Hello, my loves. Today, we’re talking about all the red flags that you should never ignore. (Hint: fucking all of them. But this is a good starter list.)
First up: the “I don’t know” guy.
This is a dude who is vague as fuck. He doesn’t give answers about the future. He doesn’t make plans, because who knows where he’s going to be next week.
It also looks like you seeing him for seven months and finally asking, “Are we in a relationship?” and he goes, “I don’t know. I just can’t give that answer to you right now.”
Red flag, girl. You both should have known that pretty early on.
Actually, it’s not even a red flag. It’s a, “Do not pass go, do not collect $200.”
Do not proceed with this fucking man who cannot figure out the trajectory of his week, let alone his life. We cannot be wasting time with men who are not sure about us, okay? Plain and simple. Someone who is not sure about you should be a very unattractive quality.
The next piece is Mr. Hot and Cold.
This is a guy who’s hard to get. He wants you one second, and then he doesn’t want you the next.
Again, this shouldn’t be something you stil around to observe and see how it plays out. This should be an automatic no. Full stop.
That’s just not sexy. It’s not attractive. Someone who isn’t sure about you is not attractive.
Now, I’m not talking about this on the first date. Someone doesn’t need to know you’re the one after one date. But do they want to see you again? Are they pursuing you? Are they asking you out? Is he engaging in a conversation? Is he asking questions about you? Is he consistent?
Here’s the thing: inconsistency should be the biggest fucking turnoff. Inconsistency is so fucking unattractive, but when you are addicted to being abandoned and when you are in an insecure attachment style (we talked about this a couple weeks back, so go check that out), inconsistency is going to be a turn-on.
“I’m going to win his attention. I’m going to win his validation. I’m going to make him love me. I’m going to show him what a worthwhile wife I’m going to be.” No, you’re fucking not, because you have higher self-worth than that, and we’re not doing that anymore.
Instead, this is where we get to step into our big-girl shoes and put our big-girl panties on and say, “I’m not available for that.”
Next red flag: the guy who says all his exes are crazy. This is a very obvious one.
Look, I’m not friends with my exes, but I literally wish them nothing but the best. All of them are pretty great guys—not my guys, but great guys. So calling all his exes crazy? Not the vibe.
Do you know what I hear in that? I hear a man who cannot take any fucking responsibility. I hear a man who probably gaslit that woman to death until she probably did go crazy, and for good reason.
I want someone who can take accountability for his share in the downfall of the relationship.
A guy who can’t take responsibility or can’t apologize is a huge red flag. Instant no for me.
When I was dating, I would ask about previous relationships and say, “So, what happened? Why didn’t it work out?”
I didn’t really care why it didn’t work out. I was looking for them to take a bit of responsibility.
Even if they (the ex) were gaslighting, they were toxic, they were a narcissist, etcetera…your responsibility could have been, “I realized that I could have set better boundaries and I should have left before I did. I wasn’t actually communicating my needs and I wasn’t speaking my boundaries, and I was just people-pleasing through a lot of the relationship.” There’s some fucking accountability that we can take in everything.
If someone has zero self-awareness, that’s another red flag. If you cannot see your part in things, I don’t know what to tell you. I actually don’t know what to tell you.
We need men who are self-aware, who can reflect on their part, who can take responsibility, who can see how their childhood may have impacted them.
That last piece is especially important, because…how many people have had deeply traumatic childhoods and insist that theyr’e fine? No, I don’t think you are. As an outsider looking in, I don’t think you are.
Sure, you’re functioning, you’re coping, but you ain’t thriving, and what I really desire for you is to have a relationship where both of you are thriving.
So it’s really important that you have a partner who is self-aware in all of these things, but this also requires you to be all of these things.
If you’re playing hot and cold, if you’re saying your exes are crazy, if you can’t take responsibility, if you can’t apologize, if you have no self-awareness…don’t fucking ask for all of these things from your partner, because guess what?
You are the red flag.
Sobering, isn’t it? It’s humbling when you realize you’re someone’s red flag. It was very sobering for me to realize my behaviors were very unhealthy, and I had to look at that and take responsibility for that.
That’s what sent me off on my own journey. So you may be reading this and saying, “Fuck, I think I’m the red flag.”
You know what? Beautiful. I love this for you. I love that you have that awareness. Now get your booty into my program Connected Woman.
Next red flag: if he never asks questions about you, that’s a red flag, okay? You’re not being selfish by wanting that.
Having someone who takes a genuine interest in you and what’s going on in your world is important. That’s valid for you to want, so having someone who never asks any questions about you isn’t super supportive to a healthy relationship. That should be a red flag.
Again, not on the first date, because maybe they were nervous. When I’m nervous, I will talk about myself, then realize after that I didn’t ask them anything about themselves.
So, give some grace with this one, but if you’ve been on two, three, four, even five dates and they haven’t asked you anything…eh.
The next red flag is if he will not introduce you to his friends and family within a reasonable amount of time.
So, If you’ve been seeing each other a week, don’t freak out. But if it’s been six months and he hasn’t introduced you to his friends…girl, you’re a fucking secret. You are a secret girlfriend. And if there’s no headway in that, then maybe you need to decide whether or not you want to remain in that connection.
For me, it wouldn’t feel good to be in a relationship where it was just us and it felt like I wasn’t being introduced or brought into his life. Because at the end of the day, that’s what you want in relationships. You want your worlds to merge together. I don’t mean that from a codependent place, but you want to know his friends. You want him to know your friends. You want to know each other’s families. You want each other to mesh into each other’s lives, because otherwise, it’s going to be a real big point of contention.
Next major red flag: if he is overstepping your boundaries or has no concern for your boundaries, it’s time to say goodbye.
Now here’s the caveat. You have to honor and respect your boundaries first and foremost.
For instance, if monogamy is a boundary for you, and you say, “If you cheat on me, I will leave the relationship,” and then he cheats on you and you work through it…cool. But then he cheats on you again. And he cheats on you again. And you’re say, “If you do it one more time, I’m going to leave. Girl, if you stay in that pattern, you don’t have a boundary. You have a fucking preference.
You need to honor your boundaries, and a boundary is only a boundary if it has a consequence. So if he’s overstepping your boundaries, red flag. Get out. Honor that line.
The next red flag is if a man has no drive or ambition in his life.
Now, I’m not saying the man needs to be striving to be Richard Branson or he needs to be the CEO of Coca-Cola or whatever. He doesn’t have to be a billionaire or a multi-millionaire, or whatever it is. Maybe he’s actually really fucking happy working at a grocery store, and he just loves it there. But if it’s like, “I just want to smoke weed and stay on the couch. I don’t really want to work.” Girl, that is a fuck no. That’s not sexy.
I don’t want a child. I want a husband. I want a man. I want a partner. I don’t want to have to tell you to do your laundry. I don’t want to have to tell you to clean the kitchen. I’m not looking to be in a relationship where I’m carrying the physical and emotional labor of both of us.
I heard the best thing on TikTok. This girl was talking about how women do most of the emotional labor in relationships. Here’s the example she used:
He comes home, and the house is a mess. He says, “Wow, babe, the house is a mess. What can I help with?” And even when he’s asking, “What can I do?” she still has the emotional labor of telling him what to do, versus him coming in, seeing what needs to be done, and just doing it.
The woman put it as, “Imagine having a coworker who is on the same level as you. They have the same experience, same pay, everything, but every two seconds they’re asking you, ‘What should I do next?’”
That’s such a good description of that feeling. It makes so much sense, and that’s what I think of when I see a man with no drive or ambition.
The last big red flag is making jokes at your expense.
This often gets covered under the guise of banter, and maybe I’m just very sensitive to this, but this has never felt good for me. When someone is making fun of me and then disguising it as humor, I think it is the lowest form of humor that you could possibly have.
Putting your partner down as a form of humor is not funny. It’s not witty, it’s not smart. It’s actually the dumbest form of humor. Full stop. So if he’s making jokes at your expense and going, “Chill out, it’s just a fucking joke.” I’m like, “What are you, twelve?” I’m not here for it.
All of these red flags would be an automatic no for me. If I were dating again and I saw any of this, I’d be like, “Uh-uh, bye-bye.” I wouldn’t even pursue it a little bit further.
If you want to get to that place, then you can join The Connected Woman, which begins very soon. Get your booty in there. I can’t wait to see you.
Join The Connected Woman, a 12-week shadow work course for women who want to go from feeling anxious AF about their love lives to feeling confident, secure and having unfuckwithable self-worth: https://michellepanning.com/the-connected-woman
Ready to do the work? You can find all courses, masterclasses, and more right here: https://michellepanning.com/all-offers
I get it, girl. I’ve been there too. For years, I was going through the same experiences with men over and over again that left me feeling confused, anxious and pissed off.
I silenced myself in dating and relationships because I was terrified of being judged, rejected and abandoned. It all changed when I went through a break-up and thought “enough is enough. I cannot continue to repeat the same relationships with different men! Something HAS to change!”