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5 Signs That You’re Dating A Bad Boyfriend

couple angry in bed

It always baffles me how often people ignore the warning signs that they’re in a toxic relationship.

Comfort. Ease. Insecurity. Need for attention. Unfortunately all these things cause us to stick with people for 5 years who we would have been better off dumping after 5 weeks.


To put your mind at rest, you’re about to learn the 5 huge warning signs of a bad boyfriend that will tell you when it’s definitely time to let him go:

1. He feels threatened when you succeed

You finally get that promotion you’ve been desperate for, and he responds haughtily, “Well, I guess you’re going to be even more busy now, right?”

This is the sign of a guy who wants to hold you back.

Maybe he’s threatened by your success, or maybe he just hates the thought that you have a fulfilling life outside of him. But you can be certain that this guy isn’t going to be your dream teammate.

You want a guy who jumps up and down and encourages you every step of the way, not a boyfriend who finds a way to turn your sweet success into sour grapes.

2. He’s never curious about you 

man ignoring woman looking at his phone

Some guys are so narcissistic they won’t even realise they’re doing this, but make no mistake: if he shows ZERO interest in your life, it’s because he’s too self-obsessed to even care.

He’ll sit on the phone to you sharing his hopes and dreams for hours on end, telling stories about his family, and letting you into all his deepest philosophies on life – and then…will he even stop for a second to ask “how was your day?”


And even if he does, he’ll pretend to listen for 10 seconds, before bringing the topic of conversation back to his favorite subject: himself.

You can spend your life wishing he’d take more an interest in your thoughts, or you can spend your life with someone who is actually worth the effort. Your choice.

3. He makes it personal when you fight

man shouting at girlfriend

Even the best relationships have the odd argument. But what tells you everything about a guy isn’t whether you disagree on a few things, but how he reacts when you don’t see eye to eye.

Does he call you names? Does he insult you? Does he fight dirty and bring up personal information that is completely off-topic?

These are all signs of a bad boyfriend who isn’t looking out for you. A great guy will know that just because you’re fighting, he doesn’t have a license to attack you where it hurts just so that he can win the argument.

4. He tries to possess you 

You go out with your friends, and he acts jealous. You spend a night with work colleagues, and he pouts and guilt trips you for not being home with him. He gets angry when you innocently talk to the male bartender when you order your drink.

Jealousy and possessiveness are toxic, and can start you down a dangerous path of feeling like you’re constantly having to change your normal behavior just to avoid drama.

This is the epitome of a bad boyfriend, and if you see this kind of possessive behavior, declare your independence immediately and break free of this guy before you forget what real freedom feels like.

5. He never apologizes or thinks he’s done wrong

woman trying to talk to her sleeping boyfriend

Those 3 little words. “I am sorry”. They mean so much, and yet there are people who just can’t say them.

If a guy you’re dating never apologizes, it’s either because (a) he never thinks he’s wrong, or (b) he doesn’t care enough to say it.

Relationships are hard enough, without having a partner who can’t hold their hands up and decide when they’ve made a mistake. So look out for this bad boyfriend sign early on, and make sure you avoid like the plague.

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20 Replies to “5 Signs That You’re Dating A Bad Boyfriend”

  • Hey Matt!
    I’ve been reading your book and watching your videos for a while now and it has really changed my mindset for the better. I’ve had a problem with a guy I’ve dated almost 5 years.. he broke up with me about 2 weeks ago but we decided to give it another shot..
    I’m sad to say that all of the above have been happening at some point and it putting me in a bad situation cause i still have feelings for him but even though we are back together he doesn’t really seem to be into it. I just don’t know if i should fight to be with him or not. I am ashamed to admit that after reading your Get The Guy book i realised I’ve done so many things wrong that i am not surprised that this is the situation with us now.

    I appreciate all of your advice and everything you are representing.
    Thank you for caring enough to speak up about things that most people stray from.

    1. Hi there,
      Fighting is for something that you are sure it is the right thing for you.
      If you are not sure, I wouldn’t fight.

      I believe that you can lose if you end the relationship, but I know and people less think about, is if you keep a relationship you might loss other relationships that pass by because you were not available.

  • Great tips, Matthew! and thank you for sharing your valuable tips with us. These tips can help women who are thinking of their upcoming relationship troubles or facing same problems.

  • Hey Matt, love your work. Its an amazing insight into the alien mind of a man.
    I am recently divorced mother of 2 young girls and have 2 disabling life long conditions, Bipolar and MS. I come with a lot of baggage!
    I have a current boyfriend who says all the right things, that he loves me, that he will stick by me. But he never makes me feel like im the centre of his world. I get 1 or maybe 2 texts a day from him while we are both at work. I dont ever feel that I’m on his mind. He is with me 12 days a week, nearly all the time, except when he has his 2 children for the one weekend a fortnight. I have tried to encourage him to integrate our families more, and to spend his time with me and his children during that time, but its almost as if I dont exist for 2 days. Then when they go back to their mother, he turns up at the door again. I am frustrated. I dont feel a spark between us. I want to feel wanted, really wanted. I want more! We have been dating nearly a year now and I would have hoped that he would listen to me when I tell him how I’m feeling. All in all, hes a good guy, kind and caring but not particularly thoughtful.
    Where is the line between dropping my standards and compromise?
    Should I expect less because I dont have as much to offer any more (I cant guarantee that I wont be in a wheelchair in 5 years time). Do I accept that he loves me, MS and all and I should accept that I am not going to get everything I want? Or do I walk away? Help please. Please

    1. Hi Emma, I’m a man, I just read your post. I can tell you what I think, but of course you should do what you think. I think is that if you feel you don’t get enough attention that it is a problem, there are no rules how much is enough and how much is not, it is a feeling, and it is your feeling, I think that if you feel that way this feeling is going to make you feel you are incomplete in this relationship, I think you should always have a good feeling you are in the right relationship. I would break up this relationship and move on, not because he is not a good man, he might have a good personality, but I guess it is not for you.
      I was not sure about your message if you told him what you feel that you don’t get enough attention. if you did not do so, you should tell him, but I guess you already did so and it did not work.

      1. Bipolar disorder is not a disabling life condition. With a willing patient, medication management, and lifestyle changes, someone can literally reach for the stars.

        I’m sorry to hear about your MS as well, but just do all that you can do and you will be happy.

    2. Dear Emma,
      In my humble opinion.. giving all of his attention to his children for 2 days in 2 weeks is understandable. You should support him in that, and have a bit of patience for the moment he starts to invite you to that part of his life. I hope it will happen soon! For the texts, 1-2 texts a day during work time show that he has you in his mind. He has to be focused on his work, and with less texts he will look forward acctualy seeing you more! :) I think you definitely shouldn’t settle because you think you aren’t enough! I already think you are wonderful! But you should be careful about blaming him for you not being happy. Is he a bad boyfriend, or not investing enough by your standards (which are good reasons to leave), or is there a different problem. Maybe you have low self esteem and expect him to fill this hole you are feeling. Of course relationships make you feel happier and wanted and more special, but try to be happy and love yourself first, and then you won’t be sad in those rare moments he is enjoying life without you. You should also enjoy it without him sometimes, and then tell each other all about it :) Ask yourself if he is really showing you that he loves you, if he wants to spend most of his free time with you, if he takes care of you when you need him, if you have fun toghether, if he’s slowly integrating you in his life, and if you fight in a non-toxic way. If you answered yes, I think your relationship is worth fighting for!

  • Porque no vi esto hace 2 años… me hubiera ahorrado un pésimo noviazgo… / Why i did’t see this 2 years ago… it would save me a bad date…

  • I have gone through this situation. Now I’m out of this. Whenever any thoughts about him come to my mind it pinches my heart and it hurts

  • How about a post for 5 signs that you’re a bad girlfriend! hahah! I think it would be fair and since you were a guys coach for a long time you would know. I’d imagine there are a lot of females who could learn that aspect of a relationship as well! And I say that being a female!

    1. It’s not an excuse, but these behaviours (being jealous and afraid of being wrong) on their own aren’t always abusive per se. I haven’t met him, but it sounds like your guy might have low self worth. Men can’t own up to their insecurities as much as women, because they can be afraid to show vulnerability (this is not your fault, basically it’s that our culture sucks and they are afraid). Just keep reassuring him and building up his confidence… but definitely set your own limits and tell him when he steps over them, because you’re worth it too! A counsellor may help you decide what your boundaries are and how to assert them in a helpful way.

      Anyway, I could be way off, but I hope this helps. xx

  • I have been with my partner for over 3 years, after 6 months I found out he had seen a woman behind my back after a year there was 7 he had flirted with met up with or sex text now there’s about 9. This year we’ve been out 3 times and twice ended in I’m a slut and wanted to sleep with his friends he always arranges to meet his friends when we go out. He says his ex wife cheated. In his spare time he does anything apart from wanting to be around me in my spare time I go around his I work near him to make it easier to see him. I help with his kids clean his house. I even got a breast augmentation because the women he flirts with had breast and I didn’t to please him. Im crazy aren’t I ?? I need help to break free

    1. He is not your partner: a real partner doesn’t do that.
      He is not the problem. He must have incentives to keep going on this path. What are your incentives?

      You need professional help. Try to find professional help, with good references. You could use therapy. I would stay away from Psychiatrists. Stay away from prescription drugs for mood or depression if you are not taking them yet. Stay away from cults. Stay away from electro convulsive therapy.

      What he is doing is a form of abuse. This is from the textbook, I am not making it up.
      Maybe a 12 step program could help.
      IMHO. Peace.

  • What do you do when you love someone & you’re pretty sure they love you but, they fell off the wagon drinking & partying? This is a gorgeous,intelligent,Uber successful man but, he’s had some issues drinking! He stayed directly across the street from me. My female sense said make a right & I found his car. I didn’t get mad at him & thing’s we’re good between us even after his binge. Then he ghosted me which is something he never did. I got worried & contacted his sister. She told me how crazy he is about me. He got all mad & broke up with me. I hated that she threw me under the bus. I think she should’ve handled it differently.

    I’ve been in no contact since the end of June & I still miss him. I know his Grandmother recently passed away & he’s been having a hard time. I’m coming to the end of no contact & I’ve done way better than I ever thought I could do. I’ve focused on bettering myself & self love & guided meditations. It breaks my heart. I miss him so much.

  • Okay I’m not crazy I experienced all these for 3 years and he tells me I’m the bad partner, all of the actions are a sign of insecurities, ego, and jealousy. Any behavior like that is abuse!!!! He has terrible coping skills! And does not know how to treat you!!

  • Matthew, unfortunately I live in a small town, even the surrounding counties the men are a thumbs down. The men here are 1 to every 7 women. Even though I am very leery of online dating should I take that as an option? I am so tired of lies and cheating by the same guy since high school and we are 50 now.

  • Well,
    I just found out that the guy I had been seeing for the past 3 months was dating another girl, behind my back for about a month. I didn’t realize he had been talking to her so much, but he was at my house a lot while I was at work since he had lost his job, and while he was there (mind you I live with my parents at 30 because I help take care of my mom with MS), he’d be in my room on his phone. I just assumed he was playing his games on his phone as I’d always peek over and see him doing that. Then a friend saw pictures of him and another girl when it popped up on people you may know. I never saw any of this coming. Since he acted the same the whole time we were together. I’m angry, but I want to hear him out. He seemed so great but I got blindsided.

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