If He Makes You Feel Bad About Yourself, You Need To Cut Him Loose

Dating an opinionated guy who ruins your self-esteem is the last thing you want to do. Know what’s better than being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t value who you are as a person? Being single.

  1. A jerk will never pay you a compliment. Saying “you look nice today” won’t cost him a penny and guys fail to realize how much work goes into looking date-night presentable. When you dress up, you want him to feel like you’re doing it since you appreciate him, so his failure to notice is insulting. Even worse is if he says something like, “What did you do to your hair?” in a condescending tone.
  2. If he makes you feel silly, dump him right then and there. One of the most terrible things a guy can do is insult your intelligence. If you have a degree in politics and he tries to mansplain how the government works to you, obviously he doesn’t think you’re bright enough to retain information. In reality, you know a lot more than he does. He’s just embarrassed to admit that. There’s nothing worse than a know-it-all.
  3. No guy should get to dictate how you spend your money. Unless you’re already married, your money is yours alone. Your guy might give you suggestions on ways to save, but when he says stuff like, “Why did you buy that?” or “Don’t you already have enough shoes?” it comes off as being controlling and rude. He’s supposed to be your boyfriend, not your dad who’s handing you an allowance.
  4. Is his sarcasm actually funny or just hurtful? It’s one thing to date a sarcastic guy but it’s another if he masks insults within that sarcasm. If you’re the target of all of his “jokes,” he doesn’t respect you as much as you may think. There’s a fine line between being funny and being mean and if he’s crossed it more than once, you should see how funny he thinks life is being single.
  5. Listen in to how he talks about you to his friends. If he invited some of the guys over, it’s perfectly OK to listen in and see how he talks about you. Making sure to thank you for proving some snacks is very kind, but making it seem like it’s your job to serve him is entirely different. Remember, you’re not his maid or his personal chef. If he treats you like you are, your relationship will end up at a dead end.
  6. Regardless of what he says, it’s not a “guy thing.” Sometimes guys can rag on each other as a form of love and appreciation, but that ends pretty much right after high school. If your guy tries to tell you that all of his friends put down women or make jokes about them behind their back, he needs to grow up.  Someone with a heart will know that words carry a lot of weight.
  7. It’s possible he just doesn’t know how to treat women. Maybe it’s his upbringing or maybe he’s just so insensitive that he doesn’t know how to treat someone of another sex with compassion. If you get the feeling that you’re only there for sex and not the fact that you offer up wonderful conversations and plenty of positivity, just realize this guy will never be your husband. The sooner you accept this and move on, the better.
  8. After a while, he’ll make you start believing you’re not good enough. Honestly, this is a scary time. If your boyfriend whittles down your self-esteem, you may actually get to the point where you think that nobody else will ever love you. This is classic abuse. He wants to make it seem like he’s your only option when the reality of the situation is that plenty of guys out there would love to date you—and treat you the right way.
  9. Remember, this behavior won’t improve. He’s just a mean-spirited person. Anything you do to try to mend the situation will make it worse. It’s not like you’ll get a haircut and he’ll magically start treating you better. If anything, he’ll just get crueler because he knows you won’t leave. Prove him wrong and show him your worth.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.