15 Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore In Relationships

I have been in many terrible relationships that seemed so promising when we first began dating that at times I’ve sworn I would never date anyone again.

So often, a guy would seem like my ideal vision of dreamboat… until reality hit the fan.

Naturally, people have asked me if I didn’t notice red flags in men I was seeing when our relationships first began.

If I’m being entirely truthful with you and myself, in some of my past relationships there were definitely certain qualities I noticed in men that seemed off. In such cases, despite my gut feeling, many people I spoke with about the behaviors I thought might be warning signs told me I should actually see them as positive signs he might be a good guy, and that what I was seeing as red flags I would one day soon see as perks.

Taking that advice and believing in giving people the benefit of the doubt, I gave those men who concerned me a shot — only to soon find myself horribly burned, then blamed by those same advisers for not noticing “all of those red flags” until later.

Make no mistake about it, most of those red flags I consciously chose to ignore directly contributed to the eventual (and in hindsight, inevitable) breakups of those relationships.

So, while many people would tell you to hold on tight to a guy who behaves in the ways I’m about to describe, allow me to play Devil’s Advocate and explain why you should take them as potentially serious warning signs you should cut your losses and get out now instead.

Here are 15 red flags to look for in men in relationships you might first be tempted to ignore:

1. He pushes you to commitment more quickly than you feel comfortable with.

Finding a guy who presents himself as loyal and marriage-ready may understandably seems great. The fact remains, however, that many guys I’ve dated pressured me into commiting to them not because they loved me, but because they wanted to lock me down.

Men who did this often see you as their property, or as someone who could more easily be controlled if you feel you’ve committed to making a relationship with them work.

What follows in situations like this often includes abuse, stalking, and more.

2. He brags about his chivalry.

Ugh, I really wish this wasn’t a red flag, but much of the time, it’s a warning sign when a man talks a big game about how chivalrous he is.

Guys who talk about chivalry often (no, of course, not always) do so because they’re a Nice Guy™. Men like this don’t see women as their fellow humans. but rather as objects that only exist to provide services for their pleasure.

3. He has an oddly close relationship with his mother.

Oh, trust me, I like seeing a guy who’s on decent terms with his mom. But this isn’t about being on good terms with her. When I say a man’s relationship with his mom might be a red flag, I’m talking about a man who’s relationship with his mother involves an inappropriate level of closeness, including his taking pride in calling himself a Mama’s Boy.

In situation where you encounter this issue, it’s usually clear that his mother exerts way too much control over his life. After having dated way too many proud Mama’s Boys myself, I can honestly say they make some of the absolute worst boyfriends imaginable.

4. He’s a self-proclaimed “old-fashioned type of guy.”

Do you want to be barefoot and pregnant, stuck inside a kitchen for the rest of your life? Because that’s what many guys who proudly proclaim themselves to be “old-fashioned” want from their potential wives.

Guys who believe strongly in hyper-traditional gender roles have a tendency to be misogynistic and controlling. They’re often just masking their superiority complexed under their “good old-fashioned boy” veneer.

5. He makes a point of frequently showering you with gifts.

We live in an age when many of the guys who do are doing so because they expect something from you in return.

Is it sad that most gifts comes with strings attached? Yes. It is really, truly sad that so many men basically think they can buy love and intimacy.

What’s even sadder is that I know I and many women I know have allowed ourselves to be guilted into relationships this way in the past. For me, things got so terrible so quickly that I now have a difficult time accepting even the most well intentioned of gifts at all.

6. He has a tragic history when it comes to his past relationships.

I’ve come to realize that many men who talk about having had terrible exes were often the real abusers in their past relationships. Unless you want to hear their smear campaigns going around about you in a year, you should probably skip this one.

7. He talks a lot about what a nice guy he is.

This has become a de facto warning sign for Nice Guy Syndrome these days, but the truth is that some women still fall for it. Those who do most frequently do so because others goad them into it, saying they should “just give him a chance.”

Women often find themselves in this position because they want to avoid looking shallow. Incidentally, I became perfectly OK with being considered a shallow brat after caving and dating one too many of these narcissistic Nice Guys.

8. He never went through a rebellious stage.

I’m a true believer that a person needs to have a wild phase in order to get it out of their system and learn about themselves. If he has never rebelled, he will eventually resent those who got to sow their wild oats.

Resentments can lead to abusive behavior in relationships, including a lot of condescension.

And who’s to say he won’t want to sow his own oats later on — and drop you completely when he does?

9. He’s excessively affectionate and constantly compliments you.

Though it could be his personality, this also could be a sign of love bombing.

Love bombing is an emotional abuse tactic that basically serves to make a victim feel attached to their abuser. Love bombing works by making people feel good… then withdrawing that affection as a way to get you to do what he says.

10. He loves telling cool stories in which he’s the hero.

Of course he would. Everyone does.

But the thing is that, in most cases, people who are actually decent human beings don’t feel a need to constantly talk about what outstanding human beings they are. It’s classically narcissistic behavior.

11. He wants you to spend every second of every day with him.

Overly clingy behavior isn’t attractive. Men often lay out an expectation of spending extreme amounts of time together when what they really want is to isolate their partner from other people.

And even if your ensuing isolation isn’t intentional, it’s often a sign of desperation and a lack of healthy boundaries you soon won’t want to deal with.

12. He immediately wants to introduce you to his family.

This might be a yellow light in some cultures, but in most Western cultures, this is a potential red flag.

Either he’s getting too serious too fast (see point number one above) or he’s way too attached to his family (see point number three).

It just doesn’t bode well for a future together.

13. He’s “all about positivity” and straight up says he won’t tolerate drama or negative people.

Who doesn’t like a sunny, smiley demeanor? Well, me, that’s who! When someone is way too happy or seems like he’s doing that oddly corporate “smile happy” look, chances are that he’s using that inauthentic positivity to manipulate others into not complaining about him or things he doesn’t want to be bothered with.

When a guy responds to your valid expressions of emotion by shaming you for not being positive or tells you he doesn’t want to be with someone who has drama in their life, what he’s really saying is that he wants the relationship to revolve around him. He can’t be bothered to listen to your needs, and he certainly doesn’t want to know about it if those needs might in any way inconvenience him.

When you start getting realistic with him, it’s likely that he will be quick to drop you like a rock regardless of how long you’ve been with him.

14. He’s a deeply religious person (and you’re not).

Though there are some legitimately devout people out there, there are also many people who use what they say are their religious beliefs as an excuse to abuse, control, or even scam people.

A good rule of thumb I learned is that people who are truly good, faithful people will not make an effort to push their beliefs on others, nor will they shame them, judge them, or make their lives miserable because they don’t see things the same way.

15. His behavior regularly includes childish mannerisms.

This can be cute in small doses, but it’s not cute if he acts like such a baby to such an extent that he won’t control his spending, throws tantrums when he doesn’t get his way, or won’t move out of his parents’ house.

Originally written by Ossiana Tepfenhart on Yourtango

Photo by Courtney Clayton on Unsplash


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