11 personality traits in a man that are definitely red flags

by Isabel Cabrera | April 22, 2024, 11:14 pm

Are you dating someone and getting that nagging feeling that something might not be quite right? 

We’ve all been there, wondering if we’re seeing things clearly or if we’re just overthinking. Relationships can be tricky, and it’s essential to trust your instincts. 

So, what’s the solution? Being informed and knowing the signs. 

The purpose of dating is not just to have fun, although that’s a big part of it. It’s also to find out if this person is someone you can see yourself with long-term. 

And to do that, you have to know the red flags that should make you turn around and walk away.

That’s why today, we’re diving into 11 personality traits in a man that are definitely, undeniably red flags. These traits might help you spot those warning signs early on and empower you to make the best choices for your love life. 

Let’s get started!

1) Controlling

If he’s dictating what you should wear, who you should hang out with, or how you should spend your time, that’s a clear red flag. 

An important part of any healthy relationship is freedom—freedom to be yourself, to make your own choices. A man who is overly controlling is trying to limit that freedom.

Being overly controlling can even be disguised as concern. He might say things like, “I just want what’s best for you.” 

But don’t be fooled. There’s a difference between caring for someone and trying to control their every move. Control isn’t love; it’s a sign of insecurity.

2) Overly jealous

Speaking of control, one other trait that points to that is an overly jealous streak. 

Don’t get me wrong, a little bit of jealousy can be flattering, sure, and it’s definitely normal, according to The Couples Center

But when it crosses a line, it becomes concerning. You know it’s too much when he: 

  • Has unwarranted suspicions
  • Gets upset when you talk to other guys or have close male friends
  • Checks in with you and questions you constantly
  • Invades your privacy
  • Needs to be with you all the time

Unchecked jealousy can morph into possessiveness, and that’s a no-go. A healthy relationship doesn’t involve feeling like you have to defend your actions constantly.

Nor should you feel like you have to constantly listen to his criticisms…

3) Overly critical

Constructive criticism is one thing, but constant criticism aimed to tear you down is something else entirely. 

If he’s always pointing out your flaws or telling you how you could be “better,” it’s a sign he doesn’t value you for who you are.

What’s more, it could also be a form of control. The aim is often to lower your self-esteem so that you think you can’t do better than him. 

This is manipulative behavior and definitely a red flag. You deserve to be with someone who appreciates you, flaws and all. 

4) Disrespectful

This one’s a no-brainer, but it’s always good to share a little reminder that you should never tolerate any form of disrespect. 

If you feel disrespected, it’s more than just a hunch; it’s a sign that the relationship needs a serious evaluation.

The tricky part is, disrespect can take many forms, some blatant and others more subtle. Constant criticism is one, but here are some other ways: 

  • Talking over you in conversations
  • Disregarding your opinions or decisions
  • Using demeaning or belittling language towards you
  • Ignoring your calls or texts without explanation
  • Making plans without consulting you
  • Publicly criticizing/humiliating/mocking you
  • Not taking “no” for an answer in any context
  • Comparing you negatively to other people
  • Invading your personal space or privacy

Regardless of how it manifests, it’s a major red flag and an immediate reason to take a step back and reconsider the relationship. 

Nobody’s perfect, but they should at least be kind and respectful. You should feel valued, heard, and respected. 

Don’t. Settle. For. Less.

5) Poor listening skills

A good relationship requires communication, which is a two-way street. If you find that he’s always talking about himself but never takes the time to listen to you, that’s a problem.

Listening is a form of respect. If he’s not willing to hear your thoughts, feelings, or concerns, then he’s not respecting you. 

A man who listens is a man who cares about you as an individual, not just as a side character in his own life story.

6) Secretive

Transparency is key in any relationship. That’s something I learned a little too late back when I was younger. 

Back then, I was dating a guy who was always a little vague. Whenever I asked him about his plans or how his weekend went, I never seemed to get a straight answer. 

And he was a little too sketchy and possessive with his phone, always putting it face down on the table when we were together. 

At first, I thought, “How nice, he doesn’t want to be distracted while with me!” 

But eventually, I put two and two together and realized that he did it because I might see messages from other women popping up. 

That’s right, turns out, he was dating two other women besides me. I should’ve caught on more quickly, but I was blinded by his charms. 

So take it from me – if your guy is secretive, let that be the red flag it should be. Something’s not right, and there’s no use being in denial about it like I was.

7) Lack of ambition

Okay, this one’s a little tricky as well. Everyone has phases of uncertainty. We don’t always know if we’re on the right track in life. We don’t always feel motivated about our careers. 

But if you notice that your man seems to have a perpetual lack of ambition, that might be something to consider. 

See, drive and ambition are not just attractive qualities. They’re also signs of a person who has goals and a sense of responsibility. 

If he’s indifferent about his career, education, or even basic life plans, you might have to think about his long-term compatibility with you.

You might be completely head over heels right now, but down the road, it could mean that you end up carrying him instead of growing together as a couple.

8) Unreliable

The same goes for unreliability. Is he always late? Does he cancel plans at the last minute without a good reason? 

If he’s unreliable now, just imagine what this could mean for the future.

Being flaky is not just an annoying quirk or habit; it actually shows a lack of respect for your time. 

A relationship might start off with a lot of hope and love, but it can’t go on on broken promises or dashed expectations.

9) Frequent mood swings

We all have our ups and downs, but if your partner’s mood swings are like a rollercoaster with no seat belts, it’s a red flag. It’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but definitely something to watch out for. 

You see, unpredictable and extreme mood changes can make a relationship feel exciting at first. But over time, it can lead to emotional turbulence and leave you feeling constantly on edge.

Address this concern with your partner and encourage them to seek professional help if necessary. Supporting them in managing their emotions is crucial, but your own emotional well-being matters too. 

Remember, a stable and nurturing relationship should provide you with a sense of security and emotional balance.

10) Self-centered

Stable and nurturing – those are two qualities you might not likely get if you’re with a self-centered man. 

If everything always has to be about him—his needs, his wants, his plans—you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of disappointment. 

Think about it – how would you get the support you need for your own goals and dreams? How would you feel loved and cared for? A self-centered partner won’t be likely to give you that. 

It’s no secret that relationships are about compromise and meeting each other halfway. So, being self-centered is a sign that he’s not ready for a serious commitment. 

11) Emotionally immature

Finally, we get to the last red flag you should be concerned about – emotional immaturity

This probably won’t matter so much if you’re dating just for the fun of it. But if you’re looking for something more long-term, best be sure it’s with an emotionally mature man

You want to have someone who: 

  • Doesn’t avoid tough conversations
  • Can apologize when they’re wrong
  • Doesn’t resort to name-calling or petty arguments during conflicts
  • Is willing to compromise
  • Can manage their emotions well, especially anger and frustration
  • Shows empathy and understanding toward your feelings
  • Respects your boundaries and personal space
  • Can express their feelings openly and honestly
  • Listens attentively and takes your concerns seriously

Emotional maturity may not be as easy to spot as a loud personality or a flashy smile, but it’s the trait that makes all the difference in the long run.

Final thoughts

Let’s face it: dating can be complicated. But knowing what to look out for can save you from unnecessary heartache and wasted time. 

No one is perfect, but if you find that your relationship is riddled with these red flags, it may be time to reevaluate and ask yourself if this is really what you want.

Because the ultimate goal isn’t just to find a partner—it’s to find the right partner for you.

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