13 Ways A Guy Shows You He’s Undependable—Pay Attention

You deserve a partner who’s there for you. The only way you can truly know if he’s legit by your side is to see how he responds when you need him urgently. That, and by being on the lookout for these 13 subtle red flags that he won’t be there for you when you need him the most.

  1. He doesn’t show up for little things. Maybe you’re having a horrible day and just need to vent, or you tell him you’re sick in bed with flu. How does he react? Does he listen to you and check in to see how you’re feeling, or do you not hear from him for hours or even days?
  2. He kicks you when you’re down. When you turn to the guy because you’re going through a bad time, does he say “I told you so” or make you feel stupid for crying? That’s a jerk right there.
  3. He tells you what to do. Sometimes you just need your partner to listen to what you have to say instead of rushing in with advice. If it always feels like he’s mansplaining or trying to be your life coach, financial advisor, and psychologist, it can feel like he’s talking down to you.
  4. You don’t fully trust him. Maybe you don’t trust him because he’s got a dodgy past or your gut just steers you away from that idea. It’s impossible to depend on someone if you feel that you can’t really trust him. Why would you invest your vulnerabilities into a guy who won’t look after them or respect them?
  5. He tells you little white lies. If he’s lying to you about his life, even in small ways, then it’s not fair on you to depend on him. Part of depending on someone means being open with them. If he’s not open with you, then you know that he won’t be there for you when you need him to step up to the relationship plate. 
  6. He zones out when you talk. How does he look at you when you talk to him? Does it seem like his eyes glaze over and he’s thinking about something else? If that’s the case, then he’s not taking you seriously. If he can’t listen to you when you talk about silly things, how can he be expected to be there as your support system for the big things? 
  7. You hesitate before telling him something important. You know when something big happens and you immediately think of the person you need to talk to right away? If that person is not your partner, then you have to ask yourself why. Maybe you hesitate before telling him something important because you just know in your gut he’s not going to support you. And that sucks.
  8. He doesn’t answer your textsThere’s nothing more infuriating than someone who doesn’t answer your messages, especially if you really needed to speak to them about something important. It’s like you have to chase him down just to get him to have a real conversation with you. That’s not what a boyfriend should ever do to you.
  9. He doesn’t fill you in. If he’s quite mysterious about things that happen in his life, such as if you have to find out what’s been happening to him through his family or friends, then this actually makes him someone you can’t depend on. Why? Because support is supposed to be a two-way street. If your partner can’t meet you halfway with an open heart and seek your advice on a bad day, then why should you give so much of yourself to him? Don’t put yourself out there for someone who doesn’t do the same for you!
  10. You feel guilty for depending on him. When you need support, you should know your partner is there for you. It’s not a good sign if you feel that you shouldn’t be bothering him or you feel guilty for taking him away from his spare time. What is he doing to make you feel those things? 
  11. Your words get back to you. Ever told your partner something secret and the next thing you knew your friend was texting you about it? That’s scary. If your partner can’t keep what you tell him private, then what kind of boyfriend is he? No, he can’t be trusted and you shouldn’t have him in your life. Period.
  12. He interrogates you. If you talk to him about something bad that happened to you, does he immediately put you on the defensive by throwing out tons of questions? If you feel like you’re the one being interrogated, that’s not OK. Your partner should support you by hearing your side of the story and asking you questions out of a need to greater understand you, not make you feel like you did something wrong.
  13. He makes you feel weak/stupid. You tell your partner that you tripped and fell at work and he says, “Buck up.” Excuse me? That’s certainly not supportive (or funny)! Maybe he even takes things one step further, like making you feel like you’re weak for feeling depressed/sad/lonely. He’s clearly failing you when it comes to emotional support. Never love anyone who makes your feelings invalid.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.