When you’re dating someone new, often you’ll enjoy that “honeymoon stage” for some time. During that stage, you are just completely in love with being in love and your new partner can do no wrong in your eyes. As wonderful as this stage is, sometimes it makes it easy to overlook some of his personality traits and habits that you maybe shouldn’t be so quick to forgive. One of the key traits of a true life partner is respect. Does he give you the respect you deserve to have from your man? To help you keep a clear head about him, here’s some warning signs you should look for, whether your relationship is in the early stages or even if you’ve been dating him for a while already.
1. He never seems to have time for you.
While it’s not realistic to expect him to reply to your every text instantly or to drop work just to come see you anytime you’re feeling down, if he isn’t able to make time for you on a regular basis then something is definitely wrong. Is he making excuses all the time? Do you really believe he’s had to stay late at work for meetings every day this week? If he can’t even bother to answer your calls or texts for days at a time, he’s obviously not putting enough respect and value into your relationship.
2. When he does have time for you, all he wants is to be physical.
Whether you see him every day or if you guys go weeks without seeing each other, if all he wants whenever he sees you is to make out and do sexual things with you, then he is not giving you the respect you deserve. A relationship is about meeting all of each other’s needs. While sexual needs are included, so should be the emotional and mental needs of everyone in the relationship. If you seem to be more of a friend-with-benefits than a girlfriend, he doesn’t respect you as anything more than a body to give him pleasure.
3. He tries to force you into sexual activity.
In line with the previous warning sign, a huge red flag that he doesn’t respect you is if he tries to coerce you into doing sexual things with him, even if you’ve already told him you aren’t comfortable with them or just want to wait until you know each other better. Whether he tries to charmingly talk you into doing it or he actually tries to employ physical force, if you’ve said no already and he doesn’t back off right away, that’s a bold indication that he doesn’t respect you. You are not his plaything, and if you’re not ready to do something with him or even if you have already slept with him before but you’re not in the mood today, no man who respects you would ever try to force you. Remember, consent is a requirement, not an option, for sexual relations.
4. He keeps secrets from you.
Whether they are small, such as what time he actually got home from his parents’ house, or big, such as where he actually was when he told you he was at his parents’ house, you don’t lie to someone that you respect. Even if you tell yourself that it’s no big deal, it wasn’t a major lie, or it only happened once, that’s not acceptable behavior to accept. Relationships are about trusting each other, how can you trust someone who doesn’t respect you enough to be honest, even about the little things?
5. He doesn’t ask for your input when making decisions.
If you are affected by the decision being made, you should have a say—end of story. If he’s always telling you what movie you two are going to see without bothering to ask what you’re interested in, or if he’s invited other people over on your date night without consulting you first, be careful. If he’s already controlling over the small things, you might eventually find yourself stuck in a future that you had no say over. A respectful boyfriend will care about your thoughts and feelings enough to discuss decisions with you before making them, no matter how small.
6. He frequently checks out other women in front of you.
Now, I know it’s supposed to be normal for even guys in happily committed relationships to occasionally let their eyes wander, and as long as they don’t act on it many women employ a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy. But if you catch him doing it all the time, right in front of you, it’s clear that he isn’t respecting your feelings. And that is doubly true if it gets to the point where he makes comments out loud about how hot he finds another woman or you observe him being too touchy-feely with other women. No woman wants to feel like she’s just there until something prettier comes along, and a guy who makes you feel that way doesn’t respect you.
7. He treats you differently, depending on who is around.
Maybe he’s the perfect gentleman to you when you guys are around your friends or family, but if his personality changes when he’s around his own friends, take note of that as a warning sign. If he often makes degrading jokes about you in front of his friends, even if he makes it seem like it’s all in good fun, speak up for yourself. Your man should never make you feel worthless about yourself, not even if he tries to pass it off as a joke. If this becomes a habit for him in front of certain people, he obviously cares more about their opinions of him than he does about how you feel.
8. He never apologizes for anything, he just tries to shift the blame.
If a guy respects you, he will recognize when he’s unintentionally hurt you and will want to make amends. If you find that your guy always avoids making apologies and is instead always trying to blame someone or something else, or even trying to blame you for his inappropriate behavior, that should come off as a warning sign to you. If he won’t take responsibility for his own words and actions and instead tries to make you feel guilty for being hurt, that’s emotional abuse and a definite sign that he does not respect you.
Take a step back and try to see your man and your relationship from an unbiased standpoint. If you find him to be exhibiting any or all of these personality habits, it might be time to rethink your relationship with him. At the very least, talk with him and tell him how his behavior makes you feel. If he really cares about you then he will be able to change and treat you with respect; if he doesn’t, then is he really worth being with?
Plus, a word of warning, ladies: watch for this kind of behavior in yourself as well. Could it be that you aren’t giving your guy the respect he deserves? Remember that respect in a relationship is a two-way street. It isn’t just that you need a guy to respect you; for things to work between the two of you, you’ll need to afford him the same level of respect.