When it comes to relationships, the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin summed it up best. It all boils down to one very important thing: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. As any good couples’ therapist will tell you, the “R-word” is crucial for a serious, committed relationship; without it you’re on a dead-end road. How do you know which direction you’re headed? When it comes right down to it, his actions almost always speak louder than his words. Here, five signs your guy may not be in it for the long haul:

1. He’s Not Thinking About the Future. Planning ahead, or at least having some general goals, is the key to a stable and satisfying life, as well as a stable and satisfying relationship. And those goals don’t have to be all about you or the relationship to be illuminating. For example, if your guy doesn’t seem to care about finding or hanging onto a decent job, or has no clue about where he wants to be in 10 years, chances are a serious, long-term relationship isn’t on his to-do list, either.

2. He Goes MIA on Special Occasions. When you’re a couple, certain events – birthdays, anniversaries, career-related events – require extra attention. It’s no secret that guys can be forgetful creatures, but you shouldn’t have to remind him twice when your birthday is – or worry that he won’t show up when he promised to escort you to a super important work event.

3. He Enjoys Keeping You Guessing. When it comes to being secure in your relationship, a little reassurance goes a long way. From offering up his plans without being asked, to calling just to say hi, sometimes it’s the simplest things that give us the most confidence in our significant other. But if you find that you’re wondering what he’s up to on a regular basis – he gets vague whenever you ask, or you feel like you have to play 20 Questions just to get a straight answer – you’re probably right to start wondering just how far you can trust him.

4. His Generosity — Financially and Otherwise — Leaves a lot to be Desired. We all have different beliefs about money, but when you’re part of a couple it’s important to establish healthy open dialogue regarding financial matters. If he doesn’t think twice about splurging on a fishing trip with the guys or buying himself that cool new gadget, but he regularly borrows your car without refilling the tank, or has to be coerced into taking you out to dinner at a nice restaurant, consider yourself warned: it’s time to talk — and maybe even walk.

5. He Prefers Hanging out With His Buddies. Boys-only clubs typically lose their appeal by the age of 10. But straight males who insist on constantly running off with their male friends past the age of puberty are guaranteed to bring you heartache. It’s healthy for men to want to occasionally spend time with their buddies, but when you find yourself left out in the cold on a regular basis, it’s hard not to feel like you’re competing for his attention.


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