Nothing lasts forever, especially in matters of dating. But even though the song tells us “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do,” that’s not always the case. Sometimes, if we know exactly why it wasn’t working, breaking up is actually pretty damn easy to do. A relief, even.

So what would make us cut the romantic cord and not look back? A few things, though the official reason we give you might not be the real one. Look no further than a recent study conducted by the dating postmortem website Wot Went Wrong (and yes, the pseudo-British spelling of “what” really bothers me, too).

The site surveyed men and women (though I’m not entirely convinced of it’s scientific integrity), and found that one of the top 10 reasons that women offered for breaking up with a man – in a short term, 6 date maximum situation – was that he was “too tall.” Um, what? Ten percent of women also claimed that the men they were dating were “too high maintenance.” Again, WTF? Haven’t women called “shotgun” on the whole high maintenance thing? Who are these guys they’re dating anyway?

Furthering my contention that this survey was complete and utter bullshit is the fact that, in only slightly longer relationships (1-6 months), women cited the #1 reason for breaking up to be that their “dietary habits differed too much.” They also buried the “You don’t make enough money for the lifestyle I want to have” reason further down the chart, hovering only slightly above “lack of punctuality.” (cough*bullshit*cough)

So allow me to set the record straight, men. Even though we’ve talked deal breakers before, phase outs and even exit interviews, the only way to get an honest answer is to ask a woman who won’t sugarcoat them. Besides, people are notoriously inaccurate when self-reporting data. Sad but true.

I think the most important thing to lead off with is the distinction that women in a long term relationship, where we’re dating you for a significant amount of time (8 months – several years), really only end things for one of two reasons. *Cheesy disclaimer: Yes there are exceptions, but for the most part things funnel into one of two categories. So don’t kill the messenger.* Drum roll please…

Either there’s someone else, or we’ve realized that you’re not The One-slash-we clearly want different things. Sound oversimplified? Nope, it’s pretty accurate actually.

Women generally won’t end things in an otherwise good relationship unless they’ve fallen out of love with you (or into lust with someone else) or unless they’re convinced it won’t go anywhere in the long run. We don’t want to waste your time, or our own. Sometimes there are other life circumstances that might mistakenly make us think we’re not on the same page (i.e. a quarter life crisis or plain old timing), but for the most part, thems the breaks, boys.

Short term dating, however, is a very different story. Women will end things for much less profound reasons, and they’ll likely be less forthright with you about why to spare your feelings. Oh who am I kidding? To spare an awkward confrontation – a move we learned from you, I’m afraid.

Some of the primary reasons we’ll close up shop? Physical attraction, for starters. As in, “there was one initially, but it’s fizzled now and I don’t want to keep hooking up with you.” Or possibly that we’ve already hooked up with you, and it was so lackluster that we’re trying to avoid an encore. I know a man who believes that women should always tell guys outright if she’s just not into him physically, and I strongly disagree. While it would effectively clear up any ambiguity, it would also level someone to hear that. Who wants to be told that they’re not as attractive as they’d previously thought? OUCH.

We’ll also end things if you have annoying habits, like being stingy with money or rarely leaving your couch in your free time. Your friends and/or family could factor into our decision, in both short and long term set ups. Or if you work too much and we fear you don’t have room in your life for us. Scheduling can suck, after all.

Sometimes you bring out something about ourselves that upsets us, like criticizing our physiques, dieting or beauty habits (Think that stuff doesn’t mess with a girl’s head? Think again). Other times, I hate to admit it, but women really do like you for the wrong reasons – as in paycheck reasons – and they’ll flee if they don’t think you’ll provide them with a certain lifestyle, like the survey said. That one always sickens me, but it’s too prevalent to ignore, so there it is.

A huge reason for breaking up with a guy in a short term dating situation, and one that Miss Wingman can’t emphasize enough, is lack of self awareness. Allow me to repeat that for the cheap seats: Lack of self awareness. Have trouble picking up on social cues? Don’t realize when a woman’s not into you? Generally have zero concept of how people view you, or the image you put forth? This spells disaster, guys.

Why? Because it makes us view you as less than manly, even bordering on pathetic in some extreme cases. Self awareness is to a woman’s dating radar like a hot body is to a man’s. Even a woman with an underwhelming face can be viewed as highly dateable if she has an exceptional figure. And even a guy who looks more like Zach Galifianakis than Zac Efron can have his pick of women if he’s really self aware, I’ve seen it happen. (Because we’re better people than you shallow men are, obviously. Kidding). But the reverse is also true, so beware.

There are also a bevy of other reasons why women would pull the plug on a casual dating relationship, like if we think that you’re the wandering eye type (or if we suspect that you’re sleeping with other females). Or maybe if religion is an inflexible issue, or if people in our inner circle feel that you don’t bring out the best in us. Hell, even geography can be a sticking point. Not for us New Yorkers, but apparently you LA folks aren’t willing to brave gridlock for love (and understandably so).

So it’s a mixed bag, but one that we most likely won’t open up and let you peer into completely. Unless you send us a survey, of course. No matter what ultimately causes us to call Time of Death on our budding romance, once the headstone is in place, make sure you take that as your cue and walk away. That way you leave with your dignity – and your dating cred – intact.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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