The holidays are quickly approaching, which means a lot of people are scrambling to find a beau to bring home for all the family festivities and, well, cuffing season. However, ladies, let's make sure we're not bringing any crazies home to mom!
Now granted, I'm no dating expert, but here are the 10 red flags I've learned to watch out for when considering whether or not they're worth a spot in my life. If I'm seeing any one of these red flags, I'm out.
1. He's inattentive.
This is an obvious one, but I think it's still worth mentioning! It's never a good sign when a boyfriend pays little to no attention to you when you're talking. We can cut our fellas a little slack here and there with this particular red flag, but if it seems like he never pays any attention to your stories, constantly interrupts you, or never remembers anything you've said, it might be an issue worth noting. Guys should always be interested in you enough to want to hear about your day, your interests, your struggles, and especially your passionate nerdy rants. If you notice his lack of interest becoming an issue, I would recommend having an open discussion about it, or just awkwardly moonwalking away from him next time he interrupts you. Sorry, that was a "New Girl" reference. Please don't awkwardly moonwalk away from a guy, or anyone for that matter.
2. He doesn't put in effort.
This point is a highly subjective one. Not putting in effort can mean many different things. In my opinion this could mean your boyfriend is a fantastic guy, however, he never goes above and beyond for you. This can be a huge issue. Any guy who's serious about your relationship will do anything to impress you, and if he's not doing anything to give you butterflies every once in a while, then strap up those high heels and move on, girly. Putting in as little effort as possible just to keep you interested but then never making you feel special is a manipulative characteristic. Any guy who's lucky enough to date you should make you feel special! Don't let any starry-eyed, smooth talkin' boys make you forget your worth!
3. He's unwilling to compromise.
This is a big deal, especially for my ladies looking for a long-term relationship. Now, stubborn guys can be cute, but only to an extent. Once they get stubborn about an issue you really care about, the aftermath of that argument can leave your heart pretty beat up. If the relationship really means something to him, he should always be willing to compromise when you disagree on something that matters. Your feelings and opinions are ALWAYS worth talking about, and ALWAYS worth working out. Don't let anyone make you feel like your thoughts or feelings are invalid! If a guy is unwilling to compromise and throws a fit when things don't go his way... well... *cough* *cough* drop him.
4. He's got a huge ego.
OK let's face it... all guys are cocky. But once the ego reveals itself to be bigger than his heart, it's time to run. No, like, honestly? I would recommend running far, far away. Any guy who says he's "above average" on the second date is not worth your time, trust me. Inflated egos, believe it or not, are actually defense mechanisms that cover up deep, deep insecurities. These boys tend to come off as ridiculously confident and charming on the first few dates, but over time you'll come to find these types are chronically jealous, super controlling, and often end up making their girlfriends feel guilty for having any sort of fun at all. I'm telling you, run! I wish I would have!
5. He isn't nice to his mom.
Obviously, if the guy is disrespectful or rude to his mother, especially IN FRONT of you, get the heck out of there! The way a boy treats his mom most likely foreshadows the way he will treat you. I've unfortunately made THIS mistake once before. Ladies, good boys respect their moms, no matter what.
6. He never apologizes.
Everyone makes excuses when they mess up. But once it seems like there's only ever excuses and never apologies, well, that's fishy. Someone who can't apologize and admit when they were in the wrong is not worth sticking around. Being the bigger person here and there is OK for sure, but you shouldn't ALWAYS be the one to put your big pants on. I'm embarrassed to admit how many times I not only bought every excuse I was ever told, but I actually ended up defending their excuses to my friends. Thank goodness I had my best friend who cared about me enough to point that out. Lesson learned: don't buy the excuses and definitely don't be the one coming up with them FOR him.
7. He doesn't trust you.
This totally comes into play when your guy is prone to jealousy. If your man is jealous of the guy friends you hang out with, constantly questions where you're at, or even goes so far as to DEMAND that he know where you are at all times, this is a big red flag (and another sign of deep-rooted insecurities). This characteristic can inspire some manipulative behaviors, like making you feel guilty for going out and having fun on your own. Now don't get me wrong, I am the BIGGEST sucker for rom-coms, however, one of the subliminal messages these movies tend to carry is the idea that finding a man and being in a relationship is the most important or most exciting thing you'll ever do in life. And I'll admit it ladies, for a long time, I TOTALLY believed it! But it's just not true! And therefore, no guy should ever make you think he should be the center of your life. I've done it too many times, and I've seen too many of my friends fall into the trap of making their boyfriend their whole world. Now, if you want a breakup that leaves you staring off into space at a wall and feeling like life is meaningless, then I would recommend making that guy the center of your universe, for sure.
8. He takes jokes too far.
You know it, I know it, poking fun at and BEING poked fun at, is fun. Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather be teased all day long than be called 'the most perfect and beautiful creature to ever step foot on this earth.' I love being made fun of, but only to an extent. If a guy is making fun of you in ways that are a little too personal, he's not the one for you. However, good news! This problem can be easily resolved. If you communicate to your beau that the jokes he makes are a little too personal, he should take that seriously and make a change! However, I've been in a relationship where I did just that, and the guy continued to make fun of me in a way that really hurt. Yikes, am I right?
9. Too friendly with his lady friends.
I almost forgot this one! While I've never personally experienced this issue, I know a few people who have. There's a line between jealousy and being rational. You can't blame your man for having girl (SPACE) friends. But if they're going out one-on-one to get dinner and see a movie? Maybe some boundaries need to be set in place. If that boy starts texting girls while you two are out on a date or starts sneaking around and hiding things, maybe it's time to let him go.
10. He doesn't challenge you to be a better person.
This one is my favorite. Well, what I mean is that one of the most important things to me in a relationship is growth. Now, this could just be me, but I don't want to be in a stagnant relationship. I want to be with someone who really challenges me and my thinking, as well as someone who can remind me who I am. Relationships are hard. And maybe I'm crazy, but I don't believe there is any "easy" relationship. There will always be challenges, hardships, and yelling matches. And even though those things suck, at the end of the day, you know it's all worth it to be with that person! Another complaint about all the sappy rom-coms out there: happily ever after isn't always sunshine and roses. Relationships are hard work. I've talked with a lot of people who ended relationships because they felt "bored" and I hate to admit, I've done the same. But what I've realized is that "bored" isn't really the right term to use. I wasn't "bored" I just wasn't growing. This takes me back to my previous point about being called "perfect" versus being with someone who knows you're not perfect but loves you despite that. I am not perfect (crazy, I know). But if a guy truly believes I'm flawless, there's no way I'll ever be called out on my crap. I can't even begin to imagine all of the crazy impulsive decisions I'd make or the number of stupid tattoos I'll get if I don't end up with someone who has my back.
Hopefully, this has served as a friendly reminder for you gals! I hope and pray that all you wonderful ladies out there see and recognize these red flags when they reveal themselves. Go with your gut and never, ever forget your worth!
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