In every new relationship there are possible warning signs. You know the ones, girls. The ones you try ever so hard to make excuses for. The ones where your instincts tell you something is up, but you don’t say anything. You don’t want to rock the boat after all. You’re hoping that down the road things will be different. You’re telling yourself that “once the weekend comes,” or you guys “go up to the cottage,” or take off on “that great trip” you’ve been planning, things will be just fine.
Stop making excuses. Look at the clear, red flags right in front of your face. For this, you can thank me later.
If your partner is doing one (or more of) the following, it’s time to reevaluate him and your relationship:
He reaches for his iPad before he reaches for you in the morning, or checks his emails in bed before saying good morning to you
This is a clear sign that you come second. His instincts don’t even tell him to have physical contact with you before his electronics, and the outside world.
His phone is never charged
This is a sign that he won’t be there to depend on if and when you need him. A man who cares about you and your needs will always do his best to make himself available to you. If he doesn’t make the effort to plug his phone in each day and doesn’t reach out to you from a landline at work, this shows that he cares more about himself than you.
He doesn’t give you reassurance when you need it most
If you are feeling insecure about something and confide that in him, and he tells you you’re being crazy (ahem, name-calling!) instead of reassuring you, it shows he doesn’t care (or understand) your feelings. The guy that overlooks your needs won’t ever be able to fulfill them, because he hasn’t processed your concerns and has written them off instead.
He wakes up early so decides to head into the office, but then doesn’t come home any earlier—he still stays late at work
This shows you he’d rather spend his free time working than with you. A guy who wants to be with you will use his free time focusing his energy and efforts with you, not without you.
You ask to see his phone (a sign you don’t trust him to begin with) and he refuses to show it to you
When a man is in a committed relationship, his main focus should be his partner’s emotional well-being. If you are concerned, and just seeing his phone will help you get over these concerns, he should be willing to show it to you with open arms.
You upload posts or photos onto his Facebook page and he deletes them
A partner shouldn’t find the need to hide you from his page. Ever heard the term “I’m so happy I want to scream it from the top of a mountain?” The guy who is with you, that uses Facebook for things other than work, should be proud to have your comments and wit on his page, as it is a reflection of him.
Instead of answering your queries or concerns, he gets defensive
A partner who has nothing to hide is more likely to indulge in effective communication as opposed to shutting you down, stonewalling you, or getting defensive.
He tells you everything you want to hear during a talk—then doesn’t follow through on anything
Actions speak louder than words. Yes it’s nice to hear him say exactly what you were hoping he would (especially since confrontation is a bitch and the conversation could’ve gone either way), but when he shows you time and time again that he isn’t listening, don’t get caught up in his words.
The fact of the matter is this: when things aren’t right, the signs are usually right in front of our very eyes. But, because these signs don’t match the image we have of our partner, and who we think we are as a couple, we almost block ourselves from seeing clear truths.
But, as we defend our partner’s behaviour with the hope that they will change, we are actually showing them that they can continue to do these things. Early on in relationships, you train people how to treat you.
So, if something feels off, or if your instincts tell you something is wrong, trust yourself. Listen to your friends, get an outsider’s opinion, and be realistic about your relationship.
Though it feels great to be in a partnership—and the idea of separating may seem impossible—it’s important to reevaluate your wants and needs, and not settle for anything less.
Jen Kirsch is a relationship expert, columnist and blogger. For quick tips and tricks follow her on Twitter @BlondeBronzed. Read her posts every Tuesday on Slice.ca.