Chances are, you've had at least one breakup that left you wondering, "What the heck just happened?" The guy dug you, you dug him, and the whole thing felt destined for a fabulous future — at least the foreseeable one. Then, out of nowhere, he bailed on the relationship.
So what went wrong? The sad truth is, maybe nothing. Here are five completely ridiculous reasons guys kick you to the curb. Warning: For the most part, it ain't pretty.
1. The Timing Is Off
Women get serious when they meet the right man. Men get serious with whomever we happen to be dating when we're finally ready to settle down. That means after every other aspect of our life is in order — whether it's finishing grad school, finally pulling down a good-size paycheck, owning a car outright — or when our friends start dropping like flies (that's guy speak for getting married).
But if you catch a guy before he hits that magical stage of his life, then he's liable to bolt — like Patrick,* 28, who dumped Bridgett after two years, then got engaged to the next girl he dated after only 10 months. "When I was with Bridgett, all of my friends were single and I was still an intern with nothing going on in my career. So every time she'd bring up our future together, it felt like she was jumping the gun," he says. "I didn't break up with her because she was wrong for me. I ended it because I didn't want to commit to anyone right then. But by the time I met Elizabeth, I was in a settling-down frame of mind."
2. We're Not Finished Playing the Field
Men are natural-born one-uppers. If there's a possibility of upgrading what we already have for something better (that'll make our friends drool), we say, bring it on! So we wind up always wondering if you're really as good as it gets. (I know, scumbag mentality.) "Whenever I meet a new hot chick, I consider what it would be like to date her, even if I have a girlfriend at the time," says Andy, 30. "The grass is always greener. No matter how great his current girl is, a guy doesn't want to feel like he's missing out."
In addition to our opportunistic tendencies, most guys feel compelled to put as many sexual conquests under their belts as possible. "I admit it — I know the exact number of girls I've slept with, no mental calculation required," says Dan, 29. "That's how aware I am of how many notches I have. And I'd never commit until I felt like I'd experienced enough different women."
Every guy's definition of enough is different, so there's a chance he wrote you off just because you didn't come late enough on his own personal hit list. The moral of the story: Until we grow up, mark everything off our sexual checklists or have too many friends convince us that we can't do better than you, the flight risk is real.
3. We're Fixated on the Worst-Case Scenario
From the times you chastise us for leaving a wet towel on the bed to those nights you rip through a pint of fudge ripple without stopping to breathe, we file each incident in a mental folder labeled "Evidence She'll Change for the Worse." We flip through that file whenever we're trying to decide if we want to hang on to the relationship. Blame our married friends who took the plunge before us, but many single guys are hyperaware of what could go wrong down the road.
Even if we're crazy about you now, we panic that you'll pack on the pounds, want sex only once a month and nag us day and night. So we secretly flag certain things we're scared might be a harbinger of bad things to come. "I've seen it happen to too many of my friends," says Elliot, 29. "All they do is complain about how the sex takes a total nosedive after they get serious with a girl. So sometimes, even if the woman I'm dating is a saucy little minx, I freak out and bail."