What You See Is What You Get: Red Flags Women Ignore

March 17, 2012  |  
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If only women would see the big red flags hiding behind these seemingly inconsequential things, a lot of rough and toxic relationships could be avoided.

Here are the most common misses….


He speaks angrily of an ex

You think, “That’s a good thing! That means he definitely doesn’t have feelings for her anymore.” Think again. Do you really give much of a damn about exes who you don’t have feelings for anymore? In other words—would you get worked up into an angry, cursing vent session about them? No way. If we don’t care about someone, we don’t get mad about them either. If he talks smack about an ex often, that hate is most likely mingled with love. Also, it’s just immature to bad talk an ex, especially to a new love interest!


He doesn’t have friends

You haven’t noticed because, you’ve only gotten the good side of that so far: he’s had tons of time to spend with you. But, eventually, you’ll get over the honeymoon phase and want to go out with your friends and do some things without him and…uh oh. He won’t like it. Because, you’re his world. Also, why doesn’t he have any friends? That’s something worth investigating. He may be untrustworthy and burnt a lot of bridges in his life.


He needs alone time

One day (or for a few days) he says, “I just need to be alone to think.” It comes out of nowhere but you want to be cool so you say, “I totally understand.” But, a stable guy doesn’t say things like that to a new woman he is trying to impress. A stable guy honestly finds it a little too girly to even say that type of thing. If you’ve only been dating for a couple of weeks, and he has so little control over his mood swings that he couldn’t even keep them together around you and needed some “alone time” for a few days, he’s probably got some major issues.


He doesn’t see his parents

In the beginning, it’s far too soon for you to meet his parents and you’re too busy getting to know everything else about each other that it slips your radar that he hasn’t spoken about his parents. But, if a man barely speaks to or sees his parents, he’s probably got some major drama in his family and, honestly, some major anger issues. It’s not healthy to cut ties with your family.


He’s moved a lot

You read this as, “He is adventurous and cultured”. He might actually just be unreliable and too much of a dreamer. He might fail to set roots wherever he lives (i.e. keep a job or keep friends) and just thinks, “There is something wrong with this town, not me, the next town will make everything better!” Don’t be surprised if he is fed up with your town and scheming to move somewhere else in a few months.


Someone has always wronged him

As far as you can tell, his friends and family must be a group of real a**holes because every day he’s got some story of how one of them pissed him off. You like him and want to be supportive so in the beginning, you let him vent and you take his side. But, come on—everyone’s got someone who pissed them off on any given day. It’s only people with major anger or negativity issues who complain about it daily. The rest of us can brush it off and choose not to dwell on it.



He is quiet around your male friends.

Silence is the most difficult thing to read as a problem. But, if your new guy becomes quiet around your male friends, or just other males in general, he probably has major jealousy and trust issues that he is fighting for dear life to hold in. Don’t worry, later, once he’s got you, he’ll let ‘em loose and you probably won’t even be allowed to see those male friends anymore.

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  • knowing.

    With my girl reading this. She wants to know if this list is true. It’s alright, but the “alone time” joint is off. Wanting to be alone doesn’t really have much to with being a man, as it does your personality. Nothing “girly” about it. Honestly, dude is really not gonna outright tell you he needs “alone time”, he’s just gonna take it without saying anything or say “i’ll be right back” or “i’m going to the store” or he’ll make up some ‘busy/work-related’ excuse to avoid an hour-long session of defending his personality. It’s a personality type, not a crack in manhood. He might increase his alone time if the lady is clingy, naggy, or likes environments that conflict with who he is.

  •  A lot of that stuff is ahhh not really true. What if his parents are dead? he doesnt see them. What if you work for a company that has you move? Im bout my career. And I bet she would be hush mouth around my female friends. You get in a relationship no I wouldnt want you to be with these guys all the time nor would you want me to be around my female friends. This is just another form of male bashing you ask me.

  • Mikep1982

    This is a bunch of BS! A lot of people harbor those traits & r perfectly fine. EVERYONE HAS ISSUES! It’s just what ur willing to put up wit. Would u rather an alcoholic, life of the party who beats u behind closed doors. “Eat the cake Anna May.” lmao

    • sweettea

      Actually every characteristic listed is the same that domestic violence shelters teach victims to look out for. They’re called ‘red flags’ not guarenteed signs of a nutcase

  • Ms Mariette

    Well yes I agree that “most” women like myself used to see the POTENTIAL of a man and not for what he really is!  That is the major problem and we have to stop ruining ourselves thinking it will be better if we SAVE them from themselves!  Don’t waste your time!  The way he was then, is most likely the way he is now..! It doesn’t get better when you have kids together either, it gets worse because now you have complicated the matter of issues he had…..Remember this and NEVER forget this: Men are the head of the household and the hunters/providers/protectors so they have to come to the plate and be about something! You will not be happy supporting any grown man or taking his man-hood away because you think it will benefit you to have him literally under you in that way to have control….I don’t think you would want to be manipulated like that right?  So ladies/women and gents, Don’t look at a man you think has potential, if he doesn’t already have it (and I’m not speaking materialistically) as a good man with integrity, then we are wasting out time and the men have to go back to school to learn some new social habits to be with the women of their dreams if they themselves want a good woman…We want a man in our lives not a child we have to train or raise. We want to share our lives with a man, not baby-sit someone else’s boy!  Do Not Settle for Less than what he is giving you to work with! Would you want a $500 allowance or a $50 spending allowance from your man every month? It’s just a question…and it not necessarily about money, it’s all about what he got to work with in the very beginning!

    Like the Bible says in Proverbs 31:23/New International Version (©1984) Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. A wife can be a tremendous influence for good or
    for ill; nevertheless the husband is responsible before God to live rightly
    regardless of the spiritual and moral state of his spouse.  If a man fails
    spiritually, it is first and foremost his fault.  He must not blame anyone
    but himself.  His wife may be a negative influence, but he is responsible
    to follow God, not her.  Think of the example of Job.  His wife said,
    “Curse God and die!” but in spite of her negative influence, Job remained
    faithful to the Lord.  “Behind every good man is a good woman” is not
    always true.  “Behind every good man is a great God!”

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  • me

    A few words from a male’s perspective. Some of these are absolutely true. Some should be judged on an individual level. The one about always feeling wronged by people is spot on. I’ve dealt with ths with my current girlfriend. I call it playing the victim role. I love her. She is an incredible person but that part of her personality really rubs me the wrong way. It isn’t something that I would leave for but it is something I wish she would stop doing.

    The one about not having friends is tricky. People can outgrow friends. I just commented to my girl the other day how I visited an old friend and the whole conversation was about women in the clubs and sex and women in the grocery store and what he would do to this woman and he wants this dudes wife and he met this chick and he slept with that chick and his baby momma is a stupid bleep. That is most of my so called friends. They say birds of a feather flock together. I usually fly solo. I’m too over my old friends and too old to be trying to make new ones. That doesn’t mean my girl can’t go places without me.

    The family thing is a doozy. Both of my parents passed before I met my girl. My parents were the best. My girl on the other hand is kind of a different story. Her mother is nothing nice. She is a mess. Schitzo, manic depressed, bipolar. My girl is the only one who still tries to have a relationship with her. She has burned so many bridges that no one else wants to deal with her. She is one of those people who believes that her only responsibility as a mother was to give birth. I try to stay out of it but I hate the way she intentionally tries to upset my girl. I try to tell my girl that it is one thing to have respect for your mother but she has to also respect you as a grown woman. You are not her child anymore. You are her daughter. She has put her hands on my girl but my girl would not defend herself. She just takes s*** off of her mother. That is the thing that I am most weary of. I fear that one day she could be like her mother and it ABSOLUTELY SCARES ME.

    Is he quiet around your male friends? I am. I’m usually quiet around people I don’t know. I just don’t seem to share the same interest as a lot of guys. They talk music, it’s Jay Z and Kanye. I talk music its Pharoahe Monch, Jay Elec, Common etc. They talk movies. I talk books. They talk twitter beefs and celeb gossip. I talk injustice and how to improve the plight of our people. They talk BS and I’d rather talk business.

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  • Truconsciousmind

     The last one, he is quiet around your male friends, the response on
    why this is so is comical. Yes guys are territorial, but as a guy I’m
    odd. I don’t waste time on cheap talk which the vast majority of guys do
    esp. if it’s the first meet or two. I don’t care nothing for sports
    talk, car talk. I talk stocks, M&A, politics, increasing my wealth.
    Most “GUYS” are boys. Even my male associates i hardly hang out with, all
    they want to do is party and chase young girls, or complain about
    females 24/7. Well I am turning 30 this year, I have full
    custody of my child, two college degrees and I now own a business, ohh
    i’m also introverted. Most of my own male friends can’t relate to this
    or my drive, so what I am saying is this, if you bring your guy around
    your male friends make sure 300% they will even mesh. If your male
    friends are clearly little boys this will actually reflect poorly on

  • Truconsciousmind

    The last one, he doesn’t mingle with your male friends, the response on why this is so is comical. Yes guys are territorial, but as a guy I’m odd. I don’t waste time on cheap talk which the vast majority of guys do esp. if it’s the first meet or two. I don’t care nothing for sports talk, car talk. I talk stock, M&A, politics, increasing my wealth. Most “GUYS” are boys. Even my male associate i hardly hang out with, all they want to do is party and chase young girls, or complain about females 24/7. Well I am turning 30 this year, one child i have full custody over, and I have two college degrees and now own a business, ohh i’m also introverted. Most of my own male friends can’t relate to this or my drive, so what I am saying is this, if you bring your guy around your male friends make sure 300% they will even mess. If your male friends are clearly little boys this will actually reflect poorly on you!

  • All of this advice could just as easily apply to a list of warning signs about women that men should watch out for — But men are not as obsessed with bad mouthing women based on bigoted stereotypes and paranoia.

  • Lacey

    Stupid list as usual. 

  • Mssroney

    Uh that was pretty lame

  • Lmajor24

    I believe a lot of people who read this list, are now feeling a little self conscious. No one is perfect. But if you have deep rooted issues…. GET HELP!!!!

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    This is a terrible list

  • sweettea

    People born to bad parents are usually messed up adults. If your parents are so bad you have to cut them out of your life chances are you’re gonna have a lot of personal issues to work out as an adult before you’ll be any good in a relationship

    • Merriegirl

      Sometimes this is very true, however if you find a high functioning person who has a troubled past they are probably pretty special. Its very rare, but some people who have been put through the fire turn into beautiful polished glass. Meaning terrible childhood experiences make SOME people better functioning adults.

  • Merriegirl

    “He is quiet around your male friends.  Don’t worry, later, once he’s got you, he’ll let ‘em loose and you probably won’t even be allowed to see those male friends anymore.” MN can not be serious with this. Men need time to feel other men out, especially when they first meet. & if your man is the quite reserved type he may never be talkative around your male friends. Each man you date should be evaluated on his specific character traits. 

    • bishop

      Totally agree. Horrible list and lazily put together. Lacking insight and perceptive.

      • bishop


        • Truconsciousmind

           Totally agree with yall

  • Words learned by rote a parrot may rehearse; but
    talking is not always to converse, not more distinct from harmony
    divine, the constant creaking of a country sign.

    • L-Boogie

      Shut the EFF up!

  • L-Boogie

    Love is a waste of time and energy!  Read a book and better yourself.

    • ariesdollface

      LOL! I disagree but I appreciate the sentiment (& the laugh)

      • L-Boogie

        How about you follow someone else!  Thank you.

        • ariesdollface

          follow you?!!! who the he!! follows a commenter on a blog?!!! i thought your little comment was in jest but it seems you’re serious, which is actually really pathetic.

          i don’t bully easily sweetheart. not in real life and CERTAINLY not online.

          • L-Boogie

            No one is trying to bully you.  Who are you?  If you think you are that important maybe you need to check yourself.

  • luverly

    Im tired of wack a** relationship advice.

  • MixedUpInVegas

    This is a pretty good list of characteristics of someone who is not entirely mentally healthy.  Human beings are basically social creatures.  We all interact in a complex social web that produces the lives we lead today–for most people.  When someone is perpetually angry, fighting with coworkers, wronged by everyone and is never at fault for his misfortunes, you gotta figure that something just isn’t right–probably with him.

    He might convince you that you are the only one who understands him–TODAY.  Next week, you’ll be the faithless woman who owes him better.  And he will make sure you pay for that!

  • I don’t agree with the alone thing. Sometimes people need time to be alone. I’m very much like that. If I wanna be left alone for a day or two then I need that. Anyway, a lot of the things on this list remind me of my mom’s ex bf, except for the family thing cause he lived with his family but they were always going through something. He’d move in with us in our home and it was nice but he was sometimes “Angry At The World” guy. Had no friends, always going through serious drama with co workers, battling with them. I was a teen and a loner at the time so I didn’t care but I caught him trying to cheat on my mom with a guy so that ended it. Heck yes I told her. That’s my mommy. Ladies please watch out.

  • perplexed

    this list is good for the most part but i have concerns about “he needs to be alone for a few days”. while i may understand why you might put it there did you guys consider the personality differences between introverts and extroverts that might lead to this scenerio as well? as an introvert i can tell you that’s how we “recharge”, we aren’t moody,just misunderstood. we just value a lot of alone time, we usually don’t mean anything by it.

    • Darcampb

       Agreed. Not everyone enjoys being up the butt of the person they are seeing 24/7

    • FromUR2UB

      Yeah, I’ve never been a social butterfly either, and it really does bug me when people who are, suggest everyone should be.

      • Kris50

        America is made for the social extrovert; its the only personality type that we desire and hold in high regard. For whatever reason, being an introvert is a bad thing; people always think there’s something wrong with you. I’ve had several parents come to me, asking me to “fix” their child, because something just HAS to be wrong with them because they aren’t extremely sociable (everyone wants their kids to be movie stars in my opinion). I just feel so bad for those kids because I’m also an introvert and completely understand; sometimes you just want to be alone! It doesn’t mean you’re moody or irritable, we’re just over-stimulated sometimes and we need a damn break! Lol sorry for the rant, its just so annoying.

    • Chileplease

       Agreed, I tell my fiance here and there that I need a weekend to myself. We both have kids, we both have been married and we’ve been dating for 2 years and engaged since this year. As of the last 7 months, every weekend I go to his home for the weekend (every other weekend, my kids go and other other weekend, they go with their dad). As an example, he told me last weekend, his ex changed plans last minute and he was going to have the kids afterall. I said to myself…I’ve got work to do (I work for myself so there’s no such thing as M-F)… I told him I really needed the weekend to myself and to focus on work, as well. He was a bit disappointed but he’ll get over it. I think it’s SUPER healthy for both people to say (when time permits) …HEY, I need a little ME time… No one needs to be around someone 24/7. It’s healthy for them to say I need a few days (if you live apart) or a day to myself (to shop, meet friends, do you..whatever)….

  • Phillychild927

    I’ve got to say that people that have decent relationships with their parents really need to stop beating it into the heads of everyone else that family is/should be a determining factor in finding a mate. As someone that has been physically & emotionally abused by my mother and abandoned by my father, I find it highly offensive that I or others like me won’t be considered good people or partners because we’ve decided to cut ties for the sake of our mental, emotional, and spiritual health. The way someone treats their mother MAY be an indication of how they treat other women or it may just be the result of a history that you know nothing about and don’t understand. Severing ties with a jacked up family can just be one person’s way of trying to distance themselves from the nonsense that comes along with being heavily involved with a jacked up family. There’s a time to stay and fight for a good thing and there are even more times to chuck that crap for the garbage that it is.

    • Mangoago

      i think they are talking about people who have good parents and distance themselves from family for no apparent reason, not people who have been abused by them – that’s a TOTALLY different matter. If you (in general) were abused as a child and do not want to forgive your parents then that is fine because NO parent should abuse ANY child. But, if your mate does not respect his or her own parents and has no reason for doing it or is just a disrepectful person, then yeah that’s a red flag

      • sholla21

        Rarely do children distance themselves from good parents. There’s always something. JMO.

      • Scoops

        The only way that could be determined is by finding out the root cause of them not being around their parents. But red flags are raised so that the relationship does not go any further due to the non relationship with the family. So I believe Phillychild had a point saying that it should not be something that rules them out completely as a good mate. 

    • sholla21

      Thank you. I noticed that too. There’s nothing wrong with cutting out a toxic family. Some families are horrible, and the only healthy thing to do is to get away from them.

      This  article has lots of good points, but clearly the writer is unaware that some parents emotionally, psychologically, physically and/or sexually abuse their children and leave them so damaged that the best thing for those children is to escape their so-called “family”.

    • Bella

      I agree, PhillyC. My partner knows my situation with my family isn’t the best and I shall be moving away from them soon because they have no respect for me and my partner is fine with it, if anything he’s been very supportive. I’m not gonna stick around to be made a fool out of. By the way, I’m sure MN mentioned in a slideshow article some time late last year about things you should not tolerate in your life and one issue that came up was a family full of drama, so I’m not sure what’s going on here…

    • Jtascam

      phillychild, this was geared to people whose parents were non-abusive. No one would expect an abused child o have a healthy relationship with abusive parents. Don’t take it personal.

      • Darcampb

         Well, as someone else stated, people don’t really distance themselves from good parents. Ive personally never seen that happen. Just because you don’t see or know about the family issues doesn’t mean they do not exist. Also, don’t be so condescending as to tell another person how to feel (dont’ take it personal). She has every right to state her opinions here and has clearly dealt with a lot of pain.

      • Merriegirl

        A family dosen’t need to be specifically abusive to be toxic. Some families are just jealous of their children’s success and/or they weigh their children down with their baggage to the point that its difficult for them to progress. Each person needs to live & be a around the best environment for their personal growth & as PHILYCHILD said it may be difficult for people with healthy familial relationships to understand that all families are not built the same. & that sometimes the best environment for a person to be in is by themselves or by starting their on family.

    • FromUR2UB

      So far, you got 51 “likes” on your comment.  There must be a WHOLE lot of people who identify with this.  The people closest to you are the ones who can hurt you the most, and sometimes, telling them that they do or say something that’s hurtful to you, only causes them to do it more frequently.  So, what do you do?  You move on.  If they need something, you help them if you can.  But who has the energy for someone who tries to pop your balloon every time you see or speak to them?

      If someone doesn’t interact with their family, I’d want to know why, but it wouldn’t be an instant deal breaker.  It’s a little naive to think that everyone has supportive family members.

    • Lyndon

      Unfortunately Phillychild927,

      people who’ve exerienced abuse at the hands of family to the point they must distnance themselves from them, often make for horrible relationship types. Sad, but true. I admire the ability to recognize the damage toxic families cause, but a severely traumatic upbringing produce unhealthy relationship habits- and an excrutiating partnership.

      Just think of all the toxic behaviors we’ve picked up along the way. ANd how difficult it is to translate these things into functional relationships with people that come from polar opposite families. I’ve been married and experienced this firsthand. The imbalance is unbearable. The author is absolutely correct, whether you’re mature enought to see it for what is is your battle.

      There’s a tremendous amount of work that has to be done to deprogram harmful behaviors adopted from ill folks. Blessings on your journey

    • Tiffany Kelly

      I completely agree with you.  I am guilty of judging someone by the way they treat their mom… but that’s only if they come from a “normal” and loving background.  If a man doesn’t love his mom (unless there are MAJOR underlying issues), he won’t love his woman either.  It’s almost a fact… of course, except in cases like you’re saying.  Never judge a book by its cover though, right!?!?!?!

    • Daniel H Beegan

      PhillyChild. My mother and I did not get along since the day I was born, whereas my father and I had our ups and downs, but I could talk to him. My father paid a small roll in my picking a good wife, my mother played no role. Da and my late wife, Beatrice, got along famously. After 28-years of Marriage, my wife died at home the victim of a lifetime of smoking

    • You

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. Sometimes the BEST thing to do is not be around or in contact with your family

  •  This was one of the best articles I ever read on MN.  Mostly common sense, but still informative. I keep telling my friends and anyone else who will listen that people show you who they are in the beginning, but you fail to recognize them or are blinded by love, lust or whatever…only when the love fades or the sex fizzles do you then see the bad traits and behavior – they didn’t suddenly appear. They were always there. 

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  • Coco

    Had I read this 14 years ago would I have listened? VERY SOUND ADVICE….especially number 1
    My ex talks about me horribly to our daughter…& when she asks him to stop, he says “sorry, I just can’t help it”. She swears he’s still in love with me for the same reasons the article states. And expressed it to me for the first time at the age of 10!

  • Coco

    Had I read this 14 years ago would I have listened? VERY SOUND ADVICE….especially number 1
    My ex talks about me horribly to our daughter…& when she asks him to stop, he says “sorry, I just can’t help it”. She swears he’s still in love with me for the same reasons the article states. And expressed it to me for the first time at the age of 10!

    • Ladybug94

      That’s not good.  If your ex wants to bad mouth you he should call some of his friends up to do that and stop bad mouthing you to your daughter.  I hope he stops that, especially since she’s asked him to.

      • MsMariette

         He is not even supposed to speak of any ill will not even to his friends – that’s the problem, folks don’t know their place of integrity….He wants a good woman, then try being a better man!