Some red flags are obvious; some are more subtle, but all have the potential of being overlooked, excused, or denied. All are reasons for you to stop, look, and listen, to pay attention to what’s going on in your relationship.
All have the potential of desensitizing you to the problems in your partner the longer that you are in the relationship and the potential of drawing you into the dysfunction to where it’s harder for you to clearly see the patterns in the relationship.
Here are 15 red flags in a relationship to look out for.
1. Emotional reactivity.
Your partner creates drama and turmoil frequently by being upset, sensitive, moody, angry, and reactive over things that aren’t a really big deal to you. As a result, you have to put energy into explaining what you really meant, what you really did, apologizing, and trying to fix your partner’s feelings. As a result of this emotional reactivity, you find yourself walking on eggshells.
2. Jealousy, suspiciousness, possessiveness, and accusation.
Your partner accuses you of things that you didn’t do. Accuses you of being unfaithful, is suspicious of your other relationships, acts like he or she owns you and your time, and shows extreme jealousy. This distrust is unrelated to a history of anything that you’ve ever done to make this person distrust you.
3. Excesses that bother you.
Anything that bothers you now has the potential of bothering you even more in the future. Whether that’s an addiction, another relationship, sports, working, personality traits. And it’s even worse if the person completely denies this problem or issue when you bring it up.
If you have caught your partner in lies, you can assume that there will be more lies in the future, unless the problem or the reason for the lie has been uncovered, exposed, and corrected.
Your partner tries to control who you see, what you do, and how you live your life. At first, this may feel caring, but the underlying issues behind control can actually lead to abuse later on.
6. Emotional, verbal, physical, or sexual abuse.
Your partner uses manipulative and controlling tactics such as put-downs, minimizing, ridicule, name-calling, discounting, hostile anger, threats, withdrawal, and/or physical violence or threats of physical violence. These are all forms of abuse and only get worse the longer the relationship continues.
7. Problems in your partner’s personal life.
Whether it is with children, finances, business, work, family, friends, physical health, mental health, sexual problems. These will become your problems if the relationship continues.
You find yourself questioning yourself, questioning your beliefs, your perceptions, your actions, your thoughts, your opinions. You’re wondering if you’re crazy if you’re over-reactive if you’re over-sensitive if you’re mean or selfish because your partner is telling you that you are and that you are the problem in the relationship.
9. Your partner’s family, friends, children don’t like you.
Your partner’s family or friends, whether that’s the children, the parents, the siblings, close friends, if they don’t like or accept you in the future, this is gonna become an even worse problem. Carefully consider the effect on your life and relationship, especially if your partner does not validate your observations and your concerns with the family’s dislike.
10. Your partner’s past relationship baggage is unresolved.
Your partner needs to have worked through prior relationships to be ready to have a new relationship. This includes working through the anger, the bitterness, the blame, the sadness; accepting that the relationship’s over, and having an honest assessment of what his or her part was in the relationship problems.
11. Different values, beliefs, likes, ethnicities, lifestyles.
Your partner doesn’t have to be your clone, but you have to have some things in common in order to make and build a satisfying life together.
You find yourself taking over your partner’s responsibilities, fixing problems, and helping him or her to become a better person.
13. Your family and friends don’t like your partner.
Unless they have a history of not wanting you to be happy and sabotaging your life, you need to stop and pay attention to their concerns. They probably have your best interest in mind and can see things that you have already desensitized yourself to.
14. Inability to resolve the conflict.
This is extremely important. All relationships have conflict, but people need to have the tools and the willingness and the desire to resolve the conflict and to be able to talk things through and listen. If you can’t resolve conflict in your relationship, if you’ve brought up things and you’ve tried and this person is absolutely unwilling to talk about it, to get to someplace of mutual understanding–it doesn’t necessarily have to be agreement, but it has to be understanding, then you have a very difficult relationship history ahead of you.
15. Hoping for a change.
If you are already trying to change this person and already telling yourself, “Okay, I don’t like that, but I believe this person is gonna change or I’m going to do x, y, and z in order to make them change,” this is a huge red flag.
16. Lack of communication.
Both you and your partner don’t communicate with each other. You don’t share things with each other. You try to solve things on your own.
17. Trust Issues.
You don’t seem to trust each other. Maybe your partner blames you for things you are not responsible for. You are held accountable for the things you’ve not done.
Red flags are there to protect you. They’re there to tell you to stop, look, listen, pay attention to what’s going on. If you’re dating, this is the time that you’re supposed to be making a decision about whether or not this person is good for you and right for you. If you’re married, you’ve got to pay attention to these red flags rather than deny them, so you can attend to them and make some important decisions for yourself.