We can’t control what our partner says, but we can control our reaction to finding out about it. Namely, we can choose to confront them or to say “thank you, next”!
It can be hard to figure out what to do when we learn that our partner’s been talking about us to their friends. In the best case scenario, we don’t have to do anything; all the talk is positive, and their friends see us as the incredible, glowing goddesses that we are.
In the worst case... well, let’s just say that the worst case scenario says more about him than it does us. No matter how hard we try to put our best foot forward in a new relationship it can sometimes still land in something messy. In this case, the messiness is a metaphor for a whole bunch of red flags.
We’ve always been curious about the things our partner whispers to their friends during those elusive game nights or “best friends only” birthday parties. And now, thanks to extensive research, we know.
These are 18 of the biggest red flags that our partners will share with their friends. If they’re discussing any of these things, it’s time to have a serious talk about privacy, honesty, and how the heck they actually feel about being with us.
22 He Reveals Our Hidden Beauty Tricks
Okay, this might not be the most dire of secrets to spill. After all, half of our beauty routines and eyebrow tips can be found thanks to a quick Google or YouTube search. It’s not like we’re alone in the quest for beauty, right?
However, Cosmopolitan reminds us that he doesn’t need to be expounding on our hair removal routines or laughing with his friends over how ridiculous we look when slopping egg white masks onto our faces. While he might be bragging about just how beautiful we are, it’s certainly not the glowing positivity we would want. We especially don’t need all his friends laughing along with him too.
21 And Our Deepest, Uh, Other Secrets
If he feels okay telling his friends about how long it takes us to wax, just imagine him feeling okay enough to share our other private details with his friends. From the sheets to the late-night freak out phone calls, our partner is the person we share all of our deep thoughts and insecurities with.
Cosmopolitan says that, while it can be a source of pride and “showing off” for his friends, revealing anything about us and our late night preferences can be a red flag; especially if he didn’t have permission to share it first. We’d rather he keep things vague than impress his friends with detailed tales of how flexible we are.
20 Good News: Bragging About Us Is Always Excellent
Let’s dive into this “showing us off” thing a little more. Yes, he shouldn’t be giving away the more personal details of last night. However, the fact that he wants to share all the exciting emotions he feels is a sign that we’re definitely doing something right.
All Women’s Talk mentions that sharing the happiness and satisfaction he gets from us is a way to ensure that his friends know that we’re a keeper. If we make him this happy, it’s only natural that he shares it with the people that are close to him. As long as the private details are kept quiet, we’re all for a little bragging about our beauty and grace.
19 The Whole ‘She’s Got A Good Personality’ Thing Is Questionable
Our general advice is to take this with a grain of salt. After all, personality is an incredibly important aspect of ourselves and the compatibility of our relationships. Elite Daily warns that this turns into a red flag when he “might be compensating for a specific chick's aesthetic shortcomings.”
It’s not the worst red flag, and it definitely doesn’t mean that we should break up with him on the spot. However, it’s worth noting that he and his friends are the type to scrutinize a certain person’s looks and to use the word “personality” as a kind of pseudo-put down.
18 Good News: Those Kind Of Embarrassing Stories He Shares Are Actually Lovely
You know when you and your best friend are so close that, when you’re hanging out separately, inevitably there comes a time where something prompts a memorable story you have to share, just because you loved the moment so much? That’s the logic behind this bit of good news.
He just wants to share those special moments that he thinks about when he’s not with us. Introducing us to his friends through hilarious stories about our shared experiences is actually great news. He’s not afraid to talk about us, and he wants to talk about us when we’re on his mind!
17 He Says That It’s Not Serious (Even If He Told Us It Was)
On the topic of seriousness, here’s the start of the really serious red flags. Elite Daily says that this comment can manifest in a couple different ways, but at the root is the feeling that he’s not ready. He might not be ready for the relationship, or he might not be ready to tell his friends about us.
It’s a red flag when it comes to the longevity of your connection, especially if he told us that he does want to get serious about a partnership. That being said, it’s not as dire as we think; give him some time and see what happens. We might even be hesitant about diving into something serious too!
16 Complaining About Fights Rather Than Working Through Them
Ugh, there is literally nothing more annoying to us than someone who isn’t mature enough to work through a fight with us. We’re not saying that they have to be ready to throw down in the living room. But we are saying that they have to be willing to sit down and talk to us about the thing that’s made them disappointed or frustrated.
If he’s not willing to do that, but is totally willing to complain to his friends, then that’s a red flag. Bolde mentions that this not only speaks volumes about him and his conflict resolution skills, but it can also paint us in a bad light with his friends.
15 He’ll Tell His Friends How He Really Feels About Our New Hairstyle
Sometimes change is hard, which is why we’ll excuse him for not being totally stoked about our new super-short lob or pixie cut with tiny bangs. He doesn’t need to be in love with it by any means, but he should support us for trying something bold and new!
Bolde explains that he wants to detail our looks to his friends, but we know that it can go a step further. If he’s not into our new hairstyle or looks, he’s going to tell them about it. On the bright side, at least he’s not complaining to us. This red flag might not be that bad on the surface, but it definitely is worth noting.
14 That Phrase ‘My Girlfriend Never Lets Me…’
Unsurprisingly, we’re not going to put ourselves at fault here. Unless you’ve actually said the words “you’re not allowed to do xyz,” (without explaining the reasoning behind it) it’s most likely that he’s making it up to make us look bad. All Women’s Talk explains that comparing us can be a good thing, but when it flips it turns very sour.
He might be trying to make us look bad, as it builds excuses that move him towards a breakup. In his head it can make it justified, removing any of the guilt he might otherwise feel. All in all, it’s worth clarifying your thoughts and feelings if you catch him using this questionable phrase.
13 As Well As Moaning About How We Don’t Get Him
The other popular complaint that we came across when researching what guys actually tell their friends? This whole “she just doesn’t get me” comment. Sure, we can all feel misunderstood sometimes, especially if we’re dealing with a person who processes differently from us (case in point, our own personal Scorpio/Leo relationship).
However, it doesn’t give him leave to complain to his friends without putting the work in to the actual relationship. He needs to be able to sit down and talk to us in a rational, grown up way. Complaining doesn’t solve anything; it just makes for even more hurt feelings.
12 Ranting About Our Families (Which He’s Never Mentioned Disliking)
This is a tough one, as we all feel torn between defending our families and commiserating with his sometimes totally valid complaints. Bolde puts it bluntly and says, “he can’t tell you that he [dislikes] your mom, but he can tell his friends. He’ll vent anytime he has to deal with them,” which might not be a bad thing, especially if you’re particularly close with your family.
However, it’s a red flag to learn that he’s not a fan of your family. This could mean that he’s going to be hesitant about sticking around in the long term, especially if we’re the kind of people who like to do family dinners every other weekend.
11 The Word ‘Clingy’ Is Mentioned
Repeat after us: I’m not clingy, this is just my attachment style. Own the way that you need affection and attention, and don’t let anyone make you feel bad over it. Elite Daily mentions the fact that, if he’s talking about needing a break from us, it’s probably a sign that there’s something else going on.
Maybe it’s his attention being sparked by another person, or maybe it’s simply the fact that he’s not super compatible with our attachment style. Either way, we know that being called “clingy” isn’t okay, especially when it’s behind our backs. We need to take it as a red flag on his part rather than a personal shortcoming.
10 He Ignores Or Makes Fun Of Our Messages During His Guys Nights
Not cool, dude! We just want to know when you’re thinking about coming home so we know when we should put the frozen pizza in the oven. Ignoring our messages is fine if he’s in the middle of work, but would it hurt to throw a quick “we’re at such-and-such place, I’ll message you when I’m on my way” to us? No!
Even worse than ignoring our inquiry texts is when he makes fun our messages. It’s disrespectful, especially if we really do just have an innocent question about timing. After all, in a relationship your schedules really do affect each other, and communicating them is key.
9 And He Ignores His Friends' Pleas To Bring Us Along
Maybe he was willing to talk about us and all of our amazing assets early on in the relationship. But now his friends are asking to meet us, and suggest he brings us along the next time that they all go out. Ignoring his friends' requests to spend time with us is a red flag.
Cosmopolitan reminds us that if he doesn’t want to start merging into each others’ friend groups it might be a sign that he’s having second thoughts about the relationship in general. This can also be the same for familial events. If several family dinners come and pass and you’re kept at home, it might be time to have a talk.
8 He Celebrates Poor Decisions
Elite Daily mentions this one as being one of the most misunderstood (and often covered-for) moments of any relationship. Elite Daily discusses the fact that any sort of excuse phrase can be used “to illustrate the fact that we were not thinking clearly, likely as a form of compensation in the light of poor decision-making.” This includes phrases like “my phone died,” “I had too much to drink,” and “I didn’t mean to stay over.”
Use your best judgement with this red flag. If he tells his friends and makes light of it, but doesn’t tell you what really happened, it might be worth taking your more deserving self out the door.
7 ‘We’re On A Break’, Meaning, Sure, Give Your Friend My Number
Another one from Elite Daily, this is a phrase that can be very tricky for anyone to navigate. Maybe the relationship wasn’t working exactly the way we hoped it would, so we decided to take a break in an effort to save it. While his friends will totally want to know what the heck is going on, Elite Daily says that talking about being on a break can also be a bigger red flag.
They write that it can often mean he wants a full on “get out quick” button for his current relationship, with the subtext being that he’s now looking elsewhere. While that’s not always the case, it’s worth keeping in mind.
6 He Speaks In Comparisons, Even If We Come Out On Top
Is comparison the thief of joy, as the old adage goes? When it comes to relationships we certainly feel it can be. It’s not the fact that he might get too wrapped up scrolling through models on his phone. Sometimes it’s the innocent, “flattering” comparisons that speak volumes.
Cosmopolitan reminds us, “it might feel super-flattering that he thinks you're prettier than all these other women or smarter than all these other women, but...Women are individuals, not items to be ranked.” It could be a sign that he holds onto some old fashioned ideas that we don’t need in our lives.
5 Good News: His Friends Know About Our Plans Thanks To Him
All Women’s Talk explains why this one is a good thing, as in the past we’ve always thought it was a little too revealing. Basically, it means that he’s thinking in that “we” mindset. Maybe he’s really excited to share our accomplishments at work with his friends since he feels like the two of you share life’s joys. Maybe he just wants to show us and our achievements off.
Regardless of the motivation, his reason for sharing our plans is clear: he wants to share his happiness with his friends through tangible plans and stories. As long as it’s not crossing any personal boundaries, we recommend letting him gush.
4 He Insists Everything Is Our Fault, Especially Things We Can’t Control
Cosmopolitan has a huge rant about this, and we totally agree with them. They write, “first of all, he doesn't get that getting hit on and catcalled by strangers ISN'T FUN...And second of all, how dare he get jealous at something that's actually just a side effect of [an inappropriate] culture. Instead of getting mad at you for getting [unwanted attention], he should maybe consider asking how it makes you feel.”
And it’s not just unasked for flirting; the same can be for anything that’s out of your control, like being late due to traffic or having to stay an extra half hour at work.
3 Unusual Habits Can Be The Topic Of Teasing
This is one that we have personally felt before, and hope that nobody else ever has to feel. Yes, we know that the cornerstone of many relationships is friendly, playful teasing. Especially for those of us with a bit of a sarcastic bend.
However, Bolde reminds us that there’s a difference between playfully teasing us about how our face mask makes us look like a slime monster and legitimately making fun of us behind our backs. Sure, we might have some unusual habits, but that doesn’t mean he can tease us with his friends. Teasing has to be consensual, just like anything else.
2 Good News: Pictures Speak Louder Than Words
We’re definitely not condoning him sharing all of the photos we send him, especially those saucier Snaps he might have “accidentally” screenshot. However, Bolde mentions that showing off our cute selfies is something that guys really will do with their friends. He just wants to show us off, and show his friends how adorable/cool/attractive we are.
It’s totally natural, and it’s a really, really good sign. After all, pictures speak louder than words, and his showing off of our pictures says that he’s really wild about us. Besides, it might even get us a few more followers, if he’s promoting our profile to his friends.
1 The Worst: He Doesn’t Talk About Us At All
The biggest red flag of all is the fact that his friends don’t even know we exist. We totally get the fact that he might want to wait until the casual dates turn into a full relationship, especially if he’s got a family that’s more traditional. Unfortunately, it’s not a great sign, especially if you weren’t made aware of his silence.
There’s nothing worse than going up to one of his friends at a party and having them say “oh, I didn’t even know so-and-so was seeing someone.” At the end of the day, communication can help unpack a lot of these red flags. And remember: you’ve got friends to talk to as well!
Sources: BOlde, All Womens Talk, Cosmopolitan, Elite Daily