It is not lost on me that THIS is the article that lands on Valentine’s Day. The irony is real, but who knows maybe someone needs this today. We might as well begin with a big fat red flag, and that is if your partner is conveniently “working late” tonight on Valentine’s day, they are most likely out on a date with their side piece. Believe me, it happens, it happened to me last year so I know real well how often this occurs.
Okay, with that said, let’s talk about what red flags to look for within a relationship and when it’s time to get out. I have combined my own personal experiences with a list of common red flags others have faced. If you experienced any one of these, truly reconsider why you are in the relationship, and if possible leave immediately.
What Are Red Flags
Red flags within a relationship are those subtle signs (or sometimes blaring signs) that something isn’t right. If you are sensitive and able to read people easily, you’ll see these red flags a lot quicker than most. For those who have a difficult time trusting your intuition when things feel off, listen closely to those around you (whom you can trust) what their opinions are in regards to the individual. I don’t like to suggest listening to others, but if you can’t formulate your own intuition quite yet, gaining insight from others may be useful.
At the end of the day, you should ALWAYS listen to your instincts. The biggest red flag of all is feeling like something is wrong with that person. Make space to allow those messages to surface and trust yourself when making big decisions.
A List Of Common Red Flags
So what do these red flags look like? Each scenario is definitely different but here is a list of signs to look out for within your relationship:
- Super protective of their phone (erasing all conversation, usually the phone is flipped over and on lock)
- Their stories don’t add up quite right, flaws in their account on things
- Not acknowledging they are in a relationship, or acknowledging you publicly (especially on social media. You don’t need to have pictures, but they should freely engage and acknowledge who you are).
- There tends to be a lot of flirtatious acquaintances surrounding your partner
- Lack or no boundaries for you or anyone else
- They get heated or angry quickly, they change moods on a dime
- Lack of deep conversations, can only speak about the weather or gossip
- Lack of or no display of empathy. They can watch you cry and not feel any emotions about it.
- They struggle financially for years and have no motivation to change their situation
- They are not present or engaged in conversations. They seem to always be thinking about something else when you are speaking
- Lack of eye contact. They either look over your head, in a different direction, or can’t look at you. They are hiding something when they cannot make eye contact.
- There is always an argument or fight. The relationship feels heavy and like an effort. Healthy relationships are light and fun with a few arguments every once in awhile. Not everyday.
- Too much flattery or gifts at the beginning of a relationship that it feels artificial. Most times these are insincere gestures that are use to hook a victim into an abusive relationship
- They are late without warning. Shows they don’t respect your time
- They don’t have many close friends
- You constantly have to make excuses or defend your partner to others
- They get extremely defensive when questioned about cheating, finances, or the like
- They accuse you of cheating or lying. It’s a projection of what they are guilty of
- They want to have a physical relationship quickly, and rush the entire relationship. Normal, healthy people take time to get to know one another
- Their words do not match their actions
- It feels like you are on an emotional roller coaster
- You notice they are lying to close friends or family
- They have a problem with alcohol or drugs and are currently using
- They have a hard time keeping a job
- You can’t trust them
- Your friends and family does not like your partner and are worried for you
- They exhibit controlling behaviors, invasive behaviors, and aggressive tendencies towards you
- They are jealous if you talk to the opposite sex
- You feel insecure and unlovable within your relationship
- They have a series of failed relationships where their ex partners block, reported, or filed for restraining orders
- They exhibit abusive behaviors
- Their family is dysfunctional and unhealthy to be around, yet your partner doesn’t notice. History does repeat itself if there is no acknowledge or work on correcting the dysfunction
Obviously this isn’t a complete list, but it does encompass the main traits to look out for. Add additional red flags in the comments if you’d like, to help others identify and remove themselves from toxic situations.
When To Leave
Any one of these situations is enough to leave a relationship. Especially if you try to have a conversation around the red flag that concerns you, and no progress is made. Never settle for less. Something I learned along the way is that I cannot change people, they can only change themselves. It is not my responsibility to fix people while I am in turn being mistreated. Trust your intuition over everything else, if the situation or relationship doesn’t feel right– it probably isn’t right. Feel free to read what a healthy relationship looks like for more reference.
Question Of The Day
What is a big red flag that you’ve faced or seen someone else face? Let me know in the comments!