20 red flags that tell the truth
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Danger Zone1 of 22
By Meagan McCrary and Julie Fishman, co-authors of The Little Black Book of Big Red Flags
Relationships, and the dating process that precedes them, can be tricky. Here’s a cheat sheet to help you navigate the sometimes stormy waters of love, and help you determine if your guy's really a catch after all.
Know Where You Stand2 of 22
If you need to contemplate whether or not you’re a guy’s girlfriend, you probably aren’t. And if your “dates” with him consist solely of booze and booty calls, you're not actually in a relationship.
Understand His Intentions3 of 22
If your date seems to expect not just a goodnight kiss but a till-the-morning romp ten minutes into your first date, we guarantee he’s looking for a bedmate, not a soul mate.
Watch His Morning-After Etiquette4 of 22
After spending the night at a man’s house, be aware of his behavior. If he tells you he's “got a busy day” the moment his alarm goes off, don’t expect him to take you to breakfast.
Take a Hint5 of 22
If a guy explicitly says to you, “I’m never going to be the boyfriend-y type,” take his word for it and find a more loyal lad. You’re not gonna change him.
Never Trust a Cheater6 of 22
If a guy declares his love for you, and he’s currently dating your best friend, run.
Beware the Momma's Boy7 of 22
A guy who's not man enough to have your back on all occasions, even if it means upsetting his mother, isn't worth keeping around.
Make Sure He Puts in Some Effort8 of 22
If a guy can pick up a phone and send you a text, surely he can use the same phone and call you with it. A man who can’t be bothered to actually talk to you isn’t worth wasting your time on.
Watch His Spending Habits9 of 22
If your boyfriend has acquired over $385 in overdraft fees — in the span of two days — you probably won’t want to combine your finances with his.
Listen to Your Friends10 of 22
If your close friends sit you down and tell you that they think you've changed for the worse since dating your new guy, don't get all defensive — believe them.
Check His Ex Factor11 of 22
If a guy you’re dating knows, to the day, how long he’s been broken up with his ex, he’s likely still in love with, or at least hung up on, her. You don’t want that kind of emotional competition.
Look at His Past12 of 22
If you find out your guy has never said “I love you” to anyone, even though he previously dated another girl seriously for years, this information could signal intimacy issues.
Get to Know His Family13 of 22
How your guy’s close relatives behave and interact with each other could indicate who he really is, as well as explain how he got that way. The apple usually doesn't fall all that far from the family tree.
Read Between the Lines14 of 22
A guy who’s got marriage — to you — on the brain will eventually start speaking in we’s. If your man says “when I get married” rather than “when we get married,” he’s not thinking about anything long-term.
Don’t Stand for Demands15 of 22
Watch out for a man who’s not just taking the reins in your relationship but wrapping them around your neck with demands that are convenient for him but disadvantageous to you. You may want to knock him off his high horse before your heart gets drawn and quartered.
Ditch a Loser User16 of 22
Never continue to date a man who asks more questions about your job than he does about you.
Beware the Control Freak17 of 22
If your alleged knight in shining armor swoops in offering to improve every area of your life, he’ll probably end up trying to control your life. It’s one thing if he treats you like a princess; it’s quite another if he treats you like a project.
Read the Subtext18 of 22
If a guy feels the need to constantly assure you that he’s not critical, judgmental or self-righteous, we’d argue there’s a million-to-one shot he is.
Stand Your Ground19 of 22
If your boyfriend tells you that you've “changed” since joining a gym or starting a therapy program or yoga practice, and that he'd like you to cease and desist, typically what he really means is that he thinks you've started becoming too good for him, and he would like you to stop.
Check His Attitude20 of 22
Inconsiderate and insensitive behavior during the so-called honeymoon phase of a relationship are red flags. Your guy’s not going to suddenly start treating you better once the excitement and newness wears off.
Know When to Leave21 of 22
If your guy becomes indifferent to you, put on those walking shoes and get to steppin’. It’s better to have loved and lost than to be stuck in a relationship that’s no longer full of love at all.
More Red-Flag Advice22 of 22
For further analysis of male behavior, dating advice, and stories from real women about the signals they should have never ignored, check out The Little Black Book of Big Red Flags.