Never Date A Guy Who Lacks This Critical Skill

Never Date A Guy Who Lacks This Critical Skill

Sure, your dream guy might be tall, dark and handsome with a great job and a killer sense of humor, but there’s one trait that’s quite possibly the most important trait of all — the ability to communicate like a grown man. Being skilled in communicating your wants and needs is essential in a partner, and without it, there’s no way you’ll last long-term. Here are some red flags to look out for — and if you notice these at the start of a relationship, you might want to bow out early.

  1. He never tells you about work. While you don’t need to know the play-by-play, you should be aware of the important stuff — did he have his employee evaluation today? How did it go? When is his next work trip scheduled for? If he’s totally silent, he’s either being shady or is just terrible at communication. Don’t be left in the dark about where he spends the majority of his day.
  2. He doesn’t think it’s important to check in. Again, there’s a difference between texting you every five minutes and sending you a courtesy text that he and his work buddies went to a bar across town after work and he’ll be home late. This type of action only builds trust, and is super helpful on the slim chance that an emergency happens while he’s out. If your guy gets weird about it, he probably resents the fact that he has to “check in” with someone. If you’re being reasonable and he keeps refusing, the relationship will likely be short lived — and you deserve better, anyway.
  3. Every single fight is a big fight. Know why? It’s because he doesn’t know how to communicate with you — and there’s a chance you don’t know how to really talk to him, either. If he resorts to name-calling, making you feel bad, or talking over you without listening to your point of view, you should either both spend time working on it, or just quit while you’re ahead. Good boyfriends shouldn’t make you feel bad about yourself, or act like toddlers when something isn’t going their way. You signed up to be a girlfriend, not a nanny.
  4. He never expresses his feelings. Happy, sad, or somewhat in-between, — it’s all a mystery to you. We shouldn’t expect our guys to gush with emotion, but if he’s obviously ticked off about something, yet says everything’s fine, it’ll only make you worry. If he’s silently upset for awhile, he might end up exploding with no warning, which isn’t fair to you.
  5. He changes schedules on you. You’re going down to visit his parents this weekend and you both decided to leave around 5:30 PM. All of a sudden, that changes to 6:30. Also, he added an extra day of activities to your schedule. He talked about it with Mom, but not you. And while it’s great that he talks to his mother, these arrangements affect both of you, and his lack of updates makes it seem like he doesn’t care about your own itinerary.
  6. His attention is solely on his iPad during discussions. We’re all guilty of tech-abuse, but if he can’t even look you in the eyes during an important conversation, it’ll only get worse. There are times to put things down, and in the midst of a talk with a significant other is one of them. A good solution is to schedule iPhone and iPad free hours during the day. If that makes him extremely uncomfortable, he just plain sucks at communicating with people normally.
  7. He often makes you feel alone. You can be in the same room together for hours but not utter a word. While silence may be golden while binge-watching a show you really like, you feel as if the experience would have been exactly the same had you watched it solo. Getting nothing out of this interaction is a red flag that this relationship won’t make you feel fulfilled, at all, as time marches forward.
  8. You get the impression that he’s keeping a lot of secrets from you. You never want to be worried about the state of your romance, or get the feeling that he’s no longer into you and just doesn’t want to admit it. If his best friend gives you a nervous look, you don’t want to jump to the gut-wrenching assumption that he knows something you don’t about your own relationship. Cut this guy out if you’re constantly left questioning whether or not you’re on the same page.

Can communication be worked on? Of course. If your guy is great overall, it’s worth giving him a chance to improve on this skill. But if it’s something that’s so far gone, cut your losses before you end up feeling like you’re dating an absolute stranger. The right guy will never be afraid to speak up.

Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has written for sites like LittleThings, Bustle, and Scary Mommy. 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