Do you know how to spot and avoid a deadbeat?


Women frequently end up in relationships with men who don’t pay for anything and can’t hold down a job for very long. Once you fall for a man like that, it’s easy to hang in there hoping that you can change him. That kind of thinking usually keeps you tied to a man who can’t make you happy, prolonging your unhappiness. 

Worse yet, he will drag you down in ways that aren’t emotional, such as stunting your financial and career growth. It’s hard to get ahead in life when you are stuck supporting a fully grown, and capable adult. You can’t take career risks. Forget about having kids. So, why do women sometimes find themselves trapped in toxic relationships with deadbeats?

Unfortunately, a lot of women are so used to putting the needs and feelings of other people ahead of their own that they can easily miss the tell-tale signs of a deadbeat. When you’re the type of person who has been put into emotional and physical caregiving positions for much of your life, it can be challenging to see the signs and red flags that are there to alert you to trouble ahead. Once you’re attached, and in love, it is incredibly hard to let go of someone who isn’t good for you. So it’s best when you can see the problems ahead and avoid them altogether. 

Deadbeats usually follow patterns and have several red flags attached to them. Here are some of the most common deadbeat warning signals to be on the lookout for:

1. Someone else supports him. 

Whether it’s his parents, his ex, or the government, it doesn’t matter. If he isn’t making a living, he will always be on the lookout for someone who will support him. That will be you someday. A guy like this is not motivated to support himself, and why should he be when other people are all too ready to do it for him? Don’t fall for this trick. 

2. He doesn’t take responsibility. 

Just as he doesn’t take responsibility for his finances and his ability to support himself, a true deadbeat won’t take responsibility in other areas of his life. 

  • He blames his ex-girlfriend for why his last relationship didn’t work. 
  • If you get in an argument, he’ll find a way to blame you for it, even when he’s wrong. 
  • If he has children, he may not see the child often and doesn’t want to pay child support.

Guys like this are bad news and big trouble. Stay away from people who don’t accept responsibility for when they do something wrong. It’s a true sign that this person lacks character and integrity. You’ll end up being the scapegoat, and it will lower your self-esteem. 

3. He’s immature. 

Maybe he’s partying too much or has a tantrum when you don’t want to do what he wants. He just doesn’t act like a grown up. He plays games with you or with his boss, rather than looking for a mature, effective way to communicate how he feels. He puts off doctor’s appointments, paying bills, or taking care of his car. Why would you want to take on an overgrown child? Look for a man who is an equal adult and who is reliable. 

4. He’s uncomfortable with your success. 

He can’t handle you working hard or getting ahead at work. He might complain about your hours or try to convince you that you don’t need or want that raise you are going for. A man who is a good person and who is the right one for you will care about your dreams and aspirations. He will be a true partner to you, and ideally, you’ll both help each other get ahead in life and reach goals together, as a team. 

5. He won’t commit – to anything.

It’s difficult for him to make plans for the weekend, so it’s practically impossible for him to imagine making a lifelong commitment to a woman. Deadbeats are always on the prowl for get rich quick schemes and the next best thing. Commitment to anything is a swear word to a deadbeat. 

6. His friends are like him.

You are known by the company you keep. Look at who his friends are. If his friends do not see the value in working hard, being honest, and getting ahead with integrity, he doesn’t either. Water tends to seek its own level. The people he associates with should give you a clue into what type of person he is below the charming veneer he’s put on when he’s around you. If you find yourself uncomfortable around his friends because they drink too much, do drugs, complain, and tear each other down, this is a glimpse into his character. And be honest with yourself here – you wouldn’t hang out with people like his friends if it weren’t for your boyfriend. 

So why are you with him? 

Maybe you don’t feel worthy of a successful man, or you’re afraid of getting hurt or rejected. You might be afraid to be alone, and settling is better than nothing. It’s possible that you were raised around people like this and you have a tough time seeing the red flags. You might think he’ll change. 

It’s true that sometimes, people do change. But guess what? They don’t change in predictable ways, or on our timetable. Value yourself by saying “bye” to the deadbeat. 

Our cultural focus on equality can confuse us into thinking that we shouldn’t want or expect men to pay for our meals, plan the dates, or pick us up.  We might feel guilty about expecting better treatment, especially if he doesn’t have much money to pay. That can make it easier to settle for poor treatment, leading you into a relationship you may later regret. 

Remember, when you’re cautious about taking your time to get to know him, you have the time to look for these warning signs. When you follow the Be Your Own Brand of Sexy process, you can do what’s right for you in weeding out deadbeats whether our culture considers it “equality” or not. 

Want to know more about how to weed out other kinds of toxic men from your life? Get this FREE checklist now to help you spot narcissists and players before they break your heart.

Leave us a comment and let us know what kind of toxic men you’ve experienced and how you plan to weed them out in the future.

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  • Mary says:

    Great advice. I was married to a deadbeat man for 7 years. After our first 2 years of marriage he suddenly decided to quit his job because he didn’t feel like working anymore. I had to support him for 5 years, working overtime, paying all the bills, plus doing all of the housework, grocery shopping, etc. He stayed home in his bathrobe, playing computer games and watching television. He contributed nothing to our household. I finally got fed up and filed for divorce. I feel like I lost 7 years of my life.

    • Dr. Susan says:

      Hi Mary,

      I’m sorry to hear how difficult this situation was.

      I’m sure you’ve learned a lot and you will be more selective next time.


      Dr. Susan

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