If you knew someone you were dating was going to break your heart eventually, would you keep dating them? Save yourself some potentially significant pain and anguish by keeping an eagle eye out for the types of behaviors that indicate they’re the type of person who will hurt their S.O. Keep in mind that taken individually, these things might not seem hugely problematic, but altogether, they point to something deeper. And if these things are happening at the start of a relationship, they’re almost guaranteed to get worse later on.
The 14 behaviors below are dead giveaways that the person you’re seeing now will likely let you down in a major way one day.
You’re Always Trying to Read Their Mind
Instead of a dialogue about issues, your partner acts pissed or gives you the silent treatment in an effort to have you guess what they want. “This passive-aggressive behavior locks you out and raises your anxiety, making you feel like a failure for not guessing correctly or forcing you to wonder ‘what you did wrong.’ It is a way of controlling the other person as a precursor to abuse,” says relationship psychotherapist Dr. Fran Walfish.
You’re Opposites in Every Major Way
There are times when you might be attracted to someone because you’re fascinated by how different you are, says relationship expert and author Kevin Darné. “Early on this may seem like an exciting pairing, but as time goes on power struggles are likely to develop as each seeks to change the other.” Find someone who shares your values, wants the same things for the relationship, and agrees with you (at least on most counts) about how to pursue and live out these goals.
They Don’t Prioritize You
Work, friends, the gym, whatever—if these things derail your plans or come before you regularly, proceed with caution. “If they aren’t interested in integrating into your life or getting to know the people who make up your support network, it’s a sign they’re not invested in your future together,” says couples therapist Tracy K. Ross.
They’re Jealous or Possessive
Often these behaviors may be considered cute or flattering in the beginning of a relationship. “However, over time, these actions can become extremely controlling and possibly include threats and physical violence,” says Darné. Bottom line: Spotting stuff like this in the first weeks or months of dating almost never bodes well for a stable, secure, loving relationship later on.
You Question Their Honesty
A clear sign you’re falling for someone who will eventually hurt you is if you can never be sure if they’re forthcoming with the whole truth, says Walfish. And while you may not be sure, you try really hard to convince yourself that they’re being honest—even if your gut and other facts indicate otherwise. That’s never a fun feeling, so you’d be wise to take a hard look at whether it’s worth continuing to see someone who you can’t be sure is being transparent with you.
You Always Take the Blame
If you find yourself shouldering responsibility for issues that really aren’t your fault, it’s a sign you’re falling for someone who will treat you worse later on. “It is an extremely manipulative behavior on the part of the abuser, which stimulates fear, anxiety, guilt, or shame in the vulnerable victim,” says Walfish.
You’re Not Yourself Around Them
If you have a difficult time relaxing and being yourself whenever you’re with this person that is a sure sign a toxic relationship is on the horizon. “It is virtually impossible to experience long-term happiness when someone is not able to be them self in a relationship,” says Darné. One can only tip toe, walk on eggshells, or go along to get along to avoid conflict for only so long without becoming extremely depressed.
You Always Initiate Contact and Planning
“Whenever you find yourself in a relationship where you are always the one initiating contact, coming up with ideas for keeping the romance alive eventually you’ll give up,” says Darné. Once you realize you’re truly alone when it comes to making the effort maintain the relationship it’s bound to be painful.
They Remind You of Your Ex
If the person you like seems to be eerily similar to your past lovers, then it is a red flag. If you constantly date men/women who hurt you and let you down, you want to find someone who breaks your “type.” If the phrase “same person, different face” defines your love life, it’s time to reevaluate your choices.
You Haven’t Met Their Friends
If you’re dating someone for a couple of months and have not been introduced to their best friends, family, or coworkers it’s a sign they’re not serious about you and will likely hurt you later on. “It’s even worse if you never spend any time together during the day or engage in any daytime activities in public places. Staying in and ordering pizza or other take-out food whenever you’re together most likely means you’re considered a “booty call”,” says Darné.
You Feel Distant from Friends and Family
“Anytime you become completely dependent on one person for love, companionship, and socialization there is potential for suffering a devastating heartache,” says Darné. “If your mate has forced you to distance yourself from loved ones for the sake of maintaining a relationship you’re being setup for a major fall.”
Everyone needs an emotional support group consisting of close friends and family outside of their primary relationship.
You Bend Over Backwards for Them
In this scenario, the controlling partner asks the victim to do something for them, saying they can’t do it for themselves. You find yourself doing whatever it is they need. “However, whatever the victim does is met with harsh criticism instead of praising any good faith effort,” says Walfish.
You Make Excuses for Their Behavior
You would never have thought you’d fall for someone who say, doesn’t have a job, but you do and make excuses for them at the same time! “He/she seems like an underachiever – they make excuses for how they messed up or why they aren’t where they feel they should be in life and you accept it,” says Ross.
They Seem Too Good to be True
Everyone has flaws and imperfections. Be wary of someone who seems a little too perfect, especially if you have a gut feeling that he/she is telling you what you want to hear.