Boyfriend Red Flags Throughout History

Boyfriend Red Flags Throughout History

Paleolithic Era

You spend ages rubbing various stones and flints together until, one day—bam—sparks fly, and you’ve created the first ever fire. Your caveman boyfriend grunts to alert the rest of your tribe to this incredible discovery. When everyone gathers around, he lets out a loud, “Ooh ooh oh ahh aah ah,” claiming it was his invention.

3,400 B.C.E.

Everyone is absolutely crazy about this new thing called “the written word”—but it takes him a full twelve lunar cycles to pick up a stone tablet and respond to a simple “Hey.”

Ancient Egypt

After he showers you with luxurious gifts, etches your name in hieroglyphics into his family tomb, and talks non-stop about the sarcophagus you’ll share for eternity, you casually drop the word “girlfriend,” and he says, “I’m really just not into the whole ‘labels’ thing.”

27 A.D.

He has a lot going for him—he’s a pro at assembling furniture, he can turn water into wine, and he’s the son of God—but you two can never get any alone time. He always has these twelve friends hanging around, and, honestly, one of them seems really untrustworthy.

Medieval Times

You lavish your knight with lyric poetry, but when you ask for reciprocation he conveniently shuts his helmet window and clinks away. You urge him to confess his problems to the village mage, but he dismisses that as a luxury he cannot afford. He doesn’t even care that the mage has expanded their coverage to accept payment on a sliding scale of newts and salamanders.

May, 1431

Sure, he says, Joan of Arc’s story has merit, but he needs to hear the Catholic Church’s side of things, too.

The American Revolution

Your colonial lover hasn’t been the same since the Stamp Act. Most nights, in bed, he won’t shut up about how only representative assemblies can levy direct internal taxes. He’s even considering a “Folly of England, Ruin of America” tattoo. Although it’s kind of hot that he’s so politically involved, suddenly date night is watching him dump tea in the local harbor.

April, 1865

You journey to the homestead of a fellow you met at the local tavern, but when he lights a candle it illuminates a poster above his bed of his favorite stage actor, John Wilkes Booth.


Everyone you know is receiving calls from their suitors through the local switchboard, and yet it takes him a full twelve days to pick up the transmitter and telephone you back.

The Roaring Twenties

He throws wild, extravagant parties, hoping to catch the attention of one married woman.

Late Nineteen-Sixties

You can’t cross the street in Haight-Ashbury without hearing some guy talking about how he’s “the next messiah” and “We’re on the brink of a revolution” and “Let’s go get on a school bus and live out in the desert” at a place you mishear as “Spa Ranch,” which sounds nice.

December, 1992

Everyone is having the best time sending messages like “JK” and “LOL” to one another through their phones, but when you text your boyfriend he doesn’t answer for a full twelve hours. “I’m bad at texting,” he says. You wonder, How can you already be bad at something that was just invented?


Your boyfriend tells you that he wants to break up. Devastated, you ask why. He replies, “It’s like you constantly analyze everything I do, looking for something wrong.” ♦

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