So you’re looking for the red flags in men. I can help you with that.
The first thing to know is that red flags need to be considered within the right context.
There are two contexts that are important here:
- The context of dating (including online dating red flags); and
- The context of an established relationship
I’m going to give you the top 3 biggest red flags in men when dating that you should be wary of.
These three encompass everything toxic, dangerous and low value about men you’ve just started to get to know (or date).
I’ve boiled these three down to what’s most important. Everything else that’s bad about modern dating comes from these three red flags.
If you ignore these red flags, you’ll see your dating life downward spiral fast.
After these, I’ll go through the most important red flags in a relationship with a man.
Please… Be Smart About Dating…
As a woman dating in this sometimes confusing and superficial era, you really have to be smart in the way you go about dating.
And you have to be particularly smart when online dating, because you are getting to know someone through a screen initially.
As such, you don’t get to witness all the little nuances in body language, speech and eye movement that you may observe when first meeting someone in person.
Dating apps are a haven for scammers, narcissists, players and yes, adulterous married men too.
However, we can’t let this fact take away from all the truly high value men, the great men online who are really sitting there waiting to get to know you.
Yes, they exist. And I’ll show you exactly how to connect to the souls of these truly great men later on in this article.
But first, we have to get really clear on the actual meaning of a red flag. Definitions might seem tiresome, but they are important for:
- Keeping ideas and solutions clear
- And so that you (we) don’t veer off track
Red Flag Meaning
Merriam Webster defines a red flag as:
A warning signal or sign.
Something that indicates or draws attention to a problem, danger, or irregularity.
Basically, a red flag is something that should make you pay attention and show concern towards.
Don’t gloss over the most important red flags in men, as you’ll pay for it later.
The Top 3 Red Flags In Men, Dating Specific
Let’s discuss the three biggest red flags now.
If you’re doing online dating, my husband also has a great article on this topic. Here’s the 1 GIANT Red Flag that All Women Routinely Fall For in Online Dating.
And here’s a video I made on the 3 Biggest Red Flags in Guys.
#1: He’s Not Attuned To You.
If you already understand the concept of attunement, you’ll understand the value of attunement when dating men.
If you are not attuned to a man, or he is not attuned to you, there will be trouble in your future.
The reason for this is that when there’s no attunement:
- There’s no hope for falling in love, for either of you
- There’s definitely no relationship on the horizon. You can count on that; and
- A lack of attunement is much more likely to lead to a transactional relationship, which will deplete you whilst also making you feel used and unloved
The definition of attunement is:
To bring into harmony.
In all healthy relationships, there is plenty of attunement.
For two people to form a genuine connection and fall in love, there has to be attunement.
Think of attunement like this. It is the act (and art) of responding to someone and being on the same page as them.
Kind of like meeting them where they are at.
Where there’s attunement, the following toxic behaviors are unlikely to be present:
- Controlling behavior
- Abusive behavior
- And gaslighting
For A Man To Fall In Love With You, THIS Ingredient Must Be Present…
When two people are in love, they attune to each other naturally, and the roles are switched very naturally too.
So, you do or say something. He responds with laughter, compassion or his presence in some way.
He does or says something, and you respond with laughter, compassion or presence in some way.
The more a man is only dating for himself and what he can get out of the situation, the less responsive and attuned he will be to you.
Are you starting to see why a lack of attunement is one of the biggest red flags in guys?
The less a man responds to you and the less you respond to him, the more the relationship breaks down.
A narcissistic or abusive man won’t have the capacity to be attuned to you and meet you where you are at.
Because they are only looking to take (or milk you of what you’re willing to give) for themselves.
A scammer would also not be able to be attuned to you.
A player, a man who is only there looking for the sex he can get, will not be attuned to you.
A man with crippling low self esteem would not be able to be attuned to you, even if he tries.
Because he simply won’t be able to offer his presence, or his responsiveness.
Attunement should be present in all healthy relationships.
All enviable relationships have the critical ingredient of attunement.
The more attunement there is, the stronger the relationship and the more trust there will be between the two souls in that relationship.
Men Who Want To CONNECT With You Will Prioritise Attunement
A man who is genuine in wanting to actually connect with you, and get to know you, will prioritise attuning himself to you naturally.
This means he will respond to your jokes, your chatter, your questions and your energy at least 70% of the time.
He won’t just ignore you or give you flat energy.
By flat energy, I mean he doesn’t seem to value the conversation enough to keep it going.
He lets the conversation momentum die repeatedly over time. In other words, talking to him is like beating a dead horse.
Now, of course, all conversations lose momentum. We’re adults here. We have things to do. We have lives to live and responsibilities to attend to.
This is why I said he will respond to you at least 70% of the time.
The other times, he may be at work, exhausted, running out of energy or words, and maybe he just plain does not get your communication.
If you’re communicating with a guy but feeling unsure about his intentions, here are 5 revealing questions you can ask him to find out.
I also recommend you read my article on how to tell what a guy wants from you.
A Lack Of Attunement Is A Huge Red Flag In Online Dating
Now, this particular red flag of lack of attunement applies very much in online dating.
If you’re serious about online dating successfully, then you should be testing for attunement in each and every man that you are interested in having a conversation with.
If you don’t test, you can end up in the wrong kinds of situationships with men.
How do you test? By using high value banter.
You initiate a conversation with a man that you are interested in using playful, high value banter. (Here’s an article on what banter is and how to get good at it.)
Why does banter help test men?
Because it introduces a sense of spontaneity into the interactions, making it very difficult for players and narcissists to keep up their facade.
In fact, narcissists and controlling men are usually revealed very quickly through high value banter, because they cannot handle the spontaneity.
This banter method was created specifically for women to use online to weed out the low value men and connect with the high value men!
And if you visit the high value banter page, you’ll see that so many women have had success with using it.
They are getting asked out on dates super fast and the dates are with high value men, not duds.
This is how effective high value banter is at eliminating the nasties online. We’ve done many case studies with women who have used it with great success.
You should check one out, as these were were exactly where you are once:
Click here to watch an amazing case study with Kristin and Learn how Kristin went from being completely burnt out with online dating, sick of getting ghosted & exhausted from giving her heart and soul with nothing in return… to having high value men begging for her attention & having the most “electric” date of her entire life. (…All by changing one simple thing.)
#2: He Puts No Effort Into His Online Dating Bio Or In Talking To You
If a man doesn’t put any effort into the most basic thing – his online dating profile or bio – then he is not serious about connecting with you.
Nor is he serious about the process of online dating.
Not putting effort into writing anything compelling in his dating profile bio is evidently an online dating red flag.
Because if he had the intent to connect as a human, he’d write something that would allow women to connect to him or learn more about him.
Also, if you find that he puts zero effort into the conversation with you, then conclude that he isn’t actually there to converse.
He isn’t there to connect, which is one of the warning signs that a man is there to take from you, not connect with you.
But it’s a warning sign of bad intentions, too…
What’s The Intention Of Men Who Don’t Put Effort Into Their Dating Profile?
Why would a man try to online date without putting any effort into his online dating profile and bio?
- Because he’s just there to look at (gawk at) profiles
- To pick up easy women, or
- Just for the excitement of having random conversations with strangers (that may stroke his ego)
Remember: you’re not doing online dating to just pass the time.
You’re doing it to be able to connect with someone, in the hope that it will lead to something more. Ie: a healthy relationship!
So the most basic requirement for you as a woman, would be that the man is willing to connect on some level with you, true?
CLICK here to discover how online dating has completely changed and why you as a woman need to use “High Value Banter” in order to quickly weed out the wrong types of men online and create emotional attraction with the “BEST of MEN”!
(…Even if no man has ever given you any love and all you’ve encountered so far are pen pals, ghosts, booty calls, and duds!)
My man David runs this free class and I highly recommend you listen to it.
#3: He Panders To Women’s Need For A Relationship & Commitment.
This can also be known as love bombing, and this red flag goes for in person dating as well as online dating.
Love bombing entails him:
- Making too many promises; and
- Giving you far more attention, praise, and gifts than are normally appropriate in the early stages of dating
Love bombing or pandering to your need for commitment also involves him talking a lot about commitment.
If a man talks about a commitment very early on in the dating process, that’s a red flag.
Simple, but useful fact: NO man is ready for commitment in the first conversation online, or even in the first few weeks of meeting you.
When men pander to your need for a commitment or marriage too early, it’s a strategy that some men use in order to scam you.
They may scam you in order to get money from you, to get into your pants, or fast track his way to sex with you.
Here’s an example. A lady posted this in my facebook group.
And this is what she had to say about this text she received:
“I just started talking to this guy a few days ago and the texts are non stop. I suggested we have a picnic for our first date at a nearby lake (it is a very populated lake) and this is his response. I feel overwhelmed…”
See the keywords in his first texts “I would actually enjoy that especially with you.”
Especially with you? They just started talking! This kind of language plays to a woman’s need for exclusivity (ie: signals of commitment) far too early.
And another one:
“You know if you keep thinking of these kind of things to do together I might fall head-over-heels for you.”
Fall “head over heels?”
Really, now? Come on.
Men Who Fake Early Attachment & Romance…
No man falls head over heels in love with a woman just for suggesting special things to do (before they have even met).
This kind of early attachment in relation to suggestions for sweet or romantic dates tends to be a bias that women have, not men!
And the final kicker:
“I debated (read: deleted) my account because I want to give you a 150% of my attention…”
This is all too much, too soon.
Too much “exclusivity signaling” is what I would like to call it. He’s sending signals that they can be exclusive, way before he should.
Try to remember that it is simply not possible to skip over all the natural steps and milestones in dating…
(By the way, if you find yourself attaching to a man too early like many other women do, I recommend you watch this free video my husband and I made (It will help you say goodbye to the heartbreaking reality of you being attached to a man without him being attached to you!)
Now that we’ve covered the most important red flags in men (dating specific), we’ll get into the biggest red flags in a relationship with a man.
7 Red flags In A Relationship With A Man
Gaslighting is the universal tool of all controlling people, man or woman.
The thing to know about gaslighting is that it’s something that’s hard to escape. Especially when you’ve gotten stuck in a relationship with a narcissistic gaslighter.
What are signs of gaslighting?
- Telling you didn’t see or hear something when you did
- Trying to make you feel like you don’t know anything (or are incapable of knowing or learning anything)
- He minimizes your feelings
- He tells you he did something horrible “for your own good” (More: 12 Narcissistic Gaslighting Examples & How to Stop It.)
- Intentionally sending mixed signals
#2: He Has Crippling Low Self Esteem
The reason I say it’s a silent killer of relationships is that low self esteem comes out in toxic ways that are likely to affect you, as his partner.
Low self esteem causes men to:
- Not fully appreciate a woman’s feminine radiance (therefore making you feel less radiant, confident and loved)
- Be sexually controlling and coercive; and
- Keep you small in order to limit your options and keep you chained to him
By the way, would you like to work out how naturally feminine you are at your core, you can do so with our quick and easy quiz: QUIZ TIME: Are you truly living in your feminine energy? CLICK HERE to find out with my specially crafted 9 Question Quiz!
#3: He Uses Money As A Tool To Control You
This is a form of gaslighting of course, but it’s also a power grab.
If your man works but you don’t, or if he makes more money than you do, and he won’t let you forget it, there’s a reason for that.
It’s to keep you down, and to ensure that you don’t become any more capable or any more free in your life than he feels comfortable with.
#4: He’s Image Focused, Not Relationship Focused
Yeah, there’s nothing good about an image focused man. Why?
Because his image is never about you, and it’s never about the relationship.
It’s about minimizing his own vulnerability to the world, and it’s about appearing as high status as possible (even when he’s not at all).
Being focused on his image invariably breaks down the trust in your relationship because it creates disconnection.
Signs he’s image focused?
When he tries to control how you look, or tries to change your weight, makeup or style.
When he gets angry over you downgrading his image in some way.
#5: He Hits You
People rarely ever do anything once.
Sure, we all make mistakes in relationships.
He hit you.
So, that means it’s within the realm of acceptable in his mind.
And it’s never acceptable. Except when and if you’re attacking and hurting him physically.
You can’t expect anyone (even a bigger, stronger man) not to fight back if you’re hurting them.
For more red flags in a relationship with a man, see my article on The 10 Seemingly Harmless Signs Of A Toxic Relationship. `
How To Approach Red Flags In A Guy
#1: Call Them For What They Are
One of the hardest things to do when you like someone, find them attractive or want to explore a relationship with them, is calling their red flags for what they are.
To do this you have to be brave, and you have to be willing to tel yourself (and others) the truth.
Not half truths. Not maybes.
If he’s unattuned to you and doesn’t want to connect, tell yourself exactly that. announce it to the world – make it official, so that you can’t run away from it.
We’ve done case studies on women who have a history of attracting abusive men and with banter, they learned how to quickly weed these guys out in the future.
You should check them out sometime…
CLICK to Discover how Alison ended her cycle of abusive relationships by learning to quickly weed out the “wrong types of men”, inspiring deep devotion from her chosen man and passing the hardest test of them all – an accidental pregnancy after a month of dating!
#2: Build Courage So You Can Walk Away At Anytime
Once you’ve told yourself the truth about his behavior, you have to develop courage within yourself.
This is challenging to do, but just because it’s challenging, doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
If you stay with a toxic guy, you’ll be making yourself smaller and weaker every day.
So answer a couple of questions for yourself:
How much do you value your long term mental health and happiness, over the short term comfort of having a (toxic) someone?
How much do you respect your own emotions and what they’re trying to tell you about him?
#3: Know The Price Of Staying
Ignoring red flags has grave consequences.
Not enough women think about this. Women in abusive relationships sometimes don’t appreciate the price of staying.
Even if leaving a toxic relationship means losing money or resources, what’s the price of that in the long term?
The toll everything takes on your emotional and physical health is not something you fully notice until he’s finally out of your life – and maybe by then it’ll be too late.
So respect your own time, energy and emotions.
Know the price of staying.
Also remember that your past relationships affect your future relationships.
No matter how much you resist that truth, the damage being done today is twice the damage you’re copping tomorrow, and I mean in terms of your ability to trust again and to have a healthy relationship.
Think about that for a second.
Now that we’ve covered the most important aspects of red flags in men, I’m going to touch on something that I believe is very important in terms of dating red flags.
It’s important to notice the red flags early when dating guys, sure.
But on the flipside, you also have to know that there’s this culture that developed among single women of doing it too much. I see it in our facebook group all the time.
You should of course be vigilant, but a lot of women are over-vigilant, and this hampers their natural sensitivity.
Let me explain.
Beware: Too Much “Searching” For Red Flags Can Backfire On You
You see, I don’t always like the concept of “searching” for red flags.
Because this can cause you to just be on guard too much, and responding in fear.
Sure, I understand that if you’ve been in an abusive relationship, you may naturally be more skeptical, on guard and ready to run.
If you feel a bit scared and nervous to get involved with a narcissist yet again, here’s how I can help.
These two articles should help you heal, and understand further what to look out for when dating a new person.
Why Many Red Flags Can Be A Grey Area
A man could harbour a few of the traditional or “commonly understood” red flags in his personality.
Yet, he could still actually be an upstanding and high value man.
Is that hard to understand? I know, it sounds weird. But it will make sense eventually.
The fact is that women with dating or relationship anxiety take the task of searching for red flags too far.
Yes, you can take it too far. When you’re not an attuned woman.
See, if you’re “searching” for red flags out of fear and a lack of confidence in your own ability to feel a man’s intent, you run the risk of mislabelling a guy.
Let me tell you that according to SOME of the mainstream advice about what red flags look like, my husband as well as myself both exhibited red flags at the beginning of our relationship. Yes, both of us!
But we are in a healthy, long term marriage with 3 children.
This is a man who has never laid a hand on me, except when he is looking out for my physical, emotional and psychological safety.
This is a man who, when I said I loved eating figs, proceeded to cultivate 33 fig trees for me in our home.
The same man who has never let me down when I needed him, even when it wasn’t convenient for him.
So, how does that work?
How can a man be a good man yet still seem to have some red flags in his personality?
Some Seemingly Kind & Generous Actions Can Carry Ill Intent…
It works like this.
When we place too much weight on certain red flags, we often look for their opposite, which can also turn out to be severely toxic.
You see, even the most seemingly kind or generous actions can carry ill intent.
For example: a toxic, narcissistic man can pay for an expensive dinner for you, and make you feel like he is the ultimate gentleman and you are a princess.
Only, you find out that he was doing it to manipulate you into feeling obligated to sex.
Contrast this with the fact that some of the most seemingly annoying or anger inducing actions can have a loving, giving intent.
For example, you may have a hang up about your enormous left big toe.
And a man playfully brings up the topic of your enormous left big toe, telling you that it is the most diabolical thing he’s ever seen.
He’s triggering your fears, and perhaps also annoying you. But what he intends to do is actually connect with you.
Connect with you, how?
Well, he’s trying to push through your boundaries with love to touch your soul.
He is poking fun at you in order to desensitise you to your perceived “deformity”.
It’s interesting, isn’t it?
Often, if someone cares about you, they’ll be willing to break the rules just to do the right thing.
Not the accepted thing. The right thing.
And they do the right thing so that they can contribute to someone and change their life, or to make a deeper connection.
This is why relying on, and searching for lots of dating red flags can sometimes mislead you.
Don’t make it an obsession.
This is also why I don’t like having a tonne of dating red flags to look out for. We don’t need 33 red flags in men in order to stay safe.
We want to be aware of some important dating red flags, but we don’t want to become overly reliant on them. Or we will lose our true power of attunement.
To Be Smart In Dating, Train In Attunement
I suggest instead that you train in true attunement.
Don’t examine or react through fear, but by attuning yourself to the other person’s intent, and to look for his attunement to you!
There’s lots of ways that you can test a man for attunement to you. And I recommend banter.
If he doesn’t banter back with you, he has trouble attuning, paying attention and connecting, full stop.
To help you add more to your dating arsenal as a woman, here’s an article on Why Men Ghost: 3 Reasons Why Men Disappear & What You MUST Do.
Renee is the founder of The Feminine Woman & co-founder of Shen Wade Media where we teach women how to show up as a high value high status woman whom easily inspires a deep sense of emotional commitment from her chosen man. Together with her husband D. Shen at Commitment Triggers blog, they have positively influenced the lives of over 15 million women through their free articles and videos as well as 10’s of thousands through paid programs through the Shen Wade Media platform.
Connect deeper with her work through the social media links below.