5 Signs You Have A Foot Out The Door Of Your Relationship



I know firsthand how hard it is to recognize when it’s time to cut your losses and stop trying to make a relationship work. When you still have one foot lingering in the door, you want nothing more than for your partner to convince you to put the other one back in too.

But I also know from experience (and from John Mayer) that keeping one foot (or “half of your heart”) in a relationship when the other is already out is not fair to you or your partner.



If you’ve caught yourself exhibiting any of the behaviors listed in this article on Thought Catalog, chances are you have a foot out the door and need to either put it back in and give the relationship a fighting chance or take the other foot out and rip the bandaid off.

Request to Just Give Him a Chance Denied

To Whom It May Concern:

I have received and processed your request that I just give him a chance. I have carefully considered the reasons why I should just give him a chance, including

  • “He’s a really nice guy”
  • “He’ll grow on you”
  • “He didn’t mean it”
  • “Nobody’s perfect”
  • “Boys will be boys”

While these are all compelling arguments, I have determined that the following conditions exempt me from the obligation to give him a chance:

  • I possess no interest whatsoever in said person
  • I prefer to focus on other things at the moment
  • Said person has behaved like a total asshole in my presence
  • Said person annoys the living shit out of me

I have taken into consideration my guilt over not fulfilling said person’s desires and determined that, unfortunately, my own desires must take priority at this time.

Your petition demonstrates impressive mastery of the reasons he might want a chance but a weaker grasp of my personal agency.

I understand and consent to the possibility of missing out on a potential Beauty and the Beast-like transformation in which my opinion of said person spontaneously reverses.

I hereby forgo my right to be “swept off my feet,” “won over,” and otherwise passively bestowed with emotions that go against my better judgment.


Director of the Department of Chance Distribution

You are receiving this letter because you have submitted a request to the Department of Chance Distribution. Please note that appeals will take 3-5 business days to process.


You over there, with your index finger hovering over the “send” button: Before you proceed any further, please note that your next text will make or break this relationship.

Before that text goes zooming irrevocably to the recipient’s phone, choose your words wisely. Do you really want to “hang out,” or would you rather “meet up”?

Lest you unwittingly alter the course of this relationship, remember that whether you write “hey” or “hi” will determine if he even likes you.

And is this really a “party” you’re going to, or is it more of a general “get-together”? Don’t be a liar!

Before you press that “send” button, consider the whereabouts of the recipient. Could he be at dinner with his parents? Walking his dog? If you disturb an important activity, you just may garner his eternal hatred. Then again, could he be on a date? Maybe if you intervene just in time, you could occupy some prime real estate in his head!

But how long has it been since you last spoke? If you’re desperate enough to text someone a day after your last meeting, you’ll probably grow old alone save a few feline companions.

Since it can be tricky to determine which words to use, read various drafts to yourself. Then read them aloud. Then read them to a friend.

Then conduct a multivariate survey on how each of your friends would react upon receiving different iterations of your text, and use it to construct a sentiment analysis of each emoticon.

Then run an A/B testing campaign blasting different versions of this text to your Twitter followers and analyzing your engagement metrics. Track your click-through rate based on timing as well as word choice, since an innocent invitation at 12 noon can become a booty call at 12 midnight.

If your recipient is a Twitter user, you may need to leverage other channels to ensure everyone but the recipient gets the text. One option is to dedicate a separate web page to each variant and compare traffic with Google Analytics.

And while you’re at it, you’d might as well collect all your data in a relational database for SQL analysis. Then again, by the time you get the software up and running, you may have missed your window of opportunity.

Either way, only once your data is statistically significant should you release your muscles and let that finger descend to that phone.

Although you’ve already revised this text 13 times, replacing “some time” with “soon” and “do you want” with “would you like” and drawing other imperative distinctions, recall your last unanswered text. If you’d just phrased it a little differently, you could be married by now.

So I’ve started this Tumblr

I realized I’ve been writing a lot these days about the challenges of dating as a feminist (exhibit A, exhibit B), so I’ve decided to create a blog dedicated to this topic. You can now follow me on dwfdatingwhilefeminist.tumblr.com.

I’m calling it Dating While Feminist, abbreviated as DWF – similar to DWI or DUI – because dating while feminist can sometimes truly feel like a liability. You’ll be hearing about some dreadful and hopefully laughable dating experiences, what they’ve taught me about our f***ed-up society, and how I attempt (and sometimes manage) to retain my feminist convictions and even occasionally some faith in humanity.

The idea for this blog came about when I was dating someone who was altogether adequate except for his lack of feminist allegiances. Some people suggested that, given the state of the dating market that straight women face, I can’t afford to be so picky regarding this criterion. I’m using this blog to demonstrate and commiserate about how bad the market really is – but argue against settling as a solution.

She’s Just Not That Into You: The Book That Should Have Been Written

Disclaimer: This article is about heterosexual relationships because it is written from my own experience, but I’m sure there are similarly interesting things to say about same-sex relationships, and I hope we can talk about them too.

Don’t want. Don’t act. Sit there and look pretty so that a man will make the first move. “You’ve got to get him to say hello.”

Field advances; don’t make them. Be the gatekeeper, not the one walking through the door.

Play “hard to get;” give him the thrill of the chase; be the prey to his predations.

Any woman who has grown up in this society is accustomed to these messages.

What if all this time, instead of preparing women for a lifelong waiting game while men take the reins, we taught men (and everyone else) about waiting for and giving the reins to women (or anyone else)?

Our society’s unwillingness to hear a woman say “yes” contributes to the lack of respect for a “no.” If men believe they are wired to want and women are wired to be wanted, there leaves no room to consider what women want – or don’t want.

In our current cultural climate, women’s desires are silenced to the point that men believe their only options are exerting pressure, manipulation, or worse.

These beliefs about our innate wiring are especially insidious because they get passed off as descriptive – merely stating a fact about diverging desires. Yet they quickly become prescriptive by suggesting that those unsatisfied with their roles are not in touch with their supposed instincts, and that rather than changing the status quo, “all they have to do is surrender to their nature.”

So here’s the advice that I wish everyone who has pursued me would read:

Give me the chance to pursue you. Don’t wait for me to say no. Give me the chance to say yes, or even better, to pose the question myself. I may not have been taught to pursue, but if I am “that into you,” I won’t let you slip away for this reason. And if I don’t take you up on it? That may be painful or uncomfortable, but not as much as sexual harassment or assault!

And in case this advice leaves any ambiguity, here’s a handy “She’s Just Not That Into You” guide.

If she doesn’t give you her number, she’s just not that into you.

If she ignores your texts, she’s just not that into you.

If she moves to the other side of the dance floor, she’s just not that into you.

She’s not playing “hard to get;” she’s just not that into you.

If she maintains a secure distance between you, she’s just not that into you.

If she sits there stiffly while you try to put your arm around her, she’s just not that into you.

If she doesn’t kiss you back, she’s just not that into you.

She’s not being coy; she’s just not that into you.

If she says no, she’s not into it.

If she tells you to stop, she’s not into it.

If she just lies there, she’s not into it.

If she’s not into it, that’s not being coy or playing hard to get; that’s sexual assault.

Instead of writing and reading books and articles about what men are or aren’t into or how men can pursue what they’re into, I envision a world where people took what women were into seriously.

Better yet, I envision a world where people take seriously what each individual is and isn’t into, without gender-based assumptions.

This world, where the absence of a “yes” is a “no,” is a world where everyone has the chance to say yes. It’s a world without a hunter-hunted, active-passive, or receiver-received duality.

In this future, there wouldn’t need to be a book called “He’s Just Not That Into You” or “She’s Just Not That Into You.” People would read something more along the lines of “Phe/Ze/They May Or May Not Be Into You Depending On What Signals You’re Receiving.”

I’ve seen glimpses of this future. It’s that moment when the bill comes and you’re not sure who is going to pay. It’s that moment when you’re not sure if your partner is in the mood (for whatever, really) and must get up the courage to ask.

It’s also that moment where you decide to treat someone who has paid for your first few dates. And that moment when you both lean in for the first kiss. It’s terribly awkward and terribly romantic.

And terribly exciting. After all, these moments are forging new territory – territory far preferable to a world where women wait for men to be “into them” and men must be taught to care what women are into.

The 5 Covert Sexists You Meet Online

Any online dating profile containing the word “feminist” is bound to elicit some unsettling reactions, some merely misinformed – “I’m not a feminist; I believe in equality” – and some outright adversarial – “I guess you don’t want a man with balls” (that’s an actual OKCupid message). You probably won’t give these people* a second glance. But some are less upfront about their sexism. They may even make it through a few dates before you come face-to-face with their covert but insidious beliefs.

1. Mr. Nice Guy

His MO: He believes he deserves a gold star for treating you like a human.

His case for himself: Guys like him are a rare lifeboat in a sea full of douchebags, so you’d better grab onto him before you drown.

Why I’m not buying it: Mr. Nice Guy is not an escape from the douchebags; he’s one of them. The minimal respect he would show a man should be a given, not a source of pride. Men like him believe a woman is a prize that you win for beating a villain in a video game or being a “nice guy.” Entitlement complexes are dangerous.

2. Mr. Guilt-Free

His MO: He would never advocate sexism, but he’s not too eager to challenge his beliefs about gender differences or update his views based on your personal testimony. “Privilege” is not in his vocabulary. He thinks as long as he’s not a mean person, his actions couldn’t have a negative impact on society. He also believes that owning his desires means not questioning their problematic roots. He’s probably attracted to conventionally feminine qualities. He also probably sees no issue with racial preferences in dating.

His case for himself: Like the nice guy, he believes simply being a decent person is enough. He wouldn’t deny that women have been oppressed historically, but hey, he didn’t do it.

Why I’m not buying it: Mr. Guilt-Free may be fun for a few dates, but after a while, you’ll probably get tired of him getting defensive when the topic of sexism comes up or dismissing your personal experiences.

3. Mr. Free Love

His MO: He’s all about sexual liberation, but his version of liberation is men taking liberties with women.

His case for himself: He’s a free spirit. He likes to test limits. Life is an adventure, live on the edge, blah blah blah.

Why I’m not buying it: Unfortunately, he’ll probably try to test YOUR limits. Mr. Free Love will try to push things a litttttle further physically than you seem willing to go – and might even whip out (pun intended) that “sexual liberation” rhetoric to guilt you into going there. Sexual liberation means not being ashamed of your sexuality, but he would have you think it means sharing your sexuality with everyone. Nobody should ever try to influence what you share and whom you share it with.

4. Mr. Separate-But-Equal

His MO: Whether backed up by evolutionary pseudoscience, New Age spirituality, or even just cultural difference, he celebrates gender essentialism as a form of diversity.

His case for himself: He believes in respecting one another’s differences. Yin and yang energies, male and female brains, etc. should all be considered equal – what’s not to like about that?

Why I’m not buying it: It’s hard to feel respected or equal when you’re being squeezed into one half of a yin-yang or one side of an evolutionary strategy. Mr. Separate-But-Equal isn’t listening to you; he’s finding a way to interpret all your actions as “feminine”: If you bring up an issue in the relationship and then move on and talk about something else, this is feminine fickleness; if you want to spend a day hanging out without any strict plans, this is feminine flexibility; if you want to talk about something he did that bothered you, this is feminine emotionality. Everything you do is fucking feminine. And everything he does is masculine: He probably believes that he is more logical, more visual, more sexual, etc., leaving little room for you to possess those qualities or him to possess “feminine” ones.

5. Mr. Men’s Rights

His MO: He fears that feminism is excluding men, resents the masculine stereotypes he has had to live up to, and counters your complaints about being a woman with anecdotes about why it’s hard to be a man as well. He’s also the kind of person likely to believe that he faces disadvantages by virtue of being white, straight, or middle-class.

His case for himself: There’s an appeal to someone who challenges gender roles and advocates some beliefs that are central to feminism, such as more balanced divisions of labor and challenging stereotypes.

Why I’m not buying it: We all agree that men should not be oppressed, that feminism shouldn’t reverse the current hierarchy, etc. Feminists aren’t trying to do that. I know it’s hard to be a man, and feminism is trying to change that too, but don’t try to compare our experiences or use yours to counter mine. A true ally will be sensitive to women’s struggles without claiming to fully understand them. Plus, Mr. Men’s Rights is often guilty of mansplaining.

Online dating is filled with these people, and sometimes they have noble intentions, and sometimes they really want to improve, and sometimes they’re just extremely attractive and hard to resist – but resisting them will be worth it once you find a true ally! While I’m all about educating people to become better allies, this education has to be solicited and should not be the condition upon which you are willing to date someone. Unfortunately, trying to give someone a feminist makeover is usually not only poorly received but also an ineffective use of your time. And it’s not your job

What behaviors have you noticed that reveal a date’s covert sexism? On a more positive note, what are some behaviors indicate that a date is an ally?

*As always, this is written from the experience of a heterosexual woman without the desire to speak for others but with the desire to learn more about their experiences.