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15 BIG Red Flags in a Relationship You Should Never Explain Away

When you just enter a new relationship, everything looks perfect. But that’s when you need to look out for the red flags in a relationship the most.

red flags in a relationship

Oh, where do I even start? I could write a book about all the red flags I saw in people I dated, and all the times I ignored them. I didn’t want to see the blaring red flags that were in front of my face. It was easier to ignore them and continue living a lie in my head. But trust me, you should keep your eyes out for the red flags in a relationship.

The 15 biggest red flags in a relationship to watch out for

Let’s get some things straight. Chewing with your mouth open or wearing socks with holes aren’t red flags. They may be your pet peeves, but they don’t hold power to emotionally and mentally harm you *unless you really can’t stand socks with holes*.

Though you may know of the more common red flags like physical abuse, many red flags are camouflaged and tricky to spot right away. Of course, you end up realizing they’re red flags months or years into the relationship, and it just makes things harder.

[Read: How to know when a relationship isn’t working with these 15 revealing signs]

So, it’s always best to spot the red flags nice and early to avoid the painful process of going through a breakup. So, what are the important red flags in a relationship to look out for? Here they are. Time to pay attention.

#1 They don’t want to compromise. In a healthy relationship, you’re going to have to compromise. But your partner refuses to meet you in the middle. Instead, they stand their ground and refuse to find a happy medium for the both of you. What happens is you end up doing everything they want to do without getting your needs met. [Read: How to make your partner better… can it actually be done?]

#2 They never initiate dates. You’re always the one who plans everything. Whether it’s a movie night at home or dinner out, you always need to make the first move. Making plans isn’t easy, it takes effort. If you’re the only one putting in the effort, this is a problem. Your relationship is one-sided. [Read: The hidden signs of a one-sided relationship we all want to ignore]

#3 They don’t respect your boundaries. Everyone has their own personal boundaries, and the people who know us respect those boundaries. But if this person oversteps the line and doesn’t care when you express your concern, they simply aren’t interested in making you feel safe and secure.

#4 They don’t want to label the relationship months after dating. You have been dating for months, and you feel the relationship can be something more than just “hanging out.” But they don’t want to label the relationship as anything. Not a good sign. They’re not going to commit to you.

#5 Someone is keeping secrets. In healthy relationships, you need to be open and honest with your partner. No one should be keeping secrets and lying to one another. So, if you’re finding out they’re hiding things from you or straight up lying to your face, that’s a solid red flag.

[Confession: The biggest lessons I learned after being lied to for five years]

#6 Your friends and family don’t like them. Sometimes, your friends and family won’t like your partner for reasons that shouldn’t be a problem, such as race or religion. But then there are times when your family and friends simply don’t like your partner for their behavior. If this is the case, they’re seeing what you’re not seeing.

#7 There’s not an equal playing field. You don’t feel there’s equal power between you. Instead, there’s a severe power imbalance, where your needs aren’t being met. You feel more submissive, and your partner has become controlling. [Read: How to pull back in a relationship when you’re giving too much]

#8 You’re not on their social media. It’s been months of dating, and you have yet to appear on their social media. Now, some people aren’t active on social media or have an account and never go on, that’s one thing. But if they’re frequent on social media and you’re not in any photos or posts, that’s a little odd. It doesn’t sound like you’re a long-term option.

#9 All their exes are crazy. Oh god, I’m so over this. Apparently, all your partner’s exes are crazy. Every. Single. One. Isn’t that just a little weird? How can they all be crazy? This is a huge red flag as it shows they have never self-reflected or acknowledged their own behavior within their past relationships. They love to play the victim card.

#10 They gaslight you. When you’re talking to your partner, they seem to make you second-guess yourself on things you’ve said in past conversations. They’re messing with your head and altering your reality. This is extremely dangerous and will only get worse. [Read: 16 signs your lover is messing with your mind by gaslighting you]

#11 They rush into the relationship. This one is usually not a good sign. If your partner is rushing into the relationship, you need to ask yourself why. What happened in their past? This could be a rebound or the case of serial monogamy. Either way, you don’t want that. You want someone who wants you, not someone who just needs to be in a relationship for the sake of it.

#12 They never ask how you’re feeling. Do they ever ask you how you’re feeling? How was your day? What do you feel like doing today? These may not seem like big questions, but they are. They show you that this person cares about you. But if your partner never asks you about yourself, are they really interested in you? 

#13 They openly tease you to the point of insulting you. We can tease and poke fun at our partners, family, and friends, but there’s a line between doing it with a light heart and purposely insulting someone to bring them down. If they’re publicly insulting you and try to mask it with “you’re just being sensitive,” we have a problem. [Read: How self-respect affects you and your relationships]

#14 They’re disrespectful towards strangers. Now, if a stranger did something towards you that was harmful, and then they were angry, that’s one thing. But if this person is simply rude and disrespectful to your waiter or your Uber driver for no reason, that’s not a good sign. If they can treat someone they don’t know with such disrespect, you’re not going to get treated much better. [Read: How to read the signs of self-centered people and learn to avoid them]

#15 They don’t apologize. You’ve never really heard them say sorry, and if they do, it’s not genuine. If they can’t apologize for something they did towards you, that’s a huge problem. Not being able to take responsibility for oneself isn’t a quality you want in a partner.

[Read: How to know for sure if it’s time to give up on the relationship]

No one wants to look for red flags in a relationship, but you should. The last thing you want is to invest your time and energy into someone who’s not right for you.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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