35 Red Flags in a Relationship with a Man 

You met, sparks flew, and you’re dating.

Or maybe you’ve been together for a while or are still in the pre-dating, flirting stage.

Whatever the case, your gut is screaming, “Something ain’t kosher!”

So now you’re furiously searching: red flags in a guy.  

We’ve got you, lady. 

Below is the definitive list of cautionary qualities that should ping your radar. 

What Are Red Flags in a Relationship with a Man?

Red flags are signs to pay attention to, revealing this guy is not the guy for you. You might see the signs in his behaviors, attitudes, communication, background, or other relationships.

For starters, they’re not all surefire signals you must immediately exit a relationship. Life is complicated and often difficult; we all go through rough periods.

And in these times, thinking and judgment become muddled, and we behave poorly. However, it’s wise to follow a few rules:

  • Don’t Turn a Blind Eye to Egregious Signals: One day, you’ll wake up, and getting out will be much more stressful and complicated.
  • Don’t Lean on Experiential Biases: Just because your last boyfriend was a certain way doesn’t mean your new one is too. Don’t look for issues where none exist.
  • Do Step Back When They Pile Up: When red flags are coming out of the woodwork, it’s smart to pump the breaks and assess the situation with a more objective eye.
  • Do Check Yourself: Make sure you’re not crafting mountains out of molehills.

With these caveats in mind, pay attention if your gut is telling you something isn’t right with this guy. You don’t have to notice an obvious red flag to merit walking away.

35 Alarming Red Flags in a Man 

We’ve discussed what red flags are. Now, let’s dive into 35 of them you should put on your radar.

Please understand these are just general guidelines. Having a few of these traits doesn’t mean someone is a lost cause. 

But if you see your man in most of the below points, it may be time to reevaluate the situation. 

Let’s unpack the mega list of red flags in a relationship with a man.

1. He’s Self-Centered and Arrogant

Maybe it’s social media’s fault — or perhaps it’s been this way since civilization’s dawn. Whichever the case, people are fundamentally self-centered on some levels.

couple having drinks on a date red flags in men

But if the guy in question constantly drones on and on and on about himself in glowing terms, absorb his behavior as a red flag. 

2. He’s Got “Mommy Issues”

Men with “mommy issues” often have difficulty establishing healthy and mature relationships.

Some can’t make a simple decision without consulting their mothers. Loving your family is fine, but there’s such a thing as “too close.”

3. He’s Unreliable

You make dinner plans, and he cancels at the last minute. He always promises to help you but never shows up. Sometimes, he’ll disappear for days. Basically, he’s unreliable — and it’s a red flag.

4. He’s Manipulative

Are you dating a man who always orchestrates situations and circumstances to get his way?

Does he sometimes say things with the aim of injecting you with a dose of guilt or shame in an attempt to get you to change your clothing, behavior, or plans?

Never ignore this massive red flag. It’s frequently a sign of sinister things to come.

5. He Never Plans Anything

Sure, some people plan better than others. But a man who never takes the reins may still be dealing with immaturity and other relationship hurdles.

Moreover, when someone genuinely wants to commit to you, they’ll show affection by occasionally planning things for you. 

6. All His Exes are “Crazy”

Whenever he talks about his exes, he calls them “crazy” or “insane” and may have a convincing story to accompany the accusations. But remember, you’re only getting his version.

If he clings to the “crazy” framing, it’s a sign he may be unable to take responsibility for his part in the failing relationship.

Rarely is one person solely to blame for a relationship’s end. So if this is his MO, take it as a red flag.  

7. He Gaslights

Gaslighting is the destructive act of convincing someone that what they see and experience isn’t real. It’s dismissiveness on speed. Be careful if you become entangled with someone who engages in this type of manipulation.

8. He Lives Beyond His Means

The current economy is a beast. Things cost more, people are making less, and the middle class is rapidly dwindling. Resultantly, many folks are suffering the pings of financial hardship. 

So it’s unfair to say that “money problems” are a red flag. But if your guy lives beyond his means and finds himself in financial straits because of it, think twice. 

9. He’s Aggressive

Abuse is never acceptable, and aggression is an early indicator. So if your man constantly pushes boundaries — verbally or physically — your priority should be protecting yourself.

young couple going out for drinks red flags in men

Always reconsider the relationship at the first sign of potential abuse. You deserve better. Get out while you can. 

10. He Gets Wasted A Lot

Every time you go out, he gets wasted. Every time you stay in, he gets smashed. Sound familiar? 

It may be time to consider why you’re lingering with someone who’s always inebriated. He may not be irredeemable, but it could signal he still has issues to work out. 

11. He’s Impolite

We all have no-good, horrible, terrible, bad days, and sometimes we’re not on our best behavior. But beware of a man who’s consistently rude to your friends and family. Interpret it as a glowing, bright-neon warning sign.

12. He’s Controlling

Is he always trying to gain the upper hand? Does he pout when he doesn’t get his way? This behavior is never a good look; be wary of it.

Controlling behavior could metastasize into dangerous behavior, so don’t see it as a small thing that can easily be changed. 

13. He Avoids Important Conversations

Things are getting serious; you see each other all the time and spend nights at each others’ homes. And yet, when you want to have a deep, meaningful, or important conversation, he weasels out of it.

This tendency could be a sign he’s not as into the relationship as you — or something even more troubling. Whichever the case, file it in the red flag folder. 

14. His Views Are Opposite to Yours

Of course, you needn’t walk in lock step with your friends’ and partners’ viewpoints and opinions. Variety keeps things interesting and helps us grow. 

However, if you’re looking for Mr. Right, don’t fool yourself into thinking you can make it work with someone whose outlook, goals, and expectations are in a different hemisphere than yours.

This point isn’t necessarily a red flag for males, but if it describes your dynamic, it’s a red flag for the relationship.

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15. He Treats Service Workers Poorly

Regardless of gender, people who treat service workers like crap are red flag folks. It’s rude and elitist. There’s no excuse.

So if he expects servers, hotel clerks, waste disposal workers, or janitors like drek, think long and hard about why you want to be with such a person.

16. He’s a Terrible Listener

Communication is the backbone of a healthy relationship. Moreover, it’s about more than just talking; listening is also a significant component. So it’s not a positive sign if your man blanks out when you start talking.

You deserve someone who respects you and what you have to say.  

17. He Doesn’t Understand Compromise

Relationships with “legs” are a constant dance of give, take, and compromise. If your man insists it’s his way or the highway, hop off the train. Nobody deserves a permanent back seat in a relationship.

18. He’s Devoid of Self-Awareness

Human brains take shortcuts, and because of survival instincts, we tend to view ourselves and our actions positively, especially in disagreements.

Simultaneously, being a mentally healthy, mature individual requires self-awareness. You need to know your strong and weak points. A guy who can only see himself in a glowing light is a red flag.

19. He Lies

Lies are a ubiquitous part of life. Sometimes, we all do it to save someone’s feelings or avoid difficult conversations.

But if you start catching your significant other in “whopper” lies, take note — because a relationship built on fabrications cannot stand.

20. He’s Always Gossiping

Never judging others is impossible. But constantly talking about people behind their backs or spreading rumors is in poor taste. Not only is it inconsiderate, but imagine what he’ll say about you if things don’t work out.

21. He’s Isolating

Cult leaders isolate followers. So do men with dangerous control and abuse issues. So if a guy you’re dating keeps you from friends and family, run in the opposite direction.

Remember: In these cases, it always gets worse, not better.

22. He’s Irrationally Jealous

We won’t sit here and say that people you’re dating should never be jealous. Let’s be honest: In small doses, jealousy can be endearing. But when it becomes a problem, evidenced by a growing pit in your stomach when it happens, that’s a red flag.

You’re allowed to have friends of any gender. You’re also entitled to spend time with family when you want.

23. He Doesn’t Have Any Interests

Someone without any hobbies or interests can be a red flag. Sometimes, it can signal they don’t have a balanced life or are even dealing with unaddressed traumas. 

That said, sometimes people are between passions, and that’s fine — so long as they’re living life and trying on new things.

Moreover, not everyone has to have an active hobby. Reading about history — or whatever subject — is a perfectly acceptable pastime. 

24. He Constantly Nitpicks

Is your partner always picking at you? Your clothes, hair, job, cooking, interests, attitude, and behavior are constantly being analyzed under his critical lens. If this hits close to home, you may be dating a dud. 

25. He Can’t Handle Criticism

Sure, harsh criticism can be hard to take. Heck, even constructive criticism can sting. But well-adjusted people can soldier through. When appropriate, onboard the complaint and apologize when necessary.

If you’re with someone who cannot handle an iota of censure or friendly guidance, it could be cause for concern. 

26. Nothing Is Ever His Fault

Nobody is perfect. We all have faults; we all put our foot in it. So if the guy in your life can’t admit when he’s wrong or always blames others when things go wrong, it may indicate deeper-seated issues.

For example, constant blame deflection is a sign of narcissism — a huge red flag.

27. He Doesn’t Celebrate Others’ Successes (Including Yours)

Some people can’t be happy about others’ wins and successes. They see life as a zero-sum game, and if someone has or gets something they think they deserve, they’ll pout and fret.

Do you really want a partner like that?

28. He’s Hot and Heavy Immediately

Have you ever heard the term “love bombing?” It’s a tactic manipulators and narcissists use. Essentially, they shower people with affection and compliments to get in their good graces.

couple sitting in bed having a conversation red flags in men

But once the honeymoon period ends, people who do it can do a 180 and morph into nightmares.

So if someone is being too extra too soon, proceed with caution.

29. He’s Status-Obsessed

Is your guy always trying to jockey positions to cozy up to high-status people? Does he treat people according to their power quotient? 

On the one hand, we get it: You gotta network to get work! But if he’s solely focused on being around the upper echelon at the expense of everything else, watch out.

One day, he may find someone he believes is “better” than you and leave without a second thought.

30. He Doesn’t Respect Boundaries

Boundaries are essential for maintaining good mental health, regardless if it’s a friendship, romance, or family connection.

Men who don’t respect yours are usually not worth the time. Such partnerships usually end in explosive tears. 

31. He’s Blind to Your Needs

Does your SO see you as a trophy that’s meant to be seen and not heard? Are your needs and emotions a second thought? Please don’t fool yourself into thinking he’s kinder or more sensitive than he is. 

32. He’s Hyper-Materialistic

It’s not wrong to want things. Having goals is great. But people who value stuff above all else usually don’t make good partners, and you’ll likely end up feeling neglected and unseen.

33. He’s Perpetually Moody

Moodiness is another quality we all have. In fact, it’s better to express emotions than hold it all in and walk the toxically positive path.

But if the guy you’re dating is a mercurial mess, and you don’t know who you’ll get from day to day, he may not be ready for a relationship.  

34. He’s Wishy-Washy and Noncommittal

Are you hoping to find the one or just casually dating? If it’s the former, you’ve been together for more than eight months, and the man you’re seeing is wishy-washy and noncommittal, you may want to start looking in greener pastures.

35. He Has No Problem With Friends’ Infidelity

Is he overly casual with his friends’ cheating habits? Does he brush it off? Or maybe he promises he doesn’t do the same thing.

When it comes to infidelity, follow your gut. And take note of how it’s treated in his friend group. 

Why Do Women Sometimes Ignore Common Red Flags in Guys? 

Ignoring red flags is as common as letting laundry pile up. But why? Why do so many women turn the other cheek in the face of relationship casus belli?

It’s usually a symptom of one of the four reasons below.

  • Optimism Bias: We all tend to wear rose-colored glasses at the beginning of relationships. 
  • Fear of Loneliness: If you crave being part of a couple and fear loneliness, you may pretend not to see things.
  • “I Can Change Him” Syndrome: He’s got other great qualities, and you can change him, right? WRONG!
  • Lack of Awareness: Sometimes, we don’t see others’ bad behavior because they hide it from certain people, including you.

What Happens If You Ignore the Biggest Red Flags in a Man? 

Why is it essential to keep an eye open for red flags? Why can it be a massive mistake to ignore them?

Relationship beginnings are often full of butterflies and bliss. Our instinct is to spend as much time as possible with the objects of our desires.

Sometimes, we’re so enamored we view the other person through rose-colored glasses and don’t even see their faults.

But we’d do much better by being more circumspect at the start because it’s usually when most potentially problematic behaviors present themselves. 

So let’s look at the potential consequences of turning a blind eye to red flags in men.

  • You Become Trapped: Escaping a lousy relationship early on is easier.
  • Your Friendships Deteriorate: Being in a bad relationship warps your personality, and your friends may lose patience.
  • You May Suffer Mental Health Problems: Stress and anxiety can trigger mental health issues.
  • You May Suffer Professional Derailment: When it gets to the point where your work is suffering, it’s probably time to bail.

How To Address Red Flags You Notice in a Guy

It may sting, but after reading through the list of red flags in men, you realize the guy you’re seeing may be a ticking time bomb.

So now what? How can you handle the situation? Let’s explore a few options. 

Try To Have a Conversation

Lay bare your expectations. Try to get real. If you choose this route, make sure you have your mental ducks in a row before broaching the topic.

Pull Back / Start Dating Other People

If the red flags start piling up, no rule says you can’t start dating other people — as long as you’re honest.

If he cares about the relationship, your detachment may push him to get his act together. If not, you’re not wasting as much time pining after a dud.   

Suggest He Sees a Therapist

Suggesting someone see a therapist can be dicey territory. If the person isn’t ready to hear the truth, they may become highly defensive and explode. In worst-case scenarios, it often results in a breakup. 

Consult With Friends and Family

Talk to your crew — the people who love you unconditionally. Seek their advice. If the guy in question is a non-starter, they’d probably love to unleash their honest opinions.

Break Up and Exercise Self-Compassion

Sometimes, enough is enough. The red flags are being shot by one of those “money guns,” and the relationship is more hassle than joy. Don’t be afraid to walk away. We promise you can do better.

Final Thoughts

Dating can be confusing and difficult. Not every relationship works. And in truth, you’ll probably learn more from the ones that fail.

But if you let good sense and humble confidence be your guides, dating can be a lot of fun.

However, when red flags rear their nasty heads, take note. Always remember it’s easier to detach from someone early on in the dating process than years down the road when things are dark and ugly.

Red flags in men might be too common that you don't even think it's alarming at first. But, when you see these red flags listed in this post, run.

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