We Asked Readers To Share The Biggest Red Flags For A Toxic Relationship, And Here's What They Said
"Always pay attention to the way he talks about his ex-partners."
Recently, BuzzFeed Spain asked members of the BuzzFeed LOLA community to share the kinds of red flags that they've noticed over the years when it comes to identifying a toxic relationship. Here's what they said:
1. "When a guy says that all his exes are crazy, run... because he is the common denominator." —Ley.
2. "Lack of reciprocity: when he demands things from you that he does not do himself." — Olalla.
3. "When he makes you feel guilty about making your own plans without asking him first." — Andre.
4. "When he never stops pointing out the mistakes of people you like, especially your friends." —C.
5. "If the person you like does not like the same things as you, leave. If he makes you anxious, leave. If on day one, he starts telling you how crazy his ex was, leave. The number of crazy exes that a guy claims to have is usually directly proportional to how much of a jerk he is. If he is controlling, leave. If he keeps changing between being hot for you and giving you cold shoulder, leave. If he blames you for his inability to commit or for his behavior that makes you feel bad, leave." —Mia.
6. "Emotional blackmail: when he is jealous of your friends or family and accuses you for not loving him." —Lyna.
7. "When he wants to know what I do during the day, and when he invites himself along to my plans without asking me first." —Lucia.
8. "I always pay attention to the way he talks about his ex-partners. If he is disrespectful, or if he trashes their appearance, it is a clear sign that I am dealing with a jerk." —Jen.
9. "If he does not want to participate in anything that involves your family or friends ... or when you go on your own because he does not want to come along, he throws a tantrum for some absurd reason: all he wants is to prevent you from leaving him alone and to keep you away from people that you value." —larubiadelquinto.
10. "The moment he starts to suggest that you not go out with some of your pals or girlfriends or when he insinuates that the guys who are your friends have the hots for you." —Laura.
11. "The moment your partner tells you that you would be nothing without him." — Abril.
12. "When he controls or viciously criticizes you, but excuses his behavior by saying 'I am only telling you this because I love you.'" —Casiopea.
13. "When he asks for your passwords." —Paula.
14. "If he sends you unsolicited photos of his penis while you are getting to know each other." —Sol.
15. "The first time your partner tells you what you should or shouldn't do." —Laura.
16. "The moment he takes the time to demonstrate that I have fears and insecurities and starts to make me feel bad about them. And when I begin to feel that I can't talk to him about those things because he will get pissed." —Aren.
17. "Not coming to the cemetery or the funeral home when a close relative dies. Also, when it seems that one day he adores you, and the next day he couldn't care less, with all the resulting ups and downs." —Isabel.
18. "When I start to notice that I make plans according to his schedule and always plan around something I was going to do with him... I ask myself whether there is a codependency thing going on." —Cristina.
19. "When your problems become 'the couple's problems', and you no longer feel comfortable explaining that you are having a bad day because he would make you feel guilty. Meanwhile, all of his problems are super-important, and you must be there to support him and play the role of his therapist... because everybody knows that it comes naturally to all women." —Rise.
20. "For starters: no feminism, equality / you don't have enough knowledge / this dress is not for someone your age / I am not angry, but you monopolized the whole conversation / when we go out with my friends, you are nicer, right? / I help you about the house / you are a drama queen! / you are being difficult." —Bruja curuxa.
21. "When your period is late and he says, 'Now that you got pregnant, I am stuck with you, but okay.'" —Mónica.
22. "I highly value my freedom to do things I want to do. When someone tells me, 'You can't do this', 'you can't go out with so-and-so', 'I don't want you to wear that', or something similar, I run away. Even my mother does not tell me what to do, so what makes you think that you can?" —SRM97.
23. "When he forces you to change yourself (having to change your personality, behavior, clothes, social relationships...) by guilting you about how love is about making sacrifices, while he doesn't worry one bit about how that makes you feel." —Claudia.
24. "When the woman stops doing what she used to do (like spending time with her friends) because he 'wants me to stay with him', 'his friends can't come today, he is all alone, and I am sorry for him', 'he stopped partying to be with me, so I'm not going out...', and also, 'no, it is not because of him; I just don't want to do it'. YEAH, SURE. In my opinion, this is toxic. If he is asking you to stop doing what you like to do and to do what he likes to do, he is the one who does not love you that much." —18amigapreocupada.
25. "Being impatient when you don't respond to his messages quickly enough." —GabyC.
26. "One red flag can be when, during an argument, you partner downplays your commitment to the relationship by dropping phrases like 'I have worked much harder than you on this' or 'I have done everything to make it work, and you have done virtually nothing.'" —Karina.
27. "If he breaks things when we argue." —Azul.
28. "People who say, 'I don't believe that a woman and a man can just be friends'." — Berta.
29. "When, no matter what happens, he has to be the victim." —Moon.
30. "When he keeps track of the time you spend on social networks. And when he gets in your face for being online and not talking to him." —Ines.
31. "When he tries to control what kind of pictures you upload to social media, making comments like 'Shit, you can see everything in this picture, and other guys are going to use it to jerk off!.'" —Luna.
32. "When you start dating him, he is like why aren't you responding to me, or he texts you all the time. Early in the relationship, you may be misled into thinking that he is interested in you, but as time goes by, that interest is going to become unhealthy, and he will try to keep tabs on everything, including the time when you're on your phone, and will demand to know where you are at any minute. Run away." —Lore.
33. "When he tries to drive a wedge between you and your loved ones because 'he is not very fond of them.'" —Arim.
34. "When he does not take you seriously, and he does not take your lifestyle seriously, and when he belittles your studies, your work, your hobbies..." —Carmen.
35. "To summarize: when you stop being yourself in a relationship, and you start to change your habits, friends, tastes, etc. for him... BE CAREFUL! Something is not right." —A. Maria.
36. "One word: control. When you feel bad for not making room for him in absolutely everything that you plan out of fear that he will get upset with you." —Dido.
37. "When he keeps talking about himself but is never interested in anything I tell him." —Aria.
38. "When he spends a lot of time criticizing what you do when you are not with him." —Rasf.
39. "Let me tell you my own story. I did not notice when he was making me feel guilty about going out with my friends or not wanting to have sex. I realized it when I told him about a friend of mine, whose partner had 'taken revenge' on her by breaking her valuables, and my partner, instead of being shocked, said 'cool.' Sometimes, you need to look at things from the outside." —Mga.
40. "When he makes every woman in his life play the villain — every one of them hurt him, abandoned him, or made him miserable... but he tells you that you are different, and you make him feel special. If they all dumped him, wouldn't it mean that he was the problem?" —Paula.
41. "Comments like 'Going out with your friends again? I am going to miss you," that later turn into something more nefarious." —AmarilloLimón.
42. "When they control everything, including who you friend on social media and even what you like." —Paula.
43. "When his interest in you is really about him. He is more interested in what you do for him and the pleasure that you give him than in your personality, your tastes, or your interests." —Raquel.
44. "When he says, 'You are not like other girls,' and follows it up with a derogatory comment about other women." —Angie.
45. "Lack of respect, like checking out other women in front of you... as if it were some cattle market. Or making comments about things that become you and those that don't, for example, 'You would look better as a blonde,' or 'You are not skinny enough to wear such a short skirt'. As if your own opinion were not enough." — Bb.
46. "Belittling! Although sometimes it appears innocent, in my opinion, a red flag pops up when a guy points out things you don't do well too often. He may say that you can't dance as well as someone else, or that surely your mother cooks better than you do, or that he thinks that you don't do anything at work. His objective? To lower your self-esteem." —Crn.
47. "Hearing him talk trashing X or discussing her breasts with his friends... because this may seem like he is sexually objectifying women." —Rocío.
48. "When your partner starts to humiliate you in front of your friends, even if they do it 'as a joke.'" —I.
49. "When he responds to your words by saying, 'You have no idea what you are talking about, so why don't you keep quiet'. Then you feel small, almost diminutive, and suddenly, you are crying your heart out. The best thing is to leave." —Xei.
50. "If he does not let me talk to or see certain people even though he does that, if he tells me that feeling angry or sad is 'silly', if he abandons me all the time, if he talks about me as if I were his property, if he pressures me to have sex, if he lies to me even after I tell him that I know the truth. These are the things I used to put up with, and I should not have." —Aefnung.
51. "When he insists on just liking what you like, when he does not care for his own friends, when he does not accept criticism of his behavior or tries to tick the boxes of social stereotypes too quickly (immediately moving in together, getting married, having children)." —Iria.
52. "Pay attention to his opinions of the women closest to him. For example, if he thinks that his mother is annoying because she makes him clean, that a female friend is cool because she wears a low-cut dress, or that his ex is crazy, RUN!" —Cris.
53. "The unsolicited 'fashion' advice. All this 'advice' saying 'it is so low-cut, and it is cold outside' to 'these shorts are so short, other guys will be sure to think that you are X.' In the end, all this 'advice' turns into something more toxic, like 'don't wear this, you look like a slut' or 'it is provocative'. You can wear anything you want: it does not indicate whether you want to have sex and whether or not you are a slut. Clothes and makeup are a form of self-expression, and you put yours on for yourself, not for someone else." —Nora.
54. "Inability to do anything by himself. From running the washer to downloading a song from the internet. Finally, you end up in a mother-child relationship, in which you carry all the weight and take all responsibility." —
55. "When he makes you feel bad about things from your past (like, for example, having dated what he believes to be TOO MANY guys). Or when you try to talk to him about solving a problem, and he avoids communicating but then proceeds to make you feel like the problem is your fault. Or when he engages in emotional blackmail with 'you don't love me' when you put your life and your projects before him." —UnaHermanaMas.
56. 'When they make 'jokes' about your origin, skin color, the place you were born, or your accent." —V.
57. "Being egotistical. This makes them behave selfishly with you, so you are going to end up giving a lot and receiving very little." —Alba.
58. "When I tell him how busy I am or how little time I have to do things and, instead of giving me space, he demands more of it." —Paola.
59. "When you realize that you are always making plans with this person, and never with your friends." —Nú.
60. "I think that would be the first time when he judges your style of clothes or make-up in a negative way. He does not have to 'forbid' you to put on a miniskirt, he could just make a disparaging comment about what you like to wear." —Sil.
61. "When he keeps asking you to engage in a specific sex thing even though you have already made it clear that you don't want to (for whatever reason) in order to 'prove that you love him', and when you once again say no, he gets mad." —Lu.
62. "When you start feeling guilty about something totally normal." —Gor.
63. Excessive attentions and compliments in the beginning. The idea of 'you are unique'. Disparaging comments about other women. Sex that is too intense, and the feeling that he can't control himself because 'you are so special'. Followed by assigning blame by saying 'it's your fault that I am this way because you are so beautiful." —Carmen.
64. "In my case, having come out of a very toxic relationship, this is what I remember quite clearly: he would not talk to me for hours when I disagreed with him about something or when I did something he did not want me to do (like going out with my friends, participate in a theater play...), or when I praised a male friend or acquaintance. He would sulk for days, only to remind me of that at the slightest opportunity." —Falcon.
65. "For me, there are two very clear signs. First, and, in my opinion, more difficult to notice, is attempts to humiliate you that masquerade as innocent jokes. And second, emotional blackmail. This is the beginning of the end." —Isa.
66. I think there are very obvious red flags, but the most dangerous ones are those that pass unnoticed. For example, when he does not think that your work, your career, or your interests are important; when he does not support you in decisions about career opportunities, and when he anchors you to a circle of control, which is supposed to be his 'love', but in which he is always the protagonist." —Belén.
67. "When he 'rewards' you for doing what he wants." —Iris.
68. "When he yells or curses at you in public." —Bianca.
69. "When the man is not clear about what he wants or what he looks for but at the same time he treats you like a girlfriend. Then he is vague when you try to get to know him but at the same time he tells you that you are special." —Carli.
70. "The red flag that came up in my relationship, which I ignored, was that he always wanted me to be with him. It did not matter if I had a class, or wanted to go shopping or spend time with a friend; he demanded that I stay, or that I take him with me." —Susan.
71. "When he depends on you for everything." —C
72. "When he denies merit to what I do (subtly). Because if someone really loves you, he is proud of you, and not intimidated by your talents and your achievements. I can't stand men who want to feel and try to prove that they are superior to you." —C.
73. "When he does not want to spend time with your friends, but you always spend time with his friends." —Reix.
74. "When he wants to have sex and mopes when you refuse." — ✨✨✨✨.
75. "For me, a clear red flag is when they treat you like a sex toy, but then they do not let you see other people. To them, you are in a relationship in which you only exist to have sex, since that is 'your obligation', and women have to 'satisfy.'" — Alex.