Bad relationships happen to the best of us. We don’t mean to get into these toxic situations, it’s just hard to see beyond the blinding lights of lust and what we mistake as love.
When you meet a guy and feel that ever-evasive click, it’s really hard to tear yourself away no matter how loud the alarm bells sound. I get it. I’ve been there and I’ve lived it and I’ve suffered the inevitable consequences of staying in these damaging relationships for a little too long.
MORE: 5 Warning Signs of a Toxic Relationship
If you want to have success in your love life and avoid heartbreak and pain, you have to choose wisely. That means choosing someone who wants what you want (and more importantly, someone who wants you, not someone you have to chase to pin down).
And with that, here is my ultimate list of signs you’re dating a guy that you need to be running away from. Be honest with yourself. If a few of these hit a little too close to home it’s time to get some cardio and hit the pavement!
1. He’s a damage case.
A damage case is a guy with a lot of potential buried under a pile of issues.
You have great chemistry with him and there’s just something about him that lures you in, clenching you in an unrelenting grip. You think … “If only I can help him conquer his demons, then we’ll have an amazing relationship.”
This is never how these stories unfold. More likely, he can’t get his act together and the woman who poured every ounce of her being into helping him ends up absolutely broken hearted. If a guy needs fixing before he can become someone date-able, you need to move along. You want a partner, not a project.
MORE: Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship and What to Do
2. He’s jealous.
A little bit of jealousy can be sweet and even a little endearing, but if he flies off the handle anytime you so much as look in the direction of another guy, he has issues and you need to stay away. Only a highly insecure girl will be flattered by this.
Him losing his mind anytime you mention another man’s name isn’t romantic, it’s controlling and a sign of many more alarming issues that will inevitably surface.
3. He says he “doesn’t want a relationship right now”
I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it a million more until everyone really gets it: If a man says he doesn’t want to be in a relationship, believe him. Most of the time it means he doesn’t want a relationship with you. So why doesn’t he just dump you? Well, he still kind of likes you. He enjoys your company, he’s attracted to you, and he doesn’t have anyone else at the moment so he keeps you around … usually until that “better thing” comes along. Or until he’s just really over it.
Or maybe he does really really like you, but the timing is off or he’s dealing with emotional issues and he just can’t give you the commitment you want (or any sort of commitment, really). Well, this might be less of a blow to your ego, but you still need to get away and fast. The longer you stay, the more time you waste and the harder it will be to extricate yourself from the situation.
You can’t make someone ready. You can’t fix or change someone else. You can’t force someone into feeling what you want them to feel. Just accept what is and move on with your head held high.
MORE: Top 5 Signs He’ll Never Commit
4. He’s selfish.
It’s all about him. If you text him and he doesn’t answer for a few hours, that’s totally fine. But if you don’t answer his texts promptly, it’s a problem!
He needs you to be there when he wants you there, and he’s annoyed if you need anything from him. The relationship seems to revolve around his needs and his schedule and his time table. There’s no room for you and what you want. If this sounds familiar and applies to your situation, you need to get away.
5. You don’t want the same things.
Chemistry can only take you so far – in order for a relationship to last, you need common values. That is, you need to have a shared vision of what you want and how you want to live your lives.
Everyone values different things and it’s important to have these conversations and get on the same page. If he doesn’t want what you want — he doesn’t want the same kind go relationship, doesn’t want kids, doesn’t want to bring religion into the home, doesn’t want to live in a city, etc., then cut your losses before you get in too deep.
MORE: 5 Signs He’s Not the One
6. You can’t be yourself around him.
If you feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells, like your true self isn’t “good enough,” like you have to act a certain way and say certain things in order to keep the peace or keep him interested, then this is not the guy for you.
With the right guy, you feel comfortable and at ease. You can just be. If you are constantly on edge (and this isn’t a result of your own deeply rooted insecurities), then he most likely isn’t a match for you.
7. He doesn’t prioritize you.
If you feel like you’re on the back burner, it’s probably because you’re on the back burner. A guy will do this if he’s only somewhat interested in a woman. He keeps her around because he sort of likes her and he enjoys her company and he doesn’t have anyone else in the rotation, but he’s not really in it.
When a guy is in it, the woman knows. It’s obvious. He makes her a priority. If you are always coming in second or third place to something else, it means he’s just not interested in you enough to pursue a real relationship and you should move on.
MORE: 11 Signs He’s Not Serious About You
8. He’s married or in a relationship with someone else.
This may sound obvious, but I have to include it due to the high volume of questions I receive from women who are involved with already involved men.
Ladies, these situations rarely ever work out in the other woman’s favor. (They don’t exactly work out in the main woman’s favor either, this is just an all-around awful situation.) If he’s with someone else, then you have to run, don’t walk, away from this guy. I’ll say it again, these situations never, ever, ever end well!
I don’t care how much you like him and how good he makes you feel or how hot your intimate life is, you’re better than this and deep down you know it.
MORE: 9 Signs He’s Not Really that Into You
9. You don’t trust him.
Trust is essential for a relationship to survive. If you can’t quite get there with him … if you constantly feel suspicious or have a hard time buying what he’s selling, it’s a big red flag that something is amiss.
Again, you need to be honest with yourself. Are you just not a trusting person in general? Or, is he just acting shady and it’s not sitting right with you? Remember, you can’t have anything without trust.
10. He doesn’t take responsibility for anything.
You’ll see this come out as time goes on and the relationship is more established. If everything seems to be your fault and he never owns up to anything, it’s a major red flag.
You aren’t responsible for the entire relationship or his emotional wellbeing. And if any relationship strife or negative emotions he experiences are pinned as being you’re fault, he is not someone you want to be involved with. This is not only a sign of an emotionally immature person, it’s also a big sign of narcissism.
MORE: 10 Signs the Person You’re Dating Wants to Keep Things Casual
11. You just feel it in your gut.
Don’t silence that voice of reason that’s desperately trying to chime in. Listen to what she has to say because deep down, you already know the truth.
I fell in what I thought was love for the first time when I was in college. I was crazy about him but the relationship was totally toxic and dysfunctional (for a lot of the reasons on this list!). A small voice inside always said he would leave me for someone else and it hung over the relationship like a cloud. It wasn’t my paranoia, the writing was on the wall, I just didn’t want to see it. Well, just shy of a year into our relationship he left me for someone else without giving it a second thought. My point here is: listen to what you already know. You can save yourself a world of heartache.
If the guy you’re involved with checks multiple items on this list, then I’m sorry. I know it’s a bummer when something promising implodes but believe me when I say it’s for the best. Conversely, maybe this article made you realize that the guy you’re with is a keeper … however, you feel like you may be pushing him away. If that’s the case, read this next to learn exactly what to do: If He’s Pulling Away, Do This...
These are the signs you’re dating a guy you should be running away from:
- He’s a damage case.
- He’s jealous
- He says he “doesn’t want a relationship right now.”
- He’s selfish
- You don’t want the same things
- You can’t be yourself around him
- He doesn’t prioritize you.
- He’s married or in a relationship with someone else.
- You don’t trust him.
- He doesn’t take responsibility for anything.
- You just feel it in your gut.