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10 Red Flags That Will Make You “End It” When DatingAs a psychologist and dating expert I’ve seen people end a relationship for many reasons. 

I’ve written this from the women’s perspective but it could easily be from the man’s point of you too.  Below are 10 Red Flags that may make you re-consider whether the new relationship you’re in is healthy.

  1. You Want Kids, He Doesn’t:

    You know you want a child and if you’re a woman, you may have a biological clock.  It’s hard enough agreeing on a time frame for marriage and children but if your date doesn’t even want the same thing, you should consider whether you‘ll regret getting into a serious relationship later.  (Of course this is only true if you’re older and ready to settle down).

  2. He’s Really Critical of You:

    10 Red Flags That Will Make You “End It” When DatingPeople are usually on their best behavior early on so if he’s already critical of you be careful.  Challenging qualities get ten times worse once you’re married.  Do you want someone who accepts and approves of you or who is always putting you down?


  3. There’s an Addiction:

    Whether it’s alcohol, drugs, an eating disorder or gambling, don’t think it will get better later or that you will save them.  It may get worse.  If they haven’t been in treatment or already significantly changed this, consider stepping away.  If you marry and have kids, this can affect them and you for a very long time.

  4. He Has a Temper or is Abusive:

    If it’s early on in dating and you’ve seen your date yell abusively, punch things, start fist fights, throw things or become emotionally abusive, take note.  As he relaxes it will probably only get worse.  Imagine a lifetime relationship where events can get particularly stressful, especially if he does not realize this is a problem and isn’t in anger management classes, you might want to say goodbye.

  5. It’s His Way or the Highway:

    Relationships involve two people and that often means compromising and perspective-taking.  If he just assumes you’ll do everything his way and doesn’t consider your opinions, needs and feelings, consider ending it.

  6. He Won’t Work on Things:

    Sometimes singles think relationships should be fun and relaxing all the time but mature partners know that sometimes a relationship will be work.  You may have to talk about the relationship, compromise or work on yourselves.  If he doesn’t acknowledge this you may choose to leave because he isn’t a good candidate for a serious, long-term relationship.

  7. He Won’t Take Responsibility:

    Responsibility becomes evident in many domains—how he is at following through at work, with his finances, friends, family and you.  But I also mean that when you disagree, he tends to blame you and think he’s perfect!  Were he to take personal responsibility, he’d say what he has to work on and would do that.  Does he own his stuff or just blame you?  If it’s the latter, consider skedaddling.


  8. He Isn’t His Word and There’s No Trust:

    A relationship is based on trust and it’s hard to know where you stand on things otherwise.  If he isn’t his word, doesn’t follow through on what he says and often lies, ask yourself why you’re still there.


  9. He’s Very Controlling:

    Sometimes when people are insecure they want to control you so they won’t be hurt.  But if he has no boundaries early on, think how bad it may get when you’re living together 24/7?  Break free while you can.


  10. Your Sex Life Isn’t Good or You’re Not that Attracted to Him:

    Obviously if this is your exclusive partner and your only sexual outlet, you’ll need to feel some attraction towards your mate and you’ll want a good sex life.  If your sex life is an 8 out of 10 then maybe you can improve it but if it really isn’t good and that’s important to you, you may want to move on.  I’ve heard from clients that this can be hard to do when that person is so kind, smart, good looking, hardworking, funny etc. but I’ve seen that 8 out of 10 will ultimately find this to be a deal breaker.

I’m sure there are other red flags or reasons that singles walk away from a new relationship.  Feel free to share yours.

My Best in Love,

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a licensed psychologist, dating coach and author of the upcoming, The Book of Sacred Baths, published by Llewellyn,  Dating from the Inside Out, published by Atria Books and others.  She won 15 book awards and her books are translated into five languages.  She’s a monthly expert in JDate’s JMag and on Eligible Magazine.  She’s been an expert on television like the CBS Early Show & the AM Northwest Early Show and a radio guest on the Curtis Sliwa show, Pathways and others. Dr. Sherman was quoted on, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek,, More,,, Fox Business, Crains, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Metro news¬papers, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Men’s Health, New York Magazine, Web MD, Everyday Health, Complete Woman magazines, the Huffington Post and the NY Times.  She has a psychotherapy practice in Manhattan and does dating coaching by phone.  To learn more, visit her website at .

What Do You Think?

2 Comments | Join the discussion

  • C. May 11, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Anthony, most of what is written here works if you replace he with she.
    If you want children and she doesn’t, if she is controlling, a narcissist, never takes responsibility and always blames you, or worse, is aggressive, if she withdraws sex constantky, if she’s addicted… think of yourself and leave!
    I didn’t know these red flags and stayed married to the guy for close to 20 years… I’ll never get those years back!

    • Paulette   C. May 13, 2015 at 5:34 am

      I did mean for these red flags to apply to both men and women. I have seen it happen from both sides.


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