When everything is going well at the beginning of a relationship, it can be hard to notice the glaring red flags. Even when someone’s flaws seem so obvious to other people, their partner often chooses not to see them. After all, they must be a good person deep down, right? They have so much potential to be even better, so sticking by their side should turn out to be worth it in the end—right? Well, not so fast. This mindset is often wrong, and it’s wise to keep an eye out for those red flags in the early stages of a relationship.
Sometimes, a guy will drop little hints that he isn’t ready for a real relationship, that he isn’t actually in love, or that he simply has unrealistic expectations of what a relationship should be like. And every once in a while, he’ll say something that sounds flattering, but is actually a big warning sign.
Don’t fall for pretty words that have no meaning—look for the guy who is mature, independent, and ready to step up and be a great partner. If he says any of these 20 things, it’s time to turn around and run for the hills.
20‘My Ex Was Crazy’
When a guy says this, his girlfriend’s first thought is often, “Wow, she must have been bad—I’m treating him so much better. I won!” But not so fast. According to Cosmopolitan, a guy who complains about his crazy ex is often placing all the blame for the problems in his previous relationship on her.
He would rather believe that she was the cause of all the issues, when he also made his fair share of mistakes. Look for a guy who can think of his former relationships as lessons learned and doesn’t hold grudges.
19‘I’m Not Looking For Anything Serious’
In this day and age, it is so common to hear this line that we often think it’s the best we’re going to get. After all, guys just want to play the field, right? So we have to be down for the same thing if we want a chance at connecting with someone. But this just isn’t true, and guys essentially count on women lowering their relationship standards to make these “casual” arrangements work for them.
According to Self, a guy who sees you regularly but says it isn’t serious wants all the benefits of being your boyfriend without the commitment.
18‘What, You Don’t Trust Me?’
If you ever come to your boyfriend with a serious concern and his response is to merely get upset that you didn’t fully trust him, it might be time to rethink your relationship.
According to Cosmopolitan, a guy who immediately becomes defensive when you feel confused or blindsided by his behavior is usually hiding something. He may act like he’s simply offended that you don’t trust him, but deep down he’s worried because he knows that you are starting to see him for who he truly is, and he might be lying to you behind your back.
17‘I’m Such A Nice Guy’
When it comes to relationships, keep the phrase “Show, don’t tell” in mind when you are getting to know someone. According to Glamour, a guy who feels the need to tell you what kind of person he is rather than just showing you through his actions isn’t ready for a real relationship.
Guys like this have a lot of growing to do, and they think that just saying that they’re nice guys actually, you know, means that they’re nice guys. But the real world doesn’t work that way. Look beyond his words and see what he expresses through his actions.
16‘You’re My Everything’
Now, this is a phrase that sounds super romantic on the surface. After all, who wouldn’t want to hear someone say, “You’re my everything?” What could be more adorable? But watch out for the guy who tells you this.
According to Teen Vogue, a guy who tells his girlfriend, “You’re my everything” is actually putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on her. He’s basically saying that he doesn’t have anything else in his life that he considers important, and that if his girl leaves, he’s going to be totally lost. Who on earth can really live up to that standard?
15‘I Have Trust Issues’
When a guy tells you that he has trust issues, you may think to yourself, “Oh, wow, he’s opening up to me—how sweet!” But according to Allure, this line can actually be a warning sign.
A guy who says he has trust issues, and knows that he hasn’t worked through them or learned to trust again, is not the type of guy you want to get into a new relationship with. He needs more time to himself to sort things out before he tries to connect with someone new.
14‘I Don’t Like Labels’
Here we have another guy who wants to have his cake and eat it too. According to Cosmopolitan, a guy who wants you to treat him like your boyfriend, yet refuses to put a label on what you have together, is not ready to commit. And honestly, he doesn’t deserve your commitment just yet.
Once again, he is just dodging the commitment issue. He wants you to give him your all—but he won’t do the same thing in return. If he drops this line, your alarm bells should start going off, and it is time to make your exit from his life.
13‘You Complete Me’
The idea that you need to find someone who is “your other half” is pretty damaging. Yet there are many people who seem to think that this is the purpose of relationships. If you hear a guy say, “You complete me,” don’t take it as flattery.
According to Self, men who say this are often looking for a woman who will “fix” them in some way. They want a girl who will handle their emotional baggage, take up responsibilities around the house, help them figure out their next steps in life, and more. Ladies, it’s not your job to deal with that.
12‘You’re Not Like Other Girls’
A guy should be able to simply compliment you for who you are, without making it some kind of competition. But unfortunately, many people see the phrase “not like other girls” as the ultimate form of flattery. According to Cosmopolitan, this phrase can be very damaging because it basically pits women against each other.
After all, what’s so wrong with all of the “other girls?” At the end of the day, a guy should be able to pay you a compliment without making a comparison to another woman. Saying this is a sign of immaturity, and it’s a red flag.
11‘I’m Nothing Without You’
This phrase is definitely like a big, glaring neon sign that just screams, “Stay away!” According to Teen Vogue, many young women are taught that the idea of being with a man who basically feels like he is “nothing” without them is the ultimate relationship goal. But the truth is that your partner shouldn’t—and can’t—be absolutely EVERYTHING to you.
No human being is capable of that, not even the best significant other in the world. It’s just completely unrealistic, and it sets a standard that no one has any real hope of meeting. It’s not a healthy foundation for a relationship.
10‘Marriage Is Silly’
Look, if you actually think that marriage is silly too, this one might not apply to you—but if you dream of getting married one day and you start dating a guy who basically says that marriage seems pointless to him, it’s time for you to hit the road.
According to Psychology Today, couples who are not on the same page about the true value of marriage from day one are basically wasting each other’s time—relationships like this rarely last until marriage. Don’t hold out hoping that you will change his mind one day, because it probably won’t happen.
9‘Do You Have To Go Out?’
Unless you’re hanging out with people who your boyfriend has good reason to be concerned about, he shouldn’t have an issue with you going out and spending the night with your friends. According to Teen Vogue, guys who act controlling when their girlfriends want to do something that doesn’t involve them are typically bad news.
For whatever reason, a guy like this gets jealous and stressed out whenever you have fun without him. This is not a healthy mindset. Both partners in the relationship should be able to do things independently without the other person getting upset—that’s just life!
8‘You’re Really ____ For A Woman’
Once again, a guy will often frame this type of comment as a compliment. He might say that you’re really smart for a woman, or really good at math, or really funny—you know, for a woman. According to Cosmopolitan, a guy who says this is putting down other women and acting like he’s lifting you up.
Plus, let’s be honest here, he is clinging to some outdated stereotypes that most of us have moved past already! Do not waste your time with a guy like this. Find a guy who appreciates and respects all women—come on, it’s 2019.
7‘I’m Not Like Other Guys’
A guy shouldn’t have to outright tell you that he’s better than the rest. He should be able to show you through his behavior. And if he can’t do that, well, he’s no better than them! According to Cosmopolitan, a guy who goes on and on about how you should give him a chance because he is clearly better than other guys is just trying to fool you.
A good man simply won’t have to do all that. His good intentions will be clear through his behavior, and you’ll be able to see that without him saying a word.
6‘Are You Really Wearing That?’
Are you about to walk out of the house and head to work while sporting some t-shirt with a rude slogan? No? All right then, there is no reason for your man to insult your outfit.
According to Cosmopolitan, many guys out there say that they get insecure if they think their girlfriends are showing a little too much skin. But at the end of the day, it’s your body, and your personal level of modesty is up to you to decide. A guy who makes fun of your personal style is bad news. Find a guy who loves your look!
5‘Not All Men Are Like That’
Look, sometimes a girl just has to vent about guys for a little bit. And when that happens, her man’s job is to listen and support her, not dismiss everything that she says. According to Allure, a guy who ignores his girlfriend when she vents her frustrations and brushes them off by saying, “Well, not all men are like that, you know,” is not usually the most understanding guy.
There are plenty of guys out there who are totally sensitive to the obstacles that women sometimes face, and dating a guy like that can be a breath of fresh air.
4‘What Would I Do Without You?’
A guy can’t expect a girl to be everything to him—he needs a full life outside of their relationship, and she needs the same. The idea of being “nothing” without someone may sound romantic the very first time you hear it, but in reality, it does not feel romantic. It just feels like a whole lot of high expectations being put on the shoulders of one person.
According to Cosmopolitan, someone who uses the line “I’m nothing without you” might actually be a bit manipulative. They may be trying to make you feel guilty about leaving them when things go wrong.
3‘You’re Prettier Without Makeup’
Look, we know that guys mean this as a sincere compliment. And sometimes, it can be just the thing that you need to hear—after all, we all have days when we feel a little down about ourselves, and hearing that you look great just as you are can be a confidence boost. But according to Cosmopolitan, many women get annoyed by this statement.
Lots of guys don’t seem to understand that girls sometimes just enjoy getting creative with makeup. It can be fun to play with new products and try out new looks. It’s a creative hobby for many women.
2‘You Really Think You Can _____?’
If a guy is discouraging your dreams and goals, it is time to pick up your bags and walk right out that door. There is no excuse for comments like this. According to Self, sometimes a guy will feel jealous of his girlfriend’s potential. He will feel jealous when he thinks about the fact that she could become more successful than he is. And because of this, he will try to cut down her self-esteem.
A relationship like this is not real love. It is just manipulation. If a guy questions your ability to succeed, that’s your cue to go.
1‘You’re Just Being Dramatic’
Can women be dramatic sometimes? Yes, of course—there are times when a girl will pick a fight with her boyfriend and it really is nothing more than drama. But according to Self, be wary of a guy who dismisses the very real problems that you bring to him as nothing but drama.
Even if he feels like you’re getting a little too stressed over something that doesn’t matter much, he needs to at least be willing to hear you out. It’s important to listen to your partner when they’re upset—it’s not fair to write it all off as “drama.”