The RED FLAG List - Warning signs that He (or She) is BAD NEWS...
Too many women are misled by the romantic myth that men
are "diamonds in the rough" and we are supposed to "help" them become better
men, often by sacrificing our own needs. We are socialized to believe that
if we help them, take care of them, give up our own needs for theirs, they
will "take care" of us. BLEAH. Of course, men are
just as vulnerable- they often marry women they barely know, feeling that
they have to be "mature" and "grown up" and then end up miserable because
they're stuck with someone they have nothing in common with. Or they play "rescuer" and take
up with women who are little, fragile dolls who need to be 'taken care
of' and they say things like "She needs me, she's so fragile. She's like
a little wounded deer."
The sad thing is, that the men/women who CAN change, do it on their own. OUTSIDE
of a relationship. They take time off from relationships, and work on their
relationship with themselves. The can demonstrate REAL work and real change,
rather than platitudes. The men/women who go from relationship to relationship,
(often leaving one partner for another) are NOT going to get past their issues.
And the sad thing is that far too many men, despite their loud and protesting
denials, really just want another mother. As one very wise woman put it,
"Unfortunately, most men never left the tit."
Some people, however, are worse than others, and in the true spirit of
HBI, we have created our "Red Flag List" - things to watch out for, and
turn and walk (quickly) away from - no matter HOW deeply involved you are
in the relationship.
As the mother of this Heartless Bitch once said,
"A man is who he is by his 16th birthday. Don't enter a relationship
expecting him to change, because he won't, even if it is better for him
and he knows it. And if he DOES seem to change, he'll only revert back
the moment you let up, and he'll only resent you the whole time you are
trying to get him to change. It's not worth it."
Through some personal experience and in talking to many other women,
we have compiled a list of things to watch for. This list can apply equally
to women as well as men. If the person you are with does any ONE thing
on this list, put on your running shoes. If they do TWO or more things,
lace those shoes up tight, and start RUNNING.
- He does things to make you feel financially obligated to him, without your asking. For
instance, you haven't known each other for a year and he pays off your
car to surprise you. If you and this loser break up, you will definitely
get a notice to appear in small claims court to repay this "loan".
- "The Dangling Carrot". This person throws money around to hook you, and make you believe that he is a generous person.
Watch closely and you will see his attitude about money change over the months and years that you know him. The moment you are "hooked" either by moving in together or getting married, all of a sudden he is concerned about expenses and you'll find yourself nickel-and-dimed at every turn.
- When you get into an argument, he tells you to, "Read Machiavelli's 'The Prince' so you can learn to deal with assholes like me."
- He constantly says that ALL women are psycho.
- He sleeps constantly. In fact, he uses it--his need for sleep--as a regular excuse to miss meals, events and even quit work.
- She/He engages and disengages without warning. For example, every time you take her out you have a great time and a lot of fun but then she barely returns your calls, or takes several days to return them. You end up calling first because you have fun together but you find yourself in a chase mode with no indication of whether or not she's willing to be caught. This is not courting, this is a game of control and dysfunctional interaction usually dominated by someone who has mental health issues. This person is good at yo yo-ing you're emotions and making you question yourself. Bottom line...they're users.
- He admits to paying for and having sex with a prostitute. Quadruple red flag points if he admits he did it without a condom.
- He hurts pets or talks about how he has hurt them in the past.
- He directly endangers your life by driving drunk.
- He has no hobbies other than watching TV
- He (or SHE) tries to take you on as some sort of
"project" and attempt to "improve" you, as if you need
to be "fixed" and he/she's doing you some sort of
- Instead of being honest with you about how he feels,
you find out that he (or SHE) ridicules you behind your back, even when
you have expressed a preference for honesty.
- He decides that something about your behavior is bothering him, but never tells you directly, as a friend
would, giving you the chance to have an open
discussion. Instead, he drops subtle hints, or does it in a
roundabout fashion, like sending a letter to a
publication he knows you read, hoping you'll see it.
When you don't pick up on the clues, he gets angry.
- You visit at his home or apartment and it has hardly any furnishings
or curtains. You find out he didn't just move in - it's been like this for months or years.
When you go on a date together he asks your opinion on
curtains and sofas etc. He wants YOU to be the one who chooses the colour, décor
and all the knick knacks and you have been dating for two weeks? Watch out!
Men like this are searching for a mothering type to save them and fix them. Run now!
- When you say you need space, he gets mad, and says, "Well, I thought we had a relationship WITHOUT boundaries..."
- He says things like "You make me feel bad about myself" when you try to assert healthy boundaries.
- He dumped his ex in an incredibly mean way - in front of her friends, or at their wedding, for example. Then tells you about it in great detail, with pride in his voice, expecting you to be impressed.
- He doesn't like you talking about (or doesn't even let you talk about) any ex boyfriends/husbands, especially past sexual stuff
- Complains about your clothes - that they are too tight, too revealing, etc. when they are really not.
- You find keyloggers on your computer or find him trying to get into your emails
- He makes it clear that he doesn't want you talking about him to anyone else.
- He vassilates from day-to-day or week to week as to whether he wants to be in a relationship or not.
- He checks out personal stuff while you are still dating.. such as your bills laying around, notes, letters, stuff on your computer
- He wants to get you pregnant asap
- He calls his mother everyday and for every thing that comes up in his daily life
- He talks outside on the phone w/ his family, never around you
- He never really talks about any ex's but does blame everything on them, they cheated, wanted $, etc.
- He has ex wives that you find out about LATER
- He doesn't like to go to social places like bars, where there are a lot of people and possible attention on you from other men
- He refers to ex-girlfriends or wives with terms like "Bitch", "Cunt" or "Whore".
- He gives you gifts, and takes them back when you get into a fight ( those aren’t gifts they’re his bargaining chips)
- He wants to adopt any children you have asap and wants them to call HIM daddy asap
- He has tried and/or admits to trying to make you mad for no real reason.
- He mentions how you should feel "lucky" to be one of the chosen few on his "good" list. "There's not a lot of people in this world I let into my life."
- The only thing he EVER says when you are in need of empathy/support is, "I'm sorry you feel that way." Or, in his true narcissistic fashion, he will mention how he has felt, or feels, the EXACT same way; hence; bringing the spotlight back over to him. AGAIN.
- He plays with himself while you are lying naked next to him. It will make you feel like you are laying next to a child that has discovered his penis for the first time.
- He mentions how he has a high IQ, and not many people "understand him."
- The only time he says anything remotely "sincere" is when he's drunk...which is 5 nights a week. (usually after work) He'll say things that make you believe he really DOES have that soft side you've been seeking since the day you met him. "You're so good for me" "I want to be loved and show love" "You know I love you..."
- He is domineering and selfish in bed. Gives you orders. "Touch me" "Look at me" "Tell me how much you want me." He won't get off unless you are doing these things. Sex is NOT a sensual experience for him. He doesn't understand that you are a human, have feelings, need to be treated gently, etc. Sex is just another method of him proving his greatness. And if you don't get off, he'll be upset. Not because he genuinly cares about you; but because he didn't live up to his false sexual alter ego. King of the Satin-Sheet Throne, if you will.
- When you ask him why he's so quiet, he says, "I only say what needs to be said." He mentions the beauty of silence, and how so many people fill up the air with unnessessary vocalizations. BARF.
- When you ask him why he doesn't open up about his emotions, he says, "I'm a machine. I'm programmed not to feel." When you tell him that's the most absurd thing you've ever heard, he will use his job (as a general manager, or any authority position) as an excuse of WHY he can't open up.
- He is a film critic, a history major, and poet. You are almost intimidated by his "artsy" side. He is intelligent, well-versed, and well educated. You think to youself, "How did I snag such a GREAT guy?" As time goes by, you notice that his film reviews (especially historical war films) and poetry are the ONLY areas he "comes alive." You wonder why he has such a strong connection to certain things, yet emotionally he's aloof.
- When you call him out on his shit, he playfully says, "I'm clueless!" He will say this over and over again, as if it's "cute." When you are genuinly pissed off at him, he will bat his broken puppy dog eyes, and say, "I know you love me, though..."
- Will mention how much he hates his father; yet talks to him every other day on the phone.
- Takes no responsibility if the relationship isn't going "swimmingly." He blames YOU. YOU'RE not working with the situation. YOU'RE not accepting him the way he is. YOU'RE passive-aggressive, etc.
- His life is ambiguous. You never really feel like you "know" him. You may meet his family once, and friends occasionally, but you always feel like he's hiding something. He never really explains any of his past in detail. And, if he does, it's only when he's explaining his way out of something. I.E. "I'm the victim, and here's why."
- Makes extremely creepy, misogynistic comments. "I think it would be really funny, when you're introducing yourself to a woman, to extend your hand out, shake her hand, and say, 'I'm gonna rape you!' " You do NOT laugh, though he gets a kick out of this. When you corner him on this, he mentions how his uncles used to make rape-jokes.....towards him.
- Is over socially opinionated. At first you think he's well educated, and become intrigued some of the odd facts he knows. Later you realize all these facts add up to the whole, "fighting the good fight" mentality. He's always trying to seek justice, prove wrong, pinpoint facts, find the irony, uncover the conspiracy, etc. His brain is infatuated with this shit. It's all part of the "holier than thou" mindset, how he has everything "figured out" and you should feel proud to be with such a brave man. GAG.
- He tells you he hates you with utter vehemency when he is angry.
- If you ever once, just for one second, see a frightening, mad,
staring-eyed look on his face that isn’t the result of something at
least as horrifying as him having just been bitten by a venomous snake
(i.e if you’ve just suggested you both visit some friends of yours) then
no matter how fleeting it was or how deeply you think you care for him,
either run for the hills or change the locks (depending on whose house
it is). Ignore this one and it could cost you your life.
- He demands sex on the first date, and when you
repeatedly refuse it, he replies that he won't take no for
an answer, and asks repeatedly what he has to do to make
you change your mind.
- He wants to have sex when you are sick, with no regard for how you
feel. These are the same kinds of people who will tell you that they
require sex or a sexual act daily to be fulfilled, with no regard for their partner's state of mind or arousal.
- His favorite subject is how oppressed he is by the
world, and how all these feminists and liberated women who
always turn him down have damaged his self-concept and made
life so hard for him.
- He has a litany of stories regarding "ex's" that have screwed him over.
- Facts change within stories - he tells you one thing and
twenty minutes later tells you another.
- Over 30 with no car, no phone (cell or otherwise) and/or a history of changing
residences and/or jobs multiple times in the last year.
- Tells you grandiose stories of past experiences that don't seem to fit together.
- On the first date, he tells you he thinks he could
fall in love with you, and/or wants to marry you and
he'll convert to your religion because "you are the one", etc...
- Despite his obvious mental angst [or perhaps because of
it...] he completely rejects the idea of professional
therapy as a sham, preferring to confide in YOU, because,
well, YOU are so much better at understanding him and his
troubled life than some overpaid professional "quack."
He/she has an elevated tension level consistently. Tries to paint the
inability to relax as a positive character trait.
He/she always has an "agenda". Does not sincerely listen to anything that
diverts attention from the agenda, and quickly shifts conversation back to
his/her goal(s), without addressing the other person's concerns.
- He says things like "I see in you the woman you can be (/become)", in combination
with his love declarations. (This sounds very romantic in the beginning, as if he
wants to help you grow, or develop, or god knows what you make of it, but in fact it
means: I see flaws in how you are now and I am going to do something about "fixing" you)
- He immediately starts sucking up to your friends and trying to become buddies with them. I am not
saying being nice to them, I mean trying to establish his OWN close relationship with
them. (In the beginning easily taken for 'nice': he wants to be a part of my
life, but in fact a means to have better control -e.g. make you start doubting
them later if he wants to alienate you from them, to make you more dependent on
him, and to prevent you from having someone to talk to about problems with him
(friends don't want to get "caught in the middle"). Manipulators try to
get close to YOUR friends in order to feed misinformation behind
the scenes, so that they come off looking like martyrs when they pull the rug out.
- They have had a chemical dependency problem in the past. Addicts usually
replace one addiction with another, if they ever leave on addiction behind at
all. Alcohol today, porn tomorrow.
- Men who have juvenile hobbies such as comic book or action figure
collections. This is a huge sign that they're not all the way grown up.
- Men who take a casual touch football or video game and turn it into a major
competitive event complete with "psych-out" insults and verbal baiting. Later,
when feelings are hurt, he will say that the object of this fierce
competitiveness was "hypersensitive" or just a sore loser crybaby.
- You assert some perfectly normal, basic right of
yours, for example to not lend him your car for a week
or something, and he acts very shocked and hurt, and tells
you that YOU ARE VERY SELFISH. 99.9% of the time,
when a person tells you YOU are selfish, it is because
you are refusing to give in to some unreasonable,
selfish demand of theirs. They will try this with
any aspect of life where you assert yourself as a
separate independent person - such things as going
back to school, having your own bank account, going
out with your friends without him, etc. are "selfish"
since they are not about him or his "needs."
- He/she tries to enlist your help in getting revenge on or publicly embarrassing his/her ex.
- He/she enlists your friends and family to get you back after a fight or break up.
- The answer to any relationship problem you have is resolved in bed.
- He and you grew up differently- him from a traditional "old world" style
family- and you a "Americanized" family- and he wants you to
behave/dress/talk more conservative (like his mother- a lifelong homemaker).
- He breaks up with you "for your own good", using
excuses like "you will be miserable with me" or "you need to be free" or
"you aren't ready for sex", then he begs for you to come back.
- He does something REALLY inconsiderate and/or discourteous, and no matter how calmly you try to talk to him about it, he
JUST DOESN'T SEEM TO UNDERSTAND why you are hurt or upset. You find yourself having to explain concepts of basic courtesy to him. He insists that you are overreacting, being too sensitive, or
uses some other implication that there must be something wrong with you. Even if he DOES apologize, you leave the conversation never really feeling
like things were actually resolved. Never feeling like he really understood or accepted that his actions were inappropriate or hurtful.
- He says things like "I just want to be good for
someone. I just want to be good for YOU." Don't let it tug at your
heart-strings. Don't think it means he's REALLY working on his stuff -
it means he's so filled with self-hate that he's been an ass to everyone
else in his past, and he thinks that he can feel good about himself if
he finds the "right" woman. He's searching for salvation through YOU
instead of working on his shit himself, and it won't work. It didn't
work in the past with all the other women and you are just another kick
at the can for him.
- He says things like, "If I can't make it work with you, I don't think I can make it work with
anyone...", trying to emotionally manipulate you into feeling sorry for him, so you'll stay around when he is clearly behaving like an ass.
- He sits in the car, honking the horn, or starts to drive away, while you are still in the house/apartment, trying
to get ready to go out. He knows you aren't ready yet, but he goes out to the car anyway. He gets angry and frustrated if you aren't ready the instant HE is. Your life is expected to run on HIS schedule.
- On the subject of running your life on HIS schedule, You are expected to wake up when HE does, and go to bed when HE does. If you stay up late
or sleep in, he sulks or takes off without leaving any indication of where he has gone. He may "forget" the two of you made plans for that day, or
go do the activity you planned to do together, with someone else.
- Something about him "creeps out" or unnerves other friends or family members.
- He just *leaves* a party or function you went to with him, without telling you (or anyone else) he is leaving, or where he is going.
- He drops subtle or not-so-subtle hints about how "perfect" he thinks he is, or what
a great catch others have said he is, and how "lucky" you are to have him. Unfortunately, with this guy, you will
never be able to live up to his impossible standards.
- He tells you how his previous girlfriend (the one he dumped for you) says the two of you won't last (attempting to hook you into trying to prove her wrong).
- He sulks or acts like a sullen jerk if you ask him to attend function with you that he doesn't want to attend, or if you don't want to leave early, when HE does. He is incapable of
being mature about it and just figuring out how to have fun.
- He goes to a movie or play or concert that YOU expressed an interest in seeing, with someone else - deliberately timing it so that you were unavailable to attend.
- He makes joking insults about you in front of others and/or in front of you.
- He blames all his previous relationship failures on the women he was with. He complains how they were unstable, insensitive or just didn't understand him. If he DOES admit that he fucked things up, he is quick to point out that if SHE had been the *right* person for him, she wouldn't have allowed him to fuck it up.
- Even though he will denigrate them on the one hand, on the other hand, he holds his previous girlfriend(s) up as impossible standards for you to live up to.
- He seems like "a challenge", or a "diamond in the rough".
- He/she talks about looking for a "soul mate" or "someone to complete me".
- He warns you about his previous bad behavior, and indicates that he is "working" on it, but is not "healed" yet. He implies
that maybe only YOU can really understand and help him overcome his past, but he's not sure. This leaves him an "out" (an "I WARNED you" option) when
he DOES act out again.
- He never apologizes, or he apologizes, but in an oily way that implies that he won't make a
committment to not do it again, or in some way implies that YOU were the cause of the bad behavior - that you "triggered" him or "pushed his dysfunctional buttons".
- He has no friends of the opposite sex.
- He has no friends period.
- He has people he calls "friends" but he very rarely, (or *never* calls) them, goes out with them or does
anything with them.
- His "friends" are total flakes, crackpots and emotionally disturbed people. (Healthy people attract Healthy friends. Unhealthy people attract UNhealthy friends.)
- He/She abandons his/her current "friends" at the start of your relationship, and practically never sees them, never does anything with them anymore - he/she is completely focussed on YOU.
- He has no spine- lets you do whatever you want, never says NO. Says things
like, "Whatever you do." or "It's up to you."
- He/She doesn't take responsibility for his/her behavior- everything is someone
else's fault. Or blames all adult mistakes on parents.
- He thinks WWF wrestling is culture.
- He/She gets annoyed if you want to spend time with anyone else but him/her.
Won't let you have your own friends and starts gradually cutting you off
from them. Or insists she/he doesn't need any friends except for you.
- He does something REALLY hurtful or inconsiderate and when you get upset, makes a comment like, "I'm not responsible for your feelings".
He refuses to do anything in the way of reparation, and invalidates your feelings. He acts cold and callous, or condescending implying that you are overreacting or
being irrational by being upset.
- He apologizes, but keeps repeating the same hurtful "mistakes". When you question him on this he accuses you of "laying blame".
- He remembers EVERY mistake you ever made, and brings them up long after you apologized (and made reparation), in order to justify HIS bad behavior ("Well YOU did X... and I'm still hurting from it..."). OR he uses those old hurts as excuses for his "depression".
- He has a completely different recollection of "events" than you have, and insists that YOU are the one that has the faulty memory. Especially events where HE acted inappropriately.
He is a pig in his own place, but expects that the "right woman" will help
him fix it up and keep it clean.
(if you are living together). He complains about the mess in the house,
and criticizes the lack of kitchen cleanliness as if it is YOUR fault,
but his own room or office is a STY. (Remember, it's easier to criticize the way a woman keeps a kitchen than it is to admit you are a misogynist.)
(for guys in their 30's and 40's) He has NO relationship with his ex-partners, in fact,
they want NOTHING to do with him. If he isn't friends with at least a couple
of his ex-partners (especially the long-term significant ones), and talks
with them socially periodically (over more than issues with their kids), then watch out.
- He is uncomfortable with you talking to his
(According to him) all or many of his former girlfriends are "nuts" or emotionally unbalanced.
Watch out for the "I did this bad thing, BUT... SHE brought
it out in me.... and I won't be that way with you..." or worse... the "I'm
not sure if I won't do this again, but with the RIGHT woman to BELIEVE
He seems like a "lost puppy" in need of care. (Get help for yourself for
even being attracted.)
He has ANY history of childhood abuse (abusive parents or siblings), ESPECIALLY
(but not limited to) sexual abuse, and he hasn't been in YEARS of therapy
(and I mean YEARS - like a decade or more, depending on his age), working
through his issues. Men who were abused have a very strong tendency to become abusers. It
takes many many years of therapy to overcome this, if they can at all.
And when they start therapy, they often get worse before they get better.
Manipulative men who have been in therapy for only a year or so or are
probably at the WORST stage to get involved with.
He/She is on the rebound - i.e. less than 1.5 years after a major breakup from a long-term relationship.
He's seeing someone else (and he is intimate with them) and he falls for you. It may seem very flattering,
but he'll only do the same thing to you later. It's a sick pattern and
it ISN'T going to stop with YOU.
He tells you all the ways you are alike and seems to find more similarities
with each passing day - he's setting you up. He's "mirroring" you to be
more attractive. It's another abuser/controller pattern.
He/She wants to get married before you have known each other for more than
1-2 years and haven't even lived together yet. It takes at least 1.5yrs
for the "hormone rush" of infatuation to wear off, and the true colours
to start to emerge, depending on how quickly you individuate away from
the "joined at the hip" phase.
He starts doing things incongruent with the person you THOUGHT you first
got to know. People are always on their best behavior during the "courtship" phase.
If that behavior starts to degrade and change into little nasty digs, or
lies, or other forms of abuse, DITCH him before it gets worse. Don't wait
around hoping the the guy you first fell in love with is going to resurface
- that was obviously a False Image designed to hook you.
He/She takes pride in how he/she "screwed over" the ex financially in the
He renegs on or "forgets" any financial agreement the two of you had -
such as to share the rent on a basement apartment you both worked on to
He insists that you remain financially independent and then complains when
you can't afford the same level of entertainment and travel that HE can.
He seems "too good to be true" - he probably IS (not TRUE, that is).
He is constantly "down" and has a variety of excuses - his back hurts,
he doesn't get enough light, you are keeping him awake at night so he doesn't
get enough sleep, he hasn't had enough to eat that day, etc.
He suffers from some kind of chronic pain, such as back pain, but refuses
to get any treatment for it, and then uses it as an excuse for why he is
irritable, inconsiderate and even nasty.
He continually rejects your ideas for things to do, (dates) places to go,
He "forgets" critical things that he has KNOWN for years, like the fact
that you are allergic to feathers (and buys a feather comforter for the
bed, or a feather pillow).
You *clearly* and openly state your expectations and needs, in a calm and
caring fashion, you are told that you are being "controlling" or "manipulative"
or "too sensitive".
He tells snide joking insults about you in front of others. If you complain,
he says it was all in fun and you are just being too sensitive.
You are moving out of the infatuation phase and find yourself having to
constantly reassure him that you love him and will be there, simply because
you are no longer spending every waking minute (outside of work) with him.
He continually complains about the lack of "intensity" in your relationship and implies that YOU
are the one responsible for not keeping it up.
He used to be completely interested in anything you had to say, and now
starts showing disinterest in topics that interest you, to the point of
rudeness. He won't even listen out of politeness or courtesy. Complains
that you don't talk about HIM enough, or listen to HIM enough, and that
what you are interested in, isn't interesting to HIM. Expects YOU, however
to be interested in ANYTHING *he* is interested in.
You have to keep proving yourself worthy of his attention or love. You
get attention withdrawn if you ask for responsible behavior or in any way
indicate that you were not happy with something he did.
He tells you many or all of his deep dark secrets, early on. It seems like
he is really sensitive and opening up to you. This is often a tactic
that manipulators use to get you to think that YOU are so special that
they can only open up like that to YOU. It's just a technique. They do
it with EVERYONE. They also do it to "cover" for their previous bad behavior,
- if they TELL you about it, it MUST mean they are working on it and won't
do it again... (though they NEVER ACTUALLY SAY THAT... they imply it heavily).
The goal is to cover their tracks in case you happen to hear something
from anyone else - this ensures that they have good cover story well in
hand, as well as giving them the advantage of already convincing you of
THEIR version before anyone else can get you. And the act of telling you
about their bad behavior in the past will become a great caveat/excuse
in future if they enact it on you - "well I TOLD you I was a manipulator,
and that I was TRYING to change..." the implication being that you just
weren't SPECIAL enough, after all... or that you aren't trying hard enough...
Watch what they DO, not what they say.
He/she continually wants to discuss "the relationship", and is always finding
problems or faults with it, and/or starts insisting/implying that all the
relationship problems are YOUR fault.
He/She puts on a *very* different demeanor, a different personna, when at work
or with another group of people. He/she seems to be a chameleon depending
on who they are with - instead of being one *real* person. If questioned, gets defensive and insists
that they just have many "facets" to their personality, implying that you just don't fully "accept" them as they are.
He uses money to win influence and/or get attention, not because he is genuinely altruistic or generous in nature - for example, he drops hundreds or thousands of dollars on "donations" to charitable organizations (so he can get VIP status at their functions), but won't loan you his $5 beat-up old backpack.
She doesn't eat.
He's in a real hurry to get married, right now, right away!
He's an ex-con. For some women, this still isn't enough, for some reason.
Over 30 and still living at home.
His/her whole social life revolves around his/her parents.
On the first date, already talks about marriage or kids. (This is even
out on the 2nd or 3rd date)
After only one or two dates, gets overly possessive. Calls constantly,
sends gifts, shows up at work.
His entire wardrobe consists of clothes from trade shows like Comdex, bearing
the logos of software and gaming companies.
He stockpiles weapons.
He has kids with various women and never sees them.
He/She has long history of getting involved with losers, deadbeats, drug
She still calls her mother every time she has to make a major life
He/she says things like "you're everything to me. I can't live without
Everyone hates him- your friends, your parents, even your dog.
He/she is under 23 and has already been married and divorced and has kids.
He/she can't hold a job for more than three months.
He shows signs of pennypinching. For example, a guy who only goes to the
rep theatre because he has a special card, and then won't even buy a popcorn
but eats out of your container all night and shares your soda. Then won't
even go out for a beer after, even if it's a weekend. His clothes are ten
years old or more.
He uses "bitch" as a term of endearment.
He supports his driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol with the phrase, "I'm a professional!" (The fact that drugs are present should be red flag anyway, but not everyone feels that way.)
He goes out of his way to be rude and condescending to waitstaff and gets a kick out of their discomfort.
He refuses to wear a condom and supports his argument against condoms by saying, "I never wear them."
He tells you not to get "illusions of grandeur" in regard to marrying him.
Sports programs preempt visits with his children on a regular basis.
This is a big one: He downplays all the "RULES" people follow when dating. He complains that women always make men jump through hoops.
he focuses on these two issuse for most of his conversations in the first few dates. His way of getting around the rules is to repeat, "Ours isn't a conventional relationship. We're not like all of those other people out there who have to have boundaries."
- During sex,he/she requests some creepy sexual act, making it impossible for him/her and you to ever enjoy sex with another person again or have children. i.e. removing the testicles, clitoris and other such things.
- Heated arguments about trivial things(i.e. your tone when saying baby, failure to catch a blown kiss)arise out of nowhere and just as easily they disappear. After which, he/she is super apologetic about things you BOTH should change.
- He says "my mother doesn't even like me." Run.
- He begins a sentence with "I'm telling you the truth." (This is a usually a neon sign that says a lie is coming.)
- He laughs gleefully when you get in a fight with your mom/dad/sister/brother/friend.
- He says he is still a virgin at 39 because women scare him, and he wanted to wait for the right woman who would understand his sensitive heart.
- He or she is on a labor intensive, esoteric diet that has to be endlessly catered to. People like this can limit your social horizons and isolate you, very quickly.
- The person has a medical condition, such as diabetes, and refuses to take adult responsiblity for sticking with diet, medication and exercise.
- The person has an active addiction or a medical psychiatric condition such as bipolar disorder and follows a treatment plan just long enough to look good and get you to marry them. Once you marry the person and (worse yet) get pregnant, all at once the person resumes the addiction and or goes off the psych medications. If you are dating someone who discloses a history of addiction or a major psych medical disorder, adherance to treatment and medication should be required and going off the medication should be a deal breaker.
- The person is highly responsible, but only because he (or
she) was from a dysfunctional family and was groomed to be Family
Rescuer/Strong Person. Unless the person has years of therapy to break
the cycle, you run the risk of your own marriage turning into a non-stop
board and care facility/bail bond agency, bank etc. You will inherit the
Rescuer mantle and constantly have some family member in crisis, needing
to sleep on your couch, get a loan, etc.
- He seems quiet gentle, even courteous most of the time, but blasts off like a raging maniac while watching sports on TV or ranting about social or religious injustice. This may be the sign of a secretly angry person who hides the fury behind a public false self and has to vent that anger in private.
- If he/she is in a spiritual or helping profession, make sure he or
she isn't using the good cause work to conceal an essential narcisissm.
Some selfish people covertly use spirituality as a psy-ops weapon. It does indeed happen that
someone can be an asshole in private will conceal this behind a public
facade and do lots of good away from home as a renowned therapist, a
much loved social justice activist, or as a charismatic and saintly
spiritual leader. Being partnered with a Jekyll/Hyde type who is a saint
in public and a schmuck in private is a nightmare because no one wants
to believe that such an altruist could possibly be abusive in private.
There is a small but important subsection of assholes who go into good
cause work or the ministry precisely to conceal, even to themselves,
their own dark sides. They may need to marry in order to be employable
as ministers. So be very careful if dating people like this.
- He comes from a much wealthier family that is readily accepting of
you. Most rich families prefer for their sons and daugthers to marry
equivalently rich partners--the instinct is to keep the family money
intact and add to it, whenever possible. If the family seems too eager,
make sure that their reasons for embracing you aren't any of the
the son is getting old enough that his single status is arousing comment.
- no girl from a rich family has been willing to take him on.
- in event of a divorce, you would be unable to afford a lawyer equivalent to what the in-laws can afford.
- You read this list, and when one of these things seems to apply to
your significant other, you think "Well, he/she does this, but it's
different because of his/her situation" or, worse yet, "It's really my
fault that he/she does this".