You may really like a person and believe you’re totally compatible but you need more than desire and a few things in common to have a successful relationship. This became totally clear when my best friend got involved with a toxic guy. If you notice any of these red flags, steer clear—they’re way too damaged for a relationship.
- They distance themselves from reality. When I first met my BFF’s boyfriend—let’s call him Danny—he was drinking a beer. At 10 o’clock in the morning. This was definitely a red flag for me, but my friend was too googly-eyed to see that this may be a problem. I soon learned that Danny was drinking a good part of the day, every single day. It was his escape from the real world and unfortunately, my friend got sucked in.
- Their behavior is hot and cold and completely unpredictable. I really liked Danny and had some amazing heartfelt conversations with him, in particular about his feelings for my friend. When I saw them together, it was like they’d known each other forever… but then he would act cold around her out of nowhere. It was a very Jekyll-and-Hyde situation, one that she probably should have taken note of.
- Lashing out isn’t uncommon. One day while he was on the phone, my friend was trying to get his attention regarding an important matter. He completely turned on her, raising his voice to an inappropriate level and essentially telling her that whatever he was doing took priority over her needs. This selfish behavior was definitely not indicative of a mature partner, and it was one of the last straws for her.
- Bringing up their past relationships is the norm. Danny talked about his ex… A LOT. It was always about how that relationship messed him up and how he still harbored a lot of anger. It’s one thing to talk about your ex, but complete negativity is maybe a sign that it still stings too much. All my friend wanted was to show him that relationships can be good but his strong feelings spilled over into their partnership, damaging it beyond repair.
- They disappear for long periods of time. Once, Danny went for months without seeing or speaking to my friend despite the enjoyable time they were spending together. He provided no explanation and no warning. When he did come back into her life, he claimed he wanted a relationship. Because she wanted that too, she changed her life and got seriously involved with him. That didn’t last long.
- They can be downright mean. It wasn’t uncommon for Danny to pick on my friend. At first it was cute, playful, and seemingly flirtatious. A lot of the time, though, his words were just plain mean. Calling her names and expecting her to do things for him are just two items in a long list of bullying behaviors.
- They verbalize commitment but have a hard time following through. When my friend and Danny did finally decide to try out a committed relationship, they totally jumped in head first. Spending tons of time together, meeting each other’s family… it all happened super fast. Ultimately, when they ended up moving in together, Danny snapped and found a silly excuse to end it all. After basically uprooting her entire life for him, this was a slap in the face for my friend.
- They have serious insecurities that they project onto you. Ultimately, Danny was very insecure with himself. He had a beautiful, intelligent, funny and successful woman to call his own but his head got in the way. He was threatened by the fact that she made more money than him even though all she wanted to do was do nice things for him. He couldn’t see past his previous traumatic experiences and wasn’t mature enough to be honest with my friend. It was clear he cared deeply for her, but it was equally clear that he still had some work to do on himself.