having time for you applies to men too. If a guy would (consistently) rather spend time with his family, watching sports, drinking with “the guys” etc. and chooses a day of golf over a chance to, say, go on a hike or a drive in the country, etc. and doesn’t have time to call you, shoot you a quick text or e-mail to let you know you at least cross his mind occasionally, then yeah, he’s not “the one.”

  12. How about “She never has time/energy for you (although she has plenty of both for the other people in her life)? I realize that in the modern world, especially in this economy, work, family obligations, etc. often cut into our time, but I’ve come to realize a truth: if someone really wants to be with you, spend time with you etc., they WILL find a way, even if it’s just a call to say, “hey I’ll be working late but I’ll meet you for coffee at ____” or “hey I’m really tired from work/community/PTA/church/etc activities but let’s talk for a few minutes at least before I go to bed, etc. This is especially crucial at the start of a relationship; if they can’t/won’t make time for you in the “infatuation stage” when the relationship is new and fresh, they certainly won’t after the other distractions in life rear their ugly heads.

  13. Days of Broken Arrows says:

    This is an interesting — and helpful — article. But I wish the writer wouldn’t take intellectual, pandering shortcuts, like this one: She Wants To Get Married…To Anybody – This is a common theme, and I blame the patriarchy.

    While “the patriarchy” might be one reason, we need to look deeper than that. Other reasons include peer pressure, the huge bridal industry (look at the magazine racks), movies, and TV. That said, I’d like to add one more to the list:

    11. She goes on and on about her problems, but has no interest in yours. I had to deal with this recently. It’s not fun. When I tried to help this woman (after months of me listening and her crying) she rebuffed me and told me not try to help by my saying “Trying to solve problems is a male thing — men just want to fix everything.” I give up.

  14. Does pair bonding always involve children? I recognize I’d be a horrible mother. I just don’t like kids. I’m not a particular fan of babies. I know a bunch of women like that. Yet all those women possess those qualities (though many outsiders would argue they would not be a good mom either). You can be as loving and caring and funny as you want but that does not make a good parent but it would make a good partner.

    • I would say no, not in the modern era. There are lots of men who probably don’t want kids either. In my case, my parents had an ugly divorce when I was eight, so I’m pretty agnostic about the whole childern thing. I don’t think every relationship is forever, but if I was to sire some kids I would only do that with someone who I thought would put the welfare of the children in front of their own, since I’ve experienced the flip-side of that.

      On the negative side, most women that I’ve dated who don’t want childern were cold fish.

      • “someone who I thought would put the welfare of the children in front of their own”

        Interesting – why does having kids suddenly mean you don’t get to look out for your own welfare? They’re kids, not little demi-gods. You can raise a kid just fine without sacrificing everything that YOU need – as a matter of fact, that’s probably why so many kids are such jerks these days and so many parents unable to cope with life; they’ve been programmed to think reproducing = unending self-sacrifice. Yech.

        I also think that men who expect this kind of thing from women actually mean that they want the woman to put THEIR welfare in front of their own, and by that they mean that the woman will take care of the kids so the dude doesn’t have to make any major sacrifices.

    • Yeah, the “requirement” that a woman be a “good mother” is pretty archaic.

      • Not if you want kids

      • Miss Kae Oz says:

        What I find archaic is the simple statement implying that men automatically know which women make good mothers. Now, if she is self involved drug addict/gambler/label addict maybe not. But if you believe you need June Cleaver, you are archaic.
        Sometimes, having a woman who loves you, you love back wholeheartedly, not with a set of conditions, being a good dad is all you need to make it work.

  15. The writer really succeeds in the final paragraph with some positive clues as to why you might be right for each other.

    #9 is difficult because of the calculus of embarrassment. Some people get embarrassed easily because they worry excessively about what other people think – they never get over their inner adolescent. Getting along with each other’s family and friends is huge, but being with someone who doesn’t care what a bunch of strangers at a networking event think is probably a good thing in my book.

    • Isn’t that the point? If you get embarrassed by her, then she isn’t right FOR YOU. It doesn’t mean she isn’t right for anybody. We just need a good match.

  16. Tom Matlack says:

    I am a big believer in the power of pheromones. The sense of touch and smell tell you a lot when it comes to whether or not she is “the one” in my mind. Completely non verbal and non rational clues are the most important IMO.

    • I agree, Tom! I just noted on another article that having a checklist of things you need from a partner takes away from the whole chemistry aspect.

    • Unfortunately, our lack of a working vomeronasal organ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vomeronasal_organ) means you can believe in pheromones all you like, they still don’t have any effect on you.

      Non-verbal clues I’m totally behind.

      • Per your link:
        “Chemical communication *does* appear to occur among humans, but this does not necessarily imply that the human vomeronasal organ is functional.”

        Your link seems to suggest that humans have chemical communication despite lacking this organ.

        This seems to back up some of the science experiments I have seen reports on in which women have been able to identify more fit men based on odor and other experiments based on smelling alone to correctly identify mating markers in both sexes.

  17. Soullite says:

    Since men are required to pay (not because of chivalry, but because women have collectively made not adhering to this ‘tradition’ a deal-breaker, and the groups that usually call out archaic behavior have apparently decided that men have it coming, or whatever) first dates should be simple, quick and cheap.

    Never anything but drinks or coffee until you know the relationship is worth the investment. Don’t be a sucker, guys. Dinner is for people you already know that you want to lay out $100+ and 2 hours of your time on.

    If she isn’t willing to go that route, you shouldn’t be willing to date her. If she really just wants to get to know you, she won’t care what you were doing together. If she does care, then it’s not really you she’s after.

    • The Blurpo says:

      ” Since men are required to pay (not because of chivalry, but because women have collectively made not adhering to this ‘tradition’ a deal-breaker, and the groups that usually call out archaic behavior have apparently decided that men have it coming, or whatever) first dates should be simple, quick and cheap. ”

      I have to admit, I have never encountered a woman who didnt pay her share, maybe the culture is different over here. But my last date, she paid everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. She didnt want me to pay at all, also because we went to few places where they didnt take credit cards. I didnt have cash, but she did. Otherwise, the women I have dated have always payed 50% of the date. So practically I have no idea, what it is when you have to pay everything.

    • In my experience, guys who won’t let their dates pick up the check are more common than gals who insist that the guy pay for everything, even just on the first date. I do agree that first dates should be simple, quick, and cheap. First dates are about getting to know another person, not putting on the ritz.

    • In my experience women who don’t pay for their half of the date are pretty rare, at least in Canada. Most feminist dating women that I’ve dated would probably be quite offended if I offered to pay for the whole date.

    • Sometimes I wonder if the people on these boards have ever gone out on an actual date.

    • I remember perusing a book called something like “The complete a***holes guide to dating” in a book store.

      One of the things I remember seeing was: first dates: cheap and romantic, like ice cream and a walk on the boardwalk.

      In retrospect, I think the book had a lot of good pointers and I probably should have bought it. It lays out common sense ideas from the man’s perspective about shooting for what you want.

  18. Thank you for the “Women’s Day” list-
    I’d be glad to collaborate on the Cosmo version…..
    1- Is there something that has you turning off the lights- ie what does she look like naked?

  19. Wow, spot on article. I found somebody I thought was “the one,” but she miserably and constantly failed on points 7, 8 and 10, and often failed 4 and 5. Most importantly – and perhaps this should be #1 on the list – not only did she not accept me for me, but flat out told me “your approach to life is entirely wrong. You should live your life like I live mine.” Arrogant. But, in retrospect, perhaps the facts that she’d had a previous 3 day marriage, a series of failed relationships (she admitted cheating on every man she ever dated), a history of emotional abuse, the multiple medications she took daily, and the 3 cats she lived alone with should have tipped me off. But, at least the sex was good. Good riddance!!!

  20. Copyleft says:

    On the other side, one sign of a keeper: Her parents are dead.

  21. J P McMahon says:

    From the movie “Factotum” based on a Charles Bukowski novel:
    Hank Chianski: Do you have a woman?
    Manny: Nope.
    Hank: Why not?
    Manny: Because I drink and gamble.
    Hank: Why don’t you get a woman that drinks and gambles?
    Manny: Who the hell wants a woman like that?


  1. […] Also read Josh Bowman’s Ten Signs She Might NOT Be The One […]

  2. […] These are comments by EPID and Soullite on the post “Ten Signs She Might Not Be ‘The One’“. […]

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