SINGLE women tend to be pleasantly surprised when they find out that an attractive man is single, but it is important to remember that not every man on the market is a good catch. In fact, many of these men leave the market frequently, only to be returned shortly thereafter by disappointed women.
Just as we read labels to check if our goods are edible before we purchase them, so must we read the signs to see whether our bachelors are really eligible. After all, men do not come with a warranty, so you will never get back the time and energy you invest in them. Author and relationship coach Caleen Diedrick gives a few cues that you should pay attention to while man shopping, to ensure that you don't get a bad bargain. If you pick up on one or more of these signs, it might mean that he is single but not eligible.
Regardless of his obligations, a man who is truly interested and invested in you will communicate frequently. This is not to say he will be on the phone with you 24/7 or always be available when you want to talk, but you will be able to notice him making an effort to reach out to you. Infrequent communication, or the stark opposite, where he seems to be keeping track of your every move throughout the day, raises an early red flag.
He sends mixed signals
One moment he is actively pursuing you and is very warm and engaging, but then in the next moment he either vanishes or clams up, leaving you high and dry. Diedrick notes that mixed signals such as these could indicate that the man is either emotionally unavailable or is not interested in the level of commitment that you are.
He constantly harps about his ex
If he is constantly mentioning his ex, whether by comparing you to her or by blaming her, in her absence, for his flaws, then that should raise some concerns. If he shoulders none of the blame for why his last relationship (or any of his past relationships) ended, then it might mean he does not hold himself accountable for his actions, which could spell trouble for a relationship with you. Diedrick adds that if he puts a particular ex on a pedestal and talks about her as if she is 'the one that got away' it could also mean that he has not yet gotten over her, and is not emotionally available to you.
He jokingly accuses you of being untrustworthy
You will never be at peace in a relationship with an insecure man, the counsellor warns. While you may not be able to tell just how insecure he is from the jump, you can pick up on subtle hints. One too many 'jokes' about you cheating or being too close with a particular male friend, or seeking the attention of other men, should alarm you that this man is likely to be very insecure and will constantly accuse you of these things later on.
He is a control freak
It might start off as him pointing out that he prefers your hair in a certain style, or he thinks your jeans are too fitted, or he just wants to know where you are every minute of the day. If you're not careful, sooner or later this kind of man might have you asking for permission to leave the house, Diedrick warns. Spotting the early signs of a controlling man can save you from entering a relationship in which you are constantly criticised, manipulated, or even abused.
He is extremely secretive
He sleeps with his cellphone under his pillow, he locks his drawers, he steps out everytime his phone rings, he hardly talks about himself or his past, and always finds a way to bring the focus of conversations back to you. A secretive man is probably hiding something, the expert cautions. While this could stem from some unresolved trauma or issues from his past that he is afraid of sharing, it could also mean he is not as single as he would have you believe.