“Relationship Red Flags”…we’ve often seen them after the fact. They seem to magically appear once the relationship is finally over, and we’re wondering why we didn’t see them from the start. Then there are some hopeless romantics who don’t see them until someone points them out. Red Flags such as:
- A Person Talking Negatively About Exes and/or Friends
- The Wedding Is Planned From the Start
- Friends and Family Pointing Out Warning Signs
Regardless of when we recognize red flags, it’s imperative we understand the behavior associated with them. The behavior gives insight into both the other person and us.
1. They have no friends
It’s often said if you want to know a person, look at their friends. In the age of social media, the term friend can mean a few things so we’ll stick with the traditional sense of the word here – a companion who knows your joys, pains, hopes, dreams, and flaws. Not having at least one true friend is a major Red Flag and usually points to problems with being vulnerable. If your prospective life partner hasn’t found anyone they can be vulnerable with, is it realistic to think you’re the magical unicorn?
2. Doesn’t get along with their parents
Not everyone can say they had an ideal childhood, but your antennas should go up if your love interest doesn’t get along with one or both of their parents. People aren’t perfect and parents are no exception, but harboring resentment towards those who provide us with the necessities of life represents a major red flag. Forgiveness and reconciling past trauma are vital to healthy relationships.
3. Makes all of the decisions
There’s only one rule to dating a control freak. As long as they’re calling the shots everything’s fine. It can be comforting to know that someone else is at the wheel, but not sharing decision-making duties lends itself to resentment – both for the person who feels dismissed and the person who feels the constant pressure to make choices. Relationships require two people, so if one person is unwilling to compromise, the odds for longevity start to shrink.
4. Easily frustrated
People who are easily angered haven’t developed coping mechanisms to handle pain and stress. Once the rose-colored glasses of the honeymoon phase have been removed it’s important that you both know how to handle the stresses of life and relationships. Treat this red flag with extra caution as the fiery personality you initially found attractive may turn into abusive behavior directed towards you.
5. Takes but doesn’t give
It’s been said there are two types of people: Givers and Takers. Giving is often described as extremely rewarding, but givers can also find themselves receiving the short end of the stick in relationships. Life and relationships are all about balance so if you realize you are constantly giving and never receiving (or vice-versa), the scales of your romance may be on the verge of tipping.
6. Doesn’t consider other people’s feelings
One of the main reasons givers are so generous is that they are constantly considering how their actions might impact others. These actions can be small like spoiling the end of a show or movie, or big like doing or saying things that could be seen as offensive to others are clear red flags that your sweetheart is actually inconsiderate. Pay close attention as these can be signs that the relationship you’re striving for won’t be mutually beneficial.
7. Never accepts accountability
Brace Yourself! Mistakes are made over the course of every relationship. No one is immune and the only remedy is accountability. People who aren’t accustomed to being held accountable for their actions often blow up or shut down when forced to own up to their mistakes. Take note of how your mate responds when you acknowledge their shortcomings. Facing the truth is the first step in turning weaknesses into strengths.
8. Doesn’t let it go
The easiest way to hold ourselves accountable is to acknowledge our mistakes by apologizing and planning to do better. That doesn’t mean a heartfelt “I’m Sorry” is always enough, as forgiving others can be difficult for some. If your partner is constantly bringing up your wrong-doings – sometimes months after you’ve agreed to move on – forgiveness is a problem. Remember: when a person has a problem forgiving others it’s very likely that they are unable to forgive themselves, making this a huge RED FLAG.
9. Professes love too fast
So this one should be kind of obvious. Everyone loves falling in love, but who wants to be the first to admit it? Being on either side of a premature “I love you” can be a little awkward with good reason. It takes time to truly get to know someone, so it’s best to wait until that initial explosion of infatuation becomes a steady flame. Rushing something as important as the “L-word” shows a lack of patience for important things to develop – a key component of long-lasting productive relationships.
10. Makes Sweeping Generalizations
“All men cheat…Women don’t know what they want….” Broad statements like these are major Red Flags. Healthy relationships can’t be based on absolutes as people are constantly growing. Growth isn’t easy when you’re wasting time trying to convince a partner that their views on life aren’t universal. Thinking that everyone is the same is a sign of faulty thinking and an inability to develop a more mature understanding of the world.
11. Constantly breaks promises
Being able to count on each other is the backbone of any relationship. Constantly saying one thing but doing another is the quickest way to break your mate’s faith in you. This leads to resentment in relationships, and an expectation that everything said is to be taken with a grain of salt.
12. Starts, but doesn’t finish
If you are looking to be in a long-term relationship betting on a person who has trouble finishing things isn’t a good one. Whether it’s constantly job hopping or starting small DIY projects around the house, be aware of signs related to commitment issues. If a person can’t commit to other things in life, what makes you think you can be the magical unicorn to change this behavior?
13. Doesn’t invite you to their home
Allowing another person into your home requires a significant amount of trust. If you’ve dated for a few months and haven’t visited your partner’s home, this is a major red flag. It’s pretty clear this individual doesn’t trust you. The question is why? Is it something you’ve done or does the individual have trust issues that have nothing to do with you?
14. Can’t be alone
It’s not uncommon to spend a significant amount of time getting to know a new love interest – but it shouldn’t be all the time. If you notice that the person you’re dating doesn’t want to be without ever, this is a Relationship Fit Red Flag. In healthy relationships, each person should have their own independent life in addition to having a life with their partner. No two people are the same. When people have difficulty being alone, it’s usually because they aren’t truly content with themselves. Make sure the person you are dating has a life outside of you or you’ll more than likely become that person’s world.
15. Friends tell you that you’re changing
A great example to explain this Red Flag is drinking or smoking. Beginning these habits or excessive practice is a red flag. Yes, people change while in relationships. However, core values should not. If working out is a core practice for your health, you might acquiesce because you don’t want to lose the relationship. Friends who have known you for a significant amount of time will let you know of the change. Make sure you take note!
Check the Warning Signs
Protect your heart, time, and money. Being aware of Relationship Red Flags gives you insight into what particular area you can improve your relationships.