40 Relationship Red Flags You Should Watch For (As Told By 40 Women Who Didn’t)

1. They aren’t that committed

Don’t chase those who don’t seem as committed as you. If someone genuinely is interested in you or likes you it won’t be like pulling teeth to hang out or see them.

— Wildernessinabox

2. Believe them

If someone tells you they’re a jerk, believe them.

— Butt-Factory

3. Ya gotta see it

If someone tells you they’re a really nice guy, make sure they prove it with their actions.

— JimtheRunner

4. If he promises to break your heart, he will

I was seeing a guy who told me point blank to my face “I will break your heart as hard as I can.” My first reaction was to tell him he was a good person.

He was most certainly not a good person. He was barely capable of being an okay person. I seriously wish I could go back in time, kick him as hard as I possibly could, grab Past Me by the hand, and get the hell out of there. It would saved me some major grief.

— smunchyblue

5. If he thinks he’s the only

If someone thinks they are unique as in literally the only person who sees the truth about the world and society…or that you are the only one who knows the truth about the universe…or both of you together are the only woke people in the world and everyone else and other institutions are all sheep. That’s a very bad sign.

— Rivkariver

6. “I’m damaged. Nobody understands me…”

A huge red flag I’ve learned is thay when a man (or woman) says ‘I should come with a warning label’ (ugh so lame but literally had a person say this to me) or some equivalent like; I’m damaged, no one understands me, I’m dangerous/edgy, I don’t play well with others… just take them at their word and leave. It’s not worth the emotional effort to get through to them and they will constantly use it as an excuse for bad or abusive behavior.

— anxietyshark

7. Stage 83202303 Clinger

He said he would kill himself if I ever broke up with him.

He insisted on spending every possible moment he could with me. Every single weekend he’d stay at my place until my parents sent him home or his mom demanded he come home.

He would even insist on trying to tag along whenever I went out with friends, even if it wasn’t an activity he enjoyed. He would then mope the entire time because he wasn’t having fun, and when I’d press him on why he tagged along he’d insist that he needed to be with me as much as he could. He would, of course, interfere with my ability to have fun and would basically guilt me into giving him whatever attention he wanted.

He was really pushy about certain stuff (usually physical) and after he had pushed me to do certain things, would legitimately get upset and take it personally if I didn’t continue to do that thing, even if it made me extremely uncomfortable. It got to the point where ALL he wanted to do was physical stuff, like making out, while I just wanted to play video games, and would think I didn’t love him anymore if I didn’t indulge him.

Would also take it personally if I was too busy to hang out that weekend. I legitimately had to tell my parents to forbid him from coming over sometimes so he wouldn’t bother me.

Any time I complained about anything he said or did, I was attacking him and making him feel bad, and he would make everything my fault until I felt bad and apologized for getting mad at him.

I dated him for two years before I realized he wasn’t my responsibility and I finally broke it off with him. I tried to remain friends, at his request, and the last time I ever messaged him, he threatened to kill me and then blocked me on everything he could. I haven’t seen or heard from him since.

— CaffeinatedHylian

8. They aren’t there for you

Romantically: when someone is unable to be independent from their family and explains toxic, abusive or otherwise unacceptable behaviour as “it’s just how they are”.

Non romantic relationship: when the person is never there for you. When you always have to be the one to support them and get nothing back.

— Citychic88

9. Being inconsistent and indecisive

In both romantic relationships and friendships: inconsistency and complacency. I’ve often tried to make excuses for people who are hot/cold, who don’t keep plans or put any effort into making plans, who don’t say what they mean and mean what they say. That kind of person is fun for a drink every once in a while, but they’re nowhere to be found when you really need them.

— lifeisfractal

10. Super obvious lies

A guy I used to date would unexpectedly ignore me for 2-3 days at a time. Or once he said he was on his way to my house and then just didn’t show up or answer any calls or texts for like 2 hours. He said he stopped to help some people fix a flat tire and didn’t want to be rude by using his phone when they needed help. Never mind me freaking out thinking he’s dead but whatever.

I found out ~8 months in that he had another girlfriend. Like a whole secret life that I didn’t know about.

— heyybeth

11. Just being *unhappy*

Not being happy. I just assumed me not being happy was entirely my own fault and something I had to get over myself.

— sunshinecliffs

12. Talking about how hot other women are

Making small comments about other women’s appearances with respect to whether or not they thought what they were doing was “attractive”. “What guy likes that?” started coming out of his mouth way too often.

Just because he says he loves you because he finds your mind and wit challenging and refreshing doesn’t mean he also won’t eventually expect you to dress like Anna Faris in House Bunny.

— justalittlewave

13. Really nasty stuff like this —

Rape apologism, “I don’t date white women cuz they’re uppity” (meant to be flattering to me, a WoC, but of course it’s just sexist towards all women and racist), trying to sneak in sex without a condom, belittling my accomplishments, comparing me to other women… All of this would be inexcusable today. I was young and inexperienced, OK.

— fartingxfarts

14. Doesn’t text back

If you get busy with work, etc for a long period of time but he doesn’t know, and still doesn’t text you. For example, when I get busy with work and my boyfriend knows, he will back off to let me focus on stuff; if he doesn’t know I’m busy and I don’t respond, he checks in on me to make sure everything is okay. I’ve dated guys who have gone two days without texting me and it wasn’t because they thought I was busy, etc, they just didn’t feel like talking to me.

— public_soliloquy

15. Smothering to death

At my young and unexperienced age, I was flattered that someone thought I was the best thing ever and could do no wrong. It was really nice that they wanted to spend all their free time with me, and advertise our relationship on social media and in real time.

But then it got uncomfortable. If I wasn’t projecting the relationship to everyone I knew, I was “hiding it” because I was planning on cheating. If I wanted to spend time with my friends with my phone off I couldn’t because he “had to talk to me”. I couldn’t spread my wings with him on my back.

— flawlessqueen

16. Hates all their exes with an irrational passion

He hated all his exes with a passion, and wasn’t afraid to share that. He had almost no friends. He also clearly had a history of dicking around until the girl he was no longer interested in broke up so he didn’t have to be the bad guy… All things considered it was a fine relationship, and it didn’t end terribly. But I should have seen those things for the giant red flags they were, and I have doubt that no matter how many times at the end he told me he appreciated our time together and wished me well, he probably told the next one I was insane…

Some guys just believe you can only flatter a woman by insulting all other women. Never again… And because he only dated friends of friend, well… That might also have played into why he had so few after he kept insulting his exes.

— Girlwithasling

17. The way he treats his mother

The way SO treats his mother. I was blinding myself front he truth but ultimately his disrespectful behaviour to his mother was a reflection of his behavior towards me. This ended up being really harmful for my confidence. Once I realized and accepted that this aspect of him was part of who he was and won’t change — unless he wanted to — I had to move on.

— J8h5h1

18. Always an excuse

He always had an excuse for why he didn’t do what he said he was going to. Always with the excuses. The excuses were barely believable which was pretty insulting too.

— maryjanesandbobbysox

19. Sharing nudes with other people

I sent a guy some dirty pictures of my v and my tits. We were in a LDR and I was craving any kind of outlet.

The next day he was like “Hey, you know how insecure you are? I showed my friends your pics and they were all like ‘god damn, you definitely traded up from your ex'”. I said “Yeah I’m not insecure, also what the heck are you doing showing those off. That’s super disrespectful.” His response was some weird backpedaled excuse that he just made up the conversation. My rose colored glasses did me no favors.

One month later (literally 3 months into dating him, approx. 2mos since the above incident), he’s staying with me for a week at my apartment. I’m not sure when it happened, but he decided to take some post-coital pictures of me while I was sleeping. A month later, mid skype conversation, he’s like “Hey you never send me pictures anymore. It’s a good thing I have this” and he holds his phone up to show me this pic he’d taken of me while I slept.

It took a full week to sink in. It took me another month to break it off. God there was so much wrong with that relationship. This was just the straw that broke the camels back.

— JimtheRunner

20. The texting game

People in general that play the texting game, when people never initiate anything with you, or when their words are empty promises or plans (i.e. saying that we should do X or that someone wants me at X but never inviting me although they manage to invite others).

Another example in the past has been when a girl would pretend to forget my name dozens of times and then flirt with me heavily; truth was, she just wanted my attention but nothing to do with me and never cared about me.

— thehouseshelivedin

21. Always tells you to be “chill”

My ex told me to “chill out” a lot despite me telling him I hated it. Tried to downplay anything I was upset about and dismiss it as nothing.

— jesuispetitpain

22. When he’s clearly used to getting his way

When he compliments your looks (I.e. You’re beautiful) and is really taken aback when you just say thank you. He then precedes to tell you most women say they’re not. The lesson between the lines he expected such low self-confidence from me and wanted me to be dependent on him for my confidence.

You have to repeatedly tell him to take you home after a date and doesn’t want to take no for an answer. Huge red flag: this is the guy won’t stop sexually when you want him to.

He tries to physically keep you in his arms while forcing you to kiss him.

This ass then asked me if I’d see him again. When I said no he pretentiously said “you know you love me.” This was on the second date. I laughed as I got out of his car. NO WAY IN HELL would I ever go on a date with him again.

— leahandra

23. He “changes” when he drinks

When he was drunk he would change, it wasn’t like he turned into a monster but he was enough of an asshole that I should have have called it quits because it could have and did once escalate past that simple things like saying I couldn’t find other people attractive but it was allowed for him into something worse.

— hobbitsies

24. Has sex with you, but warns you to not get pregnant

Could be when he told if I got pregnant expectantly he would intentionally fuck up his life to then also fuck up mine and the babies life. Also told me he should have cheated on me.

— funnygirl87

25. Obviously doesn’t value you

She’d removed my picture from her bedside table. So trite, something I noticed yet didn’t absorb it’s significance.

— SleepNowMyThrowaway

26. Never wants to stay at his apartment

Huge red flag, he never invites, or brings you over to his place. Learned that one the hard way when I was younger, he had a girlfriend.

— irememberthepotatoho

27. If they are a total narcissist — run

Gave away a bottle of wine that came in a hamper that was given to me when I bought my first car, without asking me. He thought it was fine since I don’t drink wine. We argued for hours because he didn’t understand that I wanted it for sentimental reasons.

Claimed to want to spend Christmas Day with me but wouldn’t drive the 45-minute journey between our homes to pick me up (I didn’t have a car at this point), because he didn’t want to spend 1.5 hours of his Christmas driving. Maybe this is just me, by I would’ve done it in a heartbeat.

He would get really mad and hit things. Never me, but he’d hit walls or car doors, etc. I tried to talk to him (repeatedly) about how his temper scared me, but he always dismissed it and said that his temper was normal, and that I was just scared of it because I come from a particularly mild-tempered background. In other words, I was the abnormally timid one and that I needed to get used to more aggression.

I was a law student at the time, and he would repeatedly tell me about how he hated lawyers and that they were evil. Not a big deal, but not nice.

There were other things too. In retrospect, there was so much gaslighting. I definitely didn’t see it at the time…

— BubbleAndSqueakk

28. Not respectful at all

My opinion not being respected when “we” were looking for a house “together”. When I was battling depression, his pep talk was “I’ve been there, you’ve just got to be happier.” (Jokes on him, I diagnosed suicidal after that. I’m better now, though.)

Most recently, him saying I look a lot like his mother and sister when I asked if he was attracted to me. And the fact that he had three separate friend groups that he pretended the others didn’t exist when around each group. Also, living at home at 32 and never having had a relationship before. Goddamn, I was desperate! (Also, much better now.)

— betsytheripper

29. Putting you down

Not respecting your parents, making you feel “small” and immature, not taking the hint when you say “no” to something, putting down others just because they don’t have the education or opportunities that they do, always having to “one-up” you in terms of gifts, signs of affection, possessiveness, being overdramatic.

— autumnmoon9

30. Saying “I love you” WAY too fast

Telling me that he loved me on our SECOND, very casual date. This happened twice. Both guys I’d met online, hadn’t spoken to for terribly long before meeting in person.

Each time I ended up dating them, but they didn’t last long. I did like these guys to begin with, but they were the EXTREMELY clingy types, didn’t want me having male friends, even going out with the girls.

I mean, I was flattered, but… that’s not love. Sorry. Creep alert X1000

— IAmA_Wolf

31. Says he’ll leave if you gain weight

He told me if i gained 15 pounds he would break up with me. I guess, generally any weight ultimatum is bad. Been apart from that asshole for 3 years and never happier!

— fromthedirectorof

32. Guilt-tripping constantly

My ex guilt tripped me constantly. He would get mad about something that I did and then tell me that I needed to think of a way to make it up to him and not do it again in the future. Otherwise, how could he trust me?

He was my first boyfriend from high school, and I didn’t know any better.

— katiez624

33. Addicted to video games in an unhealthy way

Spending more time playing League of Legends in a day than going to class, work, or seeing you. (Combined)

Bonus points for breaking dinner plans without warning, as well as “losing” their phone for days at a time.

— adear23

34. Everything is my fault

Sadly I’m still dating this guy, but I’m trying to break it off as least dramatically as possible.

He questions everything I say. I’m talking about if he asks me if I want to go somewhere and I say no because I don’t feel like going out, he’ll keep asking why until I give him an answer he’s happy with, then he’ll exclaim “why didn’t you just say that the first time I asked you!”

He treats my time like its lesser than his because I don’t make the same amount of money as him, yet at the same time I make less money and he expects me to drive to his house 95% of the time and to wherever where going.

Everything ends up being my fault. He invited me to come over, and once I got there I had to let myself in because he was playing some game. I walk into the room he’s in and he yells at me to not come in anymore because “this is a really important game!” I said okay, I get that. But what made it go over the line was when I set my stuff down on the table two fucking feet further into the room he yelled at me to stay in the corner, he lost his game and then proceeded to pout about it for the rest of the night.

The very first sign I realized he wasn’t a good person was when I overheard him talking to his mom over the phone and absolutely yelling at her for no reason.

Before I get a “you need to leave him now” comment, I know. I’ve known for awhile, but it’s at the point where if I said I wanted to break up, I’m afraid he might get physical. I have a good support group and they all know where he lives and where he might take me if things did go that way.

— MirLae

35. Doesn’t get anything for Valentine’s Day

On our first anniversary I bought him a book, traditional first anniversary gift is paper. He showed up late because he had gone out that morning to buy himself a TV for his bedroom. He didn’t even buy me a card. He was inconsiderate and selfish that day, I loved him so I just brushed it aside. The 9 years following that day proved that is actually a big part of who he is and always will be.

— Tolbat

36. They have no friends

If they have no friends. If you are the only person they are friends with/dating and no other friends RUN AWAY.

— PBRidesAgain

37. If the “world is against them,” get away

If you meet someone who seems to think that the world is against them, soon you will find out that it’s not; they haven’t had a string of bad luck friendships and relationships, they’re the problem in those relationships. Soon they will lump you in with the world and try to make your life hell.

— Beachy5313

38. Raving about how hot other women are

If within the fist few dates they’re telling me how hot other women are, that’s now a no go. Not like we’re both discussing what we find attractive, but he actively interrupts conversations to point out a girl he thinks is 10/10. I ignored it once, and found out after ending the 2 year relationship that he never really found me attractive.

— throwaway984123356

39. Obviously making out with other women

If a guy comes home with a love bite on his neck, just believe that it’s a love bite.

I still can’t actually believe I fell for the ‘my mate was messing around with a Hoover’ line.

— thisJisonfire

40. You’re not allowed to be friends with anyone else

Anybody who isolates you from other people in some way or another.

A high school relationship where I was straight-up told I was only allowed to be with their friends and not my own, just because they didn’t like mine.

— TeachMeHowYouDream Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Brittany Cox