I’ve written about the importance of fiscal responsibility before. Everyone has a right to spend their money how they want to–but I personally value someone who can manage their money and make wise decisions.
My boyfriend was in grad school at the time and he was not making a lot of money. I have no problem being the breadwinner and I often paid for our dates. We didn’t live together or anything. He was always complaining about being broke and how hard it was.
Every single time we went out–he bought me a bouquet of flowers. I understand that some girls would find this a cute gesture–and maybe it was sweet the first couple times, but then it started to get annoying. It would be one thing if money were not an issue and he were responsible with it. But he would complain about being broke, not be able to even take me to dinner, I paid for every meal and yet he was throwing money down the drain with these flowers. I never had the heart to tell him that although I appreciated it, he was wasting his money and should definitely start saving instead.
I’m not saying the person I am with has to be incredibly gregarious or anything. It was definitely a red flag when I slowly realized that my boyfriend had no real friends. I believe in quality over quantity and I have met several people over the years. I have managed to stay in close contact with people from high school, people from college and I have a couple of great friends where I live.
My boyfriend wasn’t a complete hermit or anything–he was social and we would go out but the people I met were superficial friends, who just talked about surface stuff. It came up that he does not keep up with anyone from high school, or college or grad school. He just meets people in the city he lives to hang out with. There is nothing wrong with that–but who would you talk to if you were going through a hard time? And no one reaches out to you when they are having a hard time?
None of this is insanely bad, I just personally value people and the good friends I know I can rely on through everything and I did see it as a red flag that he had no one like that.
My friend was dating this guy who had absolutely no respect for her feelings. This was most evident when she made a simple request for him to not mention things they discussed in private. Even if it was something small, like her mom going on several different weight loss programs. He would mention it when we were in a group of friends “her mom is struggling with her weight too and has tried all kinds of crazy diets!”
She wouldn’t say anything at the time but when they were in private she would say “could you not mention that my mom is struggling with her weight? I would prefer if people didn’t know that.” And his response would always be “why not?” Well, because it’s personal. “but why?” Because my mom probably doesn’t want her weight issues publicized “why not?”
This went on with a plethora of issues–everything from my friend thinking about going back to school to get her masters, to really personal family issues. She wasn’t mad that he brought it up–just wanted him to know how she felt about him bringing it up in the future. A normal, respectful person would say “oh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize it was underwraps, I won’t say anything again.” And she would say it’s not a big deal and they would move on.
But the guy my friend was dating had too much of an ego and completely lack of empathy to remotely respect her wishes and could not wrap his head around something being private or personal.
This was the first guy I dated after getting out of a serious relationship. I was so proud of myself for getting back out there and realizing it’s not so bad. I really liked this guy but I was determined to move slow and I definitely was not ready to get into a relationship right away. We had gone on about three or four dates so I figured it was about time he knew where I stood.
During dinner I told him briefly about my past relationship and why it didn’t work out and what I am looking for in the next person I date. I told him I really like him but I wanted to take things slow and see where it goes since I really am not ready to be someone’s girlfriend again. I was very honest. It was really hard for me as the post-serious-relationship-conversation date always is!
He said calmly “are you breaking up with me?” First of all, I don’t think you can “break up” with someone you’ve been on three dates with, but I didn’t say that. Instead I said no, I just wanted him to know how I feel. And he said again “but are you breaking up with me?” And again I said no-I just wanted him to know how I feel. A third time he said “so, wait. You’re not breaking up with me?”
And then I realized that during my little speech he probably wasn’t even listening! He assumed it was the break up speech so zoned out and panicked and that’s all he gathered from it. It was really frustrating for me since it took a lot for me to put my feelings out on the line; instead it was met with him zoning out and all he wanted at the end was to confirm it was not a break up. Not that he appreciated my honesty or understood me–just “are we breaking up?”
People with anger issues is a red flag in and of itself–but my boyfriend at the time had major road rage. Everyone honks or gets mad at the people around them once in awhile, but this guy would stare at them and show them the finger and he literally would roll down the window and yell at people.
It made me so uncomfortable. Other than the fact that he was mostly a mellow guy and somehow felt protected in his vehicle–it made me feel really unsafe. My boyfriend was not a huge dude–what if someone followed him, or rear-ended us or (God Forbid) had a gun?
I never said anything since the last thing you should do with an angry person is tell them being angry is bad. So I kind of just kept it to myself. People’s true colors show when they are angry. If he’s that mad at random people in other cars, what is going to happen if we get into a serious fight?
My friend was dating this guy–right before the “relationship talk” point. Dating but not boyfriend/girlfriend yet. She lived alone and when she came home from work her house had been broken into and everything was a mess. She panicked and called the police. Then she called the guy she was dating–she could tell by the call that he had hit “ignore” but she knew he had a meeting that night. The police got there and she made the report, but she was still alone and it was a terrible thing to deal with by herself. A few minutes after the first call, she called again, and again it was met with “ignore.” She was so flustered she never texted or left a voicemail–just wanted to talk to him.
After the police left and she was alone again, she called him a third time and it was also ignored. She was not sure what time his meeting ended but was sure he would call her back when it was over. Generally 3 missed calls within a few minutes is bad news, and the person seriously needs to get in touch.
He finally got out of his meeting and instead of calling he texted saying “wow, three calls, that’s a bit much, no?”
So instead of realizing it was important and serious, like most people would if a friend, or person you are dating called three times within a few minutes, he assumed she was being needy, clingy and did not even bother to call her back. After having a rough night, this was the last thing she needed, but glad she found out he was an irreliable A** before they made the relationship official.
My friend met this guy online. He seemed great on paper so she met him in person and he was actually really good looking. She asked him why he’s online dating and he said (totally seriously) “I’m clumsy, I’m forgetful and I’m not that smart.” Wow, way to sell yourself on the first date. It was definitely a turn off for her to meet a man with absolutely no self-confidence.
I dated this guy who, in hindsight probably had a little bit of a “manic” problem. We would go places and visit friends in a different city and he would talk about all the amazing stuff we would do.
One time in particular, we went to go visit his friends I had never met a couple hours away. “We can go here, we can go there, we can eat at this cool restaurant I heard about.” When he was talking I was confused about how we would fit everything into one weekend but I thought I would just go with it, since it was really more of his trip.
So we slept over at his friend’s house, ended up waking up kind of late, hung out and lounged around all morning. I was anxious to get going, because of all the things we had planned, but since it was his friends and his idea to come visit I didn’t want to be rude. I am not joking when I say we didn’t leave the apartment until about 5pm, went to ONE museum and ONE restaurant, slept over again, didn’t leave the house till around 2pm and then drove back.
It was an insanely boring weekend and he didn’t even seem to realize that he had said we were going to do stuff, but really ended up doing almost nothing.
I have said this before, but I am absolutely not a health nut. I do believe in moderate exercise and a balanced diet and generally just try to take care of myself. It is totally fine for my significant other to not be super into healthy food–but my boyfriend was absolutely and completely against any remotely healthy food.
He did not eat one fruit or vegetable the entire time we were together–if he thought something was healthy (like a smoothie) he would reject it. He would leave the fruits (even a cherry) on the plate after a dessert. Since I am not a healthy nut, I don’t cook super healthy meals, just normal stuff. When I would make pasta or something like that, he would eat all of it and literally eat around the vegetables and leave them in the bowl.
You are not three years old! Call me crazy but vegetables in something like pasta or soup taste pretty much like everything else in the bowl. He was deliberately eating around it since the idea of eating something remotely good for his health repulsed him.