There are some seriously terrible guys out there, but the good news is that there are also plenty of really amazing ones. Still, even the greatest people on Earth have their not-so-great moments. The trouble comes along when your partner makes a mistake and you have to figure out if he just screwed up or if he himself is a screw-up. If you’re not sure what you’re dealing with, here are some signs that the downsides of being with your guy outweigh the benefits:
He apologizes for your feelings rather than his actions. Any decent human being apologizes if he screws up, but pay attention to what your boyfriend is apologizing for. A good man will say sorry for what he did, but a straight-up jerk will say things like, “Well, sorry you’re offended,” or “Sorry you interpreted it like that.” These non-apologies are BS and a clear sign that he has no remorse for his actions.
He makes the same “mistakes” over and over again. If he was a little too friendly with his pretty coworker once, you can probably let it slide; we all cross (small) lines without meaning to at some point in our relationships. If he keeps doing it, though, that’s not a mistake — it’s a habit. Don’t stick around for a guy who doesn’t learn from his slip-ups.
He brings up your flaws when you bring up what he did wrong. Ah, deflection. Douchebags use this tactic to not only take the pressure off themselves but also to make you feel like crap so you never call them out on anything again. If your boyfriend bails on your birthday dinner to hang out with his buddies and says something like, “Well if you weren’t so boring to spend time with, I wouldn’t need to spend time with my friends,” he’s a turd who deserves to be tossed aside. A man who’s worth your time will take your constructive criticism and use it to be a better boyfriend.
He doesn’t show genuine remorse when he messes up. How does this guy act when he messes up around you? If he seems truly apologetic and ensures you that he’ll take steps to fix what he broke, that’s a good sign that he’s good with conflict resolution. But if he responds by rolling his eyes, throwing out an annoyed “sorry,” and doesn’t seem like he actually cares, be prepared to deal with that piss-poor attitude for as long as you’re with him.
He trivializes your feelings. Have you ever been called “silly” or “sensitive” for getting upset at him over a real problem? Yeah, a good person won’t do that. A worthwhile man will consider the fact that his actions hurt you, and even if he doesn’t understand where he went wrong, he’ll still accept that it upset you.
He refuses to talk about things like an adult. Lord have mercy on the man who hangs up on me or walks out of the house when I’m mid-sentence. Any couple is going to experience conflict, and arguing doesn’t mean you guys aren’t meant to be. What’s really important is how you handle those moments away from paradise. If your man mimics you, interrupts you, or gives you the silent treatment, leave him and find a guy who knows how to take turns in even a heated conversation like a grown human.
He makes no effort to fix his behavior. You shouldn’t go into a relationship hoping to fix your partner, but as time goes on, we sometimes develop habits that our partners didn’t sign up for when they decided to date us. It’s fine. It happens. What ISN’T fine is when your boyfriend promises to change his ways and then continues on as normal. However, if he either takes steps to change what’s gone wrong or tells you straight-up that this is what he’s about now, you can at least trust that he’s not going to lead you on with false promises.
He only cares about himself. When you date a genuinely good guy, he thinks not only about his own interests, but those of the people around him. If he does something wrong, he’s concerned about how it affects the people he loves. But a guy who isn’t worth your trouble will see everything as an insult to him. He won’t care that he’s hurt you, just that his ego was damaged when you called him out on his crap.
He finds loopholes in your dealbreakers. There can be holes in communication that lead to misunderstandings between partners, but a good boyfriend will work with you to understand how to fix it and see what both of you can do to prevent such things from happening in the future. But a scummy, crummy guy will deliberately search for ways he can get around your boundaries. You asked him not to talk to his clingy ex anymore? Well, in his eyes, exchanging pics with her on Snapchat isn’t technically “talking,” so he’s in the clear. Don’t let this stupid tactic make you feel like you’re in the wrong here — this dude is a jerk.
He threatens to break up with you when things go wrong. A good guy who makes the occasional bad decision won’t throw in the towel just because you guys have an argument. Instead, he’ll work to improve the relationship and use the tough times as ways to make you two stronger as a couple. If you’re dealing with a headache of a human being, though, he might try to use breaking up with you as a way to get you to drop your side of the argument and act like he did nothing wrong. You know what? Let him do it. This is a crappy, manipulative thing to do, and it’s so not worth dating someone who does it.
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