Five Characteristics to Avoid in a Partner

September 1, 2010 Theresa Fung

When looking for a partner we often bring a list of requirements or “wants” such as: must be faithful, must have stable employment, or must love dogs. Once you’ve found someone who catches your attention and meets your list of requirements, you begin the first wonderful lovey-dovey stage in a romantic relationship where you can’t get enough of each other and where your partner can do no wrong. It’s only when the love dust settles that you begin to see clearly and notice some of the more undesirable characteristics in him.

WarningSigns - The Unlocked Life, Relationships

While we all have our faults and hang-ups, there are definitely some characteristics that are worth examining. Here is a list of five characteristics, or red flags to look for in a partner (call it an anti-checklist if you will):

  1. An unpredictable temper. Yes we all get angry at times but if your partner goes from zero to a hundred over the littlest things, do you really want to be walking on eggshells around him? A common excuse is, “I couldn’t help it, I was so mad.” We might not be able to control our feelings, but as mature adults we should be able to control our actions.
  2. A belittling attitude towards you or others. It’s the classic schoolyard bully syndrome: this person feels bad about himself and puts you down to make himself feel better. Nobody should make you feel small.
  3. Someone who treats his mother or other close family members badly. While many of us have issues with our own families and might not get along with them, it’s worth a second look if your partner mistreats his mother, father, close family or friends. As his partner, his behaviour to those closest to him is often reflective of how he treats (or will soon) treat you.
  4. Excessively jealous or possessive. A common misconception is: “He only gets jealous because he loves me so much.” If you can’t even walk down the street together without him accusing you of checking out other guys, then Mr. Insecure might need to get his act together.
  5. Constantly blames others for his own troubles. This person has difficulty taking responsibility for his own actions. He might say something like, “I lost my job because my boss is a jerk.” In reality he lost his job because he was a constant no-show and a slacker. He will likely blame you for any problems in your relationship (and anything else that goes wrong in his life).

Listen to Your Feelings

Do you recognize one or more of these characteristics in your partner? Our own feelings are often the best gauge as to when to call it quits.

  • Are you often afraid that you’ll anger or disappoint your partner?
  • Does your partner make you feel bad about yourself?
  • Have you become withdrawn from friends and family?

If you feel like the negatives outweigh the positives in your relationship, it might be time to pull the plug.

APA Reference
Fung, T. (2010, September 1). Five Characteristics to Avoid in a Partner, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Theresa Fung

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