I said it once and I’ll say it again, love isn’t easy. Sure, you may meet someone that you really like but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be with that person forever. In fact, you’ll probably go through a couple of “the ones” until you actually meet the one. But, what usually happens is that we ignore the early relationship red flags that they’re not the ones and push through it, ending up heartbroken at the end.
Finding someone that you’re actually compatible with isn’t as easy as we thought. Of course, we want our love lives to be a dramatic rendition of Grease or High School Musical. Let’s be honest, that’s not going to happen.
The early relationship red flags you need to know
You don’t need to deal with heartbreak. I’ve had my fair share and I can honestly say, I could do without it. I dated guys, ignoring the signs and ended up completely shocked when they would ghost or dump me. But the signs were there, out in the open. It was my fault that I didn’t see the early relationship red flags and do something about it.
I don’t want you to go through unnecessary pain for some idiot. Instead, it’s best to know the signs, spot them, and then run in the opposite direction. Let’s be honest, no one ever said, “they had so many great red flags, I just love them!” Nope, never happens. If you see them in your relationship, run. [Read: 17 common relationship red flags most people ignore]
#1 They don’t communicate. If you can’t communicate with your partner, you’re not going to get far. I’m not talking about sending each other memes. I’m talking about discussing things that bother you and vice versa with each other.
If they can’t talk through their issues, this is one of those huge early relationship red flags. What’s going to happen instead? Will they just blame it all on you? Completely shut down? That’s not how relationships work. [Read: 18 emotions you shouldn’t feel in a healthy relationship]
#2 They feel entitled. I have a friend whose boyfriend was upset that he couldn’t have sex with her for two weeks after she underwent surgery. Now, if that doesn’t scream entitlement, then I don’t know what does.
Entitlement means when someone feels that others should be doing more for them, that they don’t feel equal to their partners. This is a major red flag and shows that they don’t actually care about you. [Read: Unassuming signs you’re dating a jerk]
#3 You justify their actions. The relationship is new but you find yourself finding excuses to justify their behavior to other people. Rather than having a disagreement with this person, instead, you throw all the bad evidence away in your head in order to be aligned with your partner. In reality, you’re just creating a false impression of them so that you don’t have to accept who they really are.
#4 They’re the center of attention. If they had it their way, the world would revolve around them. If your basic conversation with them revolves around their needs, that’s a problem. This form of narcissism is very dangerous to involve yourself in when in a relationship. In your relationship, it’s not going to be about the both of you. It’s going to be about them and only them. [Read: A relationship with a narcissist – What it means to love one]
#5 They like to test the boundaries. Everyone has their own personal boundaries and your partner loves to test yours. It could be something that appears innocent, like wanting to see you on Tuesday even though you said you were busy or pushing you to move in with them. Though they seem like no big deal, if someone is overstepping your boundaries, they don’t respect you.
#6 They love to criticize you. Whatever you do, they do it better. They constantly criticize you, dismissing your opinion, and treating you like you’re less than them. This is a sign of emotional manipulation. They do this to make you appear smaller than them. You’ll also feel that something isn’t right when they dismiss or criticize you. This is a red flag. [Read: 15 signs of manipulation in a relationship that shouldn’t be ignored]
#7 You feel it. Listen, you know exactly what’s going on in the situation, but you may be too insecure or scared to say or do anything about it. If your gut instinct is telling you that something isn’t right, well, something isn’t right.
Whether you’ve had past relationships or not, you know what it feels like to be treated with respect and how it feels like to be disrespected. Watch their actions and listen to your body’s response. [Read: 10 signs to recognize selfish people and 5 steps to walk away]
#8 They’re jealous. Okay, everyone is a bit jealous, so, I can’t say to watch out for jealousy. But what you want to watch out for is extreme jealousy. But the thing is, you won’t notice this right away nor will it be obvious. It may appear to be a concern, but if they’re looking for your phone, following you on your night out, and asking you aggressive questions about your friends, well, it’s not going to get better.
#9 Too much alcohol. Everyone likes to have a drink here or there, but you need to make sure that your partner isn’t going heavy on the alcohol all the time. Naturally, someone addicted to substances will hide it well, up to a point. If they’re drinking a lot and cannot hold their liquor in front of you, these may be signs of alcoholism.
#10 Their exes are highly criticized. Everyone has past relationships and some of them were worse than others. Naturally, we may not think too highly of our exes, but if your partner bashes all of their exes, claiming that they were all crazy, it’s a clear sign of how they’re going to treat you. If they don’t have any nice words to say about their exes, this is a clear sign that they can’t take responsibility for their actions.
#11 Your closest family and friends don’t like them. I know, you see something special in them but your family and friends are your biggest support and they aren’t fans of your partner. If one friend doesn’t like them, okay, but if a majority of your friends and family don’t like them, well, then there’s something they obviously see that you don’t.
#12 They’re always working. You want a partner that’s going to actually spend time with you. If they spend most of their time at the office, then that may become a future problem. The work/life balance is a delicate one, but you want your partner to respect it. If they spend most of their days at the office and canceling dates with you, it’s a red flag. [Read: How to have a happy relationship with a workaholic]
#13 Your relationship is “low key.” They aren’t into labels and don’t like putting photos everywhere on social media. Now, I get the social media thing, but they don’t have one photo of you?
If they keep your relationship on the down low, then there’s something they’re not being honest with you about. Maybe you’re just a booty call with dinner privileges or maybe they already have someone.
[Read: 23 types of relationships to define your true love life]
You now know the early relationship red flags that just can’t be ignored. So, it’s time to put the pieces of the puzzle together… is it time to run?
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