1. Not high on life. If the man you are dating or married to needs an extra boost to get through the day (other than simply having you in his life), then your relationship is in jeopardy. Alcohol and substance abuse will always be more important to him than you are, so step aside and encourage him to focus on recovery. Since this often takes quite a bit of time, keep your distance and support him from afar. But remember, even his sober-self may not be what you want in your life, so take stock and be realistic about what's best for you.
2. Has a previous engagement. If he's already married and trying to date you, it's cheating, not just on his wife and family, but on you as well. Look, if you know he's married, you are disillusioned -- you think he's going to leave his wife for you. Tune in to your own reality show and break it off. If you truly don't know, look for possible signs: is he able to spend holidays with you? Do you only have his cell number? Have you ever been to his place (really his place, not his friend's bachelor pad)? Does he seem secretive and defensive? Hmmm.
3. Likes your clothes...a lot. A man dressing like a woman at Halloween, once, is funny. Twice, not so much. Three times and he also wants to shop at Victoria's Secret with you, and it's time to re-evaluate the relationship. A good man may be hard to find, but you have plenty of "girl" friends. Stay casual friends with this guy if you like, but say bye-bye to a romance and find a man who prefers trousers over pantyhose.
4. Keeps a harem. There are a lot of blended families today, and many couples have children from previous relationships, but it's a big no-no to create a new life while you are married to or dating someone else. Even though you love him and he's sorry and he'll never do it again, you need to break up with him. It's not being unsympathetic, it's self-preservation.
5. Infatuated with work. Being dedicated to your work is a very attractive quality -- it shows drive, initiative and responsibility. But if your own sacrifices, such as raising the kids on your own, going to family functions alone, and setting aside your own dreams and goals, are not appreciated (a lot) by your mate, you need to ask yourself if you are in a marriage or the live-in help.
6. Sexually preoccupied. What goes on in the bedroom, stays in the bedroom. Figuring out what turns you both on is a good and healthy thing. Being in a committed relationship means doing these things together, so finding out your partner is getting all hot and bothered on the internet or while flipping the pages of a magazine you found in his sock drawer, or -- yuck -- by calling 888-hot-love are real red flags that he's more interested in "me" than "thee." Ask him about it and decide if you really want someone else turning on your man.
7. Adores material things. All women feel great when a sophisticated man wants to be with them, but if he spends more time in front of the mirror than you do, spends more money on his clothing and is more interested in what he has in his possession than what he has in you, think again if that handsome face and big bank account is worth it. Relationships cannot be based on things and appearances. There needs to be a solid foundation of genuine caring, concern, respect and friendship, in addition to love. It's not who has the most toys who wins, but what is actually valued in a relationship consistently, every day. Think about it.
8. Has bad juju. Intuition is a very useful tool, so if you detect something inappropriate when your man is in the presence of family members or children or friends you don't see that often, pay attention. A dark history or secret life can easily be hidden by a charming personality and a smile. If you are married to the man, you need to get some answers. If you are dating, listen to your head over your heart and tell him it's just not working out. Even if you are wrong, there was definitely something about him that wasn't right for you.
9. Owns a pair of brass knuckles. It is never, under any circumstance, ever OK for anyone to be mean or to hurt you physically in any way. A bad day, stress at the office, something you may have said or done - nope, not good enough. This type of behavior says "bad news" all over it. Break up, leave, change your number. You do not need someone in your life at the expense of your self-respect and safety.
10. Isn't the one. Sometimes it's a good idea - and very okay - to break up simply because there is no chemistry. It's hard to keep waiting for the "right one," but it's worth it in the end. No one wants to feel as though they've "settled." You are worth having someone be loving and kind and special and make bells ring and birds chirp in your head, to make your heart pound and your palms sweaty. If it just isn't there, say "thank you very much, nice to have met you" and wait for Mr. Right.