Summer is coming. While it’s often thought of as the season for finding love, embracing the summer flings, and other casual-but-maybe-might-last relationships, it’s also the time where many of us start to rethink our relationship situation.
A particularly warm summer can mean rising tempers, irritability, and other emotional influences that don’t necessarily help us out when it comes to relationships. And, as we know from past experiences, the way that we feel is often similar to the way our boyfriends and partners can feel as well.
We’ve researched and found 22 red flags that might mean the upcoming freedom of summer is calling our partner away. Here are the hidden codes that nobody tells us about when we get into a relationship. Any of these signs can mean that our partner is starting to dislike where the relationship is going.
These are especially important during that transition phase when we’re going from casually dating into a full blown relationship. It’s a trepidatious time, but trust us when we say that we’ll be able to get through it. It just might take a little bit of observation (and a whole lot of communication) to work things out between us and our partners.
22He Starts Second Guessing
The biggest thing we need to pay attention to is the fact that he might be making some second-guessing kind of comments. We all know what it’s like to second guess ourselves, right? We buy that low cut shirt only to reconsider our purchase the second we get home. That can happen with relationships as well.
Seventeen says that anytime he starts to second guess being together it’s a sign that he isn’t a fan of where the relationship is heading. Sometimes it’s just cold feet and can be cleared up with time and loving conversation. Other times, however, it’s a sign that we should let it (and him) go.
21Merging Friends And Family Is Not In His Priorities
This is an action that came up in nearly all the research we did. Does it seem like anytime we bring up family dinner or a group date with our closest girls he gets quiet and makes an excuse? This is a sign that the longevity of the relationship isn’t to the degree we thought it was. AKA, he’s just not that into it.
It’s just common sense, right? If we love our partner, we want to bring them into all our folds: friendly, familial, and otherwise. His reluctance to do that is a sign that the relationship might not be as stable as we think.
20Talking To His Exes Can Be Hit And Miss
Obviously, exes are a touchy subject for many of us. Talking to exes and keeping them as friends is even more touchy. Psychology Today lists it as one of the big warning signs that a relationship might be on its way out, especially if our partner has reconnected with an ex (or two, or three) amidst relationship stress or a rough patch.
However, we also recognize that it can be friendly, especially if our partner was friends with the ex long before we came into the picture. Talking to exes might not be okay in everyone’s books, but we wouldn’t worry unless it’s out of the blue (and kept hidden).
19He Doesn’t Fight For The Relationship
Ultimately it all comes down to one thing: fighting to stay in the relationship. Psychology Today puts it best when they say, “one partner might throw out the ‘let’s end it now’ card. While it’s ultimately a power move, see your partner’s reaction… The guy who fights for you and the relationship? That’s the keeper.”
That’s right! It’s not great to throw down a faux breakup, but it’s definitely not unheard of. In the heat of an argument, we can say all sorts of tricky things. If a guy gives up right away it’s often a sign that he didn’t see the relationship lasting. A fighter means that he’s passionate about keeping the love alive.
18They Can’t Remember Important Things About What We’ve Said
This is one that we’re all guilty of. After all, how many times can we really listen to our guy go on and on about last Sunday’s sports game? It turns into a sign of something more destructive when they can never seem to remember the things we’ve said, including the important things.
Seventeen reminds us that if we need to tell him six times that there’s a family dinner at Grandma’s this Sunday, and he still made plans with his buddies that clash with it, there’s something deeper than a distracted brain going on. He might just not be invested in the same way we are.
17Point Blank Passive Aggression
C’mon, do we even need to say it? One of the issues that we tend to run into in relationships is this attraction we have to sarcasm. Witty, dry humor just lights us up, but with that can often come bluntness and passive aggression. Not necessarily a bad thing, especially if we feel confident enough to point it out and talk about it with our partner.
It’s not a great thing, though, especially if the passive aggression builds and builds over time or seems to come out of nowhere. Irritability is definitely a sign that something is wrong in the relationship.
16As Well As Eye-Rolling Behavior
On the flip side of aggression is dismissal. We all know how negative this can feel, as well as how it can stay with us for ages. A partner telling us that something we think or like is silly, bad, or useless can really hurt! While this isn’t directly related to the breakdown of a relationship, it is a red flag.
Self writes, “mutual respect is a major foundation of a happy relationship, and nobody you frequently roll your eyes at has much of your respect,” which goes double for him. If he’s rolling his eyes at us he’s not worth our time anyway.
15Openly Staring At Other People
Some couples do like to mutually comment on other peoples’ attractiveness, innocently sharing about the gorgeous barista who made our coffee this morning or the cute bus driver who let us hop on for free. There is a line that shouldn’t be crossed, though.
Openly staring when you two are together in public is a recipe for hurt feelings and disrespect. Seventeen reminds us that, while he doesn’t have to keep his eyes to himself, there does need to be the understanding that the two of you are exclusive (assuming that your relationship is exclusive, of course). And openly staring can hurt almost as much as overt flirting.
14He Gets Frustrated With Trying To ‘Make Us Understand’
Communication is hard. Two different brains, two different hearts, but one relationship. It almost doesn’t make sense, asking us to transcend physical form and connect on so many inner levels. However, that also means that it needs to be a two-way street.
Self reminds us that, “refusing to take [our] opinion seriously because they’re so convinced they can change [our] mind anyway that they assume they can just skip the whole ‘valuing your perspective’ stuff,” is a big ol’ red flag. If he’s frustrated with trying to make us understand, he’s often just frustrated by the fact we’re not conceding to his ideas.
13Giving Back To The Relationship Is Non-Existent
The two-way street is basically a great metaphor for a relationship as a whole. We each have to give the other person space to move, to grow, and also be aware of what our partner might need. And they need to do the same for us!
Psychology Today explains that if a partner tends to take and take and take (and gets indignant, frustrated, or complains when we ask them to give back), it’s unlikely that they’re ready or willing to be in a real relationship. Not giving back is frustrating, but trust us: if he’s not into giving us care and appreciation now, he’s likely never going to be.
12Texts Become Few And Far Between
Here’s a tangible sign that he might not be into where the relationship is going. Seventeen has mentioned time and time again how we tend to overthink communication in this day and age, especially when so many early relationships rely on texting and instant messaging. If our guy, once upon a time, would text us back regularly, a decline in response could inspire some worry.
Seventeen reminds us, “your bae might not realize you’re counting the minutes between responses. Or they might not feel the same way about you — in which case, you don’t need that in your life.” Before taking this sign to heart, it’s best to chat about communication styles.
11We Discover He’s Been Keeping Secrets, Small And Large
Seriously, do we even need to say this one again? You deserve all the respect in the world, especially when it comes to your relationships. Don’t put up with a person who is going to keep things from you. Sure, we all lie about having a salad for dinner when we actually ate a bag of chips. Those little harmless lies aren’t a big deal, in our opinion.
But Self reminds us that secrecy about the little things (like why they’re late) can often result in keeping big things under wraps later on. Any kind of secrecy might mean he’s not really taking the relationship to heart.
10They Flake Out On Plans
We’re guilty of flaking out on even the most fun plans. Sometimes we just don’t feel up for a party, movie night, or romantic dinner with the bae, you know? But we’re always keen to offer a reschedule, and an explanation. For example, “It’s not a great mental health day for me, and I need to take some time for myself tonight.”
Just like having a cough or cold, people that care about us always totally understand. But if he bails on us repeatedly with no explanation or offer to make it up, he’s just not into it. Seventeen says that it’s a sign he’s not into continuing the relationship, and we’re inclined to agree.
9Or, Even Worse, Dates Never Get Past The Front Door
Maybe he had to reschedule your dinner date because he forgot about his friend’s birthday. You forgive him and agree to swing by his place later. While that late night hangout will satisfy certain needs, it doesn’t satisfy that emotional satisfaction of going on a date. If we find that our dates always tend to shift into either of our apartments, this relationship may not be as serious as we thought.
That being said, it’s always good to check in with your partner when faced with an ambiguous relationship. Chat about it the next time you two are together, and see what his reaction is when you suggest an actual dinner (or breakfast) date.
8He Hides His Phone, Laptop, Etc.
Remember when we talked about secrecy? Small secrets tend to give us pause, but bigger ones can manifest in ways like hiding his phone and laptop, taking certain calls outside of the apartment, and freaking out when we glance down at who he’s texting in the middle of our date. Hiding his electronics was a note that Self made in regards to relationship red flags.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that he dislikes where the relationship is going, but it does mean that there’s some trust stuff between the two of you that needs to be addressed. It could also mean that someone else has caught his eye, making things infinitely messier.
7The Phrase ‘Open Relationship’ Has Been Said
To clarify: there’s nothing wrong with open relationships. They’re the best choice for many people and are becoming more and more accepted every day. However, that’s only when all partners accept the open relationship rules and expectations. An open relationship is different for everyone, but it’s basically non-exclusivity. It’s okay to see other people in various capacities, while still remaining with your primary partner.
Self reminds us that it’s not a bad thing. It is bad, however, if he’s acting like your relationship is open when you haven’t agreed to it. Deal with this discrepancy early on, and make your needs clear! Before the relationship disappears.
6Not Opening Up About His Past
We all love a mysterious man, but we don’t necessarily love an emotionally unavailable one. We’re not saying he has to do a deep dive into all of his most painful memories on your first date. In fact, it’s probably best that he doesn’t (at least until you two know each other better). Psychology Today tells us that he does need to open up eventually, though.
Knowing your partner means knowing their past as well, and being ready to accept anything that they might come along with. If he still hasn’t opened up after a few months, it’s time to ask yourself if he’s really invested in the partnership aspect of the relationship.
5He Re-Downloaded The Same App You Two Met On
This is a red flag no matter how we slice it, often coming hand in hand with hiding his phone. Hidden three swipes deep in that “random” folder on his home screen is one of the various dating apps that the two of you met on all those weeks ago (despite his claims that he deleted it). If you two haven’t had the exclusivity talk, it might not be an issue.
But if you were under the impression that the two of you are a meant-to-be thing, this could come as a surprise. We’ve been hit with this one and realized soon after he definitely wasn’t as into the relationship as we thought.
4He Makes Big Decisions Without Us
This is something that might only present itself further along into the relationship. Bustle’s articles about relationships often feature this point, which highlights just how entwined he considers the partnership. When you’re a couple, big decisions like family dinner scheduling, travel plans, and big-ticket purchases all become joint considerations.
It’s not necessarily the fact that our partner needs to sign off on them, but if it affects the relationship they should definitely be discussed together. If he starts making big decisions without us, he’s not prioritizing the relationship as highly as he should. It might also be a sign he doesn’t respect us as much as an equal as we respect him!
3Compliments Are Few And Far Between
It’s easy to become complacent when we’ve been with someone for a while. They still light up our life, sure, but after six months we would like to think that they know that already. After all, we’re still here, aren’t we? Compliments are still an important aspect of any relationship, though, no matter how long we’ve been together.
Seventeen reminds us that a partner, “doesn’t need to fawn all over you every second of every day, but a compliment every once in a while is nice to hear and it’s pretty standard in a relationship.” It goes without saying that a distinct lack of compliments might mean the relationship is on the decline.
2He Starts Going Out More With His Friends
There’s nothing wrong with the two of you having different social lives, but if you’re barricaded from even the most casual hangouts with his friends, it might be a sign that something is up. It’s natural for us to reconnect with our friends after the honeymoon phase of a relationship. What’s not natural is going out every night and not allowing you to come with every now and then!
Self mentions that this can get into “double standard” territory. Does he complain when you hit the town with your friends, but he heads out at a moment’s notice? Not cool, and not a great sign when it comes to his feelings about your partnership.
1He Calls Us A Friend
Ouch! So we’ve all of a sudden gone from being that person he’s seeing to being “just a friend”? It might mean that this relationship has sadly turned into a non-relationship. While sparks might have accentuated the start of your partnership, they seem to have fizzled out pretty quick.
Calling us a friend might be a cover for nosy parents, but if he’s telling his friends that there’s nothing going on, it’s a sure bet that things might end up fizzling out real quick. Don’t be afraid to talk to your partner to figure out what’s up! They definitely can’t leave us hanging out in limbo with any of these signs.