Love is a many-splendored thing, but finding the real thing is… an ordeal to say the least. It’s so easy to let your feelings about someone blind you to the obvious red flags that they’re giving off.

That’s why we need good friends like these who will recognize the warning signs for us and (hopefully) talk some sense into us.

1. Man-baby

He had a full-on, toddler-level temper tantrum twice at a group game night. Once because during a trivia question he couldn’t remember the planets in the solar system. Then, in the same night, he got pissy playing Uno, threw his cards down and stormed out. We all kind of looked at each other and at our friend. That was when we knew he was.. ‘off.’ My friends and I were all in our mid-20’s and he was over 30, so it was definitely not acceptable behavior.

A couple weeks later was my friend’s birthday, so we all went out for the night and ended up at our neighborhood bar. He threw another temper tantrum (I think it was over scoring for darts or something equally ridiculous…), stormed out and peeled away in his car, leaving us with no ride home. This was pre-Uber/Lyft and none of us wanted to spend the money on a taxi, so we sobered up on the ~two mile walk back to my friend’s house.

Thankfully… she broke up with him not long after. She is now with a wonderful guy who not only knows the planets of the solar system, but also treats her a lot better.

2. Labor pain

I met them as an already married couple and everything seemed fine until she went into labor at my house. It was her second child so she knew it was early labor and decided to rest on our couch while we hung out. We were going to watch her older child when she went to the hospital anyway and our house is 30 minutes closer to the hospital, so it made sense for the three of them to hang around our house until “go time.” That’s when my husband and I started noticing her husband’s strange behavior.

He was a very charming guy and a very good father to his son, but he started making fun of his wife during contractions. He would roll his eyes and tell her to shut up if she even made the slightest groan. He joked that she was overreacting. The whole situation got so awkward that my husband insisted he go home to get their hospital bags, just to give the poor woman a break from her crappy husband.

3. Yeah, no.

When she went off on us for arranging a camp site at another friend’s wedding (they got married on a 20 acre farm, and the reception was on-site) instead of agreeing to split a hotel room, with one bed, between 8 people (she got the bed, the rest of us would sleep on the floor.) Yeah, no.

4. What a winner

My best friend’s ex boyfriend walked like he was trying to intimidate people. And every time he asked someone a question about someone’s opinion (hey what do you think of that statue, do you like sauerkraut) he’d respond to their answer with “I had a feeling you were going to say that.” It seems harmless but it was every single time, and if you called him out on it (you couldn’t possibly have known I was allergic to x!) he lashed out in anger. Every time she tried to break up with him he cornered her and wouldn’t let her leave the room until she relented, and even their couple’s therapist thought she should leave him for her own safety after two or three sessions. He would wait for her shift to end just sitting in his car in the parking lot and if she didn’t come out fast enough he’d storm into the building in a fury, but if she came out on time he’d just leave. He wasn’t there to pick her up, just to monitor her… which he also did through a gps tracker he put in her car.

5. I doubt it’ll last

Was best friends with a dude (I’m a lady). Had been for a few years, never any chemistry or anything like that, at least on my end. He gets out of a long-term relationship, starts dating around. He’d often introduce me to these ladies as sort of a barometer of whether or not he thought they were a good match.

One weekend he invited a girl out with our group. She’s super standoffish. Won’t smile. Clearly isn’t having a good time. I try to talk to her, get to know her, try to tell her about my friend and how great he is… she acts like I’m not there. Might as well have been the wallpaper.

A month later I’m on a date and we run into them. Remember: I am also on a date. With a man. As they are leaving they come over to say hello. She seems equally unhappy to be alive. I introduce my dude, the three of us chat for a minute while she stands there. I jokingly tug at his shirt in a “you ol’ dog” kind of way. She STORMS OUT OF THE RESTAURANT. Both dudes are confused. Was not a flirty touch of any kind, more like a bro touch. Anyway.

Next day at work (I work with this guy), he comes up to me and says, “Hey, you can’t do stuff like that. She’s really damaged. Has jealousy issues. Doesn’t trust men.” I apologize profusely, because I didn’t realize I had done anything wrong, even asked my date and he was baffled as well.

This friend had an emergency key to my house, in case I ever got locked out. He returned it a week later, citing something about “what if you call at 2am?”… but isn’t that the point? Isn’t that what BEST FRIENDS do? Help each other in times of need?

Flash forward a few months in. He refuses to speak to me. Again, we WORK together. Won’t look me in the eye. He slowly gives up other relationships, male and female.

After dating the girl for 6 months, they get engaged. Now married. No idea how it’s going or if he’s happy. I ended up moving and haven’t spoken to him since. Makes me really sad to see people give up who they are for a relationship.

6. … Wow

He constantly made fake social media accounts to try and get her to cheat on him.

7. Class clown

He started attending my college at 26, which isn’t strange at all, but he INSISTED on living in the dorms for three years. It’s not like we’re a college town with expensive/far away/crappy off-campus housing, he just liked the ego boost of being around kids 8+ years younger than him. My friend was 19 when they started dating.

Another thing was that he was a “full time” stand up comedian with his own youtube channel. He mostly did open mic events at bars, but couldn’t stand watching other people on stage perform if it wasn’t him. He would sit and seethe when my friend told him she didn’t want to leave when watching other people perform.

Thankfully they broke up last week and I couldn’t be more proud or happy for her.

8. No, you can’t change him

Oh boy…

He showed abusive and manipulating behavior from day one. But it was fine because she loved him and she could change him. A year later he had cheated at least once and was constantly threatening to kill himself if she left him. It was fine though because really he loved her but didn’t know how to express it.

Year two and he controlled her facebook and phone, and he decided who she could and couldn’t talk to. It was romantic though because he just really cared about her.

Year three and he’d cheated at least 4 times and he’d also pretended to kill himself and break up with her multiple times each, after one of which she tried to kill herself.

We had a whole intervention thing while she was in the hospital and she agreed to leave him.

Two weeks later they were back together. He spent $800 on my birthday gift, how could he NOT love me?! Oh yeah and I cant talk to you anymore, [OP], because he says I shouldn’t.

She’s still with him

9. Is “condescending” a big enough word?

The first time we met her was at a bar. My bf and I arrived early, so we found a scrabble board on the game shelf and started playing. When my friend and his SO got there, literally before even introducing herself, the SO looked at our scrabble board and said, “Wow that’s a lot of small words. Are you guys stupid?” My BF and I were so stunned that we kinda just ignored the comment. Was she joking???

Anyway, she (unsurprisingly) turned out to be a psychotic ultrab****.

10. Secret son

My best friend started to date this girl about a year ago. She was awesome always seemed so nice and was very fun to be around. About 3 months into the relationship and every thing was going great. Then he asked her to move in with him. The day comes to move in and I go over to help move the heavy stuff and low and behold she shows up with a 5 y.o. When he ask who it is she said her son! We were blown away. She never mentioned it, said anything about having a kid.

Her Facebook had zero pics of her kid, no one mentioned her kid. It was a big cover up and she basically just wanted someone to support her and her kid. He noped outta that one right then and there.

11. Classy fella

The first time I met him was at her birthday party. He shook my hand then proceeded to try and grind on me in front of her and her family. Then when I called him out on it everyone said I was the problem and was just jealous. A year later, it turns out he had been cheating on her continuously and had gotten 2 girls pregnant while dating her.

12. Yikes!

The second time we met she cornered me in the bathroom and threatened to cut me if I spoke to her boyfriend again.

13. Poor guy…

I had a friend for years. He was an old boyfriend when we were like 15/16. I lost touch, and finally found his number shortly after I got married. We chatted for about 5 minutes on the phone, and I said I would call back when I had more time and we could catch up.

When I called back his then girlfriend answered the phone. She knew who I was, we were all part of the same group. She told me I was never to contact him again, told me he hated me, and she was talking because he didn’t even want to talk to me. I just wanted to see how he was, and tell him about my new husband.

A few years after that, they broke up (she cheated). I sent him a message and found out she had done that to most of his friends & family. He was just starting to piece his life back together after she slowly secluded him. He had no clue and thought I just never called him again.

14. Sexist, much?

When my husband and I were helping them move and he would only speak to or answer my husband. I had an idea of how to move some stuff up the stairs and the guy just blew me off. So I told my husband to casually mention the same damn idea and poof! It was an awesome idea so we had to try it right then and there. This always put her down and she would just take it. In the end HE broke up with her because he felt she wasn’t thin/pretty enough for him. Then would get mad at her for trying to move on and tried to sabotage every relationship she tried to have. I ended up ending the friendship because I couldn’t stand listening to her complain about how he was treating her and she would keep going back.

15. Timely escape

She was super friendly, but I’d catch her looking at me out of the corner of my eye with… not a nasty expression exactly, but not a friendly one either, sort of wary (I’m also a girl) …

She’d also casually say odd little details when talking about her life that made it seem like she had a pretty skewed idea of relationships and gender roles (she went to an all girl’s [boarding] school, and even though she was 24 she was the first of all of her friends to ever have a boyfriend) like saying “it’s ridiculous to expect a woman to change a lightbulb on her own haha!” or making out that some things were a big deal in relationships, when they’re really not, as if she’d got all her knowledge from rom coms… Just really tiny things that wouldn’t be significant on their own, but added all together it really set me on edge.

She ended up going full on psycho and not letting him see any of his friends or do any of the things he enjoyed for two whole years, because she was basically jealous of every single other woman in the world, even his male friends’ girlfriends. It took his brother to come round and have good long chat for him to realize she was a control freak who was ruining his life – it was a timely escape too, since she was starting to talk about babies.

16. Rude

He was “cuddling” with her when we met and refused to even take his hands off her for one second to shake my hand when I offered it. He just looked at my hand and held her in closer.

She thought it was sweet. I thought it was rude. Turns out he didn’t much care for women who he couldn’t hold in and he found many such women in the course of the marriage.

17. Red alert

This is my wife’s best friend’s fiance. They’ve only been dating 8 months and they are already engaged so I think she’s still in la la land a bit too much, but we can all see the glaring red flags. He works late often so if she’s out with us on a Thursday or Friday, he’ll come by and pick her up without her asking and make her leave. He’ll do things like you said if we are all out together (rare, he doesn’t ever want to come). He’s always making her come hang out with his group of friends and she’s always blowing us off because of it. Just stuff that she see as quirks but they are total red flags to me.

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