18 Relationship Red Flags Every Woman Should Know.

Via Rebecca Lammersen
on Dec 31, 2012
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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.

Relephant bonus:


Mindful offering:

Yoni Egg



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. For daily inspirations, check out Rebecca's website. Visit her yoga studio website and peruse her articles at The Huffington Post. You can also find her on Facebook. Subscribe to Rebecca's feed and never miss a post!


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

  1. Stephanie says:

    Love this article 🙂 Also, you live in scotsdale, which is the same city as one of my dear favorite authors Diana Gabaldon 🙂 Love it. I would love to visit your studio… donation based huh? How does that work for you?

  2. Cindy Watt says:

    this is great!!

  3. Ekaterina says:

    Hi Rebecca, what an amazing summary… I came upon your post by chance, searching for some fun things to share with friends…But this is worth any fun I could have asked for…Recently I had a relationship with someone who fits in a few categories and it feels very freeing to see things written black on white. I feel like I can finally stop beating myself up, release and move on. Thanks loads, it was a perfect New Year gift from Universe! Namaste

  4. Randall says:

    I admire your ability to understand what you want/don't want out of a mate, but man… I can't believe the level of expectations some of you have. I acknowledge I definitely meet many of your bullet points here and am reacting somewhat defensively, but wow. Isn't some imperfection allowed?

    • Thank you for expressing yourself. I genuinely appreciate and welcome
      Your view. No one is perfect; we are all flawed and gloriously imperfect. What
      I describe in this article is not imperfection, but inauthenticity and unawareness. If a man is living in his truth he does not act in these ways. A person who is honest and authentic,is honored for their imperfections. All women want is a man of truth who excepts his flaws and doesn’t cover them up. Thank you again for contributing your voice! 🙂 rebecca

      • ** I wrote this from my phone. Did not post as I wrote it, oops! *accepts not excepts.

        Thank you for expressing yourself. I genuinely appreciate and welcome your view. No one is perfect; we are all flawed and gloriously imperfect. What I describe in this article is not imperfection, but inauthenticity and unawareness. If a man is living in his truth, he does not act in these ways. A person who is honest and authentic,is honored for their imperfections. All women want, is a man of truth who accepts his flaws and doesn't cover them up. Thank you again for contributing your voice! 🙂 Rebecca

        • Justin says:

          According to you, if a man isn't a 'type A', with loads of close friends, he's someone who should spend the rest of his life alone. He's a walking "huge red flag". Yeah, seems reasonable. As we all know, no shades of grey in life. Everything is cut and dried. We all fit a mold…or we are shit. Pfffffffff

    • Nan says:

      Randall, if you 'meet many of the bullet points', maybe you need to look at yourself and make some changes. Become a more grown up person. You may find you are much happier! I was married to someone who met Most of those points and while he could appear happy, charming, successful, handsome and even loving, he was a sad, manipulative loser deep down.

  5. kiss says:

    If neither person likes or wants kids what does it matter?

  6. gonezobean says:

    Kiss I saw the article as talking more about respecting children not having your own. How you treat a child is how you treat others. If you dont want children, awesome, agree to not have any and enjoy life. This article is focused more on respecting a small, bright eyed life.

  7. YogaByAbby says:

    Amazingamazingamazing!!!! As always! Love your wisdom xoxoxo

  8. smallgrl says:

    Funny thing is, when I was first dating my last partner, I was blind to a few of these things, or he kept them well-hidden, or a combination of both. WE both had hope that the relationship would be good for us and were accepting of some imperfections. I felt I was being treated very well. Then as the relationship progressed I started seeing more of the kinds of traits and actions that are mentioned above. When he started to walk out/not apologize for arguments (almost always), I knew there was something seriously wrong. Even though I think that the occasional walk-out is fine, him consistently withdrawing made my heart hurt. And then I was always the one apologizing, which also didn't feel right.

    We have since split up, but I have a hard time believing that I'll find someone that does not demonstrate some of the 'red flag' items listed above (most are obvious deal-breakers, but there are a few fine lines). And also, there is always a learning curve in any relationship.

    I think a key thing to say is that if you notice some of the things listed above, and say right away that that is unacceptable/tell the person exactly what you need, and your partner does not respond, THEN there is an issue. If most of the relationship feels good, give him the chance to understand exactly what you need.

    • Beautifully stated! Thank you for sharing smallgrl. May I encourage you to write an article about your experience and the wisdom you have gained??

      People always have a choice to grow. A relationship is a mirror. If a man is willing to really listen (that includes our willingness to stare into the mirror too) then any one of these actions can be transformed and the relationship-harmonious.

      Thank you again for writing. I appreciate your words. ~Rebecca

  9. Jim says:

    I don't really see why this advice is unique to women's expectations of a male partner and not men's expectations of a female partner, men's expectations of a male partner or women's expectations of a female partner. Relationships are relationships.

  10. Patrick says:

    Perhaps a man should do warning signs for girlfriends: she never pays for anything, she's passive aggressive, she expects you to pleasure her during sex and not return the favor, she's emotional about issues that require logic, she get's angry and raises her voice, rolls her eyes, puts her hands on her hips and then explains she's expressing her feelings, she bad mouths her friends behind their backs and then acts like she loves them to their face, you help her move and she doesn't return the favor, she doesn't like your male friends because they act like guys and doesn't like your female friends because they're pretty, etc..

    Most men I meet are pretty awesome and the ones who aren't are super obvious about it the first meeting. The whole aggrieved, white female rant is getting old. Treat most men with respect and they will do the same.

    • Thanks for sharing Patrick. As I said above, it goes both ways. Everything I speak of are symptoms of something deeper. A relationship is healthy if both people are self aware and love is nurtured and reciprocated. If the root is identified these symptoms disappear. Everyone is capable of growing and transforming if they have the desire. ~Rebecca

    • DtheGuest says:

      While most of your points are valid, there are two that are entirely off base. 1 – She's emotional about issues that require logic. –> Women process differently than men in general. And if her partner could actually hold the space and listen to her emotions about issues, and she felt heard and validated and understood, then she and WILL be able to examine it from other angles, including, logic. 2 – She get's angry and raises her voice. –> Goodness me, perish the thought that a woman should have the right to even GET Angry and raise her VOICE. She should always be docile and subservient and swallow or ignore her feelings and emotions so that you feel comfortable… What a misogynistic viewpoint. Everyone has a right to the full feeling and expression of ALL their feelings and emotions. There are many ways in which people speaking their truth is threatening to others. Should individuals be held accountable for what they say? Yes. Should individuals do their best to be respectful? Yes. Do women have the right to express their anger, even if it makes others uncomfortable? YES. Ultimately it is up to each individual to identify the source of their anger, and address it from within. But women for far too long have been silenced, quieted, shushed, shamed, and invalidated. Since most men you meet are pretty awesome, maybe you should start dating them.

      • Cryz says:

        So your counterpoint is basically, "When women do it, it's natural and should be respected, when men do it's a warning sing that he's a horrible person." Makes sense. Oh, then throw in your little homophobic jab, great finish.

    • tlh says:

      WOW! MEN ARE TO BE THE HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD!!! Seriously!!! Men are supposed to be the strong ones who can be counted on to be there when you need them & that means in all areas not just physically. You sound just like the jerk I am married to. HE CANT stand to hear my needs or my feelings in regards to something HE did to upset me or any issues that need to be dealt with in order to have A GOOD RELATIONSHIP!!! It boils down to you think you are better OR YOU ARE VERY VERY INSECURE!!!

  11. jim fry says:

    Ohm Y!

    Decent advise for men, too. I counted partial confirmations to 11 of the 18 in your list related to one of my past relationships. In the end, *every* relationship is an equation with paralleling factors on both sides, from my vantage point. They each show us what we most need to see, and when we find and create the working balance, we stay.

  12. This is a great article all but one red flag describes the man I just ended a relationship with! It feels good to be validated and it helps with the healing I think. Thank you!!!!

  13. Tommy says:

    This is one of the most self-absorbed blogs I have ever read in my life. When this woman starts a relationship it is a screening process not a thing of joy. I feel so sorry for someone who can be so cold hearted to watch every move of a person who’s trying to care for her. Are all American woman like this? Here in Scotland woman tend to accept faults if they live someone just as we accept faults in them. Hell- sometimes I leave plates under the bed and drink beer with friends but my relationship is happy. I think you’ve been hurt in the past and it’s made you really cynical,. I hope for your sake you get over it..

    • It's all up to interpretation Tommy. How I wrote it, is not how you received it and that is ok. Thank you for your contribution. Have a beer on me 😉 Cheers! Rebecca

    • appp says:


    • Qiao'r says:

      Interpretation indeed. #1-18 are faults when you deem them to be (just as a joke is only joke when you deem it as funny). I'm an American woman who's blessed with an amazing man born and raised in Scotland. He will probably think this article's a bit silly, and that he is not perfect enough to be the pillar of each red flag. I know that he is wonderful, and it's because he is- in his own Scottish way- the embodiment of what's good about each flag. He makes plenty of messes around our house, and he cleans them up as well. I encourage him to drink lots of beer with lots of genuinely good friends, and he never brawls or drives drink. I think you have confused wisdom from experience and intelligence with cynicism from hurt and ignorance. I hope for your sake you get over it 🙂

  14. iavia says:

    I love these tips. I knew I wasn’t going crazy. Theses are the real deal signs. Thanks

  15. College Student says:

    Great points Rebecca! They are certainly appreciated =] I agree with Jim's comment in that either sex could benefit from these models. I reserve the belief that men and women are inherently different creatures biologically and might therefore have different expectations of their counterparts. However, I think the more liberal audience would agree that these be general bisexual expectations of how a "mature" individual ought to act to preserve a healthy relationship – not so much as a checklist that decides who gets dumped. Personally I think the greatest green flag is someone who is willing to accept thoughtful criticism and make personal changes to better his relationship. From personal experience, I have found that this requires a huge emphasis on ability to communication efficiently – from both sides.

  16. SlimQuestion says:

    I’m genuinely curious as the point 8s reasoning. Here is my analysis and point of misunderstanding with it:
    “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.”

    Arguments become heated. Arguments become uncomfortable. Especially when one occurs between two people who are passionate about each-other. To imply they don’t or won’t is ignorance. When a person leaves an argument, it is typically out of understanding that there is no longer any true communication occurring. They no longer feel the other party can understand what is being said.
    It doesn’t matter if you are both expressing yourselves. Neither of you can understand either sides expression.
    Thus why argument has ensued.

    The trait of recognizing that an argument has reached the point of total communication break-down and thus leaving and allowing a cooling off is not negative.
    In-fact, to imply that trait is negative would be more of a red-flag in itself.
    Because what you are saying is someone is at fault if they don’t stand there and argue.
    It is a controlling implication.
    One of ego in itself.

    It is typically smart to leave an argument once it has (and it will) become heated. This allows both people to reflect and have time to understand what each-other was trying to say. They can then come back to the disagreement level-headed in the future.

    Randall also makes a strong point which I don’t believe you’ve accurately accessed.

    For example point 12 is just repulsively hypocritical. People lie, exaggerate and omit by nature.. Humans lie. To themselves. In fact, saying that it is an unacceptable flaw is a lie in itself. Because it is a human flaw. Every human has it. None exist that don’t.

    Point 14 is another example, as you are implying a person does not know the difference between objects and people. You are implying a person that sells and trades frequently with items would do the same to a human being. That is ridiculous.

    Many of your points are. I’d probably run out of typing space just deconstructing the flaws in them.

    I do not agree with this article, and the people who do and the person that wrote it need serious rethinking of their standards in dating and how they view other people and relationships.

    • David says:

      I was going to say the same thing regarding number 8. I've been going to relationship therapy with my girlfriend and one of her issues was me walking away or just no longer engaging her during arguments. When that happened she would complain that I was walking away in the middle of her trying to work things out. What she called "work things out" I called her venomously attacking me. Since going to therapy I've learned arguments can get into a negative pattern of attack and defend and when this happens or one person gets emotionally overwhelmed, usually the guy, the best thing to do is to separate and cool off. My challenge is to express to her when I recognize that we've fallen into that negative pattern, since I'm better at recognizing it (therapists words not mine), or if I've reached the point where I'm too emotionally involved in the argument to let her know I need to cool off for a bit. Her challenge is to understand and accept that.

      So if a man leaves you when you are trying to express yourself it could also be that you're not expressing yourself in a manner that is constructive to a resolution.

    • Duncan says:

      Agree completely that point number 8 is bogus. It leads to the idea that you can yell and scream and verbally abuse your partner and he or she has to stick around and take it. If it said "Your partner gets up and walks away when you are calmly and respectfully expressing your feelings and opinions," then it would be fine.

    • Shane says:

      YES Thank you.

  17. James says:

    I'm not sure this is the best list of red flags.

    To put no foreplay and never been on a date at the same level as doesn't like children or walks away from an argument seems silly.

    Taking a mini break in an argument is often a good thing that allows emotions to fade and a more constructive dialog to begin. What's more not every man and woman want children. If you want children and he doesn't like kids…yes red flag. But if he's upfront about not wanting children why date him?

    Eye rolling seems the male equivalence of nagging. Both are annoying behavior and are almost always tied together.

    • sandy says:

      I'm not seeing "levels" here. Just a list. Taking a mini break from an argument is different than walking away. And not like children is not the same as not wanting children. Why so defensive?

      • Matt says:

        Sounds like you are making the presumption that all relationships are about having children. What if you are 57? What if you both don't want kids? What if you are both young and don't frikken' know how you feel yet?
        This whole list thing sounds like more women airing all their grievances with men. I, for one, got really sick of all that about 15 years ago. Men weren't put on this earth to make women happy, since many American women don't seem to care to make men happy at all.

  18. hopesumbrella says:

    I think that the eye-rolling and leaving a conversation has strong validity. John Gottman runs a "love lab" where he can predict if a couple will stay together after speaking with them for 15 minutes. His predictions are 95% accurate and based on extensive research. He does this by asking the couple to share a recent or ongoing disagreement. He looks at how the couple argues (not what they argue about). Specifically he looks the "four horsemen" which are: contempt, criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling. His book "The 7 Principles for Making a Marriage Work" go into greater detail on this (in addition if you do a google/youtube search) you can quickly learn more about his research.

    In my current relationship, when we do simple things like hold hands when we argue it creates a different atmosphere and dynamic to our disagreement. This may not work for everyone but it has a calming effect for us. It makes me feel like we are two individuals on the same team trying to find a resolution. I know that individuals can disagree without yelling, rolling their eyes, etc. and it makes for great relationships.

  19. swati jr* says:

    Great article. Very clear and articulate. You describe a "mature" love/lover here which is so refreshing. Honestly, anything else has become a real yawner as I've grown. I can spot these guys a mile away now. Thanks for the reminders.

    Also, many of these characteristics you describe are decidedly narcissistic traits, as well as those with alcohol/drug dependencies or come from family systems with these paradigms. Learned behavior in other words. It will take a VERY long time for these men to unlearn, to grow into "real men". Women who grew up with co-dependent paradigms are attracted to this type of man and need to unlearn that being a "doormat" isn't a normal, healthy relationship. Some therapy and support might be in order for those that know they are predisposed to attracting this type of partner. It's been very important for me any my process.

  20. Kumar says:

    Good article. I'm just cautious, because whilst the symptoms appear to match the conclusions, there are some assumptions about social norms. Yes a man is older and hopefully wiser in understanding the profound power of relationships. However, that growth and interdependence may well come from understanding our own vulnerability and the potential mismatches in social and in particular gender stereotypes.

    A checklist therefore misses the contextual element of who a man is and therefore the bit that is missing is "who is he and what is his story". Namaste.

  21. kcorn says:

    This entire article applies equally to women as well.

  22. Alexandra says:

    This is great!! You speak as a contemplative woman. I've shared this article with my husband. Some of these points are points I've been working on explaining to him, myself… and your words helped a lot! Working some of these out with him has allowed me to realize that as wonderful as he is.. and as wonderful as some men are.. there is always something we can all work on! Even myself, I walk away in arguments. O yes, definitely running away. So, we all have our things to work on. The blessing is being able to work together with someone who is also interested in self-contemplation. I really enjoyed another comment on here about holding hands while arguing.. that sounds like a challenge!! Whoa. intense. But, we're going to try it!

  23. sometimes i just think to myself "women are completely and utterly ridiculous." and this list completely corroborates that sentiment. a list of 18 different things a women needs to be on the "lookout" for……really?! so, does she leave herself any time to maybe enjoy some of the good parts that may come up or does she always need to be on the look-out for the drop of a hat or some other mis-step? what i hear this woman saying is that she demands perfection, all the time. no wonder so many women are alone these days! the bottom line in relationships is this: you attract what you are. if you're a loser, you'll attract one, whether male or female and if you need some list to make yourself feel better about justifying not being in a relationship you aren't ok with that's just sad and pathetic.

    • Julie says:

      Unfortunately, many women have given a lot to men in their past relationships and they have often been mistreated instead of loved. It's not ideal, but once people have unpleasant experiences, they try harder to have a different outcome the next time around. This leads women to lists like this, to understand where they went wrong by reading about the experiences of others, as a form of validation. No one wants to be on high alert with a man they like, but don't yet know. It's uncomfortable, but there is a price to pay for being unreasonably reasonable and accepting. You can be blindsided by problems that can't be fixed or resolved. It's not wrong to be aware if the behavior of a possible significant other, it's dangerous to look the other way when you know there is a harbinger dangling just within reach. Women aren't unreasonable; they're cautious.

  24. bimzer says:

    You forgot to add the new fad.

    if hes living in a trailer, RV, and/or warehouse. Run fast the other way!! 🙂

  25. basdab says:

    I wish there was a way of saving certain articles as "favorites". This one is a keeper and I'll be referring back to it often. Thank You!

  26. Steph says:

    I love all of these! However, as much of a female as I am, I also have seen women be abusive in relationships to men. Can't all of these be non-genderspecific? Or do you think these traits only apply to men, and women have different tendencies?

  27. Guest says:

    I disagree in a way with #8, it depends on the situation and how it is handled. Sometimes it is better and/or necessary for someone to step away temporarily from an argument if they are becoming very emotional, this way they can regain some composure and discuss things in a more calm fashion and without letting their emotions get the best of them. They do need to communicate what they are doing and why instead of just walking away.

    However I do agree if the person doesn't return to the discussion or refuses to listen or validate the other person no matter how silly they may think what they are saying is, then yes that is a red flag.

    • Jennifer R. Ewing says:

      This. I grew up in a home where my parents' "arguments" were almost entirely one-sided, and consisted of my mother ranting at my father until he got tired of the verbal abuse and walked away. Nothing actually got *resolved*, the one-sided "fight" just…stopped.

      When my husband and I were first married (we just celebrated ten years), if we reached a point in an argument where he said "I don't think continuing to talk about this would be productive," I was reluctant to let him walk away because I wanted things to be resolved, not dropped. He'd warn me that if the argument continued, he'd likely say something he'd regret saying, and I'd regret hearing. When I realized I could actually trust him to return to the discussion once we'd both calmed down, it made a very positive difference in our relationship.

      In the same vein, if I was the one who got really upset, I used to give my husband "the silent treatment." I figured that "if he really cared, he'd want to know why I'm not speaking to him." He saw it totally the other way–"when she's ready to talk, she'll find me." Once I realized "the silent treatment" didn't work, I stopped.

  28. Fenrir_Lokison says:

    Most of what is said is pure BS. A lot of it does not equate to red flags.

    I have never been a person with a lot of friends. Why? I am just not the out going type. But, rest assured, the friends I do have in my life, they would be are a better quality people than a woman who would thing not having friends should be a red flag.

    The not liking kids should only come into play if the person wants to have children or have kids hanging around. This does not mean that this is a red flag. We all have things in our lives we just don't like. Some people don't like dogs or cats. Some don't care about flowers. This does not mean a person should be looked at suspiciously?

    In short, what I am saying is that…Before women or men start getting their heads all screwed up because of someone else's experiences (bad or good). they need to deal with themselves first and know what they want as an individual.

    Some women don't mind being the lead in the relationship and some men don't mind letting them. This does not equate something is wrong.

    And yest there are plenty of people who have to live by the last minute, you know what…If that works for them and they are not causing any harm, then go with it. Love that person with all your heart's content if they are making you happy.

    • Tina says:

      Not liking kids it's not the same as not wanting to have kids. Two different things.

      Not having too many friends, it's not the same as having a few quality friends. The point is, the type of friends you have, says a lot about you. You are who you hang out with.

  29. Luke says:

    The lack of empathy apparent in this blog entry is so profound that it literally saddens me.

    Ladies reading, please listen and understand. It is not always him. Sometimes its you. Sometimes its neither of you. Sometimes its the world.

    The things that this author lists up as red flags are things that any individual, male, female or otherwise, might have problems with if they were forced to deal with a person who could not put themselves in that male, female, or otherwise persons shoes.

    Guy doesn't take you around his family? Maybe he doesn't like his family? Maybe you're a drunk and he doesn't mind that because he loves you but knows that his family might have something else to say? Maybe he has a handsome older brother who likes to steal his girlfriends? You don't know. There are a number of reasons why a guy might not take you around his family. To throw something like that up as a red flag, along with several other points made in this blog, is an exercise in selfishness and will lead you to nothing but more relationship failure down the road.

    Learn to empathize with your partner. That is the only solution. If you are a planner and he is a hard worker, or even an easy worker, who likes to relax on the weekends, find some common ground and be extra sure not to abuse it or allow it to be abused. That's how relationships work. It's not just you, you, you all the time, its supposed to be US, having fun and living a life together.

    Anyways, good luck, this was a load of crap

  30. Eli says:

    Rebecca- this article is spot on – as always your stuff is great – so perception, real & tangible! Keep sharing your amazing insights – so appreciated!

  31. Arlette says:

    Thank you. Wish I had seen this a year ago.

  32. Alex says:

    I too just ended a relationship with a guy I've been dating 10 months. In the beginning I was blind to all the flags that were so obviously there. But I was caught in the bubble of love, and when the bubble burst I saw everything for what it was. His house was such a mess! We never went anywhere!! Foreplay? He never heard of it. I cooked, cleaned, organized, shopped, babysat, helped him with his boat, cleaned out his car, raked, vacuumed, mowed. He helped me with my dishwasher one day, and for me a pair of shears I wanted for my birthday. Talk about one sided. He never stopped talking bad about his exes. Everything was their fault. He was the greatest guy & they all shit on him. I can only imagine I am now falling into that same category. So many flags staring me in the face, and I was blind. I'm glad he's outta my life

  33. jake says:

    And are you all these things to a man?

  34. Kymber says:

    This was a wonderfully insightful article for me. Thank you! I am a single female who has struggled with relationships in the past. While I see (most) of my exes in these points, I especially see MYSELF in many of these red flag points. We all have things we can work on and improve – I'm aware of that, and constantly trying to grow and develop into the ideal version of myself. This list was a stark reminder that I'm not ready for another relationship yet. I have too many things too work on for myself. If I'm broken, I'll attract broken, which creates more broken. Time to heal and time to grow. Thank you so much.

  35. Jennifer says:

    I don't totally agree with the walking away thing. Sometimes walking away is all you can and probably should be doing. Besides, it lets you cool down to allow you to communicate more effectively. That has been my experience.

  36. dips says:

    What can i do…..if my partner didn't prove , which he committed to me…it has done 3 or 4 time….what i should do…can u guide me….

  37. an artist and a man says:

    this article is a laugh. 18 flags? good luck, "ladies."

    i wouldn't consider dating any bigot who shares these views.

    and btw, this is the 21st century… chivalry is dead… and it is because these are the prevailing attitudes among "ladies" these days.

    you want a traditional gentleman? get a time machine and go back to the early 1900s. i doubt you'd like that much..

    here's some real advice from a man:

    let him have his space.

    respect him.

    if you make as much or more than him, you pay as much or more than him – for everything.

    if you are an independent, strong woman (which are actually qualities i like) – don't ever expect to be taken on a "traditional" date. plans will be made together, like two grown up adults. this isn't a fairytale. and you won't make it one by trying to emotionally control the relationship.

    and the biggest one, if you have 18 rules for him – you better expect and respect 18 rules for yourself.

  38. Rafal says:

    ElephantJournal is in danger of becoming like a yoga class where your the only man and the whole class is hamstrings and hips. With yoga men are in the minority and at greater risk of being picked on by the pack.. In postures such as Uttanasana(hamstrings), the issue is to do with SEX, and is understandable, but this article is GENDER unequal, un-feminist and is perhaps even sexist and discriminatory in it's stereotyping. Please do not let EJ become Cosmo i.e. preaching to the choir.. If we are going to do gender politics (sex positive!), lets us do it in a brave new way that accepts responsibility for our own choices of behaviour, beyond just co-dependent attachment to other peoples bullshit. Criticizing in a non-constructive way by only identifying symptoms of behaviour, out of context and without caveat. Is in my opinion just as dangerous as it might destroy a good relationship and not just prevent a bad one. poor show… keep the peace .r

    • Janine says:

      Um..no. The author has a right to make the article gender-specific. It was about what "…Every Woman Should Know", not every person. Sorry to hear you are uncomfortable with your yoga class, but perhaps you should have some clear, communication with your instructor. Can't blame the class if you haven't communicated your needs (see #10). It has been my experience that the person with the "Red Flag" behavior either feels that there is nothing wrong with the relationship, or blames their partner by projection. Are you saying that it is ok to roll your eyes at, lie to, act like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and not plan a date for your mate? That it is ok to be a slob, not hold a job, have no friends of your own, say one thing and do another? As others have pointed out walking away during an argument may be useful, but only if you validate the partner's concern and say that you want to take a break to cool down and will talk about it at some specific time. Walking away without that is just a crappy way of saying you don't care. The article doesn't identify "symptoms of behavior", it identifies symptoms of a non-healthy relationship. To quote a conversation between a priest and Granny Weatherwax (a witch) in Terry Pratchett's "Lords and Ladies" when she is explaining that everything IS black or white
      Priest: "There is a very interesting debate raging at the moment on the nature of sin, for example."
      Granny: "And what do they think? Against it, are they?"
      Priest: "It is not as simple as that. It's not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of gray."
      Priest: "Pardon?"
      Granny: There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is."
      Priest: "It's a lot more complicated than that–"
      Granny: "No it ain't. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they're getting worried that they won't like the truth. People as things, that's where it starts."
      Priest: "Oh, I'm sure there are worse crimes-"
      Granny: "But they Starts with thinking about people as things…"

      • rafal says:

        I feel you missed my point. The whole article was aimed at the male sex, but contained only gender stereotypes.

        My comment of yoga and women being in a position of a dominant majority was not written from a first person victim, so please don't accuse me of irresponsible blaming and playing poor me. However i do attend male only classes, and also choose to enjoy classes by teachers who are able to practice pedagogy in their lessons. Yay!

        My original two points were that firstly this article confuses sex and gender, and secondly the advise was dangerously generalised as it was given out of context. If as a man (sex), in a position of authority, criticised women (sex) with derogatory stereotypes of gender behaviour, then in a workplace they can legally receive a disciplinary warning and maybe get fired. In the yoga community and on this site, I assume there are more women than men, but this is not a workplace, so yes the author has the right to support her view on derogatory gender stereotypes, just as sexist men's or cosmo type magazine's do, but the big difference her is that this online magazine is aimed at both sexes. I have at no point claimed the author has no right to write this article but I would point out just like many others on this thread that this article is poor, and I personal hope for better.

        In answer to your question: yes, these behaviours are ok, but i add that they are dependent on context and asking one to think for ones's self before accepting them as truth might be wise. i.e. lying is ok, sometimes… we normally learn that before the age of 5.
        ..lastly I am not going to get into a new debate on the uncertainty or certainty of universal truth but I will swap your quote with this one: "Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity." -Sigmund Freud

  39. Mike says:

    i would expand this to read “18 Relationship Red Flags Every Person Should Know”. As a man who’s been on the receiving end of some of these, some even very recently, I can say wholeheartedly that men should consider these as well! After all, men are every bit as deserving of a fulfilling relationship – and a fully present partner – as women are! We should all pay attention to these points as we consider a lifetime partnership with someone.

  40. Too Sweet says:

    Uh ohhhh…. this really hits home. Sometimes we are blind to the signs and flags. Thank you for this article. Time to make a change and put on my big girl panties and get this relationship overwith.

  41. Jess says:

    Full of wisdom and very well written! Bravo 🙂

  42. Adam says:

    there is a similar man's check list out on the web too. one of the points say " avoid relationships with women who rely on lengthy check list to find ideal partner as she considers herself to be the equal to such a sparkling perfect man and hence, seeing as your not, you won't ever be happy with such a nag and you certainly are not going to feel like having sex with that check list by her pillow. for women like this control is all important and don't believe a word she says, she's more often than not a child who simply blurts out what ever she feels because her feelings come first and if you get hurt then man up ". so i'm not allowed to question your pearls of wisdom, i'm automatically an ignorant typical male ? yeah, i've never heard of a man writing such a list, i made it up but consider that fact… how often we see these list in women's mags, and they wonder why modern men have lost interest.

  43. Angela says:

    WoW. LoL. XD Just because your partner has these "red flags" doesn't mean the relationship is doomed. Obviously both male and female have issues they need to work on before they can work on their relationships. They have counselors and couples counseling to help us. Duh. I have arguments with my guy. I leave the arguments because I don't want to things get too heated. This blog is lol worthy. Pretty much done wasting my sweet time on this nonsense blog.

  44. Moi says:

    funny, I could tick nearly all red flags, but I wouldn't change those imperfections for the world!

  45. Joe Blow says:

    Do people really need to be told this? Obvious.

  46. Paula says:

    Too many of these flags were waving frantically in my face and I refused to see. I made excuses. I held on to the man he portrayed himself to be. 6 years later I find myself at the end. Knowing now he was never the partner I deserved, the weight has lifted. The future, without him clouding it, is infinitely bright.

  47. Ric says:

    I personally have found that any time I bring expectations to any situation, I am invariably disappointed. If I really want true happiness (which is something that comes from within myself… not something that anyone else can give to me), then I need to abandon my expectations. If my sense of peace is dependent upon the behavior (or lack thereof) of others, then I do not have true peace. Namaste

  48. Ric says:

    Here is a line from a poem by this same author about forgiveness, available elsewhere on this site:

    Let go, accept it all.
    This is the way of the peaceful soul.
    Yet, there is a power that overtakes,
    When we hold on to each other’s mistakes.

    How can you reconcile a list of expectations with the way of acceptance?

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