9 signs the person you’re dating is more of a liability than an asset

The Irish writer John Connolly once said: “Drowning men will drag you down if you let them. Sometimes, to survive, you have to let them sink.”

It’s a quote that’s so apt for what we’ll be discussing today – when the people around you become like “drowning men” who drag you down.

I don’t mean that literally, of course. But the principle is true – there are certain people who turn out to be more of a liability than an asset in our lives. 

And it becomes even more significant if it’s the person you’re dating. After all, there’s another saying that’s also so true – the person you choose to marry (or spend your life with) is the most important decision you’ll make. 

So let’s cut to the chase and figure it out – is the person you’re dating a blessing? Or a stone around your neck? 

Here are 9 signs they’re more of the latter than the former: 

1) They are dishonest or frequently deceptive

Let’s start with an obvious one – dishonesty. Sneakiness. 

Does the person you’re dating have a tendency to do any of these things? 

  • Hide messages
  • Twist facts
  • Lie about their whereabouts and other matters
  • Be evasive or make misleading statements

If you’re paying attention, I think you’ll know. You probably feel like something’s off, like there’s a lot you don’t know, but you can’t put your finger on it. 

That’s your intuition warning you. Dishonest people tend to leave you feeling like there’s an undercurrent of uneasiness. 

At the very least, maybe all they want is to preserve a certain image so you keep thinking well of them. 

But at worst, they might have more insidious plans than that, like to manipulate or control situations to their advantage, often at your expense. 

Either way, it doesn’t sound promising. Any relationship without trust at the foundation is bound to drag you down. 

And think about this – do you really want to waste your precious energy on second-guessing everything they say? That’s not worth your while, is it? 

2) They consistently undermine your confidence

I was once in a relationship with someone who did this. It began in very subtle ways, like making snide comments on my outfits or subtly criticizing my decisions. 

At first, these remarks seemed like offhand comments or even concerned advice, so I just brushed them off. But over time, they became more frequent and more hurtful. 

It came to a point where I was constantly second-guessing myself. I had become a very weak and diluted version of me. 

There’s now a name for it – “negging”. Sounds cute, right? But the reality is quite the opposite. Negging involves making small, derogatory comments to chip away at someone’s self-confidence. 

According to VeryWellMind, it’s to “gain power and make the other person feel insecure so that they will be more likely to give in to the manipulator’s advances.” 

Obviously, that person is not an asset. Assets enrich you, not break you down into small pieces. 

3) They show little interest in your personal growth or happiness

Someone who negs you is definitely undermining your confidence, right? Well, the same goes for someone who doesn’t seem to care about your happiness. 

Think about it: if they never ask how your day was, or seem indifferent to the things you’re excited about, isn’t that a form of neglect? 

It sends a pretty clear message: you’re not that important. 

I think one of the saddest stories in the world is that of someone who feels lonely while in a relationship. Nobody deserves to feel like that!

Otherwise, why even stay? Relationships are supposed to be about joy and support, aren’t they? 

When you’re with someone who’s right for you, they will be curious about your life. They will want to know what makes you tick. They’ll want to be there in good and bad times. 

That’s how dating an asset feels like – like your life is so much richer for their presence. 

If you don’t feel that way, that’s a sign that they’re more of a liability than an asset. Even more so if…

4) They disregard your boundaries and values

This is perhaps the reddest of the red flags out there that the person you’re dating is a liability and not an asset. 

Because respect for your boundaries and your values is basic. 

Read that again – basic. That means, even if they aren’t exactly the most emotionally intelligent or thoughtful partner you’ve had, they should at least be respectful. 

And what’s the basic response to someone who does this? Assert yourself. Let them know you won’t tolerate it. And if they still stick to the pattern, you might have to let them go. 

That might be wise, because staying with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable isn’t a very good use of your time and affection. 

5) They resist or criticize your attempts to improve the relationship

In that relationship I previously mentioned, one of my frustrations was that whenever I suggested anything remotely constructive, my ex would mock me or tune me out. 

I’d suggest a regular date night, and he’d say it’s too expensive, or he’s too tired, etc. 

When I’d try and talk our issues out, he’d dismiss me and say I was making a mountain out of a molehill. 

Well, it doesn’t take a genius to see that relationships like that won’t go anywhere. Because it takes two, doesn’t it? 

You can have the best of intentions and be prepared to do the work, but if your partner isn’t…it’s just not sustainable. 

6) They are financially irresponsible

On Reddit, there are countless posts talking about how financial irresponsibility is the reason why people leave their partners. 

There are people who even refuse to let their partners know just how much money they have because they’re scared that the other one would spend it all. 

Then they’d ask: Am I the A-hole? Well, judging from the comments, they’re not. Because financial irresponsibility is truly a red flag. 

Money matters can hugely impact a relationship, no matter how understanding you are. Imagine planning for a stable, secure future, but your partner’s spending habits are putting that at risk. 

It just creates so much stress and tension you don’t need. In other words, a liability. 

Compare that to someone who’s careful and considerate with money – that’s a person who makes responsible choices to ease your mind. You can sleep at night not worrying if they’ll clean you out. An asset! 

7) They lack ambition or motivation

Just like financial irresponsibility, a lack of ambition or motivation in your potential partner can be a liability. 

So ask yourself these questions: Do you feel like you’re the only one making plans or setting goals? Do they seem to need an extra push all the time, otherwise they’re happy to just coast along? 

No matter how hot or charming they are, here’s a newsflash – that gets old pretty quickly. 

Relationships are much more fulfilling when you’re doing life together. When you’re both out there doing your best and dreaming and growing. 

If it’s just you doing that, chances are, you’re going slower than you should be. You know why? Because you’re dragging them along. It’s a heavier burden than you should be carrying. 

This brings me to my next point…

8) They are overly dependent on you for basic needs

If the person you’re dating lacks motivation or ambition, then chances are, they’ll be leaning on you for basic needs. 

Those basic needs may be actual physical needs like food and shelter. But they can also be emotional needs like constant reassurance or constant company. 

A friend of mine had this type of relationship. At first, she liked being her man’s source of support, physical and emotional. She enjoyed feeling needed and valued

But, much like lack of ambition, that got old quickly, too. It’s a lot to ask from one person all the time! 

Not only do you need to take care of your own needs, you’ve got to take care of theirs, too. That adds to your mental and emotional load. 

Like I said earlier, an asset should make you feel richer, not poorer or drained. Otherwise, they’re a liability.

9) They frequently bring drama or chaos into your life

Does the person you’re dating often leave you feeling anxious and drained? Like you’re putting out one fire after another? 

Are you spending more time soothing tensions and managing crises than enjoying the relationship?

If so, it might be a sign that they are a liability. Liabilities tend to leave a mess in their wake – you’re left in a state of turmoil and roller coaster emotions. 

Comparing my failed relationship to my marriage now, I can see a vast difference. 

My husband brings me peace and joy, a far cry from the constant state of anxiety I used to be in with my ex. I love coming home to him, to the stability of the life we’ve made together. 

That’s how I know he’s an asset – he just makes my life better all around and I never have to wonder if I’m coming home to one sort of drama or another.

Final thoughts

I know it’s not really nice to label people as liabilities or assets, but the fact is, when it comes to relationships, our partners do influence our lives in huge ways. 

So it’s always wise to take stock – are they contributing to your happiness and growth, or are they detracting from it? 

The answer to that will take you to your next step – to either take it to the next level, or let them go. I wish you the best of luck. 

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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