There are a multitude of ways to prepare. Don’t be so cynical, however, that you enter every relationship waiting to break up. But understanding the complete dynamics of breaking up as thoroughly as you do the dynamics of falling in love will help you seek better lovers and protect you from heartbreak. Keeping this information in your back pocket gives you greater control over your romantic destiny.

I Didn’t See It Coming!

Impossible. Research shows that although attraction, satisfaction, or love begins to wane and doubt sets in, a romantic or spousal partner will remain in the relationship until they are sure what they want to do. True, their wavering feelings are kept secret, but emotions are hard to conceal. During this time period, the unsuspecting partner usually gets mixed signals.

Women are more prone to disbelieve the danger signs than men. They take any small love signal as reassurance that conflicts, arguments, or suspicious irregularities are nothing to be concerned about. Consequently, they are stunned by their romantic or spousal partner’s declaration of lost love and abrupt departure.

The Picture Is Clear in Hindsight

Hannah called Hank all night but never got an answer. Over the year and a half they had dated and the six months they were engaged, he had never stayed out all night. Not that she knew of anyway. She figured Hank must be misbehaving and in the morning went to his house to wait for him to return home. When he did, he was full of unreasonable excuses.

Finally Hannah screamed, Just tell me the truth! Hank came clean with a confession. He had recently started seeing someone else with whom he had spent the night, and he was no longer interested in maintaining his relationship with Hannah.

Although initially shocked, Hannah admitted that looking back there were signs she missed. When she delayed setting a wedding date, Hank did not put up a fuss. He let it drop and never brought it up again. She also thinks his recent burst of jealousy, checking her phone and e-mail messages, may have been evidence of his own guilt. The more she thought about it, the more clues she saw sprinkled over the last several months.

Hannah may have missed the signs and signals in her own relationship, but as the objective observer she had no problem pinpointing some for Pamela.

Pamela and Pete had been on and off for four years. Blinded by love, romance, and passion, Pamela interpreted Pete’s behavior differently than her friend Hannah did.

crying women

Here’s Pamela’s version of the romance: I met Pete, and we instantly fell in love. Within 30 days we moved in together. Then whammy, he found out his old girlfriend was pregnant with his child. He wanted to be there when his son was born, so he moved out. We dated but were on and off for two years. We started living together again a year and a half ago. It was important before for him to be around his son.

Evidently, Hannah saw things that Pamela did not want to. Resolute and confident, Hannah said, Pamela doesn’t see it. What he was doing was trying to decide if he wanted her or his old girlfriend. He wasn’t spending that much time just changing diapers! The child was an excuse for his inability to choose between the two women.

Coded Messages

If you aren’t proficient at deciphering codes, this article will do it for you. The most common signs, signals, and bedroom alarms will be decoded for your future reference. Don’t however, jump the gun and decide your love interest is trying to end the relationship without sufficient evidence.

Take questionable conduct, look at it in the context of the entire relationship, and watch for corroborating signs.

Infamous Breakup Lines.

The first coded message you might hear is one of the more common breakup lines. If he or she recites one of the following, sit up and listen carefully. He or she may be setting you up.

I love you, but something is missing.

Let’s be friends.

I love you, but I am not in love with you.

You deserve someone better.

I’m not good enough for you.

I can’t make you happy.

I’m not trustworthy.

I can’t give you what you want.

I need time to be alone.

Once these words have been spoken, don’t be afraid to react. In fact, respond in a sweet, open-minded way. Ask what’s missing, why he or she can’t possibly make you happy. This way you’ll get more insight into the situation and won’t have to sit and ponder whether or not what he or she was saying was meant to be an infamous breakup line.

Distress Signals

Fortunately, you never have to rely on just the breakup lines to make your determination whether or not someone is trying to dump you. There’s plenty of proof in his or her actions. That’s why you should carefully review the distress signals provided for you.

Takes pleasure trips with someone of the opposite sex other than you.

Shows no curiosity, concern, or tad of jealousy when a past love calls you or makes an overture.

Suddenly changes behavior or expression of affection.

Frequently cancels plans.

Deliberately attempts to start fights.

Exhibits continuous annoying behavior.

Shows a preoccupation with everything but you.

Makes new references to old loves.

Hints at a need for other people in his or her romantic life as well as yours.

These are glaring signs that love is waning. The loss of comfort, happiness, and trust caused by these actions are justifiably felt by you. Take them at face value and begin to seriously consider taking action that benefits you!

Bedroom Alarms

Want more proof that alarms are sounding? Look in the bedroom next. The following are hardly signs that love is part of these sexual romps.

Suddenly too tired for sex.

The absence of tender moments.

Personal insults before, after, or during sex.

Lack of responsiveness.

Derogatory remarks about sexual performance or participation.

Turning over without a kiss or saying good-night.

Dismissing you as a nonperson after sex.

couple with no chemistry

Interest in their own sexual satisfaction only.

A lack of responsiveness to your sexual overtures.

By now, if too many of these clues are adding up, your suspicions may be right on target. He or she is either losing interest or maybe has someone else in mind when they look into your eyes.

Developing Radar

This is imperative in the world of love and romance whether you are tuning into your partner’s needs, pinpointing his or her failures, or detecting a breakup. You must be a wise, take-charge person to steer the course of your love life. It can’t be done without developing radar. Once you have that skill, it is yours forever.

Here is how to plug in the radar that lets you know what is likely to lie ahead:

1. Watch how he/she interacts with other women/men.

2. Discern their pattern of love relationships.

3. Learn about him/her from friends.

4. Read between the lines.

5. Determine if what he/she is saying is reflected in action.

6. Get verbal validation of your perceptions.

7. Assess his/her normal degree of honesty.

8. Put trust in your instincts.

9. Be a good listener.

10. Become proficient in typecasting (typecasting lessons to follow).

Are You a Good Listener and Skilled Talker?

The following quickie quiz will reveal how good you really are. If you’re doing all the talking you won’t hear the SOS. If you aren’t doing enough talking your partner may not give out the signals you are looking for. Rate your answers on a scale of 1 (the least) to 5 (the most).

Quickie Quiz: How Good Is Your Conversation Know-How?

1. How much do you learn in your conversations with your love interest about his/her childhood, dreams, inspirations, fears, likes, and dislikes?

2. Are your conversations balanced? Is there an equal exchange of information?

3. Do you hold off responding or making comments until he/she is finished speaking?

4. Can you prevent your partner from getting away with not answering your questions?

5. Can you keep the conversation on the track you want if you are looking for answers?

A score of less than 20 indicates you are hampering your radar abilities. Improve your conversational give and take.

Typecasting, a Code Buster

Okay, we are taught from grade school not to make sweeping generalizations. Sorry, but sometimes it helps. Typecasting is a handy tool that saves you time. Plugging your love interest into one of the types below gives you the jump on anticipating his/her moves and can avert heartbreak and agonizing breakups.

fighting lovers

A note of caution: Summon all your senses and try to be as accurate as possible when you typecast. Not everyone fits neatly into one compartment or another; sometimes they cross lines. Don’t cast your initial assessment in stone or hesitate to re-assign a label. Just ask yourself if there is sufficient evidence to warrant a change in typecasting. This is a tool to be used wisely and honestly.

A Cast of Male Leads

The basic typecasts for males are provided here in full detail for you. So is a warning label. Read carefully and decide where your guy fits.

Hunters. These men come in different suits, but their role is the same. They love women, the chase, and the satisfaction that comes from catching them. Identifying characteristics include: a history of a large number of sexual partners, boredom after winning the chase, prize their freedom, give up very little of themselves, loads of fun, can be quite romantic, and good for a limited but highly charged period of time.

Warning label: Watch for signs of interest in other women.

Emotionally Unavailable. These men are not adverse to love and commitment, but they aren’t in the mood for it right now. How long until they are depends on the depth of their injuries or bumping into a woman that knocks them off their feet. Identifying characteristics include: a love affair that left them wounded, remnants of a broken heart, an unwillingness to expose their emotions, quick to save face, a desire and need for love, searching within themselves for answers, and the determination to date around. The EU won’t be rushed or talked into love. A timetable for readiness is completely out of your hands.

Warning label: If there are indications of emotional withdrawal or you tally less time with him than any other woman he is dating, you’re sliding out of the picture.

Singularly Satisfied. He should be easy to spot despite the tender side of himself that he reluctantly shows now and then. Identifying characteristics include: likes to do as he pleases, puts himself first, steers clear of commitments, isn’t eager to share his resources or space, can go anywhere unaccompanied, has stringent qualifications for the women he dates, likes to have a female travel companion, might partake in a live-in relationship, and isn’t likely to be monogamous or faithful. The quintessential SS man is not a good prospect for a permanent, loving mate.

Warning label: Generally the SS guy isn’t the one to initiate the breakup unless he finds someone who is more attractive and who satisfies him better in bed than you do. Watch for him to become distracted from you and attracted elsewhere.

Limited Companions. These men are usually honest and up front about their intentions. You have to take them on their terms or not at all. Identifying characteristics include: a history of long-term monogamous serial relationships, easily hookup with new companions/lovers, will not take on extra financial responsibility, rarely lives with a woman, likes a woman close by, and will bolt if you say the m word.

Warning label: They will hang on forever if you let them. Make demands and they hit the road. They don’t have any trouble saying good-bye.

distressed girl

Awkward Players. They may not be sure of themselves, but they may have a terrific potential to be loving partners. You cannot identify them from external features. There are plenty of good looking, successful men you would never dream were awkward players. Identifying characteristics include: a scant history of romantic relationships, newly divorced, lack confidence in dating, and are tentative to ask for a date. You might consider grabbing one of these guys before someone else does.

Warning label: A quick boost of confidence could turn him into a Hunter, Singularly Satisfied, or Limited Companion. Watch for signs of a crossover.

Marriage Seekers. These gents are on a practical, focused mission. Their checklist is more important than love. Identifying characteristics include: frequently widowed or divorced men who may have had more than one try at marriage, businesslike behavior in the assessment of romantic or emotional situations, demonstrate a desire for a partner, require care, need company, and test for sexual compatibility. Be careful or you could be turned into a caretaking spouse.

Warning label: If you don’t fit the requirements, you’ll be passed over. He won’t call back.

Did you recognize your love interest? Were you able to typecast him? Remember, it’s okay to see him in several of the roles. If this is the case, be astute and pay attention to all the applicable warning labels.

A Cast of Female Leads.

Guys aren’t the only gender that can be identified by a cast of characters. What is good for the goose is okay for the gander. Men can benefit in the introductory stages of a relationship from seeing where his love interest fits. No one should have an unfair advantage; hence, these female typecasts are also complete with a warning label.

The Seductress. To some extent the seductress is a version of the old-fashioned tease who is now programmed for sex and romance. Identifying characteristics: sexually aggressive and experienced, in pursuit of erotic pleasures, gets high on overpowering men, and has her womanly wiles down pat. You won’t end up on top if you hop into bed with this female temptress.

Warning label: After a night of unbelievable passion on Friday, she could easily keep her date on Saturday night with another guy.

Players. These gals are having fun. They gain gratification and pleasure in your interest, will date you temporarily, allow you to fulfill their immediate need for companionship, but aren’t attracted enough to get involved with you. Identifying characteristics: has a guy in every port, her romantic history has too many chapters, she doesn’t look into your eyes, and she holds out on sex. She’s fun if you don’t fall too hard for her.

Warning label: Signs of boredom, less playful, an absence of laughter, and a pull back on the flirtation style that hooked you.

Companionately Satisfied. Usually these are women in their 40s. They make good companions and lovers. That and fidelity is want they want from a guy. Love isn’t mandatory but makes the whole thing more fun. Sufficient attraction will do just fine, however. Identifying characteristics: financially secure, probably married once before, values her independence, likes her space, doesn’t get completely wrapped up in the man she’s with, and doesn’t talk about marriage. CS women are careful in their selection of a male companion. You may have been hand picked, but if you complicate her life, you will be stamped no return.

Warning label: Begins to include you less and less in her plans. Moves noticeably toward independence.

Emotionally Defensive. An ED woman is kin to an Emotionally Unavailable man. She’s had a tough time with love, is suspicious of men, and isn’t going to readily let you in to toy with her emotions. Identifying characteristics: likely to hold out on sex, watches you carefully, puts you through tests, won’t take any bull from you, and doesn’t reveal herself carelessly or quickly. Like her male counterpart, she will eventually return to love. If you don’t cheat or disappoint her, you stand a chance.

Warning label: Subtly enters a protective mode, goes from warm to cold, begins to steadily distance herself from you.

Romantic Idealists. RIs flit from one man to another pursuing love and fulfilling their romantic fantasies often at other people’s expense. Identifying characteristics: full of romantic surprises, thrive on romantic pleasures, form strong physical attractions, and may refrain from sexual intercourse. Unless you like fairy tales, having a liaison with a Romantic Idealist could prove risky.

Warning label: Something’s up when the candles are blown out and the lights go up.

Clumsy Novices. These women are the identical counterparts to Awkward Players but with less of a propensity to turn into a seductress or male-type player. Once these ladies get their feet wet, however, they become a little more selective in who they spend their affections on. (See Awkward Players under male types for details.)

Warning label: A drop in the number of smiling responses, endearing pats, or affectionate quick kisses.

Scouts. Scouts are looking for their lifetime mates and have their love maps out. Scouting styles vary from coy and undercover to aggressive and up-front. Identifying characteristics: make verbal expressions in favor of marriage, sex is not their number one bag, have an agenda, and don’t waste time on frivolous romantic hookups.

Warning label: Refuse future date, don’t make time for you, fail to give further encouragement.

In conclusion, a note of caution to all men and women who attempt to use typecasts: There is room for error. Remain open-minded, use all clues or signals, and above all, try to be honest and extract the same from each and every love interest.