Relationships are hard. They are wonderful, sure, but they also require a tremendous amount of time and effort to grow and prosper. And before you commit to putting in that effort, you need to be sure that the guy you’re doing this for is worth it. If for nothing else, for the sake of your own current and future happiness, take a few moments to think carefully about the situation - and the man - and whether it something you should be investing your time and energy in. We bring you a few things that should sound a warning note.
1. He is disrespectful to the people in your life
If he is bitchy about your friends, or makes snide comments about your parents, ditch him, please. And even if he isn’t saying anything, if he behaves in any way to them that is not-so-nice, this is not a man for the longer term. Respect is a cornerstone of any healthy relationship; if he doesn’t have it for the people you hold dear, he probably doesn’t have enough for you.
2. He is dismissive about your opinions
Yes, it’s okay to disagree with each other, but that doesn’t mean he gets to shut you down when you’re voicing your thoughts. There’s a huge difference between saying “I don’t agree with you” and saying “Yeah, whatever” - don’t put up with the latter.
3. He is rude to you in public
And if he’s going down the “Yeah, whatever” route in front of other people, or raising his voice at you, just walk away. Reasonable, rational adults fight too, but in private, with dignity and grace. Screaming matches that make other people turn and stare are simply not acceptable and should have no place in your life.
4. He doesn’t take your work seriously
If he thinks his work is more important than yours, he probably thinks his work is more important than you. It’s okay for your partner to express reservations about your career choices - only when he believes you’re making ones that would not make you happy. But there’s a difference between encouraging you to do something different (so that you can achieve more), and making it seem like your professional ambitions don’t matter.
5. He doesn’t check up on you
Hey, we get it - you both have busy lives, and it’s not possible to talk all day long, or even every day. But there has to be some degree of communication and contact for a relationship to grow and deepen. If we care about people, we make time for them. If he’s someone who’s frequently on radio-silence mode, with not even a “Hey, hope you had a good day, I’m still so swamped” text, that isn’t a very good sign.
6. He is not respectful about your lifestyle choices
Whether it’s drinking, hanging out with people, watching silly stuff on TV, wearing clothes that you like - if he “disapproves”, don’t stick around. Your life is your own, and he doesn’t get to judge.
7. He does not treat you as an equal in the bedroom
Is he as focused on your pleasure as his own? Is he comfortable with you setting the pace of things? Does he wait for you to make the first move at least every now and then? Does he accept that sometimes you’re just not in the mood/ very much in the mood, and adapt his behaviour accordingly? If the answer to any of this is “no”, then you need to shut that door on him.
8. He makes no effort
Whether it’s planning a date, taking an interest in the stuff you care about, or even introducing you to his friends - if he is not making an effort at all when it comes to any aspect of your relationship, it is not worth your while to be putting in your time and energy either. If he is taking you - and your relationship for granted - and doesn’t seem to get it when you try to talk about it, just step back.
9. He avoids discussions about the future
No, we’re not talking just about discussing the future of your relationship - after all, it may be early days yet. But in a relationship that one wants to view as a long-term one, there has to be talk about the future - about your individual hopes and ambitions, so that you know whether you’ll be able to some day make space for each other and adapt your dreams so that you can live them together. If he doesn’t want to talk about the future at all, then you guys probably don’t have a future together.
10. He doesn’t commit to being exclusive
A man who does not want to be in a relationship with you exclusively is a man who wants to keep his options. If you ask for exclusivity, it’s not like you’re asking him to commit to marriage and a lifetime together - you’re simply asking for a commitment to giving what you guys have a serious, focused shot. If he doesn’t want that with you, you probably shouldn’t want it either, no matter how much you like him. And, honestly, if you guys are sexually active, you’re risking your health too.
11. He generally behaves like a jackass
Sometimes, you just need to analyse his behaviour objectively, without letting your affection or attraction for him cloud your judgement. For instance: if you’re hurt by something he’s said or done, and you tell him about it, and his reaction is either defensive or angry, that’s just not right. You deserve someone who can accept your feelings, even if he can’t understand them. Don’t constantly make excuses for what he said or what he did - that way unhappiness lies. Be calm, be rational. Accept him for who he is - no matter who you wish he were - and move on.