Hotness, tons of money, a crazy nice apartment — there are plenty of things that just don’t really matter when it comes to finding a healthy, lasting relationship. But there are certain areas you shouldn’t budge on, because your happiness isn’t something you should ever sacrifice for a guy who checks most of your boxes. It’s good to be flexible in your relationships, but you should never settle for someone who:
1. Is jerk to your friends and family. Having respect for you means having respect for the people you love. Also, it’s incredibly selfish to alienate your loved ones and make being around them awkward. Your relationship can’t exist only when you’re alone.
2. Brings up old fights to make you feel guilty. The past should stay in the past, especially when that past is being used as ammo in all the normal couple fights you have throughout your relationship. If he’s still bringing up the one time last year that you forgot to text him to say you weren’t coming home, he’ll probably never stop bringing it up and also probably hasn’t forgiven you for it.
3. Doesn’t ask about your day. It’s little things like “how was your day?” texts that keep you invested in each other and keep your relationship fresh. Caring for each other is a two-way street, and just like you always ask him how his day went, he should do the same for you.
4. Forgets about things that matter to you. He doesn’t have to have a perfect memory, but if he cares about you, he’ll also care about the things you care about. Being with a person also means being with all their interests, and those should matter to both of you.
5. Doesn’t make you feel great about yourself. Having a base level of self-confidence outside of your relationship is important and healthy, but he should make you feel like the hottest and smartest version of yourself possible. That can’t happen if he insults you or criticizes you in a non-constructive way
6. Doesn’t share your values. This covers everything from how you both feel about kids, your political views, and the issues you think are really important. You don’t want to spend a lifetime arguing about politics with your partner.
7. Discounts your experiences. On the really bad days when you come home and need to vent about how some guy catcalled you, or someone hit on you at work or somewhere else inappropriate, he should listen and try and empathize with how awful that feels. He should never write off your problems for being inconsequential or just “part of being a woman.”
8. Lacks motivation. Everyone has lazy days, and yes, they can be the best, but his life shouldn’t be one long series of lazy days, and he shouldn’t need you to be his cheerleader for everything he does. Work ethic is sexy. But you already know that.
9. Doesn’t listen. As in, he isn’t playing Candy Crush on his phone or looking at the baseball game on TV when you’re trying to talk to him. Listening attentively is just how humans show baseline respect to one another.
10. Feels like he needs to “fix you.” You’re a person, not a project. It’s ok for your relationship to make you feel like a better person, but only if that’s on your terms and not just because he’s trying to mold you into a person who’s perfect for him and him only.
11. Won’t compromise. Refusing to be flexible is just another way of saying “my opinions/plans/ideas matter more than yours” and that’s not only incredibly unsexy, but incredibly selfish. You should both be willing to meet in the middle on certain things — it shows that you care for each other and see each other as equals.
12. Makes you feel guilty about taking time for yourself. It might seem romantic for him to always want to be around you, but if he gets mad when you want to take an afternoon to get a manicure or spend time alone/with girlfriends, that’s not romance — that’s just possessiveness and it’s not healthy or sustainable.
13. Gets jealous easily. Getting paranoid every single time you hang out with other dudes isn’t love, it’s insecurity that’s only going to hurt you in the end. The right guy will never make you give up friends — even guy friends — for his sake.
14. Doesn’t make you laugh ’til you snort and cry. Relationships are work, yes, but they should mostly be fun. He doesn’t have a be a comedian by any means, but if your weird sense of humor and his weird sense of humor match up, that’s a sign you’ve got something long-lasting and great.
15. Says offensive things and doesn’t get how they’re offensive. This goes for anything remotely sexist/racist/homophobic/transphobic, whatever. Everyone makes mistakes but realizing it was a mistake, and why, is so important to being a functional part of society and all around good person.
16. Makes you feel guilty for the things you enjoy. If he calls you a “basic bitch” because you love your Starbucks, the color pink, and nabbing the perfect pic for Instagram, IMO just dump him. It takes so much time to figure out what makes you happy and he calls your interests into question, that’s lame as fuck and not worth keeping around.
17. Doesn’t make sure you orgasm. Literally never think for a second that sex isn’t important to a healthy relationship. If he comes every single time and you only come like… 30 percent of the time, he isn’t doing his due diligence in making sure sex is just as fun for you as it is for him.
18. Doesn’t try to make you feel comfortable in public. This could mean he does things like ditches you at parties with his friends, or gropes you in an environment where groping isn’t appropriate. He doesn’t need to be your babysitter, but he should take your comfort into account.
19. Makes you feel like you need him to survive. The best relationships are the ones that are built from two individuals who just happen to go together really well. You should be two fully-formed pieces of an incredibly hot and cool whole, and he shouldn’t want it any other way.
20. Loves himself more than he loves you. It’s one thing to have self-confidence, it’s another to be so into yourself that you can’t make room for other people. He should love you just as much as he loves himself, if not more (sometimes).