You've found your soul mate, you've been together for a while, and you feel like you're ready to take it to the next level. Maybe even marriage -- eek! Is he the prefect life-long partner for you? Wouldn't we all love a crystal ball to show us exactly what to expect from a man in the future. I've known women who fretted over doubts all the way up to the altar who went on to enjoy long, fulfilling marriages. And I've known women who were 100 percent sure of their man only to find out they'd ignored some pretty important red flags along the way.
The thing is, sometimes a red flag looks a little, well, gray. And chances are there might be something about your man that makes you wonder a little. But you kind of want to just give him a pass because you don't want to be hypercritical -- and because you really love him, dammit! Sometimes those little things can turn into a big deal later on. Here are 3 red flags you're better off facing right now, before you let things go any further.
1. He's not that into sex. Okay, some of you may consider that a plus. He never pesters you to have sex. If you're not in the mood it's never an issue, and you never feel pressured. Except ... come on, a guy who never initiates sex? Who never brings it up? Who never tries to seduce you? You need to look into that, because it's definitely atypical.
There are many reasons why a man may not seem interested in sex. He could be gay, he could be depressed, he may be getting some on the side. Whatever the problem is, you'd better uncover it before making a commitment to this guy because it's almost always an indication of a bigger issue that's just going to blow up in a much worse way later on.
More from The Stir: 12 Reasons Your Man Doesn't Want to Have Sex Anymore
2. He's moody and deals with disappointment and stress by sulking, or drinking, or eating a lot. This touches on two things crucial to a long-term relationship: Emotional resilience and healthy coping mechanisms. If he lets the little things get to him every time, that's a problem. How your boyfriend "does life" matters a lot.
We all have our ups and downs -- we're human. It's how we respond that matters. There are healthy ways to deal with stress (talking, exercise, meditation, breathing exercises) and there are unhealthy ways (stomping and slamming doors like a toddler, withdrawing for hours, getting high). You want to make sure he can see past the frustrations of the moment, that he has faith in his ability to solve problems, and that he can get back up and keep going when he's knocked down.
3. He's a lone wolf with few friends who feels largely misunderstood by the world. This has a romantic allure -- only you truly understand your man! You're both that special. But there's a dark side to this personality type that could undermine your relationship down the road. Everyone should have at least a couple long-term friends. That's a sign of loyalty and empathy.
Even artists with eccentric vision find people to connect with. You want to see your man connecting with others in a positive way because it shows he can work as a team -- and marriage is a lot about teamwork. Plus, you cannot be anyone's sole life line. It's unhealthy to be anyone's "everything." Hello, codependent relationship!
Just because you're finally facing a relationship deal breaker doesn't necessarily mean it's over between you forever. Maybe it means your guy needs to get help so he can get to a place where he can truly commit to you. Helping him face his issues is the most altruistic, selfless way to love him, whatever happens.
Are there issues in your relationship you've ever regretted ignoring?
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