Weak & Strong Men: What It Means & 56 Signs of a Weak Man in a Relationship

Are you with a guy who is frustrating you on a daily basis? If you are, then you need to know the signs of a weak man in a relationship.

signs of a weak man in a relationship

Ever been on one of those dates that felt more like babysitting than romancing? Oh, don’t be shy, we’ve all been there. But if you knew the signs of a weak man or a strong man in a relationship, you could avoid that in the future.

So you’re at a fancy restaurant, candlelight flickering, and soft jazz in the background. Across from you is Mr. Date-Night, eyes darting between the pasta and the steak, every ounce of him oozing indecision.

“Should I go for the fettuccine or the ribeye?” he mutters. After what feels like an eternity, your nurturing side kicks in, “Why not both?” you suggest, smiling.

But deep down, a little voice whispers, “Girl, are those the early signs of a weak man?” And bingo, you hit the jackpot!!

Dating can be a fun game of discovery, but when the scales tip more towards nurturing than equal partnership, it might be time to pause and reflect.

After all, while it’s charming to play caretaker for a night, wouldn’t it be refreshing to sit across from someone who knows his strengths and flaunts them? A strong man, perhaps?

[Read: Immature men – 53 manchild signs, why he’s a pain to date, and how to help him]

Understanding Weakness and Strength in Relationships

Wondered what makes a man exhibit certain behaviors in a relationship? Is he naturally a strong, dependable rock, or does he sometimes seem… a tad bit lost?

1. Self-Concept and Personal Growth

Rooted deeply in Carl Rogers’ Person-Centered Theory, every individual’s perception of themselves—be it as a strong man, a weak man, or somewhere in between—stems from their self-concept.

This includes their self-worth, capabilities, and perceived place in the world. Over time, based on experiences and feedback from the environment *yeah, those dates count too!*, a person’s self-concept evolves, leading them to exhibit either strong or weak characteristics. [Read: Self-concept – What it is, and how we use it to experience happiness in life]

2. The Crucial Role of Upbringing

Before you jump the gun and label that guy with commitment issues, consider this: his upbringing plays a pivotal role in the man he has become. The way our parents or guardians raised us has a lasting imprint on our behaviors.

For instance, a boy raised in an environment where vulnerability was discouraged might find it challenging to express emotions openly in adulthood.

3. Attachment Theory Insights

Dr. John Bowlby, the big brain behind Attachment Theory, said our early relationships, especially with our primary caregivers, set the stage for future romantic endeavors.

Men with secure attachments often display confidence and emotional stability *hello, signs of a strong man!*.

On the flip side, those with avoidant or anxious attachments might exhibit clinginess, detachment, or even uncertainty in relationships—classic signs of a weak man in some contexts.

4. Societal Pressures and Masculinity

The society we live in has its own set of rules about what a “real man” should be like. [Read: 41 Rules to be a gentleman every girl would secretly dream of dating]

Often, the pressure to conform to these standards might lead some men to suppress their genuine emotions, leading to perceived weakness or overcompensating strength.

5. Life Experiences and Resilience

Sometimes, it’s not the upbringing but specific life events—a heartbreak, a failure, a significant success—that mold a man.

Overcoming adversities can lead to the development of strength, resilience, and emotional depth, while repeated failures without proper coping mechanisms can contribute to signs of a weak man. [Read: 23 Secrets and real life problems that make a relationship stronger]

6. Emotional Intelligence *EQ*

Daniel Goleman popularized this term, suggesting that EQ often outweighs IQ in life success. A strong man typically has a high EQ, understanding and managing his emotions while empathizing with others.

A weak man, on the other hand, might struggle in this area, making relationships challenging.

Are you settling if you date a weak man?

Let’s not beat around the bush – yes, you are! There’s no reason why you should settle for someone who treats you less than you deserve. [Read: Strong silent type – why women love this man and how to hook one]

Unless you like doing all the work in a relationship, you need to find someone else.

This is why it’s important to know the signs of a weak man in a relationship – so you don’t end up wasting your time further in the relationship.

Why else would you be with someone who makes the relationship feel one-sided or someone who makes you feel more alone? [Read: Manchild alert – 23 signs you’re dating an immature prick]

You know you deserve better than that. What you need is a life partner and a best friend, not someone who’s practically a child.

How to know the signs of a weak man in a relationship

Our mothers always told us that we need to find ourselves a strong man. While some think about a physically strong man, your mom probably didn’t mean it like that.

Rather than having someone with the perfect physique, she wants you to have a mentally and emotionally strong man. [Read: Lazy boyfriend – 20 signs, why guys get lazy in love, and how to help him change]

You need a man who can fight for his own battles and isn’t going to be the child in the relationship. You want a partner, not a manchild, so brush up and learn the signs of a weak man in a relationship.

1. You’ve become a nag

One of our worst fears in a relationship is becoming big naggers, but sometimes you can’t help it. He’s turned you into someone you swore you’d never be: the world’s worst nagger *maybe not literally, but you get the point.*

You never were a nag before, but since you started dating him, you find yourself nagging more and more. In all honesty, you feel more like a parent than a partner in your relationship. [Read: How to deal with resentment in a relationship]

He lacks the initiative to do anything, and it frustrates the hell out of you. Again, relationships are about partnership and it isn’t up to you to do everything for him!

2. You clean up after him

He leaves his clothes lying around or has food wrappers everywhere. But the thing is, though he can clean up his own mess, he doesn’t.

He can’t remain organized or be responsible for his own mess, especially when he knows you’re around to do it anyway.

If he has unpaid bills or needs an excuse to bail an event, you’re the one doing his dirty work. [Read: Why you should run when these red flags pop up]

This is one of the concrete signs of a weak man in a relationship you need to watch out for. No matter how much you love him, it’s not your responsibility to clean up his mess.

3. He has “high-school” interests and friendships

We all have a phase in our lives when partying and vices seemed cool. However, as we grow older, we outgrew that stage as we need to take responsibility for our actions.

If your boyfriend still indulges in these vices and acts like he’s still the cool kid back in high school, you might want to rethink your relationship. [Read: What age does a man mature? 19 signs he’s grown a real pair]

Let’s just say in a nice way, he never grew up. How can you have a serious conversation with someone who doesn’t know when enough is enough?

4. He can’t handle “the future” conversations

This is definitely one of the signs of a weak man in a relationship that you can’t ignore. If he doesn’t have the emotional or mental maturity to have conversations about future plans or even where your relationship is going, it’s a red flag!

You obviously want to know what’s going to happen with the relationship. You’re at that phase where you want to push things forward but the minute you bring up children or marriage, he freaks out. [Read: 15 things immature men do and why you should definitely avoid them]

You see him deflect this conversation every chance he gets. Maybe he gets an emergency phone call or he suddenly has work to do.

5. He Still Lives With His Parents

Understandably, various factors, including financial constraints or cultural expectations, might lead a man to live with his parents.

However, one of the signs of a weak man is when he’s comfortably nestled at home, with no intention of seeking independence or personal growth. It’s not just about physical space, it’s about the mindset. [Read: Husband material – 31 signs to split a boyfriend you date and a man you marry]

A man who lacks ambition or the drive to carve out his own path may struggle in a relationship where mutual progression and growth are expected.

6. He doesn’t listen

Surprise, surprise! Since you’re already prone to nagging him, then he clearly fails to listen to what you want from him. But on top of that, he’s also choosing not to respect you.

A strong man will listen to their partner. In fact, respect is one of the defining traits of a strong man. [Read: 19 Ways to be a much better listener in a relationship and read their mind]

If he respects you, then everything else will follow. He might not always agree with you, but he’ll have the maturity to understand your point.

7. He doesn’t stand up for you

If this isn’t the definition of weak, we don’t know what else is. As your partner, he should stand up for you the same way you do for him. Otherwise, what’s the point of all this? They’re supposed to be your support system.

A weak man will ignore it because he doesn’t want to get involved or will join the others and tease you. There’s nothing manly about this and he doesn’t deserve you if this is the case. [Read: 16 types of men you should never ever date]

8. You don’t discuss serious topics

This is one of the most ignored signs of a weak man in a relationship, but it’s a valid one. You’re probably thinking why his mental and emotional maturity has anything to do with being strong?

This all goes back to his deflecting skills and inability to communicate.

If he can’t converse serious topics with you, then you can’t rely on him for the difficult parts of your relationship. He’s not into confrontation, so, he’ll dodge the conversation and try to pin it on you instead. So much for dealing with the issue head-on.

9. You make all the plans

It’s okay to make plans, especially if you’re the more organized and detailed one in the relationship. [Read: How to find the balance and help your selfish boyfriend change]

However, if you do it all the time and he doesn’t even try to pitch in, then start questioning. A weak man is someone who lets everyone else work for them.

They don’t want to be a leader, they want to be a follower and be taken care of. You might think planning is such a simple thing – that it’s okay for you to do it for him.

However, notice how you’re also doing the work for him in every other aspect. You making the plans is just one portion of why he’s a weak man. [Read: Dominant girlfriend – the pros and cons of dating a woman in control and how to handle it]

10. He doesn’t take responsibility

He doesn’t know how to be responsible or to take accountability. This is one of the concrete signs of a weak man in a relationship.

Even if it’s his fault *and he clearly knows this,* he doesn’t accept the consequences of his actions nor does he try to mend his faults.

Instead, he tries to find some lame excuse to throw at you or point the finger at someone else. He thinks it’s weak to admit his mistakes, but it’s actually weaker to lack accountability. [Read: 47 Good and bad types of guys in the dating world and secrets to read them]

11. He Can’t Make a Decision Without Consulting His Parents *or probably every single friend like it’s a survey*

Everyone values a second opinion now and then, but there’s a fine line between seeking advice and being utterly dependent on others for every decision.

One of the telling signs of a weak man is his inability to stand firm on his choices without seeking validation from a crowd. In a relationship, this can translate to unnecessary complications and a lack of individuality.

Confidence, after all, isn’t just about bravado. It’s about trust in one’s judgment. [Read: 25 Common male insecurities men have that women have no idea about]

12. He’s not emotional

One of the most obvious signs of a weak man in a relationship is that he doesn’t have the emotional capabilities to have empathy nor can he express his own.

Society equates vulnerability with weaknesses when in reality, emotions are what makes us strong.

A strong man has no problem expressing his emotions, because, at the end of the day, everyone is human, everyone’s emotional.

If he cannot express his emotions, first of all, that’s a red flag. Second of all, he’s scared and that’s not someone you need next to you. [Read: 22 early warning signs of a bad boyfriend]

13. He’s selfish

Another one of the signs of a weak man in a relationship is when he’s clearly selfish and only thinks of his own needs.

He doesn’t know how to compromise and think of what will make you happy. It could be your birthday, but you’ll never see him do something special for you.

Instead, he’ll wait until you come home for you to cook dinner. If it’s in any way inconvenient for him, he wouldn’t do it, even if it’s for you. [Read: How to stop selfish people and stop them from hurting you]

14. He has no sense of ambition

A strong man knows exactly what he wants out of life and which goals he wants to accomplish, whereas a weak man has no clue.

He’s probably just going with the flow of life, seeing where things take him. This isn’t a man you need in your life as he’ll take you downhill with him because of that lack of ambition.

You need someone who knows what they want and what they need to do to achieve those goals. Strength is knowing your path to success, rather than accepting complacency. [Read: Dating with a partner’s unemployment – dos and don’ts]

15. His actions don’t match his words

You know that instance where he says one thing and completely means another, or ends up forgetting he said it? That’s who a weak man is. The definition of strength is someone who matches their words with the necessary actions.

You don’t just promise someone to make them feel good, but you actually deliver through that promise. It doesn’t just make you a reliable partner, but it makes them trust you more. [Read: 33 traits of a good boyfriend all girls should look for in a guy]

16. He expects financial support from you

If you find that you’re always doing the financial supporting no matter what, this is one of the clear signs of a weak man in a relationship.

Since he has no responsibility in his life, he puts this kind of burden on you. This isn’t just seen as weak, but it’s also selfish of him to put that kind of pressure on you.

On the contrary, a strong man will help you with the financial burden and make things easier for you. It won’t feel like you’re alone, but you’ll feel like you have a partner. [Read: How to talk about money with your partner without fighting about it]

17. He doesn’t filter his anger or hurtful words

When he’s temperamental or having a bad day, he’s not afraid to take it all out on you. You’re often the first person to feel the impact of his anger as he assumes that it’s okay with you. However, not being able to contain his anger is an indicator of weakness.

It’s not strength to put your temper out on people and lash out at them just because you’re having a bad day. Everyone has bad days, but it’s never an excuse to treat someone badly. [Read: 10 ways to handle dating someone with anger issues]

18. He has no sense of purpose

He’s just going through the motions of life without the intent of finding his purpose. We all have a goal to find our life purpose, especially when we haven’t found it yet.

One of the clear signs of weakness is when he doesn’t care about his purpose or clearly has no purpose. His career is often directionless and even the things he does are done without a care in the world.

19. He gaslights you or others

Weak men are masters at gaslighting, especially in getting what they want in life. He knows exactly how to manipulate people and even if it’s his fault, he’ll play the victim and make it seem like the other person’s fault. [Read: How to spot gaslighting in a relationship & shut it down for good]

It’s never his fault so he’ll manipulate you into thinking it is, even if it means gaslighting you and leaving you in an emotional mess.

20. He doesn’t have etiquette

Basic etiquette means you respect the people around you. Weak men don’t have this trait as they’re incapable of showing respect.

Even if they practically force themselves to show basic etiquette, you can tell it’s not heartfelt or genuine. He’s doing it to show a front for you or others, but not necessarily from the goodness of his heart. [Read: Proper social etiquette – 19 signs and traits that make you classy and likeable]

21. He’s indecisive

The main reason why he can’t contribute when planning is he can’t stick to one decision. He changes his mind as often as the weather, which makes him both weak and unreliable.

Indecisiveness is one of the concrete signs of a weak man in a relationship you should watch out for. Even if he’s forced to do so, he just has trouble sticking to a decision. [Read: 15 firm ways to deal with an indecisive partner]

22. You can’t feel support from him

Whether it’s emotional or mental support, he just fails in both aspects. As a weak man, he even competes with being better than you as he always has to be better than you.

Even when you’re telling him your goals and ambitions, he dismisses them as if they’re unimportant. Over the months of your relationship, support isn’t something you had from him.

23. He’s a people-pleaser

He wants everyone to like him, which is why his actions and behavior are often validation-seeking. [Read: 20 signs you’re a people pleaser and don’t realize it]

This doesn’t just mean specifically to you, but everyone in his life. He wants his actions to be approved by everyone.

This is one of the signs of a weak man in a relationship you should watch out for. His main source of approval isn’t himself, but from others around him.

24. He neglects everything

An example of a weak man is when he leaves his clothes all over the floor or fails to clean up the dishes. Basically, he assumes that you’ll take on the role and clean up his mess. [Read: 13 ways to stop feeling neglected by the one you love]

He neglects his personal hygiene, the relationship, and everything else in his life. Even if he can potentially do all these things himself, he refuses to do so.

Signs of a Strong Man in a Relationship

By now, we’ve painted quite the portrait of the signs of a weak man *and yes, we suspect a few names popped into your head*. But let’s flip the coin.

What does it take for a man to be the strong counterpart in a relationship? And why, oh why, do these traits seem so darn magnetic? [Read: How to attract an alpha male – 20 secrets to date him and keep him hooked]

Let’s dive into the hallmarks of a strong man and, who knows, maybe even inspire a few gents along the way!

1. He values communication

A strong man doesn’t just hear; he listens. He engages in conversations, asks relevant questions, and ensures that he understands what’s being said. Gone are the days of feeling unheard or misunderstood.

2. He maintains independence

While he deeply cherishes the bond you share, he also holds a profound respect for personal space and autonomy. [Read: Am I being taken for granted? 31 red flag signs your man feels hurt by you]

His independence isn’t a mask for aloofness, but rather a testament to his belief that two individuals, growing side by side, fortify the foundation of a relationship. This means he doesn’t waver with every gust of opinion; he makes informed decisions.

Instead of always defaulting to what his parents or friends say, he critically evaluates situations, consults when necessary, and then confidently charts his course.

3. He has mature interests and friendships

Gone are the days of high school dramas and fleeting cliques. As he’s grown, so have his interests and the company he keeps. [Read: 23 BIG signs your boyfriend’s friends don’t like you and what to do about it]

Engaging in profound conversations, seeking genuine connections, and prioritizing meaningful interactions are now second nature to him. Moreover, his circle of friends often mirrors his maturity and ambitions.

These are individuals who, like him, are focused on their goals, personal growth, and meaningful achievements. They uplift each other, share common aspirations, and steer clear of unnecessary drama.

In recognizing the value of positive and enriching friendships, he’s not afraid to distance himself from relationships that are toxic or no longer serve his personal growth. [Read: How to be an adult – 27 mature ways to grow up and behave like it]

Because he understands, after all, that we’re often influenced by the company we keep.

4. He’s future-oriented

This man has goals, dreams, and a vision board that’s brimming with plans. It’s not just about financial growth but emotional, spiritual, and personal development too.

5. He’s an emotional rock

Emotional intelligence is his secret weapon. He recognizes, understands, and manages emotions – both his and yours, fostering a deep emotional connection. [Read: What does it mean to be emotionally available? 19 signs and fixes]

6. He stands up for what’s right

His moral compass is not just functional; it’s his guiding star. Whether it’s supporting you or standing up for a cause, he knows where he stands.

7. He’s accountable

A strong man owns up to his mistakes. Instead of pointing fingers or making excuses, he learns, adjusts, and grows.

8. He’s supportive

He’s not threatened by your successes; he celebrates them. This man is your cheerleader, always encouraging you to reach for the stars. [Read: 17 Signs of a supportive partner who encourages you and your goals]

9. He respects boundaries

He understands that ‘no’ means ‘no’. Whether it’s personal space, decisions, or emotions, he respects your boundaries and sets his own.

10. He’s adaptable

Change isn’t his enemy. Relationships are constantly evolving entities, shaped by experiences, challenges, and the passage of time.

A strong man understands this dynamic nature and doesn’t resist it. Instead of whining about unforeseen challenges or shifts, he focuses on solutions, understanding, and mutual growth. [Read: Good guys vs. bad guys – 30 traits, why girls date nice guys and crave bad boys]

He’s the kind who, faced with a storm, will find a way to dance in the rain, ensuring the relationship remains vibrant and strong.

11. He values trust

Trust isn’t just a word; it’s the foundation of your relationship. He builds it, values it, and ensures it remains unshaken.

12. He’s financially responsible

While money isn’t everything, financial responsibility indicates planning, foresight, and maturity. [Read: What to do if your partner makes less money than you]

13. He’s a learner

Whether it’s a new hobby, understanding emotions, or personal growth, he’s always eager to learn.

14. He prioritizes self-care

Recognizing that a relationship thrives when both partners are at their best, he takes time for self-care, mentally and physically.

15. He’s a giver

The essence of a strong man often manifests in his inherent desire to give, and it goes far beyond the occasional bouquet of flowers or a surprise dinner date. [Read: Why givers feel unappreciated and under-valued in a relationship and how to fix it]

At the heart of his giving nature is a genuine understanding of the needs and desires of his partner.

He recognizes that true giving often means offering his time, lending an ear after a long day, putting in the effort to maintain the spark, and showering genuine care and concern.

It’s about making sacrifices when needed and prioritizing the well-being and happiness of the relationship over fleeting personal gains. [Read: 38 Signs and traits of a happy, healthy relationship and what it should look like]

For him, being a giver is not a calculated act but a spontaneous expression of his love and commitment.

16. He understands partnership

A relationship, for him, is a partnership. Decisions are made together, with mutual respect and consideration.

17. He respects different opinions

A strong man understands that everyone is entitled to their own perspective. He may not always agree, but he respects differing viewpoints. [Read: 33 Secrets and best apps to find like-minded people who think just like you]

This open-mindedness allows for enriched discussions and shows his maturity in appreciating the diverse tapestry of human thought.

18. He’s proactive, not just reactive

While it’s essential to respond appropriately to situations, he doesn’t just wait for things to happen. He plans, anticipates, and acts, ensuring that he’s not always on the back foot.

This proactive nature speaks volumes about his foresight and dedication to ensuring things run smoothly. [Read: How to be mature – 25 ways to grow up and face life like an adult]

19. He values quality time

It’s not just about being present but being ‘present.’ He recognizes the importance of spending quality time together, fostering a deeper connection.

He makes an effort to plan activities, understand your interests, and ensure that the time you spend together strengthens the bond.

20. He maintains a balance

While work and ambitions are essential, he doesn’t let them overshadow the relationship. [Read: How to balance your career, social life, and dating life]

Striking a balance between professional and personal life is crucial to him. He knows when to switch off from work and focus on moments that truly matter.

21. He encourages your ambitions

A hallmark of a strong man is how he treats your dreams. He’s not just a passive observer; he’s your biggest cheerleader. He understands, encourages, and sometimes even actively helps you in realizing your aspirations.

22. He takes care of his health

Physical well-being is a priority. He understands that to be there for you and future commitments, he needs to be in the best of health. [Read: 12 Benefits of exercise on your mind, body, and libido]

Regular check-ups, a balanced diet, and exercise are not chores but a part of his lifestyle.

23. He’s not afraid of vulnerability

Contrary to the mistaken belief that showing emotions is a sign of weakness, he embraces vulnerability.

He’s not afraid to share his fears, insecurities, or moments of sadness, believing that true strength lies in openness and authenticity.

24. He values and practices honesty

Transparency is his policy. Whether it’s about his past, decisions, or feelings, he believes in laying it all out. This honesty fosters trust and ensures that you’re never left second-guessing. [Read: 12 Signs of dishonesty in a relationship that push couples apart]

25. He’s dependable

When he says he’ll do something, he means it. You can count on him for promises made and responsibilities undertaken. This reliability ensures stability in the relationship.

26. He appreciates and reciprocates affection

He’s not shy about showing his love, whether it’s through words, actions, or gestures. More importantly, he values the affection you show and ensures that it’s reciprocated, fostering mutual love and respect.

You’re aiming to be a partner, not a mom!

Navigating relationships can be complex, but having a clear understanding of the signs of a weak man can offer clarity. These signs are not just arbitrary labels but tools to help you see potential red flags.

[Read: 20 Signs of emotional maturity and traits that reveal a mature mind]

And hey, as you saunter through the world of dating, bear this in mind: you’re aiming to be a partner, not a mom! Use these signs of a weak and strong man as guidance, ensuring you build a balanced, fulfilling relationship where both individuals contribute equally.

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life. And while you’re at it, check out MIRL, a cool new social networking app that connects experts and seekers!

Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...