23 People Reveal Their Overlooked Relationship Red Flags They Regret Not Paying Attention To


Found on r/AskWomen.

1. Avoid these 7 things

Not my current SO, but red flags from two past SOs (these aren’t all the same guy):

1. Strange obsession with his female best friend. In hindsight, I should have realised that this wasn’t a usual close friendship. Basically, he had feelings for her and left me for her the moment she broke up with her boyfriend (she rejected him haaaaa).

2. Calling other women degrading names. Can’t type them here because of the rule, but women would often be ‘b-words’ and women who had a lot of sex/didn’t dress modestly were ‘ ‘s**ts’.

3. Sort of connected to the last one, he always told me I was ‘different to other girls’. I wasn’t a b**h or s*t like other girls. That’s a MAJOR red flag as I’ve learned now.

4. Extreme jealousy. I called a male friend handsome once, as his girlfriend had just left him and he was worried about his looks. I said ‘Oh no, you’re very handsome! Don’t think badly of yourself’ (in public mind, and said casually in the friend group as a way to reassure him, no dirty chat behind my exes back or anything). We got home and my SO fucking BLEW THE FUCK UP. I was no longer allowed to talk to that friend, ever. His jealousy spiraled out of control.

5. Watched massive amounts of anime porn. I knew this from the start but didn’t think it was a big deal.. turned out he had fucked up ideas about sex and it was literally a case of real women and real sex not really doing it for him anymore.. my self esteem went down the shitter, he kept trying to make me look/recreate what he saw in that porn. I think an obsession with any particular kind of porn, or obsession with porn in general, is a red flag (not just watching it or really liking it, I’m talking obsession here).

6. Declarations of ‘I hate everyone’.. or, saying ‘I’m an asshole’ like there’s nothing wrong with it just because he admitted it. Hating everyone just because isn’t cool and usually means someone is a d-bag, and being okay with being an asshole doesn’t make someone cool either.

7. Accusing other guys of all being assholes or morally corrupt, who will only ever want to talk to you to use you or get in your pants. He’s ‘different’, by his own admission. Usually said by men who want to isolate you and who have jealousy problems, like when saying the same about all other women being awful.

God I could go on and on here.

2. This too, unless you’re into this kind of thing

He had more than 1 passport with different names, he had more than 1 phone.

He also had a swastika tattooed on him, covered up, but still.. Shit what was I thinking

3. Scumbags like this gentleman here should be avoided

For our second date, he suggested going out for a moderately expensive dinner (around $50 for the two of us) and then “discovered” that he “forgot his wallet”. I gave him the benefit of the doubt that time, but he wasn’t particularly remorseful about it and I was suspicious that he was taking advantage of me. Sure enough, he proved to be a mooch. I have given myself permission to not follow up with a next date for the next person who “forgets his wallet”. I mean, come on, when I suggest dinner plans, I always make sure I have my money on me before we go.

People who genuinely forget act a lot more remorseful and embarrassed about it than people who are looking for a freebie, too. Should’ve gone with my gut.

4. *whispers* Red Flag

Clinginess to his phone and constant guard of his privacy. I couldn’t go on his computer, he logged out of his emails, etc. And this wasn’t due to me ever trying to spy on him. Yep. He was a cheater. I feel so stupid for ignoring that one.

5. Be wary

My fiance, who is now a recovering alcoholic, rarely drank for the first three years we were together, but when he did drink, he drank until he blacked out. I didn’t think anything of it because we were young and, like I said, it was infrequent.

Then we moved to a new state, we were broke, he had no friends or family anywhere close, and he hated his job. Suddenly he was drinking several times a week, then every night.

I put up with it for about three years because I kept remembering what it was like before he started drinking so frequently; we’d had a fantastic relationship. And it wasn’t like he got violent when he drank, he just became very toddler-like, really. And then he’d pass out and I’d have to dig vomit out of his throat while he laid there unconscious.

So my red flag would be someone who can’t control their drinking, even if it isn’t often.

6. What guy does this to a woman he’s dating?

He was hung up on his ex, and I was young, a little naive, and just plain didn’t know better. He was fresh off a 6-year relationship; he told me it had been over for several months, but I later learned it was more like 2 weeks. On our third or fourth date, we went to see the movie Brave. While eating dinner beforehand, he told me, “You know, it’s going to be difficult for me to watch this movie.”

When I asked him why, he responded, “My ex has red hair.”

That was pretty much how it was most of the time we were together; he could not stop talking about his ex, how horribly it had ended, and how she was crazy. He even told me he’d attempted to contact her multiple times demanding an answer as to why she had dumped him. I thought I could help him heal, I guess. It shouldn’t have surprised me that when I got tired of playing second fiddle and walked away, he wouldn’t leave me alone.

Merida’s giant head of red hair was a giant red flag. The kicker was that his ex’s name was Ariel. Imagine if we’d tried to watch The Little Mermaid.

7. This is important to remember

That I was always more into our relationship than he was. If either partner ever has to do a significant amount of pursuing (or forgiving), it really isn’t worth it. This is an ex.

8. Here’s six more things

1. He is very protective of his phone.

2. He’s extremely jealous. I can’t have male friends of my own, he constantly wants to know who I’m texting, who I’m talking to, and if we are talking about him.

3. Anger issues. He gets so angry over anything. That angry is never directed at me, but it’s off-putting. ex. He couldn’t find his wallet so he was storming around the apartment cursing and yelling and when he did find his wallet in his pants pocket, the thing wouldn’t come out so he threw the pants as hard as he could and broke something. I find myself looking for things for him, and doing generally everything for him just so that he doesn’t get angry and break shit.

4. Possessive of me and my time. He wants to drive me everywhere if I plan to go places to meet up with people, and if I refuse he texts me every ten minutes to find out when I’m coming back home.

5. Accuses me of wanting to be with other men and thinking about leaving him.

6. I don’t have very friends and the few that I do have he doesn’t approve of, so he makes me feel dumb for having them as friends.

9. Don’t let your SO treat you like a dog

I have trichotillomania. She used to hit me every time she caught me fiddling with my hair to get me to stop, “like training a dog”.

Oh, college-aged me.

10. If they rifle through your wallet, that’s a no-no

Guy here – I caught her looking through my wallet when she thought I was in the shower. On two different occasions!

Ladies, am I wrong to find that as invasive and sketchy? What might she have been looking for?

11. If they treat their mother like crap, that’s a big flag

The way he treated his mother. It started out with making comments to me about my not so great math skills, but I thought he was joking so I let it slide (He actually continued to do this the rest of our relationship, gradually saying meaner and meaner things). But his mom at the time was having some pretty serious health issues, and taking some medications that often made her forgetful. He would make fun of her and be mean to her about it.

12. You may never change their drug habits

He was a drug addict.

He was just starting when we begin to date, but I always knew that he wouldn’t be able to stop, I knew him. And he is the type of person that if his friends want to do or try something, he will too. Eventually the quantities begin to grow, and all he was able to do was going out of the house to buy some more and be with his friends that also did drugs. We broke up after two and a half years +/-. I was not important in his life, all he wanted was drugs and I told him, I tried, I did everything I could, but eventually I was done. Some months later he was deep in drugs, tried to kill himself and called me. We talked and talked. Now, he told his parents, left college (which now I believe it was for the best) and is working with his father.

Why I choose to ignore it ? I honestly don’t know. All I can say is that I liked him.

Sometimes I regretted it, sometimes I don’t. I tend to learn from my mistakes.

13. Well, that’s a red flag

My ex flat out told me he had cheated on every single one of his ex-girlfriends.

I think you all can guess what happened after about a year of dating!

He is now married to the girl he cheated on me with and I honestly just feel sorry for her.

14. Don’t put up with it

This was while I was in college, and one of my first real boyfriends….if you can call him that. I was completely smitten, and I ignored him treating me like crap.

1. He told me about the other girl he was banging (we weren’t official at the time), but was infuriated when one of his friends hit on me at me.

2. He accused me of ratting him out to the cops, because he was convinced he was being followed (he wasn’t). He had a weed plant growing in his closet, and regularly sold acid.

3. He woke my roommate up at 5AM demanding to know where I was by pounding on the door because I didn’t answer a text he had sent an hour or 2 before. I was sleeping in the next room, but her room was closer to the door. This was very close to the end of our relationship.

4. He was constantly talking about how he was the perfect human, and how lucky I was to be with him. This was also towards the end of our relationship, but I was hoping it was just the high talking.

5. He would ask me what other guys were talking to me, since guys and girls can’t just be friends.

6.Shortly after him expressing how lucky I was to have him, I found out I was pregnant (ultimately terminated). He basically told me I was a whore, and to go fuck myself when I told him my plans.

As terrible as it seems, I’m kind of glad it ended the way it did. I think my insecurity would have continued to blind me, and I would have kept putting up with his bullshit.

15. At least they’re upfront about it

When someone tells you they are an asshole…believe them. Too many times I’ve thought “well you haven’t done anything bad to me…” or “but you seem nice…” It’s never ended well, because people who self identify as assholes tend to eventually act like a giant asshole.

No seriously, get out of there. Sometimes someone hides who they are really well and you could never have known. Other times, there are cracks. If someone is telling you that they are an asshole, or a sociopath, or that they “don’t feel empathy well,” or whatever… you need to take that seriously and get out. They are giving you a warning, and you should heed it.

Take it from someone who didn’t. The most recent time this happened the guy wasn’t totally awful, but when he said he didn’t feel a lot of empathy he wasn’t kidding, and he hurt my feelings pretty badly.

16. Okay, what even

I dated my last SO for 6 weeks before we went on a date one night and he shared that he actually had two kids out of wedlock, one of them he had fathered with a woman who was married. That should have been indicative that he was capable of lying to me about bigger things, but I let it go on anyways, and found out a month after that (through my own online research) that he had lied to me about his age. (Told me he was 33 when he was actually 42. I’m 25) But for some reason I still stayed with him. FINALLY I found out he actually had a 3rd child out of wedlock with a totally different mom than either of his other two children, and that kid was 18!

So after I found out all that, I was finally like, see ya later bruh.

17. Become a healthy, active couple

When my boyfriend and I first got together, he ordered a pizza hut big dinner box and ate the WHOLE THING. I was a little shocked at first, but then I began to realize that he eats a lot. Which doesn’t bother me, except now I eat a lot too when I’m with him. This past year, I put on a good 12-15 pounds, which I had attributed to going on birth control, but there’s no denying that I eat significantly more than I would if I wasn’t eating with him.

18. Pick the bad ones out before you bite into them

I like most of my exes but there are always a few bad apples. Different guys, different signs:

1. Always tried to get me very drunk. I don’t get drunk, I just get red and pee a lot, or I get very uncomfortable where it feels like my heart is going to explode. He would continue trying to push my limits in various ways and I wouldn’t take any of his shit. Enter stalker mode.

2. He hid me from his roommate and friends despite having mutual friends. I never met his family. I chalked it up to him being shy originally, but it just turned out he was an asshole.

19. Don’t be this guy

1. Not getting a job for four months. Being okay with me being the bread winner. Watching me struggle to solely pay the bills.

2. Lack of cleanliness. He was okay with “leaving it until tomorrow (next week)”.

3. No jealousy/possessiveness. Not an ounce. At first I was elated at this, it meant I didn’t have to worry about a crazy SO controlling my every move. But it slowly dawned on me how few fucks he gave about me.

All in all, he sucked. Year relationship down the drain. At least he had the balls to tell me he used me when I left him. Good to know!

20. No compromise

My current SO once told me casually on a bus ride that he had no desire to live anywhere else in the world but Australia.

This is while I have a one way ticket booked to China (that I bought before meeting him).

Needless to say, our different visions about where we want to live our lives is the biggest issue in our relationship. I want to live everywhere and travel the world. He is not that interested and prefers to stay living in Sydney.

Now we are in a long distance relationship with me living in Beijing and him still in Sydney and he has no plans to live here or anywhere else, so if I want to stay in the relationship I have to move home.

Sometimes I’m ok with this idea, sometimes I’m really not.

A few months ago we broke up because it was causing too much strain on our relationship, but during that time we were both so deeply upset by the separation that after a few weeks we were back together again with both of us willing to compromise a little more.

It’s upsetting because we are highly compatible and have a really great relationship full of trust and respect. I love him a lot, he’s my best friend and one of the greatest people I have ever met! But I’m scared that we are never going to figure this out and it will eventually drive us apart.

I have a one way ticket booked home in the next few months. We’ll see what happens.

21. That’s some crazy stuff she ignored

1. Never graduating high school and having countless excuses for it, none of which were his fault.

2. Living paycheck to paycheck not because it was necessary, but because any extra income was spent on material items he didn’t need, instead of paying debts, savings, or paying me back money he continually owed me.

3. Letting all his credit cards go to collections and letting his credit go to shit.

4. After his bank account mysteriously closed (due to bad credit? Bank fraud?) he began asking me to cash his paychecks for him in my bank account.

5. A father whom had a horrible attitude towards women, who ditched his pregnant baby momma and child to move across the country. And my ex who supported his father’s actions “because the woman was crazy.”

6. Saying he had invented a water powered car but the government wouldn’t let him put it in production due to oil revenue (?!?) Yes, I ignored that crazy red flag too.

Thankfully I had cashed a paycheck of his right before we broke up, so I kept what money he owed me and only gave him what was left over.

22. Something true, but hard to do: Taking your friend’s advice

“I hate everyone. I don’t know why I’m friends with (insert name here)”

“I don’t know what I’ll do to myself if you break up with me.”

“I only acted that way towards you because it was my depression/undiagnosed bipolar.”

“If I could kill ____ without ever being caught, I’d do it.”

Thinking that hugging your SO in public was awkward.

Refusing to tell his mom that he loved her. It was too uncomfortable to hug her goodbye.

After an extremely difficult and emotionally exhausting/manipulative relationship, I am still learning to heal. Lesson learned is to always take your friend’s advice when they are worried about your relationships.

23. She helped her husband — helped them both — live a happier, healthier life

My husband has always had this weird temper thing. But having grown up with a dad who had a very short fuse, it didn’t manifest like a normal temper, it was weird. It didn’t come off as angry somehow, so I let it go as just a weird quirk. As time went on and in times of stress, it got worse. He would just rant and completely fall apart over the most minor (to me) things like people on the road not following proper traffic rules when there was no harm done. He never expressed negative emotions otherwise. This strange temper would just get worse at times someone would typically be sad, grieving or angry. Still, I put it off but sort of started to wonder what I had gotten myself into. Then we had a kind of unpleasant house guest for a while and at one point, he had a total meltdown over the sponge in the sink not being replaced in the holder for it.

At that moment, when I watched him just totally fall apart, I realised something was really wrong and I couldn’t ignore it anymore. Later that day, after he had calmed down, I talked to him. Instead of the way I normally would (why are you doing this? Why are you acting like an asshole?) I started asking different questions. I realised he wasn’t doing this on purpose and couldn’t stop himself. I realised how helpless and miserable he felt as he struggled every day, afraid he was a total asshole and that everyone in his life would finally “figure it out” and leave. I asked him if he knew that life everyday shouldn’t be a struggle and he said no. That made my heart shatter. The next day he went to the doctor and then on to a psychiatrist. He was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive personality disorder. He went into treatment and became a much happier person. He can let things go now. He doesn’t fall apart over little things. He doesn’t hate himself.

This story might be different from a lot of the ones in this thread. It wasn’t a red flag that destroyed our relationship or foreshadowed some hideous truth about him. But there were lots of red flags and I ignored them. And because I ignored them, he went on like this for years longer than he had to. All because I didn’t want to confront him about it. So yeah, I really regret it and will probably never forgive myself for judging him instead of helping him for so long. I try to make up for it by supporting him in his treatment and learning to understand him. I can’t change the past but I can help him find a better future. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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