Dumped? (Or thinking about it?) Signs It's Time... And Where To Get a Replacement!

by Amanda Lanum 

This morning Dave, Drew and I talked relationships, thanks to the topic inspired by FHM (a magazine for men). They gave 10 "signs it's time to dump her." I didn't necessarily agree with them... the guys say it proves the difference in the way men and women think. Just in case some men are silly enough to take this advice and leave you ladies single... no worries. Below the 10 signs are a list of places you can find Mr. Right... and forget about Mr. FHM. :)

According to FHM, if you see these red flags, it's time to bail on the relationship. Do you agree?

She's a sports fan -- You think you've struck gold because instead of dividing your time between watching football and being with her, you can knock them both out in the same afternoon. She might even make wings and fetch you beers. Break up because: By bedding a sports fan, you're giving up the golden excuse that every other guy on earth has for leaving the house and getting snowed with friends.

She loves gossiping -- She sure has a lot to say about her friends when they're not around to listen, but then again, aren't all women like that? Break up because: Dating a gossip is like sharing your bed with a living, breathing personification of the E! network.

She controls your dinner options -- She really wants to cook an elaborate meal for dinner, but you'd rather order takeout. So you have a long discussion on the matter until you agree that cooking is probably fine. And then -- how convenient -- all of the night's ingredients have already been bought. Dump her because: While tonight's food choice may seem innocuous at first, you're not far from, "White or purple for the walls?" "Can my mother move in to the living room?" "Birth-control pills or vasectomy?"

She cleans your place -- Having a domestic diva to make the bed, pack lunch and do dishes will make any man think he's stumbled up on a living treasure. It's like having a maid -- except you don't need to speak Spanish or worry about the INS. Break up because: Suzie Homemaker doesn't play house in exchange for dinner and a movie. It's her audition for the role of wife. She's investing in you, and when she finally cahses out, only a diamond will cover the bill.

She spoils you -- The list of presents she's gotten you for your birthday reads like a page out of the Sharper Image catalog. While your friends' girlfriends stick them with sweaters or "meaningful" mix CDs, you're getting sweet-ass electronics and even a life-size stormtrooper. Break up because: Those presents weren't about you -- they were about her. When your girlfriend's special day rolls around, the bar has been set and you'll be expected to match or surpass what she spent on you.

She's constantly dieting -- Everything seems perfect when your lady's watching her waist. Dates are cheaper when she orders half a salad at the restaurant, and sex is better when you can close your eyes, grab her bony wrists and pretend you're with Mary-Kate Olsen. Break up because: A woman who diets obsessively has something to hide -- and it's most likely sluggish thyroid plus a family history of chronic obesity.

She flies solo -- You notice that her formerly close friends haven't been around lately. "Cool," you think, "I hated that pack of mascara-streaked gossip-jackals anyway." Break up because: Now that her friends are gone, she's going to start working on ditching yours.

She loves Daddy -- She's extremely close with her father, and while it's creepy to watch her revert to a 6-year-old whenever she talks with him, it's nice to know that he's offered to make the down payment on the house should you two ever get married. Break up because: Nothing you do will ever be good enough for her -- or, as importantly, her dad.

She hates working -- It's a little annoying that she constantly gripes about work, but, then, who doesn't? It's the stuff crappy sitcoms are made of. Break up because -- She's looking for an employment escape hatch, and you're it. She'll hint that if you were more ambitious, you could get a promotion and make enough for the both of you -- and hey, if you were married, your healthcare would cover her too. If you think it's boring now listening to her talk about work, imagine what it will be like when all she has to talk about are the day's soap operas.

She takes you shopping -- You've convinced yourself that your presence at the mall might persuade your girlfriend to buy sexier clothing, so you hold her bags while she searches for the perfect top. Break up because: Please refer back to Breakup Sign No. 7. This is just another way for her to increase her dependence on you.
Here are the best places to find Mr. Right, according to "The Everything Dating Book."

Bookstores -- If you're into books or want to browse the magazine rack, the small, independent shops are more intimate. But any store where men and women gather and stand still for a few minutes is okay.

Bank at lunchtime -- Waiting in line after tellers get backed up can net a romantic windfall. If you're not shy about starting your own transaction, you could find yourself with a lunch or dinner date.

Get outdoors more -- Biking, inline skating and jogging puts you in touch with others who want to enjoy the fresh air and sun. Just stay away from anyone who looks like they're training for a marathon.

Happy hour -- The traditional after-work kickback time at local watering holes offers a great opportunity to connect socially. Workhorses have their guards down and are looking for a good time. Make sure you have good view of the door and be prepared to discuss office politics.

Networking -- A professional association, a personal development club, such as Toastmasters, or other groups attract dating prospects with common interests. Also, attend luncheons and business or financial seminars to meet professionals. And, always bring business cards.

Rub elbows on mass transit -- Leave the car at home. Riding the rails or buses to work may lead to a chance meeting that could blossom into something more. Or, you might even find someone to carpool with.

Work out at a gym -- Health clubs are packed with potential partners. You can stay in shape and meet new people.
Museums and art galleries -- These havens for singles never leave minglers lacking topics to discuss.

Poetry readings -- Even if you don't write, you can listen. Many bookstores offer one evening a month where aspiring poets can take center stage.

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