Relationship red flags for guys

• What are some red flags when dating a man?

Maria DeRubeis, MSW, RSW:

Love Bombing

  • When your partner attempts to manipulate you to become dependent on him. i.e. “I can’t live without you”, “I have never met anyone like
  • The love bomber will talk all about your future, shower you with affection and grandiose declarations of love, and get you to fall for them — only to pull away and leave you broken-hearted.

Bashes His Ex

  • When your partner bashes all of his ex’s for all the problems in the relationship and for the relationship breaking down.
  • Your partner takes no accountability for his part in the breakdown of the relationship.


  • If you feel like you’re not being seen or heard. Does your partner take an interest in the things that you care about.
  • Does your partner seem distant/distracted? Does he respond to your calls/texts or does he ignore you?

They Push your Physical Boundaries

  • You want to ensure that he respects your boundaries, how does he react when you say “no” or “stop”?

They Put you Down

  • Excessive sarcasm, a mean sense of humor, or jokes that regularly point out your flaws is verbal/emotional abuse.


  • Gaslighting is a form of emotional manipulation where he twists reality making you doubt your perceptions through denial i.e. “I never said that” or by blaming you “You’re too sensitive”.
  • Gaslighting leaves you feeling like you are crazy. He makes you question your sanity.

Jealousy/Controlling Behaviour

  • He who checks your phone to see who you’re texting or tries to make rules about who you can and can’t see.
  • He is possessive or controlling of your plans, what you wear, who you hang out with, or isolates you from your friends and family, this could be an indicator of future emotional abuse.

Extreme Emotional Reactions

  • Does your partner have the ability to express empathy?
  • Does your partner manage his emotions appropriately or does he fly off the handle quickly. If your partner displays uncontrollable anger/rage or gives you the silent treatment, this may be an indicator of future emotional/physical abuse.
  • Does your partner use excessive sarcasm, a mean sense of humor, or jokes that regularly point out your flaws is verbal/emotional abuse.

Alcohol and/or Substance Abuse

  • Does your partner have difficulty regulating his alcohol intake?
  • Your partner could have an addiction if he is unable to handle their alcohol and/or use substances in excess.

If you notice any of these red flags, it is important to pay attention. Sometimes we ignore red flags because we really want to be with someone. Take some time to reflect if you want to continue with the relationship. Ask yourself if you are being too harsh or are the flags a real issue. Are you misinterpreting his words and/or behaviours based on your past experience. It may be helpful to ask for clarification.

If the issue is worrisome, them it’s important to have a conversation with your partner. They may not be aware of how they are coming across. We all have different love languages and it’s important to let your partner know how to treat you. Keep in mind that if there is abuse – no communication is required. If you and your partner have discussed these issues and change has not occurred then perhaps it’s time to end the relationship.

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