It can feel flattering, at first, that your new partner wants to keep you all to themselves — but jealousy often leads to controlling behaviour. If your boyfriend or girlfriend acts annoyed every time your attention isn't on them, if they insist on knowing where you are, who you're spending time with, even who you're texting, then you're in an unhealthy relationship.
Another commenter cites: "When they start complaining about other people in your life and trying to get you to see how 'bad' these people are for you." If the person you're seeing starts making disparaging or "concerned" remarks about your friends and family, and suggests you'd be better off spending time with just them, well, that's textbook abuser behaviour. Abusive partners will often separate their partner from their support network in order to make them dependent on them.
It's disappointing if the person you're seeing texts you to cancel a date, and extra disheartening if they do it more than once. As one commenter puts it: "To an extent life can and will get in the way, but there’s a certain level of enthusiasm you want to see from a potential partner and if they can’t muster it during the honeymoon stage of dating, it’s probably not going to improve later."
Here's the thing: we're all busy. But if somebody really wants to see you, they'll likely be able to carve out enough time in their busy schedule for a quick coffee date in between their other commitments. Remember, you deserve to be with somebody who knows you're worth the effort.
3. The way they interact with other people
Watch out for how your date talks about other people. Do they make harsh judgements about people they hardly know? Are they rude to waiters? Even if they're being perfectly courteous to you in that moment, this behaviour is an indicator of how they treat other people in general, and shows you that it's possible they'll act this way towards you at some point.
See also: people who only ever seem to talk about themselves on dates and don't ask you any questions. "Take note of how many times they'll say or start a sentence with my/I/me/personally," advises one commenter, as a time-saver.
4. The way they talk about previous partners
Look, when you're on a first or second date, the best thing to do is simply not bring up your past relationships. If the conversation ends up going there, be brief. And if somebody talks about their ex in detail, you should listen carefully: it's entirely possible that they are not over that person, and you might find yourself cast in the role of rebound fling.
Equally concerning is if the person you're seeing says that their ex is "crazy": this often translates to "they behaved in a way I found inconvenient," or even "I cheated and they responded emotionally." And if they insist that all their exes are assholes? Well, you know what the common denominator there is. "If ALL their exes are jerks, it most likely means that they are the jerk," says one commenter. "The two crazies I dated both spoke this way about ALL their former relationships."
This article originally appeared on Men's Health