A dumping should never come out of the blue. Let FHM save you the pain with this handy guide to the warning signs…
Before, her version of a radical image change was going to the hairdresser and having her ends trimmed. Now she heads off to the salon looking like Hillary Duff and comes back looking like Halle Berry in the X-Men flicks. She’s changed her entire image, she’s bought a new wardrobe, she’s putting on enough make-up to plaster a townhouse complex and she’s wearing perfume strong enough to kill a swarm of tsetse flies.
What does it mean? It’s a sign. Old look = old life. Sadly, you’re part of that. It’s min days for you, bru.
Most relationships start with a rather socialistic basic principle: what’s mine is yours. It’s just easier to do your laundry together and your music collections start melting into a bizarre combined unit, with Slipknot parking right next to Kenny G in your CD rack. But now those days are over. She wants her property back. She’ll casually sit on the lounge floor sorting out her CDs (“I want to lend them to my friend Karen, babe”). She’ll start writing her name in her books (“I’m just practising my signature”). You’ll also notice you’re getting back all that stuff you left at her flat — including toothbrushes and razors. Some of your stuff just vanishes altogether — the stuff she can use, such as bottles of wine and the video-store card.
What does it mean? She’s already breaking up with you, dude, she just doesn’t have the courage to express it yet. She is just giving you little hints so you’ll notice and ask her about it. Should you ignore all her clues — or be too dumb to notice them — she’ll take it to the next level. She’ll tell the guard at her complex to stop letting you in and she’ll block your number on her cellie.
In the beginning you ous were doing it three times a day. On weekends and public holidays even more than that. You’d check porno films together, she’d demonstrate her horny vibrator play for you… It was a flippin’ ghoenathon. But now it rains in the Kalahari more often than you guys get around to shagging. You just never have sex, thanks to her headache, which conveniently flares up every time your little head starts to ache. Of course, it could be coincidence — the same way they always take a coloured player off the field when they’re bringing another coloured oke on in the Super 14.
What does it mean? When she doesn’t want to sleep with you any more, emotionally, she’s already made the break. The good news: there’s not necessarily another man on the scene who’s sorting your babe out. The bad news: you’re probably not that great in bed, or you got a bit lazy and are not seeing to her needs. You might as well go find yourself another babe.
Squirrels don’t eat much. And recently, neither does your girl. She avoids the flesh of animals that have died for a perfectly good cause — burgers, steaks and boerie. She orders salads at restaurants, leaving you feeling like a Neanderthal carnivore. She announces that she is now a vegetarian. Or perhaps her politics suddenly change or she starts ranting about fur. Whatever: beware the sudden change.
What does it mean? Your girlfriend got her idea from somewhere. She didn’t spontaneously decide that cows don’t deserve to be eaten. She didn’t encounter communism in Woolies. She wasn’t calmly cruising through life when she had this sudden epiphany about the cruelty mankind inflicts upon our fellow mammals. Oh no. Someone out there planted that idea in her mind. And that oke is your successor…
CONFLICT OF INTERESTS
Life was so simple. It was you and your babe. And she had only two hobbies: you and the satisfaction of your sexual needs. That was then. Now she’s started going to cheese-making classes, doing Pilates, attending José Gonzalez concerts and heading off to lunches where Dennis Beckett talks. She’s generally unsatisfied and phrases like “self-discovery” and “new perspective” start coming out of her lovely little mouth.
What does it mean? She’s not satisfied. Not just with you and her career, but with her whole existence. So she’s trying to bring new challenges and inspiration into her life.
If you don’t support her new interests, sooner or later she’ll start seeing you as an obstacle to her development. As soon as that happens, she’ll want you out of the way. And that, dude, would be the end of that.
A oke leaves a trail behind him. And not just on the way from the midnight pie stop to your car. Also in your babe’s flat, there will be signs of your presence — notably when you forget to pull the chain. But beware when she starts to clean up behind you. Like if she immediately takes your plate and cutlery to the sink when you finish with them and starts scrubbing them clean like they’re infected. She’s trying to remove every trace of your existence from her pozzie. You also know your lady’s got issues if she starts changing the bed every single morning.
What does it mean? Time’s run out on your relationship, mate. She wants to break up and has probably already found a replacement for you. She doesn’t want to tell you the truth because she’s afraid of your reaction. So she’s more or less sweeping you out of her house – that’s why she’s cleaning up after you and getting rid of all traces of you. That way, when the new oke is around, she won’t be reminded of you and start getting a guilty conscience. And you can just imagine why she’s always changing the sheets. It’s over.
“ONLY A GOOD FRIEND”
You can’t break up with a good friend. But they can disturb your relationship. Especially when this friendship is between your babe and another man. Of course this other guy — who’ll have a flippin’ irritating name like Christopher, Alessandro or Terence – is just a good friend. Of course there’s nothing between them. And of course when you see them together, they’re just chatting so animatedly because he’s such a good listener and understands her so well. Everything’s purely platonic. By which she means they’re not having sex — at least not yet. Christopher/Alessandro/Terence will have the same interests as her, and he’ll be into none of the things that you dig doing. He can cook, sew on buttons and he knows that Bree is not just a cheese or where you find the Oriental Plaza, but a character out of Desperate Housewives. He’s more sensitive, romantic and attentive than you are. And he seems to believe that a woman as hot as your girlfriend deserves a better man than you could ever hope to be.
What does it mean? Competition drives the economy. But it can also destroy everything. In your case, it’s the latter. Your girlfriend sees in her new best friend all the things you don’t have, and that she misses. He’s persuaded her that you’re a lazy, ungrateful pig and that she deserves way better. Your babe’s “friend” is no doubt exposing you for the monster you are, using their intimate chats to steer the conversation around to your all-round failing as a boyfriend.
He wants her bad, and it looks like he’s gonna get her. We’re sorry to be the ones to tell you this, but you’ve just met your babe’s next boyfriend. You might as well start scouting for a replacement lady.
While casual acquaintances might not have known it, your babe was one step away from a nudist. When you guys were alone at home, she never had a stitch of clothing on. She barely bothered to pull a dress on when she headed out to buy suntan cream for her nude sunbathing. Now that’s changed. She’s wearing coats baggier than a Russian shoplifter’s. You haven’t seen her naked in weeks — she makes sure she turns the light off before she gets changed, she locks the bathroom door when she’s showering and when she comes out she’s wrapped up in three or four towels, including some weird turban story on her head. She’s like a walking laundry.
What does it mean? She’s hiding her body from you because she believes you no longer have the right to see her naked. She wants to cut off all forms of intimacy — but slowly and not with a definite discussion that would constitute officially breaking up. She would rather you ended it, absolving her of all need to feel guilty about ripping your heart out and giving her the moral high ground. She has no more feelings for you and her covering-up mission is her way of giving you clues. She also wants to avoid getting you all horny, in case that leads to animalistic shagging and delays the process of drifting apart that she’s trying to engineer. Next thing, she won’t let you touch her. She’ll always be busy, missioning off somewhere as soon as you try initiate any kind of intimacy. No more caresses, no more holding hands, no more erotic massage. It’s all headed one way, bru: frosty break-up and a return to the solitary joys of self-love.
“Freedom is the greatest good,” said some ancient Greek philosopher with homosexual tendencies and a stupid beard. But freedom can also be a sign of trouble. If you’re in a relationship where she suddenly lets you do whatever you want, whenever you want, as often as you want, be suspicious. Especially when it comes to sport. If all of a sudden she lets you hang out with your mates every weekend, allows you to go watch every Bulls home game and you can vlam in front of Formula One with impunity, then something is up. If she blows off an invite to a romantic picnic so you can watch a Tri-Nations game, you should smell a rat.
What does it mean? The first possibility is that she has recognised what importance sport enjoys in your life and, as a loyal girlfriend, she wants to support your passions. This is unlikely, though.
The second possibility is that she wants to break up with you. If she doesn’t want to officially bullet you, then at least she wants you out of her immediate presence. This is highly likely. This doesn’t necessarily mean there’s another dude on the scene. She’s just gatvol of you and everything about you.
LOOKING FOR KAK
Sometimes your babe’s more chilled than Roger Federer having a King Kone. At other times, when you ous are rawling, she’s got a lower boiling point than ethanol. Naturally it’s always your fault, you can’t do anything right and you’re a grade-A doos. Nowadays your very presence is enough to make her want to throw something at you. When you make nice and try understand what the problem is, that just pisses her off even more. And when it becomes clear that you’re not interested in arguing, she provokes you until you crack and start tuning back, which she then immediately makes you regret by either going completely nuclear or, more likely, bursting into tears and telling you how awful you are to her.
What does it mean? She’s probably met someone else and she’s looking for an excuse to say it’s not working out with you. She’ll be able to tune, “There’s no point going out if we just argue all the time”. There’s really no way to avoid this one, because the horrid truth is that she’s already mentally left you. Accuse her of starting fights and she’ll be out of there quicker than you can say, “Just go then”! You might as well get back into the scene, dude. FHM
This was first published in the FHM October 2006 issue.
Words: Martin Trockner
Photographs: Luciana Pampalone