It happens to all of us at least once: you meet a guy with whom you have incredible chemistry and an instant connection. You could talk to him all night. You already know you’ll just want more and more of him if you start spending time together. There’s just one problem: he just got out of a relationship. He may claim that that is not a problem because, well, men tend to think with an organ that’s…let’s just say not their brains. I also feel that women are more aware of the importance of healing after a breakup and taking time to themselves. Women tend to know that dating while heartbroken is never a good idea. Men, however, aren’t as comfortable with admitting that they are hurt so they certainly won’t admit that they are too damaged to date. That’s why so many women wind up with men who are clearly just using them to get over heartache. It’s hard to believe it’s true when he insists that it isn’t, but there are signs.
He wants to see you a lot
He is very insistent on moving quickly. If you can’t see him for a few days, he gets anxious. He tries to insert himself in your plans. He asks if you can change your plans to see him. He is probably trying desperately to distract himself and run from his heartache, and spending time alone doesn’t help with that.
Then he goes MIA
He waivers between wanting to see you constantly and suddenly disappearing for days on end, not responding to calls or texts. He is probably hiding while he goes into bouts of depression over his break up. He doesn’t want you seeing him like that because you may dump him.
He can’t just relax
When you make plans, he always wants to do something very exciting. He seems to be a thrill-seeker. He doesn’t just want to watch TV or cook something at home. This is another form of running from one’s feelings. It’s hard to focus on heartache when you are skydiving.
He won’t discuss the past at all
He becomes aggravated if you ask about his last relationship. He says there is no point in talking about that. Usually, if someone is truly healed from something, they are comfortable discussing it.
He is on a bender
He wants to drink a lot, even when nobody else is really drinking. He can’t so much as go to the movies unless the movie theater has a bar so he can get drinks. He wants you to drink with him too, participating in his escapism.
He is changing his image
He wants you to go shopping with him and pick out a whole new wardrobe for him. He suddenly wants tattoos, and wants your input on the design. It is almost as if he wants a new woman to design his identity, to erase the identity affiliated with the past girlfriend.
He has bouts of anger
He has unexplained bouts of anger, getting upset over seemingly nothing. A tiny detail or error sends them into a rage. This is probably a trigger, just a memory from his past relationship. He cannot approach any memory of the past without extreme emotion.
He won’t tolerate arguments
You feel like you aren’t able to bring up even a small concern. He says he refuses to fight. He says he hates fighting. So you feel like you can’t express your needs, or he will just shut down. If he is too fresh from heartbreak, then he doesn’t have the strength to deal with small disputes in a new relationship.
There is something weird about his compliments
When he pays you a compliment, it almost feels like in a backwards way he is insulting someone else who is not in the room. Or after paying you a compliment, he may even say, “More people should be like you”, or “It’s too bad some people can’t be like that”.
He asks odd philosophical questions
Sometimes he will just start asking philosophical questions like, how do you know someone is your soul mate? Or do you think people who break up can get back together? Or do you think there is such thing as the right people but the wrong time and place?
He is nervous to meet your friends
He keeps getting out of social engagements with your friends, always having some weird excuse not to meet them. He might believe that your friends will see right through him, and warn you that something is wrong with him.
He has strong opinions on your appearance
You will put on a simple sweater or do your hair in a certain way, and he will clearly reject it. He will ask you to change. He will have a very strong reaction to this fashion choice. It may be because his ex did her hair like that or wore things like that.
His friends are weird about the past
If you try to ask his friends about his past, they get nervous. Their answers are very vague. They change the subject. He’s probably asked them not to talk about it.
He is flighty and unpredictable
You have plans one weekend, he doesn’t show up, and he says “Oh sorry I forgot and I went to Vegas with my friends.” He has to chase the whims that let him run from his pain.
He just broke up
The reality is that it’s very unlikely any relationship started on the heels of another is genuine or built on any strong foundation. That’s just not the way the heart works. No matter how much this guy insists he’s totally over his ex whom he just broke up with, he likely isn’t. He may not even realize how destroyed he is yet.