Every woman knows there are certain men to avoid while dating because they come with the big, glaring red flags of a toxic relationship.
Some of these types of toxic men are obvious: The serial cheater, the abuser, the liar, the man who demands sex because he bought you dinner at a fancy restaurant …
Certain dating red flags are bright, obvious, and waving in your face. But what about the relationship red flags you might not notice?
There are those that are more subtle, like the tiny ones the electrical company shoves in the grass before they dig … But that doesn’t mean you can’t spot them if you know where to look and how to spot those red flags in a relationship before you get in too deep.
So next time you ask, “Should I date him?” make sure he doesn’t have these toxic relationship red flags!
Here are 5 types of toxic men you should avoid dating at all costs (and the big red flags that come with them):
1. He’s already married or “taken”
Sure, it goes without saying that this man is off limits, but it’s going to be said anyway. Sometimes, women find themselves with a married man because that man insists that he won’t be married for long.
Couple that with genuine, real feelings, and turning away is easier said than done. But more times than not, this situation only leads to heartbreak.
It’s pretty rare that the third wheel becomes the main wheel, though it can happen. The best thing to do — if you’re in this situation — is to step back and let him fix his own mess.
Once he does that (or, more accurately, if he does that) and becomes single, the road reopens. But until it does, consider this as nothing but a dead end.
2. He’s on the rebound
Unless he’s a basketball player, you should want nothing to do with a guy on the rebound.
Think of yourself when you’re on the rebound: Are you truly ready to date? Are you all in? Can you give yourself emotionally? … Or are you just biding time so you don’t have to feel alone?
People on the rebound (both men and women) are not usually available for long-term, serious commitments. They’re still mired in the grief process and moving through their own loss.
Rebounders don’t hold onto the proverbial ball the entire game; they get rid of it as soon as the opportunity presents.
3. He isn’t independent
We all know that this is a bit of a stereotype: The deadbeat son living in their parents’ basement, hair a mess, and fingers covered with Cheeto dust.
But the stereotype is purely hyperbolic. These days, it’s not uncommon to see all sorts of people, from the immature to the wildly successful, still living underneath their parents’ roof.
There are still many reasons this is problematic. First of all, no woman wants to have sex with her partner while his parents watch Jeopardy! in the next room. (“I’ll take ‘I Wish I Wasn’t a Screamer’ for $1000.”)
But the real reason is that a guy still living at home is a guy who does not have his stuff together.
This isn’t to say he’s terrible; on the contrary, he may be nice, handsome, empathetic, and funny. But he’s not really available if he can’t support himself.
He’s still in a boyhood mentality and that is a giant red flag — it’s plastered to the wall of his childhood bedroom right next to his Winger poster.
You don’t want a boy, you want a man. Why? Because you want to be someone’s partner; you don’t want to be their mother.
4. He’s a “broken bird” for you to fix
The Broken Bird is the guy who has been through some really hard times. He might be depressed or defeated or just plain down on his luck.
When women get involved with broken birds, they end up with poop all over their windshields … at least in the metaphorical sense.
You automatically step into the role of savior and you end up not dating a guy for who he is. Rather, you date him for who he could be.
This dynamic sets the stage for improper boundaries and prevents you from protecting yourself. The best relationships are those where two partners are equal; not those where one person is trying to restore the other. Remodeling might work in old houses. In people? Not so much.
5. He’s a “spin artist” who manipulates your feelings
The Spin Artist is, at heart, a liar … but he’s a subtle one. He lies early and often in the relationship by telling you bits and part of the truth or maybe a variation of it.
He might lie by omission or only reveal a portion of the story that justifies his actions, which makes him sound like he always comes out on top.
He always has an excuse and a slippery presence that leaves you uneasy — though you might not be able to put your finger on exactly why, at first.
He might say something hurtful and, when you react to that hurt, claim you’re being too sensitive. He might do something deceitful and then blame you for “not getting over it.”
He might even lie to you over and over and then roll his eyes when you tell him that you can’t trust him. He dodges accountability at all costs.
You should dodge him the same way.