9 things a man would never do in a relationship if he was truly in love

In the movie Bridget Jones’ Diary, Daniel Cleaver was quite a charmer who swept Bridget off her feet. 

But you could absolutely tell that he wasn’t truly in love with her. How? 

Well, his actions were miles away from what you’d expect from someone who’s genuinely in love. 

I’ve had my fair share of real-life “Daniel Cleavers”, and let me tell you, they aren’t as easy to spot as you’d think. 

Sometimes, the warning signs are subtle, masked by what seems like affection or masked by the idea of who you want them to be. 

It’s easy to overlook red flags when you’re wearing rose-colored glasses, isn’t it? That’s why today, I’d like to talk about those red flags – those things a man would never do in a relationship if he was truly in love with you. 

Let’s check them out!

1) He doesn’t really listen to you

First up, how do your partner’s listening skills measure up? Does he nod absent-mindedly while you tell him about your day? 

More importantly, when you’re serious and discussing something truly important to you, does he pay attention and really try to understand? 

One of my first clues that an ex wasn’t really in love with me was that he always seemed to be someplace else whenever I was talking. Either he’d be scrolling on his phone or glued to the TV. 

Sometimes, it felt like I was talking to myself. Or to a brick wall. 

It’s disheartening when you’re sharing your day, talking about your dreams, or even discussing something as trivial as what to eat for dinner, and you realize he’s more interested in his phone than in what you’re saying. 

This has been said over and over by relationship experts: communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship. 

So, if a man is truly in love with you, he won’t just nod and agree. He’ll actively listen and engage and give weight to your words. 

2) He disrespects your boundaries

Disrespecting your boundaries is another glaring red flag. If you tell him, for example, that you’re not comfortable with him going through your personal messages and he does it anyway, that’s a blatant violation. 

This kind of behavior is not just invasive, it also signals a lack of trust and respect.

I’ve experienced this firsthand as well, with a former partner who used to snoop through my phone. Even after I told him it made me uncomfortable. 

At first, I brushed it off, thinking he’d get over his insecurities. (Spoiler alert: he didn’t.) 

Look, true love understands limits. It understands the concept of personal space and respect; it doesn’t barrel through your comfort zone without regard. 

If he’s willfully crossing lines you’ve clearly drawn, it’s a sign he’s not fully invested in your emotional well-being. 

And let’s be real, you deserve someone who respects you, through and through.

3) He never apologizes or admits fault

Ever dated someone who thinks he’s always right? Trust me, it’s exhausting. 

If he never apologizes or admits when he’s wrong, that’s not just arrogance—it’s a refusal to grow and mature within the relationship.

  • Does he always find a way to shift the blame onto you?
  • Is saying “I’m sorry” like pulling teeth for him?
  • Do you find that you’re always the one apologizing to keep the peace?

A man who genuinely loves you will be open to feedback and willing to make amends. He’ll realize that love means growing together, and that includes acknowledging mistakes and learning from them. 

Because at the end of the day, love is about building each other up, not tearing each other down. Which brings me to my next point…

4) He puts you down instead of lifting you up

A partner who has your best interests at heart would want you to be the best version of yourself

So in any relationship, it’s expected that your partner would tell you when there’s something amiss or when there’s something you could do better. 

But – there’s a world of difference between constructive criticism and outright degradation. 

According to research from the Gottman Institute, a leading predictor of divorce or relationship dissatisfaction is contempt, which includes behaviors like mocking, ridiculing, and showing disrespect.

If your man is truly in love with you, he’ll be your biggest cheerleader, not someone who puts you down at every opportunity. 

I can’t stress this enough—I’ve been in situations where my achievements were belittled and my flaws were magnified. 

And because I didn’t know better at the time, I would rationalize it as my partner was “just being “realistic” or “just keeping me grounded.” 

What I eventually came to realize, though, is that love shouldn’t come at the cost of your self-esteem. 

If he can’t celebrate your victories, big or small, and continually treats you with contempt, it’s a clear sign that his love isn’t genuine

5) He compares you to other people

signs youve given a relationship all you can 9 things a man would never do in a relationship if he was truly in love

Similar to over-criticism, comparing you to other people is just as damaging and degrading. And it should tell you that he isn’t really in love with you

Because a man who’s truly in love with you won’t have you any other way. 

He fell in love with who you are, so why would he want to change that? Why would he look at your flaws and think, “I wish you were more like this or that person…”?

When your partner is truly in love with you, you’ll know it. You’ll feel secure. Cherished. Not like you’re being constantly held up against others. 

6) He frequently cancels plans with you

When someone is head over heels in love, they can’t wait to spend time with you. 

Think about it – don’t you feel that way when you’re in love with someone? Even if you’re not the clingy type, you do make it a priority to spend time with the other person, don’t you? 

So if he’s frequently canceling plans, that’s not just flakiness—it’s a sign that he’s not making you a priority. 

Now, of course, life happens and sometimes plans need to change, but if it becomes a pattern, that’s a red flag.

I remember dating someone who was always “too busy” or had a last-minute emergency that only seemed to occur when we had plans. 

It doesn’t feel good, waiting around for someone who can’t seem to find the time for you. Love is about making an effort to be together; it’s about showing up, both literally and emotionally. 

If he’s always finding a reason to bail, it’s time to ask yourself if you’re a priority in his life or just an option.

7) He keeps secrets or lies to you

This one is kind of a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people gloss over it when they’re in love with someone. 

Here’s another thing relationship experts constantly harp on: Trust is the bedrock of any healthy relationship. 

If he’s keeping secrets from you or lying—even about small things—that erodes trust and undermines the very foundation of your relationship. 

A lie might seem insignificant in the moment, but over time, these deceptions add up and create a wall between you.

Maintaining a facade or withholding the truth is not just dishonest, it’s disrespectful. 

A man who truly loves you will value honesty and open communication. He won’t feel the need to keep things from you. 

8) He keeps your relationship a secret

Speaking of secrets, what if you’re the secret? 

I hate to be so blunt, but if he’s keeping the relationship under wraps, that’s a huge red flag. 

I mean, when you truly love someone, don’t you want to tell everyone about them? Shout it to the world from the rooftops? You just want to celebrate your love, don’t you?

Now, there could be legitimate reasons for discretion in the early stages of a relationship. Maybe he’s an intensely private person. Maybe he’d rather wait until he feels more secure of your love.

That’s fine.

But if you’ve been together for a significant amount of time and he’s still not open about being with you, it’s time to reconsider. 

Because if he’s truly in love, he’ll be proud to be with you and will want to share his happiness with his social circle, family, and beyond. 

Essentially, if he’s keeping you a secret, it’s about his unwillingness to fully integrate you into his life, which raises questions about the authenticity and longevity of his love.

9) He avoids discussing the future

Finally, if the mere mention of future plans sends him sprinting for the door, that’s a major red flag.  

You see, a man who’s truly in love will want to build a future with you, and that involves discussing plans, whether they’re short-term, like a holiday getaway, or long-term, like marriage and kids.

So pause and think about this: 

  • Are you always the one initiating conversations about the future?
  • Does he deflect or change the topic when you bring it up?
  • Have you noticed that he’s never really given a straight answer about where he sees the relationship going?

The answers to these questions should tell you if he’s invested in a future with you.

Picture of Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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