How To Know If He Is Toxic: 10 Red Flags To Know

How to know if he is toxic

When we first start dating someone, it can be difficult to notice what their toxic traits are. We forget that we should be on high alert for any signs that will determine whether he has unhealthy behaviour. Even though your judgement may be obscure, it’s of the essence that you understand how to know if he is toxic.

We all have our own preferences when it comes to what we’re looking for in a potential romantic partner. Sometimes, you’re just not compatible with a person due to a difference in characteristics, or, they may have a shortcoming in their personality that you’ll either decide to ignore, or acknowledge.

However, if the guy you’re seeing displays any Red flags, you’ll need to make a conscious decision to distance yourself from him. In this post, we’ll expand on what the ten main signs are that will confirm he is toxic. We’ll also delve into how you can be affected when you date a guy who comprises of Red flags.

10 Signs he’s too toxic

How to know if he is toxic
How to know if he is toxic

When you first start to date somebody, it’s quite easy to ignore any warning signs he may show. Not only because you choose not to, your brain will literally stop you from making rational judgements, and cause you to misinterpret a persons reactions. This is due to the neurotransmitter chemical, dopamine that gets released when we’re attracted to someone. Because of this, you may not spot the Red flags that will prove to you he’s toxic.

It is, however, of vital importance that you know what the ten main signs are that will expose he could be too toxic for you. Once you know what they are, you’ll be more conscious of his actions, and be able to pick up on his toxic traits.

1. It’s all about him

Does every conversation end up being about him? If you’re not speaking about him and his life, he’ll make sure he reverts it back onto him. This is because he will crave attention at all times.

A telltale sign that the man you’re dating is toxic is if he portrays narcissistic personality traits. He will be highly self-centered. Driven by his ego, a guy will constantly think about himself, and never about you.

An individual who possesses narcissistic tendencies will believe that they are better than everybody around them. It will be constant requirement to receive validation from others. He won’t consider your feelings, or how he makes you feel, as long as he feels good about himself.

(Early warning signs)

  • You only ever talk about him
  • He only cares about himself
  • He disregards anything you say that’s not about him

2. He’s uncomfortable with your success

A toxic guy will revel in your struggles and when you’re weak. He’ll feel threatened when you’re deemed as more powerful as him.

Have you ever had a success, and he belittles it, turns it into something negative, or changes the subject? A person with narcissistic tendencies are deeply insecure about themselves. This is why they’ll prefer you to stay weak, otherwise, they’ll feel uncomfortable.

An example of this behaviour:

  • You receive a promotion at work. After you’ve told him, he turns it around and says something like; ‘does this mean you’re going to be home less now’

A narcissist will constantly need to feel superior. If they feel that their superiority is in danger, they will devalue you so you can be inferior to them.

3. He always put the blame onto others

A toxic man won’t be able to take accountability for his actions. If/when he speaks about his former girlfriend, does he only ever blame her for what went wrong in the relationship?

A healthy individual will be able to take responsibility for his actions, and how he may have played a part in a break-up. Someone with narcissistic characteristics will have extreme difficulty in changing their behaviour. Because of this, they will constantly shift the blame onto others.

(Early warning signs)

  • He tells you his ex created the problems in the relationship
  • He never admits he was wrong

4. He see’s everything as an attack

A Red flag for any relationship, whether it’s a friendship or romantic, is if your partner is unable to take constructive criticism. When you attempt to approach them in a cool, calm manner to discuss something you may disagree with, they will automatically respond with aggression.

If his personality contains narcissistic tendencies, he will be extremely sensitive to any disapprovals directed at him, and view it as a personal attack.

After a while, you might find yourself to be too afraid to bring something up for discussion that goes against his behaviour or actions.

(Early warning signs)

  • You don’t feel comfortable speaking to him about something you’re not okay with
  • He always becomes defensive

5. He’s unable to solve problems

In a healthy relationship, a disagreement will involve problem solving. As a couple, you’re going to want to find a solution. However, with a toxic partner, he’ll want t0 inflict damage onto you because he’ll feel as though he needs to protect himself.

An individual with narcissistic tendencies won’t want to feel vulnerable around you, so, instead, they’ll create an argument. After which, he’ll punish you by doing something worse.

(Early warning signs)

  • Disagreements are never resolved
  • After you upset him, he’ll deliberately do something to get back at you

6. He shows you the most love when you’re hurt

An important sign that he’s too toxic for you is if he only shows you the most affection once you’ve reached breaking point.

He may accuse you of things to intimidate or bully you. Only once you feel at your lowest, will he support you. This is an indicator that the man you’re seeing could be narcissistic. If he’s narcissistic, he will feel it’s only safe to ‘love’ you when you need him. The reason for this stems back to how insecure he may be.

(Early warning signs)

  • You experience the most affection after he’s upset you

7. You’re always the problem

Are you always the problem in certain circumstances? A toxic guy will constantly make you feel as though you’re the issue, and it’s never him.

He’ll manipulate you to make you believe that you did something wrong. Another term for this is ‘gaslighting’. To gaslight someone is to make them doubt their own reality, and question their beliefs.

Your memories will become distorted because he’ll make you believe events happened in a way to suit him.

(Early warning signs)

  • Every argument will be your fault
  • He’ll tell you things happened differently if you bring something up

8. He’s not consistent

A toxic man will be inconsistent with his actions. He may speak to you all week, and as soon as the weekend approaches, he becomes missing in action.

This could be further warning sign that he doesn’t know what he wants. Or, he may know what he wants, but cannot tell you because he’s leading you on, and doesn’t want to lose the attention you give him.

(Early warning signs)

9. He’s not self-aware

A person who is self-aware will be able to acknowledge where they’ve made mistakes. He will understand his characteristics and emotions.

A toxic guy will be unconscious of his past traumas or life experiences. In a relationship, he won’t realise that his actions will cause you to react a certain way. Because of this, when you’re upset about something, he may turn around and say something like;

  • ‘you’re crazy’
  • ‘why are you acting like this’

Because he won’t be able to admit that he’s wrong, he’ll become defensive and leave you instead of dealing with the conflict. This another sign of a narcissistic personality trait.

10. He can’t be told NO

While you’ve been seeing your man, have you told him no, and he responds as though you’ve just  made an insult to him?

An important Red flag that you need to be able to notice is if he can’t respect your boundaries. He may have sense of high importance where everything should be done the way he wants it, and no-one should say otherwise.

Once you do say no, he can become demanding, persistence and bully you into getting his own way. Unfortunately, this is yet another warning sign that he may be narcissistic.

(Early warning signs)

  • He throws a tantrum when you say no
  • He pushes you to change your mind

How does dating a narcissist affect you?

How to know if he is toxic
How to know if he is toxic

Once you come to terms that your boyfriend, or the guy you’re dating has NPD, you need to distance yourself from him as soon as possible. Proximity is power. Your belief system will start to take shape from who you spend the most time with. More than likely, this will be your boyfriend.

The more time you’re around a person who has narcissistic tendencies, the more you’ll start to lose your sense of self-worth and confidence. This can occur when you stop reinforcing your boundaries. It will allow him to dictate and control your emotions because you won’t stop him.

(Did you know; men will determine within in the first fifteen minutes of meeting a girl whether there’ll be a second date. Women on the other hand will be a bit more patient, and suss it out within an hour).

Unfortunately, staying with a toxic individual who has narcissistic traits can be extremely detrimental to your well-being. You could stop romanticizing him, and stand up for yourself, however, he may react in a way that will punish you, and cause you great distress.

The best way to deal with a narcissist is to leave them. If you’ve been dating for a while, you may have overlooked his behaviour if you’re codependent. This can make creating space extremely difficult, however, it can be done!

How do I know if I’m codependent?

How to know if he is toxic
How to know if he is toxic

If you’re a codependent, specifically in a romantic relationship, you’ll need to be needed. Additionally, it might be the only time when you feel valued or important. Because of this, when a narcissist is constantly tries to get your attention by asking you to do something for them, you will with no hesitation. 

There are many different characteristics that will point out if you’re a codependent. We’ll outline the key signs that will resonate when you’re dating someone with a narcissistic personality.

1. You’ll do anything to hold onto the relationship

‘Anything’ implies that you may act, or do something that you wouldn’t normally do, even if it’s destructive. This is due to a codependent person feeling as though they won’t manage on their own, specifically once they’re in a relationship.

Because a narcissist won’t respect your boundaries, they’ll request something from you and expect you to do it. Of course, as a codependent, you’ll agree.

2. You have a hard time trusting yourself

Do you feel that if you make a mistake, you’re going to be abandoned? This is where the toxicity of a narcissistic person can be extremely detrimental to a codependent.

Your boyfriend will constantly shift the blame onto you because in his eyes, he’s never wrong. After a while this will cause you to not trust yourself.

You may start to second guess your decisions, question your actions, or withhold your responses in fear that you’ll say wrong thing.

3. You won’t assert your own wants and needs

A codependent individual will find it difficult to declare her own wants and needs in a relationship, because there’ll be an underlying fear that your partner will leave you when you assert yourself.

If your significant other has a personality disorder, such as narcissism, he’ll misuse this to his own advantage.

4. You find it difficult to say no

In a codependent relationship, you’ll find it extremely difficult to say no to things. Because a person with NPD can’t stand being rejected, this is one of the ultimate toxic cycles when these two personality types date.

This behaviour also makes the partnership one sided, where you’re constantly giving, and he’s just taking.

If you avoid conflict in your relationship because you don’t want to upset your boyfriend, this is another sure sign that may you be codependent, as well as be connected to how he may respond to you with attack and damage if he’s narcissistic.

Is it a Red flag or just incompatibility?

How to know if he is toxic

Not everyone will display Red flags. These warning signs generally appear in a person if their behaviour is fueled my manipulation, control or narcissism. The person that you’re dating may just be immature. In which case, their actions and responses won’t necessarily be Red flags but rather inexperience.

The difference between individuals with Red flags is if they’re aware of them or not. If a person is aware of his life experiences, the reasons behind why he may act a certain way, and is actively working to better himself than he has a chance to have a successful relationship.

However, an individual who cannot take accountability, and is unaware of the unhealthy traits he might carry will unfortunately stay toxic.

It’s important to not mistake preferences and incompatibility with Red flags. You may not like something about someone you first meet, but this might just be a characteristic you’re not attracted to.

For example, a flaw in a person is a characteristic that makes us less appealing to certain individuals, which will depend on preference. Eg; arrogance, hyper-sensitivity or insecurity


How do you know if you’re in the wrong relationship?

If your relationship causes you more stress and unhappiness, then you’re probably not with the right person. Your partner should respect the boundaries and values that you have in place. If he goes against them, or tries to belittle you, then he may not be the right guy for you.

How do you stop a toxic relationship?

To help prevent a relationship from turning toxic, open and honest communication is imperative. When you get upset about something your partner may have said or done, refrain from being passive-aggressive. Make sure you and your boyfriend are accountable for your actions.


It’s difficult to know how to determine if he is toxic, especially when we’ve only just met him. We have the chemical; dopamine, clouding our judgement and interfering with how we interpret a persons responses.

Once you’re able to notice Red flags during interactions and conversations, you’ll be able to remove yourself from a potential toxic relationship before it starts to impact your own happiness. We hope this article has provided you with enough information to understand what toxic traits you should look out for when you first start dating someone.

(Quiz Question; how long will it take a women to determine if there’ll be a second date?). Let us know what you think with the box down below. If you have any feedback or queries, feel free to include them with your answer.

How To Know If He Is Toxic: 10 Red Flags To Know

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