Dating apps and websites have changed the whole landscape of courtship in recent years, but one fact remains the same. It's important to find a trustworthy partner, whether you're looking for a fling or something more long-term. Being mindful of signs you can't trust a partner takes a little more effort than simply swiping left or right, but watching out for these traits can save you some heartache in the long run.
Trustworthiness is pretty critical when it comes to most any relationship. "Being dependable, consistent, and reliable are crucial components in building trust, not just in the beginning, but throughout the course of the relationship," said Alison Stone, licensed clinical social worker, in Well and Good. You want to be with someone who will not only show up for the date on time, but also respect your body and boundaries. When the other person can prove that they are dependable and reliable, then it's only natural to start trusting them.
On the other hand, if a partner is generally inconsistent, flaky, or just super shady, then it's normal for you to be skeptical, and perhaps in your best interest to keep your guard up. Of course, if you think the relationship is worth salvaging, it's important to have an open and honest conversation with them about how their actions make you feel, and to give them an opportunity to explain their side as well. Who knows, one of these signs below could just be a simple misunderstanding, but it could also be an indication that this person might not be the right one for you.
1. Your Partner Won't Admit To Small Screw-Ups
Mistakes are part of being human. In general, a mature person can admit it when they forget to put out the trash or make a dental appointment. So take note if your partner can't own up to the slightest fault. "If you can’t take responsibility for the small things, you can’t take responsibility for the big things," said mental health counselor Aniesa Schneberger, MA, LMHC, founder of Tampa Life Change, in Reader's Digest. "When we hide things and lie and get defensive, we’re afraid to let that person in." If your partner gets super defensive and angry about making some tiny mistake, then this might not speak well to their overall trustworthiness.
2. Your Gut Says Something Is Off
Pay attention when you get a bad gut feeling about somebody. It just might help you peace out of a bad situation. "When you have a hunch that something is off with your partner, talk with him or her about it, but when you continue to have the same sense that something's not quite right, don't push your instincts away," wrote relationship expert and clinical psychologist Jill P. Weber, Ph.D., in HuffPost. That gut feeling could point out the fact that you're having trouble trusting a partner.
3. Your Partner Is Pretty Flaky
Take note if you have the hardest time getting this person to commit to any event, big or small. "If someone is consistently bailing on plans at the last minute, forgetting to do things they said they would do, or dropping the ball at work or at home, that is a good indicator that you can’t trust them to do what they say they will. In other words, you can’t count on them," as Sarah Schewitz, Psy.D., told Bustle. Honestly? You don't have time for that nonsense, anyway.
4. Your Partner Gets Weird About Tech
Does your S.O.'s phone always seem to die right after you send them a text? "In this world of the cellular phone attachment disorder, anyone who has difficulty finding a way to consistently keep their cell phones charged cause you to become a little suspicious," Dr. Stephanie E. Wilson-Coleman, PhD, founder of Champagne Connection, previously told Romper. Chances are, the issue is with the user, not the phone.
5. Your Partner Gossips
Sure, plenty of people engage in a little rumor-spreading now and then. But if your S.O. loves sharing the dirt about pretty much everyone in existence, then take note. "If someone starts jealously gossiping with you about other people, watch out. This might be a toxic person — and you never know what they say about you behind your back," according to Science of People. Tread lightly around people who live their life like they're on a reality TV show.
6. Bragging Is Your Partner's Forte
Positive self-praise is fine and all, but watch out for overt bragging. "Without confirming evidence, people are not likely to believe you when you say that you possess positive qualities such as being smart, well-liked, or talented," as Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D. explained in Psychology Today. "There’s no way of knowing for sure whether you have these qualities, and so they are forced to take your word for it." In other words, people who brag are often seen as less trustworthy.
7. Your Partner Is Inconsistent
Maybe your partner tends to show up much later (or even way earlier) than an agreed-upon time. Maybe their mood and reactions to events are kind of all over the place. "When unreliability takes the form of being emotionally unpredictable, trust can obviously be affected in even more extreme or painful ways," as explained in the blog for Relate, the Relationship People. "If you can’t predict how someone is going to behave towards you on any given day, you can feel like you’re always treading on eggshells or feel constantly anxious about your status in the relationship." Understandably, this makes it difficult to fully place your trust in the other person. When this or any of the other signs of untrustworthiness are present in your relationship, then it may be time to find a new partner who offers up the trust and reliability you deserve.