I've been seeing friends go through some really hellish relationship crap lately, and it's very upsetting to me. Since I've been through my own hell lately, and come out of it stronger and wiser, I've decided that I'm going to pass along the benefit of my experience. Since this is from my perspective, I'll use the word he, but feel freee to substitute your own preferred gender.
Your relationship shouldn't have to be some big secret. Any man that says "lets just keep this to ourselves" doesn't want people to know that you're together. That should be a HUGE red flag. When you're in a relationship with someone you truly care about, you can't WAIT to tell your friends, your family, the people that matter to you. A man that DOESN'T want the person they're dating to meet their friends and family has a reason, and it's almost never a good one.
Someone that breaks plans with you (outside of a medical emergency) does so because they CHOOSE to, because what they want to do without you is more important to them than what they'd planned with you.
A man that can't clearly tell you what his feelings for you are, doesn't have feelings for you, but doesn't have the balls to tell you. He's not confused, he's a coward. He's not going to have some huge epiphany and realize that you've been the one all along, he's just going to keep stringing you along until something more interesting to him crosses his path.
A man that doesn't want you until he can't have you any more, doesn't really want you at all, he just doesn't want anyone else to have you, and that's not love. That's selfishness and possessiveness, and it's something a 3 year old would do. Do you really want to be involved with a man who has the emotional maturity of a preschooler?
A man who lies to you about where he's been or what he's been doing need to be shown the door immediately. If he wasn't doing something wrong, there's be no reason for him to lie.
A man who tells you he feels one way, but behaves the opposite is sending you a message. Actions speak louder than words, so pay attention to behavior. Talking the talk is easy. Walking the walk shows you who a person really is at their core.
By the same token, when you ask a man a direct question about the relationship, and you don't get an answer - you've gotten an answer. If you say "Where do you see this going?" and you get a sidestep, a change of subject, or an avoidance, then it's going nowhere. Save yourself the frustration and pain, pick up your purse and walk away.
What I'm seeing , especially with my younger friends, is this really skewed concept of what a relationship, of what love is. So many people seem to think that if it's not high drama ALL the time, if there aren't dizzying highs and gut wrenching lows, then it's not love.
Real love, real SOLID love, is not highs and lows. Real love is stable, you can depend on it. You know with NO doubt, that when you truly need him, he's going to be there for you. When you make plans he'll show up. When he tells you he's going to do something he'll do it. You won't have to make excuses for his behavior, because there won't be any behavior that requires an excuse.
When someone loves you, they treat you the way you deserve to be treated. They treat you with respect and kindness, they're affectionate, and they let you know that you matter to them. They respect your intelligence, they don't belittle you, and they don't deliberately do things that cause you pain. They don't embarrass you in front of your friends and family.
If you're involved with someone who treats you in a way that's any less than this, WALK AWAY! Step back, take a long hard look at yourself and ask yourself why you're allowing him to treat you this way. If you truly think that this is what you deserve, then for Gods sake, get some help. Nobody deserves to be treated badly.
People will treat you in whatever way you allow them to. Don't let someone use you as something to wipe their shoes on, just for the sake of having someone in your life. You're better off alone than with someone who shits all over you.