20 relationship red flags in a guy you shouldn’t ignore

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Red flags are that gnawing feeling we get in our gut that tells us something isn’t quite right.

Some are subtle, others are more obvious. Either way, we should ignore them at our peril.

But what sort of behaviors are red flags in a guy?

This article will share a comprehensive list of things to look out for.

1) He refers to you two as “friends”

Sadly, not every guy is going to be upfront and direct about what they want from you.

That means we need to read between the lines and pick up on those cues that don’t feel right.

One of those is him referring to you as “friends”.

You may have been hooking up for ages or dating several nights a week for a couple of months. Yet he is still labeling you as friends.

Whilst relationship status doesn’t need to be defined straight away, “friends” can be dangerously close to a friends-with-benefits situation.

So it’s always better to clarify.

2) He says he isn’t looking for anything serious right now

Of course, this all depends on what you are looking for. But if you are hoping things will develop then NEVER ignore this red flag.

And believe it or not, so many of us do.

We silently and secretly hope that he may change his mind, his feelings will grow, and that we are awesome enough to convince him otherwise.

But we’re only delaying and magnifying the heartache we will face later.

Bottom line: If he tells you he’s “not ready for a relationship” and “only looking for something casual” please believe him.

3) He never makes plans in advance

Last-minute dudes are all about low investment.

Nobody wants to come on too strong. But there is a certain amount of effort we put in when we’re into someone and have genuine intentions.

As a general rule, the more in advance he makes plans with you, the keener he is.

That’s why last-minute calls and late-night hangouts scream minuscule commitment.

If you’re dating, it’s reasonable to expect notice of when you’ll see each other.

4) He doesn’t ask you any questions or take a deeper interest in you

In the early days of a connection, it can be pretty fun to focus on the frivolities. Having a good time can feel enough.

But for a relationship to blossom, it needs to run deeper.

That means you should be taking a genuine interest in one another’s life.

He should want to find out what makes you tick, what you are passionate about, and what your bigger values and beliefs are.

If he isn’t making any effort to discover these things, it can spell trouble for building anything that goes beyond something casual.

5) He blows hot and cold

The reality is that people don’t always know how they feel. That can cause some mixed messages.

One day he is attentive and shows interest, but the next he disappears.

It doesn’t mean he doesn’t care, but it does call into serious question the strength of his interest.

He’s certainly not 100% in, and you shouldn’t ignore that and hope his feelings will definitely grow for you.

But as with many of the red flags on our list, neither does it automatically mean you should cut your losses and run.

Real life and real relationships are never straightforward. It really depends on your own unique circumstances.

That’s why you may also want to seek some advice that takes this into account.

With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice based on your life and your experiences.

Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations, like many of the red flags featured on our list.

They don’t just listen, they give you practical actionable advice on what to do next. You can connect with a certified relationship coach within minutes. Click here to get started.

6) He love bombs you

Maybe you’ve heard of love bombing?

It’s when someone pulls out all the charm to win you over. They are both attentive and affectionate.

The catch is that it doesn’t last. It’s often a tactic used by narcissists and abusers to get you to fall for them.

Then once they’ve built you up, they get to work on stripping you down.

It can be hard to spot for the very reason that you may not realize it until after the honeymoon phase stops.

But there are signs:

  • Coming on too strong
  • Feeling like it’s all been a whirlwind romance
  • Accelerated commitment and things moving quickly
  • Showering you with gifts
  • Excessive compliments and praise

7) He has a reputation

I feel kind of mean for saying this. Especially given how often I preach about non-judgment and giving people the benefit of the doubt.

But that old saying about there being no smoke without fire is all too often true.

So when a guy has a bad rep for being a player or a f*ckboy then it’s wise to proceed cautiously.

People do change, but it also takes time. If he was breaking hearts only a couple of weeks ago, what are the odds that the leopard has changed its spots?

Because as we’ll explore further in our next point, our past can be a good indicator of our future…

8) He has a history of infidelity

Guys with a history of cheating on previous partners are more likely to do it again in future relationships.

In fact, according to research, they are a whopping three times more likely to do it again.

Of course, it’s not a case of once a cheater always a cheater. People can learn lessons and grow from that.

But don’t ignore the stats.

Dig deeper and ask questions about his past behavior. Explore his values and beliefs around fidelity.

9) He’s never had a serious relationship

Why is this a red flag? Well, it isn’t always, but it certainly can be.

If a guy is young it’s probably normal.

But if he’s a grown-ass man and never found the inclination to settle down you may be dealing with a Peter Pan type. Or just as bad, he’s never been able to make it work for long enough.

Maybe I’m being unfair, but when I meet a man who never makes it past 3 months of dating, I wonder what’s wrong with them.

Relationships are hard work. It’s something we get better at through trial and error.

If he hasn’t had any practical experience in this area, then you may have to be prepared to be far more patient as he learns the ropes.

10) He frequently cancels on you

Things come up, hey, it happens.

But there are only so many times you should allow him to let you down before alarm bells start ringing.

Life is all about priorities and if you are being relegated often, then it tells you something about his.

You can’t always come top of the list — but neither should you fall to the bottom.

It’s disrespectful if he has a habit of canceling or rescheduling your plans together.

11) His exes are all “crazy”

Sirens start sounding whenever I speak with a guy who claims to have a “crazy ex”.

Is she really “crazy” or did your behavior drive her nuts?

Even if she is the one who’s unstable, you have to ask yourself what kind of guy welcomes that into his life.

The worst-case scenario is that he makes sane girls go crazy. The best-case scenario is that he lacks judgment and boundaries.

Let’s be honest, neither of those things are great!

12) He sulks when he doesn’t get his own way

This can seem like a minor offense. But it needs addressing.

Sulking and dishing out the silent treatment is ultimately a form of passive aggression.

One that highlights inadequacies around communication.

Because the healthy and constructive way of dealing with an issue with someone is to calmly talk about it and express how we’re feeling.

Keeping things bottled up that he can’t talk about constructively can become toxic in a relationship.

13) He never thinks he’s wrong

I love a bit of passionate spirit in a guy. I also love a man who backs himself. Confidence and self-esteem are undeniably sexy.

Arrogance and stubbornness on the other hand most certainly are not.

If a guy thinks he can do no wrong, then prepare yourself for a challenging relationship, to say the least. Because it sounds like he may struggle with accepting personal responsibility and self-awareness.

Compromise is essential for healthy connections. We need to know when to back down and when to say sorry.

But these are things he’ll be willing to do if he always thinks he’s in the right.

14) You catch him in a lie

You might be tempted to overlook so-called white lies. But don’t be so hasty.

Truth and trust are intertwined.

Even if you think he withholds things from you to spare your feelings, it can still harm your relationship.

If he can’t be honest with you then it’s difficult to foster open communication and mutual respect.

15) He’s selfish in the bedroom

If a guy doesn’t care about your sexual pleasure then it says something about him.  Usually, it’s that he is sexually immature.

That doesn’t mean it’s a deal breaker.

But starting an honest chat about sex and personal preferences can help you to get on the same page.

It’s also a good way to test whether he really cares. If he does, he will listen to what you have to say and want to do things differently.

16) He isn’t there for you

I always say that unspoken expectations cause a lot of problems in our relationships. But some expectations are perfectly reasonable.

You should expect that the person you are in a relationship with has your back.

That means:

  • Offering emotional support
  • Being there when you need him most
  • Comforting you when you are sad or hurting

17) He makes one too many “jokes” at your expense

Put-downs masquerading as teasing are a no-no.

Look, I’m a big fan of banter. I know that I dish it as much as I can take it. But there is a line.

Comments that leave you feeling hurt or humiliated are unacceptable.

Saying disparaging things about your weight, looks, intelligence or abilities etc, will slowly strip away at your self-esteem.

Comedy isn’t an excuse for disrespect.

18) He’s super needy and clingy

He guilt trips you when you spend time with anyone else. He gets mad whenever you can’t answer the phone. He spams you with multiple texts if he hasn’t heard from you in a while.

If you feel stifled by his affection and attention then don’t explain it away.

It’s easy to convince yourself it’s because he cares so much.

But neediness can quickly lead to more destructive behaviors such as co-dependence or the next thing on our list…

19) He’s jealous or even possessive

A tiny bit of the green-eyed monster is normal in relationships. Experts even suggest it’s just a normal consequence of caring.

Whenever we’re attached to someone, we don’t want to lose them.

But insecurity that leads to unhealthy jealousy will destroy your relationship.

We’re talking about things like:

  • Constantly checking up on you
  • Hating any attention you get from other men
  • Making unfounded accusations of cheating

20) He is manipulative or controlling

Perhaps this is less of a red flag and more of a strong sign of a toxic situation or person.

  • Being pushy
  • Not listening to your wishes
  • Dimssining your feelings
  • Gaslighting
  • Using guilt or blame against you
  • Trying to call the shots
  • Dictating what you should and shouldn’t do

These sorts of things point toward controlling tendencies.

It can masquerade as “concern” for you or just “looking out for your best interests”.

But if you feel pressured, cajoled, or bullied into things it’s a big warning sign.

To conclude: What should you do when you notice red flags in a guy?

Whatever you do, don’t gloss over them.

When something doesn’t feel right, listen to your instincts. You’re not being silly, your gut feelings are your subconscious making informed judgments.

It’s important to talk about any concerns you have. Communicate with him and see how he responds.

This can either put your mind at rest or cement your hunch that he might not be the guy for you.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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