We've all had less-than-stellar relationships and moments that we're not exactly proud of. And a woman who's going through a relationship that's not top-notch goes through a range of emotions that many of us can't even begin to comprehend unless we're in her shoes.
It's tough enough to find someone who treats a girl right, let alone can handle being in a stable and healthy relationship for a long period of time. This is the struggle that we all seem to go through, right?
But in some relationships, there can be warning signs that pop up before we even realize how heated things are getting. And by heated, we don't mean intimate... we mean heated as in bad, as in before one of us gets burnt from the sheer negativity of our bad relationship.
These signs are what we refer to as red flags and whether there are many or a few, they'll usually always surface at some point or another. The trick is in knowing what to look for and when to call our partners out on their lack of commitment—to us and to our relationship. Be brave, ladies, because we all deserve so much more than just a bunch of red flags.
Not only is this mildly uncomfortable, but it's just downright rude. It's common courtesy to avoid bringing up past relationships in a new one unless two people have actually made it to that comfort level. There's no telling how long it'll take before a woman is comfortable hearing about her partner's ex-girlfriends, but we know for sure it won't be an immediate thing.
So if he brings his ex up once or twice, it's not the end of the world. But if he constantly brings her up—and in a way that makes it seem like he's still slightly obsessed—that's not a good sign.
Yes, we all make mistakes and yes, many times our partners will call us out on them. It's a problem when they do and it's a problem when they don't, so it's better if we just accept the fact that there's no comfortable way to provide (kind) criticism. It's like trying to reverse an oxymoron. There is a difference between constructive criticism and outright criticism, though, and our partners should be well-versed in the difference between the two.
If a guy can't help but pin negative comments on his partner, that's a sign that he either wants her to be something she's not or is so insecure with himself that he's projecting his desire for perfection on her.
We get it. We all need to let off a little steam and vent sometimes and that's totally okay. It's better than holding everything in and compartmentalizing, right? The difference between venting and just being mean is when the 'venting' seems to happen quite frequently.
One or two negative comments about his ex are one thing, but bringing her up all the time and then tearing down her reputation is definitely a big no-no in terms of new relationships. It's pretty revealing in terms of who he is and is also a fairly good sign that he might not hesitate to do the same to you. Don't forget that there are always two sides to every story, including one about an ex.
It's just not. And it's definitely not okay to be with someone who constantly jokes about you, but in a mean way. Whether it's intentional or not doesn't matter—mean is mean and some jokes just aren't funny. There's no guy out there who should enjoy having a laugh at his partner's expense.
There's a serious lack of respect if that's the case and it's absolutely a red flag for some underlying issues. Either he's just that insecure, or he's just incredibly insensitive when it comes to the feelings of others. Neither is really ideal, although if he is insecure, it could be a good time for a heart-to-heart.
We've all been in a relationship that probably didn't impress our friends or family (or both) too much. We've also all probably been in a situation where we realized much later on that we had some serious blinders on when it came to acknowledging our relationship for what it was: unhealthy.
This can be even tougher as a full-blown adult because we're so invested in serious relationships and finding 'the one.' This can cloud our vision and throw us into a constant state of denial simply because we don't want to admit that we deserve better. We're here to tell you that yes—you do.
It's definitely not easy to grow up, mature, work a steady full-time job, be a student, pay rent and bills, and everything else that comes with adulting. No one ever said it would be easy, though. The one thing that should never happen in a relationship is dating someone who holds you back and holds you down, and this seems to happen way too often.
Being with a guy who simply refuses to grow up and won't get on his game enough to date a woman who's already on hers just isn't worth it. It's one thing if he's actually trying and showing an effort... It's another if he's just living on your couch eating Fruity Pebbles all day.
While some women may laugh it off and say, 'oh you, you're always broke', it's just not cute after a while (if it was ever cute at all). We'll tolerate many things in a relationship, but being broke consistently and not offering to pay for anything isn't a fair trade. There's no law saying that paying for date night can't be mutual but it definitely shouldn't be one-sided.
A guy who can't take care of his girl definitely isn't attractive and it isn't something to be proud of. And if that is the problem, then he should at least offer other inexpensive options that show her he cares just as much, paycheck aside.
Constantly shielding his phone? Throwing it on silent whenever his partner is around? Suddenly putting a lock on it? These are all red flags. It's possible that a guy just appreciates his privacy (there's nothing wrong with that) but it's also possible that his sudden behavior is a hint that there's something else going on.
Before anyone jumps lightyears ahead, it doesn't necessarily mean he's hiding anything... It could just be a sign of insecurity or that he has a tough time trusting people. Both things that can be worked on, but both are red flags nonetheless. A talk is most definitely needed.
Understandably, not all of us get along well with our families. Sometimes, our partner's history goes back much further than we realize and this isn't always something that can be helped. The good news is that it's usually easy to figure out what's going on right off the bat.
If he says that there are deep-rooted problems that just simply can't be solved, then that's one thing. However, if he's on the outs with his family for a silly reason, such as they won't lend him money, won't pay his parking tickets, or won't do his laundry on a weekly basis, then that's a sign he's just defiant and immature.
Everyone should have interests! We know that the word 'hobby' can sometimes feel outdated and a bit weird nowadays, but there's no other way to say it... Everyone should have something that they're interested in. That's what makes us, well, interesting.
If a guy doesn't have any kind of hobbies, passions, or things that interest him, then it's a sign that he either doesn't get out very much or doesn't know himself very well. Whether it's sports, cars, gaming, working out, whatever, it all counts as something that occupies his time when he's not with us. These are the kinds of things that none of us consider when getting into a relationship, but they're important.
This is a pretty obvious (and potentially smelly) sign that he's just not going to take care of himself. If a guy can't take care of himself first, then it's not really likely that he'll know how to take care of another person. While it's not okay to generalize this and make a blanket statement that any guy who wears the same shirt for days on end will make a bad boyfriend, it's probably still true.
Self-care isn't just a joke in our generation; it's a legitimate thing that should be participated in and valued. Loving yourself enough first is so crucial to being comfortable enough to love another person just as much.
We mentioned before that a guy should definitely have his own separate set of interests or hobbies before getting into a serious relationship, but it goes the other way as well. It's easier than you'd think for a guy to become obsessed with his hobbies and forget about his partner after a while.
This is especially true when it comes to long-term relationships that fall by the wayside because both partners involved become bored. Out of this boredom comes the extra attention that would normally be given to his partner, but instead he's at the gym twice a day, every day.
Being a gentleman is still very much relevant to today's society and it's something that not too many guys are familiar with, as sad as it is. Simple things such as opening doors or walking a date to her front door count for so much but we've just become so used to not experiencing them.
It says a lot when a guy does these things, not only in the sense that he cares, but that he genuinely wants to stick around for the long-term. If a guy doesn't do anything that could be considered polite, then our future in the long-term with him should be thrown into question.
There's nothing wrong with having tons of friends and there's definitely nothing wrong with friends of all backgrounds. A problem could potentially arise, though, if we find that our partners are getting a little too chummy with their female friends. There's such a thing as being a social butterfly and then there's a thing called being flirtatious or overly friendly.
In terms of a long-term relationship, only one of these things is likely to not cause problems in the long run. A guy who can't help but be a natural flirt is one who doesn't know how to respect the person he's with.
These days, a solid work ethic is everything anyone could ask for in a partner. We're not discrediting hard work by any means, and some women are totally fine with the fact that their partners work so much because it's likely that we're working just as hard to get by. What we're talking about is something a little different.
There's working hard because you need to and because you enjoy your job, and then there's picking up extra hours simply to avoid human interaction. It is possible to balance work and personal life. So if a guy is picking up extra shifts without giving his partner signs that he loves them and cares even though he's not physically there, that's an issue.
It's not that we want the perfect guy (okay, maybe a little bit) but is it really too much to ask to be with someone who says we look nice every once in a while? What makes a relationship truly blossom is the ability to be in-tune with your significant other, and that alone counts for so much.
Compliments go a long way in boosting your partner's confidence and are quite necessary to remind them that you're thinking of them. Encouragement goes hand-in-hand with a compliment... It would be pretty challenging to be with someone who didn't motivate us to be the absolute best that we can be and vice versa.
Burping at the table, saying 'see ya!', and not opening the door when he drops us off, not bothering to think about date night... yeah, totally sounds like something that's built to last. No one said that relationships didn't take hard work to constantly be on our game and be at the top of our partner's 'favorite people list'. So when a guy becomes lazy in a relationship, it's definitely a sign that something isn't right.
Either he's bored with the whole thing or is getting way too comfortable in thinking we don't need someone who cares, and neither is okay. Don't be afraid to bring it up and, if necessary, remind him just how worth it you are.
When it comes to a relationship, we usually don't sign up for the role of 'mother' in addition to the role of 'girlfriend.' Unfortunately, we see it happen far too often with serious relationships. A guy will expect his partner to step in and help him grow up even though that's something that should have been accomplished long before we arrived on the scene.
Any guy who's looking to you to remind him to do his laundry or get up for work is one who's just not ready for the long-term. We deserve someone who's on our level, not someone who's going to drag us down to theirs.
No one wants to be around someone who's constantly complaining, especially in a relationship. All it turns into is a fountain of negativity and that's definitely not conducive to a healthy relationship. A relationship built on a woman constantly striving to keep her partner from complaining is one that's one-sided and woefully unbalanced.
If he complains about things all the time, including the little things, it's time to start considering what the real issue is. Or it's time to start considering what it would be like with someone who doesn't suck the joy out of life. Either way, the choice is ours.
Okay, once or twice, maybe. But by the fourth time our partner has forgotten our birthday or our anniversary which—FYI—they were part of, it's just not funny anymore... not that it ever was in the first place. We totally understand that having a poor memory is a legitimate problem, but that's why calendars were created.
Additionally, that's why we have apps on our phones that can (wow) remind us of certain special days. No woman deserves to feel like an afterthought! Especially when it comes to days that should definitely mean something to both her and her partner, we can expect them to remember at least a few things.