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What if you could accurately predict whether or not the guy you’re dating is a relationship disaster waiting to happen? What are some of the red flags that indicate trouble ahead?

Below you’ll find a list you can use to uncover the warning signs that you’re in a potential no-go zone. If you find yourself checking off several of the items, you may need to seriously evaluate whether your man will be a “keeper” or whether you’re headed for heartbreak.

Warning: The list works both ways, of course! It’s one thing to rate your boyfriend, but it’s also telling to know how well he would rate you on these things too…

1. Neither of you have experienced any personal growth since you started dating each other.

Before you commit to someone you should have already experienced some minor problems together, and feel confident that the two of you can get out your maps and successfully re-chart a course that works for both of you. If haven’t weathered a crisis and come out stronger for it, you still have things to work on before you make your decision to commit.

2. You are not one of the top 3 priorities in his life.

He can find time to work extra hours for a big promotion, play video games every day, help his dad restore that 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, and hang out with his buddies most weekends…but he can’t return your calls or be counted on to show up when and where he says he’ll meet you? You’re not a priority in his life.

Take a look at the top three things he makes time for every single week. Are you in there on a consistent basis? If not, you may need to face a painful truth about your importance in his life.

3. You have the sense that he’s hiding something from you.

It takes time and work to build trust between two people, and if you consistently feel like there are things he’s hiding from you, you probably still have some work to do before you’re ready to dive into a big commitment. You should know where his money comes from and what his general background is. You should be able to rely on him to do what he says he will do and be where he tells you he’ll be.

Still feel like there’s secretive things going on? Then it’s too soon to say “yes.”

4. Your most-trusted friends hate him, and he hates them, too.

When you’re in the initial stages of falling in love, it’s going to be hard for you to hear anything your friends have to say about your new love interest if it sounds the least bit critical.

But if your smartest, emotionally healthiest friends have grave misgivings about your paramour, that’s a pretty good indicator that there’s something amiss.

5. He’s deep in an addiction. (Or you are.)

If one or both of you are deep in the middle of an addiction battle, put off any conversations about committing to a long-term relationship. Save the commitment for when you BOTH have strong habits for self-care and you are ready to put the biggest part of your energy into your relationship.

6. You’re never sure whether he’s about to show affection or become violent.

Blaming, shaming, harming, and hitting often go hand-in-hand with charm and sweet-talking for some of the most dangerous men, which can set up confusion and keep their victims constantly off guard. Your safety is paramount, and no amount of justification can make emotional or physical abuse acceptable.

7. He tears down other people (PS: You’re next).

He has a dozen reasons why he shouldn’t have to pay child support, and he just can’t seem to find a single non-nasty thing to say about your mother. The world conspires against him, and he’s gotten a raw deal, the unlucky breaks, the sucky bosses, and nothing is ever his fault.

If he trash talks everything and everyone around him, chances are he is unwilling to take a look at himself to see just how offensive he is. There’s about as much chance of a healthy relationship with a a guy like this as there is putting out a forest fire with a water pistol.

8. He doesn’t value your opinion.

Does he always expect you to do things his way? Is every important choice or observation that you make instantly overruled by him? Sometimes women are happy to let a man lead, but if you’re finding that your opinion, preferences, or ideas are consistently unwelcome or regularly shot down, you’re not with the right man.

9. He has money for fun stuff, but can’t pay the rent.

At first these guys are a lot of fun. They know how to party and don’t mind dropping some cash to treat a woman well. However, it soon becomes clear that there are some significant issues with priorities. If he sports luxury Lugano shades and wants to take you to Dubai, but just got evicted from his crappy apartment because he didn’t pay the rent, you know.

What are your “Deal-Breakers”?

Even though I’ve named some of the bigger potential red flags, this isn’t an exhaustive list. Leave me a comment below and share some of the ways you’ve found to sort the keepers from the ones that need to be returned back to the wild…

Do you wonder what the man in your life really thinks about you? Do you wish you knew why he communicates the way he does and what his words really mean? Check out to learn how to effectively interpret and communicate with men.

Claire Casey

Claire Casey devotes her writing to empower women; to help you attract the kind of man who will treasure your heart like the rare gem it is.

Take the Love Number Quiz (free) and make this YOUR year for love. Complete guide to skyrocketing your Love Number *included* with the Quiz!

What Do You Think?

13 Comments | Join the discussion

  • Sheila May 13, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    I have been married to this guy for little over an year. From the first few months we started fighting for every little thing. Initially I thought we’d get over this but situations started getting worse post marriage. He drags the tiniest of our conversations to his parents and gets over emotional and sulks even if I get dragged down by his parents. He voices out loudly and makes a hue and cry of everything. Wants me to sleep down on the sofa when he goes for his shifty nighh shift job and so does his parents. He has not bought me a single dress or a chocolate in the last one year but expects me to pay for his car’s fuel, his clothing and pay for all his house’s groceries. I got really fed up when he started beating me up when I opened up to him about my ex. He is such a psyche, marriage is not a rosy is what I understood when I married him and became a part of his greedy and mental family. I’m happy now in my grandparents’ place and my too priority is career now. I don’t believe in fairy tales now but my outlook towards life has changed. Maybe life something better in store for me after leaving him for good and thank goodness I’m not pregnant with his baby else I would have to rot with him all my life.

  • Earl May 13, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    You think you may know someone well after you’ve dated them a while, maybe he buys you flowers, nice things, and takes you out to dinner, and that’s all good, but it can all change after you get married, especially if you have children from a previous relationship, sometimes that can be a real problem after you marry, sometimes step-parents and step-children do not get along, but I will say it takes a real man to accept your children, and to take on the roll of a dad to your children, but on down the road it may become a real problem, the children might start rebelling against him, when he wants to give them advice, or when he wants to correct them for doing wrong. Just be sure before you plan on getting married that you both agree, and agree to not disagree, listen to one another, pay attention to one another, and have eyes only for each other, and not for another. Sometimes real love can last when we let go of the past…

  • Bren May 13, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Men with alot of these issues are a definite ,No…..especially when there is a mental illness involved on top of everything…….was with a boyfriend for 11 years. He was bipolar…and wouldn’t take his meds on a regular basis. …when he did he was an awesome person smart ,funny,hard worker and I loved that guy…….but he would stop taking them because normal to him didn’t feel good so he’d stop taking them…….he’d turn into a liar cheat and violent. ……it was a vicious cycle that never ended until he ended his life……….sad but think if I’d been there i might not be writing this today…..

  • Mackenzie Apr 9, 2015 at 4:05 am

    I know a man I was seeing for 10 years and I guess you can say I should know everything about someone by then but I really don’t know him at all. He does not like me to ask him questions about himself at all. He does not like open up and I feel when I ask to just tell the truth don’t lie to me he still says lies to me and like when I found out he was still living at the address he was at before he says he does not live there but I know he lives there with a woman and tell me he not with her and he does not talk to her and how that possible when he living there and went back to that address to live with her but won’t just admit and tell the truth about it. He said he would not go back to that house but he did but he still can’t come clean about going back to that house and living with the same woman. Things like that not telling me things and just coming clean about it would make me feel better and won’t make me all crazy and just wanna know things cause I hate being lie to and I know men hate when women lie to which I have not lie about anything and I just wish him and I could at least be friends if we not together but how can you trust a friend who so private and does not like to tell you anything to make you feel more secure and not this crazy woman and wanted to know things I’m getting so fed up and wondering why do I still care about someone who does not care if we ever talk at all. Please help I could sit here write a book on my situation but I stop now. Please me.

  • Ciara Apr 27, 2014 at 8:06 am

    My daughter and her bf are on some pretty rocky roads right now. Both of them, when they met, felt an instant connection and ‘just knew’ they were special. However… He is so patient with her and holding his ground and she is digging her heels in and trying to gain ground. I know he has some problems opening up to her and being everything she wants him to be but quite honestly, she has been so needy and demanding and having issues trusting him that he has issues trusting her. He doesn’t think she can handle it if he opens up to her. I have been pulling my hair out trying to help her ‘get’ it. I have downloaded Capture His Heart AND Secret Survey because I know these will be great tools in turning this relationship around but she refuses to check it out because she thinks she knows it all! Sigh I swear if they make it to the paved road, it will be a bond that will be nearly untouchable. Crossing my fingers for them.

  • Chris Feb 20, 2014 at 1:53 am

    Oh my God… everything except #6…
    I have been crying my eyes out because this guy broke up with me because he “can’t trust me” (when I am completely faithful and have made every effort to enhance and engage his trust)… when this probably wasn’t the best relationship for ME.
    I also read “Love Doesn’t Hurt, Loving the Wrong Person Does”
    ( and had the same reaction…

    So why do I still feel like I’d go to the ends of the earth for him– do ANYTHING for him.

    Why do I still love him?

    • penny   Chris Nov 29, 2014 at 8:20 am

      The “not trustworthy” is transferrance of his own dishonesty. Cheating 101 …. They start accusing you! I went through this myself. Being accused and questioned after nearly 15 years together…to only discover is infidelity.

    • Ruth, london   Chris Aug 8, 2015 at 1:02 am

      Start reading about narcissistic personality disorder and you will probably realise what’s been going on. It’s very toxic.
      It leaves a nasty stain behind.
      If you can understand that it’s not personal and this type of guy is the human equivalent of a shark, it makes sense and you can let it go, heal and move on.

  • Viv Sep 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    You have limited communication with him. Only on his terms and times. And I really hate it when they lie to you.

  • Aida Sep 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I know a guy that has mostly female friends.. using the excuse that all his male friends are married and with children. In his stories I don’t hear of any males..and have’t met any of his friends.

  • Tina Sep 4, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Hi Claire,
    What if he doesn’t have friends? Does it indicate anything or maybe it’s just his personality? I have this wonderful bf, but sometimes I feel so left out because we cannot do things with others.

    • Barb   Tina Oct 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      I have the same problem. My guy doesn’t have close friends and his family lives out of town and he only sees them once a year. He’s met all my friends and family and sometimes I feel like the social director….dragging him from one event to the other. It’s very frustrating.

    • Rachel   Tina Oct 8, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      I have the same problem Jenny – due to my bf’s social anxiety (it comes partly due to his overall personality and partly due to mental illness). I find it’s cool, as long as he respects my need to socialise on occasions and lets me spend time with my friends too. It is a shame they don’t get to know him like I do, but I would hate to put him in any position where he felt anxious and uncomfortable. Friends who come over stay for short periods and don’t engage him directly in conversation. That way he gets to know them a little and may become interested in his own way and open up. Chatting about it is helpful, and don’t push I – respect his needs and he’ll respect yours 🙂


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