Dating can be confusing and complicated. You are getting to know a variety of men and want to find out which one could be for you. Yet, you also want to protect your heart from those men who are less than honest or who, quite honestly, wouldn’t be the right one for you.
This is a challenge. All of us want to believe the reality is what we see in front of us, but the truth is both men and women hide certain things when they first start dating. They want to put their best foot forward and, sometimes, that involves masking the truth. However, the truth does show up in various ways and one of those is by red flags.
Red flags are little subtle things that you pick up on to alert you of trouble ahead. While you want to give everyone the benefit of a doubt, it is in your best interest to consider the warning signs before you get too emotionally involved to pull out of the relationship without a lot of pain and drama.
Below are 18 red flags to be aware of when dating a new man:
- He has an odd relationship history. Men who have either always had a girlfriend or wife and have never been alone for long or men who have never had a relationship spell trouble. With the first group, they are highly dependent on relationships for self-worth or practical needs like companionship or laundry. The second group has no practice with relationships so they will likely be a hot mess in communications and expectations.
- He wants you to take on responsibility too soon. You’ve been on two or three dates and he calls wanting you to pick up his dry cleaning or go feed his dog. While you may view this as the new man wants to move forward to a more serious relationship, this behavior could indicate he is selfish and simply wants a personal assistant.
- He talks about his crazy ex. A man that talks about his past relationship in terms of his wife or girlfriend being crazy is likely trouble. This is especially true if all of his past exes are labeled as “nuts” or “psycho” or just plain “crazy.” No one can have that much bad luck in picking out women.
- He won’t say he’s sorry. Nothing is worse than someone who refuses to apologize except that they tend to blame others around them. That would be you if you stuck around. Run fast from this one.
- He treats other people badly. Watch how he treats his parents, his siblings, and those who serve you at restaurants. Men who have no regard for others aren’t worth keeping. They will treat you with the same disrespect.
- He still lives with his parents. This may be okay if he’s still in college or maybe in a graduate or residency program. It may be fine if he was married and moved back in for a while after a nasty divorce. The ones to watch or those who simply never left. A man who still lives with his parents likely still has a juvenile mindset where he allows his mother to do everything for him and wants his father to make all his major decisions. That doesn’t make for a good husband.
- He can’t take no as an answer. In some ways, it is good for a man to be persistent. That could help in a career. Yet, a man who will fight you when you say no to a request isn’t someone you want in your life. You will be arguing all the time and you could likely be the one to constantly be giving in.
- He complains all the time. Everyone has a bad day, but a guy that is a chronic complainer is someone who will make your life miserable. Nothing will ever be good enough for him. He will never be grateful for anything and life will never be a positive experience. You don’t want a dark cloud over your head.
- He has had trouble with the law. Men who have been in and out of jail for various things, even if they are small things like public intoxication, are trouble because it means they haven’t learned their lesson or refuse to fly straight. The real problems are when they have legal issues with child support payments, domestic incidents, and DUI. Those can indicate some serious long-term problems. Yes, sometimes people have a past and can do better but those who seem to have recent and ongoing problems aren’t moving on to better.
- He constantly leaves the room to take a phone call. Sure, there may be times he needs to move away from you to take a business or personal call especially if you just started dating. However, a man who is constantly leaving the room to take a call is either making work or other things his priority or has something to hide.
- He won’t talk about his career. This is an ominous sign. It either means he doesn’t have one, doesn’t have a plan to have one, or has a shady one. Men typically love to talk about where they’ve been and their plans on where they’re going. Someone who shifts the subject when it comes to questions about his career and plans is hiding something.
- He has had a lot of jobs in a short time. It could be that he is trying to find his place in the world of work or it could be he is lazy and can’t keep a job. Don’t stick around to find out which is true.
- He is cheap. A cheap man is a selfish man. True, some men are frugal and some simply don’t have the money to splurge on every date, so you have to balance it. Some men will take you on “free dates” where the money isn’t needed and a bike ride in the country with a wine and cheese picnic can be romantic. However, a man who absolutely refuses to spend money on anything or who is constantly complaining about the cost of things is the one to avoid. After all, they won’t spend any money on you either.
- Their kids have a lot of problems. This doesn’t bode well for a long-term relationship. It could be his teenage son is consistently being kicked out of school or maybe his adult daughter is moving in with him, again, with her two children. Remember, these problems will become your problems if you get serious.
- His ex-wife is constantly calling him. Not only is this annoying, but it signifies the kind of relationship they have where she feels she can constantly call him and he will constantly answer.
- He appears to have motives for doing nice things. Men who do something for others to have a favor returned should be avoided. They will keep score of what they do for you versus what they get in return.
- He doesn’t like your friends or family. Sure, these early interactions can be awkward and it may take time to mesh your man with the other important people in your life. However, a man who complains about your family and friends, who doesn’t want to see them, and who tries to pull you away from them is a possible abuser. That is what abusers do to control you.
- He doesn’t listen. A man who is scrolling on his phone while you are talking cares nothing about what you have to say.
- His speech is mean and cruel. A man who regularly makes fun of others, tells cruel jokes, or says mean things to you in the guise he is joking isn’t someone you want to be around. They have a mean spirit and it won’t change.
Being perceptive enough to see these red flags may make you uncomfortable at first because you could feel like you are judging the man. Yet, noticing these types of things can save you from wasting your time on a bad guy and keep you from getting a broken heart.