13 Signs Your Partner Is Sexist (& How To Let Them Go)

Getting involved in a relationship with someone who's sexist is incredibly detrimental to your mental health and the health of your relationship. You might not think it's the biggest deal to date someone who doesn't share every core value and belief with you initially, but over time, problems will creep into your relationship, causing major strife. It's way too difficult to have a long-lasting and healthy relationship with someone who sees the world through sexist eyes. 


Unfortunately, once you're already in a relationship with someone and mutual love has already developed, it becomes quite tricky to break free and move on with your life. The good news is that getting out of a relationship with a sexist partner is possible. No one should ever feel like they're trapped in a romance that is no longer serving them. If your partner has shown any of these signs, it's very possible that they're a sexist individual — and if that happens to be the case, we've got tips on how to let them go.

They don't treat their mother or other female family members with respect

Take note of how your partner treats their mother and other female family members. If the person you're dating has a hard time being respectful of their own mother, odds are, they'll eventually have a difficult time respecting you. Tons of relationship experts will tell you that you can see the future of your relationship based on your partner's relationship with their mother.


Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule, like if you're dating someone who grew up with an abusive or absent mother. People who grew up with mothers with addictions or struggled with significant mental health problems should also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

If they constantly speak to their mother with blatant disrespect, it's possible they'll end up treating you in that same manner down the line. On the contrary, if the person you're dating is super gentle, sweet, and caring with their mother, it's safer to assume they will also treat you with similar respect. 

They make fun of women regularly and consistently

If your partner finds it hilarious to poke fun at the female gender consistently, then you're probably not dating someone who has your best interest at heart. Some examples of this would be dating someone who jokes about women's "inability" to drive cars or how women make "rash" decisions led by their emotions. Over time, dating a person who jokes around like this all the time will begin to weigh on you. 


Being the butt of every joke just because of your gender isn't enjoyable. In fact, it will likely make you start growing resentful. The person you're dating should celebrate the fact that you are who you are without cracking jokes about negative stereotypes that ruin women's self-confidence everywhere. It's perfectly fine for the person you're dating to have a sense of humor about things, but it's not okay if sexist jokes about women are at the root of every single "comedy" routine they come up with.

They're always mansplaining and correcting you for ego boosts

One of the most annoying things to deal with is having someone condescendingly mansplain information you already know. If you're currently dating a partner who's always mansplaining and discrediting your intelligence, you should probably reevaluate your entire relationship. Sexist individuals often go out of their way to correct you for their own ego boosts. They want to feel like the smartest person in the room, and they certainly want to ensure that they're smarter than you if you're a woman. 


A sexist partner will get very uncomfortable with the idea of you knowing more than them about any random topic. Some women in relationships with people like this will pretend to be less knowledgeable by dumbing themselves down in conversations. No one you interact with should have that power over you. Being a brilliant woman is something you should feel proud of, not something you should have to hide because you're scared to bruise your partner's ego.

They don't believe women can do what men do

It's a serious issue if the person you're dating is heavily convinced that women can't do any of the things men do. For example, a lot of sexist men believe women are unable to enjoy casual sex without getting emotionally involved and that women don't know how to be solution-oriented because they're too focused on their emotions. They believe women are uneducated when it comes to knowledge about cars, sports, and other "male-dominated" topics. 


In reality, it's possible for women to have casual sex, be solution-oriented, and be knowledgeable about any topics deemed in society as "male-dominated." You shouldn't have to waste your time trying to convince someone of these things. Anyone with views like this is highly unlikely to change their thought processes overnight. These aren't things you should ever feel like you have to bite your tongue about, either.  

They're always negging you

Dating a partner who is constantly negging you is problematic for plenty of reasons. If you're unsure about what exactly negging is — not to be confused with nagging — it's a form of manipulation that has been going on for generations.


A negging partner will berate you and pass it off as a lighthearted joke or a passing comment that doesn't need to be addressed. They'll neg you by saying you're super beautiful, but you'd look even better if you lost 10 pounds. They'll say you're the prettiest woman in the world, but you'd be hotter if you were blond.

Negging is almost always a compliment followed by an insult in one fell swoop. Since half of the statement is supposedly "nice," the person on the receiving end is often caught off guard and unable to respond in a way that shows any dignity at all. If this is something your partner is constantly doing to you, get ahead of things by coming up with some creative responses to call them out for their behavior.


They're irked by the idea of having a daughter

Ask your partner how they feel about becoming a father to a little girl and take their responses to heart. Sexist men are usually irked by the idea of having a daughter because they prefer the "simplicity" of raising a son. Sexist men believe they'll put in much less work raising a son they'll be able to connect with about "guy stuff" once their son comes of age. They know that raising a daughter will pose its own challenges since they might not naturally have as many shared interests with her as she grows up. 


They'll also have to accept that they probably didn't treat every single woman they dated in their lifetime with pristine levels of love and respect. Raising daughters means they'll naturally start feeling concerned about how their daughter will be treated in the world of dating when she eventually comes of age. A man who isn't misogynistic at all won't have any problems with the prospect of becoming a girl dad.

They're obsessed with sticking to traditional gender roles, stereotypes, and norms

Although you might not personally have a problem with subscribing to traditional gender roles, some like to break free of the molds that were set in place back in the day. Dating a partner who's obsessed with the idea of sticking to traditional gender roles, stereotypes, and norms could be incredibly detrimental to you if you have a more progressive way of view in the world. 


Plenty of sexist people believe that women have no business joining the workforce and should instead spend their time at home raising babies, washing dishes, and folding laundry. The idea of a woman abandoning those traditional gender roles is confusing to sexist individuals. 

Learning how to voice your feelings and opinions is the framework of a healthy relationship, and some sexist individuals believe men shouldn't show their emotions or cry in front of others. Sexist people have convinced themselves that it's only okay for women to show emotions, and that's why they end up having violent and outrageous outbursts after keeping everything bottled up inside for so long.

They aren't bothered by women's rights being stripped away

The notion of women having their rights stripped away should bother everyone, regardless of gender. It's odd for men to act completely unbothered about the idea of women losing their rights simply because they don't have to worry about the same issues. Non-sexist people are deeply concerned about maintaining women's rights and making sure women are fully protected in society. When women's rights are at risk (or completely stripped away), it leaves nearly half the population feeling completely vulnerable. 


Non-sexist people will naturally be bothered by this becoming a reality. Non-sexist people will speak up regarding women's rights and voice their opinions about keeping women as safe as possible in a progressive society. You don't have to go out of your way to bring up hot-button conversation topics with your partner to figure out how they feel about something as serious as women's rights. Their nonchalance can oftentimes be just as much of an answer.

They don't understand the importance of consent in sexual moments

Consent is one of the most important things to consider if you're involved in a sexual relationship. Both people involved need to consent before engaging in sexual activity every single time. Consent isn't something that happens just once, opening up the floodgates to someone's body for the rest of their life. If your partner treats you like a sex object in the bedroom without regard for your feelings, this is a major problem. 


They can't simply assume you'll give them the green light every single time they're in the mood. After all, you're not always going to be in the mood at the same time as them. If you've ever been in a situation with your partner where they've been extra pushy trying to convince you to go further than what you're comfortable with, this is a significant sign of sexism. Getting intimate should only be exciting to them if it's also exciting to you. If a sense of resistance from you makes them want to continue anyway, you're not with a healthy-minded person.

They're pressuring you to have children, even if you don't want to

It's beyond unacceptable for anyone you're dating to try and pressure you into having children if that isn't something you want for yourself. Being a woman does not automatically mean you're going to become a mother, and it's wrong for anyone to try and paint that narrative.


Sexist people will claim that women who don't want to have children are selfish, unnatural, and immature. Keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with you if you've come to terms with the fact that you don't want to be a mom. Parenthood simply isn't for everyone. 

A lot of sexist people think they can speak up on a decision like this — when really, the person who's expected to go through nine months of physical changes and the pain of labor should be making the final call. Run fast and far if your partner tries to force parenthood on you by minimizing your disinterest in becoming a mom.

They're bothered when your career successes flourish

Your partner should be completely excited for you in moments when your career is flourishing. News about a promotion or raise at your job should be met with celebration. If your flourishing career is making your partner upset or uncomfortable, you're probably not in the best relationship. This issue worsens if your partner starts getting competitive with you about your successes by comparing each of your wins. Nothing should be so heavily compared in a romance. 


Instead, you should both be able to showcase happiness for each other on your individual paths. Sexist people will feel threatened and emasculated by being in relationships with women who earn more money, have higher titles, or are generally doing better than them. Confident partners will hype you up when you succeed at work and then go out of their way to match your level without stepping on your toes.

They victim-blame sexual assault victims

The mentality of victim-shaming and victim-blaming has been around for a long time. When a woman is assaulted, people question what she was wearing, how much she had to drink, and whether or not she put herself in a dangerous environment to be hurt. But it's never the victim's fault if they've been assaulted. We should all be able to dress in the clothes we want, drink socially with our friends, and travel to different places at our leisure. The only person who is ever at fault in the case of an assault is the perpetrator. 


You'll know you're dating a sexist person if they say things that align with victim-shaming and victim-blaming after hearing about an assault that's taken place. Victim-blamers have no empathy for victims since they believe it was the victim's actions and behaviors that caused the assault to occur in the first place; they may even joke about the sexual assault, which is no laughing matter. It's best to distance yourself from anyone who thinks this way. Victim-blamers are some of the most discreetly dangerous individuals out there.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).


They've shown signs of becoming physically, emotionally, or sexually abusive

People with no respect for women aren't shy when it comes to pushing the boundaries of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. In fact, it's pretty easy for sexist people to pull off this type of abuse toward women they're involved with since they see women as "less than." Sexist people don't believe women are equally as important as men, which means they aren't concerned about protecting women on a serious level.


When you date someone who's shown signs of becoming physically, emotionally, or sexually abusive, you open the door for repeated offenses to take place. The first time you let something slide without repercussions, it shows them they're allowed to disrespect you. Abuse can come in many forms, including name-calling, forcing you to engage in sexual acts, and laying hands on you in an aggressive manner. Non-sexist people wouldn't even imagine doing things like that to women they're supposed to love and cherish. 

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.


Vocalize how you're feeling about their treatment of women

As you start figuring out how to let go of your sexist partner, you should start by vocalizing how you feel about their treatment of women. Bring everything to the surface so they aren't confused about why you're upset.


List examples of sexist things they've said or done that make you uncomfortable. Pay attention to how they react to being called out for their behaviors. If they're surprised by what you're saying and apologetic for being problematic in a way they didn't notice, there's a chance they might be able to change their ways. 

If they're dismissive of you and your concerns, though, you've got a serious issue on your hands. No one should be dismissive when getting called out for something as serious as sexism. If they get defensive and angry with you for bringing this topic up, that's also enough of a reason to call it quits. You don't want to be with someone who thinks they can defend sexist behaviors with excuses.


Ask questions about their perception of women to see if there's any room to grow

Before you cut things off for good, ask questions about their perception of women to see if there's room to grow. There's a chance they'll be willing to grow, evolve, and change if they take their relationship with you seriously. If your partner doesn't want to lose you, they'll have to understand that some of their views must change. It's also possible your partner will answer your questions in ways that raise even more red flags. If that happens to be the case, follow your gut instincts and end the relationship.


Some of the questions you can ask to better find out about their views on women include how they feel about having daughters or if they get along well with their mother. Don't ask these questions looking for a fight; rather, in search of closure. If your partner's answers are alarmingly sexist, you'll know deep inside your heart what step you should take next.

Understand that there are other people you can date who aren't sexist

There are other fish in the sea. Seriously. It doesn't matter how long you've been in your relationship — if they're starting to show signs of sexism in an undeniable way, don't be afraid to let them go. The relationship could be a month old or 10 years old. Either way, you have to understand that there are other potential partners you can date who don't have sexist tendencies in the slightest. In fact, you can meet people to date who are actually quite the opposite.


There are potential partners out there who will speak up on your behalf as a woman and go out of their way to fight for your rights. Just because your current relationship isn't depicting that, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Take solace in knowing that you'll be getting the chance to start over with new people who are actually healthy-minded if you're willing to let go of you're current relationship.

Explain that the relationship isn't working based on their sexist behaviors

Dating a sexist person is an absolute no-go unless you want to deal with a world of heartache and drama. You deserve to enjoy a relationship with someone who respects you as a woman (and every woman he comes in contact with!). You don't deserve to date someone who views you as property, a trophy, or a sex object. Reach out to your partner and figure out a time that works best for you to have a serious conversation.


Explain that the relationship isn't working based on their sexist behaviors. If you've already come to the conclusion that they're not going to — or willing to — change, hold firm with your decision and don't let them charm their way back in. Some sexist people will lie about their willingness to change at the 11th hour in fear of losing their partner. Don't allow them to suck you back into their trap.