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 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 tough time relaxing and being yourself whenever you’re with this person, that’s a sure sign a toxic relationship is on the horizon. “It’s virtually impossible to experience long-term happiness when someone is not able to be themselves in a relationship,” says Darné. You can only tiptoe, walk on eggshells, or go along to get along to avoid conflict for so long without becoming pretty depressed.
You Always Initiate Contact and Planning
“Whenever you find yourself in a relationship where you’re always the one initiating contact and 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 to maintain the relationship, it’s bound to become painful.
They Remind You of Your Ex
If the person you’re seeing seems eerily similar to past lovers, that’s a red flag. If you constantly date men/women who let you down, 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’ve been dating for a couple of months and haven’t been introduced to their best friends, family, or coworkers, they’re probably not very serious about you and will likely hurt you later. “It’s even worse if you never spend any time together during the day or engage in activities in public places. Staying in and ordering pizza or other takeout 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 socializing, there’s potential for suffering devastating heartache if and when you lose that one person,” says Darné. “If your mate has forced you to distance yourself from loved ones for the sake of your relationship, you’re being set up for a major fall.” Everyone needs an emotional support network that includes friends and family outside of their primary relationship.
They Seem Too Good to be True
Everyone has flaws and imperfections. But be wary of someone who seems a little too perfect, especially if you have a gut feeling that he/she is just telling you what you want to hear, rather than an honest answer that could present complications you’d have to deal with as a couple.