When women think of strength in a man, many of us make the mistake of limiting it to being physically strong and an inability to cry. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth, especially in the context of romantic relationships. A weak man can come in the most muscular body you’ve ever had the privilege of being with.
A weak man isn’t that guy who sheds tears when he’s hurt, but the other one whose real emotions you never know. There are too many ways to spot a weak man to stay stuck with the two prominent and not necessarily accurate signs.
Weakness comes in all shapes and sizes, but since we are focusing on the male of the species, the following are some signs of a weak man in a relationship.
- 1 37 Signs of a Weak Man in a Relationship
- 1.1 1. He lacks self-discipline
- 1.2 2. All talk and no trousers
- 1.3 3. Low self-esteem
- 1.4 4. He doesn't know what he wants
- 1.5 5. Tends to avoid hard conversations
- 1.6 6. He is a pushover
- 1.7 7. Excessive people-pleasing
- 1.8 8. He places more premium on what people think than his own instincts
- 1.9 9. He is financially irresponsible
- 1.10 10. Whatever you say goes
- 1.11 11. Can never admit to a wrong
- 1.12 12. Fails to take responsibility
- 1.13 13. He doesn't listen
- 1.14 14. Tends to bring the nag out of you
- 1.15 15. He is an eternal child
- 1.16 16. Laziness
- 1.17 17. You do more of the work in your relationship
- 1.18 18. He is more of a deadweight than a support system
- 1.19 19. Crumbles in a crisis
- 1.20 20. He is the opposite of proactive
- 1.21 21. A weak man lacks the capacity to see things through
- 1.22 22. The poster boy for toxic masculinity
- 1.23 23. He is intimidated by your strength/independence
- 1.24 24. Has a lot of bad habits
- 1.25 25. Addiction/substance abuse
- 1.26 26. Enabling behavior
- 1.27 27. Physical and emotional promiscuity
- 1.28 28. A weak man is needy
- 1.29 29. Easily lies to avoid a conflict
- 1.30 30. A weak man practically apologizes for existing
- 1.31 31. Can be a selfish lover
- 1.32 32. A chronic procrastinator
- 1.33 33. History of remaining in toxic situations
- 1.34 34. He loses himself when jealous or angry
- 1.35 35. No boundaries
- 1.36 36. Can’t love you right, won't let you go
- 1.37 37. He is aggressive or highly irritable
- 2 FAQs
- 3 To Conclude
37 Signs of a Weak Man in a Relationship
1. He lacks self-discipline
One of the overarching signs of a weak man in a relationship or otherwise is a giant hole in place of self-discipline. He lacks the inner strength to resist his impulses and urges, so his entire life appears to be ruled by them. Most of his other traits, which could also double as signs of his frailty, take their root in this particular one, and you will see more on it as we go on.
2. All talk and no trousers
One of the characteristics that separate a strong man from a weak one is the former’s ability to get their affairs in order when necessary. Given that being weak doesn’t necessarily make you a bad person, a weak man might want this too. If you are dating one and all he does is disappoint you, that probably hurts as much as it does you, if not more.
In a moment of courage, he might feel so bad that he’d promise to do better and be a man worthy of you. Unfortunately, that’s about as much as you’re going to get. A weak man talks a big game but finds it difficult to follow through on his promises once the moment passes.
3. Low self-esteem
Signs of a weak man in a relationship can be synonymous with signs of low self-esteem. Does your guy have a history of making poor choices in women? Is he usually uncomfortable being by himself? Does he take simple feedback and correction from you as a personal attack on his being?
Is he so insecure that he noticeably finds it challenging to put his needs forward to other people? Does he apologize so much that the words have practically lost their meaning? These are all signs of someone who has a negative perception of himself, and as long as that stands, he can’t help but be a weak man.
4. He doesn't know what he wants
If you are dating a weak man, his indecisiveness will probably be one of your more common relationship problems. He may not be able to talk to every woman in every room, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want them either.
Given his possible history of settling all his life, he’d most likely go through every relationship, thinking he could probably do better. Maybe he can, maybe not, but where a strong man might decide to choose a side and stick with it, a weak man would rather play the field and string you along.
5. Tends to avoid hard conversations
Since no woman is out here looking to waste their time on an unserious man, sooner or later, you are going to want to know where the relationship is headed. You want to talk about his plans for his future to see if it aligns with yours and whether or `not he sees you in it.
One of the signs of a weak man in a relationship is that he is seemingly incapable of having a conversation like this. He’d rather avoid talking about the future than tell you he doesn’t want things to go that far between you. And even if he does, being that fear of the unknown affects him more than a typical strong man, he still wouldn’t want to commit to anything.
6. He is a pushover
A weak man never stands for anything because he’s way too easily influenced by other people's opinions. There is a thin line between taking the counsel of other people and weighing it against your own and just plain being a pushover.
A weak man is on the latter side of that spectrum. He’d readily acquiesce to avoid a conflict even when within his rights.
7. Excessive people-pleasing
A weak man gets anxious at the sight of conflict or emotions that may lead to it, so he works extra hard to make sure that never happens. Within the relationship, that may look like he’s exceptionally kind and thoughtful at first, but as time goes on, you realize he’s just overcompensating for his low self-esteem.
With everyone else, you may notice signs such as compromising for other people to have their way to stay in their good graces. Often at the expense of his feelings and sometimes even yours.
8. He places more premium on what people think than his own instincts
In an attempt to be seen by everyone as the perfect gentleman, a weak man may ignore his partner’s counsel as well as his own gut in favor of other people’s opinions. A weak man is nice to a fault, or so he will have you believe until you get close enough and realize it's an attraction technique.
Unfortunately, people are hard to please, so anyone who’s committed to being loved by everyone continually has to tailor his life to the whims of his audience. So, if you are in a relationship with such a person, you may find him making decisions not based on the reality that only you two are privy to. Or even what’s best for the union.
But rather on the information given to him from the outside or based on the age-old line “what will people say?”
9. He is financially irresponsible
Financial irresponsibility in an adult is one of the signs of someone lacking self-discipline, i.e., a weak man. While you are dating, this may look like one of his endearing traits, as he can literally spare no resource to impress you, even when he can’t afford it.
Given their tendency to tie their self-worth around what they have and provide, a weak man might dip into his savings to keep up a fake lifestyle. Or worse still, enter debts. Unfortunately, these signs may not become clear to you until you get into a serious relationship with one because that’s around the time people get comfortable discussing their money troubles.
10. Whatever you say goes
Signs of a weak man in a relationship can be seen in your every day interaction as a couple. When you are the authority on all that goes on in your relationship and within the home. I understand the concept of equality enough to know that it is as much against the idea of women being subservient as it is of men.
A strong man values his woman’s opinion and counsel, but he also makes his own known. In contrast, a weak man is mostly just along for the ride, never making his position known even if it contradicts yours. Being in a relationship with such guys doesn’t feel so much like a partnership as a sole proprietorship.
11. Can never admit to a wrong
The ‘it takes a big man’ line is a cliché for a reason, and a weak man is simply not that guy. He’d sooner blame everybody else than admit even a little part of an issue may have been his fault.
This is a defense mechanism of sorts for a weakling; his entire life is a bogus show of nicety and people-pleasing. To him, admitting that he is, in fact, prone to mistakes is like undoing his life’s work. He might apologize eventually, but only to avoid a full-blown conflict, not that he’s really taking responsibility.
12. Fails to take responsibility
On that note, a weak man’s inability to accept responsibility goes beyond just when he’s wrong. The very concept of it negates his inclination to go through life passively. Where a strong man might jump at the opportunity to take on an obligation, his weakling counterpart makes a point of avoiding it.
If you are in a relationship with one, you may find yourself repeating a conversation you’ve already had countless times if it involves him taking on more. Someone you can’t trust to do his part when things are smooth between you, imagine how he’d do should they go south.
13. He doesn't listen
Like I mentioned earlier, weak men have their moment of courage too, chemically-induced or otherwise, when they say all the right things and promise to improve. If you catch him during one of those and manage to hold yet another conversation about the same old problems, he might appear to be listening.
Unfortunately, once he finds a way to silence the internal turmoil that inspires the noble desire to get his acts together, he regresses. This just goes to prove that love isn’t enough in a relationship, emotions might make a weak man want to do better, but he needs willpower to see it through.
14. Tends to bring the nag out of you
A man who doesn’t listen would do that to a woman. One of the more common signs of a weak man in a relationship is how quick his kind is to call their partner a nag. Not only does he have to be told to do his duty, you also have to continually remind him if you want anything done.
Half the time, what you have to badger him about doesn’t even have anything to do with you or your relationship. It’s basic human decency, like not making his existence a burden for everyone else.
15. He is an eternal child
Everyone ages, but it takes determination to grow up for real, something a weak man cannot relate to. Any woman who gets into a relationship with a weak man is essentially signing on to parent him, too, no matter how old he is.
Signs of a weak man in a relationship can present as anything from a seeming inability to clean up after himself to the very way he thinks and acts. If a supposedly grown man keeps behaving like a hormonal teenage boy, acting out and overindulging in vices, it’s enough to tell he’s as weak as they come.
The signs of a weak partner can often look like laziness, but that’s only because it is. As a woman who can be quite lazy myself, I understand that we sometimes need a little nudge to get to what we have to do. Sometimes it’s from the person around you, other times, it’s the little voice in your head that won’t let you rest until you get up.
If a weak man is anything like me, he too has that little voice reminding him to be more helpful around the house and be more proactive about his own life. Only thing is, he may find it easier to ignore it, especially as long as he has someone picking up the slack.
17. You do more of the work in your relationship
And that brings me to the point that any woman who has the misfortune of starting a relationship with a weak man will most definitely encounter – being “the man of the house.”
It’s almost funny because, in addition to the usual girlfriend duties, you’d also be the parent, protector, probably provider, planner, etc. So, if your boyfriend makes you clean up after him, make all the plans, and basically contributes less than he is capable of, those are signs of a weak man in a relationship.
18. He is more of a deadweight than a support system
It’s interesting how the same person who practically goes through life being excessively kind to other people can be such an undependable partner. I mean, you’d expect a guy who's always there for everyone else – from friends to acquaintances to strangers – to show up for you who he claims to love when necessary.
Unfortunately, the reverse is often the case. The only time you can expect the same energy that random people get from him is when he’s still wooing you. Once he becomes your boyfriend or husband, you get the same treatment as everyone else in his inner circle, being treated as less of a priority because he’s already got you.
So, despite putting more than your fair share of effort into the relationship to keep it afloat, you can’t even trust your partner to be there to support you in time of need.
19. Crumbles in a crisis
Not every weak male out there wears their weaknesses like a cloak. In fact, most guys do a good job of hiding it until circumstances make that impossible. If you still have doubts regarding the kind of man you’re in a relationship with, keep an eye out for how he behaves in a crisis.
Man or woman, it takes strength for someone to remain calm in testing time. So, if your boyfriend loses his cool every time things don’t go as planned or breaks down in an emergency rather than being solution-oriented, those aren’t good signs.
20. He is the opposite of proactive
Traditionally, men have been known to be more proactive in love and relationships in general. And while more women are being encouraged to go after what they want too, rather than wait around for their man, taking the initiative has been a dominant male role for generations.
Between their evolutionary acquisition of the hero complex and the societal perpetuation of the damsel in distress narrative, men have had more practice in the area. However, the weak ones tend to deviate from this norm, what with the laziness and their inability to take responsibility, among other undesirable traits.
21. A weak man lacks the capacity to see things through
If you have a man who can’t seem to get through anything he attempts, be it going to the gym or dating, watch out for other signs of weakness. Any idiot can start an undertaking, but it takes a strong man to decide to stick it out when the going gets tough.
His weaker counterpart’s instinct, on the other hand, would be to abandon ship first, then start all over again. So, his inability to finish that course, get that body, stick with one girl, etc., are all potential signs of a weak individual.
22. The poster boy for toxic masculinity
He doesn't cry or betray any kind of emotions because that wouldn't be manly, big dick energy, jerk of all trade, cocky to a sickening degree, you know the type. The burly, violent, homophobic bully with an obsession with dominance.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, men with this type of behavior are often the most sensitive of the bunch. Riddled by fear of getting found out as no more than a phony, they cling to the idea of “what men should be like,” harms and all. In reality, what they are terrified of is slipping up and showing signs of a weak man that they know themselves to be.
23. He is intimidated by your strength/independence
A weak man can't bear the thought of his woman being better than him because low self-esteem already makes him think everyone else is. Insecurity makes him feel threatened by the prospect of you outdoing him at anything, for fear that you might actually wise up and outgrow him.
You’ve already seen the signs of a weak man in a relationship if your boyfriend habitually gets defensive and tries to prove he can do better than you at the things you are good at. This is even more plausible if he has something against independent women in general.
24. Has a lot of bad habits
No one is above temptation, we all tend to succumb to our base instincts sometimes, except in the case of a weak man, this is their norm. There may be some internal conflict and a lot of self-loathing going on underneath, but they are usually not enough to keep him from doing the next bad thing.
So, take a close look at your man, from his love life to the personal. If he frequently indulges in multiple vices, those are some signs of a weak resolve, at the very least.
25. Addiction/substance abuse
I use addiction loosely here, given science has confirmed it to be an illness. However, speaking purely from the perspective of the previous point, going back to substances like alcohol, drugs, porn, gambling, and what have you suggests a significant deficiency of willpower. At least on the surface.
It may not be a choice, there may be underlying problems somewhere, but going by the repetition of use only, substance abuse can indeed indicate poor discipline.
26. Enabling behavior
On the flip side, signs of a weak man in a relationship may present as enabling traits/behaviors. For example, he may not be the one with the bad habits but be contributing to it by not taking a firm stand against them.
Keeping quiet when he shouldn’t, funding an addiction so you don’t look elsewhere, supporting you while you’re clearly going astray may all look like love, but are they really? If he keeps cheering you on despite mounting consequences, it can be because he suffers from low self-esteem and is pleasing you for the wrong reasons.
27. Physical and emotional promiscuity
When you can't say no, you find yourself saying yes way more than you should. A weak man is… well, too weak to reject anyone because, god forbid anyone isn't pleased with him. Couple that with his expected lack of self-discipline, and you can already see where I'm going with this.
He falls in love way too easily and often as his kind is not famous for their refined taste. Anyone kind enough to look their way and can fill their desire at the moment is enough to make them slip. That's why you see guys who mess up, feel bad when caught, and promise never to do it again, only to repeat the same mistake again and again and again.
28. A weak man is needy
Self-esteem issues, being one of the predominant signs of a weak man, can cause him to be extremely clingy or needy in a relationship. People with this peculiarity are also the ones who tend to mistake codependent traits for love—the type of guys who tend to lose their individuality when they get into a relationship.
Suddenly, he can no longer exist without you and needs to be doted on to prove your feelings for him are genuine.
29. Easily lies to avoid a conflict
If you’ve had to get used to being lied to unprovoked since you started going out with this person, chances are he doesn’t like himself very much. If he can’t answer a simple question about himself or where he’s been without first having to think about it, that may be your cue.
This is because, as with all people-pleasers, one of the worst things that can happen in a weak man’s world is to lose your approval. So if there is even a remote chance that the actual sequence of events might provoke a conflict, he’ll always take the seemingly easier route of lying his way out of it.
30. A weak man practically apologizes for existing
When you think low of yourself, a resultant effect is that you automatically assume other people are offended by your very existence. That’s why some of the more commonly noticeable traits of a weak link are behaviors accompanied by this assumption.
A man who feels the need to say sorry for everything, even when he’s done no wrong, is obviously not in the best of place mentally. Sadly, this does very little to improve his relationships because people either start taking him for granted or tag him as a creep.
31. Can be a selfish lover
If he has shown some of the discussed signs of a weak man in a relationship, his sex game may not be far behind. Since all the body cares about besides the pleasure of release is the assurance of the continued human race through reproduction, any intercourse that gets a man there is a job well done. Even if it only takes seconds.
It is now the man’s job to retrain himself and consider his partner’s needs, too, especially in a relationship. However, a weak-willed man will always find it difficult to go against the hedonistic desire to get there as fast as possible, hence the selfish lover tag.
He may also not see your sexual dissatisfaction as a problem worth working on so long as he gets to finish. I call those signs of a weak man-hood.
32. A chronic procrastinator
Procrastinating is a disease, one that weak people are especially prone to. It all still boils down to the fact that they are usually not the best at exercising self-restraint, and that tends to create problems of its own.
Unlike a self-disciplined man who can drag himself out of a rut when he needs to, a weak man is more of a slave to his body. So, if your man is in the habit of putting off his tasks to the very last minute, it’s a possible sign of a weak game of self-mastery.
33. History of remaining in toxic situations
It takes courage to let go of the familiar, no matter how toxic. Even the strongest of people find it hard sometimes to leave a situation that's been their reality long enough to be functional, even when it’s dysfunctional.
However, once is a mistake, it’s a coincidence the second time, but if the same thing happens a third time, it becomes a pattern. So, if you’re interested in signs of a weak man in a relationship, take a look at the patterns of his life – past relationships, friendships, jobs.
Does he always wait a little too late to get out of circumstances that no longer serve him? If it’s happened at least three times already, you have your answer.
34. He loses himself when jealous or angry
Extreme bouts of anger, jealousy, and similar emotions are some other signs of a weak man in a relationship. His low sense of self might cause him to feel more threatened than usual by potential rivals, i.e., other guys, because, again, he’s operating from an insecure place.
So if you can’t even hold a conversation with another man without your boyfriend throwing a fit, or he gets so possessive and controlling for no reason, you’re definitely with a weak man.
35. No boundaries
You can also tell the signs of a weak man in a relationship by his attitude towards personal boundaries. If his dating history suggests that he has a pattern of playing whatever hand his partner deals, good or bad, that’s not very encouraging.
If it extends to his friendships, workplace, and most importantly, his current relationship with you, then he’s got more than a mild-case of people-pleasing. There is a strong possibility that he has low self-esteem, too, so if the shoe fits…
36. Can’t love you right, won't let you go
This may not be the quickest one to spot, but it is almost always a given that weak guys suck at ending things. They can be quite the time-wasters, too, if you are the type to consider a relationship that doesn’t go anywhere as such.
Indecisiveness won’t let him make up his mind on what he wants with you, and fear of conflict keeps him from breaking it off altogether. If he really loves you, threatening to leave him might trigger a need to get his stuff together and act right, if only till he gets comfortable again.
And given he might be too chicken to make a clean break, he may also have a history of ghosting girls when he realizes he’s not quite as in love as he thought.
37. He is aggressive or highly irritable
On a more specific note, unprovoked aggression and snappish behavior are also signs of a weak man in a relationship. He is the guy whose partner can’t check without getting offended but would never pick on someone his size—the ticking time bomb who seems to lack the faculty to use his words.
Like the guy in the previous point who shows similar signs, such traits are inspired by fear or insecurity. More importantly, they are tell-tale signs of a weak man because a strong one would never project his insecurities on his loved ones in that manner.
A weak man in a relationship is one who leaves his partner to do most of the work. A man who, in addition to not giving the needed support, piles on his significant other’s burden. Besides lack of responsibility, other signs of a weak man in a relationship include being a pushover, lacking self-worth, and being afraid to express his true feelings.
If a guy you’re in a relationship with suddenly withdraws or slowly distances himself from you, that can suggest he is unhappy. He may apply himself less, wait for you to reach out, stop making plans and spend less time with you. Still, the best way to know for sure if your boyfriend is happy is to ask.
What men want in a relationship varies based on the needs of each one. That’s why it is essential to communicate with your own man and find out his love language(s) and his unique needs. Generally speaking, though, a typical man desires companionship, respect, understanding, physical touch, intimacy, etc., from his woman.
A man who cares, listens and would never forget the important details you tell him. He is considerate of your feelings and wouldn’t knowingly do something that might you. He makes time for you, pays attention, respects you, and invests in your happiness.
A faker might imitate the traits of a man in love, but he wouldn’t be able to commit to it long enough to make it legit. Also, the intensity of his feelings for you may fluctuate based on his needs, so you can expect a lot of hot and cold vibes.
Signs of a weak man in a relationship don’t get any clearer than these. If there are traits not mentioned here, the ones that are will lead you to them. Remember, no single sign is concrete enough to go by, be sure to see a pattern first before freaking out. Also, every day spent in a relationship is an opportunity to make your own reality, so seeing some of these traits in a man shouldn’t make you lose hope.
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As hopeless romantic I struggled tremendously in my love life. After many years of searching, trial & error, and countless failed relationships, I finally found my Mr. Right. It wasn't an easy road, but one that has taught me an incredible amount about the workings of relationships between men and women, and this is what I hope to share through my writing on this blog.