So you’re dating this guy and it’s going….sometimes ok? There are plenty of situations in which we can, and should, compromise. None of us are perfect, and we need to accept that in our partners too! But we need to have standards and know our deal breakers too, especially when we’re testing out new relationships. Sorry ladies, but we tend to get swept up in feelings and don’t have a great gauge on red flags. Be honest with yourself and think about these big, fat, deal-breaking red flags….
He doesn’t respect you.
He barely looks up from his phone when you’re having a conversation. He takes advantage of your money, time, etc. He looks like a bum or slob when you’re on dates. He regularly interrupts you. He assumes his opinion is better or more valid than yours. He doesn’t respect your boundaries, sexual or otherwise. Breaking boundaries, especially when he’s aware of why you have them, is a huge red flag. Break up with him already!
He doesn’t prioritize you.
He only makes last minute plans with you, or he frequently cancels plans last minute. He schedules you into his week after work, going to the gym, hanging out with friends, grabbing a beer with a coworker, playing golf on Saturday morning, taking his motorcycle out for a spin, walking his dog, filing his taxes, getting an oil change, and calling his great aunt Ethel. “Girlfriend” is never going to be that far down on the list of a guy who actually cares about having a girlfriend. Break up with him already.
His habits are disgusting.
This one is subjective to a degree. But maybe he smokes and you can’t stand the smell (or the lung cancer). Maybe he only showers twice a month. Maybe his room looks like a war zone and he never bothers to clean it. Maybe he can’t do laundry and he’s a grown ass man. I really do believe how you take care of your body and environment reflect how you take care of your internal environment a.k.a. Your mental and emotional health. You need a guy who can take care of his own health! I’m not talking about style preferences here, I’m talking about taking responsibility for one’s cleanliness and belongings. If your guy thinks Febreze is the only household cleaner ever needed, break up with him already.
He’s embarrassed by you.
He only wants to hang out after midnight. He texts you, but never calls (or he doesn’t want you to call him). He has never introduced you to his friends, his mom, his siblings, or really anyone in his life. And if you’ve asked him to meet people in your life, he has found a reason to cancel. No social media, no pictures of the two of you, no “title.” Look, the secrecy might seem intriguing and even romantic at first, but it’s not. Girl, he’s embarrassed to be with you. Even worse, he might also be with someone else and you could be the girl on the side. Hellloooo! You need a man who wants to be seen with you! Break up with him already.
He never worked through his stuff, so now he sabotages.
This one can be subtle at first, but here is how you can spot it. He has a “trigger,” something seemingly small that tends to cause arguments. Maybe it’s any interactions you have with other guys, or perhaps it’s how he looks (or how you look). It could be signs of affections or you bringing up increased commitment. Both healthy and unhealthy men could have these triggers, or what I like to call anchors. He could be nervous about commitment because of a past broken relationship. He could be fearful of intimacy because of past abuse. He could easily get jealous because he last girlfriend cheated on him. But the difference between healthy and unhealthy is that healthy guys recognize these triggers and address the real issue: how that situation affected him and how he can move forward. Unhealthy guys do not recognize the anchor and instead take out the side effects on you….a.k.a. sabotage your relationship. If he cannot recognize that he is nursing his own pain at your expense, break up with him already.
His values are the opposite of yours.
There is room for compromise in all healthy relationships, but some values are absolutely essential to us and will naturally affect our relationships. If the two of you have not just different, but mutually exclusive views in the “big areas”….money, family, religion, politics, life goals and purpose… you’re going to clash. And it’s better to clash now than to clash 5 years into your marriage and have no idea where to turn. Break up with him already.
He doesn’t trust you.
Now the one big caveat to this one is….are you trustworthy? If there is a legitimate cause for mistrust due to your behavior, it is your responsibility to make amends as best you can before moving forward. However, if there is no legitimate cause, mistrust might look something like this. He constantly wants to know what you’re up to, he gets upset if you don’t text him back immediately (even if he knows why you’re unavailable), he does not trust you to be out with your friends if he’s not there. He looks through your phone to see if you texted any other guys, and assumes the worst immediately if you did. Trust does have to be earned, and it grows over time as two people learn more about the other’s character. But those kinds of behaviors are borderline paranoid, and they show that your guy does not take you at your word. Lack of trust makes growing a relationship very difficult, and it can also lead to a relationship that is characterized by either control and fear or co-dependence. Break up with him already!
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