2. You’re uncomfortable introducing him to your important people. It’s one thing to be concerned that your ultraconservative parents will give him grief about his spiky Mohawk. It’s another to hide him from your best girlfriends because you’re afraid they might tell you truths you don’t want to hear. Friends and family shouldn’t be the ultimate arbiters of your romantic choices but they do have a knack for recognizing your blind spots. It’s totally legit to avoid loudmouths whose opinions never interested you in the first place. But if you hesitate to make him part of your true inner-circle and let him meet the people you trust the most, that’s a real problem.
3. You’re embarrassed to be in public with him. We too often accuse one another (and guys) of being superficial when we don’t want to give someone a chance. But which is worse—refusing to date a guy because you think his snorting laugh is dorky or refusing to hit opening night of the latest comedy because you’re afraid strangers will think his goofiness reflects badly on you? If you don’t think he’s good enough to go out with, don’t stay in with him either.
4. You’re defensive.The person you love (or hell, even the hot guy you go out with when you’re in the mood to) shouldn’t put you in constant self-protection mode. A good date leaves you exhausted because you had a super sexy, breathless make-out session. An awful date zaps all your strength because you’ve had your guard up for two solid hours while he challenged every statement you made.
5. You’re guilt-ridden. A gaslighter knows how to make his victims believe they’re at fault. He berates you when you stand up to him–if you don’t like his behavior, it’s because you’re “bitchy” or “overbearing.” And you take it to heart. He calls you “crazy” when you express uncertainty about his motives. Soon, you’re so disoriented that you truly start to believe you’ve done something wrong. It’s a terrible cycle and can be nearly impossible to recognize when you’re caught up in it. Once you recognize what’s happening, know that you’re not a fool for becoming trapped in an unhealthy situation: master manipulators put a lot of effort into derailing your confidence. Instead, congratulate yourself for getting out when you did.
6. You have a sense of unworthiness. You believe he’s on a pedestal and you’re sludge. Even if he’s not actively promoting this story, you don’t want to feel like you’re constantly struggling to be good enough for him. Confidence is not only sexy, it’s also vital to your well-being. Be with the guy who naturally makes you happy to be yourself, the one who reminds you consistently that he values your personality, intelligence, and beauty.
7. Your mood plunges when he’s not around. In a stable partnership, you can keep it together when your guy makes other plans. You have a life too after all, and it’s fine to each take time for yourselves. In fact, you enjoy having some space to participate in solo activities. When a couple of hours without a text or other reassurance leaves you in a bleak state, consider your foul mood an indication that something’s not right. Obsession stems from uncertainty. Whether he’s actively trying to keep you off kilter or simply trying to establish a life apart from you (completely reasonable), tagging your happiness to his presence is emotionally unhealthy.
8. You’re wildly jealous of every woman in his life. Envy eats you alive when he focuses on anybody but you. Is it because you have some issues of your own to work on or is it because he flirts shamelessly with every woman who shows him the scantest amount of interest? More important, does it really matter? Regardless of the source, a jealously-riddled relationship never works out well in the end. You don’t necessarily have to ditch him immediately but at very least, you need to have a legit conversation about the situation.