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9 Red Flags That Show They're Not Ready For You & What To Do 

Bernardo Mendez
Author: Expert reviewer:
August 7, 2014
Bernardo Mendez
By Bernardo Mendez
mbg Contributor
Bernardo Mendez is a writer and relationship coach from Austin, Texas. He has a degree in communication and business from St. Edward's University, and his work has been featured on NBC, CNN, Huff Post, Redbook, Yahoo, and others.
Kristina Hallett, Ph.D., ABPP
Expert review by
Kristina Hallett, Ph.D., ABPP
Board-certified Clinical Psychologist
Kristina Hallett, Ph.D., ABPP is a board-certified clinical psychologist with a background in neuroscience. She is also the Director of Clinical Training at Bay Path University, and an associate professor in Graduate Psychology.
August 7, 2014

Have you ever spent countless hours trying to move forward with someone only to realize that despite your strong chemistry and love, the other person just wasn't going to take that next step? If so, you’re not alone.

Some of these signs might appear obvious, but many very intelligent people miss them. If you’re ready to create a long-term relationship or find yourself stuck in one that's not progressing the way you want it to, these nine warning signs can help you make a better prediction about your future with the other person. And hopefully save you a ton of valuable time in the process.


They're inconsistent in their pursuit of you (or at all).

A person who’s interested in you finds a way. They call, text, and initiate; in short they make it happen. If your potential love interest isn’t taking an active role in earning your heart, this is a sign they either too comfortable or taking you for granted. Unfortunately neither of these two scenarios is likely to result in commitment. Similarly, when a someone shows up strong at first but quickly loses their passion for you and isn’t willing to do something about it, it’s a warning they're not valuing you as strongly as they need to make it work.

An example of this is that person who makes you feel so wanted, alive and beautiful but can then go days (or even weeks) without even texting you. This game of “hot and cold” feels exciting at times but will never make you happy long term.


They're neither aligned with their mission nor searching to find it.

Your trust in a person usually grows in direct proportion to their degree of strength and confidence. The less passionate a person is about what they do, the less likely they are to offer you the kind of strength, decisiveness, and commitment level you’re craving.

So while a person doesn’t need to have already landed their dream job or started a business in order to offer you commitment, they do need to be hungry enough to do something to get there. Without growth, it’s unlikely they can offer you much depth of strength or groundedness.


They consistently run away or shut down in times of stress.

A critical component that allows someone to stay in a relationship for the long haul is their ability to show up with an open heart, even under pain and stress. Is this easy or fun? Of course not, but it is very important.

Be wary of a person who doesn’t demonstrate a willingness to face challenges with you and either constantly runs away or pretends the problem isn’t happening. Having “a talk” with a partner is always nerve-wracking, but those who do so with courage express a priceless attitude that’s essential to make a relationship last.


They don't follow through with their word.

A person's integrity is important—and it manifests itself in their ability to follow through on big promises, as well as their ability to follow through on little ones. The latter being arguably more important, too, as those are the day-to-day things that can eat away at a relationship.

When they set a time to meet, are they usually on time? When they get you excited about a plan, do they follow through on it? When they talks about their goals, do they take action? Does they call you when they say they will? Are they more committed to results or excuses?

There are plenty of ways to predict future behavior and integrity is one of the most critical ones.


They leave you out of future plans.

You can tell a lot about how committed a person is by their capacity to envision and get excited about a future with you. If they are not taking into account your needs and desires future plans, this shows that they're either not taking the steps to move into a longer-term relationship or that their fear of losing freedom today is more powerful than their desire to commit.


Their default response to your requests is acting defensive rather than curious.

In order to communicate openly and courageously in a relationship and grow deeper in commitment, you need to feel confident that they listen to you.

If their default attitude when you express your concerns or bring up a problem is getting defensive or acting hurt, it’s just a matter of time before you shut down and resent them in a major way. As long as you’re bringing up issues in a non-critical way, they should have the capacity and curiosity to show interest and listen to you.All people can get defensive at times but when someone is mostly defensive this demonstrates a level of insecurity and close-mindedness that can easily destroy the relationship.


They fail to stand up to their family on your behalf.

Family dynamics can add a tremendous joy or the most unnecessary stress to your relationship. When their family members overstep their boundaries and they're consistently unable (or unwilling) to draw a line in the sand and stand up for you, it can be a setup for future issues.

It’s never about choosing you versus them; it’s about showing you that you are their priority now.


The person has a significantly higher standard for your behavior than their own.

Almost all of us do this at some level: We tend to judge others harsher for things that we might let slide in ourselves. The challenge arises when they have a nearly impossible standard for you to meet, in terms of showing up happy, speaking kindly, arriving on time—when they aren't willing to go there first.


They can't stand their ground—even to you.

When your partner is flaky on their important values simply to win you over, you start doubting their ability to hold their own under any circumstance—and find it extremely difficult to relax, open up, and let go.

Obviously you don’t want a person who won't budge or compromise, but you most definitely don’t want someone who consistently says yes when they're compromising on something that’s of vital importance to them.

So now what?

Some of these red flags are more urgent and corrosive than others—and some might affect you more deeply regardless of how trivial they seem. While these nine behaviors are not a scoring system, and there’s no magic number that tells you if you should leave your partner or stay, they inspire you to listen more closely to your intuition.

No person is perfect and even awesome partners display a couple of these from time to time. If your partner is displaying a few of these, have a talk. Openly share your standards and expectations with them. Most importantly: be radically honest with yourself, don’t make up excuses to justify behaviors you don't agree with.

Bernardo Mendez author page.
Bernardo Mendez

Bernardo Mendez is a writer and relationship coach from Austin, Texas. He has a degree in communication and business from St. Edward's University, and his work has been featured on NBC, CNN, Huff Post, Redbook, Yahoo, and others. With over 1 million views, his Youtube channel reaches over 80,000 individuals each month.