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Why Some Guys Bail Without Warning

You think things are fine between you, then suddenly he's gone. Find out why some men just can't stay committed, and how you can spot them from the get-go.
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Have you ever been with a guy who bolted without ever having sent up a red flare? Experts say some men seek out--consciously or subconsciously--shorter term, exclusive relationships for anywhere from two to 12 months, with no intention of going further. One theory as to why: These serial monogamists are chasing that intoxicating feeling of euphoria that's felt most intensely at the beginning of a romance.

"At the start, there's a physical high from the sexual attraction two people have for each other, and it's also exciting because you're experiencing a lot of firsts together," says Los Angeles psychotherapist Vanessa Bell, PhD. Inevitably, though, you reach a plateau, and that's when some men look for an exit. "It's not that they don't like relationships," insists Bell. "It's that they'd rather not deal with long-term ones."

In other words, they get out while the getting is truly still good. Which begs the question: How do you avoid being blindsided by a there-one-day-gone-the-next type? You can often spot this kind of guy early on. He has a wandering eye, tends to be vague about his plans, and has never had a relationship that lasted longer than 12 months.

Down the line, there isn't a precise moment or scenario that causes a switch to flip in a flighty guy's brain, but there are usually precursors--relatively minor things, such as a bout of jealousy or a temporary separation, present a significant relationship hurdle for a guy who isn't committed enough to ride out a rough patch.

During these trying times, Krista Bloom, PhD, author of The Ultimate Compatibility Quiz, suggests asking yourself: Does he avoid talking about serious topics? Is he suddenly not as available? Is he less affectionate than normal? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, beware--he could have one foot out the door.