When we first begin to date a guy, we’re always on the lookout for red flags and deal-breakers. After month two or three, we begin to trust them and feel confident in our decision to be with them.
Unfortunately, it’s often after the initial courtship period that the worst red flags actually begin to show. If you notice these warning signs of a toxic relationship, it’s probably for the best that you leave him before it gets worse.
1. He comes up with reasons to not do work.
When you first began dating, he kept a good home, had a job, and also knew how to do laundry. One year in and he suddenly doesn’t have the knowledge to do laundry, refuses to keep or get a job because he’s “tired,” and his home looks like a bomb went off in it.
Believe it or not, this is scarily common. There are many guys out there who will magically “fall apart” when a girl becomes deeply committed to him, and they do that because they know the girl they’re with will support them. These guys will promise to work on things, but then nothing ever comes of it.
If the girl gets annoyed and brings up his lack of action, he will flip out and guilt trip her. It’s not your responsibility to support this man-child. Cut the leech loose before it’s too late.
2. He tries to wear you down on non-negotiable issues.
There are things that are just not negotiable in a relationship, such as your position on kids. There are also certain boundaries that healthy relationships don’t cross.
If you notice that he keeps trying to negotiate, argue or otherwise get you to give in on these things, that’s a huge red flag. It signals that he doesn’t respect your decisions, opinions or boundaries. It’s also a good sign that he’s trying to control you.
3. He says things that are absolutely vile.
There are certain things you just don’t say to a person. During the initial stages of dating, it’s really unlikely that any guy would be stupid enough to say something absolutely atrocious to you because they’re supposed to be on their best behavior. A lot of bad apples will wait for months or even years before they really show their true colors.
If he says something insanely rude or just plain messed up, don’t take it lightly or excuse it as him having a bad day. He’s shown you who he really is and it’s your duty to believe him. Accepting verbal abuse like that sets a precedent, and it’s not a precedent you want to set.
4. He isolates you from your friends and family.
This is a red flag that most people don’t realize until they’re really deep into a toxic relationship. The more aggressively a guy tries to sever connections you have with other people, the worse a sign it is.
Most guys who are abusive will isolate their victims as the first step in keeping them locked down, and it’s almost always a gradual thing. If you notice that he makes a point of making friends uncomfortable, tells you to stop talking to old friends, or tries to turn friends against you, it’s time to leave.
5. He has an extremely scary anger problem.
Most people don’t see the angry side of their significant other until they’re well-established as a couple. This isn’t necessarily good, because you don’t really know a person until you see how they handle their anger.
If your first argument or example of him being angry was an explosive display of rage, you need to back out of the relationship, and fast. There’s no saying that he won’t turn that anger against you one of these days.
6. He lies about his past.
When you’re dating a guy, you’ll soon begin to hear stories about his past, things about his job, and other important details of his life. When you’re dating a guy who’s honest with you, things will add up. There will be people who can back up his stories. There will be physical evidence of people he claimed existed, and keepsakes of stranger times.
If you begin noticing little details of his story changing or can’t help but notice a lack of evidence on his part, there’s a good sign that he’s hiding something major. He might also be trying to “trickle truth” you about certain issues, depending on how the details change.
Either way, all those inconsistencies are a good sign that he’s lying to you about something, and you don’t need that in your life.
7. He says and does two different things.
This is a red flag that becomes apparent only after you two have had discussions about things that need to improve in the relationship. A good relationship partner will follow through on his actions, rather than offer you more empty promises about fixing it later.
If you begin to notice that he’s not actually doing the things he’s promised to do, it’s a red flag. It means that he’s hoping to keep things as they are and hoping you won’t bother to correct them. Or, it could be that he’s just too selfish and lazy to put in the effort. Actions speak much louder than words, so don’t ignore this bad sign. If he won’t work on small things, there’s no way he’ll work on bigger issues.
Similarly, if a guy claims to respect you but constantly does disrespectful things, he doesn’t respect you. In other words, if what he’s doing doesn’t match what he says he does, it’s a red flag regardless of the circumstances.
8. He pulls a “bait and switch.”
At the start of the relationship, he was super-generous. Slowly but surely, he began to nickle-and-dime you. Now, you’re paying all his bills. Maybe, at the start, he kept talking about marriage. Now, he’s adding all these things you have to do in order to get him to propose. You do them, but then he wants you to do even more things.
Congrats! You’ve been dealt a bait and switch by your guy. If you notice him dangling something that you want in front of you as a way to make you do things, you’re dealing with a serious red flag.
In all reality, guys who pull this dirty trick were never going to give you what you wanted in the first place. Instead, they will have you continually chasing what they promised.
9. He talks badly about you to his friends.
Usually, it takes a while for people to find out when someone’s talking ill of them, especially if they’re in a relationship with that person. If you find out that he’s ridiculing you to his friends, constantly complaining about you to his mom, or even posting unbecoming things about you online, it’s time to break up.
10. He invades your privacy or goes through your things.
If you find out that he’s read your diary, installed a keylogger on your computer, or put a tracker on your phone, this is an extremely bad sign.
One, it shows that he really doesn’t trust you. Two, it shows no respect for privacy or healthy boundaries. Three, he’s a controlling stalker type of guy. If you catch him snooping, it’s time to leave.
11. He has mommy issues.
There’s nothing wrong with a man who has a healthy relationship with his mom. There is, however, a problem with guys who can’t live without the help of their mother, guys who can’t establish boundaries with their mom, and guys who have Oedipal complexes.
If he can’t say no to his mom or calls his mom every single day, there’s a good chance that he has serious mommy issues. Staying with a guy like this means that he will expect you to play mommy if you get married, and nothing will ever be good enough for it to be on his mom’s level. Unless you’re fine with being second fiddle to mama, don’t ignore this.
12. His finances just don’t add up.
You know he works in a lucrative job, but he’s always broke. He’s working longer hours, but the pay is the same. Money is beginning to go missing. Something isn’t adding up.
Where is all the money going? Moreover, why isn’t he being honest with you?
13. He tries to “fix,” “train,” or “improve” you.
You’re not broken. You aren’t a puppy that needs to be trained; you’re a perfectly functional adult who doesn’t need to be improved.
If he keeps talking about improving you or lectures you “for your own good,” he’s not a good boyfriend. There are plenty of guys out there who would love you just the way you are. This shows that he’s extremely manipulative, controlling and potentially abusive.
14. He’s spineless.
Does he have no ability to actually say what’s on his mind? Is his idea of disagreeing, pouting? This is a red flag that some girls don’t pick up on for a while.
You need a guy who has a spine and is able to confront issues head-on. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with an aggravatingly passive-aggressive jerk.
15. You don’t recognize yourself anymore.
You should never stay with a guy who makes you lose the person you originally were — or worse, turns you into someone that you hate.