There’s butterflies in your stomach when he looks into your eyes and everyone says you two are a picture-perfect couple. If you look a little closer though, your relationship (and your guy!) could be giving you subtle signs that maybe your picture-perfect pairing isn’t so perfect after all. If you’re seeing these 7 relationship red flags, you need to re-evaluate whether your relationship is really working. You also should re-evaluate whether you’re dating an emotional psychopath.
1. There’s too much secrecy.
Does he jump every time his phone makes a noise and covers his phone from your eyes or does he change the subject when you ask him about his past relationships? These are big red flags that there’s way too much secrecy going on between the two of you. Licensed marriage and family therapist Laurel Wiers says that “secrecy should not be confused with privacy. Some level of “space” and autonomy is expected, but it’s the defensive refusals to share information that should raise red flags.” If you’re seeing the panic in his eyes when you want to talk, that’s too much secrecy.
2. You feel worse after going on a date with him.
Have you ever left a date feeling more drained than you did at the beginning? Typically, that fatigue is thanks to the one person you were stuck talking to that made you feel bad about yourself. That’s not a feeling your romantic partner should ever leave you with so if you feel that way often at the end of a date, watch out. Advice columnist Abigail Mason says that “if you continually feel worse about yourself after interacting with your love interest, you shouldn’t ignore the warning sign. Often times in relationships we make excuses for behavior that makes us feel bad; we give them the benefit of the doubt because we so badly want it to work out.”
3. He only wants to see you during the week.
Relationship expert April Masini from AskApril.com says that if you’re only hearing from your guy during the week, that’s a bright red flag. “Guys who schedule you in during the week only and never call, text or see you on weekends invariably have something else going on the weekends they don’t want you to know about,” April says. If they were really interested in a real, grownup relationship, they’re going to want to see you whenever they can, not just when it’s most convenient to them.
4. He gets angry or makes you feel guilty when you say “no.”
Being in a relationship often means having to compromise and be fair when it comes to what the other person needs and figuring out how to balance that with your own needs. Obviously, you can’t expect to get your way all the time but if your partner wants to go to a movie while you’d prefer to just stay at home, they should never make you feel guilty for saying no. Alisa Ruby Bash, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Beverly Hills, California, says, “When someone gets angry or makes you feel guilty about saying ‘no’ to something they want you to do, this is often one of the early warning signs that someone may be verbally or emotionally abusive.”
5. He’s rude to wait staff and service workers.
Relationship and dating consultant Shamia Casiano says the way your partner treats others can be a big indication of their overall character and if they’re constantly refusing or giving bad tips to tip waitstaff or talking down to service workers, that’s a relationship red flag. “The test of someone’s character is not in how they treat their equals, but how they treat people who can do nothing for them. If the person you’re with doesn’t [have the social etiquette] to tip, he may be lacking empathy in other areas as well,” says Casiano.
6. He talks poorly of his ex.
Everyone has a past and your partner may come with their own set of baggage from past relationships and that’s totally normal. What’s not normal is if your partner is always bashing their exes and blaming their baggage completely on their ex, chances are their conflict is saying a lot about them as well. Clinical sexologist and relationship coach Claudia Six, Ph.D says, “If someone is on hostile terms with exes it means they have poor conflict resolution skills and they leave a trail of messy endings behind.”
7. He wants you all to himself/he’s too controlling.
There’s a certain cuteness when your partner wants to spend time with you but take note if he takes the clinginess and controlling behavior too far. If your partner seems a tad bit on the clingy side, which relationship expert Debra Rogers characterizes as a person who “encourages you to ditch your friends or texts you ten times a day asking, ‘Where r u?’ or ‘What are you doing?’,” it’s a pretty clear indication his jealous and controlling ways are not something you should ignore any longer.