18 Relationship Red Flags Every Woman Should Know.

Via on Dec 31, 2012

dating text

I wish relationships had a preview button like iTunes, but they don’t.

So, the best we can do is equip ourselves with clarity—what we want and what we don’t want.

Through experience, I’ve learned what I am willing to accept and what I’m not.

On paper, it appears these actions and behaviors are changeable, but it’s not that easy. First, there must be an acknowledgment by the person—an unearthing of  the origination of the action, the root. The root of these behaviors is fear and the dirt of unawareness.

To the men who act in the ways I describe below: if you are reading this, then you are curious, you want to know; you want to understand what a woman desires from a man. This is a strong sign you are ready to look in the mirror and do your work.

I hope you take time to look inside and become aware. When you decide to accept and love yourself as you are, by allowing your heart to be fully exposed and vulnerable, no one will ever wave a red flag in your direction again. I believe in you and your power to transform and be the true man that already exists inside of you.

To all of the ladies who stumble upon this article: read these signs carefully and reflect on your relationship. If I am describing the person you are with, you are dating a boy, not a man.

Let him go, so he can grow up.

Here’s a golden rule: Don’t waste your time with someone who wastes their own time.

1.) The relationship is one-sided.

Are you always pulling him along in every decision, plan, thought and action? You know the feeling—you are walking in quicksand with 180 to 200 pounds latched to your ankles.

Here is a clear indication you are in a lopsided love affair:

You make all of the plans. You have introduced him to your family and friends. You include him in every part of your life, yet he rarely, if ever invites you into any facet of his life.

These are signs he is unwilling to share his life with you and is a withholder.

Love never withholds.

2.) He waits until the last moment to commit to a plan.

If he can not make a plan or commit to an event a week away, or even a month away, he will not commit to a lifetime with you.

Don’t let him fool you with his New Agey-spiritual bullshit: “I live in the moment, who knows what will be in an hour, a day or a week.”

What will be? He will still be spewing the same line a week from now, a month from now, and you will have gray hair.

Real men make plans while honoring the moment they are in.

There is nothing sexier than a man of his word.

3.) You have never been taken on an actual date.

Ponder this one ladies: Are you always just ‘hanging out’? Or, do you decide last minute where to go (for dinner or what movie to see)? This is okay some of the time, but romance and chivalry should always be the dominator.

He should desire to woo you. A date doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, just thoughtful.

If he has never planned a special day or night without your input, picked you up, opened your door and whisked you away, then you have never been on a real date.

Find a gentleman, because a gentleman wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you have a gentleman, hold him close. He will become the greatest husband and father in the world (I know from experience).

4.) Foreplay? What’s that? 

It is clear whether a man thinks foreplay is a golf game or a steamy gift from God.

There are still men who think yanking their pants to their ankles, giving a quick lick to each nipple, a grab of the crotch and a swift sword fight with the sweet vagina is mind-blowing. No.

Photo: Lianne Viau

We should welcome a man into our bed who is connected to his masculinity. His strength and virility is united with his visceral desire to nurture his woman, keep her close, protected and fulfilled.

Only accept a man who is sensuous and patient. One who takes his time tasting you. This is a man who is not impulsive; he thinks and feels equally. He will make a lover for a lifetime because it isn’t about his penis, it’s about you.

Oh, and if he can’t talk about sex and his fantasies with ease, or he giggles like a 12-year-old when he says “vagina” or “penis,” he has no clue how to make love.

Intimacy is mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. If one of these pillars is missing, then so is the intimacy; it’s condemned.

5.) He does not have close friendships.

If he does not have one or two close friends, this is a huge red flag.

Are the friends he does have social acquaintances who only carry on small talk with a beer in hand?

Are they shady? You know what I mean—the ones who don’t seem to have any direction or real job. They only call for a ‘favor,’ and the pervasive conversations they do have are of burning nostalgia for the epic parties they threw back in college.

If he does have friends, pay attention to their interactions.

Do they hug when they say hello and goodbye? Do they talk about meaningful subjects other than sports, girls, cars or money? Is there reciprocity in their relationship?

How you do one thing is how you do everything. There are exceptions, but friends are the best indicator of how he will connect with you.

6.) He won’t introduce you to his family.

Enough said. He is screaming, “You are not important to me!” No woman deserves that. Find someone who can’t wait to take you home.

Meeting your partner’s family is critical to the relationship. Observing him in his parents’ presence will instantly teach you everything you need to know about his foundation. 

7.) He is a slob.

It is completely acceptable to have a dish in the sink or a shirt on the bed. It is unacceptable when the contents of his closet no longer live on hangers, empty food packages are laying around the house or under the couch, and you need a hazmat suit to go into the bathroom.

If you ever live together, you will be his maid and you will resent him.

Having a partner should make life cleaner, not dirtier.

The inability to keep a clean home and care for his belongings, speaks to the lack of control he has over his mind. I think everything should be cared for, whether it is a dish, a shirt, a toilet or a person.

You may be thinking, “This is changeable. I can train him.”

To which I say, “Hell, no!”

This is an inside job. One he has to tackle on his own. He has to decide to take the reigns of the wild stallion that is his mind, and when and if he does, it is a beautiful thing.

When a man keeps clean, it is equivalent to a full day of foreplay.

[By andrea silva from santiago (SADNESS) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]
Photo: Andrea Silva from Santiago

8.) He gets up and leaves during an argument.

If a man leaves you when you are trying to express yourself, or the conversation gets uncomfortable and heated—he doesn’t know how to cope properly. He lets his ego dictate his actions. If he physically runs away, he abandons his heart too.

Unconditional love remains present at all times. There is always a way through a disagreement or fight. It just takes both people committing to listening to one another.

Consider your  ‘In Case of Emergency’ person. We all need one, so choose wisely. Someone who leaves, is not the someone you want to rely on when you really need them to show up.

9.) He can’t say “I Love You,” even if he feels it. 

If a man cannot express his love for you, he does not love himself. No one wants to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t love themselves; then, it’s not a relationship, it’s a torture chamber.

When he does say it, it should flow. There should never be a scoreboard for love; I said it, now you say it.

10.) Everything that happens to him is everyone else’s fault. 

Pay attention to how he describes experiences and people in his daily life or past. Does he blame everyone else for the outcomes in his life?

If he speaks poorly of his exes and blames them for the failures in their relationship, then he will describe you, the same way.

If he cannot take responsibility for his actions or words and hold himself accountable, he is insecure and immature. It takes awareness and maturity to accept responsibility and say, “I’m sorry, and I forgive you.”

If he turns every argument on you and blames you, he loves being a victim.

Playing the victim is cowardly. A man of dignity apologizes, and apologizes well.

If he is always pointing out rights/wrongs, faults, bad/good, he sees your relationship as a basketball game—two teams in a dribble war.

A relationship is made up of one team; it is not a game, and it is most certainly not a competition.

 11.) He’s an eye roller. 

Does he roll his eyes, avoid eye contact and smirk when you share your feelings?

He is running from himself and from you emotionally (just like when he gets up and leaves during a fight).

He is invalidating your feelings and treating you with disrespect. He is uncomfortable in his own skin. He is not capable of holding a loving safe space for you or your relationship.

Once an eye roller, always an eye roller.

12.) He exaggerates, omits and lies (even if they are small).

Do I need to say more? He is not honest. There is no room for dishonesty in love. None.

13.) He doesn’t like to work and can’t hold a job. 

There is nothing more noble or honorable, than a person who works hard. It does not matter if you collect garbage, work at a grocery store or shovel shit. If you work hard you are dignified. 

Even if we have a passion, there is no need to be a starving artist. Work to live. For most of us, this is necessary. This is the reality of life.

There is no need to give up on passion, but if he can’t pay rent or eat, his passion will be homeless and starve to death too. The remedy is simple, get a job and live your purpose.

If he can’t hold a job, this is another sign of a lack of commitment, discipline and ambition. workisgood

Having a job is not about the money, it’s about the principle.
A man who works hard makes me wet. 

14.) He is a hustler.

What does this mean?

He thinks selling his belongings on Craigslist is a legitimate source of income. Or, if you notice he has bought and sold more cars than years you have been together—he is a hustler.

He is also avoiding—what? Working. He lacks a hunger for perseverance, a thirst for self-mastery and is deficient in loyalty.

Again, how we treat one thing is how we treat everything. If he buys something and sells it within a short period of time, he will surely do the same with you—trade you in for a new model. No Bueno.

15.) He doesn’t like kids and/or hasn’t spent time around them. 

How a man acts around children and how he interacts with them is a sneak peek of how he will be as a father. That’s all I have to say here—just be aware and very observant.

16.) He has ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Syndrome.’

Does the guy you are with switch personas whenever he interacts with other people? Does he put on a happy face, smile, laugh and schmooze with everyone at the party? Does he flirt with the women in the room? Yet, the moment you walk away with him, he speaks to you differently—sullen, distracted and withdrawn?

If the answer is yes, he is using you.

One line comes to mind, “I am not your doormat!”

If you are in an argument or a deep discussion and his mood shifts a bit, that’s okay. It is another when he consistently becomes Mr. Exuberant with everyone else, and  you are only graced with Mr. Sulky.

17.) His words do not match his actions. 

A man can tell you all day long via text message that he loves you. He can tell you he is your biggest fan and supporter, but if you look beside you and he is not there—well, actions speak louder than words.

A man who truly is your biggest fan and support will always be there when you need him, and you won’t even need to ask.

As my friend says, “You deserve someone who believes in you more than you believe in yourself.”  

18.) You cry more than you laugh with him.

If he does not bring a smile to your face and to your heart every day and every time you see him, and he is not smiling back at you—move on. 




9 Relationship Red Flags For Everybody.

7 Relationship Green Flags for Everybody.

Ed: Brianna B.


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About Rebecca Lammersen

Rebecca Lammersen is the founder of Yogalution, an intimate, boutique style yoga studio in Scottsdale, AZ. I love being alive. I love being a mother. I love teaching yoga. I love to write. I love to know. I love to not know. I love to learn. I love to listen. I love to read. I love to swim. I love to travel. I love to dance. I love to help. I love to serve. That pretty much sums me up. Check out Rebecca's website and her articles at The Huffington Post. Subscribe to Rebecca's feed and never miss a post!


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116 Responses to “18 Relationship Red Flags Every Woman Should Know.”

  1. Lee says:

    I think I fit pretty well into the category of man you're talking about…I don't see many red flags. not that I'm without them completely or anythjng. but I wonder…what kind of flag is thrown up when a man…a GOOD man. compromising, delicate, considerate, mentally strong, but physically disabled. does the "hard working man" rule still apply if said man is physically incapable? not just some lazy over exaggerated hypochondriac or something like that….like – terminal diabetes…kidney disease. liver disease…the gamut. is there room for love in a life like that? does this man have anythjng to offer a woman? when, if he could…he would give her the world? I don't think I'm a victim…but I don't feel secure in my own future…that I actually HAVE one. so…what do I offer? just do the best I can and hope she doesn't resent the fact that one day I'm fine and then by the next week I'm dehydrated and 40 pounds lighter…kidneys failing…unable to get out of the bed without passing out or seazing? I want to be that g u. ..that can go to work and bust my ass so that I can stop by the group ery store for a slice of her favorite cheesecake and an uncut rose…but it's not in the cards for me. I want to love and be loved. but any promise made is as empty as an old tin box. how do I know what I can promise her? I don't even know if I'll see the sun rise tomorrow.

    • Victor says:

      Hey Lee. I'm really sorry to hear about your limitations; it can't be easy to live with that. The good news is that I'm pretty sure you meet the hardworking requirement (for lack of a better word) because you want to be that guy. Like the article said, it's about the principle, not the money (and therefore, the effort and not the result). If you do what you can, and are clearly not being lazy, then a good woman is going to respect that.

    • Blair says:

      Lee, I think that many of these write ups that are directed toward women and dating can create a trap for men who read them. The article can bring up questions and negative ideas about one's worth: "Do I measure up? Am I attractive enough? what if I am not – what then? Am I doomed?" Please remember this is one woman's idea of what HER "ideal man" doesn't have, and by inference what they must have, as opposite qualities/behaviors of the 18 red flags she came up with. The fact that she left out how vulnerable men are when being compared to a laundry list show's IMHO insensitivity and naivete. In fact, any woman who read this article should be asking themselves – " Do I do any of those things she listed?" Feel the pressure Woman Reader? Better not roll your eyes, grab our penis' right off the bat, have any shady friends, be in between jobs, withhold anything from us, have any kind of a dark side(no PMS! just deny the hell of that sh%$!!) be flirtatious/messy/or feel victimized. Ever. Sorry Rebecca, complete hogwash. Lee you sound like a very good person, with a huge heart, and a lust for life. Keep showing up and the right woman will see that. Nobody is perfect, everybody has faults and issues, that's just how life is. This is just one woman's opinion Lee, she does not speak for every woman. Thank God.

  2. John says:

    I totally agree with all of these! Ladies, if you have someone who is like this, run. If he exhibits a couple of these but is good on the rest, work with him. Talk to him, help him to understand. And MEN! If you have a woman who is like this, RUN!! For this list doesn't just apply to men, it applies to women as well. So ladies, when you read this, say man…men when you read this, you say woman.

  3. Maura says:

    Its taken me 3 years to get past the horrific 10 I spent. Biggest mistake, and in reading this I saw three very key elements…ah, well who can say why I didn’t see it than but I sure as hell look for them now…Thank you for this, I hope someone reads it and it sets them free.

  4. Adam says:

    Maybe the girl in question is madly after him and he’s not into her and he’s happy to hang but she’s clingy as fuck and needs to be in a relationship where as he’s an everything’s cool/ I’ll just go with it type guy.

  5. jon doe says:

    Wow this article basically sums up most males in their twenties who aren’t trying to build a nest with a woman. Seems like the type of girl that wants this type of relationship is looking for a girlfriend not a boyfriend.

  6. Jpeace says:

    The problem with this crap is it is all about the man and how he should treat a woman. Its never unbiased and it makes men out to be the ones who need to do the work. Sorry ladies, we all need to do the work. Itd be way cooler if this was written in a way that didnt slam men and was more geared towards how we all, regardless of sex, could act… end rant.

  7. Rob says:

    I agree with the man above, do sicknesses make a man unsuitable even if it is impossible to stop or cure?

    I like most of what this article has to say, although there are some flaws. Number 8 – when a man leaves during an argument. Nobody is perfect. Your boyfriend might not be good at resisting impulses, but he also might realize this. So he has taught himself to leave situations before doing something he regrets. During an argument, he leaves to cool down before he says or does something stupid. If you are looking for some perfect wizard of a man, Batman, Superman esque warrior who can bar all things from his man then you will be searching forever.

    Number 13 – I agree for the most part. Working is good, making money and supporting yourself is great. However, I do want to point out you sound a bit like cattle, a programmed robot, or some kind of zombie. “Having a job is not about the money, it’s about the principle.” I don’t believe that you believe that. If you could have a free source of money without working to only live with your artistic passions, I believe you would. Go ahead and say I don’t know you, but also try and tell me you wouldn’t mind devoting your life solely and purely to the things you love.

    15 – Not every relationship is about marriage and children. A boyfriend in no way should have to be competent with children or enjoy them if that man does not plan on having children. If you plan on having children and personally look for that type of man, cool. That’s you. But this is your blog titled “18 relationship red flags every woman should know,” not “18 relationship red flags that every woman who is actually just me should know.”

    Sorry if any of my critic is a little much or a little heavy. I did unsheathe my blade a bit, sorry. Keep on thinking deep. You are making great points, for the most part.

  8. M.C. Otter says:

    Okay, I read this, and at first agreed with most of it (I am treated very well by my boyfriend; he doesn’t do any of this stuff, though it did take him a long time to introduce me to his alcoholic mother), but then it pissed me off. All of these “guys, you’re doing it wrong!” articles do little to change anyone’s behavior (or mind), and do la lot to fan the flames of the gender wars. Are there guys like this out there? Absolutely, and all the articles in the world like this won’t do anything to make them behave differently. (And – quell surprise! – there are women who fit this description as well.)

    My recommendation to the author, and other women who find themselves in relationships like this over and over: get some therapy and figure out why you are attracted to emotionally unavailable men. Once you do that, men who behave badly will be unattractive to you, and you won’t be interested in them. Because really, in the end, there’s only one person you can control: yourself.

    If this solution is unsatisfactory, I wish you patience in waiting for your perfect prince charming to come along and sweep you off your feet. In my experience, those sorts of guys are few and far between, and they generally don’t partner with angry women.

  9. Sara says:

    I think you are setting women up to look for a perfect man that doesnt exist. And in fact you yourself arent perfect either so why demand such a fairy tale standard from others. This is exhausting to read. The reason why many are single or end up divorced. Unhealthy and unrealistic standards for themselves and others. People are constantly growing and changing. Men arent fantasy ken dolls or a pinterest dream wedding fufillment thing that you dream up to complete your perfect life..in your "fantasy" People are people…flaws and all..

  10. Manimal says:

    On the other side of the fence, there’s one very clear relationship red flag that ever man should know: is she’s the sort of woman who genuinely believes that the sole purpose of the world’s male population should be to accommodate her whims, no matter how selfish or irrational (AKA the type of woman who would read, or write, this sort of article)? Then run the opposite direction – unless, that is, you enjoy the company of self-obsessed narcissists.

  11. Shawn says:

    Hum when I read the article my first thought was we all have bad points… those imperfections'. Though a little harsh, I honestly thought "Hell I know women just like that!". It goes both ways. Usually its more about if you yourself can accept those imperfections in someone else. Then hopefully that person accepting yours. Some how when it "Clicks", each balances out the other. Everyone also has their strong points. At least for me when it works, its just really easy. Smart enough to know if things seem THAT difficult its just not worth the struggle. I keep things simple. Lifes to short to be critical, judge mental, or just simply making things harder than they need to be, ya know? Just accept your on different journeys if its to hard and still enjoy each other as friends for what brought you together in the first place. A mature, compassionate, loving person can do that. I might be an odd duck, but it works for me. I'm still close friends with ppl it didn't work with. Simple. Love n peace everyone!

  12. BOHEMIA says:

    I am with you on this completely, totally and utterly. :)

  13. A-Ray says:

    Good article but I slightly disagree with point # 8 or at least feel it should be elaborated on. I think both parties in any argument need to take responsibility for the argument and if it gets “heated” then both should break from the argument. It’s irresponsible to say a man or anyone is obligated to stick around in a “heated” argument. For one, the argument should never get to that point in theory and two, if it does, the man should very much so take a break from it, in fact both parties should. To assume a man is running from his heart in an instance such as this seems wrong.
    Now if you meant to simply say that a man should be able to receive and acknowledge constructive feedback and criticism in a relationship discussion or argument then I wholeheartedly agree. A man or again any person should have the capacity to do this and if they can’t, then that to me would be a solid warning sign of their relationship maturity or lack thereof.

  14. Ellen says:

    I am a rehabilitated eye roller.

  15. cheryl says:

    I hate how articles aimed at women always assume that we want children (see #15). I don't want to have children, don't really care for children, and couldn't really care less how a man is with children. Unless he acts like a pedophile. That's definitely not OK. See, I'm not a monster for being female and not wanting kids.

  16. Doug says:

    If your expectations and testing and observing get in the way of understanding what forgiveness truly means, then you must go back and find the part the man is wanting in exchange for time into eternity with you. Filling his bank with your appreciation of value and loyalty and show him you understand learning to communicate verbally and not expect perfection through a crystal ball. We don’t read minds and perhaps you can show us your examples of perfection you wish we could be more like.

  17. Moy says:

    Yes, this is OK, but the problem with this article is that it is biased as "everything has to be done by men". Yes, men do have responsibilities but, ¿what about women? It's not fair just to demand men to do, like or behave in certain ways without you offering nothing but "your commitment", "your honesty" or your "unconditional love". Why is it a bad sign men not liking kids? There are plenty of women who do not want to have kids, so if they find a guy who share that opinion, its OK for both.

  18. Matt Lloyd says:

    Why just women? This applies to everyone.

  19. Victor says:

    I'm pleasantly surprised that I don't have any of these red flags for myself, though I have flown a little close to a couple at times. I think what many of you commenting need to remember that these red flags shouldn't be treated as some kind of "dump-on-sight" imperative. Every relationship needs good communication to figure things like this out. If either of you notices something in the other that is a flag for you, you need to discuss it together. And don't just say what you want, but look inward and try to figure out why you want that. You might find that you're the one being unreasonable (or that you're even more right than you thought you were). But you need to work on these things together.

  20. Mike says:

    Yep, gals… Hold out for a guy who does none of these things. We need more perpetually singles ladies out there.

  21. Constance says:

    I'm beginning to believe that the more accurate title for the bulk of Elephant Journal articles should read "Just Be. But Be Like Me."

  22. Paul says:

    I agree with about half the points made here – as it regards red flags for BOTH sexes, not just women watching out for men. I hope you really read the feedback you have received – there is lots of good feedback and some very valid points made by both guys and women. This article feels like it was written as a personal vendetta because a relationship didn’t work out for you. Here are a couple specific points I have to disagree with:

    Regarding taking a woman to meet my family. I’m divorced. A couple years ago I was in relationship with a woman who, within a month or so, had me meeting her kids, brothers, sisters, extended family whenever possible it seemed. And she would try to get me to plan trips with her to go visit my own family. You know what? I wasn’t ready to do that. Why? because after a month, and after 3 and even 6 months I was not sure I was going to be in a long term relationship with his woman, and you know what else? her pressuring me to “put our lives together” within this short period of time just did not feel right to me and threw a big ole red flag up for me. It felt forced, like I was part of some goal of hers. Did not feel like love deepening and wanting to share each other with out families, it actually felt like her prancing me in front of her family and,presumably her prancing herself in front of my family, was going to make her “right” or accepted or somehow fix something she thought was wrong. I think if you trust the person you are with, and you trust your higher intelligence that the relationship you are in is “right”, these other actions will happen when it’s right. And sometimes (especially as we get, ahem, less young), it just takes some time to settle in with a person and feel like you are really right for each other. And sometimes, it doesn’t work out. I’ve been on both sides of that scenario plenty of times. I’m 51, and EVERYONE in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s and older has relationship baggage. Sometimes this needs to be sorted through before the relationship “clunks” and we are ready to introduce someone to our family.

    Regarding walking away from an argument, you are just flat wrong about that one. In my marriage my ex and I would get into arguments that would escalate – my wife LOVED to fight (should have been an attorney), and for me fighting and having it escalate was/is toxic. I would feel like my points were not being listened to and she would just keep going for the jugular, until I would blow up, or she would blow up or both. So we went to counseling, and you know what the counselors said? For me to walk away. If I felt it was escalating and becoming unproductive, walk away, let my head cool off, let her head cool off, and then continue talking at another time/day. Sometimes it would take a day or 2 before I could digest what happened, drop my anger and emotions, and look logically at the argument. My ex-wife HATED when I started walking away when a discussion escalated into an argument. She hated it because she always had to get the last word in, and when I walked away, to her it was like she could not “win” the argument. My counselor said the behavior was like that of an alcoholic. So over time I trained myself to walk away when it began to feel toxic, BEFORE I blew up or said something stupid that I would later regret. And my ex never changed, and ultimately this behavior right here – inability to have a healthy ability to argue or discuss different views, was one of the deal-breakers which had me leave the marriage. So please look for yourself and see what is underneath how you think an argument should look or go. It’s very healthy to have boundaries and walk away when necessary.

  23. Hells says:

    My boyfriend is totally submissive to me. It sometimes make me feel like I'm the guy in the bedroom and it make me feel like less of a woman. He said he will work on but the "sore spot" complex is already there

  24. Guest says:

    I met my husband when he was working part-time after being laid off from a full-time job. With the economy the way it is, sometimes men (or women) won't have a perfect full-time job with great benefits. If it's someone who is chronically unemployed, that's different. But I think it's a mistake to write someone off because they don't fit the mold of breadwinner at that exact moment in time.

  25. Brendan says:

    This goes for women as equally as men, I just read this and the girl I am seeing right now matches a few of these for sure…..

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