He’s a hard-core thief.

I dated this guy in college for two, maybe three months. I was living with my parents, and when his roommates moved down the coast––leaving him with nowhere to go––they said he could stay with me there. They gave him a job working for the family business. Long story short, he claimed to be sick a couple of days in a row and stayed home alone while I went to class. During his time alone in the house he rummaged through my parents’ stuff until he found the keys to the safe. I didn’t know until about a month later that he had basically robbed my parents’ house.

I had just dumped him when his best friend called me to ask about some laptop my grandmother (who was very much dead) gave my ex. He sold that same friend a gorgeous ring that a great, great uncle made over 100 years ago. Then I started wondering so I called my mother. He had stolen tools, extremely valuable coins, a 100-dollar bill proof and so on. The total loss was over $10,000. He pawned it all at a local pawn shop, showing his ID and signing his own name, for about … $300. The police wouldn’t do anything, but they had no problem arresting his friend for giving us back the ring he bought.

A couple weeks later he was all over the news with two other guys for robbing like fifteen places around the state.

He’s jobless, carless and phoneless.

I started dating a guy from a very, very small town, and chalked his shortcomings up to his small town mentality. Boy, was I wrong.

Red Flag #1: When someone opened the door for me, he’d walk through.
Red Flag #2: He said he wasn’t friends with his exes and didn’t want me to be.
Red Flag #3: He didn’t want to work because his wages would have been garnished.
Red Flag #4: He used a prepaid phone … that was always turned off.
Red Flag #5: He had a car, but it was in storage.
Red Flag #6: He didn’t offer to help pay for groceries, but would eat the majority of food in the house.

As it turned out, he’d been living with his parents and not working for about five years. His checks wouldn’t have been garnished, that was just his excuse for not wanting to work. His car, which wasn’t even registered to him, was in storage because it didn’t run. He was a total narcissist who had a history of using women for money and treating them poorly. Lucky for me, I do have money but not to support some deadbeat so I voluntarily paid for a one-way ticket and shipped him back to where he came from.

Most 40-year-old men (heck most 20-year-old-men) have a job, a car, or at least a phone. If a man makes excuses for why he doesn’t have any of the simple things, red flag.

He’s using his ex-wife’s house to keep you a secret.

When I was 18 and two weeks into dating my future husband, I met a cute guy who I would have gone on a date with had he asked. He didn’t ask me out and nothing came of it. Twenty-three years later, we were both divorced and I ran into him in the neighborhood: he was taking care of his ex-wife’s house, which happened to be down the street, while she was overseas. He asked me to come over after work one evening, and we had a nice talk over a glass of wine. He told me about his abusive, bi-polar ex-wife and his terminally ill sister, who he said he was caring for at his house, which was why we could never hang there (red flag #1). He went into detail about all of the gross things he had to do to care for her, and I bought the whole story. Then I began to notice that he never met me out and we spent all of our time at his ex-wife’s house (red flag #2). Shortly thereafter he sent me an email saying, “We could have been a great team,” meaning I should have read his mind back in the day and left my future husband for him (red flag #3). After that email I never heard from him again. Now, his Facebook page says he has a fiancee–who I’m sure he had the entire time–and there are photos of him with his sister, who looks healthy as can be.

He’s along for the ride.

My first outing (err, date) with this free-spirited musician was July 4th and we chose to hang out in Central Park. We weren’t officially “dating,” just feeling each other out.  I should’ve heeded the red flags I noticed that day: (a) his hair was uncombed, (b) he asked me if I liked “sex,” and (c) he has this necklace on that only child would wear.

Months into the relationship I found out that he hung out with his ex-girlfriends (who still liked him), often wouldn’t introduce me as his girlfriend at events, and still lived at home with his parents (he had seemingly little to no ambition to get his own place). Soon, my place became “our” place and I grew sick of it. I kept thinking that things would get better, but they didn’t. I would shell out money for trips, concerts, hotels — you name it. I wanted to live the good life and thought he did too, but I realized he was just along for the ride and to have sex.

He not only lives with his mother, he shares a room with her.

My ex-boyfriend was so attached to his (single) mother that he shared a bedroom with her.  He was 28-years old and there were enough bedrooms in the house for him to have his own room.  I found this out after we had been together for several months and was so disturbed.  When I insisted that he get his own room, he told me that he wanted to use the extra bedroom as his office space.

He bails when things get rough.

I came home from work earlier than usual today, only to find my condo strangely empty. Turns out my boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend), whom I was living with, decided to move out without telling me.

Things hadn’t been great, but they certainly weren’t bad: We weren’t fighting or anything, just adjusting to each other’s habits as we’d only recently moved in together. I did speak to him briefly after he left, and he said we’d had a “rocky week” and that he was done. At no point during this past week did he mention that anything was going wrong, he just packed up and left without any explanation (the day before rent was due, of course).

Personally, I think it has to do with the fact he took his ex for dinner and a movie the night before he moved out. He insisted they were just friends, but now I’m kind of thinking there’s more to it than that. Could it just be a coincidence? Somehow I’m betting it isn’t.

His family expects too much of you.

When I was in my early 20’s I dated this guy for three years. It got fairly serious and we decided to take our relationship to the next level and move in together. During the move, him and one of his sisters sat me down and told me that if we moved in together, we were essentially married and that it was time I started pulling my weight. I had no clue what “weight” they were referring to.

Turns out, he had a sister in her 40’s with severe disabilities, who was soon going to be turned over to OUR care. His parents could no longer care for her and my boyfriend was listed as her power of attorney and next legal guardian. Being in my 20’s, I was in no way prepared or eager to be a full time care worker. It would have been nice to know all of this before I paid for the moving van and moved all my stuff. After the lease was up, I decided our relationship was too.