Relationship Red Flags and Deal Breakers (Men’s Guide)

Being in a relationship with a new girl is fun and exciting. You’ve already told all your friends about her and you couldn’t be happier. You’ve ignored-if you even noticed- any relationship red flags and deal breakers.

Then comes the day you realize she’s may not be the one for you.

Getting to know the real person behind the girl you’re dating is hard. But getting to know who she really is when it’s too late, is harder.

This is how guys end up wasting their money and time on the wrong women-if they’re lucky. The unlucky ones are going through divorce papers or paying child support for a child they rarely get to see.

When looking for love online or in real life, you should proceed with caution. One way to be cautious is to know how to identify dating red flags and deal breakers in your relationship.

Meeting someone new, you’re entering unfamiliar territory, so watch your step. When you encounter a red flag, consider it a warning shot. Know when to turn back and get the hell out of there.

hand waiving a red flag
Don’t Ignore Red Flags

What Are Relationship Red Flags and Deal Breakers?

So, what exactly is a red flag? Loosely defined, a red flag is a sign the person you‘re dating lacks interest, integrity, and compatibility.

Deal breakers are characteristics that would make less than an ideal partner in a romantic relationship. Behavior, habits, and gestures say a lot.

Difference Between Red Flags and Deal Breakers

Red flags are subtle signs that you shouldn’t be dating her. These can be signs in her behavior, personality, or dating history. Any choices she made in her life that are oppositive to what she now presents herself to be like should also be considered as a red flag.

Red flags are the hints that make you suspect something’s wrong. When you encounter them you should investigate further, and take your time before you commit.

Deal breakers on the other hand are things mostly based on personal preference. This is anything the girl “must-have” in order for you to date her but lacks. These are generally things you know for a fact, and not just a suspicion.

It is possible for a red flag to also be a deal-breaker. For example, a change in her behavior, like not wanting to have sex anymore.

This is a red flag, that could mean she’s a) having sex with someone else and b) doesn’t find you attractive, and a deal-breaker if being sexually active with your girlfriend is important to you.

Relationship Red Flags and Deal Breakers To Spot Early On

It is important to know what to look for early on in a relationship or when you‘re meeting someone new. Identifying red flags and deal breakers at this stage will save you time and energy. Along with headaches and a broken heart.

Avoid wasting time and effort on the wrong person. It will only take away from the opportunities you could have had to meet someone more compatible with no questionable traits to worry about.

At this stage, the signs to look out for are:

  • She’s Manipulative

If she tries to manipulate you now, imagine how bad things will get further down a relationship. We often dismiss these signs and create excuses for this behavior. We do this thinking they want the best for us. In reality, she’s only trying to change who you are so she can get what she wants.

When you no longer make decisions on your own and do things you otherwise would not be doing, it is time to take a step back and acknowledge what is going on.

  • She Lies

Innocent and white lies aren’t considered a red flag. In fact, it’s almost expected to say some things that aren’t exactly true. We do this in an attempt to make a good first impression. We may lie subconsciously to come across as more agreeable and likable. Think about the last time you told someone about a great idea they had. Was it really that great?

On the other hand, when the lies misled you and misrepresented who she really is, that’s a big red flag. Finding out she has kept things secret, that should have been brought up in the very beginning, makes her a dishonest person.

Don’t make the mistake of continuing dating her even if it’s “not a big deal” or the thing you found out isn’t a deal-breaker. It is the fact that she lied that you should not tolerate.

  • She’s Selfish

People who only care about themselves, tend to complain, demand, and criticize. Everybody has different needs. If your partner does not care about yours, that should raise a red flag. Be careful when the person you‘re dating criticizes, complains, or demands.

That’s a hint they will be even harder to please, further down in a relationship. This type of behavior is selfish. And to the extreme end of the spectrum, a narcissistic personality disorder.

Also Read: Why Is It So Hard To Find a Good Woman?

Bossy woman pulling a man by his tie

Long-Term Relationship Deal Breakers

While it is wise to identify red flags in the early stages, it’s not always easy. Sometimes the person we have a love interest is very good at hiding their true self and intentions at first. She’ll think it will be too late for you to back up when you discover her true self later in the relationship.

You’re also to blame, for not spending enough time getting to know her before jumping to commitment.

The most common reason though, is that falling in love alters our judgment. We tend to see the good in them, dismissing all faults including the obvious deal breakers. We are in love with an illusion.

The most common red flags and deal breakers in long term relationships are:

  • She’s Bossy

You’ve unknowingly invited a new problem in your life when the person you choose to be in a relationship with turned to be a control freak. You will know this when you live in fear of acting in a way that she doesn’t approve of.

You will know she’s bossy when you’re finding yourself thinking of the consequences after doing things without her permission. When she’s telling you what to do, and you’re always thinking of ways to please her. It’s time to realize you‘re in an unhealthy relationship, which will make you miserable- if it hasn’t already.

  • She Compares You

When you‘re being compared to other men, it isn’t for inspiration but a red flag. A woman that starts comparing you, is a woman that is doubting you. This is an early sign that the relationship isn’t working for her. She may be planning-or at the very least considering- to replace you. This leads to the next point:

  • She Belittles You

This is another red flag: She doesn’t think highly of you. Belittling someone is the opposite of feeling they are the best thing to ever happen to you. Which is the feeling we have when we are in love. If you are in a relationship and you feel you‘re not good enough, your partner thinks you‘re not good enough, as well.

It will not take long before they start finding reasons to end the relationship. Consider ending it sooner than later, and finding someone to whom you‘ll be perfect and more than enough.

  • Brings Up the Past

And is doing so to create drama and start an argument. This happens when she’s not currently happy and is reflecting on the past to find faults that she can blame on you. These can be issues that you two had already resolved (or so you thought). Or something that she brought up for the first time.

Consider this a tactic, and an excuse, to her ending the relationship sooner than you’d have imagined.

  • She’s Always Tense and Irritated

Tension and irritability are never a sign of a healthy relationship. What’s more alarming, is when you can’t identify what’s causing her stress. The underlying issue causing this behavior might be something that is your fault.

For some reason, she decided not to bring it up. Then again, it could be that she has something to hide, and knows she will be in trouble or to blame if you were to find out. Leading her to be uncomfortable and unwilling to talk about it.

unhappy man in a relationship
Think Before You Commit

Subtle Relationship Deal Breakers

Do not mistake her passive behavior for her being calm and collected. When she no longer seems to care, be concerned. The silent red flags in a relationship are:

  • She No Longer Tries

She stops trying to improve or maintain a healthy relationship. This is a red flag as it shows she has given up. She will stop trying to make you happy, go places with you, or do things with you.

When it comes to her own needs, she will no longer need or want anything from you. She may dismiss things you tell her, or ignore you altogether.

You have parted ways emotionally. This form of detachment is, without a doubt, a bad sign.

  • She’s No Longer Jealous, Curious or Concerned

It used to bother her when you talked to other women, or she was concerned when she didn’t know where you were. Perhaps, she used to call you more, to see what you‘re up to and how you‘re doing.

If she no longer seems to care, she has lost interest.

  • She Hides Her Phone From You

This is one of the more common relationship red flags and deal breakers. Someone that has nothing to hide wouldn’t put their phone away when they’re around you. You notice she stops texting when you‘re around, goes in another room to answer a call, or doesn’t picks up when you‘re near her.

There’s no doubt she hiding something from you. It’s safe to assume there’s someone else in the picture.

  • She Cancels On You

Forgets plans you had or calls to cancel. These are the red flags in behavior to look out for when you‘re first starting to date someone. They are just as bad, if not worst, when they happen while in a relationship with them.

She will seem to have other priorities in life, and no longer be eager to see you. It’s time to come to terms with the reality that something is wrong.

  • She Doesn’t Respect You

No relationship can thrive lacking respect. When you notice she has lost respect for you, prepare for the relationship to end.

When she loses respect, you lose her.

Signs that she has no respect for you include ignoring you, talking down on you, and talking badly about you to others.

Another way she will show disrespect is she discusses her relationship problems with other people, without you knowing.

danger sign from  computer screen

Signs To Look For Online Dating

When it comes to online dating, red flags are harder to identify. Put the pieces together and decide if the person you‘re talking to is worthy of your time. Use any information that you already have about that person, and use it along with the following signs. You should be able to identify the red flags.

  • She Has Red Flags In Her Profile

Aim to understand her intentions based on how her profile looks. If her profile is blank, this is a sign she’s not talking online dating seriously. If her bio is very long and trying to oversell herself, she might think too highly of herself. Which means she will be hard to please.

A very long “about me” section may be a sign of desperation, as well. Another thing to look out for are the expectations in the “what I’m looking for” section. Does she go into great detail about what she wants and doesn’t want in a partner? While there’s nothing wrong with having standards, setting them very high might be a problem. Both for her trying to find the perfect man and for you dealing with such a woman.

Don’t forget to take a look at her pictures, and try to understand what type of person she is, based on what you see.

  • She Doesn’t Give Her Number

Not wanting to exchange phone numbers or meet in person is another online dating red flag. It is one thing to be cautious and not want to give your number out right away. If you have been talking for a while, and she isn’t willing to take it a step further, that’s might mean she’s not serious. To confirm this, ask how many people she has met in real life, and how long has she been online dating.

  • She Doesn’t Message First

When she doesn’t initiate contact by messaging first, she has a low interest. This can mean she either doesn’t see potential with you, or she’s too busy talking to other guys. Notice if you‘re always the one sending a message first and how long she takes to respond. See if her responses short and dry. When she messages you after disappearing for some time, more than likely things didn’t work out with the other person she was talking to. And she’s using you as a rebound.

danger keep out contaminated area sign

Red Flags And Deal Breakers Before The First Date

Planning your first date is a good sign that things are going well. There has to be some mutual interest between the two in order for you to agree to go out and have some fun together.

Before you get too excited and start dreaming of a future together, be aware of any red flags right before your first date. Proceed with caution (or cancel plans) if she does any of the following:

  • She Doesn’t Confirm

You make plans midweek to see each other over the weekend. You agreed on a specific day and time that works for both of you. What does it mean when she doesn’t confirm or bring up your upcoming date in the following days? When she seems to have forgotten that you have a date coming up, she is not looking forward to the date. This will lead to:

  • Change Of Plans

The likelihood of something coming up right before a date is slim. The number of times women use this as an excuse to cancel is a lot greater. Unless you gave her a good reason to change her mind, she was planning to cancel the date all along.

  • She Wants To Bring A Friend

There’s a time and place for everything. Bringing her friend along on a romantic date with a guy she hasn’t even met before is a big red flag. She either doesn’t see the date in romantic light or she’s trying to turn it into a night out with her friend. If her friend happens to be a guy, that’s one big red flag… zeppelin.

  • Wants To Pick Where To Go

Nothing wrong with having a preference. But when she insists to meet at a specific bar or restaurant for your first date, consider it a red flag. What it means is, she’s looking forward to her favorite dish or cocktail, not meeting you.

  • Can’t Meet You During Normal Hours

She can only meet you early in the morning, late at night, or during her lunch break. Unless she has given you a good reason, be wary. This indicates she might be in a relationship, has a husband at home, or.. both.


Identifying red flags is a complicated process. It is necessary, and the first step you should take on the road to a successful relationship. The route to true love is an emotional minefield. Once you know how to identify relationship red flags and deal breakers, you can start enjoying the relationship with peace of mind.

Also Read: Dating Sucks for Men: How To Deal With It

7 thoughts on “Relationship Red Flags and Deal Breakers (Men’s Guide)”

  1. Reading your article has greatly helped me, and I agree with you. But I still have some questions. Can you help me? I will pay attention to your answer. thank you.

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