Should’a Seen It Coming – Relationship Red Flags You Should Never Ignore
A few days ago, a friend of mine broke up with her boyfriend of 4 years. While she was hurt and angry, she said she knew what she was doing what the right thing because she had known their relationship was in trouble for about as long as they had been together. When I asked her what made her stay in a dysfunctional relationship for so long, she said that she was in love, and also that she wanted to be in a relationship. She wanted a boyfriend.
And she’s not the only one to have ever stayed in a relationship longer than she should have. So many of us have found ourselves falling head over heels for a guy we know isn’t quite right. Or we’re not sure, but we ignore our gut instincts because we’re attracted to him, want to love someone, or want to be loved in return. The smartest women can be blinded by love, lust or even simple infatuation, and no matter how many times our friends and family try to warn us to run for the hills, sometimes we just don’t want to see it.
The universe has gifted us all, especially women, with instincts – a sort of sixth sense – that tells us something just isn’t quite right and that we should proceed with caution. However, if you feel like your radar is a little off and you aren’t sure if what you’re feeling is a gut instinct to run or not, then here are some relationship red flags you should never ignore so that you don’t kick yourself later.
None of Your Friends or Family Like Him
I’m not saying you have to get EVERYONE’S approval of the guy you date, but something isn’t right if NO ONE in your inner circle likes him. Our good friends and family know us best, and sometimes it’s easier for a person who is looking from the outside to see what we are too blind in love to see. If you find that NO ONE thinks this guy is for you, then ask a few of your most trusted friends or family why…and listen. Chances are they have very good reasons that you should take into consideration.
You Caught Him in a Lie
Everyone tells a little fib here or there, but if you catch him in a big lie – especially early on in your relationship – then you might want to take a step back. My friend’s ex told her that he didn’t have any children when they first started dating – only for her to find out a month later that he had TWO! If you find that your man has lied to you about something major, then trust will always be an issue in your relationship.
He is Always Accusing You of Lying or Cheating
Usually when a person is a liar, then he or she thinks everyone else is a liar too. If a person cheats, he or she may be paranoid that their significant other is stepping out on them as well. Pay attention to a man who is always questioning you, what you’re doing or accusing you of lying. He may be trying to shift the suspicion off of him.
He Has Several Children by Several Women
This just reeks of sexual irresponsibility. This man may not believe in condoms, but he clearly also may not believe in being in exclusive relationships either. If the children are close in age…or the SAME AGE…then he might not be a guy you want to make your boo. Too much drama.
He Has Never Married Any of His Children’s Mothers
Marriage isn’t for everyone, but if it’s a goal of yours one day, this might give you pause. There is no law that says men and women should get married because they have children, but a man who has no problem having children out-of-wedlock may try to make you his next baby’s mother. If you have no problem with that, great. But if you do, protect yourself.
He Doesn’t Want to Get Married or Have Children
If a commitment is what you’re looking for in the way of marriage and you want to have children, then run away from a man who says he wants neither. Sure, he can change his mind one day, but it’s not your job to try to convince him that you’re wife material and would make a great mother. If he says he doesn’t want to get married, that’s usually exactly what he means – either that or he doesn’t want to marry YOU. If he knows that marriage and children are what you desire, yet still insists that he is sure he doesn’t want any part of that life, then believe him. And part ways.
He Doesn’t Take Care of His Children
It’s hard to imagine respecting a man who doesn’t support his children – emotionally or financially – let alone fall in love with him. But if you’ve somehow managed to catch feelings for a man who doesn’t take care of his children, please don’t make the mistake of thinking that he may be different when it comes to any children you might have one day. No matter what sob story he might be giving you for being a deadbeat dad, there is no excuse for not providing for your children, so ask yourself if that is really the type of man you want to be associated with.
He Has Admitted to Cheating in the Past
I’m not saying “Once a cheater, always a cheater” – but what I will say is that a good indicator of future behavior is PAST behavior. Sure, if he tells you he was young and dumb, regrets what he did and has learned a valuable lesson from it, then by all means don’t hold it against him. But if he doesn’t seem remorseful or makes sorry excuses for why he did it, then he probably hasn’t learned from it and may do it again.
He has a Drug/Alcohol Problem
For some women, dating a man who has an occasional drink or who even smokes a spliff every once in a while is no big deal – especially if she indulges sometimes herself. But if you find nothing appealing about it, or are dating a man who has a serious habit or addiction, then know that it will eventually become the downfall of your relationship. Sometimes women feel like we can help a person overcome their addiction, or that it’s our responsibility to save them from themselves. While there is nothing wrong with supporting someone emotionally or spiritually with their recovery, a person has to want to get help on his or her own in order to get well. And if they don’t think they have a problem and don’t want to seek help, then you have to love them from a distance.
He is Violent
It would seem obvious to most that a person should leave the moment someone raises a hand in violence, but men and women stay in dangerous relationships all the time longer than they should because they feel that love has to hurt. Many women think that men who hit them do it because they love them, or because they have a “passionate” relationship. This dysfunctional way of thinking has caused many women their lives – and if you think he won’t do it again, you’re mistaken. Love isn’t a slap, a push or a punch. If a man hits you, end it, and never look back.
He is Always Sorry
Of course we all do something that we don’t mean to hurt someone, and apologizing is the mature, noble thing to do. But if he’s ALWAYS sorry, that means he’s always doing something wrong. People like that tend to say they’re sorry without any intention of correcting the offending behavior, and they’re probably just saying it because they know you’ll forgive them so they are free to do it again. People continue to do whatever it is they keep getting away with and will treat you how you allow yourself to be treated. People who are truly sorry don’t keep doing things to be sorry for.
You Want to “Fix” or Change Him
Maybe there is nothing truly offensive about the guy you’re dating, but you don’t seem to be happy with him as he is either. You might wish that he dressed differently, was more outgoing, was more athletic, had a better body, etc. You see him as a project – someone you can mold or fix into your ideal man. If you can’t accept him the way he is, then he isn’t the guy for you.
You Feel Like You’re Settling
Some folks stay in a dead-end relationship because they feel like the can’t do any better than the partner they’re with – which is sad. Feeling like he’s “good enough” shouldn’t be the reason you stay with someone you’re really not in love with. This is more of a red flag you’re ignoring within yourself – not the other person – because it’s telling you that you lack the self-esteem needed to find the love you truly deserve. That nagging feeling that leaves you wondering if he is as good as it gets is your intuition telling you that you shouldn’t settle.
He is Financially Dependent on You
No woman respects a man that she has to take care of. If he’s always got his hand out asking for money because he doesn’t have a job, or can’t manage the money he makes, then you need to let this guy go until he can get his act together. Any man with self-respect would shudder at the idea of asking his woman to take care of him financially, so if your man is always asking if he can “hold five dollars,” then he’s not a self-respecting man, but a little boy that you will soon grow tired of.
Your Relationship is All About Sex
Fewer things are better than mind-blowing sex, but the long stroke has clouded many a woman’s judgment when it comes to choosing boyfriends who are worthy partners OUTSIDE of the bedroom. If you struggle to have a conversation when you are fully clothed or find that you have nothing else in common but sexual chemistry, then what you possibly have is a friend with benefits situation that you both have someone convinced yourselves is a real relationship. Once the sex dies down – because it eventually will – what are you left with? While sexual compatibility is definitely important, true love lives outside of the bedroom – so be honest with yourself before you realize that great sex doesn’t necessarily make for a great long-term relationship.