The Internet says that many things, from bad spelling to not drinking coffee, are red flags or signs that a relationship will not work out. And yes it’s true, some people put pineapple on their pizza and that’s an immediate swipe left . But, seriously speaking, there are some red flags that should not be ignored, because, although being in a relationship requires certain sacrifices, you should never put aside your needs or your own happiness.
When we fall in love, it can be easy to ignore relationship red flags, but over time it becomes abundantly clear that they were there. That’s why we ask experts to help us identify some signs that a relationship is not healthy.
What are red flags in relationships?
Some red flags are entirely subjective, most often referring to an individual’s values, desires, and preferences, says clinical psychologist Jessica January Behr. For example, the fact that someone is not religious may be a definite NO for one potential partner, while another may not care.
Also, what we consider a flag network can evolve over time: “What is a flag network today may not be tomorrow and vice versa. However, some common red flags have to do with communication, values and judgement”, says the expert.
Sometimes you can see a red flag, either in words or actions, that the person isn’t ready for a relationship (or a relationship with you), as Hinge app’s Logan Ury explains. It may take a single date or several years for us to hear the alarm.
Unfortunately, it’s all too common to miss these signs when love blinds us, says matchmaker Susan Trombetti: “People can ignore the signs early on or find a way to trick themselves into not feeling the impact, because they don’t want to face the reality”. Other times, we only see them when the relationship ends: “You can see them clearly in hindsight and so many people realize that the warnings were there.” Here are some universally toxic behaviors that experts consider dangerous. Although some can be resolved with communication, others, such as abuse, are always a good reason to break up.
1. Love bombing
Ury tells us that “love bombing” is very common. This is what those relationships are called in which the other person is very much in love very soon, and it is a form of manipulation in which abandonment comes right after affection and declarations of immortal love.
2. Obsession with social networks
Although social networks are already part of our lives, Ury advises that we take note if a person is too interested in their profiles and number of followers I myself think the users of the Hinge app: for 74%, this can mean that the person is insecure or very selfish.
Luckily, this is one of the red flags that can be solved with communication and getting to know the other person more deeply.
4. Lack of communication
And speaking of communication… it is a pillar for any relationship. If your partner seems absent, doesn’t listen to you when you speak, or doesn’t respond to your messages, it’s a sign that they’re disconnected or distracted, says Dr. Behr.
The first step is to have a conversation to find out if your different styles can be improved with a little patience and work on both sides.
5. Jealous and controlling behavior
The occasional jealousy can be harmless, but if your partner is possessive or wants to control your plans, what you wear, or who you go out with, this can be a very serious sign of emotional abuse, says Trombetti.
6. Bad relationships with friends or family
Dr. Behr says that a lack of family relationships or talking down to those close to you can be cause for concern, especially if these things are important to you. Ury advises giving your partner the benefit of the doubt and asking why they don’t have a community.
7. Overly intense reactions
If a person is unable to handle their emotions and easily loses their composure, it is a very serious red flag. Whether he responds with the “silent treatment” or with a rage, this is a sign of possible emotional abuse in the future, Trombetti says.
9. Abuse of alcohol or other substances
If you’re dating a person who often seems unable to handle their alcohol or other substance use, they may have an addiction. This also deserves a serious conversation. If you don’t recognize the problem and seek help, this is a deal breaker .
Surely you have heard of this term, which refers to your partner blaming you for something that is not your fault or holding you responsible for how they reacted to a situation. It’s a way of making you feel like you’re going crazy or that you can’t trust your memories or your reactions.
11. Any abusive behavior
Some of the red flags we mentioned are types of emotional abuse, but here we repeat it: if someone puts you in danger or assaults you verbally, emotionally, physically or sexually, end that relationship as soon as possible.
How to react to a red flag
Just as there are red flags that are a signal to end any contact with the other person, there are other less severe ones in which you may not know what to do.
First of all, ignoring her isn’t going to help. If you notice something that makes you uncomfortable, take a break, analyze the situation, and decide if you want to continue trying to make the relationship work, if it’s something you can live with, or if you’re just being too hard on the other person. And remember, if it’s about abuse, you don’t have to report it if you don’t feel safe and just cut ties with the person. And if it’s a simple incompatibility, don’t feel guilty about breaking up: it doesn’t mean that you or the other person are wrong, just that they don’t fit into a relationship.