So, you’ve thrown time, energy, and probably even money down the drain on dead end relationships with a man who was toxic from the start. And of course, this experience hurt the most precious asset of all, your heart.
So many women give up on love at this point, or give in to the idea that they have to settle for an unhealthy, toxic relationship in order to feel loved and alive. They submit to the idea that they can’t do better, maybe even that they’re unworthy.
But you’re here because you’re not that woman.
Even if you’ve struggled with self worth & confidence in the past, deep down, you know that it’s possible to find and attract a man that truly sees you, respects you, feels safe to you, excites you, and would LOVE to commit to you.
And you’re absolutely right.
Not only are you right, but you are worthy of this kind of love. I know the relationships you’ve been in in the past have probably made you question this. There’s been a man or two (or even childhood caregivers & loved-ones) who made you feel like it’s your fault that things haven’t worked out before.
But I’m here to promise you, that’s not true.
Even as a man, I’ve been there myself.
If you don't know me yet, my name is Matthew Coast. Growing up I had no good role models for healthy relationships. Each of my parents married 3 times. I came from a broken home, like many people do these days.
I became the quintessential “nice guy”. I would dote on girls, try to do the right thing, but I kept ending up in bad patterns.
When I finally got into the dating industry - it was as a client at first. I got really good at how to START relationships - but nothing about how to sustain them (an issue with the dating industry for both men AND women).
I got a lot of attention, but the same toxic patterns I had experienced previously kept popping up.
I realized, if I wanted a healthy, lasting relationship, I had to come from a different place, a truly authentic place.
I had to unlearn all my bad habits I’d been condition my entire life to exhibit, and it lead me to finally finding the absolute BEST relationship I’ve ever had. One that was finally healthy, happy, and whole.
I knew from that point on that more people needed help connecting authentically, and I’ve made it my life’s mission ever since.
Still, I think I was meant to go through the journey the long way. To see the more “toxic” side of dating up close and personal.
Because if I didn’t, how else would I be able to help incredible women who are just looking to love and be loved - women like yourself - discover the major things you need to avoid when dating men with those same bad habits I had (and worse).
That’s what brings me here today. Because the truth is, while they can make you question your worthiness, or if something’s “wrong” with you, toxic relationships can happen to anyone, including people who really deserve phenomenal love. And what’s more, is that they tend to bring out the worst in us.
They bring all those deep, dark fears about betrayal and self-worth to the surface. Exploiting trust issues, self-esteem problems, and more. Who you were in those relationships is NOT your fault. That’s a person who’s living in survival mode. Even if it’s “emotional” survival and the man wasn’t a physical threat. You were fighting for your mental health.
You get to shed that weight and be a completely different woman with a worthy man. You get to be YOURSELF, whole and true, and yourSELF is a beautiful, incredible woman who 100% deserves the love a healthy man gives you.
But let’s be real. That healthy, happy relationship is hard to find. Isn’t it? That’s because so many men and women were conditioned to think that certain toxic habits equate love. That accepting the arguments, the lies, the pulling away & secrets, that that rollercoaster is what love is. But these false beliefs just lead to the stories of heartbreak we all know too well.
Let’s make sure you never have to live that story (again).
Starting with the 7 clear, undisputable signs that he’s toxic for you (and isn’t going to change).
Discovering these signs is a CRITICAL first step to finding the man of your dreams. Because once you do, you’ll be able to avoid toxic men so you can:
Doesn’t that sound like an absolute game changer?
If so, let’s not waste any more time. Here are the 7 signs he’s toxic for you and isn’t going to change.
Have you ever felt like he showed ALL of the potential in the world to be Mr. Right because he was just that perfect, just to find out within the first few months (or sometimes year or so) that he simply isn’t who he pretended to be in the beginning?
One of the ways this happens comes after love bombing. And SO many women fall victim to this type of toxicity in relationships.
He’s chasing you, wine & dining you, and doing everything right. Really laying on the charm, telling you over and over how much he wants you, and you can’t find a flaw in sight.
He tells you he loves you REALLY early (before he even knows you). And it almost feels like he won’t take no for an answer - even though it seems like he really respects your boundaries and appreciates you for who you really are at first.
In the back of your mind, you have this feeling that it’s a little too perfect. Where are his flaws? What’s the catch? But you ignore that feeling either because you, your friends - or even he - convinces you that you’re just being paranoid due to past baggage.
That this is a honeymoon phase, and you should let yourself enjoy it. “He really is a great guy and he worships the ground I walk on. This is what I’ve been wanting! Why can’t I appreciate it? Something’s wrong with me.”
This is a HUGE red flag! NOTHING is wrong with you!
There’s a BIG difference between love-bombing and courting. And a healthy man will actively demonstrate this difference. Here’s how you spot it:
A man who love-bombs isn’t always trying to love you. Some of these guys are trying to rush you into loving them, and using manipulative tactics to do so. And these are two completely different things.
Then there are men who love-bomb because they are really that infatuated with you and blind to it - but they are usually infatuated for the wrong reasons. They’ve created this idea in their head of who you are (that is not true, it’s an ideal in their head about your potential, or who they want you to be).
Whether he’s doing it on purpose to manipulate you into loving him, or subconsciously because he’s chasing this idea of you that he’s created… that rush and thrill of love-bombing doesn’t sustain past the honeymoon phase. In fact, relationships that start with love-bombing often take a nosedive for the worst soon after the love-bombing stops.
The love-struck dreamer will be disappointed to find out that he doesn’t know you as well as he thought he did. He may try to change you as a result, exhibiting controlling behavior to desperately try to get you to become that woman he dreamed up. Or feel betrayed as if you lied to him, when really, he never took the time to really get to know you.
On the other hand, the aftermath of the honeymoon phase with an intentionally manipulative love-bombing man is anything but comfortable. It feels like settling into a danger zone because his true values start to show, and they’re not at all what you thought they were.
As an example, if in the beginning he valued kindness, words of affirmation, and quality time with dating you, for example, he’ll later become more mean, irritable, and not care to dote on you the way he once did.
The simple way to put it is - love bombing is self serving or just blind infatuation - but either way it’s not headed to a healthy long-term relationship.
The way to spot it is by acknowledging the unsustainably perfect charm that he demonstrates in the beginning when he’s chasing you full force. And pay close attention to how many assumptions he makes about you, instead of getting to know who you really are.
A healthy man who courts you properly gives you room to breathe and will take his time getting to know you. He makes it clear how he feels about you, and you won’t question it. He’ll be doing and taking initiative.
But he’ll do these things without purposely applying pressure for you to feel the same way about him in return. And without guilting you out of having hesitations, questions, or reasonable concerns. He also isn’t afraid to be vulnerable and show you his flaws - even if that means risking losing the connection. And he acknowledges your flaws too, and gives you room to be a WHOLE human being, instead of this perfect, ideal woman he thinks you are.
A healthy man is who he is. He’s not trying to be anyone else to get you to love him. And he’s not trying to get you to change who you are for him to love you, either.
You feel comfortable, NOT guilty, setting boundaries with a healthy man & taking it at a reasonable or even slower pace. Your nervous system won’t be screaming that this is “too good to be true”, nor will you feel like you have a whole lot to be “paranoid” about - because he doesn’t hide his flaws.
Beware of the love-bombing man.
On the other side of the “love-bombing” coin where you feel like a man is rushing into commitment and love, is a man who’s afraid to commit altogether. He’s completely in the here & now and has no interest in building a future together.
You’ll have an incredible time with this man, in the moment. He’s nice, fun, you’ll have things in common, and he may have a lot of attractive qualities about him. But when it’s reasonably time for the relationship to progress, you’ll notice that he shies away from - or completely refuses to - take those steps.
This is a sign that he’s not willing to commit to you (now, or ever).
Even if he gives you a title of “girlfriend” to appease you, taking tangible steps in your relationship to grow closer and progress feels like pulling teeth. It feels this way even after you have spent enough time with one another & know one another well enough to start taking these steps.
Whether it’s introducing you to his friends & family (or meeting yours), having a toothbrush & drawer for you at his place, moving in together, or even just planning a trip 6 months from now, the non-committal man will respond with “well, we just don’t know what the future holds yet” or continuously tell you he’s not ready with no hint of a desire to progress or change that any time soon.
Let me tell you, with a man like this, you DO know what the future holds. That same statement and rejection, over and over again until you’ve had enough.
Cut the losses early. This relationship was never going to go anywhere from the beginning, because this guys’ issues are his to work on, and his alone. But the sad thing is - he likely doesn’t even know it, and certainly isn’t doing anything about it if he refuses to try.
A healthy man will commit to a first date early, and move at a reasonable pace to stack those commitments over time to grow closer with you and progress the relationship in a healthy way.
He will not be saying “we don’t know what the future holds” (or whatever alternative other guys spew) about things like planning trips, meeting the friends, and having a few things for you at his place 6 months in to spending a decent amount of time together & getting to know each other.
It will be clear to you that this relationship is heading somewhere, because he will make it clear to you by taking initiative to invite you to cross milestones with him at a time that is comfortable for both of you, even if he’s not rushing things.
This kind of man has an excuse for everything - and it’s never on him, no matter how awful his behavior is or how much control/influence he had in the situation he’s talking about.
This guy is not going to change.
And 9 times out of 10, he’s a huge debbie downer anyway because he’s so pessimistic and helpless!
Guys like this usually lack drive, ambition, purpose, and even joy. Because his life sucks and everyone else is to blame.
If he can’t see his role and accountability in his own life, he’s definitely not going to be able to see it in the extension of his life, that is your relationship.
Anything that goes wrong in the relationship is going to be your fault in his eyes, and you’re going to be the one that has to change to “fix it”.
Don’t fall for it.
A man with accountability will hold himself reasonably accountable for the things that go wrong in his life. And a man with accountability will also have more gratitude for the things that go right (like the privilege of your time, attention, and affection)!
A man with accountability will also hold you accountable alongside him for mishaps in the relationship. But the difference is you won’t be in that boat alone. It won’t be all on you in the relationship just like it isn’t all on everyone else in the rest of his life. Instead, he’ll hold himself mutually accountable with you because it takes two to tango, and he’ll try to partner with you to handle hurdles & road bumps that come up along your journey together.
Instead of isolating you, he’ll accept mutual accountability and work to bring you closer together.
And when you really don’t have a hand in something and he really does mess up, he’ll just own it! Even if there turns out to be a reasonable or forgivable explanation why, he’ll still take full accountability and apologize (with changed behavior) when it’s time to.
This one is huge!
And it’s not just physical boundaries either.
Maybe you set a boundary around your time - like not being able to text him while you’re at work. Or privacy, like reasonably not being ready to fully open up about something in your past that got brought up.
Or you want to have a girl’s night and he’s not invited and gets upset. Or maybe he’s so insecure that he’s going through your phone! Or looking up that guy you mentioned that you work with and interrogating you about him.
And no matter what boundary you set, he challenges you, guilt trips you, or lashes out. He’ll even act like you’re betraying his trust by setting healthy, reasonable boundaries for yourself.
If a guy has boundary issues in the beginning, it’s just going to get worse as the relationship goes on and he feels even more entitled to you.
This kind of guy doesn’t see or respect you as your own person, with your own identity, responsibilities, friends, family, and life. He sees you as property, and if you don’t obey him there will be consequences as his insecurity flares up at the thought of being told “no”.
If a healthy man is struggling with a boundary you’re setting, he may want to talk to you about it because we can all agree that communication is important. Even in sensitive times.
But he won’t lash out, demand you change your mind, or guilt you about it. This is the key!
Instead, it’ll be a reasonable conversation, about a boundary that’s reasonable to struggle with.
He may tell you how it makes him feel - without expecting you to jump to fix his feelings.
He may ask if you’re open to compromise (if it’s a big deal to him, like holidays with the family) - without holding it against you if you don’t say “yes”.
And - most likely - he’ll really just try to understand where you’re coming from. Because this is a great opportunity to get to know you better, see you better, trust who you are, and work with you to find ways to connect around the healthy boundaries you both need to set for yourselves.
Regardless, a healthy man will make an effort to make sure you feel SAFE to hold your boundary, even if he’s admittedly not a big fan of it. Because your safety is paramount to him. And respecting your boundaries is important to him.
This is the sign of a very insecure man. And even if his reasons, past trauma or childhood make it understandable, that doesn’t excuse the behavior, or change the fact that it’s only a matter of time before he starts assuming the worst in you too.
If you remember nothing else, remember that character is consistent. If this guy is constantly thinking everyone else is shady or means ill, he’ll think the same thing of you even if he isn’t saying it out loud (at first).
This guy isn’t far off from the guy who lacks accountability. Only to this guy, he’s quicker to villainize people and paint their entire character as something evil, shady, or amoral over simple things that they do. Versus just blaming his circumstance on someone else’s actions to evade accountability.
An example of this is on the first date, if he assumes the waiter is purposely ignoring him just because he saw the waiter get a drink for a different table, and assume the waiter is a rude person.
A healthy man might look around before making that assumption and naturally question: “Man, I think our waiter is pretty busy” or “maybe they’re understaffed” or “maybe that table is giving him a hard time”. He’ll try to be understanding instead of assuming someone has ill character.
This is called emotional generosity, or assuming that others have the best intentions - or at least that they don’t have ill intentions. He’s generous by assuming that other peoples’ actions aren’t personally to harm him. He believes it’s okay for people to have an off day, or make a mistake.
A man that lacks emotional generosity will be more paranoid, quick to accuse you & guilt you about basic behaviors or habits, and quick to question your loyalty & trustworthiness for things you do that - to you - are simply you existing.
To paint the picture about how this will inevitably show up in your relationship, an emotionally generous man will notice that you didn’t respond to his good morning text (like you usually do), pick up on the pattern change, and wonder if you’re having an okay day.
Was your morning off? Rush to work? Wake up late? He assumes it’s not personal. He hopes you’re okay. Maybe he even offers to bring you coffee or make dinner after he confirms that you did - in fact - miss your alarm and have a rough day.
A man who is insecure, and emotionally selfish, instead of generous, will assume you’re being shady, losing interest, or are trying to manipulate him & play games. He’ll probably be passive aggressive, scold you about it, and demand reassurance (that he may not even take at face value and believe).
Don’t fall for it! Notice early if he is generous and sees the good in people. This is a surefire way to know you’re dating the kind of man who will also see the good in YOU, and treat you accordingly with respect, forgiveness, and understanding.
Ladies, if a man tells you in so many words he’s not serious about stepping up and committing - believe him.
A man who knows who he is, and the kind of connections he wants in his life, won’t be afraid to say things like “I want to get married someday” or “I’m interested in finding a serious relationship”.
A toxic guy will court you into acting like you’re in a relationship, without committing to you. And he’ll be quick to use the excuse of “well, we’re not together”, or “I told you I’m just looking for friends with benefits” after taking advantage of everything you do for him.
This guy knows he’s not going to commit, but also knows the benefits of a woman that’s willing to commit to him.
He’ll even use his own past toxic relationships as an excuse. That one heartbreak from high school, or that one ex that left him for his best friend - or whatever else. And while these are totally valid reasons to feel fear of commitment (all feelings are valid), it doesn’t excuse his actions of knowingly leading you on anyway when he sees how far you’re willing to go for him.
To his benefit, a part of him is trying to be honest with you when he admits he isn’t necessarily looking for a relationship (with you). But don’t take that to mean he’ll reject the benefits of a relationship you offer him without the title.
Believe him. Know what you want. And step away until a man crosses your path that can say, “You know what? Yeah, I’ve had some tough relationships and breakups. But I’ve learned a lot, I’ve healed, and I’m ready to meet a woman I can have a healthy, long-lasting relationship with now”.
You can’t necessarily put your finger on it. This guy hits all the checkboxes on your list. You enjoy him. He’s a good guy. You have common interests and values. He’s genuinely into you and you can tell.
But something just feels...wrong.
Are you making it up?
No. Trust it.
Your nervous system doesn’t always put the words in your brain to explain what a guy’s doing that makes you feel unsafe right now. But that intuition will seldom - if ever - be wrong. It could be a hint of a toxic behavior that just isn’t “loud and clear” yet.
Or something that he’s doing that really is just blatantly toxic - but society has conditioned you to not even notice or acknowledge it (it happens)! But you still feel it, though. And that’s important.
What I can tell you is this: if you want to feel safe with him, that feeling should come very early.
You should feel calm & protected with your man. Not threatened in any way.
Maybe you’re used to second guessing yourself. Perhaps you’ve been gaslit before, told you were being paranoid. But the truth is, there’s a big difference between a man’s actions & character - however subtle - making you feel unsafe, and something being brought to surface to show you where you need to heal.
These things feel different. You’ll be able to tell when your man is being safe, respecting you, and holding space for you without judgment, and it’s just the vulnerability you feel with him that’s catching you off guard. If feeling vulnerable and safe at the same time is new for you, it can be a little intimidating! Take it slow and steady.
But know that those innocent moments of learning to feel safe in vulnerability will feel discernibly different than “I really don’t like that thing he just did. It rubs me the wrong way but I can’t explain why.” Or “Something about his energy just doesn’t feel safe to me, even though I can’t figure out what it is to explain it to myself or him”.
Trust yourself in those moments. You’re probably right!
And you are NOT required to be able to write a 3 page essay explaining why you decided to end things, to know that you need to.
And just because he’s great on paper, and generally a “good guy” doesn’t mean he’s a good guy for YOU. Remember, this guide is about 7 signs he’s toxic for you. And this is the #1 sign that actually accounts for who you are, and the nuance of the kind of man you specifically need.
He may be great for other women, but knowing that something he’s doing is causing you to feel unsafe is enough to know he’s not great for YOU.
And THAT’S what matters. THAGRANT.CO
Now you know the 7 signs of a toxic man that’s never going to change.
Add these to your list of red flags to avoid at all costs.
And if you’re not in yet, make sure you join my Free Facebook Group, The Goddess Community to get more actionable info on finding a man who you’ll want to commit to, who’s ready to commit to you too!